Even if you're someone who normally loves whipping up something nutritious and delicious in the kitchen, cooking every single night can be exhausting.
Particularly when you've had a busy day at work — or you're simply not in the mood — sitting down to a quick yet tasty recipe can keep you from losing your patience.
Enter: These 10 nutritious and super-easy recipes are all ready in 10 minutes or less.
1. Rainbow Collard Wrap
This recipe has all of the makings of a balanced meal, without much fuss.
High in fiber, protein and healthy fats, collard wraps are smart strategy to get in your daily veggie intake without sacrificing flavor, Allison Thibault RDN, CDN says. Because of the various ingredients, you'll love the multiple textures and flavors in each bite.
If you're not a fan of collards, swiss chard is just as nutrient-dense and makes for an easy swap, Thibault says.
"The swiss chard leaves may actually be more palatable for people, as they are less bitter in flavor and more crisp in texture," she notes. And if you don't have chicken on hand, look for canned salmon or tuna, which offer protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain, heart and nerve function, she adds.
Get the Rainbow Collard Wrap recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Avocado and Black Bean Burritos
Rather than putting together a taco salad dinner that requires chopping, dicing and sauteeing, consider this burrito recipe with similar flavors.
Thibault raves about black beans, which are high in fiber and protein and help support gut health, regulate blood sugar levels and promote satiety. Avocados, while delicious, also pack a health punch, according to Maria Sorbara Mora, CDN, CEDRD, who says they help improve digestion and are linked to protecting against depression.
If you don't have black beans on hand, choose low-sodium refried beans or chickpeas, which are still high in protein and fiber with plenty of flavor and texture, Thibault says.
And if you're following a gluten-free diet, skip the whole-wheat tortilla and choose a serving of corn tortillas or tortilla chips instead, Mora says.
Get the Avocado and Black Bean Burritos recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Veggie Fried Rice
The star of this dish is brown rice, which offers insoluble fiber to help lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, promote fullness and support digestive tract health, Mora says.
Thibault also suggests taking a look at the colors in this super-quick dish: The more variety of hues represents a vast amount of vitamins. You'll get vitamin A from the carrots; vitamin C and K from broccoli and peas; B vitamins and antioxidants from the onion; as well as anti-inflammatory benefits from ginger and garlic.
For those who don't have brown rice on hand, switch to quinoa, which Thibault says is just as good — if not better. And if you don't have fresh veggies in your pantry, both RDs say frozen is just fine.
Get the Veggie Fried Rice recipe and nutrition info here.
4. White Pizza
This is the perfect comfort-food recipe for one of those days where everything feels like it went wrong.
"The multi-grain crust offers plenty of B vitamins and fiber. The cheese is high in calcium, which is one of the most important minerals in the body and is needed for bone health," Thibault explains.
And don't forget about the artichokes! Mora says these green beauties are rich in prebiotic fiber, helping to improve digestive health and lower blood sugar. "Not only do artichokes lower 'bad' LDL cholesterol but they also help increase 'good' HDL cholesterol," she adds.
If you don't have a multi-grain shell on hand or you're mindful of gluten intake, Thibault recommends swapping to cauliflower crust, which is lower in calories. If you don't have artichokes, consider mushrooms, which will add vitamin D and selenium to the dish.
Get the White Pizza recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Avo-Coconut Berry Smoothie
Sometimes after a stressful day, you burn off steam with a workout. But once you've put the weights down, you're so wiped that you can't muster up the energy to pick up a spatula.
That's where this recipe comes in: The ingredients alone make it filling and the prep is next-to-zero. What makes it healthy is the avocado and coconut, which offer good-for-us fats and fiber, according to Thibault.
The berries sweeten it and the whey protein is slowly digested, increasing satiety and preventing our blood sugar from spiking. Don't forget about the banana, since its potassium content is essential for strong muscles and bones.
If you don't have whey protein on hand, use a plant-based powder like pea protein. "If coconut milk is not an option, almond or cashew milk are just as great, offering healthy fats and plenty of creamy texture and flavor," Thibault adds.
Get the Avo-Coconut Berry Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Breakfast for Dinner
As a kid, there was nothing quite as exciting as breakfast-for-dinner night. But, how often do you recreate this in your own home?
Not only is this omelet a fast way to create a full, nutritious meal, but this recipe also happens to be high-protein and low-carb, Thibault says.
"It is full of brain-boosting nutrients while also supercharging your metabolism," she adds. The star, though, is the eggs, which are a nutrient-dense protein. They pack vitamin B12, which is important for healthy nerves and cells and maintaining our energy levels.
Rather than using milk in your eggs, consider yogurt. Yogurt helps make them fluffier while adding a bit more protein.
"The yogurt offers probiotics, which are the good bacteria, helping to boost gut health, along with the onions that offer prebiotics, making it an ideal pair," she adds.
Get the Breakfast for Dinner recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Crunchy Kale Salad
"This superfood contains the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol," Mora says. This dynamic duo has compounds that are potentially anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant, she continues.
"Kale also helps protect the heart and lower blood pressure and is one of the best sources of vitamin K, which is critical for blood clotting."
Sunflower seeds are also high in vitamin E and selenium, which Thibault explains are essential for our immunity and protect us against free radical damage and aging. The salad is sky-high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, so it's a solid choice — particularly if you feel a cold coming on or you feel overstressed.
No apple? No prob. Fruits like strawberries, grapes and even dried cranberries are solid options, Mora says. If sunflower seeds are not available, pumpkin seeds are just as healthy while adding in additional heart-healthy benefits, Thibault says.
Get the Crunchy Kale Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Stuffed Avocado
Stuffed avocado is full of protein, healthy fats and fiber, which is the perfect combination for any nutrient-dense meal.
No worries if you can't find ripe avocados! Thibault says mushroom caps, half a butternut squash or halved bell peppers make a solid "bowl," too.
You can even sub out the tuna salad for ground turkey or chicken with sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms.
Get the Stuffed Avocado recipe and nutrition info here.
9. Black Bean Quinoa Salad With Mango and Avocado
This flavorful salad is equal parts crunchy and smooth, creating quite a satisfying bite. Plus, it's high in protein and fiber, as well as brain and heart-boosting healthy fats, Thibault notes.
For something that takes no time to throw together, it packs a lot of punch in one bowl.
If you don't have quinoa in your pantry, don't sweat it. Thibault suggests replacing this ingredient with riced cauliflower or broccoli for a low-calorie yet a nutrient-rich option.
"Papaya is a great swap for mango, and is also used as a digestive aid due to its papain digestive enzyme content," she adds.
Get the Black Bean Quinoa Salad With Mango and Avocado recipe and nutrition info here.
10. Spinach and Feta Avocado Toast on Keto Bread
Avocado toast, anyone? As a high-fiber and high-protein dish that helps maintain our blood sugar levels, Thibault says this is an all-star option for a quick meal.
The spinach and avocado are antioxidant and nutrient powerhouses that offer vitamins A, B, C, E, K and minerals such as calcium, folate and iron.
"If raw spinach is not an option, swiss chard is a great swap and is actually more nutrient-dense than spinach. If avocados are not available, using eggs is another great option," she says.
"It packs in more protein, providing plenty of healthy fats and immune-boosting nutrients such as vitamin D, selenium, riboflavin (B2), choline and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin."
Get the Spinach and Feta Avocado Toast on Keto Bread recipe and nutrition info here.