Just for kicks this list came together and I thought, "hey, it's a new year, go for it!" I hope this sentiment lasts for many months and years to come.
In no particular order (maybe because the photos coordinate better), here are some entrees, soups and salads. And in case you're wondering, the first photo is blood orange carpaccio with green olives. Just slice up peeled oranges, sprinkle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and green olives. It's amazing!
Pan Roasted Mushrooms with Wild Rice - Pan seared mushrooms are gifts from the gods. Add garlic, parsley and wild rice and consider it a one pot meal!
Tortilla Soup - Mexican food if the spice is held down low goes over well with the youn'ins, so give them soup that they'll have fun dipping chips into and you can feel good about what is hidden in that tomatoey puree.
Seared Portabello Burgers with Wasabi Mayo - We are a big fan of mushrooms in our family and this is a quick, delicious and crowd-pleasing "burger". Leave out the wasabi for the kids but load up on it for the adults, it really make magic with the mushrooms.
Kale Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing - So you think you need to eat more kale, well good for you. Here's the salad to ease into that new resolution: cheese, honey mustard, and radishes. Yes, you can, and it's still healthy!
Chickpea and Tomato Tagine - Tagines are Moroccan for stews, but they usually include dried fruits of a sort that create a depth of flavor that adults will appreciate and kids will just slurp up.
Spicy Lentil Lettuce Cups - Lettuce subs for taco shells and the lentils spiciness can be adjusted so kids can have fun eating "cups made of lettuce." These are also great appetizers for parties (did anyone say Superbowl?)
Radish, Carrot and Snow Pea Asian Slaw - Never underestimate the power of visuals for getting people to eat food they think is "healthy." Pretty, colorful food will always lure people, so make your salads gorgeous and delicious like this one and you've won half the battle.
Thai Corn Chowder - Easy to make when you have Thai Kitchen Curry paste in your fridge. And while I meant to select vegetarian dishes only, this soup is wonderful without the shrimp, so ignore it if you like!
Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms - Stuffed mushrooms are such fun little packages to pop in your mouth, and they are not just for parties and appetizers. Make it a meal using quiona and sun-dried tomatoes and it's a party in your mouth!
Fennel, Celery and Fresh Herb Salad - Crisp and cool, refreshingly sweet and tart, this salad is the perfect palate cleanser with any rich entree or a great accompaniment to a hearty soup.
Chickpea Soup with Thyme - Chilly winter days call for hearty warming foods and this soup has it all: great flavor, simple ingredients, quick prep. Add bread and you're set for those polar vortex blasts!
Naked Apple and Carrot Slaw - Making exciting salads in the winter time (when your resolution to eat healthy means more vegetables) can seem like a daunting task. Think outside the box with this apple and carrot slaw, only deemed a "slaw" for the cut of the vegetables. Let those sweet carrot and apple juices shine and be surprised how good "naked" taste!
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate - Butternut squash is easy to love and makes for a silky soup base. If you can find pomegranates, grab them now, the season is short. But the little seeds or anvils are such fun as the garnish on this soup!
Waldorf Salad for the 21st Century - Apples, raisins, walnuts and cabbage, oh my! Yes, this is a winning combo especially with a honey-mustard dressing that the kids will lick off the plate. So trick them into eating some cabbage and feel good about eating winter vegetables and fruits!
Winter Vegetable Saute with Caraway - Cabbage when sautéed sweetens and mellows and red cabbage especially so. Here's a quick and easy cabbage and onion sauté that throws in some Scandinavian influences with a little caraway, one of my favorite flavors.
French Lentil Soup - It sounds so cliche and boring but once you make French Lentil soup again you will remember why everyone makes it - it's so delicious! Simple to make, easy on the palate and warming to your body and soul, don't forget the splash of vinegar (red or balsamic) since it is what makes this soup sing!
I hope this at least gives you some inspiration and ideas to build on as you incorporate more vegetables and lighter eating into your diet in 2015!