5 Fresh & Free Recipe Ideas That Are Ready In a SnapBy Nicki Miller Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, R.D. Healthy Recipe
What’s on the menu for dinner tonight?
If you’re a Jenny Craig member, the planning is already done for you (phew!). But if you want to add a healthy side dish while staying on track with your weight loss goals, you might want to whip up one of these easy recipes.
We’ve rounded up five delicious recipes that feature Fresh & Free Additions and are ready in 30 minutes or less. They’re all packed with nutritious vegetables, which makes them excellent low-calorie options.
Choose which recipe to make based on what veggies are in season, what goes with the rest of your meal or your own taste buds. Consider doubling or even tripling the recipes to have more for the week or if you want to make enough for your entire family.
Photo by zekeriya karatas on iStock
Asian Veggie Bowl
Pairs great with Beef Teriyaki
Savory Asian-inspired flavors from sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar are quickly stir-fried with a mix of colorful, fresh veggies in this quick and delicious dish.
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ cup chopped zucchini
- ½ cup chopped mushrooms
- ¼ cup chopped red pepper
- ½ teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- Juice from ¼ lime
- Garnish: mung bean sprouts, chopped cilantro and sesame seeds
Cooking instructions: With wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat, add oil. When the oil is heated, add zucchini, mushrooms and red pepper and stir to disperse oil. Cook until veggies are tender to your liking. In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, vinegar and lime juice. Put veggies in a bowl, pour on sauce and garnish with mung bean sprouts, cilantro and sesame seeds.
Photo by lauraag on iStock
Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Salad
Pairs great with a Classic Cheeseburger
Crisp asparagus spears and juicy tomatoes are the stars of this tasty veggie salad, which gets a zesty kick from a homemade mustard vinaigrette.
- 3 spears asparagus
- 2 cups salad greens mix with herbs (or add chopped dill to your favorite greens)
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cooking instructions: Blanch asparagus by steaming on the stove or in the microwave until al dente, and then put in ice water to stop cooking. Drain and chop asparagus, and then place on a bed of herbed greens. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Squeeze the juice from 4 tomato halves into a small bowl and whisk with the mustard, vinegar and pepper to make the dressing. Top the salad with the tomatoes and dressing, toss and serve.
Photo by LauriPatterson on iStock
Roasted Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts with Shallots
Makes 2 servings
Pairs great with a Loaded Baked Potato
Get your greens with a roasted version of some of our favorite veggies. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds bright citrus flavors.
- 1 cup bite-sized broccoli crowns
- 1 cup halved Brussels sprouts
- ¼ cup sliced shallots
- Spray oil
- Wedge of lemon
Cooking Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 F. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out the broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Top with shallot slices. Spray lightly with oil and toss veggies gently on the pan with tongs. Roast veggies for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Plate the veggies and give them a squeeze of lemon.
Photo by Christian-Fischer on iStock
Makes 2 servings
Pairs great with a Chicken Ranch Melt
This simple vegetarian soup might be the fastest one you’ll ever make! Earthy mushrooms pair perfectly with spicy red pepper flakes and savory broth.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped onions
- 1½ cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 cups low-sodium broth
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like spice)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
Cooking Instructions: Place a small soup pot over medium heat and add oil. Add onions and sauté until they start to soften. Add mushrooms and continue sautéing for a few minutes, until the onions and mushrooms start to brown. Add the broth and red pepper flakes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, add parsley and let sit a few minutes before serving.
Photo by RazoomGames on iStock
Stewed Tomatoes and Peppers
Makes 2 servings
Pairs great with a Chicken Burrito
Cook tomatoes and peppers low and slow with vegetable juice for a hearty dish that’s extra delicious with a splash of hot sauce and fresh herbs.
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups chopped bell peppers (include a colorful mix)
- ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable juice
Cooking Instructions: Put all the ingredients in a small soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve like a soup, ladle over a complementary dish, or strain the tomatoes and peppers to enjoy as a side dish.
Nicki is a journalist with expertise in healthy eating and exercise. She is the former editor-in-chief of Competitor Running and managing editor of Women's Running magazines and writes articles and crafts recipes for a variety of websites and publications. She also loves cycling, making music and is wild about cats, dogs and other animals.
Favorite healthy snack: anything with nut butter!
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.