Easy, Yummy Recipes for Post-Splurge Season

(c) hemeroskopion - fotolia.com

(c) hemeroskopion – fotolia.com

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles on this topic floating around the interwebs. I love reading recipes, so I’ve looked at almost all of them. But there are two major problems with most of these articles:

1. The recipes require weird ingredients or foods I don’t like
2. The recipes are way too freaking complicated

We’ve already established that I eat like a two-year old. I never eat salmon or kale. I just don’t like them. And I don’t even know where I would get barley or pomegranate seeds. Yes, yes, I know, they’re probably at my local grocery store or at least at Whole Foods, but at this time of the year, the extra effort is just not happening.

Speaking of which, I’ve spent the last two and a half months making all kinds of complicated foods that require lengthy recipes. I’ve spent hours putting together fancy outfits and complicated hair styles and putting on sparkly makeup. I don’t want to do that anymore! You know what I want to do? Eat a bowl of cereal in my sweatpants. That’s easy. Or order takeout. Also easy, plus I don’t have to wash the bowl and spoon afterwards.

So, long story short, most of these recipe collections are just not happening for me. Sure, I’d like to eat healthier now that the holidays are over, but not if it means driving 45 minutes to Whole Foods so I can hunt down barley to make some weird kind of dish that takes three pages of instructions.

Thus, here is my post-holiday gift to you: a collection of healthy, healing recipes that use normal-people ingredients which can be found at Giant Eagle without asking the employees for help, that whip up easily, and that store beautifully in the freezer for leftovers (because you know that tomorrow you’ll be even more tired than you were today).

You’re welcome.

1. Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup
Use 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme instead of the 1 teaspoon fresh thyme the recipe calls for if, like me, you don’t want to buy an entire bunch of thyme when you’re only going to use 1 teaspoon of it just this once. You can also eliminate the chives if, like me, you don’t want crunchy stuff floating around in your soup. Plus, then you don’t have to buy chives.

2. Easy Veggie Quiche
I recently learned how to make quiche, and not only is it a supremely fun word to say, but you can also put pretty much anything you’d like into them. I made one with leftover hash browns and sausage from the previous day’s breakfast, and it was delish. Not super healthy, of course, but sub in whatever veggies you like, and it will be. There’s no link for this recipe because it is honestly the most ridiculously easy thing ever.  Here’s how you make it:
Use a pie shell you’ve purchased from the store. Put into the defrosted pie shell any leftover veggies you have. If you don’t have any leftover veggies, saute fresh ones in about 1 tablespoon of oil until they’re soft. Then put them in the pie shell. Mix 3 eggs together with 2 cups of milk (bonus points if you use skim, but 2 percent is fine). Dump the mixture into the pie shell on top of the veggies. Then dump a bunch of shredded cheese on top (bonus points if it’s low fat), and cook it in a oven heated to 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until it’s not jiggly. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Super easy, right? Plus, you can freeze frozen slices and just defrost them in the fridge the night before for a super-easy breakfast.

3. Healing Hot Chocolate
You probably already have all these ingredients in your house, except maybe the unsweetened cocoa powder (unless you’re like me and always have all kinds of chocolate on hand all the time). You can go make yourself a cup right now, before you finish reading the list. Go ahead! I’ll be here when you’re done.
Bonus points if you use sugar-free maple syrup and skip the whipped cream.

4. Tangy Tuna Salad Wraps
Just use a quick sprinkle of lemon juice and a dash of regular pepper if you don’t have lemon-pepper on hand. Using Greek yogurt instead of mayo makes this much healthier! And you really can’t taste the difference.
Personally, I hate eating this kind of thing as a wrap. It gives me flashbacks to my early days of gluten-freedom when I had to eat sandwiches as lettuce wraps all the time because there was no such thing as GF hamburger buns or soft tortillas. Then I want to cry, because while non-GF people may find it perfectly acceptable to eat the middle of a sandwich on two pieces of lettuce instead of bread every once in a while, when you eat every sandwich that way, and in fact can only eat rolls of lunchmeat that you dip in ketchup, it is a completely abhorrent and pathetic way to live.
To avoid this mental downward spiral, I just put the lettuce in a bowl and the tuna on top and eat it with a fork. If you don’t have these kinds of emotional issues regarding lettuce, then by all means eat it as a wrap.

5. Half-hour Veggie Chilli
Okay, yes, this one has a lot of ingredients. But it’s worth it! And none of the ingredients are weird. If you’re like me and have acid reflux issues, cut out the jalapeno pepper and cut the chilli pepper and cumin in half. Finally, yes, quinoa sounds weird. You might not even know how to pronounce it (it’s KEEN-wah, if you care to know). However, it’s a staple of the GF diet because it’s a good sub for oatmeal. You could probably use steel-cut oats in place of the quinoa, but I promise Giant Eagle has it. It will be near the steel-cut oats, and you cook it the exact same way.

6. De-lish Oatmeal
Speaking of oatmeal…
Again, sub in any fruit and nuts that you want here. The only weirdish ingredient in this one is cider, but really, how hard is it to find cider? You could, however, sub in unsweetened applesauce if the thought of finding cider off season exhausts you (I certainly won’t judge you).
If you’re gluten free, make sure you get certified GF oats. Bob’s Red Mill makes it and is in most grocery stores.

7. Greek Yogurt Parfait
I love parfaits. Not just because of Shrek, but because they’re super delicious. Sub in any fruit and any nuts and this will still be darn tasty and a great mid-day snack.

So that’s that!

As an added bonus, here are some yoga videos for you.  SarahBethYoga (a YouTube channel) is awesome. She has a ton of great routines (I do one of her bedtime routines every night) that are very easy, and she explains exactly how to do everything. The first one is for detox and digestion (it’s 20 minutes long) and the second is to reduce bloating and aid digestion (12 minutes long).  You can definitely take 12 or 20 minutes out of your day to do one of these, and you’ll feel so good afterwards!  Especially if you also indulged in one of these recipes.

What are your favorite foods and exercises to feel good this time of year? I’d love to hear – share in the comments!

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