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SALT LAKE CITY — Meal planning is great, but it takes effort and time. Sometimes planning isn’t going to happen, and that’s just life.
Instead of scratching your head and having yet another dinner of popcorn and a chocolate bar, or fast food that may leave your stomach feeling not so great, turn to these pantry staples to make a healthy and delicious meal quickly.
1. Dry pasta
Pasta, particularly whole wheat pasta, is a great vehicle for anything. Whole wheat pasta has fiber and protein to fill you up. You can add lots of delicious vegetables, your favorite protein and a simple sauce. Just like that, you’re done.
Here are a couple delicious pasta dishes you can make with dry pasta:
- Spring Green Pasta Salad
- Light Pasta Carbonara
- Pasta e Fagioli via Liz Weiss, RDN, of Liz’s Healthy Table
- Magic Pasta Bake via Diana K Rice, RD, of the Baby Steps Dietitian
Whole eggs are an inexpensive source of protein and choline, which both help our bodies in a number of functions, including transport of nutrients, enzymes and building muscles.
Here are a few delicious egg dishes that come together quickly:
- South African Spiced Shakshuka (in photo above)
- Eggy Black Bean Quesadilla (eggs + beans) via Tina Gowin Carlucci, RDN, of Gowin Nutrition
- Baked Mushroom Leek Frittata via Jessica Levinson of Nutritioulicious Blog
- Spring Tortilla de Patata (omelet)
3. Plain Greek yogurt
Plain yogurt is a way to get the nutritional benefits of yogurt without added sugar. Many yogurts have a significant amount of added sugar, so transitioning to plain yogurt is beneficial. Yogurt is a source of good bacteria for your gut and calcium for your bones. Greek yogurt is a source of protein, as well. Plain Greek yogurt is also versatile. In addition to eating it for breakfast, you can use it to replace sour cream or butter in baking.
Here are a few delicious dishes that include plain Greek yogurt:
- Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Pitas via Sarah Schlichter, MPH/RDN/LDN, of Bucket List Tummy
- Easiest Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats via Nazima Qureshi, RD/MPH, owner of Nutrition by Nazima
- Corn & Basil Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce via Jessica Levinson, RD, of Nutritioulicious Blog
Beans are versatile, high in fiber and protein, and inexpensive. You can buy canned or dried beans to store for a long time.
Here are a few delicious dishes that include beans:
- Freekeh and Black Bean Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing via Triad to Wellness
- Mixed Sprouts Salad with Coconut via Roxana Begum, Ph.D./RD, of The Delicious Crescent
- Black Bean Tacos
- Hearty Bean Soup with Bacon
5. Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as, if not healthier than, fresh ones. They’re frozen at peak freshness to get the most flavor and nutrition for a low price. They last far longer than fresh vegetables and are as versatile.
Here are a few delicious dishes that include frozen vegetables:
- Easy Restaurant Style Beef & Broccoli
- Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna via Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan of One Hungry Bunny
- Turkey Rice Casserole via Jodi Danen, RD, of Create Kids Club
- Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole via Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD, of One Hungry Bunny