Summer's here. It’s time to eat healthy! If you’re feeling lazy or aren’t sure what to make, here are ten easy, healthy recipes that’ll make you look and feel fabulous!
1. Low GI Primal Blueberry Pancakes
Time: 20 minutes
Who says pancakes have to be unhealthy? These ones certainly aren’t! Made with coconut flour and bananas, these pancakes deliver a powerful nutrient boost to get you through the day.
- 2 ripe medium-large bananas
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp coconut flour (may substitute cashew flour)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla or coconut extract
- 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
- Coconut oil for frying
- In a medium bowl mash bananas with a fork. Leave them a bit chunky.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix together well.
- Heat a pan on medium-low heat and add coconut oil (be generous and ensure the entire pan is coated).
- Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, plop down the batter and press down with the back of a spoon. The batter should sizzle a little. If not, heat pan a little longer.
- Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until bottom has caramelized slightly and is easily removed with a spatula. Flip and repeat.
2. Antioxidant-Rich Pumpkin Oatmeal
Time: 30 minutes
Who says pumpkin is just for fall? Think again. Jam-packed with nutritional goodness, pumpkin is rich in antioxidants and fiber, helping you start your morning off right!
- 1 1/2 cups non-fat coconut or rice milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups quick oats
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar or sugar substitute
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- Bring the milk and water to a boil in a saucepan that’s large enough to prevent a boil-over.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add the oats and then stir in all other ingredients except cranberries.
- Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until oats are done and oatmeal is thickened to your liking.
- Serve with cranberries, either stirred in or sprinkled on top.
3. High-Protein Southwestern Scrambled Tofu
Time: 25 minutes
Tofu isn’t just for vegetarians! Packed with protein and heart healthy nutrients, tofu’s a great kick start to your day. You won’t even miss eggs!
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Olive oil spray
- 1 scallion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 package firm tofu, very well drained
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped cilantro
- In a small bowl, mix together nutritional yeast, spices, water, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Mist a frying pan with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add scallion and garlic, and sauté until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Crumble tofu into the pan, breaking it up with your fingers. Pour seasoning over tofu and mix well, trying to color as much tofu as possible. Cook for 2 minutes or until tofu is hot throughout.
- Toss in cilantro and continue to stir for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Once cooked, serve with favorite sides and toppings, such as sliced avocado, whole-grain crackers or toast, sliced tomato, bacon (regular or meat-free), salsa, and hot sauce.
4. Nutrient-Packed Raw Chard–Apple Smoothie
Time: 10 minutes
Swiss chard is a superfood filled with antioxidants and fiber that’s sure to fill you up. Combined with apples, this smoothie ensures that you get a cornucopia of goodness with each gulp.
- 3/4 cup chopped Swiss chard, ribs and thick stems removed
- 1 small stalk celery
- 1/2 banana, chopped
- 1/2 cup unpasteurized apple juice
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Place the chard, celery, banana, apple juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and frothy.
5. High-Energy Vegan Black Bean, Edamame, and Corn Quesadillas
Time: 20 minutes
Who doesn’t love Mexican food? Black beans and edamame are an excellent source of protein and fiber. If you use a whole-wheat tortilla, you’ll get an extra dose of fiber, too!
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup edamame
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp onion powder (to taste)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
- 1 cup jarred salsa
- 1 tbsp turbinado or brown sugar
- dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
- 6 – 8-inch flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack soy cheese
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and add beans, corn, onion, and garlic powder. Cook until corn is heated (1-2 minutes) and then add salsa, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Heat thoroughly and allow flavors to blend (3-4 minutes).
- Heat another skillet over medium-low heat. Very lightly grease the back of two tortillas. Lay one in the pan and spread a little soy cheese, 1/4 cup of the bean and corn mixture, and more cheese on one half of the tortilla and fold the other side over the top. Lay the other tortilla on the other side of the pan, top with a little soy cheese, 1/4 cup of bean mixture, and more soy cheese on half and fold the other side of the tortilla over the top.
- Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, and then flip carefully and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove onto plate and cut quesadilla into quarters. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve hot with soy sour cream and salsa on the side for dipping.
6. Omega 3–Packed White Bean and Salmon Salad with Orange Dressing
Time: 15 minutes
This simple salad uses salmon in place of traditional tuna for an extra nutritional punch. It makes a perfect light lunch or an easy side dish.
- 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans
- 1 3.75-oz. can pink or red salmon
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- 1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup minced green onion
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped *
- 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange juice concentrate
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Flake the canned salmon on top of the beans and add the Romano, minced garlic, and basil leaves.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour over the bean mixture, and toss gently to combine. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
7. Vegetarian Feta and Onion Frittata
Time: 25 minutes
This Italian-style omelet is delicious with just about any herb combination; try parsley, dill, chervil or marjoram.
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat feta
- Bring onion and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the onion is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the water has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle in oil and stir until coated. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Pour in eggs, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the egg is starting to set (about 20 seconds). Continue cooking, lifting the edges so the uncooked egg will flow underneath, until mostly set, about 30 seconds more.
- Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper over the frittata. Spoon cheese on top. Lift up an edge of the frittata and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon water under it. Cover and cook until the egg is completely set and the cheese is hot, about 2 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan using the spatula and serve.
8. Low-Carb Chipotle Chicken Chili
Time: 30 minutes
This low-carb chili provides loads of protein. It’s so good, you can’t even tell the difference from more traditional chili.
- 1 pound lean ground chicken (or turkey)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup prepared salsa (we used Pace Mild)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan, combine the ground chicken and the spices. When the meat is cooked through, add your salsa. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Optional garnishes: red onion, cilantro, avocado, lime, cheese, sour cream, corn, peppers, and pumpkin puree.
9. Low-Fat Caprese Pizza
Time: 45 minutes
Pizza sounds like an unhealthy food, but it doesn’t have to be! Substitute whole wheat dough for white dough, use low fat cheese instead of full fat, add some protein rich toppings and veggies, and you’re set to go!
- 1 1/2 ounces refrigerated fresh whole wheat pizza dough
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 25 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Spices (oregano, basil, rosemary)
- Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Combine tomatoes and 1 tablespoon oil on a parchment-lined baking sheet; toss to coat tomatoes. Broil 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to brown.
- Bring vinegar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; simmer 10 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).
- Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; pierce dough liberally with a fork. Remove pizza stone from oven. Sprinkle cornmeal over pizza stone. Place dough on pizza stone; bake at 500° for 5 minutes.
- Remove stone from oven. Combine remaining oil and garlic; brush evenly over crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with tomatoes and cheese. Spray border of crust with cooking spray. Bake 12-15 minutes or until cheese melts and crust browns. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinegar; sprinkle with basil and other herbs. Cut into 8-10 wedges.
10. Primal Herb Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Leeks
Time: 40 minutes
This recipe is easy, tasty, and healthy—plus it’s primal-diet friendly. Chicken provides much needed protein, sweet potatoes healthy carbs, and leeks fiber and antioxidants.
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4-5), halved or quartered if large
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 cup frozen leeks, thawed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Heat oven to 450° F with a rack in the highest position. Toss the potatoes with the oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Season the chicken with the oregano, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken skin-side up in the potatoes and roast, tossing the potatoes once, until the potatoes are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted in each thigh registers 165º F, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add the leeks to the chicken and potatoes and continue to roast until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle with the dill and serve with the lemon wedges.
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- "12 Foods Happy People Eat," Food Matters, November 12, 2014.
- "15 Mood-Boosting Foods,"Prevention, November 3, 2011.
- "Is there Such a Thing as The Happiness Diet? Apparently So! Doctor Reveals A-Z of Foods That Trim Your Waistline AND Make You Feel Good," The Daily Mail, March 21, 2017.