For many, a new year represents a clean slate and an opportunity to shift our focus to eating more mindfully and frugally. Here we explore some recipes that may help you stick to your goals in 2024!

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December is a month of indulgence. Making merry usually includes consuming sugary treats and alcoholic beverages, and spending a bit more money than we’re accustomed to.

So when the new year rolls around we find ourselves with an opportunity to hit the reset button, focus on what we’re putting into our bodies, and what we’re taking out of our wallets.

Recipes for the new year

Planning is an important part of reaching any goal, so thinking about some of the recipes you’ll make in the next few weeks can help you stay on track.

Soups and chilis are great for this time because they’re easy to make, can be made in bulk, and taste great when left over.

Some of our favorite recipes include split pea soup, escarole and bean soup, and minestrone.

Frittatas paired with a salad are also a budget-friendly and healthy meal. Try incorporating a different frittata into your weekly rotation!

Seafood also comes in handy when wanting to eat a bit lighter and ingredients like cod, salmon, and shrimp are all easy to prepare and for the most part can be ready in about 30 minutes.

Large white bowl of minestrone soup with spoon and piece of bread.

Eating lentils on New Year’s Day

I’d be remiss not to mention lentils when discussing the new year. Italians and Italian-Americans along with other nationalities believe eating lentils on the first day of the new year (some even start at midnight) can bring wealth and prosperity in the coming year.

Some of our favorite lentil recipes include Italian Lentil Soup and Sausage Lentil Soup.

Both are budget-friendly and so easy to make!

Closeup shot of blue and white bowl with pasta e piselli.


If you enjoyed the Best Foods to Kick Off 2024 episode, leave us a comment below and let us know!  

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  1. Janne Darata says:

    Love this episode. As a vegetarian I have no problem adapting your soup recipes.I have successfully substituted cremini or portobello mushrooms for beef in some dishes. If you crumble them into pieces rather than slice, and then sautée they take on a more meaty texture. But keep in mind that many meat eaters just want to cut down a bit on meat so your soups are great for this because they contain less meat per serving than something like pork chops, or pot roast. Maybe think of doing more recpes where the ratio of meat to veg/grains/starch is less. To answer your question about the Beyond or Impossible burgers. I don’t love them, and from what I hear neither do meat eaters. The texture is meat like but there’s an aftertaste. I’d rather grill a portobello and treat it like a burger. Love all the podcasts, videos and printed recipes. You two are great together! Thanks!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Janne, thanks for the comment, and for sharing your feedback and answering our question. We truly appreciate your support of the podcast and for following along with us!

  2. Janne Darata says:

    Tara, regarding the ham hock in the soup debate, thanks for your remarks! James, love you and all your recipes but the best part is you always telling us to add our own touches. I watch all your videos, just modify to my preference. I do use smoked paprika, and sometimes also a tsp of chipotle in adobo which I freeze in ice cube trays. Haven’t yet tried adding the nutritional yeast or other parm rind substitute but plan to. I find a good organic veg broth adds flavor. I just discovered that simmering onion, carrot, celery,etc. then whirring it with the wand makes an inexpensive soup base which adds flavor and body.
    Question. What are the best oils for frying? I used to use canola but have heard it’s not really healthy. Avocado oil is great but pricey.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Janne, thanks for the comment! I’ve saved your question and Jim is going to answer it in one of the next podcasts.