What better way to kick it off 2020 than with a lifestyle transformation, or maybe you just need to add some healthier meal options into your everyday routine? These 5 easy low carb recipes are just as gratifying for the body as they are delicious!  

As we commence a new year, we look forward to a fresh new start; new goals and aspirations, but also a healthier lifestyle. Typically our health and making more mindful food choices are at the top of our checklist, though it can be one of the hardest to maintain. But it doesn’t always have to be a losing battle, by setting ourselves up for success and overcoming the overwhelming tasks of not knowing what to eat, you can achieve the healthy lifestyle you’ve always wanted. With these healthy, simple, and tasty options, you will feel in control all while enjoying fresh new flavors in every bite!

Chicken Taco Avocados

Chicken taco avocados
Photo and recipe by Delish

Ingredients

For the filling

1 c. black beans, cooked

1 c. canned corn

1 4-oz. can green chiles, divided

1 c. shredded rotisserie chicken

1 c. shredded Cheddar, plus more for topping

1 package taco seasoning

2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, plus more for topping

3 ripe avocados

For the dressing 

1 c. ranch dressing

1/4 c. lime juice

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Preparation

For the filling: 

Heat broiler. In a large bowl, combine black beans, corn, 1/2 can of green chiles, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, taco seasoning, and fresh cilantro. Stir until combined. 

Halve and separate three avocados, remove the seed and hollow out insides. Mash insides in a small bowl and set aside. Place avocado boats face up and fill each with 1/3 cup of filling. Sprinkle with more Cheddar and more fresh cilantro, then broil until cheese has melted.

For the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine ranch dressing, lime juice, the remaining green chiles, cilantro, salt, and pepper and stir to blend. Add the mashed avocados and mix until creamy. Remove avocado boats from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with dressing and garnish with more cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Zucchini Burrito Boats

Zucchini burrito boats
Photo and recipe by Delish

Ingredients 

3 zucchini, halved lengthwise

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 c. black beans

1/2 c. chopped cherry tomatoes

1/2 c. corn

1 c. shredded cheddar

1 c. shredded Monterey jack

Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Procedure 

Preheat oven to 350°. Half your zucchini and scoop out insides, save them for later. Place zucchini halves cut side-up on a baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake until zucchini turns bright green and is just beginning to soften, approx 10 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and reserved zucchini and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain fat.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, and paprika, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in black beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn. 

Spoon beef mixture into zucchini then top with cheeses. Bake until zucchini is just tender and cheeses are melted for about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Enjoy!

Basil Avocado Shrimp Salad Wraps

Basil avocado shrimp salad wraps
Photo and recipe by Delish

Ingredients

For the shrimp salad

Cooking spray

20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 3/4 lb.)

1 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 small red onion, finely diced

2 avocados, diced

4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

2 large heads butterhead or romaine lettuce

For the marinade

Juice of 2 lemons

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil

1/2 tsp. paprika

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

For the shrimp salad: Grease a large skillet over medium heat with cooking spray. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and no longer opaque, 2 minutes per side. Set aside and let cool.

For the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, basil, vinegar, oil, and paprika and season with salt and pepper. 

In a large bowl, stir together tomatoes, onions, avocados, and basil. Fold in shrimp. Pour marinade over shrimp salad and toss until coated. 

Store shrimp salad in the fridge in a resealable container. Serve in lettuce cups when ready to eat. 

Caribbean Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Pineapple Salsa

Caribbean shrimp tacos
Photo and recipe by Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

1 tsp. all-spice

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Kosher salt and pepper

Corn or flour tortillas

Sliced avocado, lettuce, or cabbage, for serving

Roasted Jalapeño Pineapple Salsa Verde

4 tomatillos, husked and halved

1 jalapeño

2 cloves garlic, skin on

juice of 1 lime

juice from half an orange

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/2 cup diced pineapple

1/4 cup diced mango

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

On a baking sheet, toss together the shrimp, olive oil, chili powder, all-spice, ginger, thyme, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on one side of the pan. To the other half of the pan, add the tomatillos, jalapeño, and garlic. 

Transfer to the oven and roast 10-12 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and the tomatillos lightly charred. 

Set the shrimp aside. De-seed the jalapeño, if desired. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin. In a blender, add the roasted tomatillos, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, and cilantro. Blend until smooth.  Stir in the pineapple, mango, and a pinch of salt. 

Stuff the shrimp into the warmed taco shells, and top with the Roasted Jalapeño Pineapple Salsa Verde, avocado, and lettuce. Enjoy!

Roasted Avocado Taco with Squash Blossom

Roasted avocado taco
Photo and recipe by Velas Resorts

Ingredients

Blue Corn Tortillas

30 g of blue cornflour (or regular corn flour)

20 ml of water

8 g of pepper leaf 

3 g of salt

Squash Blossom filling

10 g of purple onion 

5 g of garlic

15 g of green bell pepper

15 g of spinach

18 g of squash blossoms

7 g of epazote

3 g of salt

1 whole avocado

Preparation

For the blue corn tortilla: Add the water, flour, finely chopped pepper leaf, and salt. Mix the ingredients until you obtain a dough ready to make tortillas.

For the Squash Blossom filling: Cut the avocado into 6 equal pieces and place it on the hot grill to sear on both sides, then season it with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Then place the filling in the taco and decorate it with radishes, cilantro, onions and enjoy!