Grilled Nectarine and Steak Salad: Grill or bake a steak and cut it into strips or chunks. Cut nectarines into halves or quarters, remove pits and grill flesh side down. Cut grilled nectarines into cubes or slices. Place steak and nectarines on a bed of leafy greens, such as a blend of arugula and spinach, and sprinkle with feta, Parmesan or goat cheese. Drizzle on balsamic vinaigrette and mix to evenly coat.
– Gina Andrade, MPH, RD
Ingredient Improv: Use grilled chicken, salmon or tofu in place of steak and incorporate other seasonal fruit such as grilled plums or peaches. Add pepitas or toasted nuts for crunch.
Plant-Based Chickpea “Chicken” Salad: In a bowl, mash up a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. Add in a few tablespoons of tahini sauce, minced dill, chopped scallions, diced celery, a small squirt of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve in a wrap or pita with mixed greens.
– Theresa Mazza, MPH, CHES, DT
Ingredient Improv: Use hummus in place of tahini sauce or create a new flavor by using plain Greek yogurt. Make it spicier with a little garlic chili sauce. To thin the consistency, add olive oil or sesame seed oil and eat it as a dip with carrots and cucumbers.
Homemade Ramen Noodles: Combine 1 quart vegetable broth, 2 blocks of ramen noodles, 2 cups frozen broccoli and 1 cup frozen shrimp in a large saucepan over medium heat. While cooking, break up the noodles occasionally. Once noodles and shrimp are cooked, add soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil to taste.
– Ashley Reaver, MS, RDN
Ingredient Improv: Make it vegan by using firm tofu or vegetarian by omitting shrimp and adding cooked eggs at the end of cooking. Add more vegetables such as diced bell pepper and onion, chopped green onion, seaweed or bok choy.
Savory Pancakes: Mix a spoonful of sourdough starter with ⅓ cup whole-wheat or oat flour and a large splash of water or milk. Stir in 2 eggs, a pinch of salt and any desired herbs and spices. Add more milk or water until the mix is the consistency of pancake batter. Pour batter into a lightly oiled pan over medium heat and cook until done, about 3 minutes, flipping if needed. Top with chopped cooked or raw vegetables, then drizzle with hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or any other preferred sauce.
– Christina Badaracco, MPH, RD, LDN
Ingredient Improv: Swap in a gluten-free flour such as brown rice, buckwheat or teff. Incorporate vegetables such as tomato, zucchini, mushrooms or bell pepper.
Cannellini Bean Salad: Add 1 can drained and rinsed cannellini beans to a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook untouched until skins begin to caramelize. Turn beans and repeat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Meanwhile, put 3 cups fresh spinach in a bowl with 1 cup of sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons sliced almonds. Add the cooked beans to salad and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
– Jenny Lo, MS
Ingredient Improv: Use whatever beans are in your pantry and choose fruit to match the season. For a more colorful plate, add more beans, chopped fresh onion and diced orange bell pepper.