New dishes for the New Year

Starting the New Year off right almost always involves setting resolutions in the realms of health and fitness. The winter holidays make it easy to binge on all things sweet and savory, so now is the time to incorporate healthier, leaner recipes into your diet to prepare for 2013.

When planning a healthy meal, add in greens from the start. Don’t feel limited to serving salad – you can find plenty of great soups and appetizers that pack in plenty of nutrients and flavor without all of the extra calories, such as this three-greens soup with spinach gremolata. It calls for a low-sodium stock, and plenty of vitamin-rich leafy greens, making it a great base to any menu.

A hearty main course doesn’t have to be chock-full of carbohydrates. Opt for entrees that focus on proteins, like this recipe for garlic salmon.  This no-fuss dish is kicked up a notch with fresh herbs and lemon juice, and takes just 40 minutes to prepare, including cook time. Salmon freezes well, so if you make a little extra, you can reserve the rest for another meal.

If you prefer chicken over salmon, try this healthier take on chicken salad with warm snow peas. This Asian-inspired take is mayo-free, and has a nice balance of textures between the tender chicken, snow peas, and chopped cashews.

No meal is truly complete without dessert, so treat yourself to something guilt-free like deep dark chocolate biscotti. Sneaking in ingredients like flax seeds and avoiding oil help to make this a perfect 100-calorie after-dinner treat.

For more on healthy tips for the New Year, visit AHealthierMichigan.org. Healthy Blue Xtras members are eligible for savings at grocers and other retailers throughout the state. For the full list, visit: bcbsm.com/xtras.

Photo credit: EatingWell.com

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