Laurie Lloyd became a health coach and nutritional consultant and founded Liv Light because she wanted to spread the word about everything health and diet. “I love to show people how easy it can be to make healthy, homemade meals that are absolutely delicious,” says Lloyd, who moved to North Carolina from New York City five years ago with her husband Oliver, also a chef.
“I believe that different foods work for different people and there is no magic diet, but the key is to focus on real food,” she says. “I’m always telling friends and clients to find the foods that make them feel the best and not bother with fad diets.” For Lloyd, going completely plant based wasn’t the answer: “It didn’t work well for my body. I try to eat mainly plants, but I do enjoy some dairy, eggs, fish and shellfish.”
The self-described “Lacto-Ovo-Pescatarian” has created the perfect plant-based/flexitarian, low-fat, low-sugar dinner menu with several dairy-free and gluten-free options in order to detox. “I wanted to show my friends that you can make the most delicious, hearty, and fulfilling dinner without meat, but I did include two fish items in case any of my guests didn’t love eating only veggies.” To start 2017 off on the right foot and recover from holiday indulgences, she suggests staying away from refined sugar and highly-processed and packaged foods.
Here’s the ideal dinner menu to get back in gear in the new year.
Blair’s Roasted Vegetable Soup (Serves 6)
“I love pureed veggie soups. My Vitamix is my best friend in the kitchen. It makes the most amazing creamy soups without having to add any dairy.”
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno (optional if you like spice)
- 1 32oz. box low-sodium vegetable broth
- ½ tsp. thyme
- ½ tsp. celery salt
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- 2. Cut peppers, zucchini, and onion in wide strips.
- 3. Quarter tomatoes and remove seeds.
- 4. Cut top off jalapeno, slice in half lengthwise, remove seeds and most of the white rib.
- 5. Place all vegetables on a large baking sheet and toss with oil and spices.
- 6. Roast until soft about 25 minutes.
- 7. Carefully place in blender pitcher and add half the broth.
- 8. Starting at the lowest level, slowly increase speed until pureed smooth.
- 9. Add additional broth until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
- 10. Add to pot and simmer until ready to serve.
Kale Caesar Salad (Serves 4-6)
“Veggies, especially greens, are the number one food you can eat to improve your health. They are filled with vitamins, minerals, and are truly disease fighting.”
- 8 cups kale, chopped
- ½ avocado, smashed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large lemon, zest and juice (about 1/8 cup)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- crushed red pepper to taste 2 tbsp (or more!)
- freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1. Remove any hard ribs from the kale and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- 2. In the bottom of an empty large salad bowl whisk together smashed avocado, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper to create dressing.
- 3. Add kale and mix together thoroughly using your hands.
- 4. Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- 5. Add crushed red pepper if you like spice and freshly grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast (to keep it vegan and dairy-free) and mix lightly to just combine.
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Serves 4-6)
“Green vegetables are great for post-holiday recovery. They help cleanse and flush out your system.”
- 2 pounds small brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. chili sauce (I use the organic version of sriracha)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- 2. Place sprouts in a ziplock bag with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- 3. Shake to coat evenly.
- 4. Pour sprouts onto a parchment lined sheet pan in a single layer.
- 5. Roast until slightly browned about 20 minutes, shaking once halfway through.
- 6. Combine syrup and chili sauce and drizzle evenly over sprouts.
- 7. Return to oven for an additional five minutes or until caramelized.
Roasted Salmon with Lemon, Ginger, and Thyme (Serves 4)
“I chose salmon for its healthy fat, which is great for your brain, heart and skin.”
- 4, 6 oz. salmon filets, skin removed (just ask the fishmonger)
- 1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. dry ginger
- 1 tsp. dry thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- 2. In a large glass baking dish drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom.
- 3. Place salmon in dish and squeeze juice of one lemon.
- 4. Sprinkle with ginger, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- 5. Flip filets over a few times to ensure both sides are seasoned.
- 6. Let sit out for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven.
- 7. Bake for 16-20 minutes depending on the temperature you prefer (16 for rare and 20 for medium).
LivLight Signature Cocktail
“When drinking alcohol, I always recommend staying away from caloric, sugar-filled mixers,” says Lloyd. “My LivLight Signature Cocktail is simply tequila, naturally sweetened with fresh juice, and topped with lots of soda water that helps to keep you hydrated. Keep in mind, it is still important to have a glass of water between each cocktail to avoid a nasty hangover!”
- 1 shot tequila
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp. fresh orange juice
- soda water
- 1. Combine tequila and juices over ice.
- 2. Top with soda water.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse (Serves 4-6)
“My Chocolate Avocado Mousse is so rich and surprisingly healthy. It is mostly avocado, which is a healthy fat and dark chocolate, which is filled with antioxidants.”
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 4 very ripe avocados
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1. Place chocolate in a glass bowl over small pot of simmering water.
- 2. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- 3. Set aside and let cool slightly without hardening.
- 4. Place melted chocolate, avocados, maple syrup, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla, and salt in a food processor.
- 5. Blend until very smooth.
- 6. Spoon into small glass bowls and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to a day in advance.