Just because you made 2016 your year of healthy eating doesn’t mean you can’t have your favorite foods. Pizza, bagels and even burgers all have a place in your balanced eating plan. How, you ask? With *healthy* cheat meals. Sure, it sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s a real thing thanks to protein-filled substitutes like beans for meat and quinoa for noodles. With these eight healthy cheat meals, you can look forward to nomming on falafels, taquitos and more without feeling guilty about those food resolutions you made. Get ready to #EatClean well into February (and beyond!).
1. Baked Black Bean Taquitos: Ignore the frozen taquito staples of your youth when you’re at the grocery store and grab corn tortillas, black beans and shredded cheese to make a healthier version that’s just as delicious. Pair this with a homemade salsa, lots of guac and maybe a margarita, since it is cheat day after all. (via Naturally Ella)
2. Baked Spinach Artichoke Falafel: Traditional falafel are deep fried, which is a no-go if you’re trying to eat healthy. This version is stuffed with spinach and artichokes to be sure you get your veggies in for the day. Whip up a big batch and take some to work for a protein-filled snack. (via Yup It’s Vegan)
3. Gluten-Free Cinnamon Blueberry Bagels: Meet your new favorite pre-workout breakfast. Even if you don’t adhere to a gluten-free diet, these bagels are about to be your new go-to morning meal. Just make sure to slather on the peanut butter! (via Ambitious Kitchen)
4. BBQ Chicken Pizza: Cauliflower crust pizza is great, but sometimes you need a piece of pizza you can eat with your hands. This Paleo pizza crust doesn’t call for crazy ingredients (just coconut flour and tapioca flour) and is so delicious, you won’t even miss the cheese. (via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen)
5. Rosemary Quinoa Mac and Cheese: Quinoa gets even trendier when it’s swapped in for macaroni noodles in this mac and cheese recipe. This dish is packed with protein from the quinoa and filled with a secret veggie for extra staying power. (via Simply Quinoa)
6. Cauliflower Hemp Burger: This plant-based burger is more delicate in both taste and texture than a traditional burger, but it’s just as tasty. Pair these with the Huevos Rancheros Loaded Sweet Potato Fries (recipe below!) for the ultimate healthy cheat meal. (via Veggies Don’t Bite)
7. Kale, Hemp and Flaxseed Oil Pesto: You can be face-diving into a plate of spaghetti in less than 15 minutes with this recipe. You might want to make extra pesto so you can spread it on sandwiches, use it to top your macro bowl or dress your salads for the week. (via Cookie and Kate)
8. Huevos Rancheros Loaded Sweet Potato Fries: If nachos, sweet potato fries and the breakfast staple Huevos Rancheros had a love child, this would be the outcome. Sweet potato fries are topped with tomatoes, onions, black beans, cilantro and cheese for a healthy meal that takes only seven ingredients and less than 30 minutes to make. (via The Almond Eater)
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