Healthy, Quick, and Easy Suppers for Spring
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Spring is here and these dinner recipes are perfect for the new season. Use fresh seasonal produce for dinners that are also low in calories and high in fiber, which is a key combination if you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight. Sheet pan recipes, pasta and veggies, and fruit and chicken salads, are always a favorite. Hope you will find these recipes bright and delicious!!
Waldorf Chicken Salad
- 2 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken, or cooked chicken breast, cut into chunks
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped apple, use a crispy variety
- ½ cup red or green grapes
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (toasted if desired)
In a small bowl, stir together chicken, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, black pepper, apples, grapes, and walnuts. Serve on a bed of greens, lettuce, or spinach.
Sheet Pan Salmon with Roasted Asparagus
- 4-5 new potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 asparagus spears, trimmed and halved
- 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 salmon filets, about 5 ounces each
- Handful basil leaves
- Heat oven to 425°F. Tip the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into an ovenproof dish, then roast the potatoes for 20 minutes until starting to turn brown. Toss the asparagus in with the potatoes, then return to the oven for 15 minutes.
- Throw in the cherry tomatoes and vinegar and nestle the salmon amongst the vegetables. Drizzle with the remaining oil and return to the oven for a final 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Scatter the basil leaves over everything and serve straight from the pan to the individual dish.
Mediterranean Fried Rice
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef, or chicken cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Fresh ground pepper
- 4 cups cooked long-grain rice (best to cook the day before and refrigerate)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-pint grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cucumber, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
- Crumbled Feta cheese
- Finely grate the zest of the lemon, then cut the lemon in half. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 4-5 minutes, discard fat. Add the garlic and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute, toss with the lemon zest. Transfer the beef to a bowl and squeeze the juice of half the lemon on top.
- Wash and dry the skillet, then heat the remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and season with the cumin and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook tossing occasionally, until the rice begins to crisp at the edges, about 5 minutes. Fold in the beef mixture and remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon half into a medium bowl. Toss the tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fold in the mint and serve over the rice. Top with crumbled feta.
Chicken, Snaps, and Bacon Pasta
(the vegetables in this recipe can easily be replaced with what you may have on hand and fresh, such as green beans, asparagus, or even corn)
- 12-ounce penne pasta
- 8-ounce sugar snaps
- 4 slices bacon
- 1-pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 ounce Parmesan, grated (I prefer shredded here)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Cook pasta per directions, adding the sugar snaps to the pot during the last minute. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, drain, then return pasta and snaps to the pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet on medium, cook bacon until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and break into pieces once cool. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon drippings and return pan to medium.
- Cook chicken until golden brown and cooked through, tossing once, 6 to 8 minutes, remove from heat, and toss with lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk eff yolk and half and half. Toss egg mixture with pasta and snaps, then fold in chicken, spinach, Parmesan, and ¼ cup pasta water, tossing to coat and adding more pasta water if needed. Fold in scallions and top with the bacon.
Peanut Noodle Salad
For the dressing
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- Couple of squeezes of lime juice
- ¼ cup peanut butter
For the salad
- 4 ounces of brown rice noodle or whole-grain fettuccine
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 5-6 cups baby kale or spinach
- 3 large carrots, cut into small pieces
- 3 large bell peppers, cut into small thin pieces
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- 4 green onions, green parts only, chopped
- ½ cup cashews or peanuts
- If using rice noodles, soak the noodles in a bowl of cold water. If using whole-grain noodles, prepare according to the directions. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- For the dressing, pulse all the dressing ingredients in a food processor, except the peanut butter. Place the chicken in a plastic bag and use about ¼ to ½ cup of the dressing (without peanut butter) to marinate the chicken in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes. Add the peanut butter to the dressing in the food processor, pulse, then taste and adjust to taste. Set aside.
- Prep all of the veggies and toss together in a bowl.
- Bake the marinated chicken for 15-20 minutes. Rest for 5-10 minutes, then cut and add to the veggies.
- Drain the noodles, if using the rice noodles. Finish cooking them in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add a little oil and a little dressing to the noodles and toss around.
- For the salad, Toss the stir-fried noodles (if rice) or cooked and tossed noodles (if not) with the chicken and veggie mixture. Serve hot or cold. Stir in dressing. Top with extra peanuts and cilantro.