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NORTHWOODS COOKS: Kick off 2022 with healthy recipes

New Year’s is a time when many people make resolutions to eat healthier. These recipes are a selection of the 20 most popular recipes to make in 20 minutes or less in 2021 from The website also includes recipes for weight loss, managing diabetes and much morex

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Air Fryer Salmon Cakes

Cooking spray

2 (7.5-oz.) cans unsalted pink salmon (with skin and bones)

1 large egg


1/2 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

2 Tbsp. canola mayonnaise

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

2 lemon wedges

Coat the basket of an air fryer with cooking spray. Drain salmon, removing and discarding any large bones and skin. Place the salmon in a medium bowl. Add egg, panko, dill, mayonnaise, mustard and pepper and stir gently until combined. Shape the mixture into four 3-inch-diameter cakes.

Coat the cakes with cooking spray and place in the prepared basket. Cook at 400 degrees until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 160 degrees, about 12 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.


Shrimp Cauliflower Fried Rice

1/4 cup sesame oil, divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups riced cauliflower (see tip)

1 lb. large shrimp (31-35 count), peeled and deveined

3 cups broccoli florets

1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)


3 cloves garlic, sliced

3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok or large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add eggs and cook, without stirring, until fully cooked on one side, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook until just cooked through, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan; heat over high heat. Add cauliflower in an even layer and cook undisturbed until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat over high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, until just opaque, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the cauliflower.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan; heat over high heat. Add broccoli, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce (or tamari), water, vinegar and pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir in the reserved eggs, cauliflower and shrimp.

Tip: Look for prepared cauliflower rice (or cauliflower crumbles) available in the produce section of some supermarkets. To make your own, pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until broken down into rice-size granules. One 1-1/2-pound head of cauliflower yields about 4 cups of cauliflower rice.

This dish may be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed

1/4 cup slivered almonds

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed

1 cup diced cucumber

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Place peppers, almonds, 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, paprika, cumin and crushed red pepper (if using) in a mini food processor. Puree until fairly smooth.

Combine quinoa, olives, red onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium bowl.

To serve, divide the quinoa mixture among 4 bowls and top with equal amounts of the chickpeas, cucumber and the red pepper sauce. Sprinkle with feta and parsley.

Chicken and Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon and Parmesan

8 oz. gluten-free penne pasta or whole-wheat penne pasta

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed, if necessary, and cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

10 cups chopped fresh spinach

4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in wine, lemon juice and zest and bring to a simmer.

Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and the cooked pasta. Cover and let stand until the spinach is just wilted. Divide among 4 plates and top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Related Topics: FOODRECIPES
Lorie Skarpness has been writing for the Enterprise since 2017.
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