The holidays are a time of gathering and love celebrated with drinks, food, food and more food. Why wait for the New Year to kick start your healthy resolution? There is no time like the present! Here are some healthy vegetarian recipes to celebrate the New Year in a guilt free fashion with these appetizers, vegan main dishes and healthy dessert recipes.
4 appetizer servings or 2 main-course servings
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (105°F to 110°F)
Extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Stir in the water until it forms a rough dough.
Sprinkle some flour on a counter or cutting board. Turn the dough out onto the board and sprinkle a bit more flour on top. Knead until the dough becomes a smooth ball, 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Roll the dough into a 9×17-inch rectangle and transfer it to the prepared pan. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake 18 to 20 minutes, until golden and crisp.
Meanwhile, combine the mozzarella and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Slice the basil into ribbons and add them to the bowl, along with a drizzle of oil. Season with salt.
Transfer the flatbread to a cutting board. Scatter the mozzarella mixture on top. Cut the flatbread lengthwise, then into triangles. Serve immediately.
Main Dish-Butternut Squash Lasagna
For the butternut squash
2-pound butternut squash (medium)
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
For the lasagna
9 to 12 lasagna noodles (6 to 8 ounces, gluten-free if necessary)
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided, plus additional leaves as desired
Zest of 1/2 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
16 ounces (2 cups) whole milk ricotta cheese
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Pecorino cheese, divided
8 ounces (2 ½ cups) shredded mozzarella cheese, divide
Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boil the squash: Peel and cut the butternut squash into small cubes about 1/2-inch thick. (Go to How to Cut Butternut Squash for a video! A serrated vegetable peeler works best.) Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the squash and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until fork tender (test a piece to see if it is done). Drain, then place in a medium bowl. Mix with the olive oil, kosher salt and garlic powder.
Meanwhile, boil the noodles*: Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the noodles until just before al dente, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Drain the noodles, then drizzle a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Lay the noodles flat onto the sheet, then turn them over so they become coated with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Prepare the ricotta sauce: Add 1 tablespoon chopped sage to a medium bowl and reserve about ½ tablespoon for topping the lasagna. To the bowl, add the lemon zest, nutmeg, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper and milk. Stir.
Layer the lasagna: In a 9” x 13” baking dish, spread ½ cup ricotta sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of noodles, ½ of the cooked squash, scant 2/3 cup cheese sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and ⅓ cup Pecorino cheese. Repeat again: 1 layer of noodles (you may need to cut a noodle in half for the side, depending on your pan), the remaining squash, scant 2/3 cup cheese sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and ⅓ cup Pecorino cheese. Finally, top with noodles (again, you may need to cut a noodle in half for the top layer), then the remaining ricotta sauce spread with a spatula. Sprinkle the entire top with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ⅓ cup Pecorino cheese, and ½ tablespoon sage.
Bake the lasagna: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes, until the top is browned. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and reheated in a 400°F oven. (See make ahead and storage notes below.)
Dessert-Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter*
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heaping ½ teaspoon sea salt
2½ cups almond flour
2½ tablespoons maca powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1½ cups walnuts
2 tablespoons cacao powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
10 soft medjool dates
2 tablespoons water
Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add the almond flour and maca and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan. Place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
Finished bars can also be frozen. Let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temperature.