Baked Black Bean Tostadas: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay corn tortillas flat on greased baking sheet. Smear a spoonful of canned refried black beans on top of tortillas. Bake on the middle oven rack until tortillas are crispy. Meanwhile, chop favorite toppings such as cabbage, peppers, scallions, radishes and tomatoes. Remove from oven once tortillas are crisp and add toppings.
— Katie Abbott, MS, RDN, INHC
Ingredient Improv: If you don’t have canned refried beans, substitute any kind of cooked beans. Leave them whole or mash them with a fork. Add cheese and steam or sauté vegetables for a softer texture. For more flavor, sprinkle with garlic powder, cumin or red pepper flakes.
Frico Eggs: In a nonstick pan, sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese in an oval mound. Let it melt a bit, then crack an egg over top. Cover with a lid and cook until the white of the egg is not runny and the yolk is firm. Serve over creamy grits with sautéed mushrooms.
— Cindy Gay, RD, LD
Ingredient Improv: Use vegan cheese to accommodate a food allergy or for dietary preference. Add chopped onion and spinach or any other vegetables. For even faster cooking, use instant grits or serve over unflavored instant oatmeal.
Egg Pizza Toast: Toast a slice of crusty whole-wheat bread (sourdough is especially tasty). Top with a slice of mozzarella cheese, followed by a scrambled, fried or poached egg, and then warm chunky pasta sauce. This is a great way to use leftover pasta sauce.
— Leah Swanson, RDN
Ingredient Improv: Replace toast with a bagel, whole-wheat crackers or other grain. For cheese lovers who want a more powerful flavor, incorporate Parmesan cheese with mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano, parsley, garlic powder, thyme or pepper.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta: Slice a spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash face down in a microwave-safe dish with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and steam in the microwave 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Use a fork to scoop out the flesh in spaghetti-like strands. Toss in a bowl with pesto sauce, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, olive oil and toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
— Natalie Colla, RD, CDE
Ingredient Improv: It’s easy to customize this dish by using any pasta sauce such as marinara or Alfredo. Or, season with olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Instead of throwing them out, roast the squash seeds for a crunchy snack.
Quick Veggie Rice: Heat a splash of sesame oil in a large skillet. Add minced garlic and onion, then 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables. Cook until vegetables are tender. Microwave a 90-second pouch of brown rice. Add rice to the skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Push rice and vegetables to the side, add two eggs and scramble. Once eggs are set, mix everything together. Add more salt or soy sauce to taste.
— Emily Weeks, RDN, LD
Ingredient Improv: For more protein, use microwavable quinoa. For a lighter version, omit rice and wrap seasoned eggs and veggies in large lettuce leaves. This meal is a good way to use fresh produce that may be close to expiring.