25 Meals to Prep Before You Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine
While everyone reacts differently to the COVID-19 vaccine, some common side effects include a sore arm, headache, tiredness or chills, according to the CDC. And if you’re feeling down or achy, the last thing you’ll probably want to do is make dinner. But instead of ordering out, prepare these healthy recipes ahead of time. Try these slow-cooker recipes that will be ready when you get back or make a low-lift recipe that features anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, dark leafy greens and whole grains, which will help support your immune system. Although recipes like Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup and Sheet-Pan Shrimp & Beets won’t magically erase any side effects, they are comforting, delicious and can help you feel your best.
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Stew
This Mediterranean stew is a healthy dinner chock-full of vegetables and hearty chickpeas. A drizzle of olive oil to finish carries the flavors of this easy vegan crock-pot stew. Swap out the chickpeas for white beans for a different twist, or try collards or spinach in place of the kale. Any way you vary it, this stew is sure to go into heavy rotation when you are looking for healthy crock-pot recipes.
Sheet-Pan Salmon with Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli
The vibrant combo of cheese, cilantro, chili, and lime--inspired by Mexican street corn--makes this salmon sheet-pan dinner burst with flavor.
Slow-Cooker Mahi-Mahi Tacos
These slow-cooker fish tacos require only 15 minutes of hands-on prep to whip together, making them a home cook's hero. The balance of cooked fish, tomatoes and onions with the raw cabbage and cilantro gives the dish a light, fresh feel. If desired, lightly toast the tortillas (see Tip) before filling and garnish the tacos with crushed red pepper. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.
Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, White Beans & Basil
Roasted sweet potatoes are paired with spinach, cabbage and white beans and tossed together with a bright basil dressing in this healthy main dish salad.
Slow-Cooker Turkey & Kale Minestrone Soup
Adjust the heat level in the dish by choosing either hot or mild Italian sausage. You can add red pepper, too, to make it extra hot. Serve this slow-cooker minestrone with crusty bread, if desired.
Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
It seems Buddha bowls have as many variations as there are stars in the sky, and there is no wrong way to build one! But we prefer to keep things classic and simple with hummus, quinoa, avocado and loads of veggies!
Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup
This is a classic chicken noodle soup with bright lemony flavor. Because the noodles are whole-wheat, they have added pleasant chewiness-not to mention more fiber and nutrients-than the regular variety. Pair this delicious soup with crusty bread.
Sheet-Pan Shrimp & Beets
For this easy sheet-pan dinner, beets get a head start in the oven while you prep the shrimp and kale. For a prettier presentation, leave the shrimp tails intact.
Mediterranean Tuna-Spinach Salad
This tuna salad recipe gets an upgrade with olives, feta and a tahini dressing. Served over baby spinach, this is the perfect easy and light lunch or dinner salad.
Sheet-Pan Chili-Lime Salmon with Potatoes & Peppers
Busy weeknights beg for something simple like this salmon sheet-pan dinner. Like the name suggests, it's all cooked on one pan. The potatoes get a head start, followed by sweet bell peppers and finally chili-coated salmon fillets. It's a complete meal with easy cleanup!
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Marinara Over Linguine
This vegetarian marinara is a fantastic way to incorporate vegetables into a meal. Not only will adults love it but kids will, too! You can easily make it on a weekend, and reheat for a quick Monday night meal.
Mexican Skillet Quinoa
Spice-laced quinoa, beans and sweet potato give this one-pan vegetarian meal its substantial and hearty feel. While the dish is simmering, put together a crisp side salad or simply chop up some avocado for an easy and complete 30-minute meal.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Lasagna
This vegetarian lasagna couldn't be easier, thanks to jarred pasta sauce and no-boil lasagna noodles. Prep it in the morning and let your crock pot do the work.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Wild Rice Soup with Asparagus & Peas
Use your crock pot all year with this healthy slow-cooker chicken soup recipe with fresh spring ingredients. Adding the asparagus and peas to the slow cooker for the last 20 minutes of cooking and leaving the lid off ensures that the vegetables stay bright green and are perfectly done without getting mushy.
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.
Mexican Quinoa Salad
Enjoy this Mexican quinoa salad as a delicious and quick vegetarian main dish or as a side for grilled chicken or steak. And don't forget the leftovers! They make an easy lunch on the go.
Slow-Cooker Italian Vegetable & Farro Soup
The farroan ancient whole grain rich in iron and fiber--and butternut squash make this slow-cooker soup hearty and filling. If you're looking for an easy way to work whole grains into your diet, this is it.
Slow-Cooker White Bean, Spinach & Sausage Stew
Reach for this recipe on a chilly morning when you know you'll want a steaming bowl of slow-cooker sausage stew for supper. To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten-free sausage.
Garlic Roasted Salmon & Brussels Sprouts
Roasting salmon on top of Brussels sprouts and garlic, flavored with wine and fresh oregano, is simple enough for a weeknight meal yet sophisticated enough to serve to company. Serve with whole-wheat couscous.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This Instant Pot lentil soup is quick enough to prepare when you get home from work for an easy weeknight dinner. This vegetarian soup recipe is full of aromatic vegetables, brown lentils and fresh spinach. A splash of balsamic vinegar brightens the flavor, and a garnish of radish and parsley gives this comforting soup a fresh finish.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta
If you've ever wanted to make a meal out of warm spinach and artichoke dip, this creamy pasta is for you. And here's what's almost as good as the flavor of this comforting dish: the fact that this healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Quinoa with Arugula
Chock-full of quinoa, chickpeas and vegetables, this salad is a meal in itself. The roasted red peppers, lemon, olives and feta add familiar Mediterranean flavor. If you want to provide a meat option, serve with grilled chicken.
Salmon Salad Tartine & Mixed Greens
Swap mayo for Greek yogurt to make this easy salmon salad. Canned tuna works well too.
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Ragout Over Couscous
Hearty and filling, this eggplant and white bean ragout is vegetarian comfort food. Tossing the eggplant with salt draws out excess moisture from the vegetable, making it less bitter and more firm upon cooking. To make this recipe gluten-free, sub rice or gluten-free pasta for the couscous. Garnish with additional chopped flat-leaf parsley or basil, if desired.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup
Make a big batch of low-calorie veggie-packed soup with ease in this load-and-go crock pot recipe. After simmering away in the slow cooker, portion it into individual serving containers and store in the fridge or freezer for fast, healthy lunches or an easy, satisfying snack. This weight-loss vegetable soup fills you up without a lot of calories, plus it's an easy way to eat more vegetables.