Healthy dinners to start your year off right

Published on Tue Dec 22 14:33:00 UTC 2009
Hilary Meyer

I've made a New Year's resolution that I think I'm actually going to stick to this year—I'm going to eat healthier. I know that to make this work, I'll need to prepare meals that are packed with healthful ingredients that keep me satisfied—such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables—so that I'm not tempted to reach for junk food.

Since my track record with keeping resolutions isn't good, I'm heading off a stumble right out of the gate by planning a dinner menu chock-full of healthy recipes for the first week of January. Here are some of the healthy winter recipes I'm going to make to keep my resolution alive for more than a couple of days.

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash Cumin and chili powder season a filling of turkey sausage, tomatoes, black beans and Swiss cheese for creamy acorn squash. Serve this stuffed squash with warmed corn tortillas for wrapping up bites of all the tasty ingredients.

Pork, White Bean & Kale Soup Kale is matched up here with white beans and chunks of lean pork tenderloin to create a soup that's satisfying and quick to make. Smoked paprika gives the soup a Spanish flair so some warm bread and sliced Manchego cheese would go well on the side.

Chicken Saute with Mango Sauce Here is one simple technique that guarantees juicy results every time. First, pound the chicken: making it thinner ensures quick and even cooking. Next, dredge the chicken lightly in seasoned flour, which helps it turn deep golden brown when sauteed. After the chicken is cooked, deglaze the skillet with broth, wine or a little water to make a pan sauce. The liquid loosens the flavor-boosting browned bits from the bottom of the pan, making a tastier sauce.

Black Bean-Smothered Sweet Potatoes For a quick and satisfying last-minute supper, it's hard to beat a sweet potato zapped in the microwave. The fragrant filling of beans and tomato adds protein, making it a nutritionally complete entree. Be sure to eat the skin for extra fiber.

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