Every year, while we still feel stuffed from all the holiday feasting, many of us make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier in the coming year. We start with good intentions but some resolutions seem too hard, and it’s easy to become distracted, forget or give up.
If eating healthier is one of your resolutions, that’s great! There’s no reason it has to be hard. Eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to give up every food you love and eat carrot sticks. Just small changes each day can add up to big results in the long run. Try eating more home-cooked food than take-out. Make it a point to try a new vegetable each week. Skip frying and roast veggies in the oven.
We can help with your goal to eat healthier. If you’re interested in eating more plant-based foods this year, check out Easy Tips to Eat Meat-Free and Stay Healthy. Is money tight after all the holiday gift-giving? Check out How to Eat a Healthy Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet on $50 Per Week. If it’s time to cut out all the junk food, get some Tips for Cleaning Up Your Processed Food Diet. For overall advice, see 10 Easy New Year’s Resolutions to Transform Your Health and Well-Being.
One of the biggest obstacles to eating healthier may be figuring out what to eat. We can help with that too. Check out how to #EatForThePlanet Every Day This Month With These 30 Easy Vegan Recipes, 25 Vegan Recipes for People Who Think There’s No Life Without Meat and Cheese, and 15 of Our Easiest Recipes to Help You Cook Meat-Free. Then get ready to start the New Year right with these 31 healthy and delicious vegan recipes – one for every day of the month.
1. Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad with a Lemon Confit Dressing
Start the New Year with this colorful and delicious Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad with a Lemon Confit Dressing by Renee McKenzie. It’s zippy, salty, and unbelievably complex! The preserved citrus combined with the deep, earthy flavor of the roasted beets, carrots, and garlic is the perfect pairing; each balancing and elevating the other to a new level.
2. Falafel Bowl
Change up your usual falafel pita with this healthier Falafel Bowl by Margaux Mouton. The falafel is made with hearty brown lentils, savory sun-dried tomatoes, and dried figs. Their flavor makes them ideal for serving alongside winter squash, pan-fried spinach with tomatoes, and tahini sauce.
3. Toasted Quinoa Cereal with Pistachios and Figs
You won’t hit the snooze button when you know this Toasted Quinoa Cereal with Pistachios and Figs by Amy Height is waiting for you. Crunchy, toasty, and oh-so-packed with protein, this perfectly spiced bowl of quinoa makes a great topper for coconut yogurt, and fruit smoothies, or pair it with non-dairy milk and eat it as a cereal!
4. Simple Barley Salad
Not every salad is a big bowl of lettuce. This Simple Barley Salad by Elsa Brobbey has pearl barley, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and corn. It’s lightly seasoned and will leave you feeling satisfied. This simple, tasty, and hearty salad makes a delicious side, warm or cold!
5. Black Bean and Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Looking for something quick, easy, and filling? Look no further than this Black Bean and Spaghetti Squash Casserole by Ashley Smyczek. It has black beans, spinach, spaghetti squash, vegan feta, and lots of spices, but no noodles to add unnecessary carbs. Just lots of veggie goodness.
6. Roasted Root Veggie Sandwich with Carrot Fries
Eating healthier doesn’t mean sandwiches and fries are out of the question; it just means changing them up a bit. This Roasted Root Veggie Sandwich by Gabrielle St. Claire has carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, all topped with fresh guacamole and cashew cheese. On the side, a bunch of crispy carrot fries. Yum!
7. Squash Ravioli with Kale Pesto and Pine Nuts
Healthy ravioli? You bet. These Squash Ravioli with Kale Pesto and Pine Nuts by Alison Marras have some strategic swaps that make this dish a healthy choice. High-protein, gluten-free flour, squash filling, and a sauce made with kale all combine to make one incredible dish.
8. Cauliflower Veggie Burger
There’s no need to buy processed burgers with dozens of ingredients when you can make this Cauliflower Veggie Burger by Florian Nouh with just five ingredients. Roasted cauliflower and lentils make it hearty and healthy and the maple-tahini sauce is the perfect condiment.
9. Cranberry Coconut Energy Bars
Snacking is not only allowed on a healthy diet, it’s encouraged. These Cranberry Coconut Energy Bars by Medha Swaminathan are a healthy snack with just the right amount of sweetness. Made using only five ingredients, these energy bars are just enough to give you a pick-me-up when you need a snack.
10. Kale and Cranberry Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Jazz up the usual kale salad with a few added touches like this Kale and Cranberry Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing by Shannon Leparski. The kale in this salad is massaged with lemon and maple syrup, making it tender and flavorful. Add roasted Brussels sprouts and dried cranberries to the mix and you’ve got yourself an easy salad for lunch or dinner!
11. Un-Chicken Salad
Take the chicken out of your chicken salad with this colorful and yummy Un-Chicken Salad by Casey Muir Taylor. This recipe uses texturized vegetable protein along with red onions, grapes, celery, and pecans for a variety of tastes and textures. Put it on a sandwich, eat it straight out of a bowl, in a wrap, in a salad, on crackers, or find your own use for it! This un-chicken salad will become a staple in your home.
12. Citrus Walnut Beet Breakfast Bowl
Just look at the bright and beautiful colors in this Citrus Walnut Beet Breakfast Bowl by Valentina Goltara. This is a delicious breakfast bowl of raw beets, bright, citrusy oranges, and rich walnuts topped with a burst of flavor from sweet pomegranate seeds and sweet dried cranberries. You’ll want this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
13. Autumn Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze
Nothing tastes as good as roasted veggies and these Autumn Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze by Christin McKamey will show you just how good. There is cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and beans in a slightly sweet balsamic glaze. These roasted veggies make a great side dish, but they also can be served on a bed of brown rice as an easy meal!
14. Spelt Berry Salad with Cinnamon Balsamic Vinaigrette
Salads don’t have to be cold. This Spelt Berry Salad with Cinnamon Balsamic Vinaigrette by Steph McKercher is a warm salad that combines cooked spelt berries with sauteed kale, apple, and walnuts. Tossed with a cinnamon-spiced balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is the perfect addition to your new healthy lifestyle.
15. Sweet Potato and Root Veggie Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie isn’t usually considered health food but this Sweet Potato and Root Veggie Shepherd’s Pie by Alena Grahn is rewriting the rules with healthier ingredient choices. Coriander lends a unique flavor to this fall favorite dish, loaded with sweet potatoes, and colorful root vegetables.
16. Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Satay Sauce
These Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls by Renee Sexton are a fun and easy way to get your daily dose of colorful veggies. You can roll whatever veggies you like most in the rice paper wrappers. Combined with avocado and peanut sauce, they’re the perfect medley of creamy and crunchy textures.
17. Warm Lentil Walnut Apple Salad
If you think a salad can’t be hearty and satisfying, this Warm Lentil Walnut Apple Salad Liz Mochrie will change your mind. Crunchy vegetables, sweet apples, and earthy walnuts bring this salad together in a medley of delicious flavors that will leave you warm and satisfied.
18. Cauliflower Chickpea Cashew Curry
Curry can be made lighter and healthier like this Cauliflower Chickpea Cashew Curry by Katrina Abram. This curry is jam-packed with protein from tofu, peas, and cashews. It’s filled with flavor from the yellow curry powder and is so easy to make.
19. Tofu Fried Rice
Veggie fried rice isn’t the healthiest choice, but this Tofu Fried Rice by Gretchen Caldwell is perfect. It’s a stir-fry loaded with tofu and fresh veggies like broccoli, carrots, and zucchini. Topped with Sriracha hot sauce and cilantro, this is a flavor-packed dish you won’t get from take-out.
20. Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad
Here’s a healthier way to enjoy Buffalo wings without any of the bad stuff. This Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad by Ashley Smyczek contains all the goodness of Buffalo wings – the tangy spiciness of the hot sauce, the coolness of a creamy dip – plus the crunchy, fresh cabbage, nutty tempeh, and hearty quinoa! It’s a veritable explosion of flavor!
21. Pistachio Pesto Pasta
This Pistachio Pesto Pasta by Christin McKamey is not only delicious, but it’s gluten-free and a healthier spin on noodles. Pistachios, spinach, and fresh basil pesto top this amazing pasta dish. It’s so easy to make, so it’ll save time on busy weekdays!
22. Healthier Cinnamon French Toast
Eating healthier doesn’t mean you can only eat fruit and smoothies for breakfast (though they’re good too). This Healthier Cinnamon French Toast by Michele Elizabeth uses a banana batter to create a crispy coating without flour. So you can feel good about adding a little extra maple syrup.
23. Mashed Cauliflower
Swap out the potatoes with this healthy Mashed Cauliflower by Christin McKamey instead. It has garlic, leeks, and chives for tons of flavor. This is a nutritional alternative to mashed potatoes, and you can feel good about having seconds!
24. Rainbow Veggie Hummus Pizza with Everything Bagel Crust
Bagels and pizza are now healthy foods. What?? This Rainbow Veggie Hummus Pizza with Everything Bagel Crust by Tori Cooper combines two favorite foods – bagels and pizza. The colorful veggies and hummus spread toppings make this pizza a healthier meal that’s also fun to eat.
25. Wheat Berries and Mushroom Filled Savoy Cabbage Boats with Mustard Miso Sauce
These Wheat Berries and Mushroom Filled Savoy Cabbage Boats by Jenny Mustard are a simple recipe – simple in the nicest sense of the word. Wheat berries add a nutty, earthy taste and texture along with broccoli, Savoy cabbage, chanterelles, and a spicy miso mustard sauce. Clean, pure flavors all wrapped up in a cabbage leaf boat that you can eat with your hands!
26. Mushroom and Butternut Squash Millet Pilaf
Swap out the white rice for an ancient grain and suddenly, you’ve turned an ordinary pilaf into a delicious, healthy meal like this Mushroom and Butternut Squash Millet Pilaf by Joyce Gan. The flavors of roasted butternut squash, woody shiitake mushrooms, and fresh rosemary sprigs come together to create this comforting dish that you have ready for dinner in less than half an hour.
27. Jicama Chips
Swap out your usual potato chips with these Jicama Chips by Azucena Noriega. Jicama, also known as a Mexican yam bean, is a root vegetable — and we all know how great root vegetables are, especially in chip form. These jicama chips are a super healthy snack, low in calories and with a lot of fiber.
28. Lentil, Sweet Potato, and Carrot Mash
This Lentil, Sweet Potato, and Carrot Mash by Renee Sexton is packed with color, protein, and flavor. This stew is super easy to make, really hearty, and beautiful on top of the bright orange mash. Top the whole thing off with some coconut yogurt and avocado and enjoy this stew while curled up on the couch on a cold, rainy day!
29. Tofu Chorizo and Lemon Cauliflower Rice
Sausage and rice can be on a healthy menu. This Tofu Chorizo and Lemon Cauliflower Rice by Natalie Tamara is a smoky, lemony delight with a delicious mix of textures – from the chewy tofu and crunchy vegetables to light fluffy cauliflower rice. It’s an ideal lunch or dinner, for any season, and both the tofu and chickpeas make this dish a great source of healthy protein.
30. Super Healthy, Ultra-Cheesy Mac and Cheese
Yes, mac and cheese belongs on a healthy menu! This Super-Healthy, Ultra-Cheesy Mac and Cheese by Shannon Leparski is the last mac and cheese recipe you will ever need. It’s nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free so everyone can enjoy it. It’s also ridiculously easy to make, and the cheese sauce is addictive. Seriously, it’s creamy, cheesy, and rich, and comforting – you’ll want to drink this stuff with a straw.
31. Black Bean Peanut Butter Brownies
You did it – a whole month of eating healthier! Now treat yourself to something decadent like these Black Bean Peanut Butter Brownies by Taryn Fitz-Gerald. The fact that there are black beans in these brownies will completely dissolve when you sink your pearly whites into them. They taste incredible and even though they’re filled with chocolate and peanut butter; they are still healthy and nutritious. Win-win!
See? Eating healthier wasn’t so hard, was it? These recipes are all so amazing; you forget they’re healthier until you see how good you look and feel. What a great way to start the New Year!
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