Rumor has it that some people like to eat healthy in January. The new year diet craze is almost always lost on me, since my birthday prolongs the holiday season and I’m an important woman with many slices of cake to eat – but this year, I’ve been craving lighter, fresher meals in the face of winter gloom. Here’s a lineup of simple, seasonal meals that will help you beat the winter quarter blues – and yes, they may even fit into your diet.
Glazed salmon with broccoli rice from Real Simple
If you’re anything like me, the fish counter can be a little intimidating. So many scales and tentacles and weird smells and things that would be potentially sickening if cooked improperly! This salmon recipe is a great place to start. The recipe may seem overly simple–just soy sauce and brown sugar, seriously?–but have faith. Follow the recipe to the letter and it will be a surefire success. (Double the sauce recipe, though. Way to skimp, Real Simple.)
Apple sharlotka from Smitten Kitchen
According to the comments, “apple sharlotka” is redundant, akin to saying “chocolate brownies” or “beef hamburger.” The terminological insistence is fitting because apples are the very heart and soul of this cake. Sharlotka is about 90 percent fruit, making it the perfect dessert to break up the doldrums of restrained post-holiday dining.
Crispy kale salad from How Sweet Eats
Toasting kale to a chip-like crisp is probably the most appealing way to get your daily dose of leafy greens. This is a glorified kale chip salad, topped with gorgeous pomegranate seeds and squash. Both seasonally appropriate and spirit-lifting.
Toasted four grain cereal from 101 Cookbooks
So I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t grow up eating it or just because other choices (ahem, Top Pot Doughnuts) can seem so appealing, but I always seem to forget that oatmeal is, like… an option in the morning. Even though I love it and it’s both healthy and filling, I never seem to make it. This recipe for toasted oats could tempt me towards eating oatmeal more regularly, particularly if the promise of a cookie-like scent rings true.
Yellow beet and parsnip wheat pizza from My Life Runs On Food
I don’t know if it’s the perfectly vibrant colors or the veggie-on-veggie-on-veggie virtuousness, but this just looks like a happy, fulfilling dinner to me. Serve it with a salad and you’d probably get your five recommended servings of produce in one fell swoop.
Spiced anise tea from Straight From The Farm
Considering the city we live in, I can’t be the only one whose caffeine intake is higher than I’d like. This tasty anise tea will be good for a hot drink fix–without the buzz.