I’m a resolution maker, are you? They’re always health-related and they’re always the same ones. I know I’m not alone because it’s the joke of the coming year—how people make resolutions about improving their health, and by mid-january the gyms have cleared to their normal occupancy. It doesn’t discourage me at all. I’m like Pinky and the Brain, “…same thing we do every day, try to take over the world.”
The stats I’m about to quote you are US stats, but I bet it’s pretty much the same in North America if not most of the world. 70% of resolutions are health related. 8% actually achieve them. The #1 reason why people don’t, is because they don’t have a HOW.
I really want to help people with a how. I want to make it easier for people to connect with life-giving foods. To know the difference. To make better choices. Marketing companies and those whomever profit most from your food dollars make it SO HARD for people to eat well. They’re crafty!
Just 8 days into 2019 I became inspired to post a recipe on my Facebook page every day until the end of January. A compilation of my favourite recipes for healthful eating. I had a really hard time posting them on my instagram page, but I’ll get them all up there eventually!
Of course I’m going to share all my recipes with you! And you know me, I’m going to tell you all the stories, tips and substitutions I had for each recipe. So with 20some recipes here, this one is going to be long! Stop reading here if you’re on your phone! I hope they inspire you to feed yourself well and carry on with your resolutions. Creating a lifestyle takes time and it’s worth it. Be kind to yourself 🙂
Veggie Loaded Lentil Soup: This is great soup, it’s a hearty soup. It’s easy and it’s my kind of healthy. Of course I alter it! I’m sure kale is wonderful, but it’s a tough sell for Mike. We’ve used swiss chard—fantastic! Tonight, we’ll use baby spinach. Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients. Enjoy chopping up the veggies and taking in that whole process. This just might help you connect with food and maybe help you enjoy the process, if you don’t already. As for the number of dry ingredients, these are great pantry items to have on hand for future meals. Everything can be found at most any market or bulk food store.
Healthy Low Carb Bread: Whether you’re swearing off bread for a while or can’t have it to begin with, this recipe is fantastic!
Years ago, I was advised by my health care professionals to lead a gluten-free lifestyle. Tough sell! I sure love bread! But you gotta do what you gotta do. Especially when your health is at stake. I have, by no means given up bread. It’s sourdough all the way and nowhere near as often.
Perhaps your health coach is suggesting you count net carbs. This is a great alternative to everyday bread that fits with several different dietary lifestyles.
If you’re doing the Pro Edge Challenge, this is a GREAT recipe to have in your repertoire.
I’ve toasted it for the base of an avocado smash (don’t smash on toast!) as well as enjoyed a nut butter and honey sandwich. Or, with some butter and veggie lentil soup!
Spicy Thai Peanut Wraps: One large chicken breast fed both Mike and I for dinner. I don’t eat flour wraps, so I use leafy lettuce. It’s a little bit messy, but when I looked over at how Mike was doing, he looked just as messy, sooo….
I normally have any other kind of nut butter than peanut and substitute freely, but I recently found a natural roasted peanut butter and I couldn’t resist. Peanuts are not nuts and it’s been my experience that health professionals suggest dropping them from diets first.
Get that full fat coconut milk in there too. Don’t avoid good fats. When I’m Pro Edging, my fat intake is 70% and I (and close to a couple thousand others) slimmed right down over 30 days. Oh how I love a chicken satay!
Inside our wraps we used the shredded cabbage and carrots, edamame, cilantro. Seems like something I’d add avocado to as well.
Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup: We pretty much use the same recipe every time and it’s different every time! It’s all in the stock.
One of the best versions we’ve made we shredded all the vegetables. If memory serves, we may have roasted the beets before running them through the food processor shredder attachment. I think we had all the vegetables prepped in about 3 minutes flat.
Full fat Greek yogurt—or Icelandic, works BETTER than sour cream because it brings live bacterial cultures to your gut (and more protein). You could go with 0% fat yogurt—and that’s the ONLY ‘light’ product you’ll ever see me endorse!
Make lots, it’s freezes great!
Chicken Shawarma, Yum Yum! Lunch, dinner, as a wrap, as a shawarma plate—you can’t go wrong! Add some olives on the side. Check out Pinterest for a shawarma seasoning recipe and keep some on hand for adding quick flavour to a baked or BBQd chicken breast. Can’t have dairy? Try a tahini sauce.
Turmeric Rice: I can’t say enough good things about this side dish. If you’re going to have rice, then have turmeric rice! If you are interested in the power of food, Read on!
Rice is easy for the body to digest and ingredients like onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric, support detoxification and reduce inflammation. Don’t forget the pepper! It’s an important ingredient to boost the absorption of all the good stuff—in turmeric anyway.
Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken: We had swiss chard instead of spinach—awesome! We used feta inside and parmesan on the top.
Goat feta is a great choice for people avoiding dairy and I’d argue (although I hope I don’t have to!) that if you’re going to eat cheese, parmesan is the one to have. It’s a good source of protein and fat. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, free of carbs and lactose-free.
Portion, portion, portion. We both cut our chicken breast in half and each had a supper and lunch portion. That ‘portion, portion, portion’ was a reminder to me, because I easily should have had a dinner and TWO lunches out of the one breast! It looked so good and I couldn’t stop eating! So only put your portion on your plate.
I weigh my food. I take a certain amount of pride to slice off or scoop out the perfect amount for me. I like being aware. I like knowing I’m doing what is congruent with my health goals. I have an autoimmune disease, it matters. You don’t have to have an autoimmune disease for it to matter.
Split Pea and Ham Soup: Most homemade soups are going to be healthy for you—unless you add lots of cheese or cream to them. You can make a soup creamy many times just by blending half of it. If there’s meat, maybe add the meat after the soup has been blended.
Store-bought soups are LOADED with salt or sugar. Start looking at [all of your] labels. Every 4 grams of sugar in a serving is a teaspoon of sugar. As a starting point for tracking sodium, shoot for 1500 mg per day until you know otherwise for your particular health.
You need salt. You need sugar. The kind of both, matters. Luckily, you’re worth it.
Chicken Roti, and a different recipe for the roti: The first time I tried a Jamaican Chicken Roti was in Peterborough ON at the Island Cream, a little whole in the wall on Hunter Street. I was being very adventuresome because I’d never even heard of such a thing and I can be a little leary of ordering chicken out. I had a bad experience with a glob of fat once and it scarred me for life. Nonetheless, I took a chance, and OMG, you will NOT be disappointed. I’d eat the hell out of one these right now and it 9:30 in the morning!
We ended up ordering there LOTS! I don’t think it’s an eat-in restaurant, but I could be mistaken. It’s been a while.
Then I moved away. Far far away. Our little BC town sure didn’t have chicken rotis available and we had such a craving! We’ve tried many recipes for the curry alone and I believe we’ve finally perfected it for ourselves.
As for the roti, out of all the times we’ve made it over the past decade, we’ve made ‘workable’ rotis only a couple times! By workable, we put the curry in the middle of the roti and bundle it all up. Even when they don’t work out, we end up just dipping them in the curry. Still delicious.
Beet Risotto: I LOVE risotto and this is one of my favourites. Mostly because it’s so pretty. Pretty darn tasty! Now I would NEVER get away with adding goat cheese to anything, so we use parmesan. In case you missed it in an earlier post, parmesan is a good source of protein and other good things. If using Parmesan, you could cut back on the salt in the dish. Watch your salt! Goat cheese, if it’s your jam, is great if you can’t have dairy. (Don’t take my word for it! You know whether or not you have goat cheese!)
Risotto can be served as a meal or a side. It’s the vegetables you add that make it good. Another favourite is cauliflower and/or asparagus with mushrooms. Measure 1/4 cup dry Arborio rice per serving. Make some for leftovers!
If you’re counting net carbs, this is NOT the recipe for you. If you’re looking to shed weight, this can still do it if you watch your portion size. KNOW that risotto provides quick energy when it’s converted to glucose. How perfect to take in an after-dinner walk.
Veggies and Lentils in Peanut Sauce: We had this recently and it’s delicious! Of course I would have loved some shrimp in it, but it certainly has enough protein with the lentils. I just love shrimp in a satay sauce!
You may have noticed that a few of the recipes I’ve posted that have nutritional information included with them may seem high in fat. Good fats, don’t make you fat. Plant-based fats are good fats and sources of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These fats control weight, lower cholesterol and keep us in a good mood.
BTW, saturated and trans fats, found in dairy, beef, bacon, packaged treats and fast food are what clog your arteries, promote disease and spike your cholesterol.
I also see people looking at the total carbs and being freaked out by that! If you’re counting carbs, count net carbs. Total carbs minus the fiber. Even though the net carbs are quite high in this recipe and it doesn’t even include the rice you’re apt to have with it, I’m still calling this #mykindofhealthy. Alternatively, you could have this over spiralized vegetables.
Fish Tacos: I have pooh-poohed the fish taco for YEARS! I don’t even remember what finally made me try them. Maybe I’d heard so many people talk about how great they were that I finally caved. Or it could have been when I was trying to improve my diet. Either way, fish tacos are AWESOME!
If you’ve never had them, this recipe is a great place to start. From here, you can experiment with all different kinds of flavours and textures. Add a few dried berries, like blueberries, cherries or cranberries. Seriously!
Moroccan Lemon Olive Chicken: It sure has been fun to go through all my Pinterest recipes and pick out my favourites. Which is how I was reminded of this little gem!
The recipe says it’s just as good without the preserved lemons. I will not know! I ran right out and bought some organic lemons for preserving. The whole lemon is consumed, that’s why I specifically use organic. So it looks like we’ll be enjoying this dish toward the end of February! Talk about planning ahead!
Salmon Florentine: Oh my goodness, how could I get this late in the month before coming across this recipe! This is my favorite fish recipe—aside from fish tacos, for which I don’t use a recipe!
This is what we like to serve company, if we know they like fish. Sometimes we use filets. We’ve had a whole fish, stuffed it, and cooked it on the barbeque. We’ve used salmon. We’ve used trout. Whatever works for you! Enjoy!
Trust me, I know what you’re thinking. Like I’m going to make my own chips! Agreed. But, here’s what treating ourselves is really supposed to be like. Making your own chips is time consuming, high input, low yield. It sure makes you appreciate every one. AND, it provides a very good visual. All of a sudden there’s only ONE left and you realize, OMG, we just ate nine potatoes…in 20 minutes! I exaggerate for effect. There’s no way you would make 9 potatoes worth—it’d take you ALL DAY! Hahahaha!
Beet Chips: This recipe is of course for beet chips not potato chips, but you can make chips with all the root vegetable. And they’re delicious. I don’t know how much nutritional value is left in them, but I guarantee they’re better for you than any chips you purchase. My Chinese Medicine Doctor told me, Laurie, you can really have anything you want, but you have to make it yourself. I always thought that was really pretty good advice.
Pretty good for you pie: I decided to end the month with a better-choice dessert.
Sweet Potato pie is my pie of choice (and most requested) for my holiday entertaining. It’s what I call #mykindofhealthy, It’s GF, DF, Soy free, and technically sugar free dessert that everyone is going to love. Anyone not allergic to nuts that is. Technically, it’s sugar free because the recipe doesn’t call for it. Don’t worry, there’s LOADS of sugar in dates. To me (and the body) honey is sugar. Good, better, best, honey is definitely better. I RARELY use as much as a recipe calls for. Half to 3/4.
If you substitute sugar for honey in a recipe, it reduces the cooking temperature by 25 degrees. (There’s more than just temperature that changes so you might want to Google it).
This recipe calls for canned pumpkin. I normally use a sweet potato that I roast in the oven first.