Healthy recipes can easily be found online, but are they also delicious? Are these healthy recipes the kinds of foods you’ll really crave and your family will ask you to make weekly? At Lifelong Wellness, we love eating fantastic and delicious foods. We also love creating amazing recipes that are truly healthy.
We’ve collected a few really tasty and incredibly healthy recipes to share with you. These are dishes that aren’t just good for you – they’re truly delicious too. Perhaps a few of these will fit right into your regular meal plan! We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.
Oil-free Southwest Quinoa Salad.
We caught up with the busy vegan chef, Maximina Santi to see if she would be willing to share one of her favorite healthy recipes with us. Santi owns and operates The Healthy Vegan in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s a vegan restaurant and meal-prep service. She was gracious enough to share her original recipe for this really tasty quinoa salad with us.
Oil-free Southwest Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups of water
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup corn (fresh cut, frozen or canned)
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ cup diced orange bell pepper
- 1 cup packed cilantro, chopped
- 3 diced tomatoes
- 1 small can of sliced black olives
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons liquid amino acids or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
First, dice the red onion, orange bell pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes. Combine all the diced vegetables into a large serving bowl. Add in the black beans, corn, and olives. Set this mixture aside. Then, put one cup rinsed quinoa and two cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer the quinoa over very low heat for 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is simmering, it’s time to make the dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the lime zest, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, liquid amino acids, and apple cider vinegar together until they are well blended. Set the dressing aside.
When the quinoa has finished cooking, allow it to cool completely. Santos recommends pouring it out onto a lined cookie sheet to cool it quickly. After the quinoa has cooled, add it to the diced vegetable mixture in the large serving bowl. Toss it a bit to combine the salad ingredients. Then pour in the dressing and toss it well.
Recipe notes: By itself, this Southwest Quinoa Salad is excellent. However, Santos also recommends experimenting by adding extras like chopped avocado, seeds or tofu if you’d like. I think this would be delightful with all three additions.
Better Banana Pancakes.
Jessica Smith, of Greensburg, Indiana, shared a delicious and healthy recipe with us that she and her family love. It’s a pancake recipe that you can really feel good about serving! Unlike some banana pancake recipes, Jessica’s calls for a bit of gluten-free flour. This addition gives these pancakes a bit more of that traditional pancake texture.
- 4 ripe bananas
- 4 whole eggs
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour blend
- Oil for skillet
Heat a skillet and a small amount of your preferred cooking oil over medium-low heat.
Put the eggs and sliced bananas into a blender and blend them just enough to combine and liquefy the mixture. There shouldn’t be any chunks of banana when it’s blended, but be careful not to overmix. Then add the gluten-free flour blend and blend it lightly again. If the batter seems too runny, add a bit more of the flour blend until it has a consistency that’s just a bit thinner than regular pancake batter.
Pour about ⅛ – ¼ cup of pancake batter onto the heated pan (depending on the desired size of the pancake). Allow it to cook for about 2-3 minutes or until bubbles form around the sides. Then flip it and cook an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side. Serve alone or with fruit on top.
Recipe notes: There are optional tasty variations to this recipe. You can add vanilla extract or cinnamon to the batter for a little variety. If you’re looking for a somewhat healthy dessert, consider adding miniature dark chocolate chips.
My vegan husband and I are always looking for unique vegan restaurants to try when we’re out. Last year, we found this little Egyptian street food restaurant called POTs, in Las Vegas. It’s a cool place with pretty decent food. Everything they make is vegan. Hands down, the best item on their menu is a pita sandwich they call Cauliflower Shawarma.
My husband and I loved this dish so much that I had to try and recreate it at home. Much to my delight, the Cauliflower Shawarma is particularly easy to make and so delicious. Now we have this meal a few times a month at home. It is chock-full of vegetables and flavor. You’ll love this one.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried dill
- Salt to taste
- ¾ cup tahini
- 12 ounces prepared pico de gallo
- 1-2 tablespoons harissa or other spicy red pepper purees
- Juice from half a lemon
- ½ diced cucumber
- 4 whole-grain pita pocket bread, halved
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat. While your pan is heating, wash and dry the cauliflower, then chop it into large, bite-sized pieces. Include the stalks and some of the leaves if you like. Once your pan is hot and the cauliflower is chopped, pour in two tablespoons of cooking oil. (My preference is non-extra-virgin olive oil.) Then add in the chopped cauliflower. As the cauliflower is cooking, sprinkle the teaspoon of fresh or dried dill over the top and some salt. Allow the cauliflower to begin to brown a little before flipping it over. Once it’s a little brown on both sides and becoming a bit tender, cover the pan and turn off the heat so it can continue steaming a bit while you complete the next steps.
To make the sauce, pour the prepared pico de gallo (juices included) into a large serving bowl. Add in the tahini, harissa, lemon juice, and diced cucumber. Stir the mixture well. If it is thick and pasty, add in a bit of water or more lemon juice to thin it out. The consistency should be a nice thick sauce rather than a paste.
Take a halved pita and place a layer of shredded cabbage along the bottom. Then add a layer of the shawarma sauce. After that, add a nice helping of the cauliflower and top it off with more sauce. Serve immediately.
Recipe notes: If you can’t find fresh prepared pico de gallo, just dice up tomatoes, red onions, peppers, cilantro, and salt to use in this recipe. Prepared pico de gallo just makes this simple recipe even easier. Also, adjust the harissa based on your heat preference. Adding the full 2 tablespoons will give this dish a bit of a kick. If you aren’t into spicy foods, consider starting with ½ tablespoon and adding more as you like.
If you’d like to make this gluten-free or limit your carbohydrate intake, serve the cauliflower and sauce on a bed of shredded cabbage and omit the pita entirely.
Middle Eastern Balela Salad.
Another extremely healthy and very delicious dish that I like to make at home is balela. Balela is a fantastic Middle Eastern salad made primarily of beans and herbs, with some other fresh vegetables added. It’s one of those salads that you can make on Monday and eat a serving here and there throughout the week. This bean salad is a real crowd pleaser – great for potlucks!
Middle Eastern Balela Salad
- 2 cans organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3-4 fresh organic tomatoes, diced
- ½ of a small red onion, finely diced or minced
- 1-2 bunches parsley, finely chopped
- 1-2 cups of finely chopped mint
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 dash ground cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions: Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and black beans. Then pour them into a large serving bowl. Dice the organic tomatoes and add them to the beans. Finely dice the red onion and add that to the bowl. Then chop the parsley and mint and add them. Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the other ingredients in the bowl. Add a dash of cayenne pepper and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir all of the ingredients to combine. Taste it and adjust the amount of salt and acid. Add a bit more lemon or cayenne to your liking. Serve it right away or cover and chill for up to a week.
Recipe notes: You can use white vinegar in place of the lemon juice if that’s what you have on hand. Either ingredient will provide just the right amount of acid for this dish. Many people add minced garlic, chopped kalamata olives, lemon zest, bell pepper, or cucumber to this dish. You can customize it as you like to create new flavors.
Make healthy foods! Challenge yourself to add at least one new healthy recipe to your meal plan each month. Perhaps one of these will be your next favorite. Enjoy!
Did you know that eating an anti-inflammatory diet is a key component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Learn how to incorporate healthy, anti-inflammatory ingredients into your family's meals below.