The one New Year’s resolution that so many of us make is to lose some weight and to eat more healthily. It’s not surprising, really, given that the New Year follows a week of festive excess, but this time, rather than promising to be all virtuous and falling back into bad habits, why not try one of these fab New Year recipes? They’re all very simple to make, and will put a spring in your step as you face the year ahead!
If you’ve really enjoyed yourself over Christmas, this detox smoothie will do the trick. It’s packed with healthy ingredients and is high in fibre and low in calories. You can add less or more ginger, depending on how fiery you like your smoothies, and you may wish to add less honey if you up the fruit count. However you make your detox smoothie, you will feel better immediately!
- 1 large handful of baby spinach
- 1 small handful of kale
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 medium apple (core removed)
- 1 peeled banana
- a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1tbsp honey
- 250ml coconut water
Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender, blend and serve.
I know what you’re thinking – how can jacket potatoes be healthy? Well, believe it or not, they can be. Just don’t be tempted to pile on butter and cheese – you’ve made that New Year resolution, remember? There are a host of ways of serving up a healthy jacket spud, but I’ve added some of my favourite fillings below. And remember, if you’re short on time, you can serve microwave jacket potatoes from McCain – they taste great and only take five minutes to cook, which is handy if you’re in a rush.
- smoked salmon and low-fat crème fraîche
- smoked mackerel and rocket
- low-fat hummus and red pepper
- baked beans with smoked paprika and chilli
- low-fat feta with spinach and garam masala
Penne pasta with broccoli pesto and chilli
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. It aids digestion, is full of fibre, and is one of your five a day. This vibrant pasta dish not only looks great, with vivid splashes of red and green, it’s also very good for you and tastes great. Steaming the broccoli locks in all of its health-giving properties.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 300g penne (use wholewheat to make it extra healthy!)
- florets from two heads of broccoli
- a bunch of soft herbs (parsley, dill and basil are ideal)
- a handful of breadcrumbs
- one garlic clove, peeled
- 2tsp olive oil
- 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
- one mild red chilli, finely chopped
- Cook the penne in a large pan of boiling, well-salted water
- Once cooked, drain, reserving just a little of the cooking water
- Steam the broccoli for 5-6 minutes, until the stems are tender
- Add the broccoli, herbs, garlic, breadcrumbs and half the olive oil to a food processor and blitz until you have a coarse paste. Add the Parmesan and a ladleful of the pasta cooking water and continue to blitz
- Add the broccoli pesto to the pasta and stir well
- Sprinkle the chopped chilli over the pasta and serve.
The beauty of a soup that you make yourself is that you control exactly what goes in, so you can make it as healthy as you like. Chicken soup is culinary penicillin, and is the ideal thing to eat if you’re feeling under the weather. It’s super-healthy, and you’ll feel like a different person after a bowlful (or two).
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 fat garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2tsp Herbes de Provence
- 2 chicken breasts, skin removed, cut into small chunks
- 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
- a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Heat 1tsp of olive oil in a deep pan, then soften the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes
- Add the carrots and celery, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan
- Add the bay leaf and herbs, and stir well to coat the vegetables, then add the chicken pieces
- Turn the heat up a little so that the chicken starts to colour, then add the stock
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with a slice of toasted wholemeal or granary bread.
If you’re looking to kick-start your year with some healthy food, these recipes will ensure that you can begin the New Year as you mean to go on. All of the recipes above are simple to make, and taste great. Happy New Year!