2021 is here! Thank goodness we’re past the apocalyptic year of 2020. If you are like me, you’re planning to keep this year starting and going on a good path. One key to success is knowing what to make for healthy food, another is a plan, and finally accountability. For me these three things really are what help me stay on track. Not knowing what to make was a challenge, so that is the focus of this guide, a list of healthy recipes for the 2021 New Year.
If you can get easy meals out of the way without much hassle, the two big pieces of the equation, accountability and a plan, really aren’t as difficult. One thing that I’ve found too is if you can come up with a list of core recipes, the meal plan isn’t very hard and it makes grocery shopping much easier too! I hate when you have a list of SO much random stuff that you will only use one or two times. A tip is to make a collection of your recipe plans (either print the recipe cards or just keep tabs open, screenshots, etc.), and then make your list of them. If you can make cuisines similar throughout the week, generally you won’t need such a variety of groceries.
This recipe is great because it’s a make-ahead recipe. If you make it the night before it’ll be ready to grab and go the next morning. We did this recipe SO much when my husband was going to the office because he could eat it on his way to work or even just bring it to the office. It’s healthy and HIGH in fiber, protein, and iron.
Personally, smoothies have been a lifesaver in our house. My toddler is pretty picky on vegetables, and dI worry she’s not getting enough nutrients. We do smoothies daily in the morning and I always throw spinach and carrots in. This was one of her favorite recipes and it’s so healthy and easy!
In my house, one of the only breakfast foods that my whole family likes is french toast. This one is great because it sneaks some fruit and nut butter in for added protein. This is easy to make and tastes just like french toast without the added egg. An added bonus is it can be a fun activity to make with kids, let them stuff their own bread.
An easy vegan stovetop oatmeal that is high in fiber, protein, and contains yummy bananas, this dish is easy and delicious! Adding banana to oatmeal helps to naturally sweeten it, and it’s made in 10 minutes or less on the stovetop.
Picky eaters, gluten-free, or just looking for a way to incorporate more veggies, these oatmeal vegan zucchini pancakes are a great option! They are kid-approved and are much healthier than a typical pancake.
This healthy cinnamon roll stovetop oatmeal is less sugar than most other cinnamon roll oatmeal, and it is all vegan. Easily made in under 10 minutes, its a great weekday breakfast and it tastes more like a treat, even if it’s secretly healthy.
One breakfast we really like in our house is simple peanut butter or jelly/jam toast. Jams and jelly typically have too much sugar though and I really don’t care to serve that to my kid. This homemade strawberry chia jam is easy to make on the stovetop and it’s much less sugar than traditional store-bought jams.
A grain-free muffin that is easy to make and great for make ahead breakfast. It’s fully customizable with your favorite toppings (think chocolate chips or cacao nibs, nuts, nut butter, etc.) and are kid approved!
As a kid I hated almond joy or anything related to coconut, but as an adult, I am addicted. This almond joy stovetop oats is easy to make, uses very few ingredients, and is a must try!
A twist on typical oatmeal or porridge, this mashed sweet potato recipe is so yummy, and a great way to let your creativity shine. Top it with all your favorite nuts, fruit, and seeds like a smoothie bowl. Make ahead friendly and simple ingredients.
Make ahead breakfasts can be a busy family’s best friend. This recipe is kid-approved and contains less sugar than most breakfast muffins. They are a great snack or breakfast on the go!
Main Course Healthy Recipes for 2021
Egg roll in a bowl has been a meal that my entire family enjoys, and when I tried it the first time with vegan ‘meat’, we were blown away. This is a 15 minute meal that is filled with veggies and is delicious!
Teriyaki chickpeas with roasted broccoli and rice is one meal that we rely on to get my toddler to eat something healthy. It’s easy, delicious, and kid-approved! Skip the Chinese takeout and make these at home.
Tacos are a hit with most people and this recipe is very unique with a sheet pan recipe. Chickpeas and corn along with an avocado cream dressing and vegan kojita cheese.
Taco salads are a healthier alternative to traditional tacos, and this vegan taco salad is one of our go-to dinners. It’s easy to prep, and a great way to fill up on a lot of veggies and get great flavor.
A simple fajita recipe based with bell peppers and onion, along with other optional veggies and your favorite toppings is a great way to make fajitas at home. You can whip these up in about 20 minutes and enjoy them in tacos or even in a burrito bowl.
Falafel is a great protein dense food that can be made just as delicious baked. This bowl is a great meal that is nutrient dense, filling, and a great well-rounded meal.
Madras lentils are a black lentil Indian curry that is creamy and delicious. It is made in the Instant Pot and is a great meal prep recipe as it reheats great. This recipe goes great with rice or flatbread like naan or rotis.
Butter chicken is a staple Indian dish and this vegan version uses chickpeas and cauliflower in place of chicken. The creamy sauce is tasty and makes wonderful leftovers.
Lentils are a great plant-based protein and dal is a traditional Indian dish that is easy to make and served typically rice or rotis. This dish is great because it contains a lot of vegetables and great source of plant-based protein.
Mushroom and peas curry is a healthy vegetable-packed dish that is vegan and goes great with rotis or rice. This dish is a household favorite and reheats well so it’s great for leftovers or meal prepping.
Chicken tortilla soup is a classic dish that can be made just as great with beans. This veggie and bean version is healthy and so easy. Make this ahead for an easy reheated lighter dinner or lunch.
An easy sandwich that makes enough for leftovers is a great alternative to tuna salad sandwich. It contains just a few simple ingredients, and is very filling.
Bean chili is a vegan classic, but this recipe puts a twist on that classic recipe using salsa and lentils. It’s a recipe to feed a family and sure to keep you full and warm in this winter season.
If you prefer some pasta with your chili, you need to try vegan Mexican chili mac. It’s a great easy recipe that makes a large batch and packed with veggies and plant-based protein.
A Thai inspired salad with a peanut dressing, this meal salad is a dream. Topped with chickpeas for a plant-based protein to keep you full, this is a well-rounded meal that contains lots of different veggies, textures, and flavors.
Curried potatoes and peas is a dry sabzi dish that is commonly served on Indian buffets. It’s a cheap and easy recipe to make, makes great leftovers, and is kid approved.
A restaurant style yellow lentil curry that is easy to make, just a few ingredients, and a great light meal packed with protein. This recipe can be made in the instant pot or slow cooker (separate recipe), and is great served with rice or rotis.
A taco or burrito filling, or even topping for nachos, this versatile taco recipe is made with healthy carbohydrates and contains a great amount of fiber and protein. It makes enough to save leftovers and reheats well for meal prep.
Sloppy joes are an easy meal for families, and this slow-cooker vegan sloppy joes recipe is made with lentils and is easy to just dump and go. It makes a great recipe for meal prep and can be eaten in rice or on a bun.
Vegan aloo gobi is a traditional Indian sabzi that is based with cauliflower, potatoes, and onion. This dish is very healthy and a great way to increase your vegetable intake.
This was a gateway dish for my family into vegetarian eating, and it is SO good. I even got my meat-eating family members eating this. A great dish that contains some of all your essential food groups, and makes a large portion.
If you like vegan sushi or spring rolls, this is a fusion of the two into an easy to make a bowl. Packed with all the greens, this is a power bowl in a delicious form.
Aloo jeera is an Indian buffet favorite and this homemade recipe is just like that with reduced oil. This is a very cheap meal and makes for great leftovers.
Aloo saag is a healthy spinach packed recipe that is cheap and healthy. This is a popular dish at many Indian restaurants that is iron-rich and a great plant-based meal.
Desserts and Snacks: Healthy Recipes for 2021
This is an easy no-bake dessert recipe that is based with fruit and is kid-approved. I happily let my toddler eat this knowing it’s not packed with added sugar, and it is easy to make in just about 5 minutes.
Coconut pudding is a vegan version of vanilla pudding that is lightly sweetened and tastes great topped with fresh fruit. This makes a few servings that go great after a light meal.
Apple cinnamon bread is a delicious dessert bread that is lightly sweetened and makes great use for those abundant apples. It is easy to make without a mixer and is also a great option for brunch spreads.
Larabars are a healthy snack that is rich in dates and naturally sweetened. This copycat recipe is kid approved and requires no baking or cooking.
Easy vegan peanut butter cookies are lightly sweetened and easy to make in one bowl. They are kid-approved and keep on the counter for several days.
An easy, pantry-friendly chocolate chip recipe that uses simple ingredients and is easy to whip up. Non-vegan approved dessert that are well kept on the counter and great to serve at get-togethers.
Rice pudding is an easy dessert that is made on the stove and is easily vegan friendly. It is a classic sweet treat in Indian restaurants and keeps well in the fridge for a dessert to serve over the course of days, or prepare ahead of time.
Thin mints are a healthy and favorite among Girl Scout cookies. This copycat recipe is gluten-free and easy to make at home. It’s healthy and the cookies keep for many days in the fridge.
Samoa cookies are another top favorite of girl scout cookies and this healthy take uses a secret ingredient: dates. They are a favorite of my husband, and a great way to have these year-round.
A better for you peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe that is has been reported to be liked so much that ‘no crumbs were left behind’. This recipe is easy and made with simple pantry ingredients.
Chocolate chili truffles are a sweet treat with a trace of heat. This recipe is great for Valentine’s day or someone who enjoys a bit of spice with their treats.
Here are a list of 45 healthy recipes for 2021. All recipes are vegan or vegan-friendly. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out pinterest to save these recipes to your boards! I’d love to know if you had any favorites on this list or anything that you would like to see added to this list? Thanks for taking time to review this list and I wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2021.