We all know the importance of sticking to a healthy diet and cutting down on sugar and fat. However, there are only so many times a week you can deal with kale and edamame salad.
Here are 11 nutritious options to consider as you start planning your week’s meals:
1. Fast Poached Salmon
A powerhouse nutritional source for vitamin B-12, vitamin D, selenium, omega-3 and protein, salmon is also credited with extending life spans, fighting heart attacks and cancer. It’s easy to prepare a nice filet of salmon poached in boiling water and white wine. Add some lemon, parsley and capers, and you’re in for a delicious treat.
2. Grilled Chicken in Pita
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Another go-to source of protein is grilled chicken. Place several slices of grilled chicken, a few slivers of onions and add a tablespoon of a tomato-feta mixture, lettuce and olives to a sliced pita. You can also include some yogurt sauce and alfalfa sprouts for added Mediterranean flair.
3. Roasted Carrots
Carrots are a great source of antioxidant agents and vitamin A, which is quite useful in keeping skin healthy. All you need to do is toss about 12 small carrots in olive oil, salt and pepper. Then throw them on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Add some dill or parsley, and your inner rabbit will thank you for days.
4. Baked Egg in an Avocado
Get a healthy dose of omega-3 with this easy two-in-one breakfast or lunch treat. First, you have to remove the pit from the avocado and put the avocado on a small baking dish. Crack an egg into a small glass and pour it into the divot from the absent avocado pit. Season them with salt and pepper, pesto or hot sauce, and bake at 450 degrees for up to 12 minutes.
5. Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Just one cup of Brussels sprouts gives you the daily requirement for vitamins C and K, as well as providing plenty of folate potassium, B vitamins, manganese and many other nutrients. You can cook them in very hot olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss in some honey and vinegar to make it even more irresistible.
6. Five-Minute Hummus
Rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats, hummus is a delicious dip for veggies. Just put a can of chickpeas, ¼ cup of lemon juice, about ¼ cup of tahini, one small minced garlic clove, two tablespoons of olive oil, half teaspoon of ground cumin and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Before serving, add a bit of paprika for a bit of pizzazz.
7. Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
Replace unhealthy nachos with sweet potato chips, which are loaded with vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium and iron. Cut the sweet potatoes into thin slices. Then, toss with olive oil, paprika, garlic power, salt and pepper, and bake for 40 minutes. Serve with sliced avocados, salsa and fresh cilantro.
8. Zucchini Noodles
For a light, non-carb alternative to pasta, you have to try this variation made out of long, thin ribbons of zucchini (created by a vegetable peeler). Toss the zoodles with some olive oil and garlic on a skillet and cook for a minute. Then add some diced fresh tomatoes and a bit of Parmesan cheese, and dive right in. Even Italian mamas would approve.
9. Cauliflower Pizza
If you’ve been dreaming of a grain-free pizza that’s less than 300 calories, you need to try this one. Simply grind a cauliflower head in a food processer and, microwave it for about five minutes. Spread in the shape of a rectangle on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Add some pizza sauce, cheeses, tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes and other favorite veggies. Then, bake for another five minutes.
10. Pumpkin Spice Granola
Celebrate the arrival of fall with your own homemade pumpkin spice granola. Pour some maple syrup over oats, pumpkin seeds and almonds or pecans, mix together and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Let the granola cool for a bit, and then add milk or yogurt for a taste of harvest season.
11. Grilled Strawberry Parfait
Grilling strawberries, which are packed with vitamin C and fiber, makes them even sweeter and is the perfect way to serve them as a light dessert. Thread the strawberries on wooden skewers, grill for about a minute or two, and serve with Greek yogurt and granola. Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all the delicious things in life!
If you have any questions about how to keep a healthy diet, schedule a visit with your primary care physician.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the world, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting https://www.keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment/.
By Ramin Zahed