Special of the Day~ A Better You in the New Year

10 Jan Special of the Day~ A Better You in the New Year

George-Sydne-food-300x204There’s nothing quite like the launch of the New Year to inspire a fresh start in terms of becoming a better you, and for most of us, there’s always room for improvement in the healthy eating department.

As for me, I’m hitting the refresh button after the hub-bub of the holidays to incorporate more entrees that showcase lean protein with enticing plant-based accompaniments into my weekly recipe repertoire.

Other proven tactics I’ll be resurrecting in addition to sticking to a plan of purposeful eating are setting smaller plates on the dinner table to ensure realistic portion sizes, filling half my plate with vegetables, and drinking plenty of water.

To kick off the healthy eating regime, I gathered up a few of my favorite all-star recipes to share with you to include:

  • Pancakes chock-full of heart-healthy ingredients,
  • A marinated grilled chicken on a slaw of antioxidant-rich strawberries and broccoli and
  • An Asian salmon entrée, accompanied by wilted Bok Choy and maple glazed sweet potato medallions.

Sending you all my best wishes for a happy, healthy new year in this week’s Special of the Day~ Be a Better You in the New Year and recipes for Heart-Healthy Hotcakes, Marinated Grilled Chicken over Strawberry-Broccoli Slaw and Asian Salmon Fillets with Plum Sauce, Scallions and Toasted Sesame Seeds. Happy healthy cooking!

Heart-Healthy Hotcakes

Heart-Healthy Hotcakes

Heart-Healthy Hotcakes

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves 8)

 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt

¾ cup almond milk

¼ cup safflower oil

1 egg

¼ cup oatmeal

¾ cup flour

¼ cup slivered almonds, ground in food processor or spice grinder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed and cut in half and patted dry with paper towel

Combine all ingredients except cherries in blender and mix until thoroughly combined.

Meanwhile, heat electric griddle to 325 degrees.

Pour pancake batter onto preheated griddle into 3-inch circles.

Top pancakes with cherries.

When bubbles form and pop, carefully turn pancakes and cook other side until golden brown.

Serve hot with additional almonds and cherries, if desired.


Grilled Marinated Chicken on Strawberry-Broccoli Slaw

Grilled Marinated Chicken on Strawberry-Broccoli Slaw

Marinated Grilled Chicken

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves four)
Make the marinade:

1 cup olive oil

1 ¼ cups balsamic vinega4 tsp. tarragon

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. turmeric

¼ tsp. Kosher salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper


In a medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
For the grilled chicken:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Transfer marinade to a large Ziploc bag. Add chicken breasts. Seal bag. Distribute marinade around chicken breasts and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat barbecue grill to 350 degrees. Remove chicken breasts from marinade and grill on preheated grill for 5-7 minutes on each side, turning to grill other side for 5-7 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken from grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes to allow juices to redistribute. Slice into thin slices.

Serve sliced marinated grilled chicken atop a bed of Strawberry Broccoli Slaw (recipe below). Garnish with sliced strawberries. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Broccoli Slaw

Strawberry-Broccoli Slaw

Strawberry-Broccoli Slaw

(serves four)

4 tbsp. real mayonnaise

3 tbsp. apple cider (cloudy)

¼ tsp. Kosher salt

3 cups organic broccoli crowns, trimmed and sliced into bite-sized pieces

10-ounce bag angel hair coleslaw

2 cups organic strawberries, cleaned and thinly sliced

In medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider and salt until smooth. Add broccoli and coleslaw and stir to combine. (May be made up to this point ahead and refrigerated.) Add strawberries just before serving. Enjoy!

Asian Grilled Salmon with Plum Sauce, Scallions and Toasted Sesame Seeds

Asian Grilled Salmon with Plum Sauce, Scallions and Toasted Sesame Seeds

Asian Salmon Fillets with Plum Sauce, Scallions and Toasted Sesame Seeds

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves four)

4 4-6-ounce wild salmon fillets

1 8-ounce jar all natural Plum sauce, divided (Asian food aisle)

3 tablespoons scallions, washed and sliced thinly

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (Asian food aisle)

 Preheat barbecue to medium high (400 degrees).

Lay out three sheets of aluminum foil, one on top of the other, folding in all four edges, to make a foil tray, about 15 inches long.

Lay salmon fillets atop foil tray, leaving space between.

Brush 1-2 tablespoons plum sauce over each fillet to cover.

Cook on preheated grill for 6-9 minutes or until fillets are opaque and cooked through.

(Cooking time will vary according to thickness of the fillets.)

Let rest briefly before serving.

Wilted Bok Choy

(serves four)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large bunches Bok Choy, thoroughly washed and trimmed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

While salmon is grilling, heat olive oil in medium sauté pan until hot.

Add Bok Choy and quickly stir fry until wilted.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Maple-glazed Sweet Potato Medallions

(serves four)

2 medium sweet potatoes, thoroughly washed, sliced into ¼ inch thick medallions

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

While salmon is grilling, heat olive oil in medium sauté pan until hot.

Add sweet potato medallions and let cook until lightly browned on one side and turn.

Cook other side until lightly browned and top with maple syrup.

Cover pan, remove from heat and let maple syrup glaze sweet potatoes briefly.

To plate:

Arrange a bed of Wilted Bok Choy in the center of each dinner plate.

Add Maple-glazed Sweet Potatoes to each plate.

Place one Asian Grilled Salmon Fillet atop each bed of Wilted Bok Choy.

Drizzle additional plum sauce over each fillet, if desired.

Sprinkle sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds over each fillet.


Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. Her first cookbook Little Red Book of Recipes to Love, a beautifully-curated collection of go-to tried-and-true favorites, is out now and available at Wines by Wednesday, the C.M. Russell Museum Shop, and on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.

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