15 Flex™ Meals for a Healthier New Year

Article posted in: FreshStart
healthier new year

Whether you’re starting out on a weight loss journey this month or continuing on your plan to success, congratulations: You’ve taken steps to a healthier new year. And if you’re losing with Nutrisystem, you’ve got a secret weapon—delicious Nutrisystem foods that are just like your favorites, but in smart portions and with extra nutrients to help keep you satisfied.

But not every meal can be a Nutrisystem breakfast, lunch, or dinner—and once you’ve reached your goal, you’ll want to maintain your healthy portions and smart eating in the real world. That’s why, starting with week two, Nutrisystem plans incorporate Flex™ Meals. They’re meals you eat out or prepare yourself according to Nutrisystem’s healthy guidelines, giving you options at restaurants or learning to prepare meals that will keep you on track when you aren’t eating one of your Nutrisystem favorites. Each Flex Meal is comprised of SmartCarbs, PowerFuels, and Extras; check out the chart below to see what your plan’s Flex™ Meals are supposed to be so you can stay on track with your healthier new year :

flex meals

Of course, you don’t have to go it alone when preparing these meals, either. The Leaf has hundreds of Flex Meal recipes and options you can choose from.

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Here are 15 favorites to help you have a healthier new year :

Flex Breakfasts:

1. Instant Pot Tomato Basil Frittata >

tomato basil quiche

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One PowerFuel and one Extra

If Santa left an Instant Pot under your tree, get ready to put that miracle machine to work for a healthier new year. Amazingly, the pot can also make a fluffy, perfect frittata with the freshness of basil for your breakfast table. Just mix the eight ingredients in a bowl, add it to the Instant Pot above some water, and wait: 20 minutes later, you’ve got a brunch-worthy breakfast that’s perfect for any weekend table.

2. Instant Pot Breakfast Cereal >

instant pot cereal

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One PowerFuel, one SmartCarb and one Extra

You may have seen recipes for overnight oatmeal options: By prepping the recipe the night before, the oats turn into a creamy, filling breakfast while you sleep. But if you’re not a food prep night owl, this Instant Pot recipe is just the trick. Thanks to the gadget’s safe pressure cooking, you can get those low, slow results in just 12 minutes. Using the “rice” setting, your Instant Pot will soften apples and stew together quinoa and steel cut oats (the good kind!) with spices for a 227-calorie bowl that will keep you powered up all morning.

3. Chocolate Peanut Butter French Toast >

chocolate peanut butter french toast

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Extra

You won’t believe this is food that can help you lose weight: French toast topped with peanut butter and chocolate chips. But it’s true! Using a FreshStart Shake to pump up the protein, egg white to cut a few calories, and a reasonable serving of both peanut butter and chocolate, you can enjoy this indulgent breakfast, guilt-free. Each slice clocks in at an astonishingly low 238 calories, meaning your sweet tooth can be satisfied by melting peanut butter while the pounds keep melting off.

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4. Easy Loaded Omelet Muffins >

omelette muffins

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One PowerFuel and one Vegetable

If you want a breakfast that’s grab and go, it doesn’t always have to be a bagel, and you don’t have to sacrifice filling protein. These omelet muffins are easy to make in big batches on the weekend, and they keep in the refrigerator all week. Before you run out the door, grab three to munch on your commute or once you get to your desk. They’ve got eggs and a garden omelet’s worth of vegetables for a tasty breakfast that will fill you up—and keep you full thanks to the protein from the eggs and fiber from the veggies.

Flex Lunch and Dinners:

5. Healthy Spanakopita >

Spanakopita

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One PowerFuel and one Extra

Healthy meals can feel indulgent, and this spanakopita proves it: Stuffed with the same cheese and spinach you love from grabbing it a pastry shop, all nestled into crispy phyllo dough, you’ll be amazed that this treat clocks in at just 154 calories per serving. You’ll also be amazed at how easy it is to make: Using store-bought phyllo sheets, this delicious recipe can be ready in less than 40 minutes. And with eight servings, there will be plenty to share—or save to enjoy all week and keep you on track with a healthier new year.

6. Spicy Sausage Bruschetta >

spicy bruschetta

On Nutrisystem, counts as: Two PowerFuels and one Extra

If you’re looking to make an appealing appetizer to bring to a party, stop looking: These bruschetta are little bites that burst with the flavor of sausage, garlic, and onion, all with melty mozzarella cheese. Two bruschetta are just 117 calories, but your fellow guests will never know—they’ll be gobbling them up so fast, you won’t have time to tell them these bites of heaven are healthy!

7. Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps >

buffalo chicken lettuce wraps

On Nutrisystem, counts as: Two PowerFuels, one Extra and one Vegetable

Getting ready for game day? Get out the Instant Pot. These chicken lettuce wraps have all the savory, spicy flavor of a buffalo chicken sandwich, including creamy blue cheese sauce to top it all off. With the wraps, you’ll stay on plan without sacrificing any of your favorite flavors, and get a bonus: One of your four daily servings of non-starchy vegetables. That means these wraps won’t just taste good, but keep you satisfied—eating your daily veggie servings means fiber that will help keep you feeling full, even if the game goes to overtime.

8. Chicken Pot Pie >

chicken pot pie

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One SmartCarb, two PowerFuels and half a Vegetable

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite comfort foods: That’s part of what makes the Nutrisystem program so effective. You can still eat pizza, pasta, cakes, cookies and other comfort favorites while losing weight. And that comfort doesn’t stop with Nutrisystem meals—Flex Meals, like this chicken pot pie, can do the same. And you don’t have to be a master baker to make it, either: pre-made whole wheat pastry flour becomes a flaky, golden brown topping for your hearty favorites, including chicken, peas, carrots and celery. And it all clocks in at just 267 filling calories.

Flex™ Meals Explained

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9. Home-Cooked Turkey Meatloaf >

turkey meatloaf

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One PowerFuel, one Extra and half of a Vegetable

It doesn’t get much more “comfort food” than meatloaf, and this turkey recipe delivers … plus adds the nutrition of spinach and the belly-filling fiber of oats to keep you feeling full and happy. In about an hour, you can have a warm, healthy fill-in for grandma’s recipe, bursting with flavor from minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce and topped with ketchup, just like the classic. But at just 124 calories per serving, you won’t have to feel guilty about going back for a second helping and will be well on your way to a healthier new year.

10. Chicken a la King >

chicken a la king

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One SmartCarb, two PowerFuels and one Vegetable

Plain chicken on a plate with steamed broccoli can get repetitive. Pump up that poultry and make a dish fit for royalty—with red bell peppers, mushrooms, celery and more, all atop ziti pasta. It’s the same creamy Chicken a la King you love, but in a portion that will have you loving your progress and keep your on track with a healthier new year.

11. Carrot and Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai >

pad thai

On Nutrisystem, counts as: Two PowerFuels, two Vegetables and two Extras

With this Carrot and Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai recipe, your favorite takeout flavors will deliver half of your daily vegetable servings in just 290 calories. And it doesn’t skimp on what makes you want to order the dish in the first place: There’s shrimp, cilantro, scrambled egg and peanut with chili and garlic to satisfy your craving. The trick is in the zucchini. Using a spiralizer turns the squash into quick-cooking noodles that have far fewer calories than in normal rice noodles, but taste just as good when matched and mixed with all those pad Thai flavors.

12. Italian Lovers’ Zucchini Boats >

zucchini boats

On Nutrisystem, counts as: One PowerFuel, one Extra and one Vegetable

Don’t be fooled by the veggies: This Italian-inspired dish is really hearty. To make it, you’ll hollow out two zucchini halves, making “boats” that get filled with chicken sausage, peppers, marinara sauce, ricotta cheese and garlic. Each boat bakes into a creamy, saucy vessel of your favorite Italian flavors, packed with protein and vegetable nutrition to help you power through an afternoon or stay full as you wind down for the evening. It’s a sure bet these boats will become a regular on your Flex Meal favorites list and will set you up for a healthier new year.

13. Chicken Teriyaki with Mixed Veggies >

chicken teriyaki

On Nutrisystem, counts as: Two PowerFuels, one SmartCarb, one Vegetable and one Extra

Store-bought teriyaki sauce can be loaded with sugar. You can get even better flavor—and pump up your cooking skills—by making a simple version at home for a healthier new year. With soy sauce, honey, ginger and molasses, it’s got the classic flavors you love, and is perfect on chicken or beef Flex dishes of all kinds. But it really shines in this simple stir fry, topping chicken, broccoli, snow peas, peppers and brown rice for a taste that beats takeout for a perfect midweek meal the whole family will love.

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14. Spicy Cajun Ham & Sweet Potato Mash >

honey ham

On Nutrisystem, counts as: Two PowerFuels, one SmartCarb, one Extra and half of a Vegetable

Ham and mashed potatoes is a classic, but this twist makes it healthier without losing any flavor. A spicy Cajun-inspired sauce gives the hame some kick and reduces sugar you’d find in a normal glaze, while the sweet potato mash delivers the creamy texture you love with added fiber and Vitamins from the orange-tinged tubers and carrots—don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the carrots. You’ll just reap the belly-filling benefits of their fiber so you’ll keep feeling full far longer than with the classic mash.

15. Hawaiian Honey Ham & Quinoa Salad >

healthier new year

On Nutrisystem, counts as: Two PowerFuels, one SmartCarb and three Extras

If you’ve tried quinoa at a restaurant or in a burger but haven’t tried making this protein-rich grain on your own, here’s your chance for a healthier new filled with quinoa. This zesty quinoa salad is a snap to make, cooked with pineapple juice to add sweetness in just 15 minutes, and tossed with raisins, carrots, onions, parsley and pineapple chunks for a zesty, refreshing side. The pineapple goodness doesn’t stop there: To give the ham a Hawaiian zing, you’ll make a quick sauce with pineapple juice and top with pineapple rings before baking. It’s a gourmet taste that is a cinch to make, and perfect for a fancy-feeling Flex Meal.

No time to cook this week? Stock up on your favorite Nutrisystem meals to stay on track! >