Eat clean in 2022 with these recipes from 90 percent plant-based chef and Plante Pâtissière owner Cynthia Groseclose
Cynthia Groseclose’s Top 10 Tips for Eating Healthier in the New Year
1. Focus on Flavor. Healthful, whole foods do not need to be bland and boring. Cooking with an abundance of fresh herbs and spices not only adds flavor to dishes but can help you become more creative with your cooking. (Tip: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have a great section of pre-blended spices, such as Rumi Za’atar and Trader Joe’s Green Goddess and Citrus Garlic.
2. Keep a few simple homemade dressings on hand. I often use my dressings as sauces as well, and many of them do not require added oil. Try simple combinations like blending an avocado with lemon juice and herbs, or blending blanched cashews with apple-cider vinegar, garlic, and turmeric. (Tip: Tessamae’s, available at Whole Foods and Harris Teeter, makes great store-bought organic dressings.)
3. Embrace meal planning. Before the start of a busy week, map out what you want to cook. Planning ahead saves you time at the grocery store and unwanted high-calorie and high-fat last-minute solutions.
4. Eat out and make it healthy. Focus on ordering dishes that are raw or very simply prepared and avoid fried foods, cream sauces, and items likely containing added sugar, such as salad dressings.
5. Consciously enjoy your food. Eat slowly and focus on enjoying your food; this allows time for the body to realize it is satisfied. When rushing to eat, it is easy to eat more than you need and end up feeling overfull.
7. Use a healthy fat and some texture to help satisfy cravings for junk food. Healthy fats like avocado or a tahini dressing and toasted pepitas or hemp seeds not only satisfy cravings but offer health benefits.
8. On the weekdays, keep it simple. There is a good reason why sheet pan dinners and bowls are popular. Try combining raw broccoli, kale, red onion, and garlic on a sheet pan with some fresh lemon, herbs, and spices. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. (until there is some color on my vegetables). Serve them with some quinoa or place a piece of salmon on top of the veggies and roast them all together (roast until the fish is flaky and opaque). It will make weeknight dinners quick and easy.
9. Go for beneficial carbohydrates. Incorporate sweet potatoes, quinoa, and lentils make lighter vegetable-focused meals more satisfying and have a host of health benefits.
10. Don’t associate food with shame or guilt. There are ways to make almost every food considered a “guilty pleasure” healthier, but if you occasionally opt for the original version, make sure you enjoy it.