Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

Spring is the time to enjoy asparagus at its finest. Look for firm stalks, with the buds still tight. Asparagus is incredibly versatile in that it can be grilled, roasted, steamed, or blanched as in this recipe or for a surprise addition to a veggie tray. Cook more than you need for a meal… there are always uses for leftovers.

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Mini Meatloaves

This recipe is a great way to portion control your meats and packs well for an easy lunch.  Since pre-ground meats often come in 1 lb. packs, try doubling this recipe and freezing the leftovers for another dinner.  The oats aren’t enough to add significant fiber, but they hold moisture.  If your family likes mushrooms, you can try adding some of those (chopped) too.

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Roasted Cabbage with Chive-Mustard Vinaigrette

There are lots of ways to incorporate cabbage in your diet, even after St. Patrick’s Day. Roasting vegetables is a heart-healthy cooking technique that produces tasty results. The basic components are a lower-moisture vegetable, some olive oil for water retention and a very high heat. One of the ways to decrease the fat content is to use a brush or olive oil mister to distribute the oil evenly without using more than is needed.

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Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

This covered dish favorite can be made a day ahead of time, with the dressing added up to an hour before serving.  Avocados are good sources of heart-healthy fats, and since this recipe only calls for half, try doubling the dressing and using the extra dressing on grilled vegetables. The acid in the dressing will keep the avocado from browning the way it would if left wrapped in the refrigerator.

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Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Spring is coming, and it’s a great time to lighten up the lunchtime routine. This recipe makes a great pack-ahead lunch and is designed for easy substitutions. Leftover chicken would work just as well, as would brown rice instead of the quinoa or baby spinach instead of the romaine. In a pinch, using a store-bought rotisserie chicken would be a great way to get enough meat for a week’s worth of lunches.

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