Recipes for a Healthy Gut
Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil Dal with Herbed Yogurt
This slow-cooker dal recipe has a range of pleasing textures: red lentils and millet break down as they cook, and the toor dal, which are split pigeon peas, stay toothsome. Look for all three ingredients at Indian markets or natural-foods stores. The crock pot does most of the work for this healthy vegetarian recipe, and a quick herbed yogurt added just before serving brightens up the flavors. Bonus: Both the dal and the yogurt can be made ahead and the leftovers are wonderful.
Chicken Pesto Pasta with Asparagus
This healthy chicken pesto pasta is easy to make thanks to convenience ingredients like rotisserie chicken and store-bought pesto. The addition of fresh asparagus—which is cooked in the same pot as the pasta—brightens up the look and the flavors of this family-friendly and easy one-pot dinner. Fresh basil, if you have it on hand, is a nice finishing touch.
Anti-Inflammatory Cherry-Spinach Smoothie
This healthy smoothie is not only delicious—it also boosts your daily dose of anti-inflammatory foods. It starts with a base of creamy gut-friendly kefir and includes cherries, which can lower the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein. Heart-healthy fats in avocado, almond butter and chia seeds deliver additional anti-inflammatory compounds to the body, while spinach offers a mix of antioxidants that sweep up harmful free radicals. Fresh ginger adds zing, plus a compound called gingerol, which preliminary studies suggest may improve inflammatory markers of heart disease if consumed daily.
Instant Pot Vegetarian White Chili
Parsnips lend a wonderful sweet and nutty flavor to this healthy white bean chili. Using an Instant Pot (or any other pressure cooker) means this hearty chili can be ready in under an hour, but it still tastes like it's simmered away for hours. Pureeing some of the chili gives the stew a nice creaminess, but feel free to skip that step to save time. Garnish the chili with cheese and sour cream for a richer meal, or serve it as-is to keep it vegan.
Mediterranean Ravioli with Artichokes & Olives
Store-bought spinach ravioli and a handful of basic pantry items are all you need to get a healthy dinner on the table in 15 minutes. Ingredients like oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, briny Kalamata olives and toasty pine nuts help to build big flavor fast. If you can't find frozen artichokes, swap in a 15-ounce can (just be sure to drain and rinse them well).
Slow-Cooker Sichuan Chicken with Scallions & Baby Bok Choy
Sichuan peppercorns give this brothy slow-cooker chicken dish a distinctive lemony, mouth-numbing flavor. Unrelated to peppercorns, they're the dried berries of the prickly ash tree. Look for them in specialty markets and online. If you've never had them before, try one first and add more or less to taste. Serve with sesame baby bok choy (which takes just a few minutes to prep) and Chinese noodles for an easy, healthy dinner that'll get you out of your same-old-chicken-dish rut.
Lemony Labneh with Pistachios
Lemon olive oil and lemon zest give this labneh dip a fresh, bright flavor. Labneh, the thick, slightly salty Middle Eastern strained yogurt, is easy to make at home with this recipe. Serve with cucumber slices or pita chips as a dip or use it as a sauce to top roasted vegetables or chicken.
Pitaya Smoothie Bowls
These gorgeous smoothie bowls make a healthy breakfast, snack or light dessert. They get their vibrant color from pitaya, aka dragon fruit. Blend them up when you need a special treat that's good for you and good-looking! We call for fresh pitaya in this recipe, but if you can't find it or don't feel like fussing with it, feel free to swap in frozen cubed pitaya.
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Chickpea Soup
This set-it-and-forget-it slow-cooker recipe simmers away all day so you come home to a warm and healthy dinner the whole family will love. Using bone-in chicken is the key to making rich soup without adding broth.
This good-for-your-gut-health food gets super-silky when slowly cooked in the oven. Serve these flavorful braised leeks with roast chicken or fish.
Berry-Mint Kefir Smoothies
Kefir is similar to yogurt, full of gut-friendly probiotics. But it has fewer carbs and a more drinkable consistency—perfect for smoothies.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Stew
Potatoes and beans make this tomato-based crock-pot vegetable stew super-hearty. You could also add briefly sautéed chunks of zucchini or fresh corn kernels just before serving, or add another can of cannellini beans for more substance. A dollop of pesto on top is also super-delicious. Adding homemade garlic croutons is an easy way to elevate this healthy dinner.
Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
Muffins meet oatmeal in these moist and tasty grab-and-go oatmeal cups. Feel free to swap out the pecans for any other nut—walnuts would be great—or omit them altogether. Make a batch on the weekend and keep them in your fridge or freezer for quick and easy breakfasts all week. Reheat in the microwave for about 40 seconds.
If you are looking to start fermenting your own vegetables, kimchi is a great place to start. It is easy to make, and fermentation takes just a few days. Once you have kimchi on hand, use this healthy Asian condiment to liven up brown rice, soups, stir-fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos—and the list goes on!
Quinoa, Chicken & Broccoli Salad with Roasted Lemon Dressing
Roasting lemons mellows their tartness and creates a layer of caramelized flavor that pairs well with the raw broccoli and savory quinoa in this healthy chicken dinner salad. Even better, the chicken and lemons roast on one sheet pan, making cleanup a breeze.
Kohlrabi, Leek & Gruyère Pizza
If you haven't tried kohlrabi yet, this is the perfect way to start. This easy pizza recipe with leeks, thyme and cheese is a great vehicle for eating the sweet, earthy vegetable.
Slow-Cooker Carne Picada Tacos with Avocado Salsa
Loosely translated as "minced meat," the traditional texture of carne picada ranges from finely chopped to ground. Here we start with brisket, which becomes nice and tender in the slow cooker, then shred and chop the meat before serving. The seasoning is flavorful but not too spicy. Blistered jalapeños added at the end will satisfy the heat-lovers in the family. Pile the brisket into warmed corn tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and avocado salsa for a healthy dinner that'll wake up your taco night routine.
Miso Vegetable Soup
Tofu, rice and plenty of vegetables transform miso soup from a light accompaniment into a dish that's substantial enough to leave you feeling satisfied.
Want to learn how to make sauerkraut at home? For this easy homemade sauerkraut recipe, choose fresh, firm heads of cabbage and use canning, pickling or kosher salt (not iodized salt). To be sure your cabbage-to-salt ratio is right for fermentation, start with as close to 5 pounds of untrimmed cabbage as you can. To ensure success, pack the cabbage mixture into the container as tightly as possible (eliminating any air pockets) and be sure it stays submerged in the brine at all times.
Bean Salad with Charred Lemons
Creamy avocado, salty feta cheese and sweet-bitter caramelized lemon slices make this vegetarian bean salad recipe a standout. Using different colors, sizes and shapes of beans makes this salad extra special. But any bean that interests you, even canned, will work.
Chicken, Quinoa & Sweet Potato Casserole
This protein-loaded chicken and sweet potato casserole dish is made with multicolored quinoa, a blend of white, red and black varieties, but any color will work.
Raspberry-Pineapple Fish Tacos
This refreshing version of traditional fish tacos features a lively raspberry-pineapple salsa and a yogurt-lime cream sauce.
Kimchi Shrimp Cup of Noodles
Make your own cup of instant soup at home with this Korean noodle recipe. Pack several jars at once to take to work for easy lunches throughout the week.
Muesli with Raspberries
Unlike granola, muesli isn't baked with sweeteners or oil. Make your own or find your favorite brand in most supermarkets—we like Bob's Red Mill.
Chicken & Sweet Potato Grill Packets with Peppers & Onions
Cook your whole meal in a packet on the grill with this easy veggie-loaded recipe. The Mexican-inspired seasoning makes the chicken and veggies taste great served with warm tortillas and your favorite taco toppings for a healthy dinner.
Lemony Linguine with Spring Vegetables
Instead of cooking pasta in a huge pot of water, here we use just 3½ cups for this one-pot pasta recipe. When the pasta is al dente, most of the water has evaporated and the bit that's left is thickened with the starch that cooks off the pasta. With just a few add-ins like lemon and Parmesan cheese you have a delicious silky sauce. Want to use up your veggie stash in the freezer? Swap in 8 ounces frozen spinach for fresh.
Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta
This easy and healthy pasta recipe takes just 20 minutes to prep so it's a perfect weeknight dinner. Cooking garlic cloves whole and then mashing them into the sauce not only saves time, it creates a mellow garlic flavor that melds seamlessly into the silky burst cherry tomatoes.
Plank-Grilled Miso Salmon
Besides adding smoky flavor, cooking salmon on a plank eliminates the triple pitfalls of grilling fish—drying out, sticking to the grate or breaking when you attempt to turn it. For this healthy grilled salmon recipe, the sweet-salty flavor of the miso-maple glaze counterpoints the buttery richness of the fish.
Orange-Oregano Marinated Vegetables
Trade in plain crudités for something with more panache with this quick marinated vegetable recipe. Soak bell peppers, fennel and frozen artichoke hearts in an orange- and oregano-flavored marinade and in just a couple hours you'll have a tasty antipasto ready to serve with your cheese plate.
Korean Turkey Burgers with Kimchi
Korean chile paste (also known as gochujang) blended into the ground turkey makes this turkey burger recipe incredibly moist and flavorful. Top these healthy turkey burgers with kimchi—a fermented mixture of cabbage and other vegetables—which can be found near other refrigerated Asian ingredients or near sauerkraut or pickles in well-stocked supermarkets or natural-foods stores.