5.5 min readPublished On: January 1, 2024

New Year’s Resolution For January

New year’s Resolution Journey

Turn the page, another year is in the books. 

So, what do you have planned for 2024? Perhaps another resolution to eat healthier? Maybe shed a few pounds? If so, read on. 

One way of slimming down and improving your health is by consuming more fruits and vegetables, reducing processed foods, drinking more water, and managing portion sizes. Another way is to know what you are eating by getting back to spending more time in the kitchen creating more dishes from scratch, using more organic ingredients, or at least eating more wholesome foods. It’s time to be more proactive with your selection of ingredients and cooking methods and look for ways to maximize the natural flavors of ingredients. When you put more love into your food, it tends to show you more love in return! 

Eating out of convenience

We will examine convenient options to create a healthier batch of recipes for you. Remember, since you are in control of the ingredients you can make substitutions, experiment with different spices, like different chilies, and add cumin, ginger, and coriander and other seasonings. Protein options such as shrimp, mahi mahi, ground turkey, or firm tofu may also be substituted.

Spiced chicken cauliflower rice bowl

1 // Spice Blend 

1/2 tsp. ground smoked chipotle chile (2 gm)

1/2 tsp. fine pink sea salt (2.8 gm)

1 Tbsp. ground dehydrated lime zest* (5 gm)

2 tsp. garlic powder (7 gm)

1 tsp. onion powder (3 gm)

1/2 tsp. ground ancho chile powder (1.8 gm)

2 Tbsp. paprika (14 gm)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin (2 gm)

1/2 tsp. hickory smoked sea salt (2.7 gm)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (1 gm)

*For dehydrated lime zest, peel 1 lime with a sharp peeler, put in air fryer set on dehydrate (125 F) for 2 hours or leave out at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours depending on humidly and temperature.  

Add lime zest and remainder of spice mix to a spice grinder and process until fully ground and homogenous.

*For dehydrated lime zest, peel 1 lime with a sharp peeler, put in air fryer set on dehydrate (125 F) for 2 hours or leave out at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours depending on humidly and temperature.  

Add lime zest and remainder of spice mix to a spice grinder and process until fully ground and homogenous.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 gm

Servings: 41

Amount per serving 

Calories: 2

Total fat: .1 gm

Saturated fat: 0

Sodium: 40 gm

Total carbohydrates: .4 gm

Protein: .1 gm

2 // Chicken marinade

14 oz. diced chicken tenders into ½ inch (397 gm)

2 tsp. roasted garlic pulp* (20 gm)

1/8 tsp. lime juice (2.5 gm)

1/2 tsp. seasoning blend (5 gm)

1/2 tsp. tomato paste (4.5 gm)

5 spritz olive oil (2.5 gm)

*To make roasted garlic you must first cut off the non-root end of a small to medium head of garlic, spritz lightly with extra virgin olive oil on an oven-proof pan and roast for 20 minutes at 375 F. Let cool. When cooled, pulp should be soft enough squeeze out. 

Squeeze out the roasted garlic into a bowl and mash till smooth with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix till completely coated. Allow to marinate at least 1 hour (but best overnight). Prepare an oven-proof pan by lightly spraying it with olive oil. Lay in an even layer and back in a preheated oven of 475 F. for 12 to 15 minutes, or until an internal temp of 165 F.  

Roasted chicken tenders Nutrition facts

Serving size: 11 oz (312 gm)

Servings: 2

Amount per serving

Calories: 248

Total fat: 4.3 gm

Saturated fat: .2

Sodium: 204 mg

Total carbohydrates: 6.2 gm

Protein: 47.5 gm

3 // Roasted corn & baby tomato salad

1  large ear corn (130 gm) or 1 cup of frozen kernels

2.5 gm olive oil

1/2 cup baby pear tomatoes (80 gm)

1/4 cup red bell peppers (38 gm)

1/4 cup scallions (17.5 gm)

1 tsp. jalapeno (optional) (5 gm)

1/8 tsp. lime juice (2.5 gm)

1/4 tsp. olive oil (2.5 gm)

Roasted corn & baby tomato salad Nutrition Facts

Serving size: ½ cup (132.5 gm)

Servings: 2

Amount per serving

Calories: 114

Total fat: 2.5 gm

Saturated fat: .4

Sodium: 19 mg

Total carbohydrates: 23 gm

Protein: 4 gm

Queso fresco Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 Tbsp. (25 gm)

Servings: 2

Amount per serving

Calories: 71

Total fat: 5.4 gm

Saturated fat 3.6

Sodium: 196 mg

Total carbohydrates: 0 gm

Protein: 5.4 gm

4 // Black beans 

1/4 cup raw black beans (42 gm)

2 cups water (708 gm)

1 Tbsp. special seasoning (9 gm)

Cook in a 2-quart saucepan on medium high heat for 25 to 30 minutes till tender. Drain off the excess liquid and drain completely.

Cooked black beans Nutrition Facts

Serving size: ½ cup (106 gm)

Servings: 2

Amount per serving

Calories: 132

Total fat: .5 grams

Saturated fat: 0

Sodium: 180 mg

Total carbohydrates: 23.7 gm

Protein: 8.86 gm

5 // Riced Cauliflower 

3 cups riced cauliflower* (360 gm)

1 spritz olive oil (5 gm)

1/8 tsp. lime juice (2.5 gm)

1 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro (3 gm)

*You can rice your own cauliflower by using the big eye of a box grater and grating over a bowl held in position by a moist towel under bowl. 

Preheat oven to 475 F. Spritz an oven-proof pan with 5 sprays of olive oil. Lay riced cauliflower evenly on the pan. Squeeze lime juice over the cauliflower. Cook in oven for 15 to 18 minutes. When finished cooking, let cool slightly, then put into a bowl and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro and mix till combined. 

Riced Cauliflower Nutrition facts

Serving size: 1½ c (175 gm)

Servings: 2

Amount per serving

Calories: 64

Total fat: 2.5 gm

Saturated fat: 0.4 gm

Sodium: 53 mg

Total carbohydrates: 9.5 gm

Protein: 3.5 gm

6 // Avocado crema 

1/4 Hass avocado (25 gm)

1 Tbsp. greek yogurt whole milk (37.5 gm) 

1/2 tsp. cilantro, trimmed leaves only (5 gm)

1/2 tsp. organic blue agave (5 gm)

1/4 tsp. lime juice (5 gm)

1 Tbsp. water (15 gm)

Add all ingredients in a small blender and blend till smooth. Spoon into a small bowl and cover completely with plastic wrap or film so no air gets in. Place in refrigerator (can be made the night before). 

Avocado Crema Nutrition facts

Serving size: 1 tbsp. (32.5 gm)

Servings: 2

Amount per serving

Calories: 19

Total fat: .04 gm

Saturated fat: 0.3 gm

Sodium: 7 mg

Total carbohydrates: 1.9 gm

Protein: 1.9 gm

Chipotle chicken  rice bowl 

(no tortillas) 19 oz. serving

4 oz marinated chicken

4 oz tomato salsa

4 oz guacamole

4 oz corn salad

4 oz brown rice

4 oz black beans

2 oz sour cream

1 oz shredded jack cheese

Total calories: 1075

Total fat: 55 gm

Protein: 57 gm

Carbs: 89 gm

Sodium: 2180 mg

Fit Recipe Totals: 

Nutrition facts:

Serving size: 17 oz (489 gm)

Servings: 1 

Amount per serving

Calories: 648

Total fat: 15.24 gm

Saturated fat: 4.9 gm

Sodium: 659 mg

Total carbohydrates: 64.7 gm

Protein: 71.1 gm

Notable swaps: 

Cauliflower rice for brown rice.

Avocado crema for sour cream and guacamole.

Combining the corn salad and tomato salsa.

Adding more chicken to increase protein.

Making spice blend with lime zest and smoked salts to increase the flavor exponentially.

FOR QUESO FRESCO ADD JACK CHEESE to add texture and flavor to dish with less of it and to add protein, as well.

About the Author: Louis Santiago

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