The benefits of healthy eating are endless — you feel more energized, sleep better at night, and even have a nice glow to your skin. However, most people don’t find giant salads very appealing, which makes it hard to stay on track with a healthy meal plan. To help you cross the finish line of our #CleanStart30 challenge, we’ve found two nutritious recipes you’ll be excited to eat.
Recipe #1 — Avocado & White Bean Sandwich
What’s great about this recipe is that it can be eaten at any time of the day, even breakfast, if you prefer savoury foods over sweet. It’s chock full of plant-based protein, vegetables, and healthy fats and is finished off with white cheddar cheese. The avocado and white bean sandwich can also be an open-faced version if you’re looking for a lighter option. This recipe makes four sandwiches.
- Eight slices of bread (toasted)
- Two ripe avocados
- One can of white beans, drained
- Two tablespoons of lemon juice
- One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- One clove of garlic (grated)
- ¼ teaspoon of dried or fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- One cup of jarred roasted red peppers (cut into strips)
- Eight slices of white cheddar cheese (or another cheese that you like)
- Four cups of crisp baby lettuce
On a plate or in a medium-sized bowl, mash together the white beans, lemon juice, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, pepper, and thyme. Mash these ingredients until it reaches a slightly chunky consistency. Divide the avocado and bean mash among four slices of toasted bread. Top each with strips of jarred roasted red peppers, two pieces of white cheddar cheese, lettuce, and the other slice of toasted bread.
Recipe #2 — Easy chicken and vegetable stir fry
Deciding on a recipe to make for dinner after a long day at the office feels near impossible. But this simple chicken stir fry is easy to make, and leftovers can be packed in a container for lunch the next day. This stir fry is filled with protein and vegetables smothered in a tasty umami (sweet and savoury) sauce. Depending on your preferences, it can be served on top of quinoa, cauliflower rice, udon noodles, rice noodles, or basmati rice. This recipe serves four people or three really hungry ones.
- One pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (diced into one-inch cubes)
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (divided per tablespoon)
- Two cups of broccoli (chopped)
- Half of a yellow bell pepper (cut into one-inch pieces)
- Half of a red bell pepper (cut into one-inch pieces)
- Half a cup of carrots (chopped or sliced)
- Two teaspoons of ginger (minced)
- Two garlic cloves (minced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce
- Two tablespoons of cold water
- One tablespoon of cornstarch
- ¼ cup regular or low-sodium chicken broth
- Three tablespoons of regular or low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup of honey
- One tablespoon of sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (crushed)
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil, stir to combine and then set aside.
Add one tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil to a heated large wok or skillet. Add the diced chicken and season to your liking with salt and pepper. Cook for three to five minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove the chicken from the skillet or wok.
Reduce heat and add another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the hot skillet or wok. Add all the veggies, stirring occasionally, and cook until they are slightly brown but still crisp. Add the garlic and ginger, and then cook for one more minute.
Add the chicken back into the wok or skillet and mix until combined. Gently whisk in the sauce and stir to combine. Bring the stir fry to a low boil and occasionally stir for one minute. Remove from heat and serve over rice or another accompaniment. If you love a good crunch, top your stir fry with chopped peanuts, cashews, or toasted sesame seeds.
Bottom Line: Healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated; aim to create well-balanced meals. Meals should contain a large portion of protein, vegetables for nutrients and vitamins, a source of calcium, and a complex (not processed) carbohydrate.
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Two healthy recipes to get you started on the #CleanStart30 challenge was originally published in Think Dirty on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.