My favorite healthy recipes

Spiralized Daikon "Rice Noodle" Bowl

It’s January, which is like Christmas here in healthy food blogger land. Green smoothies, fresh bowls of vegetables, and hearty stews are all over social media. There’s not a cookie in sight and we don’t care because gorgeous healthy food is in abundance.

For me, eating lighter doesn’t require juice cleanses or food fasts. I don’t like to feel hungry or deprived so instead I turn to recipes like these, a collection of my personal favorite plant-forward recipes that are both delicious and satisfying. (Click on the links OR the photos themselves to go directly to the recipes).

Spiralized Daikon “Rice Noodle” Bowl (pictured above)

If I wasn’t constantly working on new recipes, I would keep the components for this bowl prepped and ready at all times so I eat this every single day. The “noodles” here are made with spiralized daikon which have a wonderful crisp texture. There’s a tangy tamari-lime sauce and a creamy cashew sauce to serve on the side. I know, two sauces sounds like extra work, but I just mixed some of sauce #1 with cashew butter, and voila – 2 sauces. The first sauce is very light, and the creamy cashew sauce is rich, so they work together nicely.

Delicata Squash Kale Salad

Delicata Squash Kale Salad 

This is a hearty salad for cold winter days. Roasted delicata squash, roasted chickpeas, and roasted red onions are served on top of massaged kale and nutty farro with a rich maple tahini sauce. Feel free to use any roasted winter squash that you have.

Sesame Broccoli and Shiitake Stir Fry

Sesame Broccoli and Shiitake Stir Fry

This dinner is so quick and satisfying. But what I love most about it is that it uses not just broccoli florets, but also the stem of the broccoli. It feels wasteful to toss the biggest part of the vegetable. Instead, try chopping the broccoli stem into thin pieces and using it in recipes like this one.

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Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

I love this as a vegetarian main dish. A slab of cauliflower can be SO filling, especially when served with this hearty, tangy chickpea romesco sauce.

Chickpea Cauliflower & Tomato Stew

Chickpea Cauliflower & Tomato Stew

I don’t think this recipe got as much love as it should have. I accidentally posted this one last year during that week when the price of cauliflower had suddenly shot up. I absolutely love this stew and it’s been a favorite in my family’s dinner rotation. It’s packed with kale, kale stems, cauliflower, tomatoes, herb and chickpeas. Stir in a little Hemp Seed & Kale Pesto and it’s the perfect healthy winter meal.

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

After you make the Cauliflower Stew (above), save the leftover kale pesto and top it onto this delicious lemony spaghetti squash the next night. So simple, so delicious.

Rainbow Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing

Rainbow Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing

This recipe also made it on our Top Recipes of 2016 list – I’m putting it on this list as well because it’s such an easy and versatile way to eat tons of veggies.

Heidi's Spicy Green Soup

Heidi’s Spicy Green Soup

While I can’t take credit for this one (it’s from Heidi Swanson’s book Near and Far), it’s still in my regular rotation. This is the quickest soup I have ever made, but I love it because it packs a spicy green punch (hence the name). A total win win in my opinion.

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowls

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowls

I make a version of this bowl all the time. This one is specifically spring-themed, but toss some sweet potatoes in here and it works for winter just as well.

Ok, I’ve shared my go-to healthy recipes, let me know what some of yours are!

Top Recipes of 2016

Top Recipes of 2016 - Vegan Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

Happy 2017 everyone! I know everyone is ready to kick 2016 to the curb, but before we forget about it entirely, I wanted to share our top 10 recipes of the past year. These recipes not only top our site analytics, but they’re among the most made and shared recipes on Instagram. If you’re new here, (welcome!) this group of recipes is a great place to start. Click on the links OR the photos themselves to go directly to the recipes.

Vegan Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells (pictured above)
Ok technically I posted this one at the tail end of 2015, but it was such an overwhelming favorite throughout the year that I felt it deserved a place on this list. These little shells are stuffed with a surprising mix of tofu, cashews, spices, spinach and butternut squash – vegan or not, everyone seems to love a pan of creamy stuffed pasta.

Top Recipes of 2016 - Easy Vegetarian Pho

Easy Vegetarian Pho
I took some liberties and simplified the process of Vietnamese Pho – this recipe might not be traditional, but it’s delicious. One of my favorites from the year as well. This would be a great healthy, yet flavorful, way to start the new year.

Top Recipes of 2016 - Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
I’m pretty sure this one wins the prize of “Most Made Recipe of the Year.” As soon as I posted these, so many of you ran to the kitchen to make them! I saw photo after photo of your beautiful creations on Instagram. These are vegan, gluten free and healthy enough to eat for breakfast. They freeze wonderfully as well.

Top Recipes of 2016 - Broccoli Tahini Salad

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad
This is my kind of pasta salad – light on the pasta, heavy on the veggie. Instead of a mayo-based dressing it’s tossed with a tangy tahini sauce. It’s a perfect picnic salad, but it’s also a great make-ahead lunch option.

Top Recipes of 2016 - Vegan Raspberry Scones

Vegan (and gluten free) Raspberry Scones
I often get asked for more recipes that use coconut flour. It’s a finicky flour to use, but it worked perfectly in these scones when we (my mom and I) were trying to firm up our oat-based scone dough.

Top Recipes of 2016 - Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
When I’m too lazy to grate carrots, I make these cookies instead of the carrot cookies (above). They’re a little too sweet to be called a breakfast cookie, but they’re a perfect 3pm snack!

Top Recipes of 2016 - Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal
Admittedly, creamy oatmeal is not my favorite thing, but I love this baked oatmeal that gets crispy on top. It’s packed with oats, hemp seeds, sliced almonds, blueberries and bananas. This is an easy, healthy & hearty dish to serve a group at brunch.

Top Recipes of 2016 - Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
I’m so happy this favorite made the list. I love a burrito bowl, but I really love this one that uses cauliflower “rice” in places of regular rice. So many veggies in one bowl.

Top Recipes of 2016 - No-Bake Almond Oatmeal Cookies

No-Bake Almond Oatmeal Cookies
Another cookie recipe? Do you guys want more cookie recipes?

Top Recipes of 2016 - Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing

Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing

Let’s eat the rainbow without eating Skittles. These bowls would be a terrific start your 2017 heatlhy resolutions!

Wishing you all a wonderful year. As always, please let me know if there’s anything you’d specifically like to see here in 2017!

10 Favorite Weeknight Dinners

Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls

Happy Wednesday! If you need a healthy mid-week dinner idea, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 recipes that part of our regular dinner rotation. Some of them are super simple, all of them are pretty darn delicious.

And, speaking of weeknight dinners, today is the last day to vote in the Saveur Food Blog Awards. It would mean the world to me if you would take a second to vote for us – click HERE and scroll down to the “Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners” category. THANK YOU!

And now for the recipes!

Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls (pictured above)
When I’m tired and don’t know what to make for dinner, this is what I make. I keep these ingredients on hand so a filling sweet potato bowl is always within reach.

Easy Vegetarian Pho

Easy Vegetarian Pho
Pho used to be one of my favorite take-out foods until I learned to make it myself. This version is surprisingly simple to make. Bookmark this recipe for cold season – it’s full of shiitake mushrooms and warm, healing spices.

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew
With fall around the corner, keep this one in your back pocket. It’s hearty, warming and full of flavor. This is one of my favorite recipes.

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos
This one is at the top of the “most made” recipes on this blog. I get so many emails raving about this recipe, and when I meet friends or readers in person, I hear “I love those sweet potato tacos!”

Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing

Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing
Mix this flavorful dressing together and pour it into veggie bowls all week.

Seared Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches

Seared Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches
I’ve just listed a lot of soups and salads – if you’re in the mood for something heartier, go for these Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches. If you’re scared of tofu, just sub in whatever protein you like.

  Spiralized Daikon “Rice Noodle” Bowl

Spiralized Daikon “Rice Noodle” Bowl
This one is my personal favorite. If you’ve gathered the ingredients for the Banh Mi (above), then you have almost everything necessary to make this healthy “noodle” bowl.

  Grilled Corn & Poblano Tacos

Grilled Corn & Poblano Tacos
Technically, it’s still summer and these ingredients – corn, poblanos, etc. – should all be in season.

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
... and by rice I mean “rice” in quotation marks because the base of this bowl is made of cauliflower. It doesn’t get much more veggie-ful than this.

Broccoli Pesto Mac & Cheese

Broccoli Pesto Mac & Cheese
Sometimes even we don’t want to cook more than a box of mac and cheese – to make it a tad healthier, dress it up with broccoli florets and broccoli pesto.

9 Recipes To Make Before Summer Ends

Pattypan Panzanllla

As a self-declared “summer person” August is always a little bittersweet for me. Five minutes ago it was May, and all of a sudden back-to-school supplies are on store shelves. Which shouldn’t matter to me – it’s been years since I’ve been in school – but the thought of notebooks and number two pencils still sends a little chill up my spine. No matter how old I am, I’ll never be quite ready to let the summer go.

Today’s recipes use all of my favorite late summer produce – zucchini, summer squashes, peppers, corn, eggplant, and (the one I’ll be most sad to see go): peaches. These are some of our all-time favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Patty Pan Panzanella: (pictured above) A hearty veggie-filled salad using sauteed summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, day-old bread and tons of herbs.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza:

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza: When it comes to pizza, I usually think less is more – but when you’ve got tons of zucchini and you’re up to your ears in corn – pile it all on. This one is messy to eat, but it’s a fun way to eat SO many summer vegetables.

Summer Squash Orecchette:

Summer Squash Orecchette: More zucchini, I know, but don’t you have tons of it? This simple pasta with rosemary and lemon is a light, yet satisfying. We like to make this one on Sundays with a glass of rose, but it’s easy enough to pull off any night of the week.

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios:

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios: This salad is one of my absolute favorites – peaches and mint are not only a winning combo, but they’re so delicious over a f zucchini noodles with a dollop of savory spiced coriander yogurt.

Peach & Plum Crumble

Peach & Plum Crumble: One of my summer goals is always to consume as many peaches as possible. This crumble recipe will work with any in-season fruit, but it’s my absolute favorite with peaches.

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches: I always get asked “what do I do with eggplant,” and my first reply is always “grill it!” If you’re afraid of working with eggplant, give this one a try.

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad: When we came home from Rome last summer, this was the first meal that I recreated, inspired by a terrific salad I had at Roscioli’s. I love the concentrated super sweet flavor of slow roasted tomatoes – they’re so good with meaty eggplant, chewy farro and peppery arugula. Make a big batch and keep this salad around all week. Its a great picnic lunch.

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Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus: A corn trifecta – smoky sweet corn hummus on top of corn tortillas, topped with grilled corn (and avocado and tomatillo salsa).

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Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad: Last but not least, my favorite salad that I created so far this summer – the name kind of says it all – it’s full of all my favorite fruits and vegetables, tossed with a creamy chile-lime dressing. It’s summer in a bowl.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

Here’s a little guide to how I like to plan for meals throughout the week. I don’t do a bunch of heavy weekend batch cooking, but I DO like to prep just a few basics that can be worked into versatile meals throughout the week. If I spend just a little time, I find that I can set myself up for a healthy week ahead.

And because chopping vegetables in silence is no fun, I’m partnering with Audible to share a few of my favorite foodie “reads” that I like to listen to while I work. I love how easy their app is to use – check it out for yourself and download a free book as part of their free 1-month trial offer.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

This plan changes by season, but this is what my basic summertime prep looks like. Store everything in air-tight containers in the fridge:

1. Clean & massage a big bunch of kale. I like to eat kale salads for lunch, but I hate to stop in the middle of my work day to make one. Having the kale prepped ahead of time makes these salads easy to throw together.

Wash and dry a big bunch of kale. Remove the leaves by holding the stem with one hand and stripping the leaf with your other hand. Place the kale in a large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and a good squeeze of lemon. Use your hands to massage the leaves together until they’re soft and wilted. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (Tip: save the kale stems for pesto or soup – I also like to chop them and feed them to my dogs).

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

2. Pre-chop some seasonal produce. This changes by season (for example, in the fall, I’ll pre-roast sweet potatoes), but current selection is corn, cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, red peppers and scallions. These veggies are great on my lunch salad (especially with avocado, chopped peaches and hemp seeds). Work them into dinners by tossing them with pasta or serving next to grilled fish with generous scoops of a good sauce…which brings me to item #3:

3. Make a good sauce. Put it on everything all week: your salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, etc. Toss with pasta or scoop onto whatever you’re grilling. This one is a creamy (vegan) basil jalapeño sauce made with hemp seeds. (Scroll down for the recipe!).

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com 3. Pre-cook a grain. I like to have cooked quinoa on hand for grain bowls. If you have extra at the end of the week make these cookies.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

4. Make a soup that’ll last the week. I love soup-prep because soups always taste better on the second day and they keep well all week. This time I went with this Watermelon Gazpacho because it’s so refreshing on hot summer days. I also strategically used many of the ingredients that I chopped up there in item #2 and I cut up extra watermelon to have on hand for mid-day snacks.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

5. Listen to a great book while you work! Currently, I’m listening to Michael Pollen’s Cooked (which is sort of ironic because this particular prep-session is entirely raw, but I digress). His previous book, In Defense of Food, was one of the reads that inspired my love for eating real, unprocessed, whole foods. His quote: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” has really stuck with me. I love listening to these books while cooking because they remind me why I love what I do so much.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

These are some other foodie books that I love:
Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
The Third Plate by Dan Barber
32 yolks by Eric Ripert
Stir by Jessica Fechtor

If you have favorites, please recommend them to me in the comments! And don’t forget to download your first audio book for free as part of Audible’s 30 day trial offer.