7 nutritious, delicious and easy-to-make dinners for your week

A busy day in the office and with kids makes dinner seem exhausting. Fortunately, Cynthia Sass from Health magazine has simple recipes full of nutrition and flavor that you can make in no time.

Sweet potato and black bean bowls
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 4 cups packed fresh baby spinach
    • 2 medium sweet potatoes, baked or microwaved until tender, halved, or chopped
    • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • 2 bell peppers, any color, seeded and chopped
    • 1/4 cup crumbled feta, shredded Cheddar, or grated Parmesan
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 2 cups marinara sauce, warmed

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Divide spinach among 4 bowls. Microwave each, uncovered, for 1 minute on high to wilt, if desired.2. Divide sweet potatoes, beans, tomato, peppers and cheese among bowls with spinach.3. Stir cumin and cinnamon into marinara sauce. Divide among bowls or serve on the side.

Pesto shrimp with radish, watercress and mint
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
    • 1 small bunch watercress, tough stems discarded
    • 1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
    • 5 thinly sliced radishes
    • 2 cups cooked wild rice
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
    • 2 tablespoons almonds, sliced
    • 1/2 cup pesto

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp to pan. Cook until shrimp are opaque, turning often, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.2. In a large bowl, combine watercress, fennel, radishes, remaining olive oil and remaining lemon juice, tossing well.3. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top each evenly with shrimp, wild rice, mint and almonds.4. Drizzle each salad with 2 tablespoons of pesto.

Healthy taco salad
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 4 cups salad greens
    • 2 cups cooked quinoa
    • 1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup chopped grilled or roasted skinless chicken, shredded, optional (if you leave it out, add an extra cup of beans)
    • 2 bell peppers, any color, seeded and chopped
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
    • 1 cup salsa
    • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
    • Salt and pepper
    • Hot sauce, optional

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Divide greens among 4 bowls. In a large bowl, gently toss together remaining ingredients, except hot sauce.2. Divide bean mixture among bowls with greens. Add hot sauce, if desired.

Tuna and vegetable pasta salad
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 4 cups packed fresh baby spinach
    • 2 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta (preferably a short shape, such as cavatappi)
    • 4 single-serve packets (2.6 oz each) or cans (3 oz. each) water-packed chunk light tuna
    • 2 cups cooked peas, thawed if frozen
    • 1/2 cup hummus
    • 1/2 cup guacamole
    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Divide spinach among 4 bowls. Microwave each, uncovered, for 1 minute on high to wilt, if desired. 2. In a large bowl, gently toss together remaining ingredients, except dill. Divide tuna mixture among bowls with spinach. Sprinkle with dill and serve.

Mediterranean chicken and pasta salad
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 3 cups zucchini, chopped
    • 4 cups packaged fresh baby spinach
    • 2 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta (preferably a short shape, such as penne)
    • 1 cup chopped grilled or roasted skinless chicken, shredded, optional
    • 1 6.5-oz jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, not drained
    • 1 2.5-oz can sliced black olives, drained
    • 1 large tomato, chopped
    • 1 tbsp, chopped fresh basil
    • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Place zucchini in a bowl. Add ¼ cup water, cover (leaving it slightly open to vent steam) and microwave on high until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover, drain and let cool.2. Divide spinach among 4 bowls. Microwave each, uncovered, for 1 minute on high to wilt, if desired.3. In a bowl, toss pasta, chicken and artichoke hearts with marinade, olives, tomato, basil and oregano. Toss in zucchini. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with pasta mixture.4. Divide mixture among bowls with spinach. Top with cheese and serve.

Roasted squash and lentil salad

Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped, skinned
    • Olive oil cooking spray
    • 1 pound butternut squash, halved, seeded and cut into 8 wedges
    • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 5 cups mixed winter salad greens (such as red leaf lettuce and radicchio)
    • 2 cups cooked lentils (canned, rinsed is okay)
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
    • 1 cup tomatoes, diced

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.2. Place the nuts on a baking sheet in middle of oven. Bake for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside.3. Coat a 13- x 9-inch nonstick baking pan with cooking spray. Place squash on pan, cut sides down. Cover with foil and roast in middle of oven about 20 minutes or until tender.4. Whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar and mustard in a serving bowl until blended. Add greens and toss until well-combined.5. Divide the dressed greens onto each of 4 plates and surround with 2 squash wedges. Top each serving with 1 cup diced tomatoes and  ½ cup lentils. Sprinkle evenly with nuts and Parmesan. Serve.

Brown rice turkey bowl

Ingredients

    • 1 1/3 cups dry short-grain brown rice
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
    • 1 2-pound bone-in turkey breast
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, divided
    • 4 cups baby spinach
    • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional
    • 1 cup of carrots, shredded or chopped

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 cups broth, 1 cup of shredded or chopped carrots and 1 cup water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes.3. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil. Place turkey on sheet and coat with oil. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce. Roast, turning halfway through, until turkey is cooked and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees, about 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes.4. Stir spinach, scallions and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce into rice with remaining 1 cup warmed broth. Thinly slice turkey. Divide rice and sliced turkey among 4 bowls. Drizzle each with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

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