Top 13 Healthy Recipes of 2013

Goodness. This week has been a crazy one! Would you believe that I just started my Christmas shopping?! Yeah… I need to get better about that next year! Anyways, today I thought I would share my favorite recipes from the blog over the last year. Some of these recipes we have made a several times since I’ve posted them! Feel free to try them and add any of these dishes to your regular meal rotation – especially those looking to start off the new year on a healthier note. Since they are all healthy (ie. Dietitian approved) you can’t lose!

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Vegan Lentil Stew with Roasted Squash and Kale

Peppermint Macaroons 3

Dark Chocolate Mint Macaroons

Larabar in Jar

Homemade Larabar in a Jar

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Vegan Sweet and Sour Tempeh Kale Stir-Fry

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Overnight Chia Oats

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Superfood Bowl with Spicy Kale and Tempeh

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Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

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Spicy Tofu Curry

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Vegan Coconut Cream Cups

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Harvest Hot Toddy

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Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant

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Pomegranate, Walnut, and Squash Salad

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Vegan Apricot Coconut Granola

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Cheesy Quinoa with Kale and Roasted Squash

Happy Veterans Day! So incredibly thankful for those who have served to protect our country. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to give back by working to make our Veterans healthier each day at a Veterans Affairs Hospital. To kick start the week, I just wanted to share this quick recipe with you today. Since we had a snowy day here in Chicago, I was craving a filling, warm lunch. So, I made up a batch of this cheesy quinoa with kale and roasted squash – all of my favorite foods melded together in one delicious dish. To make prep a little faster, roast your butternut squash before-hand and store in the fridge. I usually roast a winter squash or two over the weekend so I have something yummy to add to salads or dinner dishes throughout the week.

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Cheesy Quinoa with Kale and Roasted Squash

(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 oz. havarti cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-2 large leaves of kale, chopped
  • 1 cup cubed, roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, water, and broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, cover with lid and cook 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook over low heat until mixture starts to lightly brown. Stir in milk and continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken.
  3. Stir in shredded cheese and continue to stir until it is all melted and you have a thick cheese sauce.
  4. Toss cooked quinoa into the cheese sauce. Stir in kale, squash, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes. Serve warm!

Superfood Bowl with Spicy Kale and Tempeh

One neighborhood restaurant that has already become a favorite of mine is the Chicago Diner. It’s completely meat free but you would never have guessed by how delicious the food is there! They are actually best known for their reuben – which is, in fact, awesome. Another favorite of mine is something called the soul bowl which has quinoa, greens, black beans, blackened tofu, and mashed sweet potatoes. I was craving it the other day, so we decided to whip up a similar at home. It turned out so well, I wanted to share it with you! Everything in this bowl is packed with great nutrients for you. Quickly search any of these foods online and you’re sure to see at least one person call them a “superfood”!

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superfood bowl

Superfood Bowl with Spicy Kale and Tempeh (vegan, gluten-free)

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 package tempeh, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 bunch kale leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup black quinoa
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato, mashed

Directions:

  1. Heat canola oil in large saucepan. Add tempeh and cook until it begins to brown on the outside. Pour in the vinegar, soy sauce, and sriracha and cook one minute. Add the kale and cook 5-7 minutes or until kale begins to wilt.
  2. Add dry spices to kale/tempeh mixture. Stir and cook another 1-2 minutes or until kale is soft.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, water, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook on medium heat until quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, about 15 minutes.
  4. Combine kale/tempeh mixture, sweet potato, and quinoa in a bowl and serve.

Coconut Almond Quin-ola Bake

I always love these Recipe Redux challenges because it gives me yet another excuse to do a little bit of experimenting in the kitchen! This month, each blogger was supposed to come up with a seasonal recipe with a key ingredient: seeds. When you think of edible seeds, the first ones that usually come to my mind are chia seeds and sunflower seeds. Did you know that quinoa is actually a seed as well? That’s right! These versatile little seeds are often treated like a grain.
I am always looking for creative ways to liven up my breakfast, so I decided to put a spin on baked oatmeal and use quinoa instead. Since we had some coconut cream on hand and I was feeling adventurous, I made these vegan as well. The end product reminded me a bit of granola bars, but was just a little too crumbly to be handheld. So, I warmed it up a little and tossed it in a bowl with some strawberries and a little leftover coconut cream. Yum! You could also serve it warm with some milk and sliced banana as well. I am so excited to have this on hand for super easy and quick breakfast meals all week!
Quinoabake
Coconut Almond Quin-ola Bake
(Makes ~6 Servings)
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut cream/milk (you want to use the thick stuff at the top of the can) 
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped salted almonds (I used half-salt ones from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt (if not using salted almonds)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse quinoa well with cold water. Add water and quinoa to a saucepan and heat until boiling over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer for ~10 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat coconut cream and almond butter over low heat. Stir constantly until well combined and mixture melts into a sauce.
  4. Combine quinoa, almond butter/cream mixture, and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well until all ingredients evenly distributed.
  5. Grease an 8”x8” glass baking pan with oil. Spread quinoa mixture into pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Make sure to check out all the great Recipe Redux dishes below!