If, like many of us, you’ve already indulged just a bit too much this holiday season (what, pie and wine aren’t a balanced meal?), it might be a good time to detox (but don’t run away just yet).
The word “detox” tends to bring to mind scary-intense juice cleanses or a gluten- dairy-meat-grain-sugar-caffeine-free diet that will make you run away screaming (and hungry). But never fear—when we say “detox,” we’re talking about refocusing the mind, body, and palate on healthy, tasty, and nutritious foods. Instead of going crazy-restrictive and nixing all food groups except kale and steamed fish (not exactly a sustainable diet), let’s explore new tastes, textures, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Most of these recipes are based on healthy staples like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and both vegetarian and meat protein sources.
The following collection of recipes will get you psyched about eating well again (and might even help kick that cookie-a-day habit you picked up over the past week). For a super-easy meal plan, just pick one recipe from each category per day.
Photo: Marla Meridith / Family Fresh Cooking
1. Blueberry-Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
This year, make your New Year’s resolution to eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Kick off 2014 on a tasty note with this flavorful, baked version of steel-cut oats. Since it’s a baked oatmeal dish, you can make it the night before and heat it up for on-the-go mornings.
2. Vanilla Chia Pudding
Start the day right with a healthy dose of chia seeds, which are loaded with protein, calcium, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Not bad for a bunch of tiny seeds, right? Whip up this tasty breakfast-worthy pudding by mixing seeds with a cup of milk (soy, almond, or cow’s), a dash of vanilla, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Let the mixture sit for a few hours (or overnight) and watch the chia seeds create a creamy, pudding-like texture.
3. Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
These gluten-free beauties are far from ginormous (gut-busting) bakery muffins. Instead of a carb-fest of processed sugar and white flour, these healthy little guys are made with brown rice flour, flax seeds, and applesauce. They’re sweetened with dried dates and topped with fresh blueberries and sliced almonds. Healthy enough for seconds, we think.
4. Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Is your breakfast style more savory than sweet? With just a tiny bit of olive oil and plenty of veggies and protein, this bowl is the real breakfast of champions. Pro tip: If your stomach isn’t ready for so much protein (egg, cheese, and quinoa) in the morning, this dish would make a bomb-diggety lunch or dinner, too.
5. Charred Tomatoes with Fried Eggs on Garlic Toast
Elevate your breakfast ritual with this flavorful take on eggs and toast. Rub slices of whole-wheat toast with garlic and a touch of olive oil, then top ‘em with charred tomatoes and fried (or poached) eggs.
6. Banana-Apple Buckwheat Muffins
Who needs sugar or white flour when you can make delicious, healthy muffins out of buckwheat flour, mashed banana, apples, walnuts, and not much else? With plenty of fiber and healthy fats, and a bit of protein (from the eggs and buckwheat), these wholesome pastries will keep you full all morning.
7. Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl
Loaded with bananas, chia seeds, almond milk, raw almonds, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and dried fruit, this breakfast is a veritable superfood spectacular. Since most of the work takes place the night before, it’s ideal for busy mornings.
8. Wholesome Winter Fruit Granola
Pre-packaged granola (and especially granola bars) are often loaded with sugar, preservatives, and other unsavory ingredients that won’t exactly help you recharge after a decadent holiday season. The solution? Make your own! This easy recipe contains just whole grains, a tiny bit of oil and maple syrup, and nuts and dried fruit for flavor.