It’s (almost) summer. And I’d rather spend these longer days doing something fun rather than fretting over complicated recipes. So what a nice surprise to find — in a recent issue of Food and Nutrition magazine — these “lazy delicious” go-to recipes from registered dietitian nutritionists (with ingredients I probably already have on hand):
Gourmet avocado toast: Mash 1/2 medium avocado and 1 cup rinsed and drained garbanzo beans in a bowl. Gently mix in 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and a dash of kosher salt. Toast a slice of whole-grain seeded bread and slather it with the mashed avacado-bean spread. Top with a squeeze of lemon juice and enjoy. (This also makes a great party appetizer when served on toasted baguette slices or mini-toasts.)
Fast and Fancy Steak Wraps: Thinly slice grilled flank steak (can be hot or cold). In a small bowl, mix some mayonnaise with prepared horseradish to desired spiciness and spread on a whole grain tortilla. Add a layer of arugula or baby spinach and sprinkle with chopped jarred roasted peppers. Place the sliced steak on top and roll up burrito-style. (Replace mayo with plain yogurt if you prefer. Add additional crunch with some diced cucumber and/or red onion.)
Easy Lentil Bolognese: Saute 1 chopped onion in olive oil. Add cooked and drained lentils and a jar of your favorite marinara sauce. Season with garlic powder, dried basil and oregano. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash or zoodles (spiral ribbons of zucchini, beets or other vegetables). (Can also use unsalted canned lentils, chickpeas or black-eyed peas in this recipe.)
Chicken and veggie pasta stir-fry: Saute’ in olive oil: onion, garlic, mushrooms and bell peppers. Add banana peppers, black and/or green olives and fresh spinach. Season to taste with Italian seasoning and/or basil pesto. In another pan, saute’ chopped chicken with Italian seasoning and add to vegetable mixture. Serve over whole-grain spaghetti topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. (Can also use tofu or tempeh in place of chicken. Can also serve with cooked brown rice, farro or spaghetti squash in place of pasta.
Quick and healthy bean meal: Drain and rinse 1 can cannellini beans. Cook in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1 clove minced garlic. Sprinkle in dried parsley, paprika and red chili flakes and heat through. Serve on toast, over pasta or in a salad. (Use any type of beans you have on hand. Can also substitute onion or shallot in place of garlic.)
Inspired? Send me your favorite lazy delicious and nutritious recipe to share with readers this summer.
Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator affiliated with Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in California. She is the author of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition” (Westbow Press, 2015). Email her at to firstname.lastname@example.org.