17 No-Cook Meatless Dinners for When It’s Too Damn Hot Out

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

When it’s really hot out, the last thing I want to do is cook. While stovetop meals and sheet-pan dinners may be great ways to warm up your apartment during the winter, they’re just recipes for sweating during the summer. From June to September, if I’m actually going to convince myself to make dinner rather than ordering out, I need ideas that will fill me up without heating me up.

Most people think of dinnertime as the time when sit down to a warm, hearty meal, but food doesn’t have to be warm or hearty to fill you up. Salads, cold soups, sandwiches, and more don’t need any time over fire or in an oven, but they’ll satisfy your hunger just as well as something that might.

These 17 meatless recipes will help you make it through the summer, because you don’t need to cook them to enjoy them. Since they’re packed with vegetables and non-meat protein sources like tofu, tempeh, and beans, they definitely have all the protein, fiber, and healthy carbs you need. They’re tasty, too, but most importantly, they’re cool—and they definitely won’t turn you into a human puddle.

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18 Healthy Recipes to Make With Cucumbers That Aren’t Just Salads

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

When was the last time you cooked with a cucumber in a creative way? I know for me at least, it’s been quite a while. Every now and then I’ll one eat sliced up with a side of dip, or in a Greek salad, or maybe even in pickle form. But that’s pretty much it, even though I consider cucumbers one of my favorite vegetables.

Cucumbers may not have a ton of flavor, but they’re full of nutrients like potassium and vitamin C, and they don’t deserve to be the side act in salads forever. That’s why I’m committing to using them more creatively from now on. Since it’s finally warm outside, it’s the perfect time to whip those cool cukes out and start experimenting. From creamy cucumber gazpacho to infused cocktails, there are many things you probably never realized you could do with them.

These 19 recipes will show you how to take advantage of cucumbers in only the most exciting ways. And only some of them are salads.

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17 Ways to Use Edamame, the Protein-Packed Ingredient I Always Have in My Freezer

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

If you don’t already have a bag of edamame in your freezer, you should change that as soon as possible. Like a lot of registered dietitians, I always make sure I have one handy. (You can find fresh pods of edamame in some markets, but they’re much more widely available in the frozen section, pre-blanched and out of their pods.) Since the little green things are packed with 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per one-cup serving, they really add a lot of satiety to a meal. I can always count on edamame to give me an energy boost, whether I’m eating it as a snack or adding it to a meal. Most importantly, it tastes good, too.

Edamame has a mild flavor and fresh texture that makes it a great addition to all different kinds of meals, whether that be a noodle soup, a zesty, slaw-style salad, or a bowl of fried rice. I prefer to buy it frozen because you can trust that it won’t go bad before you’re ready to use it. You also don’t even need to defrost it unless you’re adding it to something cold, like a salad—you can throw frozen edamame straight into your stir-fry or soup, and it’ll thaw as you cook .

Now that I’ve convinced you to go out and buy a bag, use the edamame in one of these 17 recipes. Some of them are creative—hello, edamame pesto! Others, like edamame stir-fries, are more traditional. All of them are healthy, satisfying, and totally delicious.

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Sesame Slaw from Budget Bytes

You can eat this salad on its own as a main or as a side to a meal, but we highly recommend serving it with barbecue food, especially over hot dogs. Get the recipe here.

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17 Healthy Ways to Cook Chicken in an Instant Pot

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Chicken dinners are already easy weeknight meals, but there’s a way to make them even easier. All you need is a little help from an Instant Pot. If you haven’t already heard about the kitchen gadget taking the internet by storm, you should know that it’s extremely popular for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it has no less than 17 functions, namely slow-cooking, yogurt-making, and even rice-cooking. Don’t already have your hands on one? You can buy our preferred model here!

Along with all those quirky functions, it’s most famous for its pressure-cooking capabilities, which allow it to make things that might normally take hours in a fraction of the time. Chicken recipes that might have needed an hour or two in the oven or on the stove now only need thirty minutes to an hour, sometimes even less than that. These 17 healthy chicken recipes are yummiest ones you can make in an Instant Pot. They’re tasty, satisfying, and they’ll cut your usual chicken cook-time in half.

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Salsa Chicken Tacos from Cooking Classy

The nice thing about these tacos is that you can make them with either the slow-cooker or pressure-cooker setting, so it all depends on how much time you want to spend on them. Get the recipe here.

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23 High-Protein Sheet Pan Dinners That Pretty Much Cook Themselves

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

I love cooking, but I hate doing dishes. Unfortunately the two go hand in hand, and unless you’re a wizard who can zap away the mess, you kind of just have to deal with it. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact of life that is washing dishes, but one thing has made the acceptance process a lot easier: sheet pan dinners.

The trendy meals don’t eliminate the chore entirely, but because they generally only require one sheet pan (and maybe a cutting board, knife, and a spatula), they leave you with that one sheet pan to clean and not much else. Not to mention, sheet pan dinners are inherently pretty healthy, because they’re always some kind of combination of proteins (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) and vegetables. And, of course, they require hardly any work on your end—just throw your ingredients together on a pan, and let them cook in the oven till they’re ready.

These 23 sheet-pan recipes have all the traits good sheet pan recipes should have, plus they’re high in protein. Each one has at least 15 grams (the amount registered dietitians recommend eating with each meal), so they’ll definitely keep you satisfied. And when you know cleanup will take 5 to 10 minutes tops, enjoying them will be even easier, too.

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19 Stuffed Pepper Recipes That Make Great Weeknight Dinners

 

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

Long before we were stuffing avocado halves, zucchini boats, and spaghetti squash, stuffed peppers reigned supreme. The dish has been a longtime favorite of home cooks and food bloggers alike, probably because it’s as playful as it is delicious. Aside from being cute and tasty, stuffed peppers are also super versatile—as long as you use a mild, non-spicy variety of pepper, you can stuff it with pretty much anything and expect great results. And they’re always Instagram-worthy!

The most common type of stuffed pepper you’re likely to stumble on is one wth a Tex Mex-style rice-and-bean filling, but there are so many exciting ways to experiment with the dish that go way beyond this. These 19 recipes include ideas so creative, you’ll want to try them out as soon as possible. Get pumped for options stuffed with chickpeas and feta, buffalo chicken, and spinach and artichoke. There’s even one that tastes like lasagna! And since they’re inherently veggie-packed—or, really, veggie-wrapped—as well as adorable and tasty, they’re worth making for more reasons than one.

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14 Healthy Dinner Recipes That Make Great Breakfast Leftovers

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

Breakfast for dinner is a beloved pastime, but dinner for breakfast? The concept doesn’t get enough attention, but it’s actually brilliant if you think about it. There are lots of savory entrée recipes out there that use breakfast-y ingredients like eggs and oats and make excellent leftovers—if you cook them for dinner, you can eat them for breakfast, too!

When my days get really busy, I barely have the energy to whip up meals, but dinner for breakfast cuts way down on the amount of cooking I need to do. Whatever I make at night, I can wrap up to enjoy in the morning. Everything from frittatas to shakshuka are great for dinner and even better for breakfast, especially if all you have to do is pop them in the microwave for a couple minutes when you wake up.

It’s not always clear which dinner recipes also make the best repurposed breakfasts, so I went ahead and rounded up some of my faves for you. These 14 recipes are healthy delicious, and they have all the fiber, protein, and healthy carbs you need to be satisfied in the evenings and energized in the morning. And, I think I’ve mentioned, but it means you only have to cook once!

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23 Healthy and Simple Recipes That Are Perfect for Spring

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

Every year, there comes a moment when I just can’t with winter anymore. Usually this happens sometime around the beginning of April, when it should absolutely not be snowing for the 500th time, and the last thing I want to eat is another bowl of sweet potatoes—or any winter produce, for that matter. During these dark times, the only thing that keeps me going is the promise of spring, and especially all the fresh fruits and veggies that come with it.

I love cooking seasonally for so many reasons, but mainly because it’s an easy way to switch up my eating routine, save a bit on groceries, and eat foods when they’re at their peak deliciousness. During the spring months, things like spinach, strawberries, and beets are all at their cheapest and most flavorful, and cooking with them is the perfect way to cleanse your palate when you cannot stand the thought of another hearty winter meal.

These 23 recipes take advantage of all the different spring fruits and veggies in exciting ways that will make you forget winter even happened. Get ready for lots of bright salads, green pastas, and red fruit-filled baked goods. And while you’re at it, enjoy the weather, too.

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14 Weeknight Stir-Fry Recipes Under 500 Calories

https://www.skinnytaste.com

Stir-fries have a lot going for them. For one, they’re super easy to make—usually all you need is a pan and about 15 minutes to throw one together, which is perfect whether you’re too busy for something more complicated or you’re super hungry and need food ASAP. And since they’re almost always made of some combo of vegetables and protein, served over a whole grain like rice, they make for a balanced meal. Basically, a stir-fry is the perfect no-fuss weeknight dinner.

Some of these 14 recipes expand upon the stir-fry formula of oil + ingredients + soy sauce. They experiment with all kinds of different spices, sauces, veggies, and proteins. There’s a tofu option that’ll take you less than 10 minutes to make; a curried, grain-based version that’ll rock your world; a fiery, simple kung pao shrimp recipe; and so many more. All of them have the fiber, protein, and healthy carbs you need to feel satisfied, and none of them have more than 500 calories.

To be clear, you don’t need to count calories to be healthy, and some people are better off ignoring them completely. But whether or not that’s something you’re doing, these easy, healthy, delicious stir-fries are worth adding to your dinner rotation.

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7 Easy, Healthy Dinners You Should Cook This Week

Andrew Purcell, Carrie Purcell

The thing about cooking is that sometimes it’s fun, and other times it feels like a chore—either way, though, you need to eat. To help you stay ahead of the weekday cooking game, SELF is putting together weekly lists of seven recipes that will hopefully inspire your meal planning for the week ahead. You can check out past weeks’ recipes here. All of the recipes have a balance of protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbs, and they’re simple enough for beginner cooks. Several ingredients appear in multiple recipes—brown rice, potatoes, mustard greens, eggs, and fennel—which helps keep your grocery list short.

There are two vegetarian recipes, two chicken recipes, two fish recipes, and a pork recipe, so you won’t get bored.
The number of servings per recipe varies, but you can easily halve or double each of them as it suits you (most make for great lunch leftovers!). Also, you might want to choose just a few recipes and repeat meals for a couple of days—that’s what I do, to be honest. If you cook one of the recipes or have questions, post a photo on Instagram and tag @selfmagazine and @xtinebyrne (that’s me!), or DM us—we love a good food pic as much as you do, and we’re always here to help!

Andrew Purcell, Carrie Purcell

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Green Chicken Curry With Brown Rice

Jarred green curry paste is one shortcut I’m happy to take on weeknights. Making your own isn’t difficult, per se, but it means tracking down a bunch of ingredients you likely don’t stock regularly. This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and tastes just like what you’d get from a takeout place. Get the recipe here.

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19 Amazing Ways to Cook With Eggplant

https://www.simplyquinoa.com

I love eggplant now, but it took me a while to warm up to it. As an Italian-American, I grew up eating my fair share of eggplant parm, but I didn’t have much exposure to the veg beyond that. When finally faced with an opportunity to cook with it, I have to say I was stumped. It’s a bit more finicky than its simple appearance might indicate, and if you don’t know what you’re doing the results can be tragic. But if you do, the possibilities are endless.

Eggplant is technically in season during the summer, but you can usually find it at supermarkets all year long. It’s a member of the same family as zucchini, but the similarities between the two end there, and while you might be able to eat zucchini raw, you definitely shouldn’t do the same with eggplant. Its flesh is dense and rubbery, which isn’t great uncooked, but is earthy, smoky, and meaty when cooked. In fact, its meatiness makes a great meat substitute for vegetarians in terms of flavor, though you may want to pair it with a protein source since it has a relatively low amount—about a gram per cup.

These 19 recipes will guide you through some of the best ways to cook with eggplant, from classics like baba ganoush to exciting new ideas like eggplant quesadillas. Before you know it, you’ll be an eggplant master.

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15 Healthy Meatless Instant Pot Dinners

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The main draw of an Instant Pot is that it can cook things way faster than normal. It also functions as a slow-cooker and a yogurt- and rice-maker, but its pressure cooking function is its biggest claim to fame. With it, you can make stews and braises that might have once needed hours in just an hour—often even less than that. (If you don’t already have one, you can get one here!)

Since things like stews, braises, and other meaty dishes are generally what take the longest to make, most Instant Pot recipes focus on those kinds of recipes. That means there’s not a lot of Instant Pot inspiration out there for vegetarians or anyone who wants to eat meatless once in a while.

We rounded up 15 vegetarian recipes that speed up the cook time of meatless ingredients like beans, lentils, and whole grains. And since these ingredients are packed with essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and healthy carbs, these meals are all pretty darn healthy, too.

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13 Delicious Ways to Cook With Jackfruit Instead of Meat

https://whatsheate.com

Beans and mushrooms both have meaty textures that make them great vegetarian substitutes, but if you want something more adventurous, reach for jackfruit. The fruit is indigenous to India, and it’s recently gained popularity among vegan and vegetarian crowds internationally, because it can taste like pulled pork, shredded chicken, or even crab cakes when prepared just right.

If you’ve seen jackfruit pop up at your local Whole Foods, there are a few things you should know before giving it a try. While the fruit is high in nutrients like fiber and potassium, it’s relatively low in protein, with only 2 grams per cup. “Jackfruit is a great meat substitute in the sense that it offers a meaty texture, but it doesn’t provide enough protein to be considered a protein substitute,” Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City-area tells SELF. If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, make sure you’re getting enough protein from other sources.

Now that you know, start experimenting with the ingredients in all kinds of “meaty” meatless recipes. BBQ sandwiches, tamales, gyros, and more are great for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone who just needs a new recipe to add to their Meatless Monday roster.

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15 Healthy Instant Pot Dinners Under 500 Calories

https://fitfoodiefinds.com

Practically overnight, Instant Pots have completely revolutionized the way busy people eat. Before, if you wanted to enjoy something like beef stew or carnitas tacos during the week, you’d have to plan dinner far in advance. Slow-cookers are a great way to make those kinds of recipes with little hassle, but they don’t really cut down the cook time—if you don’t remember to put dinner into your slow-cooker in the morning, you’re out of luck. Now, if you forget to get your slow-cooker going, you can just use an Instant Pot to make whatever you want instead.

The Instant Pot has many talents, one being that it can make slow-cooked dishes in a fraction of the time.

Courtesy of Walmart

Along with its many other functions—like yogurt and rice making—the gadget is a pressure-cooker. Using the pressure-cook setting, you can make recipes that normally take hours in way, way less time. Beef stew might need 4 hours on a stovetop (or 8 in a slow-cooker!), but it only needs less than an hour in an Instant Pot, no joke.

Buy it here: $100, jet.com

These 15 Instant Pot recipes are filling, delicious, and all under 500 calories. To be clear, you don’t need to count calories to be healthy, and some people are better off ignoring calories altogether. Also keep in mind that these serving sizes are just suggestions. No matter what, the fact that these recipes are both easy to throw together and packed with flavor means they’re satisfying in every way.

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28 Delicious Ways to Cook With Spinach

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

Aside from the flowers and the warmer temps, the thing I love most about spring is all the great, green seasonal produce. Namely, spinach. It’s sold year-round, but it’s at peak deliciousness from the end of March through May. That means any day now, the markets are going to fill up with bundles on bundles of those delicate leafy greens, and you’re going to need plenty of spinach recipes to help you cook through your haul.

Spinach is perhaps most famously featured in salads, but that’s not all it’s good for. It tastes great simply sautéed with garlic, stewed into a zesty shakshuka, and even baked into muffins (trust us). Plus, it’s packed with vitamins A and C, and is a good source of potassium, calcium, and iron, too. Basically, there’s no reason not to eat it all the time.

Whether or not you’re crazy about spinach, these are some of the most delicious and creative spinach recipes out there, so there’s bound to be something here you’ll want to add to your recipe roster. If you thought the veg was simple and ordinary, spinach pizza crusts, “meatballs”, lasagna, and more will definitely give you a fresh perspective.

https://www.emilieeats.com

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Gluten-Free Spinach Muffins from Emilie Eats

Spinach has a very neutral flavor, especially when it’s puréed and mixed with lots of other ingredients, which is why it works in these sweet muffins. And they’re super colorful, too! Get the recipe here.

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13 High-Protein Mac and Cheese Recipes

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Nothing says comfort food quite like a warm, gooey bowl of mac and cheese. The dish is basically a pair of pajamas in food form, and if hygge had a mascot, mac and cheese would likely be it.

But, you can’t always count on it to being a protein-packed dinner that keeps you satisfied. Cheese is an OK source of protein, but the majority of its calories come from fat. Pasta packs a little bit of protein, too, but it’s mainly a carb source (even whole grain pasta, which contains far more fiber than the white variety, isn’t a significant source of protein).

On the other hand, these 13 mac and cheese recipes contain protein-packed ingredient extras like chicken, beans, and nutritional yeast, to name a few. Each one is filled with at least 15 grams of protein (the amount registered dietitians recommend eating with every meal) as well as plenty of fiber and healthy carbs. With tons of veggies and ingredients like whole wheat pasta and quinoa, they really do have all the nutrients you need to feel satisfied. Heck, some of them are even vegan! So the next time you treat yourself with a cheesy bowl, you’ll be taking care of yourself, too.

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15 Healthy Sheet Pan Dinners Under 500 Calories

 

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

I love sheet pan recipes because they’re easy to cook and to clean up. They’re almost always some combination of meat and veggies (protein, plus fiber and healthy carbs), so they tend to make for inherently balanced meals. Oh, and they’re equally easy to make meatless, if that’s your jam.

The recipes below are made on a single sheet pan, and they clock in at 500 calories or fewer per serving. To be clear, you don’t have to count calories to be healthy, and some people are better off ignoring calories altogether. Also, remember that everybody’s daily energy needs are different, depending on all kinds of factors like height, weight, lifestyle, medical history, and more.

Regardless of calories, these 15 recipes are easy and delicious, and they make for super easy cleanup. Next time you’d rather spend the evening cozied up on the couch while your dinner basically cooks itself, give one of these dinners a try. Feel free to add your favorite side dishes and garnishes, too!

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