We’re halfway through January, which means I’m halfway through another monthlong cooking challenge.


For about five years now, I’ve been participating in #30atHome, an idea my friend Martha came up with to kickstart the year with a month of cooking at home, or at least eating home-cooked foods.


It’s a great excuse to clean out the pantry, dig deep into the freezer, use up (or toss out) those condiments and pickles and sauces and dried beans that don’t need to sit around and wait to be used any longer.


It’s also a nifty way to save money during the post-holiday season, and an unintended consequence is that I’m typically eating better this month. It’s not that I’m making salads every day, but cooking at home means I’m usually eating portion sizes that are more reasonable and I’m finding ways to use up leftovers.


I wanted to share a handful of health-conscious recipes for dishes that are full of flavor and are interesting enough to make me forget I’m not eating out this month.



Red Bean and Coconut Rice


The sweetness of the onion and the coconut milk complements the saltiness of the rice, so ensure you season this dish well. You can use red onion if you want a sweeter flavor and add a couple of finely diced fresh green chiles along with the onion, if you’d like more heat. The rice gets a beautiful pink color from the red kidney beans that looks pretty served in a wrap, alongside grilled or roasted meat or tofu or with a mixed green salad.


— Monisha Bharadwaj


1 large onion, finely sliced


4 garlic cloves, finely chopped


1 1/4 cups basmati rice, washed and drained


1 cup red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (about 1/2 can)


A big handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped (stems and all)


Scant 1 cup coconut milk mixed with the same amount of cold water


Heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and fry for a further 2 minutes, or until soft.


Add the rice and fry for 30 seconds, without stirring too much, then add the kidney beans, cilantro and some salt and black pepper to taste.


Pour in the coconut milk and water mixture. Bring to a boil, then stir the rice once and cover. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 12 minutes without lifting the lid.


Remove from the heat and leave the pan covered for a further 5 minutes to allow the rice to finish cooking in the steam.


Remove the lid, fluff up the rice with a fork and serve hot. Serves 4.


— From "Indian in 7" by Monisha Bharadwaj (Kyle Books, $24.99)


Go-To Cremini Chili


Everyone needs a go-to chili recipe. This one puts a tasty spin on classic flavors by adding tender cremini mushrooms, which you can double to make a meat-free version. Chili powder, oregano, garlic and chipotle powder create a spicy and savory base while providing cardiovascular and metabolic benefits. I love eating leftover chili for lunch; store any extra in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


— Mark Hyman


2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil


1 pound grass-fed ground beef (optional)


12 large cremini mushrooms (24 if you forgo the beef), roughly chopped


2 large red onions, roughly chopped


2 large carrots, roughly chopped


2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped


4 celery stalks, roughly chopped


4 cloves garlic, minced


2 tablespoons chili powder


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried oregano


2 teaspoons garlic powder


1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder


1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree


6 cups filtered water


1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced


1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the ghee and heat until shimmering. If using, add the beef and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces and allowing the meat to sear and brown for about 3 minutes.


Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, bell peppers, and celery, stirring well to combine. Cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.


Add the minced garlic, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder and chipotle powder and stir well. Add the tomato puree and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook slowly until the chili has reduced and thickened, about 45 minutes.


Finish the chili by seasoning with the salt. Divide among 4 bowls and top with avocado and chopped cilantro. Serves 4.


— From "Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?: More than 100 Delicious Recipes — Pegan, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and More — For Lifelong Health" by Mark Hyman (Little, Brown and Company, $32)


Rough-Cut Tuna Nachos With Avocado Crema


This is a playful and lighter spin on classic nachos and a simpler version of the very popular dish that is on the menu at Mesa Grill Las Vegas. I make the sauce and chips from scratch at the restaurant, but at home, it’s bottled mango-habanero sauce and high-quality tortilla chips from a bag. Even chefs enjoy shortcuts from time to time. Serve with ice-cold pitchers of margaritas.


— Bobby Flay


For the avocado crema:


2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped


2 garlic cloves, chopped


2 jalapeños, roasted, peeled and chopped


Juice of 2 limes


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


2 tablespoons olive oil


2 teaspoons puréed chipotle chile in adobo


1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna, cut into 1/2-inch dice


3 tablespoons capers, drained


1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish


1/4 cup finely sliced scallions


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1/4 cup mango-habanero hot sauce, for serving


Blue and white corn tortilla chips, for serving


Make the avocado crema: Place the avocado, garlic, jalapenos, lime juice and 1/4 cup cold water in a blender. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth, adding a bit more water if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Set aside.


Whisk together the mustard, oil and chipotle puree in a large bowl until combined. Add the tuna, capers, cilantro and scallions and gently fold to combine.


Mound the tuna in the center of the platter. Serve with the avocado crema, mango hot sauce and chips on the side. (Alternatively, spread the crema and hot sauce on the platter under the tuna.) Serves 4 to 6.


— From "Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors from My Kitchen: A Cookbook" by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson (Clarkson Potter, $32.50)


Shrimp Coconut Bowl


This is less of a soup and more of an "in-the-shell shrimp in a little bit of broth" dish. It’s truly divine! My tip here is to cook the shrimp with the shells on, though most people are used to cooking them without. I’m here to tell you that leaving them on is the secret ingredient to making this dish great — and there’s no need to worry, you can devein the shrimp with the shells intact. Served in just a bit of coconut broth, this dish should be eaten with close friends or true foodies. Don’t try to be polite: reach your hands into the serving bowl, garb the succulent shrimp, peel and devour. Cooking shrimp with the shell on is simply more delicious. To devein the shrimp and keep the shell on: Insert the tip of your kitchen shears just under the shell on the shrimp’s back, where the head was, and gently cut through the shell (not the shrimp meat) down to the base of the tail, then remove the vein with your fingers, leaving the tail intact. Save the shrimp shells, which can make an amazing stock. If you prefer more of a soup, just double the stock.


— Teri Turner


1 1/4 pounds large shell-on shrimp, deveined


2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger


3 tablespoons grated fresh turmeric


2 tablespoons clarified butter


2 cups sliced broccolini (stems sliced, florets kept whole)


1 cup chopped green beans (1-inch pieces)


1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons coconut oil


1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots


1 garlic clove, thinly sliced


1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions


2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass


2 cups chicken stock, warmed


2 Thai lime leaves (optional)


1 red Thai chile or other spicy fresh red chile, seeded and sliced, or 1 dried Thai chile


1 cup full-fat unsweetened coconut milk


1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


2 tablespoons coconut aminos


1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


1 cup spinach leaves


Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


Lime wedges, for garnish


Put the shrimp in a large bowl and squeeze the juice from the ginger and the juice from 2 tablespoons of the grated turmeric over the shrimp. Toss well, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.


In a medium pot, melt the clarified butter over medium heat. Add the broccolini, green beans, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, stir to combine, and cook until the vegetables turn bright green and tender but are still crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove the beans and broccolini from the pot and set aside.


In the same pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the scallions, lemongrass and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook until softened, about 1 minute more. Add 2 cups of the stock and stir well, scraping up all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the lime leaves and chile, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.


Stir in the coconut milk, then add the shrimp, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne, and stir to combine well. Bring back to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes.


In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, lime juice and the juice from the remaining 1 tablespoon grated turmeric. Mix well, then add to the pot. Add the sautéed vegetables and the spinach to the pot and cook, stirring gently, for 1 minute more.


Serve garnished with cilantro, with lime wedges alongside. Serves 4.


— From "No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous" by Teri Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30)


Cauliflower Falafel


Falafel can be a canvas for many flavors. But this recipe is not just about adding new flavors to falafel. Instead, the traditional chickpeas are replaced with cooked cauliflower florets. For lunch, have this falafel on top of a salad with some roasted sweet potatoes, beets and toasted nuts. For a group, it’s fun to make a falafel bar and let your diners assemble their own pita sandwiches with everything from tomatoes and cucumbers to cooked quinoa.


— Lindsay Grimes Freedman


2 tablespoons avocado oil


3 cups small cauliflower florets


1/2 sweet onion, cut into large pieces


2 garlic cloves


1/4 cup arrowroot flour


1/4 cup blanched almond flour


3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves


1 teaspoon ground coriander


1 teaspoon ground cumin


1 large egg


1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 cup safflower oil or other frying oil


In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the florets are golden brown.


Put the onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse about 5 times, until the onion is chopped but still chunky. Add the browned cauliflower to the food processor and pulse another 5 times, until the cauliflower is chopped and chunky.


Add the arrowroot flour, almond flour, parsley, coriander, cumin, egg, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Pulse about 10 times, until well combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and pulse a few more times if necessary. The mixture should be chunky but well combined.


In a deep skillet, heat the safflower oil over medium-high heat. Line a large plate with paper towels. Once the oil begins to bubble and spit, use a small ice cream scoop to scoop about 2 tablespoons of the batter and gently drop it into the oil. You want to tightly pack the batter into the scoop so it stays together once you place it in the oil. Fry about 6 falafel at a time to avoid crowding.


After about 3 minutes, the edges will look golden brown. Use tongs to flip the falafel, then cook for another couple of minutes until they are browned and crispy. Transfer to the paper towel–lined plate and continue frying until all the batter is used. (The oil in the skillet should be enough to fry all the falafel.)


Falafel can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week. Reheat under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to regain crispiness. Serves 4.


— From "Cauliflower Power: 75 Feel-Good, Gluten-Free Recipes Made with the World’s Most Versatile Vegetable" by Lindsay Grimes Freedman (Artisan, $19.95)