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  • Writer's pictureArdent For Life Magazine

Healthy Recipes for the New Year

Recipes and Photos by Sarah Steffens

Holidays and celebrations are filled with delicious and indulgent ingredients that may you leave you not feeling your very best, which is why this acorn squash soup, full of nutrient-dense vegetables, needs to get on your menu as soon as possible! Blending a giant pot of veggies that have simmered in gut-healing bone broth creates a smooth and velvety texture you will definitely love!

Creamy Acorn Squash Soup


Makes 6 servings

Cooking Time: 40 minutes


1 acorn squash, halved and seeded

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon ghee

2 teaspoons sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 cups chicken bone broth

½ cup parsley, minced


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the halved and seeded acorn squash flesh side up. Allow to roast in the oven until very soft and its edges have begun to brown, about 40 minutes.

Line an additional baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped celery, carrot, apple and red bell pepper on the sheet. Toss with ghee, sea salt and black pepper and roast in the oven with the acorn squash until all of the veggies are very soft and browned, about 40 minutes.

Remove everything from the oven, and when the squash halves have cooled some, carefully remove their tough skin and discard.

Transfer the peeled squash and veggies to a blender and blend with the chicken bone broth until everything is combined and creamy.

When ready to serve, garnish with minced parsley.

Make this recipe up to 2 days before serving to save on time.

Calories: 130 - Fat: 3 g

Carbs: 18 g - Protein: 5 g

Moroccan Cauli Rice

Moroccan food is a fantastic combination of flavors, making each dish special. This dish is savory from garlic and turmeric and sweet from cinnamon and cloves. Its texture is soft and crunchy and each bite is an explosion of flavor that supports optimal health. Experimenting with spices makes getting all of your veggies even more enticing, why not put this on your menu for tonight?


Makes 4 servings

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


1 16-ounce bag of cauliflower rice

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon ghee

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried turmeric powder

1 teaspoon ground chili pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch of ground nutmeg

¼ cup raisins or pitted, minced dried dates

¼ cup parsley, minced

2 whole scallions, minced

¼ cup pumpkin seeds


Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a large skillet on the stovetop set to medium heat.

Add a peeled and chopped onion (white or yellow onion works well) and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add cauliflower rice, seasoning with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder and stirring often until the cauliflower is soft, about 3 minutes.

Season with turmeric powder, chili pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Stir in raisins or dried dates and half of the minced parsley and scallion.

Garnish with the remaining parsley and scallion and optional pumpkin seeds.

Calories: 159 - Fat: 7 g

Carbs: 20 g - Protein: 8 g

Roasted Parsnips with Basil Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Parsnips are often overlooked as those funny white carrots, but get to know them and you’ll find their distinct nutty and sweet flavor and impressive list of health benefits as inspiration to keep these root veggies on your Autumn menu. High in potassium and folate, parsnips aid in increased focus and improved mood, they contain manganese, aiding in digestion, and have historically been used as an aphrodisiac!

Makes 6 servings

Cooking Time: 40 minutes



6 large parsnips, peeled and sliced lengthwise in quarters

2 tablespoons ghee

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Basil Pesto:

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

3 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange peeled and sliced parsnips in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Toss parsnips with ghee, sea salt, black pepper and a quick sprinkle of ground nutmeg.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes, or until the parsnips have caramelized and are tender when pierced with a fork.

While the parsnips are roasting in the oven, prepare your basil pesto by blending all of the pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor, scraping down the sides of the blender with a baker’s spatula as needed. Set the pesto aside or pour it into a chef’s squeeze bottle.

Remove the parsnips from the oven and garnish with basil pesto.

Prep this dish up to 2 days in advance to save on time, and garnish with pesto just before serving.

Calories: 233 - Fat: 19 g

Carbs: 14 g - Protein: 5 g

Sarah Steffens

Is a food stylist, lifestyle photographer and private health foods chef specializing in Paleo, Keto and Whole30 meals.


Ardent for Life Summer 2019

This story first appeared in Ardent

for Life Holiday 2019 issue.


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