New Year's resolutions can sometimes mean restricting yourself, but we're about to turn that idea upside down.

Michigan Resort owner Gina Ferwerda joined the Weekend Morning News with a much more positive take on New Year's Resolutions when it comes to food.

"I like to think of resolutions as a culmination for the entire year and not just day to day," Gina said. "At the end of the year, your goal is to be a better version of yourself -- whether that is healthier eating, exercising more, reading more books, learning a foreign language or how to play an instrument, or having better skin."

Gina started this goal a few years ago. She told herself to buy one new food-related item a month and learn to cook with it. At the end of the year, Gina said she had new recipes and knew a lot more about different ingredients, fruits and vegetables.

Focus on introducing new items, such as soba noodles and peanut butter powder, in the month of January. One idea is through a chicken satay recipe -- which has 80-percent less fat because we are using peanut butter powder instead of peanut butter. And soba noodles and peanut butter powder can be found right at your local Meijer store.

Chicken satay, as delicious as it is, can be really fattening.

In this recipe, Gina saves a ton of calories by using peanut butter powder instead of actual peanut butter. In just two tablespoons, it will save you about 14 grams of fat but you lose nothing else. It's still flavorful and the consistency is still spot on.

This dish is great hot or cold the next day. So, a great dish to make hot for dinner and cold soba noodle salad the next day for meal prep.


(Serves 8)

PEANUT SAUCE Ingredients:

1⁄2 cup peanut butter powder

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1 tablespoon ginger paste

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1⁄4 cup vegetable oil

1⁄2 cup water

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half lengthwise

12 ounces soba noodles

1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 pound fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup bell peppers, thinly sliced

Skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes prior to grilling)


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together peanut butter powder, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic paste, ginger paste, oils and water. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low cook for 5-8 minutes, or until thickened. Let cool and set aside.


Add chicken and 1⁄4 cup of peanut sauce to a large, resealable bag. Seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.


Add noodles, cabbage, asparagus and peppers to a large pot of boiling water. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of water, then drain and set aside.


Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers and grill over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes each side. Or add chicken (with or without skewers) to a skillet and cook over medium-high heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Add the remaining peanut sauce to the noodle mixture. Lightly toss together over medium heat until warm. Add some reserved water to thin the sauce, if needed.

To serve, equally divide noodle mixture among 8 plates and top each with 2 chicken skewers.



Red pepper flakes

Mandarin oranges


Blue cheese crumbles

Pickled asparagus

Click here for more tips from Gina.

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