We know the facts: Preparing meals at home is good for your health and your wallet. But let’s face it, with minimal free time and other priorities taking up space in our schedules (think: long hours at work, significant others, keeping in touch with family, maybe even a workout here and there), spending hours or even minutes in the kitchen isn’t always at the top of our to-do lists.
But before you give in to endless Seamless clicking, becoming a regular at the Chinese place near the office, or living off of frozen meals, know that in the time it takes to watch your favorite cat videos on YouTube, you can make a nutritious, home-cooked meal. All of these recipes are easy and healthy – and ready in 10 minutes, tops.
1. White Bean and Salmon Salad
Bored of tuna salad? Try canned salmon and skip the mayo. Instead mix the richer-tasting fish with creamy, slightly nutty cannellini beans, Parm, and fresh basil for a super easy meal that’s as delicious on its own as it is in a pita, on greens, or with whole-grain crackers.
2. Quick & Easy Chicken Burrito
Leftover chicken finds a new home in this quick burrito. Mix it with avocado and cheese – we’d take it a step further and toss in some peppers, onions, and maybe some greens – and cook in a pan. Bonus: Make a few at once and freeze the extras for an even faster lunch next time.
3. Mediterranean Panzanella
Rather than topping a salad with bagged croutons, whip up this Tuscan version with toasted bread cubes. There’s the usual good-alone-but-better-together suspects expected in something called “Mediterranean”: beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, salami (nix it if you’re vegetarian), and olives, which are key since the fats in them help your body absorb the nutrients in the veggies.
4. Herb Onion Frittata
While this recipe uses liquid eggs, substitute two whole eggs instead since the cholesterol and fat from the real thing aren’t bad for you. Add whatever herbs – fresh or dried – appeal, since all have different flavors and health benefits. Like pizza and mashed potatoes, frittata tastes just as good cold as it does hot, so go ahead and double the recipe and have the other half for breakfast.
5. Veggie Fried Rice
Fried rice is a dream for cooks pressed on time, and this version is no exception. Leftover brown rice works best for this but, if you’re in a pinch, microwaveable rice stands in well. Peas, eggs, and corn get tossed in with salty soy sauce and rice vinegar. Mix in any of your other favorite vegetables too; you really can’t go wrong.
6. Spicy Cilantro Shrimp With Honey Lime Dipping Sauce
Because it cooks so quickly, shrimp is the perfect protein for busy evenings. Season with paprika, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon (yes, cinnamon; it adds warmth) for maximum taste, and sauté for just minutes in butter. Toss with fresh lime juice and a homemade honey lime dipping sauce that tempers the heat of the crustaceans.
7. Lean and Green Tofu Stir-Fry
Stir-fries are a natural when you want a healthy meal fast, plus they’re an easy way to pack in vegetables: This recipe includes onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and 2 cups of spinach per serving – that alone provides about a third of the daily recommendation of vitamin A, plus loads of vitamin K and some potassium, nutrients that are important for healthy eyes, bones, and heart health.
8. 10-Minute Low-Carb Chili
When you want chili and you want it now, pull this recipe out. Using your favorite store-bought salsa speeds things up, and there’s not even any dicing or chopping involved. Use ground lean beef or turkey, and top with your favorite fixings like sour cream, corn, avocado, or fresh-squeezed lime juice.
9. Broccoli and Parmesan Soup
With five ingredients and 10 minutes, dinner is ready. Cooking the broccoli with a Parmesan rind infuses cheesy flavor into every spoonful, and a touch of soy adds umami – that savory “something” that you can’t quite describe but taste hints of (in a good way). This pureed soup packs vitamins C, A, and B6, plus phytochemicals that may fend off cancer.
10. Quick and Easy Black Beans and Rice
There’s a reason why rice and beans are so popular: They’re inexpensive and easy – but they can be boring. Not so in this flavorful take. Traditional Latin spices like sofrito, cumin, and chili powder are added to cooked rice. Toss in green chile peppers for heat, black beans for protein, and you have a full meal in no time.