10 Healthy Recipes to Try in 2017

1. Wild Rice Salad

This is a nutritious, delicious prepare-ahead dish that holds up well for travel to a campsite and tastes terrific right out of the cooler or at room temperature. It is a festive blend of textures and tastes. Photo by Nicole Quinn

3 (2.75-ounce) packages quick-cooking wild rice, cooked and cooled (I use Gourmet House.)
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
3/4 – 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook rice according to the package directions. Fluff and let cool.
2. Add pecans, cranberries, green onions, parsley, mint and feta cheese.
3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Whisk. Pour over rice mixture, and toss to coat.
4. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to serve. Serves 6 – 8. 

2. Banana Almond Muffins

No need for added sugar. Ripe bananas lend their natural sweetness to these yummy treats that are great for breakfast, snack or dessert. They’re high in fiber and protein, are gluten free, and can be made dairy free if you use coconut oil. Photo by Jackson Hill

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2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons flax meal or chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
2 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, room temperature
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin, or line with foil liners.
2. Whisk together almond flour, flax or chia, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together mashed bananas and oil or butter until well combined. Stir in eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract.
4. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
5. Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool. Refrigerate or serve room temperature. Keep covered for up to 4 days. Makes 12 muffins.

3. Peach Cobbler Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are the newest breakfast trend. This simple, creamy and crunchy concoction makes a tasty, balanced morning meal. Recipe courtesy of Nonie Taul, Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

1 1/2 cups frozen peaches (or buy fresh, peel, cut and freeze the day before)
1/2 cup almond milk
3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
fresh peach slices
toasted slivered almonds

1. In a blender, add first 6 ingredients. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour smoothie into a bowl. Top with fresh peach slices, granola and toasted almonds. Serves 2. 

4. Zucchini Bread Protein Pancakes

Protein pancakes are some of the most popular recipes from Meme Inge's popular food blog. Photo by Jackson Hill

1 1/4 cup oats*
1 cup cottage cheese
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 small zucchini)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
maple syrup (to top, if desired)
butter (to top, if desired)

1. In the bowl of a food processor, add oats, cottage cheese and eggs. Blend until completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until incorporated.
2. Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Cook pancakes until tiny bubbles form over the surface of the pancake batter, about 2 to 4 minutes. Flip pancake and cook until done, another 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Top with a little real maple syrup and/or butter, if desired. Serves 4, makes 8 pancakes.
* Use old-fashioned oats or quick oats. Do not use instant or steel cut oats. Use certified gluten-free oats, if necessary.

5. Black Bean and Pepper Jack Burgers

These zesty burgers are a tasty and healthy alternative to beef. Photo by Dan Anderson

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated pepper jack cheese
1 green onion, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
sliced avocado
sliced tomato
salsa or ketchup

1. Place oats in blender or food processor and pulse 3 times to roughly chop.
2. Add half the beans and pulse into coarse paste, about 6 pulses.
3. Add the egg, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt and process to mix well, about 1 minute. Transfer the bean mixture to large bowl.
4. Stir in the remaining beans, cheese, green onions and cilantro.
5. Lightly grease a plate with olive oil. With wet hands, form the bean mixture into patties and transfer to plate. Refrigerate for 10 – 15 minutes to let burgers set.
6. Grill over hot fire for 2 – 3 minutes. Carefully turn. Cook 3 – 5 minutes more.
7. Place on the buns and dress with avocado, tomato and ketchup or salsa. Makes 4. 

6. Cucumber Avocado Soup

This is a classy, cold soup served with a smattering of south-of-the-border-style garnish. Photo by Jennie Tewell

8 cups cucumbers (4 – 5 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
4 green onions, green part only,  coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups cold water, divided
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (Do not use low fat or nonfat.)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 avocados, halved, pitted and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine cucumbers and green onions. In a blender, puree half of mixture with half of the cold water until smooth, for about a minute. 
2. Transfer the puree to a container and repeat with
remaining cucumbers and  green onion puree and cold water. 
3. Add purees together and whisk in yogurt, sugar, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours. 
4. When ready to serve, gently toss avocado in remaining lime juice, salt and cilantro. Add a spoonful of avocado mixture to each chilled bowl of soup. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Serves 6 – 8.

7. Shrimp, Bean and Arugula Salad

This fresh dish works as a starter, side or light entrée. Photo by Lyle Ratliff

1/4 cup fruity olive oil
3 ounces pancetta, either chopped or cut into lardoons
2 dozen shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup lemon juice (preferably Meyer)
sea salt, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound baby arugula

1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet and sauté pancetta for a couple of minutes. Add shrimp and continue sautéeing until shrimp turn opaque, about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes. Drain.
2. To prepare dressing, mix remaining olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. In a bowl, add beans to arugula and toss with dressing.
3. Plate salad and top with shrimp and pancetta. Serves 6 – 8. 

8. Crab and Mango Salad

This unique take on the West Indies Salad features sweet mango and a tomato-shallot vinaigrette. Photo by Lyle Ratliff

1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
5 large basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over to remove shells
1 mango, peeled and cubed

1. To prepare dressing, combine garlic, shallot, tomato, basil, olive oil and sherry vinegar in a blender and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Dressing may be made 2 or 3 days before using.)
2. When ready to serve, add enough dressing to crabmeat to moisten it well. Season to taste.
3. Gently combine crabmeat mixture and mango. Serves 6 in martini glasses.

9. Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”

In this recipe courtesy of Nonie Taul,  cauliflower makes a fantastic substitute for rice. Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (14-ounce) package Conecuh smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
1 cup chopped green onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes 
1 cup chopped fresh okra 
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, if desired
few drops hot sauce,  if desired
Cauliflower Rice (see below)

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Brown Conecuh sausage, green onion and green pepper in skillet. 
2. Add remaining ingredients, except Cauliflower Rice. Simmer covered for 15 – 20 minutes until okra is tender. Serve over Cauliflower Rice. Serves 6. 

Cauliflower Rice

1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower. Remove greens and cut into 4 even sections.
2. With a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, pulse cauliflower into grains the size of rice. Remove any large, tough stems.
3. Transfer cauliflower into a clean towel or paper towel. Press to remove excess moisture, which can make it soggy.
4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté “rice” over medium heat. Cover with a lid so the cauliflower steams and becomes more tender. Cook for a total of 5 – 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4. 

10. Veggie fried Quinoa

This is a go-to superfood on weeknights when you need something quick, easy and healthful. The recipe originally comes from former Mobilian and fit food blogger, Meme Inge. Photo by Elise Poche

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cooked quinoa
4 eggs
5 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
2 green onions, chopped (optional)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
2. Add bell pepper, onion and carrots. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until veggies are softened and lightly browned. Add mushrooms. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Push veggies to sides of pan. 
3. Add remaining oil and stir in garlic and quinoa. Stir-fry about 2 – 3 minutes. 
4. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. 
5. Push quinoa to side of pan with the veggies. 
6. Cook eggs in pan for 30 seconds. Then stir in with quinoa and veggies. 
7. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and fish sauce. Stir into pan. 
8. Let cook, stirring often for 5 minutes until sauce is absorbed. Top with chopped green onions, if desired. Serves 4.

mobilebaymag.com staff

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