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What’s For Dinner? 3 Quick and Healthy Recipes to Make Tonight

August 23, 2017 Read Time - 4 minutes

About Author

From New York, Phoebe attended the College of William & Mary and received an MPH from Univ. of S. Carolina. Her passion for empowering others to live healthier lives has led her to work in healthcare.

Not sure if you have anything in fridge or pantry for dinner tonight? Don’t fret. Here are 3 healthy and quick recipes using fridge and pantry staples. (If you’re seriously low on food, you’ll be able to find most of these items in a grocery store or maybe even your local corner store).

1. One-Pot Pasta
Most everyone has a box of pasta sitting in their pantry. If you’ve got that plus some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few vegetables, you can make a deliciously satisfying, one-pot pasta dish. The best part? One pot = less clean up.

Serves 4
12 oz. of pasta (penne, spaghetti, fusilli, linguine — whatever you’ve got works!)
1 28 oz. can of diced or crushed tomatoes or 10 – 12 fresh tomatoes
1 6 oz. package of fresh spinach (½ package of frozen works too if that’s all you have on hand)
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil or ½ cup of freshly torn basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups water or broth
Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, fresh mozzarella, or crumbled feta cheese
Optional: diced Italian sausage, chopped olives or mushrooms, and/or any other veggies you have lying around

Throw all ingredients except the spinach and cheese into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and cook covered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add spinach, stir to combine, and top with the cheese of your choice.

2. Black Bean and Potato Tacos
Need to use up those tortillas lingering in the back of your fridge? How about that can of black beans sitting in the pantry? Weeknight tacos are an easy way to make use of leftover vegetables. You can substitute the black beans and potatoes for a pound of ground beef if you’re a meat eater.

Serves 4
2 cans of black beans
2 lbs potatoes (sweet is great, but if you only have red or russet that works too)
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
? cup of water
12 soft corn tortillas
Cilantro sprigs
Avocado slices

Optional: crumble cotija, queso fresco, feta cheese, and hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the potatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until edges are crispy and light brown. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to combine. Pour in the beans and water. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until the potatoes are ready. Cover the tortillas with foil and warm in the oven for 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are cooked and the tortillas are warmed, combine potatoes with black beans and assemble in tacos. Top with salsa, avocado slices, cilantro sprigs, and crumbled cheese.

3. Lettuce Wraps
This super light and easy to assemble meal is sure to be a crowd pleaser. All you need is a couple heads of Romaine or Bibb lettuce, sliced vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, red peppers, and avocados, grilled chicken, steak or tofu, and a dipping sauce like hoisin or Thai peanut. If you happen to have crushed peanuts or shredded coconut flakes on hand those work well too.

Serves 4
2 heads of Romaine or Bibb lettuce (tear the leaves apart, keeping all the leaves that are intact and fresh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 limes (1 juiced, 1 cut into eighths)
1 package of chicken breasts, skirt steak, or extra firm tofu
1 cucumber, sliced in thin strips
2 large carrots, sliced in thin strips
1 avocado, sliced thinly, lengthwise
? cup of hoisin, Thai peanut dipping sauce
¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
Fresh herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro
Crushed peanuts
Shredded coconut flakes

Marinate the chicken, steak or tofu in olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and fresh ginger if available, let stand for 15 minutes. Grill meat or tofu on a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat (7 minutes per side for chicken and tofu, 5 minutes per side for steak). Meanwhile, tear off lettuce leaves and assemble on a platter along with carrot, cucumber, and avocado slices and fresh herbs. Place crushed peanuts, shredded coconut flakes, and hoisin or peanut sauce in separate dishes. Dice chicken, steak, or tofu when fully cooked and place on a separate platter. Layer lettuce leaves with meat or tofu, vegetable slices, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts and coconut flakes, and top with hoisin or peanut sauce.

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Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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