With the first day of school on the horizon (and in some cities…already here), super-fast dinners are a must-have to keep energy levels high and take-out urges low. All of these quick dinner recipes come in around 500 calories, with an energy-boosting balance of protein, less processed/fiber rich carbohydrates, lots of veggies, and healthy fats. The recipes below are enough food for one person but can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to feed a whole family.
Avocado, Black Bean, and Corn Salad:
Mix 1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans, 1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen or fresh), 1/3 cup diced carrots, 1/4 cup diced avocado, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons lime juice, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon honey, a large pinch sea salt, and a pinch ground cumin. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
Pizza Baked Potato:
Poke holes in a russet potato and microwave on high until soft, about 6 minutes, turning halfway through. The time may vary depending on the strength of your microwave and the size of the potato. Cut the potato in half, lengthwise, lightly fluffing the potato flesh with a fork. Spread each half with 1/4 cup marinara sauce, 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms, 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese. Broil on high for 2 minutes, just until cheese is bubbly and marinara is heated through.
Crab, Kale, and Avocado Quesadilla:
Mash 1/3 an avocado with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in one-half of a drained 6-ounce can of lump crabmeat. Sauté 1 cup roughly chopped kale in 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the crab mixture onto half of a 10-inch whole grain tortilla. Add the kale on top. Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top and fold the other half of the tortilla over. In the same skillet that you sautéed the kale, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and heat the filled tortilla over medium heat, flipping once, until it’s golden and crispy on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes total.
Tuna, Brown Rice, and Almond Salad:
Whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard . Set aside. Place 1 cup leftover cooked brown rice in a bowl. Top with 1/4 cup shredded carrot, 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, and a drained and flaked 5-ounce can of albacore tuna. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds.
What are your go-to dinners for busy nights?