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Overnight Oats: Soak rolled or quick oats in water or skim milk or dairy replacement in fridge with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup chopped almonds. In the morning, just stir and enjoy cold or warm.
Blazing-the-Trail Mix: Combine 1/2 cup high-fiber cereal (Nature's Path Optimum Slim or Smart Bran), 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds and 1/2 cup mixed nuts.
Chia Pudding: It's a great source of fiber and brain- powering, heart-smart omega-3s. Mix 1/4 cup chia seeds (found at Whole Foods and other health food stores) in 3/4 cup water or milk; add 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons dried fruit (without extra sugar). Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chia expands to create a porridge-like consistency.Lunch
Simple Salad: Salad greens with fish and lemon juice or salsa, 1/2 a banana (or 1 small banana) with 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter. Eat the other banana half at 3 p.m. for a snack.
Potato Skins: 1 baked potato with most of the flesh scooped out (save for later to make a mash or pancake with veggies like spinach and broccoli), filled with ground turkey, steamed spinach, and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese or avocado on top.
Quinoa Tabbouleh: 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked quinoa with 2 tablespoons pine nuts, 1 cup chopped cucumber and tomatoes (drained), topped with a mint-and-rice-vinegar dressing in lettuce cups.Snack
Popcorn Balls: 1 cup air-popped popcorn mixed with almond butter, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon honey, rolled into balls.
The Parfait: Top 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt and berries (1/2 cup) with 1 to 2 tablespoons organic cacao powder (or take 1 ounce dark chocolate bar and crumble it up) and 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds.
DIY Nachos: 10 to 15 whole-grain chips with 1 tablespoon guacamole, 1/4 cup salsa and 1/4 cup shredded cheese (jalapeno peppers are optional).Dinner
Frittata: Use up all the ingredients in your fridge with this fast frittata: Saute 1 to 2 cups mixed organic fresh or frozen vegetables, 1/2 cup beans, 1/2 cup egg whites and a little low-sodium broth in a pan. Add spices and herbs like garlic and basil. (Season with hot sauce, if you like it spicy.)
Spaghetti Squash Pasta and Meatballs: Add turkey meatballs to 1 1/2 cups spaghetti squash, 1 cup tomato sauce and shredded parmesan or ricotta cheese.
Pizza Flatbread: Drizzle olive oil on a whole-grain crust. Top with fixings that you have at home: shrimp or chicken, goat cheese crumbles, olives, pumpkin seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms or more.
Originally published in the September 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.