5 Fresh and Healthy Recipes to Launch into the New Year

Start January 2021 with healthy and fresh dinners that the whole family will love. Plus, whip up nutrient-packed Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Energy Balls for an easy weekend baking treat!

This month, welcome Sara Bir. Sara Bir is the author of two cookbooks, Tasting Ohio and the IACP award-winning The Fruit Forager’s Companion. She also moderates and replies to your comments here on Simply Recipes. Follow her @sausagetarian.

Congratulations! You made it. 2020 is old news and 2021 is the proverbial babe in diapers, toddling out into an uncertain world. Maybe you did a deep dive into celebratory foods over the holidays. It’s okay—the holidays are for celebrating, after all. But I, for one, am ready to retire cookies as a food group for a good, long while.

I don’t know one person who’s not ready for a fresh start. Now you can switch it up and give your body the lighter, simpler foods you may be craving. We’re still knee-deep in this global pandemic, and that’s why it’s extra-important to take care of yourself and the folks you love.

I miss eating in restaurants, hugging my friends, and sending my kid off to her neighborhood school. But I still have walks in the woods with my dog, weekly Zoom trivia, and holds to pick up at the library. And there’s still dinner, which (even if I don’t always look forward to making it), I look forward to eating.

These are recipes to power you up for tackling the winter months with energy and positivity. So, yay for Meatless Mondays, Weekend Baking, and new beginnings. Because you don’t need a new year to start fresh—every day is a new beginning. Let’s get to it!

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scrambled eggs with kale and mozzarella

Can I tell you how often my family has eggs for dinner? Definitely more than at breakfast. This comes together so quickly, you can maybe squeeze a walk around your neighborhood in before the sun sets. Toast some multigrain bread and dinner is on the table! If kale’s not your bag, just cook some baby spinach instead. Note this recipe serves two, so scale up as needed.

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Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Think of these as Vietnamese taco night. It’s fun to eat with your hands, and everyone gets to build their own wraps. If that seems too fussy for you, serve these as bowls instead, with the beef patties over noodles and shredded lettuce.

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Grilled Chicken Tarragon with Tomato Sauce

If you have chicken in the freezer and a can of tomatoes, you can make this. Fresh tarragon gives it a hint of anise, but you can sub it with fresh basil or dried herbs. If it’s too chilly to grill, cook the chicken cutlets in a little olive oil on the stove over medium-high heat. Try this with polenta or whole wheat couscous.

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Miso Glazed Salmon

Broiled salmon cooks in a snap. Use the 30-minute marinating time to steam broccoli or asparagus—or serve the cooked fish over a spinach salad. Serve with brown rice.

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Cauliflower Pizza Recipe

Friday night is pizza night, and there’s no pizza more satisfying than what you bake at home. Make the crust using our recipe or pick one up from the store to save time. As the pizza bakes, make some broccoli slaw to go with it.

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Weekend Baking

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

If you want to pivot away from sugar cookies and cranberry bread for a spell, make these nutrient-packed, low-sugar treats. I always feel like I’m pulling one over when I make food that replaces an expensive energy bar.

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Sara Bir

Sara Bir a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and the author of two cookbooks: The Fruit Forager’s Companion and Tasting Ohio. Past gigs include leading chocolate factory tours, slinging street cart sausages, and writing pop music criticism. Sara skates with her local roller derby team as Carrion the Librarian.

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  1. Thomas

    Can you pay cash when it’s deliverd

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  2. Kathleen Carbone

    I think it is worth trying! Thank you because cooking for 2 is hard and these meals are easy enough for hubby to make when I work as I do 12 hr. Shifts in the hospital

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  3. Marjorie McNay

    I am sorry, but my husband won’t eat kale nor curry, and I get weary of chicken.

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