6 Simple and Healthy Meals With Few Ingredients

Updated on June 6, 2020
gerimcclym profile image

Geri McClymont is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, which includes making nutritious and simple meals.

It's easy to eat healthy with these simple recipes.
It's easy to eat healthy with these simple recipes. | Source

Healthy and Easy Meals

I love good food and am very conscientious about eating healthy. However, when it comes to cooking, I am pretty no-nonsense. If a recipe calls for more than five ingredients, I'm usually not interested.

I'm simply too tired to put together a complex dish after a long workday. That said, I'm also unwilling to compromise on nutrition and flavor.

Thankfully, I've learned that by selecting my ingredients carefully, I can create tasty and nourishing meals pretty quickly and effortlessly.

Here are six super healthy meals with few ingredients. Not only are they nutritious and easy to make, but they are also delicious and very satisfying!

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6 Healthy Meals With Few Ingredients

  1. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie
  2. Oatmeal With Yogurt, Nuts, and Berries
  3. Omelette
  4. Stand-Alone Salad
  5. Whole-Grain Pasta With Homemade Tomato Sauce
  6. Chicken With Brown Rice and Vegetables

Green Goodness

Leafy greens, especially dark ones, are packed with fiber and are great sources of vitamins A, C and K.

A vegetable and fruit smoothie is an easy way to pack a ton of nutrients into a delicious drink.
A vegetable and fruit smoothie is an easy way to pack a ton of nutrients into a delicious drink. | Source

1. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies

Smoothies are quick and easy ways to pack a ton of nutrition into a flavorful drink. My favorite is a strawberry, banana and spinach smoothie with shredded ginger. I make it often for breakfast during the week and on the weekends. It's easy to substitue kale or chard for spinach, or use a combo of these, depending on what's in my fridge.

Recipe for Strawberry, Banana, and Spinach Smoothie

Prep time: 5 min.

Yields: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cold water or crushed ice
  • 5–6 fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1 banana, broken up
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I use Chobani 2% milkfat)
  • 1 tbsp fresh shredded ginger

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of a small blender with water or ice.
  2. Add strawberries, banana, spinach, yogurt, and ginger. Add more or less yogurt depending on how thick you like your smoothie.
  3. Blend on high until well blended (one minute or less).
  4. Pour into a glass. Enjoy the goodness!

Variations

  • Substitute strawberries with rasberries, blueberries, or a mix of berries.
  • Substitute kale or chard for spinach (or use a combo of these).
  • Add 1 tbsp of wheat germ for added nutritional value.

Did You Know?

Greek yogurt has almost twice as much protein as regular yogurt. It also contains probiotics, which help boost your digestive and immune system.

Oatmeal chock-full of berries and nuts. So good for the body and soul!
Oatmeal chock-full of berries and nuts. So good for the body and soul! | Source

2. Oatmeal With Yogurt, Nuts, and Berries

Oatmeal is high in fiber, so eating it regularly is a great way to help keep your cholesterol in check. It's so easy to add fruit and other good stuff, such as Greek yogurt and nuts, for a wholesome and balanced meal. It's the perfect comfort breakfast in the winter, but I enjoy it year-round! Below is my personal favorite variety.

Recipe for Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt, Blueberries, and Walnuts

Prep time: 5 min.

Yields: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 serving of instant oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Place instant oatmeal in bowl.
  2. Add flaxmeal and walnuts.
  3. Add boiling water (the amount will depend on how thick you like your oatmeal).
  4. Add Greek yogurt.
  5. Top with blueberries.

Variations

  • Substitute blueberries with strawberries, rasberries, or a mix of berries.
  • Rather than walnuts, use chopped pecans, almonds, or a mix of nuts.
  • Add a handful of dark chocolate chips.

Frozen Veggies

Frozen vegetables and fruits retain most of their nutrients, so they're smart substitutes for fresh ones. Keep several bags in your freezer for days you don't have fresh produce available.

Omelettes are highly nutritious and so effortless to make.
Omelettes are highly nutritious and so effortless to make. | Source

3. Omelettes

Eggs are inexpensive, yet excellent sources of protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Omelettes are quick and easy to make, yet so filling! Add your favorite vegetables and top your omelette with shredded cheese for a substantial meal.

Recipe for Spinach Omelette

Prep and cook time: 5 min.

Yields: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped or whole
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat pan, then coat pan with oil.
  4. Once the oil is hot, pour egg mixture into the pan and allow it to settle for about a minute over medium heat.
  5. Add spinach into the pan, over the eggs, and press the spinach down lightly with a metal spatula.
  6. Allow the omelette to cook for another minute or so, then add shredded cheese if desired.
  7. Cook an additional few seconds, fold over, and transfer to plate.

Variations

  • Substitute spinach with kale, chard or other veggies.
  • If you don't have fresh vegetables, use frozen ones.

Interesting Fact

Did you know that an avocado has more vitamin C than an orange? Avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals that support the health of your nervous and cardiovascular system.

Choose filling vegetables like avocados, along with chopped eggs, as part of a hearty and tasty salad.
Choose filling vegetables like avocados, along with chopped eggs, as part of a hearty and tasty salad. | Source

4. Stand-Alone Salads

I've discovered it's a great idea to boil half a dozen eggs over the weekend as a back-up for the week. Hard-boiled eggs are so versatile: I sometimes pack them for lunch or chop them into a leafy green salad with additional veggies and nuts for a standalone meal.

Below is my favorite salad with eggs because it also includes avocados which happen to be incredibly nutritious (and delicious). Toss in the tomatoes, top off with fresh lemon juice and a touch of salt and pepper, and you have a very nice blend of flavors and a complete meal! Add some crumbled feta cheese on top if you wish.

Recipe for Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Prep time: 10 min.

Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, cubed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place cubed tomatoes, avocados and eggs into bowl.
  2. Mix together lightly.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Squeeze the juice of the lemon on top.

Variations

  • Add a salad dressing of your choice, such as olive oil, balsamic vinegrette, or a combination of these.
  • Instead of boiled eggs, add chicken or canned salmon.
  • Add crumbled feta cheese on top.

How to Tell if Pasta is 100 Percent Whole-Grain

1. All grains/flours in the ingredients list should be preceded by the word "whole", except for brown rice and oat flour which are already whole-grain.

2. The front of the package should clearly say "100 percent whole-grain" or "100 percent whole-wheat."

3. Look for the orange "WHOLE-GRAIN" stamp on the package.

Whole-grain pasta with homemade tomato sauce makes for a satisfying and delicious meal.
Whole-grain pasta with homemade tomato sauce makes for a satisfying and delicious meal. | Source

5. Whole-Grain Pasta With Homemade Tomato Sauce

If you like pasta, this is one of the most simple and satisfying dishes you can make. I will sometimes cook enough pasta and sauce to last several days, as it often tastes better the day after I make it. You can also cook large quantities of the sauce to freeze for future use, leaving only the pasta to boil to accompany it. The great thing is that this simple, tasty tomato sauce goes nicely with a wide range of pasta, such as:

  • brown rice pasta
  • quinoa pasta
  • red lentil pasta
  • chickpea pasta
  • edamame pasta

Recipe for Brown Rice Penne With Homemade Tomato Sauce

Prep time: 10 min.

Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice penne
  • 1/2 - 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, chop up tomatoes and mince garlic.
  3. Place small pan over medium heat until hot.
  4. Add olive oil to pan, then the garlic.
  5. When garlic begins to brown, add the tomatoes.
  6. Stir lightly, add salt to taste.
  7. Reduce sauce to low heat and cover.
  8. Once pasta is cooked, strain it.
  9. Pour tomato sauce from the pan over the pasta.
  10. Sprinke with abundant parmesan cheese!

Serve with a salad and bread on the side.

Brown Rice Benefits

Brown rice is loaded with antioxidants. It improves digestive health, boosts heart health, helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, and may reduce your risk of cancer.

Chicken with brown rice and vegetables.
Chicken with brown rice and vegetables. | Source

6. Chicken With Brown Rice and Vegetables

Dishes that involve cooking meat, of course, take a little longer to prepare. I have been using an iron skillet in the kitchen for years and love how it helps meat retain its natural flavor. Add brown rice or another grain, along with your favorite vegetables on the side, and you have a complete meal.

Recipe for Sauteed Chicken and Onions With Couscous and Salad

Prep and cook time: 20 min.

Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 box couscous
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • leafy greens such Romaine lettuce or spinach
  • 1–2 tomatoes, cubed

Instructions

  1. Boil water in a small pot.
  2. Add couscous, cover and remove from heat immediately. Set aside.
  3. Place iron skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once heated, add olive oil to pan.
  5. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Once oil in pan is heated, add chicken to pan, surrounded by onions.
  7. Cook over medium heat, turning as needed.
  8. Once chicken and onions are cooked to your taste, transfer them to a plate.
  9. Add couscous and a spinach and tomato salad on the side.
  10. Squeeze juice of lemon over chicken, onions, couscous and salad. Enjoy!

Variations

  • Instead of a leafy salad, add steamed broccoli.
  • Substitute chicken with salmon or another fish.
  • Use brown rice, another grain or pasta instead of couscous.

I hope these quick, no-nonsense recipes will work for you or give you ideas on making ones you like. We all have different preferences when it comes to food, so sometimes just substituting one ingredient for another will create a recipe you love.

Here's to healthy, delicious and simple cooking!

© 2019 Geri McClymont

Comments

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    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Nice recipes. Useful article. Thanks.

    • gerimcclym profile imageAUTHOR

      Geri McClymont 

      17 months ago

      Nice to hear from you, Dora. I'm glad to have found a balance between easy and healthy while not compromising on flavor. I'm working on adding a greater variety of vegetables to my diet.

    • gerimcclym profile imageAUTHOR

      Geri McClymont 

      17 months ago

      Thanks for stopping by, Audrey. I only recently learned how incredibly nutritious avocados are. I too should find a way to include one in my meals more regularly.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      17 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your easy, nutritious recipes. These are great ideas also with your added suggestions. Very helpful.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      17 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Avocado is an extra I add to almost every recipe. You've made good use of this healthy edible in your variety of nutritious, easy meals.

      Your introduction to each recipe adds an interesting personal touch which draws the reader immediately into each specific recipe.

      Very nice!

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