Nutrition Good. Healthy. Fast Food.

Good. Healthy. Fast Food.

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Warmer days may be ahead, but let’s be honest …  these days, you never know. Weather conditions aside, we could all use a taste of spring and summer right about now—especially something delicious and easy to prepare. Here are three recipes that are satisfying as stand-alone main dishes or can easily be teamed up with a salad or additional side for a heartier meal. Plus, each one requires minimal prep time and are ready in less than 45-minutes flat! Here’s to all of us, together, enjoying a healthy, sumptuous spring. RECIPES BY: Stephanie Kay

Spring Green Minestrone

Minestrone is the kind of soup where nearly anything goes and this version is no exception. Although this recipe calls for Lacinato kale, if you have curly kale or spinach in your fridge, you can still make this soup. Note: Keep in mind if you’re using spinach, you’ll need double or triple the amount because it wilts when cooked. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes 

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 leek, white and green parts sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12 spears asparagus, 1/2″ chopped
  • 15oz can cannellini beans
  • 1 cup green peas, frozen
  • 1/2 bunch kale, 1/4″ sliced
  • Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Fresh parmesan
  • Pesto

DIRECTIONS:

ONE: In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium, add sliced leeks and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

TWO: Add garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until garlic has softened. Add whole sprigs of thyme, stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

THREE: Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add asparagus and cannellini beans and cook for 15 minutes.

FOUR: Add kale and green peas and simmer for an additional 5 minutes until kale has wilted.

FIVE: Remove from the heat, remove thyme sprigs, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

SIX: To serve, sprinkle with grated parmesan and a dollop of fresh pesto.

Sheet Pan Bruschetta Chicken

Tomatoes add a satisfying freshness to most recipes. In this dish, together with chicken, garlic and olive oil, it serves up some important nutrients that every runner needs. Wrap it all up in the warm, delicious flavours of bruschetta, and this is a weeknight chicken dinner winner!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes 

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 120 grams mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated

For Bruschetta

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Parmesan, freshly grated, to serve

For Potatoes

  • 1 pound baby potatoes, roughly 20 potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

ONE: Preheat oven to 400°F. 

TWO: In a bowl, combine the potatoes, olive oil, salt and black pepper, toss to combine, and then transfer to a large baking sheet.

THREE: In the same bowl, combine the chicken breasts, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and sea salt. Using your hands or tongs, toss the chicken in the spices until well coated. (If time permits, you could do this ahead and allow it to sit for up to 24 hours for extra flavour.)

FOUR: Add chicken to the same baking sheet as the potatoes, leaving space in between each chicken breast so that they cook evenly.  Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

FIVE: While the chicken and potatoes are cooking, in a separate bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and half of the basil. Stir until well to combine and set aside.

SIX: After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven, flip each chicken breast over and give the potatoes a good toss.

SEVEN: Top each chicken breast with shredded / sliced mozzarella and big spoonful of the tomato mixture until it has all been used. (You can also wait and top the chicken breasts with the cold tomato mixture once they are cooked, but I prefer it a bit warm.) Return the baking sheet to the oven and allow to cook for another 10 minutes until chicken is golden and cheese is bubbly.

EIGHT :Once cooked, remove the sheet pan from the oven and sprinkle each chicken breast with remaining fresh basil and a bit of parmesan to serve.

NINE: This dish can be served immediately, stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer in airtight containers for up to 3 months.

Grilled Cajun Shrimp Tacos

Turn your Taco Tuesday into something a little different by using grilled shrimp. Using Cajun seasoning adds a standout bold flavour that easily pairs up with your favourite taco toppings.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes 

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 raw wild-caught shrimp, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • ¼ red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 4 corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS: 

ONE: In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne and sea salt, and mix to combine.

TWO: In a separate bowl, add thawed shrimp (tails removed), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with spice mixture and toss until shrimp is well coated.

THREE: Heat a grill to medium-high heat, place shrimp onto the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until shrimp are opaque.

FOUR: While the shrimp are cooking, prepare the toppings; shred lettuce and cabbage, cube avocado, dice onion, chop cilantro and slice limes.

FIVE: Once the shrimp are cooked, assemble the tacos. Layer tortillas with shrimp and toppings of your choice, and serve immediately.

Stephanie Kay is an Ottawa-based registered holistic nutritionist, who focuses on small sustainable steps you can use to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about her nutrition program kaynutrition.com.

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