Start 2022 lighter with these 3 healthy recipes

The excesses of the holidays are behind us in the new year. Traditionally, January is “diet season” – a time to start over and focus on healthy eating. But again, in the midst of a pandemic and winter, dieting doesn’t seem like a very attractive idea. Instead of trying to follow a set diet (which is always a challenge to stick to), I try to focus on eating more veggies, less meat, and fresh, lighter food.

These three new recipes are certainly not “diet” food, but instead focus on color (a real challenge in the winter months), texture and big, bold flavors. This is the food that makes you feel good and satisfied.

All of these dishes work well with almost any meal and can easily be doubled according to the size of your family. To a healthy new year!

mushroom taco

When you want to reduce the amount of animal protein you eat, the meaty texture and rich umami flavor of mushrooms are a great alternative. Warm corn tortillas with a touch of sharp cheddar cheese until melted and bring to a boil, while mushrooms are sautéed over high heat with green onions. Fried mushrooms are piled on top of a cheese tortilla and then topped with a little Greek yogurt or sour cream and chopped tomatoes or salsa and lemon. Tacos can be prepared from start to finish in about 20 minutes. They’re equally good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

Serves 2 to 4.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (I used a mixture of shiitake mushrooms and king oyster mushrooms), trimmed ends and sliced ​​into inch-thick slices
  • 3 green onions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced ​​(white and green sections)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium tomato finely chopped or ½ cup sauce
  • About ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • A few sprigs of fresh cilantro or parsley, optional
  • 1 lemon cut into quarters
  • chili sauce
  • instructions

  • Fry the mushrooms: In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, half green onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet (or two) over moderate heat, heat tortillas for 2 minutes, flipping tortillas on top and dividing cheese between them. Cook, turning tortillas from side to side to prevent burning, until cheese has melted and boiled.
  • To serve: Divide mushrooms over warm tortillas. Sprinkle with the remaining tomatoes, green onions and a little sour cream. Sprinkle on cilantro or parsley, and serve with a squeeze of lemon to squeeze, and sprinkled with a drizzle of chili sauce.
  • Fried rice with vegetables and fried eggs

    All you need for this dish is some leftover rice, fresh ginger, a few fresh veggies, and an egg, and you’ll have the ingredients for a satisfying breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Add any vegetable on hand – broccoli or cauliflower, cubes of winter squash, green beans, etc. Think of this as a master recipe of sorts, and adapt it to what you have in your fridge.

    Serves 2 to 4


  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced ​​ginger
  • 1 shallot, dark greens, trimmed lengthwise, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed, white and green parts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 to 1 cup raw vegetables (see ideas above), cut into small cubes or pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of miso paste, preferably white or light
  • A touch of chili paste or chili sauce
  • About 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 cup kale, spinach, or Swiss chard (if using kale, remove the rib down the middle)
  • 1 cup salted cashews or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, coarsely chopped
  • eggs:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or safflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • instructions

  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once heated through, add half of the chopped and sliced ​​ginger and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add shallots or onions and green onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Stir in celery, then add miso paste, chili paste and soy sauce. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the remaining vegetables and ginger and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are wilted and the vegetables are almost tender. Add half of the cashews or walnuts and rice, making sure to separate the rice so it doesn’t clump. Stir everything together until hot and vegetables and greens are completely incorporated. If the mixture seems dry, add ½ cup of water and another 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.
  • While the rice and vegetables are cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Crack eggs into skillet, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of chili flakes. Cook for 2 minutes until edges are crispy and beginning to turn golden brown. Gently flip the egg over and cook for another minute.
  • Serve hot fried rice topped with fried eggs, remaining nuts and cilantro. Serve hot pepper sauce or hot pepper paste on the side.
  • Roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes with Israeli couscous and crunchy spiced chickpeas

    This salad/main course offers great color, texture, and flavour. The whole dish can be prepared hours ahead of time and added to fresh lemon juice and olive oil just before serving. Warm pita bread, crunchy baguette, or your favorite crusty bread would be a great addition. This is a vegetarian dish but can be made more substantial by adding crumbled feta cheese or bite-sized pieces of leftover cooked salmon or chicken.

    This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.

    Serves 4.



  • One 15-ounce package of chickpeas, after draining, washing and drying again
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of cumin
  • pinch chile chips
  • Cauliflower and couscous:

  • 1 small to medium cauliflower, washed and left whole
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
  • 1 cup Israeli or pearl couscous
  • Juice of 1 large lemon or 2 medium lemons
  • cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Lay the washed chickpeas on a cookie sheet with low edges in a single layer. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and chile flakes. Roast on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
  • Meanwhile, place whole cauliflower in an ovenproof skillet or small baking dish and cover with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of chili flakes. Roast for about 20 minutes, flipping the cauliflower gently and roasting another 15 to 20 minutes or until tender when tested with a small, sharp knife. We take it out of the oven and let it cool down a little. When cool enough to handle, cut or separate the cauliflower into small florets.
  • In a medium-sized skillet or baking dish, mix together the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bubbling.
  • Bring 1 1/2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add couscous with 1 tablespoon of oil and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for 8 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed nearly all of the water. Remove from heat, cover and simmer for another 5 to 8 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • To assemble: Gently toss the couscous, cauliflower florets, and tomatoes (plus any juices from the bottom of the wok or skillet) and half of the chickpeas together. Just before serving, add lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with the rest of the chickpeas and roasted parsley.
  • Discover more light recipes here.

    This article was originally published on

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit

    Leave a Comment