Apple Ricotta Pancakes
These healthy apple pancakes puff to perfection thanks to the right combination of ingredients, including a mixture of double-acting baking powder and baking soda (using both ensures the batter will spread out evenly and rise well). Ricotta cheese makes pancakes moister than using milk alone, and it packs nearly four times more protein than whole milk. Walnut oil is full of healthy fats and has a rich, nutty flavor, and white whole-wheat flour packs in more fiber than all-purpose flour. A bit of buttermilk adds a nice tang to these flapjacks. All in all, it adds up to a healthy breakfast that's sure to impress.
Smoky Slow-Cooker Black Beans with Collard Greens
Cooking black beans in a slow cooker with a ham hock gives them a wonderful smoky flavor. Don't forget to soak your beans overnight for the creamiest, most luscious results. Serve over brown rice with lemon-curry collard greens for an easy healthy dinner that's super-satisfying.
Slow-Cooker Carne Picada Tacos with Avocado Salsa
Loosely translated as "minced meat," the traditional texture of carne picada ranges from finely chopped to ground. Here we start with brisket, which becomes nice and tender in the slow cooker, then shred and chop the meat before serving. The seasoning is flavorful but not too spicy. Blistered jalapeños added at the end will satisfy the heat-lovers in the family. Pile the brisket into warmed corn tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and avocado salsa for a healthy dinner that'll wake up your taco night routine.
Slow-Cooker Sichuan Chicken with Scallions & Baby Bok Choy
Sichuan peppercorns give this brothy slow-cooker chicken dish a distinctive lemony, mouth-numbing flavor. Unrelated to peppercorns, they're the dried berries of the prickly ash tree. Look for them in specialty markets and online. If you've never had them before, try one first and add more or less to taste. Serve with sesame baby bok choy (which takes just a few minutes to prep) and Chinese noodles for an easy, healthy dinner that'll get you out of your same-old-chicken-dish rut.
Slow-Cooker Beef & Carrot Tagine with Almond Couscous
Feel free to experiment with the spices in this simple slow-cooker beef stew--keep cumin and cinnamon in the mix, but try adding cardamom and ginger for greater depth of flavor. Both the stew and the almond couscous are very easy to prep, and the active time is just 20 minutes. Recipe adapted from Slow Cook Modern.