Winter Meals You Can Pull Straight from Your Pantry
Raid your kitchen for these 7 healthy dinners that come together in minutes
Buying canned goods in bulk may seem a slightly paranoid, Doomsday Prepper-esque endeavor, but a well-stocked cupboard can be a healthy eaters’ best friend—as long as you’re choosing the right stuff. Many canned goods are notorious salt-bombs, which not only cause unflattering bloating but also high blood pressure, and other nonperishables contain trans fats or questionable—and often unpronounceable—preservatives.
With a little shopping guidance and these recipes from Anthony Stewart, head chef at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, FL, however, you can whip up a healthy, low-sodium lunch or dinner in no time by tossing together a few ingredients you’re almost guaranteed to have on hand.
While you could grab one of the many pre-made bean and veggie soup options on your supermarket shelves, making your own soup is bafflingly easy—and exceedingly better for your health. Homemade versions have about 100 milligrams of sodium or less per 2-cup serving. By contrast, the same helping of many canned soups contains a blood-pressure-busting 1,200 milligrams or more, a worrisome amount considering that health experts recommend consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium for the entire day. The beans in this dish are loaded with a laundry list of beneficial nutrients, including low-fat vegetarian protein, fiber, antioxidants, and complex (slow-burning) carbs.
Directions: In a soup pot, combine 1 can drained no-salt-added red beans, 4 cups low-sodium vegetable juice (such as R.W. Knudsen Very Veggie Low-Sodium), 2 to 3 teaspoons oregano or Italian-style seasoning, and 2 cups chopped veggies (anything sitting in the refrigerator bin, such as carrots, celery, and onions, works). Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Makes about 4 2-cup servings.