Five Favorite Fast Meals

Fast, favorite heart healthy meals.

Lara Rondinelli By Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE

I recently had my first baby and returned to work, so time savers have never been more important to me. And I know how important they are to most families today. Limited time can lead people to fast food and bad choices. But it doesn't have to be that way! You can still cook and eat healthy when crunched for time. I want to share with you some of my time savers. First, here are my ... Five Favorite Fast Meals.

Spotlight Chili

1. CHILI. This heart-healthy, one-pot meal is packed full of fiber from the beans, protein from the meat, and contains the antioxidant lycopene (from tomatoes), which may reduce the incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease. You don't even need a recipe. Experiment with various types of canned beans -- instead of kidney, try black beans or the small white or pink ones (remember to rinse beans well to reduce the sodium). Choose all-natural ground beef, turkey, or pork. Add a can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and chili powder. And voila. Or, check out the chili recipes in the dLife Recipe Finder.

2. PORK TENDERLOIN. This versatile white meat can be cooked several ways for different flavors. My favorite way is to season it with garlic powder, pepper, and oregano, and bake it topped with sugar-free apricot preserves. You can also simply marinate pork tenderloin in bottled Italian dressing and then bake or grill. This dish goes great with a green veggie like asparagus that can also be roasted in the oven in about 20 minutes or on the grill. You can have a gourmet meal in less than one hour.

3. TURKEY BURGERS. Turkey burgers are an old standby in my house. I add a little salsa to the meat, form it into patties (packed loosely), and grill for a few minutes on each side. Melt pepper jack cheese on top for a real Mexican theme. Turkey burgers go great with a sweet potato and green beans or broccoli. Frozen veggies are often just as nutritious as fresh and cook in the microwave in about 5 minutes. 

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Last Modified Date: June 17, 2013

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