3 Recipes to Jump-start Healthy Eating in the New Year

Image via Unsplash by idelamaza

After a holiday season of sumptuous eating, the start of a new year offers a great time to reprioritize and reset your eating habits. The following recipes offer great ways to start your new year with a new attitude toward healthy eating.

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 pound Brussels sprouts

Extra-virgin olive oil, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup farro

1 to 2 cups homemade or prepared low-sodium vegetable broth

½ cup pistachios

½ cup shaved Parmesan

½ cup coarsely torn fresh mint leaves

½ cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Thinly slice Brussels sprouts crosswise, discarding stem end. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt. Spread Brussels sprouts in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast Brussels sprouts for 25 to 35 minutes until fragrant and crisp on the edges.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare farro according to package instructions, using vegetable broth for the cooking liquid.
  5. Drain any excess liquid from farro and add to a large bowl. Combine farro with roasted Brussels sprouts and pistachios. Season to taste with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Add shaved Parmesan, mint and basil leaves immediately prior to serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Spanish Stuffed Dates

Makes 3 to 4 appetizer-size servings


3 ounces manchego cheese

3 1/2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma

12 pitted Medjool dates


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut manchego into 1-inch-long chunks about the thickness of a pencil.
  3. Cut prosciutto into 1-inch-long strips.
  4. Make a long, thin slit in the dates. Stuff dates with a chunk of manchego, wrapping date around the cheese to enclose it.
  5. Wrap each date with a prepared prosciutto strip. The prosciutto will likely wrap around the date several times.
  6. Evenly arrange stuffed dates on the baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the dates after about 6 to 7 minutes of baking to allow the prosciutto to become crispy on both sides.
  7. Remove dates from oven and serve warm.

Leek and Squash Casserole

Makes 4 to 6 servings


Extra-virgin olive oil, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 medium leeks

2 medium delicata squashes (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)

6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-12-inch baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Thinly slice leeks, white and light-green parts only, crosswise into rounds. Wash thoroughly in cold water.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; season to taste with salt and pepper. Saute leeks, stirring regularly, until they soften.
  4. Trim ends from squash. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the fibers and seeds from the squash; discard.
  5. Thinly slice the squash crosswise into half-moon shapes. Add squash to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add cooked leeks to squash. Add 2/3 of the grated cheese to the mixing bowl with the squash. Season to taste with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  7. Layer vegetable mixture evenly in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and cover pan with parchment-lined aluminum foil.
  8. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until top is browned and juices are bubbling. Serve warm.
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