Fiery Corn and Black Bean Soup: Toast frozen corn kernels in a skillet with a little olive oil until slightly browned. Meanwhile, heat a carton of black bean soup in a pot with a drained and rinsed can of black beans, a cup of vegetable broth, a pinch of ground black pepper and 2 to 4 tablespoons of chunky salsa. Add the toasted corn kernels, stir and serve.
— Anna Tseng, MPH, RD, LDN
Ingredient Improv: For a satisfying one-pot meal, add cooked whole grains such as quinoa or whole-wheat pasta and more vegetables including diced bell peppers or jalapeños. Garnish with grated cheese or non-dairy cheese and a touch of fresh chopped cilantro and avocado.
One-Ingredient Applesauce: Wash and cut 7 to 8 unpeeled apples into large chunks. Fill a pot with ½ cup to ¾ cup water and bring to a simmer or boil, then place the apples in the pot and steam until soft and mushy — about 20 minutes. Let the apples cool, then place apples and the water in a blender and blend to your preferred consistency.
— Stephanie Dorfman, MS, RD
Ingredient Improv: For more flavor, add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or vanilla before blending the apples. Blend in additional fruit, such as strawberries, peaches or bananas, or add lemon juice to enhance the applesauce’s taste.
One-Pan Shrimp and Asparagus: Place 1 pound of cleaned, fresh shrimp and cut, trimmed and washed asparagus on a baking sheet. Add a drizzle of olive oil, garlic powder or fresh chopped garlic, onion powder, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Roast in the oven at 400°F for approximately 7 minutes, or until shrimp turns white and opaque. When done, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top and garnish with fresh, chopped parsley.
— Madeline Basler, MS, RDN, CDN
Ingredient Improv: Use thawed frozen shrimp and replace asparagus with green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas or edamame. Garnish with fresh chopped basil or another herb. Serve over cooked wild rice, couscous or noodles.
Easy Egg Tortilla Wrap: Scramble two eggs with a few diced cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup black or pinto beans, a handful of torn spinach leaves and 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese. While eggs are cooking, warm ⅓ cup salsa over low heat and microwave an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla for 15 seconds. Add scrambled eggs and salsa to the tortilla and roll to create a wrap.
— Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD
Ingredient Improv: Add more vegetables such as chopped onion, sliced bell pepper or mushrooms. Instead of whole beans, spread mashed pinto beans on the tortilla before adding the eggs and salsa or use guacamole as a spread.
Chia Seed Jam: Add 1 cup of your favorite berries (fresh or frozen) to a bowl and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until the fruit is softened and starts to release some juices. Stir in 1 tablespoon chia seeds and refrigerate overnight to thicken into a jam. Serve over yogurt, on toast or eat by the spoonful.
— Mackenzie Burgess, RDN
Ingredient Improv: Substitute fresh or frozen peaches or mangoes for berries or use a combination. Introduce new flavors with vanilla extract, cinnamon or lemon zest. For sweeter jam, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.