Did you resolve to eat healthier this year? That’s an admirable goal — but it can be a tough one for locum tenens physicians who often eat on the run or are too exhausted to cook when they get home. Keep your New Year’s resolution and stay away from the fast food trap with these healthy recipes you can make in 30 minutes or less.
Barbecue Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
If you’re craving tacos or burritos but don’t want the extra calories and carbohydrates, you’ll love these addictive chicken lettuce wraps seasoned with hoisin sauce and chicken stock. These make a great snack or lunch at work, too, since they’re easy to pack.
Spaghetti with Eggs and Herbs
Skip the heavy, salty tomato or marina sauce and season spaghetti noodles with herbs and chilies for healthier option. A fried egg adds flavor and protein to the meal, and you can serve the pasta with a whole-wheat roll or fresh fruit.
Greek Salad with Pita Bread
Unfortunately, even the healthiest salads quickly become fattening and full of sodium when you pour ranch dressing over them. Make a Greek salad with fresh feta cheese and olives instead, and add pita bread for a more filling dinner.
Macaroni and Cheese
You’re probably thinking there’s no way this comfort food staple could be healthy — but this macaroni and cheese recipe cuts fat by substituting butternut squash and vegetable or chicken broth for cream and butter and is still as creamy as the full-fat version.
Classic grilled salmon gets a fresh update with a lemon-cilantro vinaigrette and the unique texture of couscous. Serve the dish with a side of grilled asparagus or French-cut green beans, flavored with lemon and garlic.
Fettuccine with Arugula
This isn’t your typical fettuccine alfredo with a heavy parmesan sauce. Instead, pair fettuccine noodles with olive oil, dry white wine and garlic and add arugula and corn for texture. A light garden salad is the perfect complement.
Asian Chicken Burgers
No need to slather mustard and mayo on these chicken burgers. The carrot, ginger, hoisin sauce and soy sauce give the chicken a unique flavor, and you can add a side of baked sweet potato fries or fruit to complete the dish.
Broiled Tilapia with Mustard-Chive Sauce
Got only 20 minutes? With Greek yogurt, dijon mustard and lemon juice, you can whip up a delicious sauce for broiled tilapia and have a meal on the table before your favorite sitcom is over. Add rice or couscous for texture and drizzle extra sauce on top of it.
Quick Taco Salad
Your favorite Mexican staple gets a healthier update with lean ground beef and crumbled baked tortilla chips (instead of a mound of the fried ones). Cilantro and reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese top off this taco salad, which comes together in minutes.
Eating healthy as a physician doesn’t have to be a challenge with easy, quick recipes at your fingertips. Do you have a favorite go-to meal? Share it in the comments!