Best of CH 2015: Animated Recipes

Start the year off healthfully with our favorite culinary GIF guides

The first day of the new year very often comes complete with opposing emotions. The guilt from all our collective partying and gluttony over the holidays, as well as motivation and hope for a healthier new year. Instead of entering a shame spiral this morning, why not take a look through some of our favorite animated recipes from 2015—not only are they all super-easy and use limited ingredients, they are also mostly vegan, healthful and almost entirely guilt-free. Drink some water, take a deep breathe and let’s get this new year going.

Charred Shishito Peppers

Originating in East Asia, shishito peppers are growing in popularity all over the world; popping up on restaurant menus, at farmer’s markets and grocery stores over the last couple of years. While these peppers are not traditionally spicy (on average one in every 15-20) every once in a while, you will find a pepper with a serious kick. This is a delicious, easy recipe to try at home.

Shiitake “Bacon”

Almost everybody loves bacon, but we can all agree that it’s not the best thing for us. Shiitake mushrooms, however, are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Give Shiitake “Bacon” (a lower calorie substitute) a try—just like the real thing, it’s smoky, salty, crisp and addictive.

Arugula Pistachio Pesto

Fresh pesto isn’t only for summertime. Try this flavorful arugula pesto any time of year. No cheese needed in this recipe; the pistachio nuts provide richness and depth.

Baked Yam Chips

Here is a recipe for a tasty treat with no guilt included: baked yam chips. This is a perfect, satisfying substitute for traditional snack food, as it’s packed with vitamins and dietary fiber. These crunchy, savory and sweet chips are hard to resist. (Tip: if you’re not in the mood for something sweet, omit the cinnamon and sugar. You can even trade out the coconut oil with olive oil if you’d like.)

Cauliflower Alfredo

Enjoy this guilt-free alfredo that’s low in fat, high in fiber, plus is paleo and vegan. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, antioxidants and phytonutrients. After just five steps, serve it over your favorite veggies or pasta.

Spaghetti Squash

This very low carb, naturally gluten-free pasta alternative contains less than a quarter the amount of carbohydrates as regular pasta, and it’s super-easy to prepare. Spaghetti squash takes on the texture of pasta when cooked, making it the perfect substitute. (Plus, it’s higher in fiber and lower in calories than its counterpart.) The squash is perfect when tossed in your favorite tomato sauce, pesto or just served directly out of the oven.

Images by Chef Nikki from Mostly Vegan