Incorporating superfoods into your diet is one way to start eating healthier and feeling better. “The effect that diet can have on how you feel today and in the future is astounding,” nutritionist Elizabeth Somer told Web MD. “Even people who are healthy can make a few tweaks and the impact will be amazing.” Any meal can become supercharged with superfoods that are bursting with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. To start tweaking your diet, make one of the following six recipes tonight.
1. Pistachio Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce
The superfood powers of salmon and pistachios are paired together in this recipe from Paula Deen. Pistachios cracked their way onto Joy Bauer’s list of ten top superfoods because they are fiber rich, have protein, and are packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Even more ticker-friendly fats are on the way, because as Web MD explains, salmon is loaded up with omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe makes two servings.
- ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (4-ounce) fresh salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Lemon Cream Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
Directions: To prepare the salmon, in a shallow dish, combine the pistachios, salt, and pepper. Dredge the salmon in the pistachio mixture, pressing gently to coat.
In a small skillet, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the salmon and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; turn the salmon and cook until salmon flakes easily with fork, about 2 or 3 minutes more. Transfer the fillets to serving plates. Serve with lemon cream sauce, and garnish with chopped pistachios, if desired.
For the lemon cream sauce, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour, whisking to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the broth and cream and simmer until thickened, whisking frequently, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, whisking to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Pour into a serving dish and serve with the salmon.
2. Superfood Pizza
Making a supercharged, superfood-filled pizza is a breeze thanks to this Self recipe. Sweet potatoes, a superfood favorite of Dr. Oz for their high beta-carotene and antioxidant levels, form the “sauce” of this quick and easy pizza. This is topped with kale, and crushed walnuts. With walnuts, a little goes a long way; Health states that in just ¼ cup of walnuts, you’ll find 90% of your daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids. The pizza yields about six servings.
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 package (21 ounces) prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
- 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon crushed walnuts
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil a large pot of water. Cook potato in water until fork-tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and let cool 5 minutes. In a food processor, pulse potato, 1 tablespoon oil, red pepper, and a pinch of salt until sauce is smooth. Roll out dough until ¼-inch thick. Spread potato sauce evenly over dough. Toss kale in remaining ½ tablespoon oil; top pizza with goat cheese, kale, and Parmesan. Bake until crust is golden, 10 to 15 minutes, sprinkling on walnuts in final 2 minutes.
3. Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
Cooking Light’s salad is a satisfying meal that has superfoods lurking on the ingredient list. No cholesterol, but plenty of monounsaturated fats and potassium landed avocados on a superfoods list compiled by Health. Black beans, like all beans, are super because the legumes are high in fiber and a good source of plant-based iron, Eating Well explains. The salad serves four.
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅔ cup light sour cream
- 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup diced peeled avocado
- ⅓ cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (8¾-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained
Directions: To prepare dressing, combine first seven ingredients, stirring well. To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
4. Veggie Balls
Walnuts pop up again in this meat-free meatball recipe from The Meatball Shop via The New York Times. Although there won’t be any meat, there are superfoods to be found. In addition to walnuts, lentils, and eggs are in the ingredients. Lentils, Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, told Fox, are part of the legume family, are cheap, and are heart helpers since they can lower blood lipid levels. They also have protein and fiber, so you won’t feel hungry even after this vegetarian dish.
- 2 cups lentils
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup grated rennet-free Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
Directions: Combine the lentils and 2 quarts water in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are soft but not falling apart, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and allow to cool.
Add ¼ cup of the olive oil to a large frying pan and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and salt over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 more minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. When cool, add the lentils to the vegetable mixture.
Add the eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley and walnuts to the cooled vegetables and lentils and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated. Place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside. Roll the mixture into round golf ball-size meatballs (about 1½ inches), making sure to pack the vegetable mixture firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, allowing ¼-inch of space between the balls and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid.
Roast for 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.
5. Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds
More superfoods are teaming up in this recipe from Whole Foods. In a top ten of superfoods on WebMD, quinoa, nuts, and berries have all earned their places. Quinoa contains selenium, vitamin E, and zinc; it can also decrease your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. All berries are low in calories and come with antioxidants–even dried cranberries. Finally, almonds, like other nuts, will deliver protein and fiber to your meal. The dish serves six.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- ⅔ cup sliced almonds, toasted
Directions: Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add quinoa and toast, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in broth and salt and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cranberries, cover again, and continue to cook until liquid is completely absorbed and quinoa is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Toss with almonds and serve.
6. Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash
Men’s Health rounded up a few of broccoli’s accolades which grant it superfood status. Not only have studies shown it can lessen the risk of heart disease and fight high blood pressure, but broccoli also has cancer fighting potential thanks to sulforaphane. “This increases the production of detoxification enzymes, which help the body rid itself of potentially carcinogenic substances,” kinesiologist Melanie Flower stated. If that isn’t a reason to give your mashed potatoes a superfood makeover with this Eating Well recipe, we don’t know what is. It makes six servings.
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
- ¾ pound broccoli crowns, chopped (4 cups)
- ¾ cup shredded fontina cheese
- ½ cup nonfat milk, heated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Directions: Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Place potatoes in a steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. Place broccoli on top; cover and steam until the potatoes and broccoli are tender, 6 to 8 minutes more. Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl and coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add the potatoes, cheese, milk, salt, and pepper and continue mashing to desired consistency. Serve immediately.