As the school year rolls in and your schedule starts filling up, it can be exhausting to balance work, family, and friends, let alone a healthy diet. While you’re running from the office to ballet or soccer, the siren call of fast food is all too tempting.
But busy days don’t have to derail your diet and digestive health.
You need something that you can pop in the microwave and enjoy all week long. Check out these 4 gastroenterologist-approved recipes that are high in fiber to keep you satisfied. Each takes less than an hour to make and is easily customizable to any dietary need.
In addition to fiber, rolled oats are a gluten-free whole grain source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Oats also offer such benefits as sustainable weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease. So why not kick off your morning with a deliciously nutritious serving of baked oatmeal?
Make-Ahead Baked Oatmeal (Serves 8)
(Adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 53 minutes
Total: 58 minutes
4 c. rolled oats
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp uncut stevia (OR 1/2 cup pure maple syrup)
2 2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 ¼ c. milk of choice or water (reduce by 1/2 cup if using maple syrup)
¼ cup oil (OR more milk of choice or water)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Optional: cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, raisins
- Grease a 9×13 rectangular pan and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 380°
- In a very large mixing bowl, fully stir together all dry ingredients, then add all remaining ingredients.
- Transfer to the pan, smooth down with a spatula, and bake 28 minutes, broiling the final minute if desired.
- Then, keeping the oven door CLOSED, turn off the heat.
- Leave the pan in the closed oven for another 25 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove from the oven.
- Cut into bars or squares, and top with syrup or coconut butter
Serve and enjoy!
Freezer-friendly: Bars should be cooled, wrapped in freezer-friendly plastic wrap, then foil, and stored in the freezer up to a month.
To use: Thaw in the fridge overnight and heat in the microwave until warm (about 1-2 minutes).
Is your office breakroom filled with dastardly tempting vending machines? Shield yourself from cravings with this easy and filling Asian-inspired dish that’s delicious warm or cold.
Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables (Serves 4)
(Adapted from Eating Well)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ c. smooth natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
8 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti
1-12 oz. bag fresh vegetable medley (such as carrots, broccoli, and snow peas)
- Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
- Meanwhile, place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size strips.
- Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
- Cook pasta in the boiling water until not quite tender, about 1 minute less than specified in the package directions.
- Add vegetables and cook until the pasta and vegetables are just tender, 1 minute more.
- Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse the pasta and vegetables with cool water to refresh.
- Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the peanut sauce; add the pasta, vegetables and chicken; toss well to coat.
Serve warm or chilled and enjoy!
Here’s where we all fall off the bandwagon. Whether you’re stuck in the office or running ragged on the roads of Baton Rouge, drive home with a smile knowing these satisfying, gut-healthy meals are only a microwave-zap away.
Lentil-Rice Stew with Turkey Sausage (Serves 7)
(Adapted from Prevention)
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
8 oz. low-fat Italian turkey sausage
2 c. chopped cabbage
1 c. yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
32 oz. low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 c. dried lentils
½ c. brown rice
1 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- Coat a Dutch oven with no-stick spray or a small amount of olive oil and place over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add the sausage and cook—stirring frequently—for 5 minutes, or until browned.
- Add the cabbage, onions, green peppers, garlic, and 1 cup of the stock and cook—stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks—for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft but not browned.
- Add the lentils, rice, curry powder, and the remaining 3 cups of stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce stovetop to medium heat. Cover and cook—stirring occasionally—for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the stew is thick.
- Add the black pepper and parsley.
Serve and enjoy!
Freezer-friendly: If you’re not planning to eat the stew in one week, pack the cooled soup in a freezer-quality portioned bags or plastic containers.
To use: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer to a saucepan and warm over low heat—stirring frequently—for 15 minutes or until hot. Serve and enjoy!
And last but certainly not least…
Tailgate-Worthy Black Bean Enchilada Casserole (Serves 6)
(Adapted from Prevention)
This crowd-pleasing casserole is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a weekend tailgate with friends!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
2 c. cooked black beans
4 oz. reduced-fat extra-firm tofu
½ c. salsa
1/3 c. shredded low-fat monterey jack cheese
¼ c. canned diced green chili peppers
2 scallions, minced
1 ½ c. reduced-sodium tomato puree
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
10 corn tortillas (6″ diameter)
¼ c. shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese
¼ c. nonfat sour cream
¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with no-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the beans, tofu, and salsa. Mash together with a fork. Add the Monterey Jack, chili peppers, and scallions.
- In a small bowl, combine the tomato puree, chili powder, and cumin. Mix well.
- Spoon half of the bean mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 5 of the tortillas. Spoon half of the tomato mixture over the tortillas. Repeat to use the remaining bean mixture, tortillas, and tomato mixture.
- Top with the mozzarella, sour cream, and cilantro. Cover and bake for 15 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
Freezer-friendly: Cool the cooked casserole. Wrap the entire dish in freezer-quality plastic wrap, then in freezer-quality foil.
To use: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the foil. Microwave on high power for 5 minutes, or until hot.
In the wake of recent events, as we scramble to restore our businesses, homes, and lives, don’t forget to restore yourself. Keeping up with your daily fiber intake is just one way to keep your body running smoothly. OTC fiber supplement powders—such as Metamucil, Konsyl, and Citrucel—are an easy way to ensure your fiber intake is up to par.
A busy lifestyle doesn’t have to be an unhealthy one. If you’re struggling with weight loss, talk to a digestive specialist today and find out how the O.N.E. Weigh program can put you on the right path to your healthy weight.