With the NaturallyCurly No Sugar Challenge coming to an official end on January 19th, I know our bodies are saying "Whew! Thank you!" But maybe, this time away from refined sugars has been really helping you to get back on a healthier track meal by meal?
I know it has helped me a ton!
The first few days it felt like I had major brain fog, but the beginning of this week has proved to be a bit more bearable, and I am noticing I crave sugary things way less! I even gave up my coveted Old Fashioned's and sweetened creamer in my coffee, and my stomach and skin are singing! So toast to a new lifestyle!
If you would like to stick with your no sugar challenge through the new year, you got it! The time is now sis. But if you want to just try out some healthier meal options, with small amounts of sugar, you got that too! I know my biggest challenge from this little lifestyle restart was struggling to find dinner options, so I gathered some of my favorite recipes to share with you all!
All recipes can have meat added in, meat taken out, fruits substituted, or wrapped in lettuce to make them gluten-free.
Check them out, and let me know what you think!
Photo Courtesy of @downshiftology
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups, brussels sprouts, shaved or finely sliced
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups (packed) baby spinach
- 4 large eggs
- 1 large avocado, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the shaved brussels sprouts and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently. When the brussels sprouts have softened, add the zucchini and spices and stir for another minute. When the vegetables have all cooked, add the spinach and stir until it wilts. Flatten the mixture and crack the eggs evenly spaced on top. Transfer the saute pan to the oven and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking. Garnish with ¼ sliced avocado per serving.4.
5. Shrimp & Sausage Skillet (Can Y'all tell I have a thing for one pot meals? lol)
Photo Courtesy of @heatherlikesfood
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 lime, more for serving
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or fish sauce
- 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
- 2 packages of ramen noodles, seasoning discarded (look for wheat or gluten-free options)
- 1 tbsp Lemongrass Paste
- 1 tbsp Red Curry Paste
- 1/2 piece ginger, peeled
- 2 C chicken broth
- 1 can coconut milk
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in curry paste and cook for 1 minute until very fragrant. Stir coconut milk, chicken broth, ginger, and lemongrass paste into the curry paste until well combined. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low and gently cook for 5 minutes. Stir sliced chicken and ramen noodles into the broth, bring to a simmer, return heat to low and cook just until the chicken and noodles are cooked-- about 3 minutes. Remove a chunk of ginger, and stir juice from 1/2 of a lime, soy sauce, and fresh cilantro into the soup and serve immediately.
7. Vegan Gyros
Photo Courtesy of @thevegan8
For the pasta
- 14 oz bag of gluten-free brown rice fettucini pasta (or your preferred pasta)
- 1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups (480g) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup (64g) raw cashew butter w/NO added oils OR a heaping 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 teaspoons (10g) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons (20g) brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- optional: 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- optional: any veggies you may want to add
Follow each step closely to have this ready in 20 minutes. You will first need to start your pasta before the sauce. Add 12 cups of very hot water to a large pot and put the lid on (it will come to a boil faster). Turn to high heat and let it come to a boil. Mine took about 10 minutes before it was boiling (yours may be faster). Once it's boiling add the pasta and salt and quickly stir it around to loosen it up. The salt is important because it flavors the pasta. Cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Yours will vary depending on the pasta used. While waiting on the water to boil, add all the "alfredo sauce" ingredients to a blender. Blend until very smooth. It will be very runny, don't worry as it will thicken up a lot when cooking. Check your water to see if boiling yet. Add the sauce to a large pan over high heat. Once it starts bubbling all over, immediately turn to medium-low heat and whisk continually while letting it cook 3-4 minutes until thickened. You want to continually whisk around the bottom and sides, so the flour doesn't clump. Don't walk away from it! You don't want to overcook because it will thicken up a lot as it cools. Add any veggies if you like. I sometimes add peas and carrots from the freezer and let them cook a minute in the sauce. Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse with water to stop the cooking. Brown rice pasta can stick really badly, so I rinse really well and serve immediately. If using regular gluten pasta, you don't need to rinse it. Add to a plate, then add the sauce and garnish with extra dried Italian herbs or red pepper flakes or anything else you like.
11. Paleo Tacos
Photo Courtesy of @withsaltandwit
- 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup light balsamic vinaigrette
- 4 medium zucchinis, spiralized or cut with a madeleine
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, optional
- 1/2 cup lightly packed basil, julienned
In a large bowl, combine the halved cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and balsamic vinaigrette. Add the zucchini and mozzarella to the bowl. toss to combine and set aside for 10 minutes for flavors to combine. Divide mixture between 4 plates. top with julienned basil and serve immediately.
Here's to healthy eating, physical wellness, and all of the self-care in the new year!
Enjoy these recipes, and please let us know what you think in the comments below, or share your fave quick, healthy meals with us on Facebook!