Make It Yourself: Ramen
Gone are the days when ramen meant instant noodles and a sodium-laden seasoning packet. Not only is homemade ramen easy and healthy, but it's ready in just a half hour. The base of our vegetarian version is a rich miso broth, flavored with ginger and garlic. Earthy mushrooms and a creamy soft-boiled egg make it a substantial main. If you can't find fresh ramen noodles, use dried—just ditch that salty flavor packet.
Coconut-Kale Smoothie With Ginger and Mint
When it comes to a healthy breakfast, smoothies can be sneaky. Often times, they're loaded with sugar thanks to fruit juice or honey. Instead, thin out your smoothie with coconut water: packed with electrolytes and a lot less natural sugar than juice. Fresh ginger, fresh mint, and lime juice pack in flavor and contain an array of health benefits. If you have extra coconut water, try adding a splash to regular water for a boost of flavor and electrolytes.
Instead of opting for ground turkey as a healthier alternative to beef, try bison. It contains less total fat and saturated fat than 80 percent lean beef, and has more protein, too. When you build your burger, skip the cheese and condiments and opt for tomato slices, red onion, and lettuce. Or, switch it up and use pea shoots or microgreens instead. Instead of mayonnaise, try a slice or two of avocado: it's filled with healthy fats and will provide that creaminess you crave.
Arugula and Apple Salad With Spiced Toasted Pepitas
Pepitas are often given the sweet treatment—tossed with honey and baked into a brittle, or added to a sugar-y granola. But the versatile seed doesn't need sugar to make it shine in a simple salad. We'll prove it to you with this healthy recipe, in which they get roasted until golden and toasted and then tossed with coriander, cumin, cayenne, and just a pinch of salt. Make more than you need for this salad, and save them to use throughout the week.
Once you get the hang of homemade chicken stock, you might never go back to the store-bought kind. When you make your own stock, you can control the flavors and it often ends up to be more affordable. This recipe uses chicken wings, which work well since they’re mostly just skin and bones, but if you have a leftover roast chicken, an equal quantity of bones would work just as well. Smart storage tip: Many recipes call for 4 cups of stock, so it can be convenient to invest in quart containers for efficient cooking.
Honey Mustard Snack Mix
If there were a competition for favorite party food, snack mix would probably be number one. It’s like a choose your own adventure book, where every ending leads to deliciousness. This one combines the usual suspects (peanuts, wheat cereal squares, and pretzels) with exciting new ones like Bugles and wasabi peas. The real question is: why haven’t these been staples in every snack mix before? If you’ve made the mix in advance and want to re-crisp it, toast in the oven at 300ºF until hot.
Hot Cocoa Mix
When you’re a kid it’s all about hot cocoa, but then as an adult? It’s all cappuccinos and matcha and Earl Grey. It’s time to bring cocoa back, and this homemade mix is up for the task. The key to a great mix is ingredients that dissolve easily: instant nonfat dry milk and confectioners’ sugar will mix effortlessly into hot milk. Plus, confectioners’ sugar contains cornstarch, which makes the cocoa thicker. Add a hint of nutmeg for subtle spice and salt to balance the sweetness, and you’ve got a cocoa that’s adult and sure to make hot chocolate a regular treat.
Pickled Winter Vegetables
Cucumbers get all the fame in the pickle world, but come winter when cucumbers aren’t in season, radishes, fennel, beets, and butternut squash are all game to get brined. If you don’t want the beets to stain the other vegetables, you can either substitute yellow beets or don’t include them at all. The best part about pickles is that as long as you stick to the ratios, the recipe will work. Once you feel comfortable with the method, you can switch up the spices or vegetables to your liking.
Slow Cooker Apple-and-Pear Sauce
Easy to find at the grocery store? Apple sauce. Not easy? Apple and pear, together. Enter your slow cooker, a simple list of ingredients, and a hands-off method for an easy and delicious recipe. When you combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker, it might not seem like enough water, but due to the way a slow cooker works, the steam from the cooked apples and pears will mix in to make sure it’s all good and saucy. Two cooking tips: make sure to remove the seeds before cooking the apples and pears, and cool the apple sauce completely before refrigerating.
Beans from a can are one of the great inventions of the modern world, but beans slow-simmered with bacon, Parmesan, rosemary, and garlic? That has almost no competition. The recipe works for any type of bean, but it’s best with something mild-flavored like navy or pinto. Almost any meat, braised pork, roasted chicken, or seared steak would all be at home alongside these deliciously-flavored beans. A salad with bitter greens would balance all the rich flavors well—try a mix of arugula, endive, or radicchio.