hello, 2014!

The beginning of a new year usually means people are throwing on their running shoes, buying gym memberships, and searching Pinterest for healthy new recipes.

What am I doing? I’m daydreaming about how I can re-create a gorgeous cheesecake dessert that I ate during my NYE trip to Vegas. Clearly I’m not like most people.

If you happen to fit into the former description rather than the latter, I have some recipes that can help you out!

Salads are an easy go-to healthy option for lunch or a light dinner. My brussels sprout salad with radish + feta is a crunchy, flavorful mix of chopped raw brussels sprouts, spicy radishes, buttery pistachios and a delicious honey-dijon dressing. Not much of a brussels sprout fan? How about a kale salad with pears, pistachios and grapes? It’s got this amazing vegan green goddess dressing, and if you omit the parmesan cheese on the salad, it’s totally vegan! Then there’s always my absolute favorite, panzanella salad with crispy rounds of parmesan cheese. Chock full of fresh tomatoes, crusty and chewy hunks of italian bread, basil, black olives and chunks of fresh mozzarella (leave it out or reduce the amount if you’re feeling virtuous!), it’s my most favorite salad ever.

Two great options for lunch or dinner that won’t weigh you down are these vietnamese summer rolls with hoisin-peanut sauce and a simple radish + chive tartine sandwich. The summer rolls are light and fresh with cooked chicken (easily sub tofu if you wish), carrots, cabbage, mint leaves, peanuts, and crunchy noodles. Paired with a spicy-savory-sweet dipping sauce, they’re one of my favorite meals for a healthy diet. The radish + chive tartine is a simple open-faced French inspired sandwich of pumpernickel bread, homemade onion-chive cream cheese spread, crunchy and peppery radish slices and savory fresh chives. Make it, you’ll love it!

If you’re one of those people looking to cut back on soda but you still want something fizzy and refreshing to drink, these natural sparkling fruit sodas will do the trick! Unique pairings of fresh fruit purees with added flavorings like jalapeno, thyme or vanilla, all stirred into chilled club soda, they’re grown-up sodas for the new year! My honeyed peach aguas frescas are also a light and delicious non-fizzy alternative to carbonated drinks.

If sugar is your vice but you still want some sweet yet healthy treats every so often, these chocolate-dipped bananas are a great alternative to popsicles! Halved and frozen bananas are dipped into milk chocolate and rolled in tasty toppings of your choice. My favorite is the honey-roasted peanuts! Eat one and you’ll forget that they’re relatively healthy for you. For a snack on the go, these protein- and fiber-packed raw apricot + ginger nut bars are vegan and free of added sugars! Naturally sweet dates are blended with dried apricots, pecans, almonds and flax seeds, and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon. These little bars pack well and will give you plenty of energy!

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2014!

 

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