Healthy, simple recipes for 2021

If eating healthier is your goal for 2021, Chef April Howell from Martin's School of Cooking shared some tips on sticking to that goal.
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 10:44 AM EST
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GRANGER, Ind. (WNDU) - If eating healthy food is your goal for 2021, Chef April Howell from Martin’s School of Cooking shared some tips on sticking to that goal.

She says it is important to do your research before starting a new diet.

And when you do choose a new diet, start out small and do not change your whole lifestyle immediately, because it can be overwhelming.

Chef April says cooking healthy meals is simple and a great way to cut out processed foods in your diet.

“It doesn’t have to be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be hard and it shouldn’t be,” Chef April said. “That’s what cooking is, it should be fun. So, if it’s not fun, then you got to, you know, try another alternative way.”

To kick-start your healthy 2021 menu, Chef April shared three easy recipes below that will satisfy the whole family:

Sweet Potato Chicken Nuggies (Whole30/Aip/Paleo)

Cook Time: 30

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 20-25 (4 servings)


1 lb ground chicken (uncooked)

2 cups uncooked sweet potato, finely grated (using a grater or food processor)

2 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tsp for greasing the baking sheet

2 tbsp coconut flour (or regular flour works if not worried about Paleo)

2–3 sprigs green onion, chopped fine

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)

Optional: 1 tsp paprika or chili powder (not AIP but adds a kick!)


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper lightly greased with oil
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix.
  • Begin rolling the mixture into small, slightly flattened poppers about one inch in diameter (you’ll have about 20-25 poppers) and place them on the baking sheet
  • Place in the oven for 25-28 minutes, flipping halfway through. Crisp further in a pan or place under the broiler if desired for 1-2 minutes to crisp further. Remove from the oven when thoroughly cooked through
  • Allow to cool and serve with your favorite sauce! These are made for dipping so pair them with guacamole, ketchup, mustard, etc!

Sloppy Joes with Sweet Potatoes (Paleo, DF, GF, Whole30)    Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes Yield: 4 servings


4 medium-large sweet potatoes or 6 small sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound grass-fed ground beef

1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

14-ounce can tomato sauce

1 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon paprika 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 cup water


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and dry sweet potatoes. Poke holes in each sweet potato with a fork or sharp knife 6-8 times on each side. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and sea salt and rub over the entire potato.  Bake sweet potatoes for 40-45 minutes up to 1 hour, or until a fork or knife is easily inserted. NOTE: If you are short on time, wrap with saran wrap and microwave the sweet potatoes for 8min each potato, depending on size.
  • In a medium-large sized skillet, heat ghee over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add brown beef and brown, breaking up chunks, until no longer pink.
  • Reduce heat and stir in green bell pepper, tomato paste, tomato sauce, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder to skillet. Add water and simmer mixture for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove sweet potatoes from the oven. You can check for doneness by sticking a fork or knife through the center of the potato. Cut sweet potatoes lengthwise and fill with sloppy joes skillet mixture. Garnish with parsley or green onions.

One-pan cauliflower NACHOS Servings: 4          Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower 2 T olive oil 1 T garlic powder 1 t chili powder 1 t cumin Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:

½ c cheddar cheese 1 lime, quartered 1 avocado, cubed ½ c rotisserie chicken ½ c pinto beans, canned ¼ c red onion, finely diced ¼ c Pico de Gallo 1 jalapeno, sliced Fresh cilantro to taste

Special sauce:

Avocado Lime Crema  1 medium avocado

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

juice of 2 limes.

  • Blend in blender.


  • Preheat over to 400F and rub a baking sheet with olive oil. Prep cauliflower by cutting the head into fourths. Then slice into chip-like thin pieces. Place on pan.
  • Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil and then season with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 25mins.
  • Remove cauliflower and then flip. Add cheddar cheese, rotisserie chicken, pinto beans, red onion, jalapeno and fresh cilantro.
  • Bake again for 15 min.
  • Serve with special sauce, fresh avocado, lime wedges and pico de gallo!

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