Menu

Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Start things off right with delicious recipes and smart tips.

Happy New Year! We’re here to help you ring it in with new recipes and super tips to start things off just right.

Wake up in a delicious way with Superfood Breakfast Tacos, or sip on a Blueberry Blast Smoothie packed with nutritious goodness. And before you head out the door, be sure to grab a Roasted Beet, Pecan and Dried Cranberry Mason Jar Salad from the fridge for lunch!

Starting the New Year right goes beyond the kitchen, of course. Check out Office Organizing Tips, as well as some Minimalist Cleaning Tips from Japan.

If the weather outside is chilly, warm up with Turkey Chili-Stuffed Baked Potatoes or a hearty portion of Orange Glazed Boneless Pork Chops. Or take things slow! We’ve got Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce, Overnight Chocolate Chia Pudding Trifle and some Batch Cooking Tips so you can combine dishes and save time.

Check out the complete party plan for delicious recipes you can keep trying all year long!

Batch Cooking Tips

Batch Cooking Tips

Created by: Emily Buys, The Clever Housewife

As we begin another year, I’d venture to say that many of us have food-related goals. Perhaps we want to eat healthier. Maybe we have a goal to prepare more home-cooked meals, or to get more organized. How about something that combines all three of these things? I know I want to work on planning and preparing more healthy home-cooked meals. Let me fill you in on a secret – one of the ways to accomplish these goals is with batch cooking.

Batch cooking is the method of preparing large amounts of food to be better prepared throughout the day, week, or even month. This method of cooking forces you to plan ahead, which is proven to help steer you in a healthier direction. No need for last minute fast food runs. Dinner (or any other meal) will already be prepared – it just needs to be heated up.

There are a lot of ways to do batch cooking, but my secret weapon is to have one big prep day where I choose the main ingredient that will serve as the protein source for that week's meals. Then I change it up the following week.

For example, let's say you want to prepare seven meals that involve chicken. If you begin by cooking three whole chickens, the possibilities for meal ideas are endless. I would recommend using one of them for that night's dinner, then use the second and third chickens to cut up or shred for casseroles or other dishes. If you use 9x13 casserole dishes, you should easily be able to fit two chickens in the oven at once.

To get more bang for your buck (and your time), try cooking the chickens with root veggies so you have a side dish prepared as well. It doesn't take a lot more time, and it will have you on your way toward a week's worth of dinners planned out and made in advance. You can even use them to scatter in a couple of vegetarian meals.

To make batch cooking a breeze, give these tips a try:

  1. Ask for input: The night before prep day, ask your family for meal suggestions. This takes away the pressure of coming up with it all yourself. If you are batch cooking chicken that week, ask everyone for their favorite chicken meal idea.
  2. Cool it: Before storing your prepared food in the fridge or freezer for the week, be sure to let it cool completely on the counter. This safe food-handling method helps to prevent the contamination of your prepared meats.
  3. Label it: Make reheating easy by labeling your batch cooking well. Leave yourself a little note on each food container using painters tape and a permanent marker. Be sure to include the contents, the date prepared and any special reheating instructions. If you are super organized, you could even label which day of the week it is intended for. This is also helpful in case another member of the family is in charge of dinner for the night.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Blueberry Blast Smoothie

Blueberry Blast Smoothie

Created by: Ashley Torres, Pursuit of Shoes

Made with almond milk, this Blueberry Blast Smoothie has great protein and texture, making for a healthy and very tasty breakfast!

0 minutes | Prep time: 5 minutes | Serves: 2
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ cup raw almonds
  • 4-6 ice cubes (optional)
Directions:
  1. Add all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and pulse until the ice and almonds are blended. This makes enough for two medium smoothies or one large smoothie.
  2. Add to a glass.
  3. Enjoy!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Caprese Frittata

Caprese Frittata

Created by: Emily Caruso, Jelly Toast

This Caprese Frittata is a twist on classic caprese salad flavor – tomato, basil and mozzarella – that’s ready in less than 30 minutes. You can even make it ahead the night before and reheat in the morning!

15 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6
Ingredients:
  • 8 Simple Truth® Eggs
  • ¼ cup Simple Truth® Fat-Free Milk
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 Simple Truth® basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.
    VegetableFrittata2
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 12” oven-proof skillet (cast iron works well). Add the tomatoes and stir, cooking until they begin to soften. Add the basil and stir briefly. Pour in the egg mixture and stir with a spatula for 1 minute, allowing the eggs to cook slightly. Top the frittata with mozzarella cheese and transfer the skillet to the oven.
    VegetableFrittata3
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and the frittata is puffed and golden. Cut the frittata and serve.
    VegetableFrittata4

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Cashew Lime Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Cashew Lime Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Created by: Greggy Soriano, Greggy’s Digest

Getting your healthy self in gear this new year? How about starting off with a yummy dish that will make dieting a dream? These Cashew Lime Lettuce Wraps are guilt-free and oh-so-good!

 

25 minutes | Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 5
Ingredients:
  • 1 package Simple Truth Organic® Romaine Hearts
  • 1 lb. Simple Truth® Free-Range Chicken Breasts, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. Simple Truth Organic® Refined Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup of white onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup Simple Truth® Free-Range Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups Simple Truth® Baby Bella and White Mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup Simple Truth® Natural Curry Cashews, chopped
  • ¼ cup Simple Truth® Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tbsp. Simple Truth® Chives, minced
  • 3 limes, squeezed
  • 3 Tbsp. Simple Truth® Tamari
Directions:
  1. Separate and wash the romaine hearts. Dry them with a paper towel and set aside. If you're not serving immediately, place the romaine in the refrigerator to chill. Be sure to wash your hands, tables and cutting boards first to avoid cross-contamination.
  2. Dredge the chicken in the flour in a separate bowl. Lightly coating the chicken in flour adds flavor from browning and an automatic thickener for the sauce.
    CashewLimeChicken4
  3. Melt 3 tablespoons coconut oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Sauté the white onions until they're translucent. Add the minced garlic.
  5. Immediately add the chicken to the wok or skillet. Make sure the pieces are separated and avoid crowding. Doing this avoids steaming and allows the chicken to brown.
  6. Place the mushrooms in the pan and sauté until cooked.
    CashewLimeChicken3
  7. Add the lime juice, 3 tablespoons tamari and the chicken broth. Simmer to reduce the liquid until it reaches the desired thickness. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
    CashewLimeChicken5
  8. Turn off the heat and add most of the cashews, leaving about 2 tablespoons aside.
  9. Serve leaves of romaine lettuce on a plate with a separate bowl of Cashew Lime Chicken. Garnish with minced chives and the rest of the cashews.


Cheers to a happy and healthy new year! Enjoy!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Chicken Tortilla Pie

Chicken Tortilla Pie

Created by: Cathy Pollack, Noble Pig

This tortilla pie is made with chicken, black beans and corn, using a spring-form pan to layer it all together. It’s almost effortless, and supremely tasty. Plus you can spice it up as much as you like!

 

15 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
  • 1½ lbs. fresh chicken breast fillets or tenderloins
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp. prepared taco seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 burrito-size Mission Tortillas
  • 2 cups finely shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Kroger Black Beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) sweet corn, drained, divided
  • Fresh salsa, cilantro, green onion and sour cream for garnish (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chicken on all sides with taco seasoning.
    ChickenTortilla Pie2
  3. Add oil to a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken on both sides until juices run clear, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice into ¾” pieces.
  4. Spray bottom and sides of a 10” spring-form pan with cooking spray. Place a tortilla on the bottom and sprinkle with cheese. Add chicken, black beans, corn and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Repeat these layers two more times, ending with a tortilla on top. Spray the top tortilla with cooking spray.
    ChickenTortilla Pie3
    ChickenTortillaPie4
  5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before unmolding the spring-form pan and slicing the pie. Serve with your garnish of choice.
    ChickenTortillaPie 5

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Creamy Mushroom and Lentil Soup

Creamy Mushroom and Lentil Soup

Created by: Carrie Robinson, Frugal Foodie Mama

One of my resolutions for this new year is to try and cook with different and healthier foods more often. I have to admit that until I had whipped up this Creamy Mushroom and Lentil Soup, I had never cooked with lentils before. And now I am wondering why I waited so long to give these powerhouse legumes a go! Packed with fiber and protein, lentils are sure to keep you satisfied longer, keeping unnecessary snacking at bay and holding you over until dinnertime.

Even though this soup happens to be vegan (dairy-free) and vegetarian friendly, it is so hearty and flavorful that you won't miss the meat, folks. The meaty mushrooms, filling lentils and creamy cannellini beans make this soup comforting and satisfying without the extra fat and calories. Not to mention, you're getting extra fiber from the lentils and beans. If you haven't given lentils a go for yourself yet, I highly recommend starting with this easy-to-make soup. I promise you will not be disappointed.

40 min | Prep time: 15 min | Serves: 6
Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. Simple Truth Organic® Whole Baby Bella Mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • ¾ tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 carton (32 oz.) Simple Truth Organic® Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Simple Truth Organic® green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Simple Truth Organic® cannellini beans, pureed with liquids from can
Directions:
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once heated, add in the garlic and onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté another 5-7 minutes.
  2. Season the mushrooms, onion and garlic with the salt, pepper and tarragon, and sauté for another minute. Pour in the vegetable broth, pureed cannellini beans and lentils. Bring to a boil. Cover, and then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  3. Ladle into bowls, serve and enjoy!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

10 Tips for Healthy Resolutions, All Year Long

10 Tips for Healthy Resolutions, All Year Long

Created by: By: Sarah Koeninger, RD, LD

Many people think of a new year as a way to start fresh and make improvements in specific areas of their lives. The thing is, change is not easy –it takes time to develop new behaviors. Here are 10 Tips that will help you as you plan for a new year and a new you.

  1. Think of willpower like a muscle. You need to build it up and keep using it in order to maintain it. Use it or lose it! Keep in mind that like a muscle, you shouldn’t overwork your willpower. Taking a day to rest from your resolution is responsible. That way, you can come back to tackle it with renewed energy!
  2. Take one step at a time. Instead of making multiple resolutions, choose one and stick to it. If you feel you’re succeeding, you can add onto it. The best way to do this is to…
  3. Break it down. Think of your resolution in terms of parts of a whole. Then, take on those parts one at a time to reach your goal. Let’s take weight loss as an example. The path to healthy, sustained weight loss could mean changing eating behaviors, such as what you eat, how often you eat, how much you eat and when you eat. A weight loss goal may also incorporate physical activity, which can be broken down by type, amount, intensity and frequency. Consider which steps you’re ready to take and which ones you feel confident that you can do. It’s okay to start small with simple goals, then slowly add new goals once you’ve achieved the first one.
  4. Lift your spirits. A good mood can help you when your willpower muscle is feeling a bit fatigued. Pick a lighthearted break to act as a short rest period, helping you refocus and keep working towards your resolution. Whether it’s watching a funny video online or calling a friend or family member to catch up, find a way to smile or laugh each day.
  5. Be realistic and grade on a scale. Perfection is not always possible, so rather than resolving to always be working at 100%, give yourself a break and accept that doing your best is what’s important. Also, rather than setting a resolution like “never eat dessert,” try wording it with a restriction like “I’ll have dessert only 2 times per week.”
  6. Make an accomplishment list. Keep your list handy and refer to it when you’re feeling frustrated. Remind yourself of those things you have done that prove you have self-discipline. Think of your daily “wins” instead of just focusing on when you felt like you missed the mark.
  7. Be your own superhero. Determine what gives you a special boost! Maybe you feel good when you donate time or goods to charity, help out a friend or keep your workout going for an extra five minutes. Practice behaviors that make you feel strong, whether that strength is physical, mental or emotional.
  8. Visualize your goals. Spending just a little time now and then to visualize what it will be like when you achieve your goal can be a great motivator. Think about what you’ll look like and feel like when you lose those 20 pounds, or how the sand will feel between your toes when you save enough to take that tropical vacation. You can also use photos to inspire you and help feed your motivation.
  9. Know your limits. It’s important to know when you’ve pushed your willpower muscle to its limit. Stress can wear you down, so before you reach the edge, remove yourself from the situation or remove the temptation from your immediate area. Trying to quit smoking? Don’t keep a pack close by and don’t accompany others when they’re heading outside to smoke. If you’re trying to lose weight and are too tempted by empty calories, do not have them readily available. Making yourself take extra steps makes you less likely to fall victim to temptation.
  10. Set a timeframe. A race is easier to run if you know where the finish line is, so give yourself a deadline to help you meet your resolution. Get a pen and paper and plot out where you want to be each month. Think about what obstacles you may have and plan ways to avoid them.

Regardless of what your resolution is, keep your focus on taking it one step and one day at a time. Before you know it you’ll be steady moving towards your goal!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

Created by: Emily Caruso, Jelly Toast

There are several things in life that I have a maximum 30-minute attention span for: working out, cleaning and cooking dinner on a weeknight. My reasons are fairly obvious for the first two items on my list – I participate in these activities out of necessity only. The cooking is a little bit of a different story. I love cooking, but like anyone, some nights it’s done out of pure necessity, and not for the joy of experimenting with flavors. There are nights that between homework, kindergarten exhaustion, piano lessons and attempting to keep everything together, dinner needs to be on the table – and fast.

Luckily, I have several types of meals that are good go-to meals perfect for these quick nights, and that don’t fall into the category of boxed mac and cheese. I usually have some sort of vegetables in the fridge that are appropriate for a stir-fry, and often some chicken. Nights like this, I will throw together a stir-fry in less than 30 minutes. It’s simple, satisfying, and packed full of flavor. This Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry is very simple, and it will have your family asking for more.

A good friend of mine recently taught me the trick of stirring cornstarch into stir-fry dishes to keep meat tender and juicy. I have made more than one stir-fry in my life where the meat has turned out tough and rubbery, but that was before I adopted my friend’s technique. To get silky, tender chicken, all you have to do is season your thinly sliced chicken before coating it with cornstarch. The cornstarch seals in the juices of the chicken, making it almost impossible to overcook.

This chicken – paired with quickly cooked bell peppers and snow peas, and a simple sauce full of soy sauce and fresh ginger – is one of my family’s favorite stir-fry dinners. Serve this Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry with brown rice for a complete and quick meal that will make any night of the week feel like a victory.

15 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 1½ lbs. Simple Truth Organic® Chicken Breasts, cut into small strips
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chicken broth mix (optional)
  • 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • Simple Truth Organic® Brown Rice, for serving
Ginger Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2” fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. chicken broth mix (optional)
  • Juice from 1 small lime
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together chicken, salt, pepper, broth mix (if using), and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Add cornstarch, and stir until chicken is well coated; set aside.
  2. Whisk together Ginger Soy Sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring until chicken is browned and just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from skillet. Add bell peppers and snow peas to the skillet and stir briefly. Add 2-3 tablespoons water to the skillet and cover. Allow vegetables to steam until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove lid and add chicken back to the skillet.
  4. Pour Ginger Soy Sauce mixture into the skillet and stir into vegetables and chicken. In a small dish, whisk together cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Pour into skillet and stir, cooking until mixture thickens.
  5. Remove stir-fry from heat and serve with cooked brown rice. Enjoy!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Healthy Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Healthy Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Created by: Elisabeth McKnight, Bella the Blog

This Asian-inspired dish is a great way to pack plenty of veggies and lean protein into your diet without sacrificing flavor. The key is the coconut milk and chili sauce mixture, and plenty of crushed peanuts for a delicious Thai taste.

20 minutes | Prep time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 boneless, skinless Simple Truth® Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
  • Olive oil
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup carrots, chopped/shredded
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped/shredded
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup peanuts, chopped/crushed, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 package Simple Truth® Coconut Milk
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk and chili sauce. Whisk in flour, and continue to whisk until mixture thickens (about 5 minutes).
  3. Heat olive oil in pan on stove. Add onions, cabbage, carrots, garlic and salt. Stir until vegetables are softened, about 6-7 minutes. Add in the chicken, green onions, cilantro, pepper and peanuts. Cook for another 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Pour ½ cup of coconut milk mixture into the bottom of an 8”x10” pan and set aside another ½ cup.
  5. Add the remainder of the mixture to the saucepan with the onions, cabbage and garlic. Combine well.
  6. Add a small amount of chicken and cabbage mixture to each tortilla. Roll tightly and place in pan.
  7. Pour remaining coconut mixture over the top of the tortillas (spooning it over each tortilla is a great idea).
  8. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Add additional cilantro and crushed peanuts for garnish.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

Created by: Emily Buys, The Clever Housewife

I couldn't help but snatch up a bunch of the apples that were in season this past fall. Kroger had – and continues to have – a beautiful supply of apples. I splurged on a couple of bags so I could have a fun and affordable holiday tablescape. As much as I wish they would, my kids don't eat apples like crazy, so I came up with a plan to preserve them. Whether you just purchased them or they've been sitting in the refrigerator for a week, this method of preservation will work for you. Just make sure the apples are still edible at the time of preservation.

When I have apples that aren't being eaten quickly, I immediately turn them into applesauce so they won't go to waste, or I prep them for applesauce and pies for a future date. After you complete this first process, the apples will be ready for applesauce or pie – the choice is yours! We're beginning a new year and many of us have a goal of eating healthy, so you might decide to go for the applesauce. Either way, you can feel good knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your dish. Begin by peeling, coring and slicing approximately eight apples, then fill a gallon-sized storage bag with the slices. Toss with ½ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of flour. Freeze until ready to use.

If you're making the applesauce right away, toss the same ingredients into a slow cooker with ⅔ cup water. Mix and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or on high for 3 hours. If you're cooking frozen apples, add only ½ cup of water.

Creating your own batch of homemade applesauce is a great way to achieve your healthy eating goals. It should last a while, and you don't have to worry about hidden ingredients. Pair the applesauce with chicken and root veggies for a wholesome meal that's likely to create leftovers for a healthy lunch.

3 hours | Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 8
Ingredients:
  • 8 large tart apples (or 12 small)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup water
Directions:
  1. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  2. Toss the apples with sugar, cinnamon and flour. Dump them into a slow cooker with the water.
  3. Cook on high for 3 hours, or on low for 5 to 6 hours.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Created by:Emily Buys, The Clever Housewife

This time of year I’m all about healthy foods that can double as "comfort food" and can help me get my weight loss goals on track. This is when I get back to the basics, ditch the heavy casseroles and try to eat as clean as possible. My Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken and Root Veggies recipe is super easy to prepare, doesn't have all the fluff and can warm the soul on a chilly winter night.

One thing I love about this dish is that the chicken and vegetables all get cooked in the same dish, at the same time. Meals that can be completed as easily as this one truly aid in keeping my healthy eating resolutions that I to set at the beginning of each year. Let's be honest here – this is something I have to recommit to time and time again.

Turning the oven on this time of year is a welcome activity and in fact, I love to warm up the house on a cold day, all while filling the air with yummy aromas. This recipe is very clean, and nearly paleo. If you cut out the potatoes, then you're right on track for a paleo diet if that’s your desire.

The chicken and veggies could serve as your entire meal, but I personally recommend serving it with my homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce. They pair nicely, and all can be done at the same time, since the applesauce is done in a slow cooker.

40 minutes | Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 8
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into sticks
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 2 lbs. red baby potatoes
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed, cleaned and patted dry
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or ghee, melted
  • 2 tsp. garlic and herb seasoning
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Coarse sea salt, pepper and paprika to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F, and line a 9”x13” pan with foil.
  2. Layer vegetables in the bottom of the prepared pan, leaving room in the center for the chicken.
  3. Prepare the chicken and fill the cavity with one of the lemons, sliced, and two sprigs of rosemary. Lay it on top of the veggies.
  4. Add garlic and herb seasoning, lemon zest and one sprig of rosemary that has been finely chopped to the melted butter. Stir, and then baste the chicken with the butter mixture.
  5. Season chicken and vegetables with coarse sea salt, pepper and paprika, to taste. Cook for 40 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
  6. Remove from oven, and allow the dish to sit for 10 minutes before cutting the chicken.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Lemon Protein Pancakes with Raspberry Compote

Lemon Protein Pancakes with Raspberry Compote

Created by: Nicole Leggio, Cooking for Keeps

I don’t think many people will argue with me when I declare that pancakes are the epitome of weekend breakfasts. It’s rare in our household for a Saturday or Sunday to pass without pancakes of some kind gracing our kitchen table. But with the holidays lingering on my waistline, I've been trying to lighten things up a bit. This doesn’t mean the pancakes have to come to an end. It just means that I have to find a way to make them something I don’t feel guilty about eating. Plus, if I tried denying my husband his pancake cravings, he might never speak to me again.

There are endless ways to pack some nutrition into your pancake recipe, but I’ve recently discovered protein pancakes. Let me tell you, they’re so good, I’m not sure I ever need to go back to my original buttermilk and all-purpose flour recipe. Even better, they're seriously easy to whip up on a weekend, and they’re fast enough to throw together on even the busiest weekday morning. The batter comes together in a blender in less than 30 seconds.

Quick-cooking oats, liquid egg whites, cottage cheese, honey, vanilla and baking powder are blended together to make up the base of the pancakes, and from there you’re only limited by your imagination. Flavor add-ins are endless. Here, I wanted to keep things relatively simple, so I went with a lemon-scented variation. I threw in a good amount of grated lemon zest and enough lemon juice to barely permeate each pancake. I used a ¼ cup measure to pour the batter onto a preheated skillet, then I cooked them as I would any other pancake recipe.

While the pancakes cook, I whip up a quick mixed berry compote with some frozen berries — any combination will do — and some honey and a little more lemon zest to complement the pancakes.

Super easy, super healthy!

20 minutes | Prep time: 5 minutes | Serves: 6
Ingredients:
LemonPancakes2
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • ½ cup Simple Truth® Liquid Egg Whites
  • ⅓ cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
Compote:
  • 1½ cups Simple Truth® Frozen Mixed Berries
  • 3 tsp. honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Directions:
  1. Add all the ingredients for the pancakes to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium heat. Spray with non-stick coconut oil spray. Use a ¼ cup measuring to scoop the batter onto the pan, cooking three pancakes at a time. Repeat for the next batch.
    LemonPanckes3
  3. Add the mixed berries and honey to a small saucepan to make the compote. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries have cooked down, about 10 minutes.
    LemonPancakes4
  4. Serve the pancakes with the compote.
    LemonPancakes5

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Mashed Chickpea & Avocado Pita Sandwiches

Mashed Chickpea & Avocado Pita Sandwiches

Created by: Hannah Hagler, Champagne Lifestyle

Chickpeas and avocados are a delicious combo, and these tasty pita sandwiches are chock full of them. They’re a great make-ahead lunch option – just add some lettuce, red onion and tomato and you’re good to go!

5 minutes | Prep time: 5 minutes | Serves: 1
Ingredients:
  • ½ can Simple Truth® Garbanzo Beans
  • ½ large avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. mayo
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 whole wheat pita bread
  • 1 handful mixed greens
  • 1 small Roma tomato, diced
  • Sliced red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Mix the garbanzo beans, avocado, lemon juice and mayo in a small bowl.
  2. Work the mixture with a fork until most of the beans are mashed. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  3. Place the mixture in the pita bread.
  4. Add the lettuce, onions and tomatoes.
  5. Enjoy!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Minimalist Cleaning Tips from Japan

Minimalist Cleaning Tips from Japan

Created by: Elisabeth McKnight, Bella the Blog

Oosouji is an end of the year tradition in Japan. It literally translates to "big cleaning." Even if you're not thrilled about the idea of deep cleaning so soon after indulging in holiday treats or hosting out-of-town guests, follow a few of these tips for a calmer start to the new year.

  1. Remove clutter. You may like all your junk arranged on your shelves "just so," but the Japanese will tell you that less is more. Clean lines and clean surfaces are calming to look at and they create a soothing ambiance.
  2. Focus on what to keep. Instead of going through a room and trying to figure out what you want to get rid of, decide what things you want to keep. After you've rounded up these items, get rid of everything else.
  3. Skip the stacking. In her bestselling book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing," Marie Kondo cautions against stacking. It's hard to keep things neat in a stack, and you're far less likely to use the things at the bottom. When it comes to things like clothing in drawers, consider rolling them.
  4. Clean from top to bottom. By starting at the top, dust particles will literally collect on the floor as you clean. By working your way downward, you guarantee that gravity is on your side and you end up with a spotless space.
  5. Fix the broken. If you have anything sitting around that you've been meaning to get repaired, now is the time. If it isn't worth fixing, throw it out. Either way, don't let the negative energy of the broken item weigh your home down.
  6. Tackle your closet. For many, closets are an overwhelming place to start cleaning. When you're deciding which items to keep, focus on choosing ones that "spark joy." By picking the ones you love, you'll wear them more often and keep a positive energy about you.
  7. Throw out the junk drawer. Having a junk drawer isn't the end of the world, but make sure it's out of sight. Sort through it and find a place for everything in it before New Year's hits. If you can't find a place, throw that item away. Start the new year with an empty drawer.

Mint Yogurt Dip

Mint Yogurt Dip

Created by: Emily Caruso, Jelly Toast

After indulging on decadent food and drink over the holidays, it’s natural to want to cut back in the eating department for the new year. Many of us incorporate some sort of healthy eating New Year’s resolution into our habits, even if it only holds up for a month or two. I prefer to be optimistic in my goals. This year, I am pushing even more to continue some good habits that I established before the holidays. I was determined this year not to let the holidays be an excuse to go overboard with treats, and for the most part, I did pretty well. And now that the holidays are behind us, I am feeling good about having the house stocked with healthy foods to snack on when I’m craving something delicious.

Dips for vegetables are so simple to make in your own kitchen, and they do not need to be packed with calories and fat to make them delicious. One of my favorite tips is to use fat-free Greek yogurt as the base of any vegetable dip. It’s thick and tangy and a great stand-in for sour cream, with tons of protein to boot. For this mint yogurt dip, I stirred fresh garlic, lemon juice, a touch of olive oil and, of course, mint leaves into a bowl of rich Greek yogurt.

If you don’t have mint on hand, any fresh herb will work. Dill, thyme and even basil will all make delicious herb dips that are perfect for dunking all sorts of fresh vegetables. For a colorful platter, try choosing a variety of colors, like carrots, orange cauliflower and broccoli. Whatever your family likes will be enhanced with the addition of this quick and simple mint yogurt dip. Finish the bowl of dip off with a small drizzle of olive oil and a few more mint leaves for a stunning presentation that is great for an at-home snack, but elegant enough for a New Year’s party.

0 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
  • 1½ cups Simple Truth Organic® Fat-Free Greek Yogurt, plain
  • 2 Tbsp. Simple Truth® Mint Leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1½ Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Simple Truth® Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • Fresh vegetables or crackers for serving
Directions:
  1. Mix yogurt, chopped mint leaves, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined.
    MintYogurt2
    MintYogurt3
  2. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and additional mint leaves.
  3. Serve dip with fresh vegetables or crackers.
    MintYogurt4

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Office Organizing Tips

Office Organizing Tips

Created by: Ashley Torres, Pursuit of Shoes

Whether you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to get organized or you’re just looking to tidy up your office, here are three Pinterest-worthy tips that will have your space looking and feeling beautiful.

Cord Identification: How many times have you mistakenly grabbed a co-worker’s computer or cell phone charger thinking it was yours? Problem solved – wrap colored tape around the charger so you’ll always be able to identify your own. This tip is also perfect for families and roommates.

Reuse and Recycle: If you ever find yourself with pretty containers that you just can't throw away, think about using them on your desk. After burning through a candle, throw your binder clips into its empty hollow. Small jewelry or gift boxes make great “catch-alls” for gift cards, lip gloss and paper clips.

Think pretty: Instead of piling papers on your desk or filing them in not-so-exciting manila folders, use colorful magazine holders as filing accessories. This is a beautiful way to keep papers organized and visible on a desk or bookshelf.

These three simple tips have the potential to change the whole aura of your office space! Who doesn't want an office that's organized and inspiring?

Orange Glazed Boneless Pork Chops

Orange Glazed Boneless Pork Chops

Created by: Cathy Pollack, Noble Pig

I'm always trying to find a solution to the classic family dinner dilemma – making a dish my kids will enjoy and one my husband and I will enjoy, too. I tend to look for recipes I can adapt for my one picky eater and the palates of the rest of the family. It can be really challenging. I often pick a favorite flavor and use it as a starting point to create something healthy with a taste everyone will enjoy.

My kids have always loved orange sauce with pork. It’s the perfect flavor combination and it makes these boneless pork chops stand out. The orange glaze has a simple, straightforward taste with a little bit of depth. It only takes a modest amount of sauce to make this meal stand out.

As you all know, making a juicy pork chop can be a challenge. If you’re like me, you’ve had your share of tough, dried out, chewy versions. However, when pork chops are cooked right, they’re one of the most perfectly tender and flavorful main courses. There are a few things you can do to guarantee tasty pork chops every time you cook.

First of all, season your chops well. Left alone, pork chops are bland and flavorless; seasoning generously with salt and pepper before cooking brings out the meat’s natural flavors. It’s also important to remove pork chops from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking them. Cold pork chops placed in a hot pan can create uneven cooking, resulting in meat that is overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside.

Most importantly, pork needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F (in the thickest part of the meat) to avoid any chance of foodborne illness. After this temperature, the chop will become increasingly leathery and tough. Use an instant read thermometer to test the doneness of the meat.

Remember to let them rest a few minutes before diving in to eat. This allows the fiber of the meat to relax, giving you a juicier chop.

15 minutes | Prep time: 5 minutes | Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice, strained to remove pulp
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1½ lbs. Simple Truth® Boneless Pork Chops, ¾” thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
    OrangeGlazed PorkChops3
  2. Remove pork chops from the refrigerator and season generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit out for 20 minutes to come to room temperature.
    Orange Glazed Pork Chops2
  3. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown pork chops for about 4 minutes per side and check temperature with an instant read thermometer.
  4. Once the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 140° F, remove from the pan onto a plate. Cover loosely with foil. The meat will continue to cook while resting and get to the necessary 145° F for consumption.
  5. Pour out any excess oil from the pan, but do not wipe it clean. Place pan back on medium-high heat and deglaze the pan with the orange juice mixture, scraping up any browned bits. Let boil, while stirring constantly, about 2 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Pour a little bit of glaze over each pork chop and serve immediately.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Overnight Chocolate Chia Pudding Trifle

Overnight Chocolate Chia Pudding Trifle

Created by: Greggy Soriano, Greggy’s Digest

Everyone deserves a little treat during all that post-holiday dieting! This Overnight Chocolate Chia Pudding Trifle totally hits the sweet spot, with layers of gluten-free vanilla cake, chocolate chia pudding and sprinkled chocolate chips.

4-5 hours or overnight | Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 4
Pudding:
  • 1½ cups Simple Truth® Almond Milk
  • ⅓ cup Simple Truth® Chia Seeds
  • ¼ cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbsp. Simple Truth Organic® Blue Agave
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. Simple Truth Organic® Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup Simple Truth Organic® Chocolate Chips
  • Heavy coconut cream (optional)
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake:
  • 2 cups Simple Truth Organic® Sugar
  • 1 cup Simple Truth Organic® Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Simple Truth Organic® Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup Simple Truth® Almond Milk
Tools:
  • Cake pan or baking dish – the shape doesn’t matter, because the cake will be torn into pieces
  • Mason jars
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber spatula
  • Bowls
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
Directions:
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Grease the baking pan and set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Mix on medium speed until the batter is smooth. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  3. Stir together the gluten-free flour and the baking powder in bowl. Gradually add the flour, alternating with 1 cup of almond milk and butter, mixing until the ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into a baking pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap to keep it moist. Set aside.
  5. Add the chia seeds, cocoa powder, vanilla and 1½ cups almond milk to a bowl. Whisk with lots of agitation to combine.
  6. Let the mixture rest, covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge overnight or for at least 4-5 hours (until it turns into pudding!)
  7. Add 4 tablespoons blue agave. Here’s an excuse to taste a spoonful to see if it’s sweet enough for your liking.
  8. Cut and tear the vanilla cake into bite-size pieces. Place in a separate bowl.
  9. Layer the pudding and cake in the mason jars until they fill to the top. Sprinkle chocolate chips in between the layers. You can limit the amount of chocolate chips morsels in your trifle if you're counting calories. Chill the mason jars in the refrigerator or indulge right away. You’re off to a great start with a healthy and happy new year! Sweet!

Variations:
You can also whip up heavy coconut cream and use it like whipping cream, adding it to the layers. Another trick is to add some crunch with your favorite granola or gluten-free cookies. Just remember – as I’m sure you’ve been told many times – it’s all about moderation.

I’m all about making things from scratch, but if you’re short on time, you can skip the baking part and get store-bought gluten-free, vegan or dairy-free vanilla cake. Then just make the pudding!

If you want to keep the entire dessert gluten-free, make sure every ingredient, including the baking powder and vanilla, are gluten-free.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Quick and Easy Protein Energy Balls

Quick and Easy Protein Energy Balls

Created by: Hannah Hagler, Champagne Lifestyle

I am a huge fan of “healthy” protein snack bars, and I typically grab a few every time I’m at the store – the downside is that this is an expensive habit. I set out to find a comparable snack, and love that this one is made with stuff most of us already have in our cupboards!

Unlike the prepackaged snack bars, these are fresh and made without preservatives (always a good thing!). I’ve gotten in the habit of making these on Sunday night while watching one of my favorite TV shows, and then I have snacks and easy breakfast bites for the rest of the week.

Some ideas of things you can sub in are: almond butter if you don’t like peanuts or have an allergy; toasted coconut or coconut flakes for more texture; dried cranberries for a fruity kick; white chocolate chips if you are not a fan of dark chocolate.

35 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 24
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • ⅔ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup Simple Truth® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup ground flaxseeds
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used dairy-free dark chocolate)
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together.
  2. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Once chilled, roll into 1” balls and put them back in the fridge for another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Enjoy your easy and healthy snack! You can keep these in the fridge for up to a week.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Quinoa and Carrot Mac and Cheese Cups

Quinoa and Carrot Mac and Cheese Cups

Created by: Carrie Robinson, Frugal Foodie Mama

If one of your resolutions for this new year is to get your family to eat more veggies and whole grains – especially those picky kiddos – then you're going to love this family-pleasing recipe for Quinoa and Carrot Mac and Cheese Cups. Whole grain quinoa and organic baby carrots are hidden inside cups of cheesy macaroni goodness that no one can resist. I chose carrots to hide inside these mac and cheese cups because I knew they would blend in well and would hardly be noticed, thanks to their color. I mean, is that cheese or is that a carrot? No one will know the difference except for you! Shhhhhh... it's our little secret.

I suggest a little multi-tasking when you make this recipe. Cook the macaroni, quinoa and carrots at the same time to make it weeknight-friendly. You can also cook all three the night before and store them covered in the fridge until you're ready to make the mac and cheese cups the next day. Just give them a quick heat in the microwave, then proceed with Step 4 in the recipe directions below. Leftovers of these Quinoa and Carrot Mac and Cheese Cups reheat beautifully in the microwave the next day for a quick, satisfying and healthier lunch.

What are your tricks and tips for sneaking more veggies into your family's diet?

35 minutes | Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 5
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni, cooked to package directions
  • ½ cup Simple Truth Organic® Quinoa
  • 1 cup Simple Truth Organic® Baby Carrots, cut and peeled
  • ½ cup Simple Truth Organic® Plain Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 1 Simple Truth® Natural Cage-Free Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ cup shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese, plus more for topping (optional)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375° F. Spray the inside of 10 cups of a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions.
  3. Prepare the quinoa while the pasta is cooking. Follow the package directions, but reduce the amounts to ½ cup of quinoa and 1 cup water.
  4. Steam the baby carrots while the pasta and quinoa are cooking. Place them with a little water in a microwave-safe container with a lid. Cook on high for 5-8 minutes or until they're very tender. Puree the cooked carrots with the water in your blender or food processor.
  5. Add the quinoa and macaroni to a mixing bowl after they've cooked. Add the pureed carrots, yogurt, egg, olive oil, ¾ cup shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  6. Using a large ice cream scoop or a cookie dough scoop, divide the mixture evenly between the 10 prepared muffin tin cups. Sprinkle the top of each mac and cheese cup with a little more cheese, if desired.
  7. Bake at 375° F for 15-20 minutes or until the cups are set and golden around the edges. Let them stand 10-15 minutes before removing them from the pan.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Roasted Beet, Pecan and Dried Cranberry Mason Jar Salads

Roasted Beet, Pecan and Dried Cranberry Mason Jar Salads

Created by: Julia Mueller, The Roasted Root

Let’s talk meal planning. Historically, when it comes to breakfast and dinner, I have no shortage of ideas, but when it comes to lunch? I’m aimless. It took me a while to get on board with Mason jar lunches, but by golly, they’re the most helpful things ever! I love adding various veggies, nuts and cheeses to a big jar, sealing it up, and bringing it to work along with a container of homemade dressing.

One of my all-time favorite salads is spinach, roasted beets, some sort of nut (pecans or walnuts typically), some sort of cheese (feta or goat cheese) and a fresh and funky homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Turning this into a Mason jar salad makes lunchtime a cinch! The meal is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and it's light enough that you won’t experience the afternoon sleepy lull you get after a heavy lunch. You can make it more filling by adding chickpeas, lentils or chicken, and you can add any raw or roasted veggies you have on hand.

Beets can be time-consuming to cook, so I typically roast 2 or 3 large ones at a time so I have them on hand for a week or so. The quickest way to roast them is to chop them into ½” pieces, wrap them in a foil packet and roast them for 40-50 minutes at 375˚ F. You can store them in a sealable container in your refrigerator and they’ll stay fresh for up to 10 days. You’ll have beets aplenty for many a Mason jar lunch.

Here are more ideas for additions and substitutions to make a winning Mason jar lunch:

  • Add a grain: brown rice, lentils, farro or quinoa.
  • Add a legume: chickpeas, black beans or edamame.
  • Add more raw veggies: shredded carrot, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumber, or green or red onion.
  • Add more steamed or roasted veggies: sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini.
  • Add nuts and seeds: slivered almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
  • Add dried fruit: raisins, dried blueberries or apricots.
  • Add more cheese: blue, Gorgonzola or shaved cheddar.
  • Use your favorite homemade or store-bought salad dressing.

And with that, you have your fresh, healthy, affordable lunches covered!

15 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Serves: 4
Ingredients:
MasonJarSalads2
  • 1 container (5 oz.) Simple Truth® Baby Spinach
  • 2 medium beets, roasted
  • 1 cup Kroger Raw Pecan Halves
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Maple-Sage Vinaigrette:
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped
  • Pinch sea salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Peel and chop the beets into ½” pieces and place them on a large sheet of foil. Wrap the foil over the beets, enclosing them and creating a packet. You can make 2 packets if necessary. Place the foil packet on a baking sheet and roast for 40-50 minutes or until the beets are very soft and juices are seeping out. Allow the beets to cool to room temperature before transferring them to a sealable container and refrigerating them.
    MasonJarSalads3
  3. Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a small blender. Blend until completely smooth. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Divide the cooled beets, pecans, feta, dried cranberries and spinach among four large mason jars and seal.
    MasonJarSalads4
  5. Pour the desired amount of dressing into a small sealable container and bring it along with your Mason jar salad. When you're ready to eat, pour the dressing into the Mason jar and shake well until everything is coated. Pour the salad onto a plate or into a bowl and enjoy!
    MasonJarSalads5

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Skinny Buffalo Turkey Sliders

Skinny Buffalo Turkey Sliders

Created by: Nicole Leggio, Cooking for Keeps

Enjoy great buffalo flavor in a better-for-you turkey burger! Made with plenty of diced carrot, celery, onion, garlic and (of course) buffalo sauce, these burgers are a game day favorite.

15 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 8
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • ¼ cup diced carrot
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup buffalo sauce, plus more for after cooking
  • 2 green onions, sliced and divided
  • 2 Tbsp. low-fat mayo
  • 5 Tbsp. buttermilk
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded carrot
  • ¾ cup shredded red cabbage
  • 6 slider buns
Directions:
  1. Combine the turkey breast, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, salt, buffalo sauce and 1 green onion in a medium bowl. Form into six patties.
    BuffaloSliders3
  2. Heat a grill pan or nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Add the sliders and cook until they're golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. While the patties are cooking, whisk the mayo, buttermilk, salt and crumbled blue cheese together in a small bowl. Add remaining green onion, shredded carrot and red cabbage. Toss in the dressing and season with salt and pepper.
  4. When the patties are finished cooking, brush with a little bit more hot sauce. Place the patties on slider buns, top with slaw and serve.
    BuffaloSliders4
    BuffaloSlider5

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Skinny Piña Colada Smoothies

Skinny Piña Colada Smoothies

Created by: Nicole Leggio, Cooking for Keeps

I start craving a serious vacation right around this time each year. Sun, sand, palm trees and cold drinks I want it all. A beachside server waiting on me hand and foot would also be great. Oh, and while we’re at it, a 90-minute massage while I'm overlooking the Caribbean should be included! Is all that too much to ask??

When my daydreaming subsides, reality settles in and I realize I’m hunkering down for a very long winter ahead – ugh. When I come to terms with that harsh reality and realize that no one is going to surprise me with a dream vacation, I usually decide that even if I can’t go to the beach, I can bring the beach to my home, right? And no, I don’t mean that I fill my house with sand, throw on a bikini and pretend I’m floating in the Gulf of Mexico. I’m talking about Skinny Piña Coladas Smoothies that bring just enough tropical vibes to my kitchen – and my stomach – to sort of make up for the fact that I’m stranded in the cold. Bonus? They’re super healthy, so they'll keep you in line with those New Year’s resolutions you swore you wouldn’t break this time around.

Piña Coladas have sort of a bad rep for being super unhealthy and full of sugar, and typically they are. But here we mimic the flavors of a classic Piña Colada without all the fat and added sugar. Cut up a whole pineapple and throw it into a blender with dairy-free coconut milk, a little vanilla extract and a couple of handfuls of ice. Blend it together until it's smooth, then pour it into a glass and serve with some fancy-cut pineapple and pretty straws. You’re ready to be mentally transported to the beach!

0 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 2
Ingredients:
  • 1 pineapple, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut milk
Directions:
  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Garnish with cut pineapple.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Superfood Breakfast Tacos

Superfood Breakfast Tacos

Created by: Julia Mueller, The Roasted Root

Hello, breakfast of champions! These kale, sweet potato, black bean, avocado and egg tacos are a combination to get excited about. Serve with your favorite salsa, guacamole or sour cream.

20 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped into ¼”-½” pieces
  • 2.5 oz. Simple Truth® Power Greens (or spinach)
  • 7 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 tsp. chili powder, optional
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Simple Truth® Black Beans
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 6-8 corn tortillas
Directions:
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the chopped sweet potato. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato is crispy on the outside and cooked through, about 15-18 minutes.
    BeakfastTacos3
  2. Add the greens and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add chili powder, salt and black pepper to taste.
    BreakfastTacos4
  3. If making a scramble, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk well. Pour evenly over the vegetables and allow them to sit for 2 minutes before flipping with a spatula. Allow eggs to sit another minute or two before flipping again. Continue cooking until eggs are cooked through.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the black beans in a small pot until hot, and fry your desired amount of eggs.
  5. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and put them in the oven at 350° F until they’re hot, about 7 minutes. You can also toast them in the oven under the broil setting for 1-2 minutes for crispier tortillas.
  6. Time to prepare your tacos! Remove the tortillas from the aluminum foil, and if desired, sprinkle them with cheese. Add black beans, veggies and fried egg on top. Serve with avocado and your favorite salsa or hot sauce. Enjoy your filling, nutritious breakfast!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Turkey Chili-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Turkey Chili-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Created by: Carrie Robinson, Frugal Foodie Mama

These Turkey Chili-Stuffed Baked Potatoes are simply steamed in the microwave, then topped with a homemade chili that's packed with turkey and beans. They’re big on flavor, without the guilt.

25 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6
Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. Simple Truth® Natural Ground Turkey
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅛-½ tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Simple Truth Organic® Diced Tomatoes in Tomato Juice
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Simple Truth Organic® Tri-Bean Blend, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • Shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese, for topping
  • Simple Truth Organic® Plain Low-Fat Yogurt, for topping
Directions:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the ground turkey and cook an additional 4-5 minutes or until the turkey is cooked through and browned.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cook for an additional 1 minute, then add the diced tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce and brown sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the chili and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Cook the potatoes in the microwave while the chili is simmering. Rinse each potato and pat dry, then prick each with a fork several times. Place the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 5 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and cook for additional 5-7 minutes or until they're fork-tender.
  4. Prepare your chili-stuffed baked potatoes when the chili is ready. Slice each potato down the middle, but not all the way through. Placing a hand on each end, gently push in on both ends to open the potato. Top with about 1 cup of the chili, then a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of shredded cheese, if desired.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

White Chocolate Chip Matcha Mug Cake

White Chocolate Chip Matcha Mug Cake

Created by: Julia Mueller, The Roasted Root

The best-kept secret known to man? Matcha green tea and white chocolate! Did you know about this incredible combo?

I’ve been a big fan of all things matcha for a number of years, but it wasn’t until I created this mug cake that I combined it with white chocolate. The two create a caramel-flavored combination that's difficult to put into words. Now that I’ve uncovered the awesomeness of matcha and white chocolate, I want it every which way!

Matcha white chocolate bread? Matcha white chocolate cookies? Matcha white chocolate lattes? Check, check, check, yes, yes, yes!

Let's back up a smidgen. Have you ever had matcha in any form? For those of you who are unfamiliar with matcha, it's finely-ground green tea leaves. It comes as a powder that can be dissolved into hot water or milk for lattes, or incorporated into virtually any baked good. I’ve used it in ice cream, smoothies, lattes and chia seed pudding. Can’t stop, won’t stop! The buzz about matcha is that it’s jam-packed with antioxidants. We’re talking five times the amount that's found in a regular brewed mug of green tea, and far more than many of its fellow superfoods, including blueberries!

Preparing this mug cake is a breeze! Simply add all the ingredients to a measuring cup – or the mug you’re using – in no particular order. Mix it all up, pop it in the microwave oven for 2 minutes, and enjoy! I like adding more white chocolate chips, some coconut milk and raw pecans on top after the cake is fresh out of the oven. The white chocolate gets nice and gooey, the coconut milk adds more creaminess and moisture, and I love the crunch of the pecans.

Let’s talk options. If you don’t follow a gluten-free diet, you can replace the gluten-free all-purpose flour with regular all-purpose flour. You can also add chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios inside the cake for a little extra flavor. Not a fan of white chocolate? Maybe you're craving something darker? Replace the white chocolate with dark chocolate for a whole other experience! You can also use almond milk in place of the coconut milk – just note that the cake won't turn out quite as moist.

Words of wisdom: This mug cake recipe is meant for a larger mug, one that can hold roughly 12 ounces of liquid. If you’re using a smaller mug, halve the recipe and leave out the coconut milk. But if you’re like me, and you love your mug full to the brim, you should totally make the full recipe and give a couple bites to a friend. Sharing is caring.

And that's it! A little mixing, a little microwaving and you’re guaranteed the fluffiest, most unique single serving of cake to ever greet your face. Plus, don’t forget – it’s healthy!

1½ minutes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 1
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. matcha powder
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. full fat canned coconut milk, plus 2 tsp.
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp. white chocolate chips, plus more for serving
Optional for Serving:
  • 1 Tbsp. raw pecans, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. full fat canned coconut milk
Directions:
  1. Add all the ingredients except the white chocolate chips to a measuring cup or the mug you're using for microwaving. Stir everything together vigorously until it's well combined. Add the white chocolate chips and stir.
  2. Transfer the cake batter to a microwave-safe mug if you're using a measuring cup for stirring. Microwave on high for 1½-2 minutes. Note that various microwaves cook differently, so microwave time may be slightly shorter or longer.
  3. Allow the mug cake to cool enough to handle. Serve topped with additional chocolate chips, chopped pecans and coconut milk.

View Party Plan: New Tastes for New Year’s

Website Feedback