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Easy & Healthy Meals for the New Year

January is one of my favorite months of the year. It signifies beginnings, a clean state and goal setting. So after a month (or more) of indulging in far more than usual, my body is always ready to focus on health move on from the sugar hangover.

As a mom with my family’s best interest in mind, sometimes it can seem a bit challenging preparing wholesome meals given time and logistics. Over the years I have found a few easy and reliable dishes that are always palate pleasers.

The first is a little something I call “Spot Olé”.  Spot = sweet potato in our home, and we load this baked beauty with all the good stuff. Think a sweet potato won’t fill you up? If you have a large appetite like me you’ll find this is the perfect bite.

 

Spot Olé (inspired by Yummly)spot olé

 

2 Baked Sweet Potatoes

1 Can of Black Beans

1 Avocado

Salsa or Green Goddess Dressing

 

This is too easy. Bake your sweet potatoes (start an hour before dinner or cook a few before and keep them in the fridge), top with black beans, salsa, and mashed avocado. Or alternatively skip the salsa and avocado and try the Green Goddess Dressing.  The stuff is magical and I even use it to top pasta or quinoa.

 

Another key to not falling off the wagon is meal planning. This next recipe is a prime example of that. I often keep cooked quinoa on hand as it can be used in just about anything. I sub it for rice and pasta, and I love making the “Gringo Bowl” with it.

 

gringo bowlGringo Bowl

 

Cooked Quinoa

Black beans

Avocado

Salsa

Mango

 

Just layer the ingredients on top of a helping of quinoa.

 

This is quick, filling, and one of my favorites. Can you tell some of my favorite flavors and ingredients by now? Ha! You have healthy fats, protein, and all the good stuff to fill you up right.  And I love reusing leftovers, which is how I put these two together in the first place. Waste not, want not, eat well!

A few of my other favorite recipes are the Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens , topped with Green Goddess Dressing and Kale Pesto, with quinoa in place of pasta.

But what about snacks, am I right? While I love my ‘ole faithful of carrots and hummus, lately I’ve been stuffing my face with Homemade Popcorn, Fudge Babies, and mangoes sprinkled with hot sauce.

At the end of the night, if you’re anything like me, you’re searching for dessert. Next time you’re feeling the itch, opt for this Chia Pudding. In fact, go ahead and make it with your quinoa on Sunday so that you don’t even have a second to think about it.

Getting back on track after the holidays doesn’t have to stress you out and your healthy meals don’t have to be flavorless or time consuming. May these tips ease your mind and may your 2016 be bright!

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