Adopting healthier New Year’s habits often starts in the kitchen. Adding better-for-you recipes to your arsenal is the start of a more nutrition-focused lifestyle, and whether you’re a true home chef or just learning the basics, these dishes can be your doorstep. gateway to better health.
From fresh spins on a family night out and quick fixes at a glance to homemade lunches and satisfying salads, consider these delicious and nutritious ways to upgrade your homemade meals in 2022.
A family dinner revisited
If your family is stuck in a dinner routine, you may feel like you’re eating the same recipes over and over.
However, this fresh and unique recipe for Cuban Chicken with Salsa Fresca might inspire you to think outside the box and give your family members the satisfying flavor they crave at dinnertime. With fresh ingredients and wholesome flavor, this meal is perfect to add to your menu.
CUBAN CHICKEN WITH SALSA FRESCA
1 cup grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup grapefruit segments
½ jicama, cubed
½ red onion, chopped
¾ cup grapefruit juice
4 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
■ Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
■ In a large bowl, mix grapefruit juice, oil, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and red pepper until well blended. Add the chicken to the bowl and turn to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes or more.
■ To make salsa fresca: In medium bowl, mix grapefruit wedges, jicama, red onion, grapefruit juice, olive oil, cilantro and jalapeno pepper until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
■ Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place the chicken in a baking dish. Cook 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
■ Serve the chicken with the salsa fresca.
Take your salad from bland to oily
Skip the boring salads. A new year and a healthier diet can include better-for-you greens and salad dressings.
Roasted vegetables with aromatic spices served on Fresh Express 5 Lettuce Mix are drizzled with lemon tahini vinaigrette in this Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad, a delicious vegetarian way to turn a bland meal into a real treat. With green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, romaine and radicchio, the mixed greens offer a bold combination of textures and flavors for those who love variety and color.
MOROCCAN ROASTED VEGETABLE SALAD
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Lemon Tahini Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons cold water
non-stick cooking spray
6 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons ras el hanout or garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into long wedges
4 large whole carrots, chopped
2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 pkgs (6 ounces each) Fresh Express 5 Lettuce Mix
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
■ To make the lemon tahini vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt. Add cold water; mix well. If dressing thickens, add more cold water.
■ Heat oven to 400 F. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
■ In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, ras el hanout, salt and pepper. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat. Transfer to the first prepared baking sheet. Add carrots and peppers to remaining oil; toss to coat. Transfer to the second prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Let cool.
■ Arrange the lettuce mixture on four plates. Top each with sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, chickpeas, apricots and almonds. Drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with parsley.
A lean and nutritious lunch
Meal prepping is one of the most common strategies for improving eating habits, however, this tactic often focuses primarily on nutritious family breakfasts and dinners. Don’t let lunch pass by the wayside; you can skip fast food breaks by opting for a recipe you can make quickly at home.
Made with nutritious potatoes that are low in calories, high in fiber and a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants, a turkey and potato wrap offers a simple solution to replace the more salty foods with a lean lunch. By making four at a time in just half an hour, lunch is served for most of your work week to help save time on busy mornings while adding vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants to your meal of the afternoon.
Recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Potatoes
3/4 pound russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon of water
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
3/4 pound ground lean turkey
1 large carrot, grated
1/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or basil
salt, to taste
Pepper to taste
4 large whole wheat or high fiber tortillas
light sour cream (optional)
■ Place potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle with water. Cover, ventilate a corner. Microwave on high power 5 to 8 minutes until potatoes are tender.
■ In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add and break up turkey; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in carrot; cook 2 minutes. Add potatoes and onions; stir and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; combine tomato sauce, cheese and Italian seasoning.
■ Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, until mixture is hot and most of the sauce is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. On the work surface, arrange the tortillas. Place 3/4 cup hot turkey mixture on each; fold and roll for burritos.
■ Cut in half. Serve each with sour cream, if desired.
Eat well when you’re short on time
Committing to a better diet doesn’t change the fact that there are simply times when a busy schedule calls for a quick fix.
When you need an easy-to-prepare lunch or dinner, reach for this loaded Smoked Salmon Rice Bowl that only takes 5 minutes for a satisfying meal. With Minute’s Fully Cooked Ready-to-Serve Brown Rice, it’s easy to add whole grains to your diet, even when you’re short on time.
One cup of cooked brown rice equals two servings of whole grains, making it a nutritious option when time is of the essence.
Packaged in convenient, single-use, BPA-free cups, Brown Rice Cups offer a quick and easy solution for dishes from breakfast to dessert. Ready in just 1 minute, they are GMO-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and preservative-free.
LOADED SMOKED SALMON RICE BOWL
Preparation time: 4 minutes
Cooking time: 1 minute
1 cup ready-to-serve brown rice
2 ounces of smoked salmon
1/2 cup julienned cucumber
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon seasoning mix for any bagel
■ Heat rice according to package directions.
■ Top rice with smoked salmon and cucumbers. Drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with seasoning mix.