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Carolyn Hodges, M.S., RDN

Carolyn Hodges, M.S., RDN is a culinary dietitian and creator of "The Dinner Shift," a food-rule free website dedicated to helping families get dinner on the table with weeknight-friendly recipes, simple meal planning and meal prep basics. When she’s not creating content for her own site, grocery shopping or washing a million dishes, Carolyn teaches higher ed nutrition and develops and photographs recipes and nutrition-related content for clients. She calls Cleveland, Ohio home along with her in-house recipe critics, her husband, Kyle, and their two boys, Caleb and Ezra.

One of the best parts of waking up might just be having a really satisfying breakfast waiting for you. With less than a handful of ingredients you can prep a week's worth of delicious options in no time.
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This speedy meatloaf dinner incorporates a number of pantry ingredients and shortcuts like frozen cauliflower and steam-in-the-bag green beans to cut way down on prep time. Baking the meatloaf in a muffin tin reduces cook time by more than half.
Refreshing and fruity, this simple smoothie calls for just three ingredients—frozen tropical fruit, plain kefir and tangerine juice. Kefir is a perfect swap for milk in smoothies. It adds creaminess and a boost of probiotics. If you can't find tangerine juice, swap in orange juice.
Requiring just three main ingredients—bell peppers, eggs and shredded cheese—these portable baked eggs are simple to assemble and perfect for meal prep. Store them in the fridge for up to 4 days to reheat on demand.
Set yourself up for a delicious week of diabetes-friendly breakfasts with just 15 minutes of hands-on prep time and less than a handful of ingredients.
While the cauliflower gnocchi crisp up in a sauté pan, steam fresh asparagus in the microwave to keep it bright green and crisp-tender. Substitute frozen asparagus (or green beans or peas) in a pinch. Toss them together with prepared basil pesto for a satisfying supper.
Here's how to shop for a week's worth of family meals and snacks (breakfast, lunch and dinner included!) for $100. These cheap family meals on a budget are sure to please.
Pancetta & Pea Quiche
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A bit of savory, salty pancetta pairs perfectly with sweet green peas in this quiche. To keep the peas bright green, run them under cool water until they're just thawed and drain well. Look for pre-chopped pancetta to cut down on prep time.
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The concentrated flavor of sun-dried tomatoes balances the mild creaminess of fresh mozzarella cheese. Look for sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes to minimize prep work, and drain them well before adding to the quiche.
Using precooked chicken sausage cuts way down on prep time. Plus, there are so many varieties available to add layers of flavor. Italian, apple-flavored or breakfast-style varieties all pair well with the spinach in this quiche.
Asparagus & Feta Quiche
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Quickly steaming asparagus in the microwave keeps it bright green and prevents it from becoming mushy in the quiche. For another simple flavor boost, look for feta seasoned with Mediterranean herbs.
Onions and mushrooms are classic quiche ingredients. To make the most of these vegetables and build big flavor fast, sauté sliced red onion and cremini mushrooms until golden brown (about 10 minutes) before adding them to the pie crust.
These quiches look fancy but require less than 15 minutes of prep time, to help make your brunch (or breakfast, lunch or dinner) easy and delicious.
Peanut Zoodles with Edamame
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A package of fresh zucchini noodles gets tossed with shelled edamame and store-bought peanut sauce in these 5-minute, no-cook vegetable noodle bowls. Because prepared sauces and dressings are commonly high in sodium, scan the label and opt for those that contain 150 mg sodium or less per tablespoon.
A frozen cauliflower-based pizza crust becomes the crispy base for this no-fuss flatbread. Pick up a Caesar-style salad kit to save yourself the hassle of needing to buy lots of other ingredients (everything's included in the kit!), and use rotisserie chicken breast to simplify prep even more.
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Apple-flavored chicken sausage adds flavor and protein in this quick dinner hash that uses a bag of shaved Brussels sprouts as its hearty, high-fiber base. Steaming the cubed sweet potatoes in the microwave cuts way down on total cook time.
Boxed blended soups are the perfect canvas for simple stir-ins to make them more substantial and satisfying. Here, roasted red pepper soup is jazzed up with canned chickpeas and fresh baby spinach for a fast, comforting meal.
Bagged salad and slaw blends are great shortcut ingredients for adding variety without needing to wash and chop lots of different vegetables. Toss a kale-and-broccoli slaw mix with canned white beans and yogurt-based green goddess dressing for a crunchy main-dish salad in minutes.
Swap out regular pasta for pasta made with chickpeas and you'll more than triple the fiber and double the protein in this simple, satisfying dish. Be sure to save some of the pasta water to make a sauce. Feel free to use frozen broccoli in a pinch (you can blanch the broccoli in the same water you use to cook the pasta).
Black Bean Fajita Skillet
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You can often find presliced and ready-to-cook fresh vegetables in your grocer's produce section. Use these to your advantage to cut down on dinnertime prep. Here, presliced fajita vegetables are sautéed with canned black beans and Southwest seasoning for a quick and easy Tex Mex-inspired meal. Plus, this recipe requires just three ingredients, not including basics like salt, pepper and oil. You can easily take your bowl up a notch by adding some cheese, sour cream or another tasty topping.
Bulk up boxed butternut squash soup with frozen cauliflower florets, then top off your bowl with crispy chickpea snacks for major crunch (look for them near the dried fruit and nuts at your grocery store). This impressively easy dinner comes together with just those three ingredients, not including salt, pepper and oil. Because prepared soups are typically higher in sodium, look for light or reduced-sodium versions of your favorites.
Combine precooked lentils (often located in the produce section of your grocery store) with an Indian-style simmer sauce for a super-fast and flavorful curry. Serving it over riced cauliflower bumps up the vegetable count and keeps carb servings in check. This 3-ingredient dinner (not counting salt, pepper and oil) is really as easy as it gets. To be mindful of the salt, look for simmer sauces with less than or close to 350 mg sodium per ¼-cup serving.
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It's doesn't take much to create a dinner that's both delicious and helps to keep your diabetes in check! These easy 3-ingredient dinners (not including salt, pepper and oil) start with pantry staples and use additional flavor packed ingredients to create some amazing meals.
These simple dinner ideas prove you don't need lots of ingredients or time to plate up a healthy and delicious Mediterranean-style meal.
Save your clothes from oil splatters and grease stains with a few household products and a bit of patience.