New year, new recipes

Published 4:27 am Thursday, January 2, 2020

Whether you’re planning on hosting a party for the New Year or looking to start of the year right, here are some affordable and healthy appetizers, main dishes and desserts to add to your recipe book. All recipes are courtesy of the U.S Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate.


This first recipe is easy for an appetizer or for a small lunch to take to work. It’s vegetarian and low in calories.

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Crunchy Vegetable Wraps

What you’ll need:

  • 4 tbs. cream cheese, low-fat (whipped)
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • ½ tbs. ranch seasoning mix
  • ¼ cup broccoli (washed and chopped)
  • ¼ cup carrots (peeled and grated)
  • ¼ cup zucchini (washed, cut into small strips)
  • ¼ cup summer squash (yellow, washed and cut into small pieces)
  • ½ tomato (diced)
  • 1/8 cup green bell pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 2 tbs. chives (finely chopped)


  1. Stir ranch seasoning and cream cheese together in a small bowl. Place in refrigerator to chill.
  2. Steam broccoli in the microwave for approximately 1 minute with 1 tbs. of water.
  3. Spread chilled cream cheese onto flour tortilla. Spread vegetables over cream cheese and roll tortilla tightly.
  4. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.


Next is a main dish that is loaded with flavor, but won’t break the bank and is super healthy.

Apple Corn Chili

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut to 1/2″ cubes)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 15.2 oz can yellow corn (no-salt-added, drained)
  • 2 red apples, such as Braeburn, Empire, or Fuji (chopped, skin on)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)
  • 15 can 15 oz. can black beans (no-salt-added, drained and rinsed)
  • 4 1/2 ounce can diced green chiles (drained)
  • 2 teaspoon chicken bouillon (sodium-free)
  • 2 cup water


  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tbs. olive oil; add chicken and brown for at least 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in the same pot and add the onions and garlic. Sauté until soft.
  3. Add corn and sauté until golden brown. Then add the apples, cumin, cayenne pepper (if desired). Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Set aside about one cup of the mixture. Puree remainder in food processer or blender, adding a portion of water if needed. Return to the pot.
  5. Add browned chicken, black beans, chiles, bouillon and water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees.


This next recipe is a little pricier than the last two, but well worth the nutritional benefits.

Baked Cod with Vegetables

What you’ll need:

  • 4 4-ounce white fish fillets (cod)
  • 2 cup mixed vegetables (frozen)
  • 1 onion (small, diced)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or fresh lemon, sliced thin)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes (dried or fresh chopped)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Lay out separate pieces of aluminum foil for each fish. Separate fish fillets and lay in the center of each aluminum square.
  3. Combine frozen vegetables and onion in a bowl and mix. Spoon vegetables around the fillets.
  4. Squeeze lemon juice over the fish (or top with a lemon slice) and add a touch of parsley.
  5. Fold ends of foil together to form a leak-proof seal.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes and serve immediately.


For dessert, who doesn’t love a good s’more? Why not make your s’more a touch healthier by adding some fruit? It’s inexpensive and doesn’t leave you feeling as guilty after you eat.

Strawberry S’mores  

What you’ll need:

  • Strawberries
  • Strawberry yogurt
  • Graham crackers
  • Dark chocolate


  1. Rinse strawberries in water and slice.
  2. Add strawberry yogurt and sliced strawberries to graham cracker.
  3. Top with a small piece of dark chocolate.
  4. Enjoy immediately.