Recipe Round-Up: 23 Healthy Recipes to Kick Off 2015

This latest recipe round-up is full of healthy recipes for 2015! In other words, time to back away from the holiday cookie platter and try out these healthy dishes. In this list you will find a variety of lunches, dinners and snacks in no particular order for your eating and cooking pleasure!

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White Bean, Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Sausage, White Bean and Cabbage Soup

Happy New Years! We have officially arrived in January, the doldrums of winter and in my opinion, the year’s worst month. January has the coldest weather and by now I’m missing the holiday cheer. The one thing to look forward to is the days getting longer and more excuses to eat hearty soups! This soup is great for the “mean month” and helps chase away the winter chill. The soup is loaded with spicy sausage, beans, fresh veggies and herbs. Make it with homemade chicken stock and you have a nutrient rich broth to stave off the flu and common cold (no, the old wive’s tale is not a myth; it does give your immune system a boost). Serve it up with crusty french bread for dunking and plenty of sliced parmigiano reggiano!
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Wild Rice Soup with Bacon and Butternut Squash

Wild Rice Soup

For the winter months nothing beats a hot bowl of wild rice soup! I tend to avoid creamy soups due to their heaviness but I decided to give it a try. In the past I’ve made it as a broth-based soup instead of cream-based. Even though it doesn’t skimp on the cream and bacon, it wasn’t especially heavy which was surprising. I made this recipe with the leftover bones I froze from the Thanksgiving turkey. The recipe for homemade stock (swap out chicken for turkey) can be found here. The soup is also packed with butternut squash, corn and other veggies.  For the rice, I decided to save the broth and not add it into the soup as it cooked; that way the rice didn’t absorb all the tasty broth. I really liked how this turned out and it was a perfect recipe for the holidays!
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Pumpkin Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust

Pumpkin Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust

I love pumpkin pie and it has been a must for me to make every year for the holidays. Usually I make it with an all butter crust but this year I went with something that adds a bit of texture. The graham cracker allows for a crunchier crust and I would say it compliments the pumpkin pie filling nicely. The filling is deliciously spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and cloves. Make sure to whip up a batch of fresh whipped cream for topping and serve with vanilla ice cream.
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Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

There are so many ways to tinker with the traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays, the options feel practically endless! This time for Thanksgiving I decided to take it up a notch by adding bourbon and vanilla extract to the cranberries. You can’t really go wrong with bourbon, right? Something about the flavor came through the nose more than the taste buds. You could smell the bourbon and vanilla, but you tasted the flavor of the cranberries. Similar to wine, you could say that these cranberries had a “nose.” I loved the way these cranberries came out and they will definitely become a holiday staple!

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Classic Cornbread Muffins

Classic Cornbread Muffins 2

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and there are so many different side dishes that accompany the big meal! Many tables feature rolls as a side dish but I thought it would be nice to try a slightly more rustic cornbread recipe. The muffins are surprisingly not too crumbly and retained a good amount of moisture on the inside. The outside was golden and just slightly crusty on top. Slightly sweet, not too crumbly and a pretty yellow color makes for a nice display on any Thanksgiving table! Slice open a warm muffin and pair with butter or a healthy dollop of cranberry sauce–or if you’re gunning for a food coma make it both!
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Classic Beef Tacos with Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Classic Beef Tacos with Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Even though it isn’t summer anymore it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good taco! If you’re craving food truck style tacos this is the recipe you need to make it at home. Seasoned ground beef comes together with smoky chipotle salsa, sharp cheddar and slices of avocado. The beef is seasoned in a simple combination of garlic, jalapenos, paprika and cumin. Finish it off with fresh lime juice and cilantro and you have one flavorful taco (or 10)!
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Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Chipotle Tomato Salsa

This salsa is a great last minute recipe and can be a go-to for anything tex-mex. One week day I didn’t have much in the pantry and this salsa was born. If you have diced tomatoes and a can of Chipotle peppers in adobo you are already on your way! Add spices and chopped cilantro and you have a fresh salsa without a lot of chopping and prep work. The spicy and smoky flavor goes great with beef tacos, quesadillas and eggs.
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Roasted Winter Vegetables with Butternut Squash

Roasted Root Vegetable and Butternut Squash

Well it’s November and officially a few weeks away from Thanksgiving! This recipe is a great side dish for the holidays even though it’s difficult to think they are right around the corner. I even saw some Christmas commercials come on the other day which was pretty hard to believe. This recipe combines potatoes, beets and butternut squash tossed in olive oil and roasted with garlic and fresh herbs. It doesn’t get much easier than that! The flavors from each vegetable came together perfectly. Works well as a holiday side dish but is great for any time of the week during the winter.
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Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of soup on chillier evenings? Since it’s starting to get darker and the winter months are on their way I thought chicken and dumpling soup would be an appropriate post for the season. The dumplings are so easy to make since the shape of the dough balls don’t matter at all. You simply drop spoonfuls of dough into the hot broth and it does all the work for you. The more lumpy and asymmetrical the better! The dumplings are seasoned with fresh herbs and parmesan which really adds to their flavor. I went with homemade chicken stock since it tastes better than store bought and makes the soup more nutrient rich. I chose chicken breasts for the protein but thighs or even a whole roasted chicken would make great substitutes as well. I look forward to the winter months so I can whip up a batch of this again!
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