A new year brings promises from most of our lips to make healthier choices. Food is an obvious place to start, and it can be an easy place, too, if you make just a few small changes. One of those can be simply adding more fresh vegetables to every meal.
Megan Myers, a Texas foodie who will take over as Texas Co-op Power food editor next month, writes Stetted, a food blog. “I focus on fresh ingredients and uncomplicated flavors, with spins that keep mealtime interesting,” Myers says. “Real food is possible, even for busy moms like me.”
For her, learning to cook healthier meals “was the evolution of figuring out the best flavors from the ingredients we have here in Texas. I also want to make sure my kids are experiencing a wide range of foods, and cooking healthier at home helps balance out those post-soccer and party meals.”
Myers’ Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Chickpeas and Kale, served warm, makes a light, healthy meal or a flavorful side for a lean protein. Her Spicy Glazed Brussels Sprouts are another great way to add more fresh winter vegetables to your diet.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Chickpeas and Kale
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided use
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided use
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas
2 cups packed torn kale
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss diced sweet potatoes in 1 teaspoon olive oil, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and paprika. Roast 18 minutes, stirring halfway through.
3. Meanwhile, pour chickpeas into a colander over the sink and let drain. Put the kale into a large bowl and set aside.
4. In a small saucepan, combine red onion, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, honey, black pepper and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and heat over low. Once warmed, slowly whisk in remaining olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Keep over very low heat until potatoes are done.
5. Pour cooked potatoes on top of kale, then add drained chickpeas. Whisk dressing one more time, then pour over the chickpeas.
6. Stir salad to coat evenly, taking care to not mash the potatoes. Serve once the kale has softened a bit.
Spicy Glazed Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons gochujang (red chile paste)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim ends from Brussels sprouts and halve or quarter.
2. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together gochujang, honey and soy sauce. Pour over roasted sprouts and stir to coat. Return pan to the oven 5 more minutes, until sauce is sticky and caramelized.
You can find gochujang in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores, and it can be easily ordered online.