With the New Year quickly approaching, my mind is already thinking about eating healthier.
When most people think about eating healthy they think about food that is boring. A few years back I lost thirty pounds and did it without feeling deprived at all.
Here are some of the recipes that I used and will use again; as well as some that I am looking forward to trying.
1. Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins
This is a spin-off of a recipe that I use quite frequently. My recipe is a banana oatmeal and egg pancake.
The recipe adds delicious dark chocolate chips and a few other needed ingredients to be baked. I have had it before and it tastes delicious. You won't feel like you're on a diet at all.
Give them a try, Erin over at Well Plated and I will be delighted that you did!
2. Maple Pecan Banana Breakfast
I avoided table sugar for the majority of the diet but I still used honey or maple syrup and it still worked. The banana in the recipes adds sweetness to it as well. The pecan adds the crunch to make for a delicious breakfast treat. Added bonus for the vegetarian or vegans out there- this one will fit your needs as well.
I promise to get off the banana for breakfast kick after this but these are some great recipes if you are used to a sweeter breakfast. For more on this healthy dish, check out Michele's Paleo Running Momma.
3. Butternut Squash and Apple Hash
About three weeks into my diet, my mother-in-law decided to join me. I think we ate sweet potatoes for breakfast for the first week and then decided that wasn't working for us.
Now that I have had a break though, I love eating sweet potato hash browns and prefer it over regular potatoes. Add kale (or spinach) and apples as well as some sausage, and as far as I am concerned we have a delicious breakfast. This is especially good if you get tired of eggs every day.
The Real Food Dieticians have some delicious recipes, this one included.
4. BLT Egg Muffins
This recipe by Frugal Family Favorites is great because it's a plan ahead meal. The author uses eighteen eggs to make these beauties!
If you are the type that has a busy schedule and needs something to grab and go, these muffins are for you. I love that it has vegetables in it as well. They chose spinach and tomatoes. I would add mushrooms in mine as well. Have fun and play with the recipe to find what works for you.
5. Coffee Smoothie
Okay, so I lied. This smoothie recipe has a banana in it as well; however, any style smoothie would be okay for breakfast. On our website, we have some delicious ones for you to try.
I love making smoothies and the green ones are my favorite because it makes people gross out thinking your drink is so gross when actuality it is quite delicious! I chose this one though because it has coffee in it and I adore coffee- morning, noon, or night!
To see the recipe for yourself, check out Sarah's Live Eat Learn site.
6. California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wrap
How delicious does this look? Iowa Girl Eats. is a blog dedicated to healthier food from a mother who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
No matter, this recipe is delicious looking and the ingredients suggest that it tastes good as well. I didn't go for one style of diet but incorporated what felt right to me and it worked. A big part of my diet was eating more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates, though I didn't cut them out completely.
This would have been a recipe I'd eat during that time and one I plan to eat after the New Year!
7. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
This would be a lunch recipe for me because I am the only one that would eat it in my household. But it would also be a great lunch recipe because it could easily be packed as a whole meal.
The ingredients inside the mushroom are quite delicious and include bacon, cheese, and green onions. The vegetables and lack of heavy carbohydrates mean this delicious meal will leave you satisfied in both fullness and taste.
For more details be sure to check out Savory Tooth.
8. Easy Chicken Meal Prep Recipes
Jordan over at Smile Sandwich did an affiliate post for Johnsonville's Flame Grilled chicken. I am not typically a fan of affiliate posts but this one is pretty good and it gives you not one but four recipes for lunches that are healthy and delicious.
I love the asparagus, sweet potato one the most, followed by the zoodle recipe. No matter your favorite, one of these recipes will be sure to swoon you!
9. Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
If you like buffalo chicken, this one might be a winner in your eyes. It has that initial crunch and the spice of the Frank's Red Hots. The girls over at Real Food Dieticians even added Ranch dressing for you to dip them in.
I often send a lunch full of healthy snacks for my girls and this will be one I will add to their repertoire, complete with the ranch. I might have to add some celery as well because what is buffalo nuggets and ranch without celery?
10. Deli Style Protein Box
Another great affiliate post for Jenny-O lunch meats but Melissa over at Number Two Pencil did a great job adding the lunch meat in a unique way, adding in her favorite snacks to make it a meal.
I will say that my oldest daughter got made fun of for eating eggs for her lunch so we have a great tool for disguising that dish which I talk about in this post. Adding the cheese and pretzels give it enough of a twist to make you feel like you are not missing out. Delicious!
11. Lemon Garlic Salmon Cakes
These salmon cakes are a quick meal, including the sides as well. As a matter of fact, you will be ready to eat twenty minutes after you start your dinner. Having quick dinners is super important to me as my family is very busy and despite my culinary background, I need taste and speed.
All you do is mix the salmon patty ingredients in a bowl together and make patties to the size you want. Then put in a drizzled pan. If you make the asparagus, you will want to start that about seven minutes beforehand.
If you are looking for a healthy, quick, and tasty seafood meal, this recipe by Kaylie at Paleo Gluten Free Eats is for you!
12. Quinoa Taco Casserole
I wanted to add a quinoa recipe in here somewhere because they are such a good grain. Yes, it has quite a bit of carbohydrate for those who are looking at keeping their levels down but it is probably one of the highest protein grains out there and extremely healthy and so, so versatile.
My students made it in a broccoli bake, I have used it instead of oatmeal before, and now they add a nice crunch to the taco casserole. This recipe created by Nancylynn at Confessions of a Fit Foodie can be made using a crockpot or an instant pot for those of you who, like me, enjoy the gadgets in the kitchen.
13. Mexican Style Stuffed Sweet Potato
I'm a big fan of sweet potatoes and a big fan of Mexican food but it seemed so weird to me not to put brown sugar and marshmallows on sweet potatoes- choosing to eat them in a savory way instead of sweet. Surprisingly though, it actually works well together. The spice of the toppings combined with the sweet of the sweet potatoes really blends perfectly in your mouth.
This recipe is not five ingredients or less, so head's up on that one. It is well worth it though, so head over to 40 aprons and give it a try!
14. Orange Chicken
Orange chicken is a favorite in my house. This recipe gives it a healthy kick and would be a big hit around here, especially with my little one who loves mandarin oranges which I would substitute the orange in the recipe for.
This recipe is another one that is a bit more ingredients than I am used to but it's ready to eat in thirty minutes so it doesn't take too long to make. Head over to Food, Faith, and Fitness to see the recipe for yourself.
15. Baked Chicken Parmesan
Carrie's recipe from Deliciously Organic was not the first recipe I found but I am so glad I had to do some extra research for this recipe because I love that her recipe even calls for homemade spaghetti sauce.
I have always bought the canned stuff and never thought about making my own until a student told me they grew up on homemade spaghetti sauce. Despite my love for making real food from scratch, spaghetti sauce never crossed my mind!
Now I have to make this recipe soon in order to make the sauce. The chicken and zoodles are an added bonus. You should try it too. Healthy and comforting all in one!
Yes, life is too short not to eat dessert. Here are some beauties for you.
16. Maple Vanilla Baked Pears
Sally's Baking Addiction is one of my favorite blogs out there. The fact that these pears are the star of the show makes it even better. She simply cuts them in half and adds maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon to them to bring out their greatness.
Yes, the pictures show it with her maple pecan granola but that is entirely optional, though you won't regret it.
17. The Best Healthier Brownie
It took me a bit to find a brownie recipe worth sharing with you all. This one seems to fit the bill. Mind you I aimed for more vegetables and fruits and fewer carbohydrates though I did not completely go carb free. This is one time where I would eat flour and sugar in a single setting.
Katie at Recipe for Perfection does add applesauce as a substitute for eggs I believe. It is very tasty and a nice treat in small bites.
18. Pan Fried Cinnamon Bananas
Kristin at Dizzy Busy and Hungry came up with this idea which I used for a dessert treat some days. They give the right amount of sweet and, believe it or not, the cinnamon adds a bit of spice.
I also liked adding tin foil to a banana and dropping a few peanut butter and chocolate chips to make a banana boat. I would eat bananas for dessert probably twice a week and I had dessert every single night! Like I said, life's too short not to love what you're eating and what you're doing.
19. Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I made a recipe similar to this when I was on the diet. I had the house to myself and really wanted something sweet. Peanut butter tastes delicious and, if bought properly, only has peanuts as an ingredient. Chocolate chips add to the sweetness but the lack of flour makes it a bit more healthy, combined with the fact that she uses maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar.
Bite into one of these babies and you'll know you are doing the right thing. But don't eat them all in one sitting!
20. Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse
Last but not least, chocolate greek yogurt made into a mousse is a creamy, cold treat. To get it really airy, I would use my whip canister with it. This would make it taste like the whipped yogurts that you can purchase at the store. Yogurt is very healthy for you and you'll feel like you are treating yourself to a sinful dessert.
I love the holidays and cannot wait to spend them with my family but I am equally looking forward to settling down into the New Year with these healthy recipes as my arsenal for a happier, healthier me! I hope you picked up on some great recipes to keep yourself healthy as well.