4 Healthy Recipes That Any Newbie Cook Can Do

Over the holiday season, you might have too much sweets or probably attended a couple of reunions which kinda led to a few pounds gained. But don’t fret – if you want to bounce back from gaining a bit of holiday weight, or maybe even if you just want to live a healthier lifestyle, there are a lot of healthy meal recipes to choose from. The good news? You don’t have to be an experienced cook to be able to make these healthy treats!

Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese

greek yogurt mac and cheese Photo credit: claudiascookbook.com

Not only is this dish healthy, it’s amazingly convenient to make too – just 10 minutes tops! Trade your nutritionless mac and cheese for this healthier alternative. It’s as easy as replacing some of the cheese with Greek yogurt, and mixing in spinach for added flavor and fiber. This recipe can make 4-6 servings, so you can store the rest in the fridge and eat it as a snack later. 

What You Need:

  • 8 oz. (about 2 cups) elbow pasta
  • 8 oz. (about 2 cups) shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Cook the macaroni as per the package’s instructions. That’s about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Fill the bottom of a strainer with spinach leaves, and pour pasta on top. Drain the pasta, but save ½ cup of pasta water.
  3. Place the cooked macaroni and spinach back in the pot.
  4. Add ¼ cup of the pasta water to the pot, and stir until the cheese is melted. Mix in the greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt, onion powder and pepper until smooth and creamy. Serve.

Shrimp and Zucchini Stir-Fry

zucchini-and-shrimp-stir-fry Photo credit: rasamalaysia.com

This sweet and spicy flavorful concoction is perfect for a dinner to come home to after a long day at work. It’s rich in potassium and iodine, and blends pretty simple ingredients that are enough to tickle your tastebuds and fill your tummy.

What You Need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium to large zucchini, halved then sliced into half-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb raw jumbo shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • salt
  • sweet chili sauce, 3-5 tablespoons diluted with about 3-7 tablespoons of water, or to taste*
  • a few drops of Sesame oil.

Instructions:

  1. Set a wok or large frying pan to high heat, then swirl in vegetable oil. Add garlic and cook briefly for a few seconds. Add the zucchini slices and drizzle soy sauce. Stir fry until tender, then season with a little ground pepper.
  2. Set the Zucchini to one side of the wok. Add oil if the wok is starting to dry up. Place the shrimp in one layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. After a minute, stir-fry with the Zucchini until the shrimp is cooked.
  3. Stir in sweet chili sauce and a few drops of sesame oil. Serve.

Italian Style Stir-Fry

italian-sausage-stirfryPhoto credit: bravoforpaleo.com

Cut down on carbs and fill yourself up with protein and nutrients that your body needs to get through an energetic day. This dish is loaded with lots of nutrients, from the bell pepper’s vitamin C to the protein in the sausages. The best part is, it’s definitely easy to make!

What You Need:

  • 1 package pre-cooked Italian chicken sausage, cut in 1″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 large bell pepper (or 6 mini sweet peppers), sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large non stick skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage pieces and cook until brown on both sides. Take the sausages out of the pan and set aside on a plate.
  2. Add another 1 tbsp olive oil in the same skillet and heat. Raise heat to medium high and add minced garlic, peppers and broccoli. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Season with oregano, pepper and salt. Add the sausage back in the pan and toss. Cook all ingredients together until vegetables become slightly crisp. Serve.

Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

skinny-cheesy-chicken-and-rice-casserole Photo credit: iowagirleats.com

This 30-minute recipe is perfect for kitchen newbies who want a scrumptious lunch, without feeling guilty about how unhealthy the meal was. If you’re a big fan of the cheesy chicken and broccoli, this healthier casserole alternative might just suit your taste. 

What You Need:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 (8-oz) packages sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups fat-free-milk
  • 1 (16-oz) package steam-in-bag broccoli florets
  • 1 (5.3-oz) container fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¾ cup Mexican style cheese blend

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the casserole dish with cooking spray. Cook broccoli in a microwave by following instructions on the package then set it aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushroom and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are becoming tender, then add cubed chicken. Cook until chicken is good for serving. Drain the pan if needed.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir for one minute. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the broccoli set aside earlier and heat for about 1 minute. Add yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper and then stir.
  5. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Serve.

Set your mind to practice a healthy lifestyle by beginning with what you eat. These dishes are not difficult to make, and they’re delicious too! But if you want to make a lot of these dishes to serve for guests, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a skilled caterer to do the job for you. Log on to Gawin and we’ll happily connect you to reliable and trusted caterers!


written by Bea Luna