After returning from Argentina, I knew I was in need of a serious diet detox. Practically all we had was meat, bread and wine for an entire week! While there were veggies and salads peppered in there, it definitely felt like a carnivorous and indulgent trip. On top of that, I hadn’t been eating that healthy before the trip either… so the day I got back I decided to start fresh with mostly veggies, fruit, eggs and fish for protein, and no alcohol. Because I cook for myself five out of the seven days a week, it’s pretty easy for me to stick to a clean eating routine and avoid drinking – I’m definitely more of a social drinker, so that’s really only something I ever do when grabbing dinner or going out with friends!
Before hitting up my neighborhood Whole Foods the day I got back, I perused my HEALTHY EATS board on Pinterest for some new recipes. I’m so glad I did, because I discovered several new super easy healthful meals that can be quickly whipped up for lunch or dinner! Most of these recipes make leftovers, so I’ve enjoyed the leftovers for a couple of days after I made the original. Check out my favorites of those recent recipes below, along with some notes about what I changed in the recipes for the best results:
This salad immediately caught my eye because of the keyword “detox”. It’s about as green and clean as it gets, but it surprisingly does not leave you wanting more! I had a bowl of this for lunch my first day back and was kept full until about 6pm – I’m usually starving by 4 or 4:30, so this was an impressive feat. Packed with nutrient-rich veggies, a good crunch and a slightly sweet ginger dressing, it also helped me curb my sugar cravings all day! While using a food processor to chop up the veggies really small isn’t a total requirement, it will save you a bunch of time. This salad made a TON of leftovers for just one person, so I ate it over the next several days for lunch or for dinner with salmon on the side. One tip: if you’re planning on eating the leftovers, don’t pour the dressing on the entire salad the day you make it. Put the amount of salad you want in a bowl and pour some dressing on that, and then save the dressing in an airtight container to do the same over the next few days. It keeps the salad from getting soggy and helps keep the veggies crisp longer!
If you clicked through the recipe, you’ll discover the recipe I found was actually for a cauliflower rice pesto bowl. When I went to Whole Foods however, they didn’t have the pre-chopped cauliflower rice available! Feeling slightly lazy, I decided to substitute broccoli rice (which the store did have) for the cauliflower instead of preparing the cauliflower rice myself. What can I say, I was tired! I’ve gotta say… I’m pretty thrilled with the result. One of these days I may try it with cauliflower, but the broccoli rice was DELICIOUS! Plus, it’s got the added benefit of being healthier than cauliflower in nearly every major nutritional category: it’s got more protein, fiber, calcium iron, magnesium and vitamins A, C and K. Win win, if I do say so myself. I do want to note that it says the recipe serves four, however I managed to eat it in just two meals – being that it’s almost entirely made of vegetables I didn’t give myself a hard time! Just like with every healthy recipe I make, I usually find everything needs more salt than the recipe suggests – I recommend sprinkling more salt and pepper on this after you’ve stirred the pesto into the rice in the pan. Finally, I topped the rice with some parmesan cheese for just a touch of extra flavor! It was not part of the recipe, so feel free to leave that out! PRO TIP: save any extra broccoli rice pesto you made and top it with a filet of salmon the next night for dinner! So good!
This recipe sort of goes along with the last one, but pesto is useful in SO many ways! The recipe above called for kale pesto but didn’t link to any, so I googled in search of an easy one to make. A Pinch of Yum, to the rescue! It was absolutely effortless to make. Just wash and de-stem the kale, shell the garlic, and then throw all the ingredients into a food processor. Again, this needed some salt – you can also add some parmesan cheese if you’re not actually trying to be vegan! So good!! Pro tip: if you have any leftover from making the above recipe, try it on chilled (or sautéed!) zucchini noodles… YUM!
ARTICHOKE AND SPINACH SCRAMBLE
This recipe is the least pretty of all, probably because I made this one up. Clearly I’m still working on my food presentation skills, but I’m getting there! This recipe is super easy to throw together for a quick lunch or dinner at home. You’ve got your protein and your greens, all in a hearty, savory warm dish! If you caught my Grocery Store Haul over on YouTube, you’ll know I love to buy ArtiHearts at the store. ArtiHearts are pre-packaged artichoke hearts you can find in the produce section near the pre-cut zucchini noodles and cauliflower rice. My favorites are the Herbal and Natural flavors, but they have Grilled and Buffalo preparations too! A single package is a total of only 80 calories, so it’s a low-calorie way to add texture, flavor and a hearty take to any dish you’re making. In addition to this scramble, I also love putting these ArtiHearts in my favorite zoodle recipe. For this scramble, start by sautéing the artichoke hearts in a touch of olive oil for about three minutes. Next, add a big handful of spinach to the pan and sauté until wilted. Now, add 3 eggs (I usually do two egg whites and one full egg) to the pan and scramble together until cooked thoroughly. Finally, sprinkle on some parmesan, salt and pepper, and then serve immediately!
To mix things up in the salad department, I decided to make this Asian Detox Salad from goop! I’m a big fan of Asian food, specifically recipes that feature soy sauce – if you’re like me, you’ll LOVE this recipe! It’s so refreshing, but also savory and salty at the same time! I doubled the recipe so I could eat it over a few days. The only thing I changed was I decided to boil the asparagus and snap peas for a couple minutes instead of removing them from heat as soon as the water came to a boil like the recipe suggests. I don’t love a crisp vegetable unless it’s lettuce, so doing this made the veggies more tender.
If you’re really in the mood for something hearty and filling, you MUST try this recipe!!! I was a little apprehensive just because I wasn’t sure the sweet + savory flavors would mix for me (sometimes I don’t love that), but this totally blew me away. To make this recipe even easier, I just purchased a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods, removed the skin and shredded the chicken! I made the entire recipe as is (using basil and spinach in the pesto), but I also added a spoonful of parmesan (and quite a bit of salt) to the pesto for a bit of extra flavor. Highly recommend this – it’ll be a dish you, your beau and your kids would love!
Another favorite recipe from goop I’ve been whipping up pretty frequently is this Kimchi & Cauliflower Fried Rice. I actually first found it in Gwyneth’s cookbook a couple years ago and it’s been a great healthy go-to for nights when I’m craving something Asian-inspired. I’d never had kimchi before making this recipe and was a little freaked out when I saw the words “fermented cabbage” on the jar – it didn’t sound to appetizing from that description! But boy, was I wrong. The flavor is INCREDIBLE and the whole jar is under 100 calories (you only use half in this recipe). PRO TIP: pour a good amount of Sriracha over the top for a spicy kick!
SHOP MY KITCHEN!
Below are the items I use most in my kitchen, from my favorite serving bowls to the tongs I use when preparing my zoodles. Click each image to shop each product!