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Cooking (At Arm’s Length)

Social distancing and trying to cook from your pantry? Here are eight healthy recipes and snacks to try. Even better? You will more than likely have most of these ingredients at home. 

HOMEMADE OATS

Searching for the perfect oatmeal recipe? We’ve got it. Homemade oats are an excellent way to keep full until lunchtime and are a good source of fiber, the kind that can keep your cholesterol levels down and your stomach full. You can even make overnight oats. Make them on the stove, microwave; there are even some awesome slow cooker recipes out there. Add in some fresh fruits and honey and you have the perfect spring pick-me-up.  You can find some homemade oat recipes here. 

FRESH SALADS

When making a good salad, the key is to use fresh vegetables — anything canned should be an add-on, or else you’ll end up with a soggy mess of a salad. Add in your proteins like meat, eggs, beans, nuts, if you want the mixture to be fulfilling. If you are looking for a little bit of crunch, add things like cabbage or cucumber. If you are a soft food lover, tomatoes, cooked veggies, or pinto or black beans are also a solid choice. The most critical step is to make your own delicious (and healthier) homemade dressing. Try things like olive oil and vinegar to start. Try this fun mason jar recipe. 

ROASTED VEGGIES

Roasting vegetables can arguably be one of the most delicious ways to cook them. Crank that oven up to 450°F. Chop up your veggies and then toss them all with some olive oil and kosher salt. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until they look good. Use veggies like broccoli, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms to roast. You can also throw in some sweet potatoes and squash into the mix. Once you’ve gotten that far, you can toss them in some pasta, a salad, or eat them plain. Learn how to roast vegetables here. 

HEALTHY STIR FRY

If you are looking for something that is fresh, healthy, and quick, then look no further than a stir fry with either some meat or tofu thrown in. Whatever you decide, the basic idea is the same: Cook your protein, saute some vegetables and add the sauce. Serve over brown or basmati rice or by itself and there you have it. Check out some recipes here. 

HEALTHY PASTA

Who says that pasta can’t be healthy? It definitely can be. You just have to cook it the right way. Firstly, you need to use whole wheat pasta because, like brown rice, it has more nutrients and fiber. Second, vegetables and healthy protein are essential. Lastly, you need to watch your saturated fat, like cream butter and cheese when it comes to pasta. Those are a no-no. Check out this five-ingredient recipe here

GRILLED CHICKEN

Grilled chicken is definitely lean and healthy, but it sometimes gets a bad rap for being bland. The trick is to pair your protein with big, exciting flavors. If you have the time, make your marinade with things like lemon, herbs, or homemade barbecue sauces. Check Pinterest for some inspo and you will find healthy and flavorful chicken recipes galore. Find recipes here. 

FRESH SMOOTHIES

Smoothies are a smart way to pack in a lot of nutrition at once. Whether it’s a detox smoothie or a protein smoothie, make sure that you have a combination of fruits, vegetables and protein like protein powder, almond butter or peanut butter, so it’s well-balanced and nutritious. You can also have fun with the liquids, from water to milk to healthy juices like pineapple or mango. Find recipes here. 

FRESH POPCORN

When you’re craving something salty, homemade popcorn is always a good idea. It’s super-easy to make, and you can flavor it according to your preferences. Not to mention it’s healthier and cheaper than the movie-theater or microwaveable kinds. So, grab yourself an air popper and pop your kernels at home. Find recipes here.

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