Hearty Fare

These quick, easy and healthy protein dishes—one fish, fowl and meat—will help you stick to your New Year’s resolution, whether it’s to be better to your body—or to spend less time in the kitchen.
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Yields 2-4 servings


  • 4 whole chicken legs
  • olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • flaky sea salt
  • 1¼ cups drained and rinsed canned butter or cannellini beans
  • 1 medium lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 1 small handful fresh mint 


Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut off and discard any large chunks of fat from the chicken legs and arrange in a baking dish just large enough to fit them in.

Whisk 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the lemon juice, coriander seeds, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cayenne pepper and black pepper and pour over the chicken. Using your fingers, rub the marinade into the chicken skin until well coated. (If you have the time, cover the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer). Season the chicken to taste with salt then spread the butter beans around the legs. Drizzle the beans with a little olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the lemon slices on top of the chicken legs. Roast, spooning the juices from the pan over the chicken every ten minutes or so, for 25-30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you prick the thickest part of a leg with a skewer. Turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the chicken skin is golden and starts sizzling, but mind that the beans don’t burn.

Sprinkle with fresh mint and serve immediately. You can use leftovers to make sandwiches the next day. 

"Adding beans to any recipe provides a cholesterol-free protein punch, as well as adds fiber and extra vitamins to your meal. Most beans are considered a low-energy dense food and help to control hunger and maintain a healthy weight.” 
—Wendy Bennett, registered dietitian nutritionist, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack 


Yields 2 servings



  • 1 large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • fine sea salt


  • olive oil
  • 1 9-ounce tuna steak, about 
  • 1-inch thick
  • fine sea salt
  • finely ground pepper


  • ½ large English cucumber, scrubbed and very thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 1 small handful salted pistachios, roughly chopped


For the basil-mint oil, whisk together the basil, mint, ¼ teaspoon of the lemon zest and the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and additional lemon zest.

For the tuna, in a small, heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil over high heat and sear the tuna for 1-2 minutes, per side or until flaky but still pink inside. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cut in half and transfer to plates.

Arrange the cucumber slices around the tuna and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the tuna and cucumber with the basil-mint oil, sprinkle with pistachios and serve. 

"This flavorful tuna dish is heart-healthy, containing omega-3 fatty acids which are healthy fats with anti-inflammatory properties. The tuna steak is a high quality protein that is low in calories, which is terrific to include 
in your weight loss strategy as part of your New Year’s resolution.” 
—Helen Sperber, registered dietitian nutritionist and medical nutrition therapist, Englewood 


Yields 2 servings



  • 1 lb. trimmed rhubarb, chopped
  • ½ to ¾ Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. elderflower syrup (or maple syrup)
  • fine sea salt
  • finely ground pepper


  • olive oil
  • 1 large, ¼-inch-thick slice bacon, cut into very small cubes
  • 1 large, ¼-inch-thick veal or pork cutlets, about ¾ pound total
  • fine sea salt
  • finely ground pepper
  • about 2 heaping Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, to cook the schnitzel


For the rhubarb, in a small saucepan, bring the rhubarb, ½ tablespoon of the ginger, water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the rhubarb starts to soften. Stir in the elderflower syrup and season to taste with salt, pepper and additional ginger.

For the schnitzel, heat a splash of olive oil in a small, heavy pan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes or until golden brown and crispy; set aside. 

On a work surface, arrange the veal or pork between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat pounder or your fist to tenderize and slightly flatten the meat. Season the cutlets to taste with salt and pepper on both sides and dust lightly with flour.

In a large, heavy pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and a generous splash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cutlets and sear for about 1 minute per side or until golden brown and just cooked through.

Divide the schnitzel and rhubarb among plates, sprinkle with the bacon and serve immediately.

"Rhubarb not only brightens a dish, but it is rich in vitamins K and C and calcium and offers a moderate source of fiber. Recipes containing rhubarb often call for sugar, syrups or other fruits such as strawberries to lessen its tartness. Be sure to discard the leaves of rhubarb stalks before cooking as they are not edible.” 
—Wendy Bennett, registered dietitian nutritionist, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack  

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