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Nutritious is Delicious! Healthy Recipes for the New Year

The colloquial definition of “healthy” constantly evolves with the ebb and flow of food and fitness fads. What may be ideal for one person’s diet could be detrimental to another’s health or fitness goals. Media’s portrayal of the ever-shifting “perfect” body, combined with an onslaught of misinformation, can lead to the destruction of people’s relationships with food. If your New Year’s resolutions include eating healthier, we’ve got some recipes that may be helpful. But health is not a one-size-fits-all definition. When searching for “healthy” recipes, it’s important to keep in mind your own goals and dietary restrictions.

Homemade Beef Jerky

If you’re looking to put on or preserve some muscle or you simply want a quick, delicious way to pack in some extra protein, beef jerky is a great on-the-go snack to keep your macros on track without taking in a lot of extraneous calories. Big-name, store-bought jerky contains ingredients like hydrolyzed corn protein and sodium nitrite. While demonizing specific ingredients can be a slippery slope, making jerky at home allows you to be in control of exactly what’s in your food.

One important point to keep in mind with homemade jerky is that you need to keep it refrigerated, unlike the store-bought snack.



  • 1.5 pounds flank steak (can be substituted

with skirt steak or flat iron steak)

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


Suggested marinade ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder



  1. Pat down your slab of beef with a paper towel and cover all sides liberally with kosher salt. Place the meat on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and put in the freezer until partially frozen.
  2. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice against the grain into 1/8 inch wide strips. Allow the pieces to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes to allow them to thaw out a bit more and become more pliable. Then place on a cutting board between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a mallet or the side of a can to flatten out the strips.
  3. In a bowl, add your marinade ingredients to about 1/2 cup water. Feel free to swap out spices for others in order to create your own signature blend. After creating your marinade, add the beef strips to the bowl and mix to ensure each piece is coated. Cover in plastic wrap, place in the fridge, and let marinate for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 225 F.
  5. Place the strips flat on a rimmed baking sheet with at least half an inch between each piece and bake until leathery and dry, about 4 to 6 hours, rotating every 45 minutes. (Meat thickness will determine bake time.)
  6. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month.


Toasted Pine Nut Herb Jam

Leafy greens are often rich in micronutrients and overall promote wellness. In a world riddled with food waste, an herb jam inspired by old Mediterranean cuisine is a great way to use up herbs and greens that are on their way out. It’s good for the planet and good for you.



  • 1 pound clean leafy greens (i.e. baby

spinach, broccoli rabe, arugula)

  • 1 cup green herbs (i.e. cilantro,

celery leaves, fennel fronds, mint leaves)

  • 6 large roughly chopped garlic cloves
  • 10–12 sliced and pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 11/4 smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground

black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the pine nuts out on a baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Be sure to keep an eye on the pine nuts in the oven as they can burn very quickly. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and chop into small pieces.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil followed by the garlic cloves. Layer both the leafy greens and green herbs over the garlic and pour 1 cup of water over it all. Bring the water to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to medium–low, and allow the water to steam the greens until they are wilted and the garlic is soft.
  3. Take the greens out and chop them up. Take a fork and smash the garlic into a paste.
  4. Using paper towels, squeeze the excess moisture out of the greens.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of oil to a skillet over medium–low heat and add the chopped greens. Move regularly to expose as much of the greens’ surface area to the heat as possible. Once most of the moisture has cooked out of the greens, reincorporate the garlic paste into the greens. Stir to combine and remove from heat once well combined.
  6. Transfer the greens to a bowl. Add the spices, olives, and the toasted pine nuts and fold to combine.
  7. Serve with ricotta cheese, whole grain bread, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


Heart Healthy Bean Salad

Beans are a great source of fiber, and this delicious recipe manages to squeeze a rainbow of them into your diet alongside a few other wonderful, nutrient-rich ingredients. This is an adapted version of HappilyUnprocessed.com’s recipe.



For the salad:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can navy beans
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncini peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup shallot, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered


For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste



  1. Combine and rinse off all beans in a colander. If serving to a party, remove all halved and mushed beans at this time.
  2. Put all dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine, keeping an eye out for clumps of seasoning.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat in dressing.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.


Cornish Game Hen

While it sounds fancy, a Cornish game hen is essentially a small chicken perfect for one or two people. Chicken is known to be one of the healthiest animal-based proteins, and a Cornish game hen is a great way to impress guests while maintaining a diet filled with lean protein. While you may initially think Cornish game hens would be hard to find, they can typically be found at your local supermarket.



  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Put herbs and seasoning with olive oil in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Avoid clumps of seasoning.
  3. Arrange the hens in a large oven-safe dish. Twist wings under the body of the birds (optionally: You can tie them together with twine).
  4. Pour the oil and seasoning mixture over the herbs. Using your hands or a brush, evenly distribute the mixture.
  5. Bake the birds for about 60 minutes or until they register at least 165 F at their thickest part.
  6. Allow the birds to rest and cool slightly before serving.


Root Vegetable Salad

One-pan roasted vegetables have been a staple in healthy weeknight dinners for years. These vegetables provide micronutrients without processing or artificial coloring or flavors. This dish can be treated as either a main or a side, making it a versatile and low maintenance go-to for busy home cooks.



  • 1–2 potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 7 whole garlic cloves
  • 4 parsnips
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small knob of fresh ginger
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Peel and cut the parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and onions into small pieces.
  3. Combine the olive oil and seasonings in a small bowl. Grate the ginger to taste into the mixture. Stir to combine. Be sure to avoid clumps of seasoning.
  4. Add the chopped veggies to the bowl and toss to cover.
  5. Spread out all veggies evenly on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake until tender and crispy, rotating at around 15 minutes if necessary (about 20–30 minutes).