9 Five-Minute Power Meals That Nutritionists Love

By Cassie Shortsleeve |

Eating healthy is about to get so much easier with these quick recipes.

SilverSneakers Power Meals

Preparing meals at home is good for your health and your wallet. Yet, from 2015 to 2016, Americans spent more money at restaurants and bars ($54.8 billion) than they did on groceries ($52.5 billion) for the first time in history.

It makes sense: We’re busy, and it’s easier than ever to punch your takeout order into an app and have dinner on the table in 15 minutes. But what if you could whip up a healthy, flavor-packed meal at home even faster? With the incredibly simple recipes below, you can.

Here, nutrition experts share their favorite power meals that can be made in just five minutes. Most are single servings. Cooking for multiple people? Multiply the recipe accordingly.

Breakfast

1. Greek Yogurt Bowl
The trio of protein, fiber, and healthy fat in this meal will keep you feeling full and energized throughout the morning. Plus, the yogurt is a nice source of probiotics for gut health, and fruit adds in antioxidants that fight inflammation, says Kelly Hogan, R.D., a clinical nutrition and wellness manager at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
  • ¼ cup low-sugar granola or muesli
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

What to do: Add yogurt to bowl. Top with remaining ingredients.

2. Scrambled Eggs and Greens
This breakfast is a triple whammy: taste, texture, and nutrition, says Brian St. Pierre, R.D., C.S.C.S., director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition. Eggs are one of the easiest forms of protein to whip up before you run out the door, and the mushrooms, spinach, and onion provide a solid dose of veggies too.

You’ll need:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 ounces smoked turkey “ham,” chopped
  • ⅓ onion, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 slice cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup berries

What to do: Lightly coat skillet with cooking spray. Stir-fry turkey, onion, spinach, and mushrooms for 3 minutes. Add eggs and cheese (if using), and stir for an additional 2 minutes. Eat with berries on the side.

3. Steel-Cut Oats with Soy Milk
“You get a ton of fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 oils from the chia plus protein from the soy milk,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., R.D., senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Steel-cut oats take about 30 minutes to cook, so the best strategy is to prepare a big batch on Sunday and reheat single servings throughout the week. The oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to five days.

You’ll need:

  • ¼ cup steel-cut oats
  • ½ to 1 cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

What to do: Reheat precooked steel cut oats with soy milk. Top with remaining ingredients.

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Lunch

1. Avocado Toast with Sauerkraut
Avocados are a fantastic source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats as well as fiber, which makes them a very satisfying and filling meal option,” Hogan says. “The toast adds additional fiber and complex carbs, eggs add a protein boost, and sauerkraut brings flavor and probiotics.”

You’ll need:

  • ½ avocado mashed with lemon juice
  • 2 slices sprouted grain toast
  • ½ cup sauerkraut (any flavor)
  • 2 eggs, poached, fried, or hardboiled
  • Sea salt and pepper

What to do: Spread mashed avocado evenly on toast. Top with sauerkraut, eggs, and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Edamame Hummus with Fruit and Almonds
Hummus is more than just a snack. Paired with the right side dishes, it can be the star of a healthy meal. “You get all the fiber and protein you need,” Hunnes says. “It’s filling and full of good-for-you fats.”

You’ll need:

  • 1 bag de-shelled edamame
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole wheat pita
  • ½ cup fruit
  • ¼ cup almonds

What to do: Mix edamame, lemon juice, artichoke hearts, olive oil, and garlic in food processor until smooth. Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on pita, and enjoy with fruit and almonds on the side. Store remaining hummus for later use.

3. Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice
If you use precooked chicken breasts and rice and then add frozen veggies, this dish can be whipped up in no time, St. Pierre says. This is another tasty meal that’s high in muscle-preserving protein and heart-healthy fiber, which are nutrients most older adults don’t get enough of.

You’ll need:

  • 8 ounces grilled chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons guacamole

What to do: Combine all ingredients except guacamole in a pot over medium-low heat or in the microwave for a couple minutes. Top with guacamole.

Dinner

1. Tofu Veggie Stir-Fry
Stir-fry is a great opportunity to eat a variety of colorful, antioxidant-packed veggies, Hogan says. This supper is especially speedy, since quinoa cooks faster than some other whole grains while still offering a good dose of fiber and protein. “And the tahini sauce provides some healthy fats to help with satiety,” Hogan says.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 to 4 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped raw veggies of your choice, such as purple cabbage, broccoli, carrots, kale, bell pepper, or mushroom
  • ¾ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Juice from 1 lemon

What to do: Heat olive oil in a skillet, and add tofu and veggies. Sauté until tender. Add quinoa to a large bowl, and toss tofu-veggie mixture on top. Whisk tahini, sea salt, garlic powder, water, and lemon juice together, and then drizzle on top of stir-fry.

2. Pesto Whole Wheat Pasta with Simple Salad
This meal will satisfy a carb craving while delivering flavorful fiber and tons of vegetables, Hunnes says.

You’ll need:
For pasta and pesto:

  • 4 ounces whole-wheat pasta
  • 2 packages basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup whole almonds
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic

For salad:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • ¼ cup low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

What to do: Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, make pesto by mixing basil, almond, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic in a food processor until smooth, and set aside. Make salad dressing by whisking olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Toss mixed greens, tomato, corn, black beans, and dressing in a large bowl. Divide pasta and salad in half. Use for two servings, or store one serving for later use. Top pasta with 2 tablespoons of pesto, and store remaining pesto for later use.

3. Pecan-Crusted Seared Salmon
Finish your day with an easy dose of protein and healthy fats, St Pierre says. Steamed spinach is also one of the healthiest vegetable choices out there, filled with a plethora of vitamins and micronutrients, he adds.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pecan meal
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 salmon fillet (8 oz), skin removed
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • ½ cup steamed quinoa

What to do: Combine olive oil, pecan meal, and salt and pepper to season. Distribute mixture over plate, and press both sides of salmon into mixture. Cook salmon on preheated grill for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, steam spinach in a pot with lid over 1 inch of boiling water. Drain spinach, and toss with butter or coconut oil. Reheat steamed quinoa in microwave. Top quinoa with salmon and spinach.

Healthy Meal Plan: Salad a Day