Here’s a dilemma many of my clients struggle with: By the time they get home from work or the gym in the evening, they're ravenous, and start munching on whatever they can get their hands on fast. Think dried fruit, cereal (straight out of the box), chips, and crackers. Sound familiar?
Rarely does this kind of noshing in the kitchen—often while standing—add up to a well-balanced meal. Plus, chaotic eating usually leaves you feeling unsatisfied, and short on key nutrients. And it can lead you to seriously overdo it on calories.
My solution: Healthy go-to meals that take minutes to toss together. They may not be Instagram-worthy creations, but when you know you’ll have a decent dinner in front of you in a jiffy, it’s easier to forgo the frenzied nibbling. Here are five nutritious meals you can prepare with just four (yep, four!) convenient ingredients.
Salmon Pepper Boats
Mix one can of wild salmon with one teaspoon of Dijon mustard and two tablespoons of olive tapenade. Slice a bell pepper in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and stuff with the salmon mixture.
Mushroom Avocado Omelet
Saute one cup of sliced mushrooms in a few tablespoons of water. Add three quarters cup organic egg whites and scramble with the mushrooms. Top with a quarter cup of jarred salsa, and half a ripe avocado, sliced.
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Shrimp Pesto Salad
Rinse three ounces of frozen, pre-cooked shrimp under cold water to thaw. Toss with one tablespoon of jarred pesto. Serve over a generous bed of baby spinach. Sprinkle with a half cup of chickpeas (canned, drained, rinsed).
Cheesy Dinner Dip
Mix one teaspoon of dried Italian herb seasoning, a quarter teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and a quarter cup of sunflower seeds into a half cup of organic cottage cheese. Scoop up with raw broccoli florets.
Curried Lentil Lettuce Cups
Over low heat, warm one half cup of lentils (canned, drained, rinsed) with one tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil and one half teaspoon curry seasoning. Spoon into outer romaine leaves.
Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her newest book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.