6 Recipes for a Healthy (And Delicious) Start to the New Year

Photo: 2016 Claudia Totir/Getty Images

If your resolution is to eat healthier, these fantastically flavourful and nutritious recipes are going to help you start 2019 right on track!

To start your day off right, blend up one of Bite Me More’s Top 5 Smoothie Recipes.

1. Best Vegetable Minestrone Soup

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This steaming, vegetable-packed Minestrone Soup transports us straight to Italy. The rich-tasting broth, loaded with vegetables (carrots, celery, zucchini, spinach, to name a few), fresh herbs and finished with a pesto drizzle, makes this easy and satisfying Minestrone Soup Recipe numero uno in our bowls!


Minestrone Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 medium celery stalks, chopped
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cups chicken broth
1 (28oz/796ml) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups fresh baby spinach
11/2 cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 large zucchini, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked seashell pasta

Pesto Drizzle

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 small garlic clove
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil


1) In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat and sauté garlic and onion for 4-5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, sautéing for an additional 5 minutes.

2)Add broth, diced tomatoes (with liquid) and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn to low and add red wine, spinach, kidney beans, zucchini, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

3) Add cooked pasta and simmer for 2-3 minutes to combine flavors.

4) For the pesto sauce, place basil leaves and garlic in a food processor and process until leaves are finely chopped. Add pine nuts and process until nuts are finely chopped. Add cheese and salt, processing until combined. With the machine running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the oil is incorporated.

*This sauce yields 1/3 cup and, if you’re not using it immediately, store it covered in the refrigerator to prevent the sauce from turning brown.

5) Drizzle 1 tsp of pesto sauce over each bowl of soup.

Serves 8-10


2. Seven Bean Salad Recipe

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While a three bean salads are fine and five bean salads are swell, there’s nothing as spectacularly simple and delicious as this (Lucky) Seven Bean Salad. This quick, easy and healthy salad, a combination of tasty beans tossed in a tangy Lemon Dijon dressing, is guaranteed to become a staple at your table.


Lemon Dijon Dressing

6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Seven Bean Salad

2 cups fresh green beans, ends snipped
1½ cups frozen edamame, thawed
2 cups snow peas
1 cup fresh green peas
1½ cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1½ cups baby lima beans, rinsed and drained
1½ cups white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste


1) For the Lemon Dijon dressing, in a food processor or blender, combine olive oil, champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, mustard seeds, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse 2-3 times, until well combines. Set aside.

2) For the salad, bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and edamame. Turn heat to low and cook 1 minute. Add snow peas and fresh green peas and continue cooking 1 minute more. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Once cold, drain again and dry out completely. Place in a large bowl along with chickpeas, lima beans, white beans, parsley, thyme, lemon zest and salt. Pour dressing over salad, toss well and refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Serves 8-10


3. Couscous & Fresh Herb Stuffed Peppers Recipe

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Get ready to stuff your face with these healthy, delicious and vegetarian Couscous & Herb Stuffed Peppers. Filled to the top with tender couscous, tangy Feta cheese, savory sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs, this meal-in-a-pepper is a perfect midweek meal!


4 peppers (any colours), tops cut off, stemmed and seeded
2 cups cooked Israeli couscous
1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen peas
½ cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 tbsp chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese


1)To blanch the peppers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well. Place peppers upright in a 9-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2)In a large bowl, combine couscous, peas, ½ cup Feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes. Mix well and divide filling among peppers. Top with ¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese and bake for 20 minutes to heat through.

Serves 4


4. Spicy Quinoa Puttanesca

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Puttanesca is rumoured to have originated among Napoli’s nightwalkers. No surprise there. This sultry, spicy, aromatic red sauce of olives, capers and garlic is scandalously good. While the Oldest Professionals paired this kick-in-the-pants sauce with pasta, we’ve got a few tricks of our own. We’ve swapped noodles out for quinoa, the numero uno protein provider. There’s nothing scandalous here… just two ladies of the night enjoying a seductively delectable bowl of quin-HO-a.


Puttanesca Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup store-bought roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
1 (28 oz) tin diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley


2 cups water
1 cup quinoa


1) For the sauce, in a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic, cooking 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste, thyme, red pepper flakes, sea salt, black pepper and white wine, cooking 1 minute. Add olives, roasted red peppers, capers and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

2) Meanwhile, to cook the quinoa, in a medium saucepan, combine water and quinoa. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and combine with puttanesca sauce.

Serves 4-6


5. Chunky Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread Muffins

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This hearty bean-filled, vegetable-packed chili is so delicious it won’t have anyone asking, “Where’s the beef?”


Chunky Vegetarian Chili

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup canned chopped green chili peppers, drained
1 (28oz/796ml) can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup mild salsa
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup couscous
1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, for topping

Mini Cornbread Muffins

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, patted dry and finely diced


The Chili

1) In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and season with chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add red peppers, mushrooms, carrots, minced garlic and chopped green chili peppers. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in diced tomatoes, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, salsa, vegetable broth, couscous, cocoa powder, brown sugar and cayenne pepper.

2) Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently covered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and serve in bowls, topped with shredded cheese.

The Cornbread Muffins

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 2 mini-muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Place thawed corn kernels on a plate. Pat dry and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper.

4) In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, honey, egg, vanilla and buttermilk.

5) Add butter mixture, roasted red peppers and corn kernels to dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine, just until flour disappears. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin to a wire rack. Serve alongside chili.

Yield: 30-35 mini muffins


6. Sweet Citrus Spiced Salmon

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If you’re a fan of this omega-3 rich fish but prefer when it doesn’t taste, well, too salmony, this Sweet Citrus Spiced Salmon recipe is for you. Salmon is marinated in pineapple and lemon juice and then baked with a sweet and spicy topping, leaving every bite the perfect blend of flavorful (but mellow) fish!


Citrus Marinade

3/4 cup pineapple juice
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 (6oz) salmon fillets, skin removed

Sweet & Spicy Topping

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


1) In a large resealable plastic bag, combine pineapple juice, lemon juice and salmon. Refrigerate for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

2) Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat an 11×7-inch baking dish with non- stick cooking spray.

3) For the topping, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, lemon zest, chili powder, cumin, salt and cinnamon. Remove salmon from refrigerator and dispose of marinade. Place fillets in prepared baking dish and rub brown sugar mixture over salmon. Bake 12 minutes or until fish is flaky.

Serves 6

Authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me and Bite Me Too, saucy sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat love eating, feeding, entertaining and dishing up easy recipes and forkin’ fun at BiteMeMore.com.