Single-serving Healthy Chocolate “Pudding”: Cut a ripe banana in pieces and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Add ½ to 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon raisins and ½ tablespoon natural peanut butter. Mix and mash together until you achieve pudding consistency.
— Beth Benesh, CNSC
Ingredient Improv: Swap raisins for another dried fruit such as tart cherries, blueberries or chopped apricots. For crunchy texture, top “pudding” with unsalted nuts, granola or whole-grain cereal.
Quick Vegetable Soup: For a hearty soup in 20 minutes, chop 1 onion, 1 green pepper and 1 red pepper, then sauté in a 4-quart stockpot with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil until onion is translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon minced garlic and stir. Add 4 cups vegetable stock, 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes and 1 cup chopped mushrooms. Bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in a 15-ounce can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans and simmer for another 2 minutes.
— Gayle Lanphier, RD, LDN
Ingredient Improv: For extra protein, add frozen peas, 1 cup chopped roasted chicken or 2 tablespoons pea protein powder. Stir in ¼ cup chopped cilantro for added flavor.
Dill-icious Chickpea Salad: Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and empty into a bowl. Add chopped dill pickles or dill relish, mayonnaise (or vegan mayo), a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar, finely chopped red onion, a squirt of mustard, a bit of turmeric and a couple teaspoons of dried dill. Stir to combine and eat in a sandwich or on its own.
— Jayme Bisbano, RD, LD
Ingredient Improv: For a different texture, use tofu in place of chickpeas. Drain a brick of firm tofu, then crumble with your hands or mash into a soft consistency. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and serve in a wrap with lettuce and tomato.
Creamy Beans and Garlic Greens: In the morning, empty a bag of dry white beans into the slow cooker and cover generously with water. Cook on low so they are soft by the evening. Drain the water and add a package of chopped fresh sage and about ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some salt and pepper to taste. When you stir all the ingredients together, the soft beans get creamy and are surprisingly satisfying. Serve with some sautéed garlic greens.
— Kathryn O’Donnell, RDN, LD
Ingredient Improv: Not a fan of sage? Use a little less or try mixing in other fresh herbs such as rosemary, parsley or thyme. Add chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery, to the slow cooker for extra nutrients and flavor.
Tuna Tostadas: For a quick and easy lunch or dinner, make tuna tostadas. In a bowl, mix one can of drained tuna canned in water, diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes and the juice of one lime. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then spoon mixture onto a baked corn tostada shell. Top with shredded cabbage and sliced pickled jalapeños, if desired.
— Julie R. Andrews, MSN
Ingredient Improv: Substitute cooked and shredded rotisserie chicken or crumbled tempeh in place of tuna. If you don’t have corn tostada shells on hand, use the filling in bread for sandwiches or in tortillas for tacos.