January 27, 2024

The New Year is officially here, and that comes with New Year’s resolutions. Take advantage of the extra motivation this time of year to add in a healthy habit you will be excited to continue with the rest of the year! For those who enjoy both tasty food and fast food, the air fryer is one kitchen tool that can help. Making delicious food with this kitchen gadget is better for your New Year’s resolutions and could not be any easier.

There are so many reasons to add an air fryer to your staple kitchen gadgets. Here are just a few of my favorites: Air fryers allow you to create meals and snacks that are lower in fat, compared to the alternative of deep-frying. This is perfect for supporting heart health and lowering calorie content of meals. Air fryers are also super quick and easy to use, preparing foods faster than other cooking methods. But those aren’t the only reasons I choose to air-fry at home!

From produce to protein, a versatile air fryer isn’t just built for cooking frozen chicken tenders and French fries. Try incorporating my go-to air-fryer foods to keep your health in mind, without sacrificing flavor. For example, try a lighter version of Buffalo wings by making Buffalo cauliflower! Start with a container of Hy-Vee Short Cuts cauliflower and mix it with your favorite Buffalo sauce, cornstarch and seasonings of your choice. Then, add some Chosen Foods avocado oil before placing in the air fryer at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. This avocado oil has a neutral taste, is naturally refined, and has a high smoke point of 500 degrees. It is good for sautéing, grilling, baking, roasting and – in this case – air-frying. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, which helps keep the immune system strong during cold and flu season.

For a sweeter snack, try air-fried apple chips. Apples are a good source of fiber, helping you stay full longer and allowing you to reach your weight management goals. Thinly slice the apple and top with cinnamon, nutmeg and Chosen Foods avocado oil cooking spray. Cook for about 14 minutes at 400 degrees and enjoy perfectly crispy chips.

But perhaps my favorite menu item to air-fry is salmon! Cooking salmon may seem daunting, but by cooking in the air fryer you avoid the mess of cooking on the stove and the result is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Salmon contains essential omega-3 fatty acids which can support lowering triglycerides in the blood; that, in turn, will improve cholesterol levels overall. Try air-frying salmon in this delicious Mediterranean Salmon Bowl recipe. For more ideas to help you stay on track with your New Year’s resolutions, reach out to a Hy-Vee dietitian today!

Mediterranean Salmon Bowl
Serves 4

All You Need:
1 lb Hy-Vee Fish Market farm-raised Atlantic salmon fillet, skin removed
6 tbsp Greek vinaigrette dressing, divided, plus additional for serving
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
½ cup Hy-Vee Short Cuts diced red onion
Chosen Foods avocado oil spray
4 Hy-Vee large eggs
2 (10-oz) pkgs Green Giant frozen riced veggies cauliflower with lemon & garlic
3 cups fresh chopped romaine lettuce
½ cup Hy-Vee original hummus
¼ cup Soiree Mediterranean blue cheese crumbles

All you do:

  1. Cut salmon into 1½ inch-cubes. Place into a reusable plastic bag with 4 tablespoons Greek vinaigrette. Seal bag and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and remaining 2 tablespoons vinaigrette in a medium bowl until coated; set aside.
  2. Using an air fryer with a 2-basket feature, spray both baskets with cooking spray and preheat one to 400 degrees F and the other basket to 300 degrees F.
  3. Remove salmon from marinade; discard marinade. Place salmon in the 400-degree basket and air-fry for 9 to 11 minutes or until salmon reaches 145 degrees, gently shaking the basket halfway through. Place eggs in the 300-degree basket and air-fry for 11 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook cauliflower rice in a microwave according to package directions.
  5. To serve, peel and slice hard-cooked eggs. Divide lettuce among 4 bowls. Top with cauliflower rice. Arrange salmon, eggs, cucumber mixture and hummus on top. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles. Serve with additional Greek vinaigrette, if desired.

Recipe source: January/February 2024 Hy-Vee Seasons magazine. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.