30 Days of Flat-Belly Dinners
These healthy recipes are loaded with fiber and other ingredients that studies have shown to have special belly-fat-burning benefits, such as avocado, artichokes, whole grains, kefir, green tea, eggs, peanuts and chickpeas. They'll fill you up, so you'll feel satisfied all day long, and help you burn belly fat to feel your best and keep health conditions associated with excess belly fat at bay (like type 2 diabetes and heart disease). Not to mention, they're also delicious!
Day 1: Salmon Stuffed Avocados
Canned salmon is a valuable pantry staple and a practical way to include heart-healthy omega-3-rich fish in your diet. Here, we combine it with avocados in an easy no-cook meal.
Day 2: Grilled Fish Tacos
Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than ½ to ¾ inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don't have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.
Day 3: Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end.
Day 4: Leek, Potato & Spinach Stew
For this light, brothy stew, use the vegetables of late spring and early summer from your CSA share: leeks, potatoes, garlic and spinach. Vary what's in the stew according to the weekly bounty.
Day 5: Flat-Belly Salad
This salad is a helpful tool for weight loss because it provides a good balance of fiber, protein and healthy fats from loads of veggies and beans, all tossed in a tangy apple-cider vinaigrette.
Day 6: Cheesy Spinach-&-Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This spaghetti-squash-for-pasta swap slashes both carbs and calories by 75 percent for a delicious, creamy casserole you can feel good about eating. It's worth roasting the squash versus cooking it in the microwave if you have the time: the flavor gets sweeter and more intense.
Day 7: Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing
This hearty vegan salad is loaded with plant-based power ingredients: chickpeas, quinoa and hummus. We love the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the unexpected flavor of roasted peppers.
Day 8: Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients—boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto.
Day 9: Turmeric Rice Bowl with Garam Masala Root Vegetables & Chickpeas
This fragrant turmeric rice bowl topped with leftover spiced roasted root vegetables and chickpeas is inspired by flavors from India for an easy, vegetarian dinner.
Day 10: 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.
Day 11: Crispy Chickpea Grain Bowl with Lemon Vinaigrette
Our favorite part of these vegetarian grain bowls is the tangy lemon vinaigrette, which ties together a satisfying combo of quinoa, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted chickpeas and kale. Whip them up for easy meal-prep lunches or a healthy and satisfying dinner.
Day 12: Pressure Cooker Buddha Bowl
Whip up this healthy vegetarian grain bowl with ease in your Instant Pot. Pressure-cooking the sweet potato is faster and yields the perfect texture. A drizzle of homemade spicy dressing takes this easy dinner to the next level.
Day 13: Steelhead Trout with Creamy Barley & Herb Salad
Steelhead and rainbow trout are the same species, but steelhead are anadromous, meaning that, like salmon, they migrate from the ocean to freshwater to spawn. Salmon and arctic char are a good substitute if you have trouble finding steelhead. The creamy barley the fish is served with has a texture similar to risotto, and toasting the grains before cooking gives the dish a nutty flavor. A knob of fresh horseradish is worth seeking out for this; it has a more nuanced flavor than jarred. Serve this healthy fish recipe with a glass of chenin blanc for an elegant and hearty dinner.
Day 14: Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil 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.
Day 15: Chicken & Parmesan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Chicken Parm gets a fun low-carb and gluten-free twist with these cheesy stuffed peppers with chicken and quinoa. Serve with a salad for a healthy dinner that's easy to prep too.
Day 16: Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach
Simmer eggs in a rich tomatoey cream sauce studded with chickpeas and silky spinach for a super-fast vegetarian dinner. Serve with a piece of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Be sure to use heavy cream; a lower-fat option might curdle when mixed with acidic tomatoes.
Day 17: Chicken & Quinoa Buddha Bowls
Arrange the toppings individually on these protein-packed Buddha bowls so each bite has a contrasting taste and texture. Make big batches of the salad dressing, quinoa and roasted chicken thighs and you'll have healthy meal-prep lunches or dinners for days. Though the chicken thighs take just 15 minutes to prep, you can also make the salads with leftover chicken or store-bought cooked chicken to make prep even faster.
Day 18: 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.
Day 19: Jackfruit Barbacoa Burrito Bowls
Jackfruit, a tropical fruit with a dense, chewy texture, is a blank canvas that takes on flavors well. In these vegan burrito bowls, the jackfruit is simmered in a warm and spicy chile sauce that's so good you'll never know you're eating a plant-based protein instead of pork or beef.
Day 20: 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.
Day 21: Norma's Mushroom Barley Soup
Long-simmered marrow bones give this soup its luxurious flavor. The texture of the finished soup is hearty—bordering on a soupy risotto.
Day 22: Chicken Fajita Bowls
These satisfying bowls are chock full of protein and fiber, thanks to chicken breast, black beans, sweet potatoes and bulgur—a versatile grain that has about 15 g fewer carbs (and more than twice the fiber) per cup than brown rice.
Day 23: Meal-Prep Chili-Lime Chicken Bowls
Skip takeout and whip up these equally delicious, and easy-to-make burrito bowls at home. They're great for a fast and easy dinner!
Day 24: "Egg in a Hole" Peppers with Avocado Salsa
Colorful bell pepper rings stand in for bread in this healthy version of egg in a hole. Cook an egg inside the peppers and top with a vibrant avocado salsa for a cheerful breakfast.
Day 25: Shrimp Poke
Not a fan of raw fish? No problem—this poke (pronounced poke-ay) recipe substitutes cooked peeled shrimp instead. This fast, veggie-loaded dish includes seasoned brown rice for a hearty boost of fiber.
Day 26: 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.
Day 27: Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils
This earthy bowl of lentils bursting with Middle Eastern flavors is topped with leftover roasted root veggies from a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner. Keep it vegan or add a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness.
Day 28: 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).
Day 29: Vegan White Bean Chili
Fresh Anaheim (or poblano) chiles add mild heat to this classic white bean chili and contribute lots of smoky flavor. Quinoa adds body to the chili, while diced zucchini provides pretty flecks of green and increases the veggie content.
Day 30: Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls
Skip the tortillas in favor of this warm fajita salad, which features a nutritious medley of chicken with roasted kale, bell peppers and black beans. The chicken, beans and vegetables are all cooked on the same pan, so this healthy dinner is easy to make and the cleanup is easy too.