You may have the very best intentions, but when you’ve had a long day of work, you’re starving, and all you want to do is veg out in front of the TV, cooking a healthy meal may seem nearly impossible. Instead, you reach for something that will fill your hungry belly instantly and get rid of that nagging hunger. When this happens, you may find yourself with an empty bag of chips in your lap, a stomachache, and a whole new level of guilt. No matter how hungry or exhausted you feel, a mere 15-minutes will ensure you end your day on a high note, minus the guilt.
Stock your fridge in advance with the essentials, gulp down a glass of water to fill your stomach (and buy you some time), and get ready to whip up one of these healthy, delicious 15-minute recipes.
1. Miso Steak with Green Beans and Baby Potatoes
This meal, via Fitness, may sound like it takes hours, but with a few handy shortcuts you can be eating like a King in only 15 minutes. This recipe from FitnessMagazine.com serves four and provides a hearty dose of protein, veggies, and carbs for a complete, easy to prepare meal.
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- 12 ounces steam-in-the-bag green beans
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound skirt steak, trimmed and halved crosswise
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced scallions
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
Directions: Pierce each potato a few times with a knife, place in a microwave-safe dish and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 5 to 6 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Microwave green beans according to package directions.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray or line with foil; season steak with salt and pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes a side or until desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board to rest. While steak is cooking, combine miso, vinegar, ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk in vegetable oil.
Cut potatoes in half, then cut steak into ¼-inch slices. Divide potatoes, steak and beans among four plates; drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle scallions over steak and sesame seeds over potatoes, if desired.
2. Black Bean Quesadillas
Get your fill of protein with this easy to prepare meal using ingredients you may already have in stock. This recipe from Eating Well makes four servings so you can eat the leftovers for lunch or re-heat for dinner if you have a late night at the office or don’t feel up to cooking.
- 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup salsa
- 4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
- 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
Directions: Combine beans, cheese and ¼ cup salsa in a medium bowl. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread ½ cup filling on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Serve the quesadillas with avocado and the remaining salsa.
3. Fettuccine with Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
At less than 400 calories a serving, this recipe from Fitness is great for a post-workout recovery with the combination of carbohydrates and protein. Add extra broccoli to get a boost of veggies and maximize your time by preparing the sausage and broccoli while the pasta water boils.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed, roughly crumbled
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 pound broccoli rabe, tough stems trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
- ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 9-ounce package fresh fettuccine
- ¼ cup plus 4 teaspoons freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Directions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute, breaking up large chunks with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and cook, tossing with tongs, 1 minute. Add broth, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until broccoli rabe is tender, about 3 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and add to sausage mixture; toss well with tongs. Add ¼ cup cheese and black pepper and toss well again. Divide among four bowls and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
4. Garlicky Broiled Salmon with Tomatoes
For a lighter meal that requires only ten minutes of hands on time, this healthy dish from Real Simple is a must. Fire up the broiler and throw your ingredients on a broil proof pan with some olive oil for a meal that serves four.
- 4 6-ounce pieces skinless salmon fillet
- 4 medium tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
Directions: Heat broiler. Place salmon and tomatoes, cut-side up, in a broiler proof roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle salmon with paprika. Scatter thyme and garlic over the top. Broil until salmon is opaque throughout and tomatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Portobello Burgers
This easy to follow recipe from Greatist makes a meal for one, but can easily be expanded to feed several. This straightforward dinner idea gives you some creative power in adding your favorite toppings to make your dream burger (think blue cheese, avocado, and peppers). The Portobello mushroom is full of protein but also nutrient packed.
- 1 Portobello mushroom cap
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon light mayo
- 1 whole-wheat hamburger bun
- Any toppings you like
Directions: Preheat a grill or grill pan. Whisk together garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh basil. Drizzle half the sauce over Portobello mushroom cap. Grill the mushroom for 3 to 4 minutes per side, covered. Meanwhile, combine the remaining sauce with mayo and spread on a lightly toasted whole-wheat bun. Place the mushroom cap and any toppings on the bun.