Tag Archives: Healthy Recipes

5 Healthy Meals in 5 Minutes or Less

image Yesterday I gave a cooking demonstration to a group of seniors in Sacramento called Heart Healthy Cooking for One.  The recipes were so popular, easy to make, and delicious, that I thought I would share them on my blog! Each recipe takes 5 minutes or less to prepare, so it’s perfect for when you want to whip up a quick and healthy breakfast or lunch for yourself.  There is also a convenient vegetable cooking chart for the microwave at the end. Check them out, in easy printable format: 5 Meals in 5 Minutes or Less.

These recipes are all easily prepared using a George Foreman grill and a microwave.  If you don’t have a George Foreman grill, you can use a skillet on the stove.  But, I highly recommend a George Foreman grill because they are so easy to use!  I just use a small one that costs less than $20 at Walmart or Target.

All of these recipes are very heart healthy.  The characteristics of a heart healthy meal are:

  • Low in fat (especially saturated and trans fat)
  • Low in sodium
  • High in fiber

Heart disease is currently the #1 killer in America. But, 80% of heart disease is preventable through healthy lifestyle choices! So, I hope you enjoy these delicious heart healthy recipes!

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Boost Your Health with Delicious MediterrAsian Recipes!

The Mediterranean and Asian diets are two of the healthiest diets world-wide.  Compared to people with typical “Western” lifestyles, people with Mediterranean or Asian lifestyles tend to live longer, healthier lives.

Mediterranean and Asian dishes are flavorful, delicious, and extremely healthy. So, why not add some delicious Mediterranean and Asian recipes to your repertoire? I recently discovered MediterrAsian.com and it has introduced me to a wide array of new, delicious recipes!  Although many of the recipes contain some new ingredients, I have found all of the recipes so far to be very do-able. And, if you just can’t find an ingredient (like fish sauce), no worries! It will still taste scrumptious without it.

Check out some of the recipes I’ve tried:

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Thai Red Chicken Curry: “Melt-in-the-mouth morsels of chicken breast and assorted vegetables cooked in a spicy Thai red curry sauce and served with fluffy Jasmine rice.”

My assessment: Great!  I added some extra veggies as well, like eggplant and spinach.  Go easy on the curry if you’re sensitive to spice!

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South Indian Shrimp Curry. “Tender shrimp gently  poached in an a flavorsome gravy infused with an aromatic blend of spices, fresh cilantro and lemon juice served over Basmati rice.”

My assessment: Very good, but the shrimp flavor was a little overpowering. Next time, I’ll try with chicken.

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Tofu & Cashew Chow Mein. “Crunchy cashews and vegetables complement the soft texture of the noodles and tofu in this quick and satisfying dish.”

My assessment: Terrific! This one has become a regular on my menu. I use whole wheat spaghetti instead of the chow mein noodles, and usually sub peanuts for the cashews.

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Spanish Broccoli & Almond Soup: “The combination of ground almonds and broccoli makes a deliciously creamy, yet creamless soup with a rich, green color.”

My assessment: I was surprised to find… I really liked this soup! At first, when I was boiling all the ingredients, I thought uh-oh—this stuff looks (and smells) pretty nasty. I didn’t see how in the world pureeing it all in a blender would save the soup, but low and behold, it did! Over the week, I enjoyed every last drop of the entire pot. So, now matter how sketchy it looks when you’re cooking it—finish it!

So, there you have the 4 dishes I have tried, and many more are on my future line-up! Have fun browsing all of their awesome recipes at http://www.mediterrasian.com/delicious_recipes.htm.

Fall Morning Oatmeal

Here’s a breakfast recipe that is quick, simple and every delicious bite tastes like a fresh fall morning! If you haven’t tried a persimmon before: you really must! I had never tried one until I came to California. Fuyus are my favorite variety. They have a sweet cinnamon flavor, and are ripe when still crisp.

Here are the ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup Oatmeal
  • 1 banana chopped
  • 1 Fuyu persimmon, chopped (or 1 Hachiya persimmon very soft with skin removed)
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin butter (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 Tablespoon hemp protein powder

Directions:

  1. Mix dried oatmeal, banana, persimmon, and milk. Heat in the microwave for about 3 minutes if Quick Cooking Oats, longer if Old-Fashioned.  Oatmeal should be warm and soft, and fruit should smell sweet and delicious.
  2. When cooked, stir in pumpkin butter, walnuts, cinnamon and optional ingredients. Enjoy!

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Spicy Peanut Noodles

I felt like such the inspired chef last night when I came home from tennis starving…. only to find that I was out of leftovers!  I was just about to run out the door to pick something up, when it hit me—Spicy Peanut Noodles. Granted, I had no recipe and had never tried it before, but I had all the right ingredients. It came out delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodlesIMG_0951
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Garlic
  • Thinly chopped veggies (I used red bell pepper, carrots, purple cabbage, spinach and edamame)
  • Dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • Tofu (optional)
  • Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette from Trader Joe’s (pictured) or some other spicy peanut sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions
  2. Heat oil in skillet.  Add veggies, garlic, peanuts and tofu.  Stir fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring.
  3. When pasta is done, toss everything together!  Add peanut sauce to taste.

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Itching for more recipes?  Check out my friend Kristen’s Mint Pesto Linguini with Chicken over at Simply Savor!

Fancy Fish Dinner in 5 Minutes or Less!

Reading the All Pro Diet inspired me to try to eat more fish. Fish is a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein.  So, the past 2 nights I’ve whipped up 2 different simple and delicious fish dinners, both in under 5 minutes.  Here’s how I did it:

image Night #1: Grilled Salmon with Spinach and Whole Wheat Couscous

I made this recipe using my beloved George Forman Grill.  I highly recommend getting one for quick and simple meals!  Steps:

  1. Warm up the George Forman grill
  2. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on a filet of fresh salmon
  3. Cook on the grill for 1 minute
  4. Finish cooking the fish in the microwave.  It usually takes about 1 minute, depending on the thickness of the filet. Check to make sure fish is cooked all the way through. Finishing the cooking in the microwave keeps the fish nice and moist!
  5. While that’s cooking, prepare the spinach using my “20 second spinach” recipe and cook the couscous according to package directions (cooks in 5 minutes).

That’s it!  A delicious, date-worthy meal in minutes! I love the way the grill makes the salmon crisp on the outside, warm on the inside.

Night #2: Poached TilapiaIMG_0967

Tilapia is a mild, white fish.  Simmer it in a delicious sauce of your choice, and  serve with brown rice or couscous and fresh steamed vegetables.  I used Trader Joe’s Eggplant Caponata, which I would give a B-. It was a little too salty/green olivey for me (but if you like green olives—go for it!).  Try any simmer sauce that tickles your fancy, such as Indian Korma, Thai Curry, or Mexican salsa.  Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Spray a skillet with canola oil, add your filet of fresh tilapia
  2. Pour the simmer sauce of your choice all over the fish and cover the skillet with a lid.  (Throw in a few veggies too if you like!)
  3. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep fish from sticking.
  4. Serve with the sides of your choice.IMG_0962

Viola! Even I can’t believe how simple this was!

One Pot Moroccan Stew

Moroccan Stew

Moroccan Stew

This dish is a simple and delicious way to get in lots of veggies.  Because you can make it in just one pot, it is easy to make and easy to clean up afterward! Here’s how it’s done:

Ingredients:

  • All of your favorite vegetables, chopped (here I used eggplant, zucchini, spinach and onion)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (you can also cook them from dried beans, but then you have to use another pot!)
  • 1 can of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic
  • Spices: 1 Tablespoon curry powder, 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup whole wheat cous-cous or instant brown rice (okay, I actually prepared this in a separate pot and mixed it together afterward.  But I’m pretty sure it would work in one pot if you added a little extra water.)

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a large pot, cover and simmer for about 30  minutes or until vegetables are tender!

Note: The key to this recipe is the spices!  Feel free to add greater amounts to taste.

15 minute Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

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Yum! This recipe is deliciously simple.  Start by gathering the ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 2 inch pieces (Or leave out if you’re going vegetarian-style!)
  • Cooking oil spray (olive oil preferred)
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 10 ounce jar Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (I like Classico brand, found next to spaghetti sauces at the grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 package whole-wheat spaghetti

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Directions:

  1. In a bowl, stir together pesto, wine, water and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Spray a skillet with cooking oil spray. Sautee the chicken over medium high heat, about 2 minutes each side.
  3. Add the eggplant, spinach, and pesto mixture.  Turn heat to low, cover and continue to cook for 6-8 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Cook the pasta according to directions.
  5. When finished, toss everything together and serve!IMG_0915 IMG_0916

Here, I actually cooked the veggies separately from the chicken.  But I would recommend doing it all together for simplicity! The eggplant really takes on the flavor of the pesto and tastes delicious!

This recipe was inspired by the Meals in Minutes Cookbook by the American Heart Association.  Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.

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