21 Healthy Recipes to Kick Start the New Year

The holidays this year have been as non-traditional as possible but that hasn’t kept many of us from cooking and baking our favorite foods.  I have definitely been doing my share of baking, cooking and eating massive amounts of desserts, drinks, and carbs.  As always, this leads me to making New Year’s resolutions which have standards that are set too high.  Instead of setting impossible standards and going on an extreme diet, one of my resolutions is to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods.  Less processed, more home made where I can control the ingredients, especially the salt and sugar.

To help “reboot” our bodies and cleanse it of the all the heavy (and mostly unhealthy) foods eaten over the holidays, I’ve compiled a list of 21 Healthy Recipes to Kick Start the New Year.  It is my sincere hope that this list will help you eat healthier without having to sacrifice great taste.  Welcome to 2021 everyone!

Breakfast Oat Muffins

An easy make ahead, these delicious oat muffins are versatile and fun to make with kids.  Grab one on your way to work, school, or your home office!

Almond Coconut Porridge

A delicious porridge that you can make ahead the night before and add so many healthy toppings to, this Almond Coconut Porridge is the perfect healthy start to your day!

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Steel cut oats cooked with apples and cinnamon to give you a creamy apple pie taste are one of our favorite types of oats.  Try them out and you will want a bowl of this Apple Pie Oatmeal over and over again!

Breakfast Soufflé Bites

These easy egg bites filled with fresh and healthy veggies.  Perfect to make ahead, freeze and reheat for busy mornings.

Sweet Potato and Beet Hash with Fried Eggs

A superfood dish that can be used for breakfast or brunch, this delicious meal is the perfect start to any day.  Packed with fiber, non-dairy calcium, beets help fight inflammation, detox the body, and boost energy!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad

The perfect winter salad that keeps you full, nourished and packs a punch with a variety of flavors and textures, this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great lunch or dinner option!

Rainbow Fajita Bowl

Filled with colorful and fresh veggies, this healthy bowl is low on carbs and calories but provides a good source of nutrition.

Paneer Cabbage Cups

A fun healthy option with a bit of Indian fusion, these Paneer Cabbage Cups are light and filling.

Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles

Who says waffles have to be for breakfast only?  Or that they have to be sweet?  These savory lentil waffles are filled with 4 different types of lentils and lots of veggies.  Have a couple with a side of Masala Salsa or Chutney, you can’t go wrong!

15 minute Masala Pasta

Make a batch of this pasta sauce filled with veggies and delicious spices to freeze and use for any meal.  Combine it with your gluten free or fresh pasta and you will have a veggie loaded pasta that even fussy kids will eat in less than 15 minutes!

Fresco Carpaccio

A light and healthy salad, this Carpaccio is very simple to make and disappears just as quickly!  A great afternoon snack or side salad, you must try this!

Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad

Packed with protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruit, this delicious salad is perfect to take to work or have on the side with a meal!

Microgreens Salad

A nutrient-dense salad that is light to eat and will make you wanting more, it’s very simple and quick to put together.

Roasted Masala Chickpeas

A healthy snack that will keep you going when you have munchies in the afternoon.  Store these in an air tight container and enjoy whenever your tummy desires!

Roasted Chili Almonds

Another great snack to have or one to add to a cheese board, these Roasted Chili Almonds take only 5 minutes to make.  Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.

Rainbow Lentil Stew

This stew is filled with fresh, colorful veggies that are packed with nutrition and flavor.  You can make it in a dutch oven or slow cooker and enjoy it for one of the many rainy days ahead this winter and spring.

Sweet & Spicy Harvest Bowl

Just as it’s name implies, there are plenty of sweet and spicy notes in this bowl.  Beets, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, and pears over a bed of quinoa is just the beginning of the deliciousness here.  The veggies are roasted with chipotle powder to give it hints of spicy and smoky that bring together the perfect amount of pepper.

Spinach Dal

On a consistent rotation in our home, this Spinach Dal has becoming popular.  Taking only 10 minutes to make, you can’t go wrong with this delicious Indian lentil dish.

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

This Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash is filled with fruits and veggies and topped with a delicious Apple Cider Vinaigrette, every bite will burst with a multitude of flavors.

Easy Chicken Ramen with GF Noodles

For those rainy nights, this Ramen is the perfect way to cuddle up and enjoy a warm broth filled with veggies and gluten free fresh pasta noodles.  The best part, it takes less than 30 minutes to make!

Tandoori Gobi (Cauliflower) Zucchini Boats 

A fun fusion dish that is filled with the traditional Tandoori flavor.  Roasted in the oven then broiled, the cauliflower give hints of the charred smoky flavor combined with the Tandoori marinade.  Serve it with a side of cooling Mint-y Pomegranate Raita and be prepared to have your taste buds take a trip to India!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this list of healthy recipes to kick start your New Year!  I’m going to be adding more to continue our journey of healthy eating.  In the meantime, tag me when you make a recipe of mine on Facebook or Instagram or feel free to leave a comment below.  Let me know what recipes you would like to see also.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year filled with lots of healthy eating (and a little not so healthy eating).

~Sapna

Top 15 Recipes of 2020

The year 2020 has not been without its challenges though I feel stronger coming out of it and ready to start a new year.  One thing I am very proud of myself for doing is relaunching my blog and getting more creative with my work.  I’ve managed to publish quite a few recipes and many of them were pretty popular.  I want to thank all of you for taking the time to visit my blog and trying my recipes.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year as you read the top 15 from this year based on reader reviews and responses.  I hope to continue growing and sharing my love of cooking with you in 2021.  Here are the top 15 recipes of 2020.

Sweet Potato and Beet Hash with Fried Eggs

A delicious, nutrient dense brunch dish that will become of one your favorites right away.  Easy to make it vegan by omitting the egg, this recipe is also sustainable using the beet greens along with spinach for the base of the hash.

Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad 
A warm lentil salad with a sweet butternut squash, the crunchy seeds, apples and pomegranates with feta crumbles adding a little creaminess is the perfect blend for this salad.  Another nutrient dense dish that can fill you up for lunch or dinner.

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup 

A quick and easy soup that is packed with flavors and perfect for a winter weeknight.  Settle in with a bowl of this Instant Pot Tortilla Soup which takes only 4 minutes to cook!

Pineapple Fried Rice

A quick stir fry that takes only 20 minutes to make this Pineapple Fried Rice is filled with texture, flavor, and an exotic touch.  Try it out for your next Thai night.

Aloo Paratha


A staple in almost every Indian home, Aloo Parathas are perfect for brunch, a rainy day, or pretty much anytime!

Spiced Plum Crumble Bars
A delicious treat that can be eaten for snack, breakfast, or as a nibble with your afternoon tea.

Rangoli Ladoos 
These sweet Ladoos (truffles) are a delicious and easy recipe that can be made any time of the year, but especially for festivals such as Diwali, Holi, and Navratri.  Try them out and you will have your very own batch made in less than 15 minutes!

Tinseltown Tostadas 

A delicious, light, and healthy appetizer, these are perfect for any type of party or dinner.  Brighten up your table during the Holidays with these colorful Tinseltown Tostadas.

Tandoori Gobi (Cauliflower) Zucchini Boats

A quick and easy recipe that is packed with traditional Indian flavors, make these healthy Tandoori Gobi Zucchini Boats to bring some spice to your table.

Skinny Skillet Veggie Enchiladas


These are a great way to Enchiladas while cutting down the carbs significantly.  The flavor is still there and packs a good punch!  No wonder they are so popular.

Mango Pico


A delicious salsa with the addition of mango makes for a yummy sweet and spicy bite.  So versatile, you can eat this Mango Pico with practically anything!

Pear Halwa Cake


A delicious Indian Fusion recipe, this Pear Halwa Cake is a great dessert to have at any holiday or birthday table!  Make it for Easter, Mother’s Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries alike!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
These light and fluffy pancakes have become a weekend staple in our home.  Try them once and you’ll be addicted too!

Chocolate Samosa
A sweet twist on the traditional Samosas, these irresistible Chocolate Samosas are filled with Nutella.  I promise it will be very hard to stop at Just one!

Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles

Healthy Lentil Waffles that are packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  These are your one stop shop for a complete meal.

Thank you so much for making 2020 so special for me.  I have enjoyed and embraced cooking for you.  Which recipes have you tried?  Feel free to leave comments below, or tag me with your pictures on Facebook or Instagram.  See you in 2021!

How to clean your Cast Iron Skillet

I think I’ve lost track of the amount of times I have been asked how I clean my iron skillet.  The actual process is very easy and doesn’t take as much time contrary to what many people believe.  It does seem daunting and intimidating, but trust, cleaning an iron skillet is simple.

Here are a few rules to remember:

  • Don’t use soap and water to wash your skillet.  This will actually create rust which is the last thing you want to worry about.
  • Don’t use steel wool for those stuck on foods – that will actually strip away the seasoning of the pan.
  • Don’t put it in the dishwasher
  • Clean your cast iron after every use.  You don’t have to season it after every use but definitely clean it to prevent ruining your seasoning layer

There a few tools that you will need to clean your skillet.

That’s it!  That’s all you need to clean your pan!  Now let’s get to it!

Here are a couple of examples of food really crusted on.  I made sure I used these as examples because I wanted to show that even with food stuck to your skillet, it’s still pretty easy to clean.
There are two options to cleaning a skillet with food crusted to it.

  1. Heat it up over the stove and use a spatula to scrape off the the food.  Then remove the skillet from the heat and gather the remnants with a paper towel to toss in the trash.
  2. Sprinkle coarse sea salt liberally over the skillet and scrub lightly with a microfiber cloth or chainmail to loosen the food particles, then use a paper towel to gather them up and toss in the trash.

It’s kind of gross but so satisfying to see it clean!

Look at how good that looks!  Now all you need is a little oil on a paper towel, rub it lightly over the pan and heat the pan on high flame for a few minutes to re-season it.  You’re done!

It really is a very simple and easy process!

I know this is not a typical food blog recipe but I believe that your tools should be taken care of too!  The type of equipment that you use makes a huge difference in the outcome of any meal you make.

Here are the tools I used:

Food Safety and Stocking during a Crisis

As the panic of being quarantined and working from home during a now declared pandemic of the coronavirus surrounds us, many people have started to stock up not only on toilet paper and hand sanitizers, but also on food.  People are running to their local Costco and grocery stores trying to stockpile on food, but really, should you?  And if so, what do you need to get versus what just doesn’t make sense?  In an effort to spread food safety, awareness, and hopefully, help those who are confused as to what to store and how to store for your quarantine period, I’m going to outline a few basics in this article. Continue reading “Food Safety and Stocking during a Crisis”

Top 20 Brown Rice and Quinoa List!

The other day, I opened up my blog to type up a recipe and I got a notification.  Most of my notifications are the usual responses to my recipes but this one was different.  I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I was reading it correctly.  Rebecca, from www.simplerecipeideas.com, had compiled a top 20 list of the best Brown Rice and Quinoa recipes and mine made the list! I was honored that my Quinoa, Brown Rice and Black Beans was chosen for her top 20 and thank you Rebecca for including me and mine in your list!

When I came up with this recipe, I was had just discovered the Seeds of Change Brown Rice and Quinoa pouches.  They are so delicious, I could finish a whole pouch in one go (which could usually be enough for 2 servings!).  To make myself feel a little less guilty, I decided to add some veggies and beans, give it a southwest-ish flavor profile, and voila!  I ended up making a delicious meal out of the pouch!  It’s great because this is a 10 minute meal recipe, or a great side dish.  Check it out at the link above and tell me what you think!

The last Indian movie I saw in the cinema was Padmaavat/Padmavati (whatever) which was okay, but it wasn’t really my cuppa chai. I’m always touched by stories that are relevant to people today and make an impact. Films that empower people; male or female and Pad Man does just that. It’s also been a while […]

via Why Pad Man is such an important film for India —