In my previous post about meal planning, I suggested having ten “go-to” meals that figure regularly into your dinner rotation. These are meals that are relatively quick, easy, healthy, and enjoyed by all in the family. While teaching our Meal Planning Made Easy workshop last fall, one of the attendees requested my personal “go-to” meal list, so I thought I would share it here as well. Plus, these recipes fit the bill if you are looking for a heart healthy recipe to try for this month’s Cook Smart for your Heart challenge! For those of you who haven’t checked out the Montana Meal’s February challenge, we are asking you to cook at least one new-to-you, heart-healthy recipe each week. Heart healthy recipes are those that feature vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, fish, lean protein, nuts, seeds, avocados, and other plant-based oils like olive oil and canola oil. Enjoy!
- Parchment Paper Fish: The absolute best preparation method for fish, in my opinion!
- Fish Tacos: The fish seasoning is the best part of this recipe; you can skip the slaw and sauce if you’re short on time although they definitely make it more flavorful and colorful.
- Chicken Scallopini
- Pesto Caesar Salad: With the addition of some type of protein (typically grilled chicken or lean steak) on top
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Italian Turkey Meatloaf
- Thai Butternut Squash Soup
- Veggie Korma: I substitute light coconut milk for the heavy cream.
- Blush Mac & Cheese: Great in the summer when fresh tomatoes are abundant. Use whole wheat pasta for a nutrition boost.
Vegetarian with easy option to add meat:
- Stir-fry: This is the recipe for the sauce, then I chop up whatever vegetables and proteins that I have on hand and usually serve with cauliflower rice
- Homemade pizza: I don’t have a recipe for this. Our local grocery store sells raw pizza dough, so I’ll buy some dough and top with tomato sauce, lots of veggies (spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, olives, asparagus, cauliflower, etc.), a couple spoonfuls of goat cheese, and some mozzarella. It’s also easy to make your own crust if you have a little extra time.
- Taco Salad: Again, this is a meal for which I don’t have a specific recipe, but the link is similar to what I make. My salad typically consists of romaine lettuce, beans, cheese, cilantro, purple cabbage, peppers, and whatever other veggies I might have on hand, plus a seasoned protein (turkey, lean ground beef, game, or tempeh).
Happy Heart-Healthy Cooking (and Eating)!