10 Recipes to Keep You Healthy

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes to nourish your body (and your soul)! Our nutrition editor hand-picked each recipe to help you stay as healthy as possible.

This post was written by Simply Recipes Nutrition Editor, Katie Morford, a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University.

When the intensity around the Coronavirus cranked up last week, I overheard a woman say she planned to drown her fears in wine and Ben & Jerry’s. I get it. Dulling your anxiety with alcohol and comfort food is understandable.

A better move, though, is to support your immune system to weather what’s to come. Some of the best strategies include getting plenty of sleep, managing stress (easier said than done), drinking lots of water, and heavying up on healthy foods.

Let’s be clear, diet can’t keep you from contracting COVID-19. That said, being poorly nourished diminishes your body’s ability to ward off infection, so it’s wise to aim for a wide variety of wholesome foods to provide a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. I polled some of my registered dietitian colleagues to help identify foods that can help support a healthy immune system. Here are the highlights:

  • Fermented and fiber-rich foods to feed the gut
  • A rainbow of fruits and vegetables to deliver vitamins C, A, and other key nutrients
  • Sources of the mineral zinc
  • Plant and animal sources of protein
  • Foods that deliver vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Garlic, onions, and mushrooms

It’s with that list in mind that I handpicked 10 tasty recipes that are just what the doctor (or dietitian) ordered:

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Best Vegetarian Chili with Mushrooms

A bowl of this hearty chili provides the kind of comfort that’s called for right now. This recipe also happens to be full of fiber as well as onions and garlic, which can collectively help keep gut bacteria thriving. As an added perk it’s a great way to use up the canned beans and tomatoes you’ve recently stocked up on.

Tofu and Rice Veggie Bowl

These colorful bowls are a powerhouse of good nutrition. Black rice delivers antioxidants. Tofu is a good plant-based source of zinc, which has anti-viral properties and helps the immune system function properly. As for kale and cauliflower? They’re basically a vegetable dream team.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale Pesto

If you’ve been stocking up on pasta, here’s a great way to prepare it. Nutritionally speaking, this pesto is about as good as it gets: high in vitamin A, thanks to all that kale, a source of zinc, due to the cashews, and made with fresh garlic, which is a natural antimicrobial.

Greek Chicken Skewers with Flatbread and Yogurt Sauce (Chicken Souvlaki)

The yogurt sauce in this recipe not only makes these savory skewers delicious, it adds “good” bacteria to your plate. Chicken is rich in both protein and zinc and if you swap in whole-grain pita, you’ll get more fiber.

Chicken Soup Ginger Shiitake

Research shows homemade chicken soup actually does heal. Plus, shiitake mushrooms have long been prized for their immunity boosting properties.

Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry

This curry is basically a nutrient-rich cocktail in a slow cooker. Sweet potatoes are sky-high in vitamin A, which helps regulate the immune system. As for those peppers? They’re a tasty way to boost vitamin C, which can be protective against infection.

Sheet Pan Salmon with Broccoli - Ring the dinner bell!

This simple sheet pan dinner is rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, not to mention vitamin E, which may improve immune function. It’s also finished with a swipe of probiotic-rich miso, a flavor-packed fermented food.

Flank Steak Stir Fry with Asparagus and Red Bell Pepper

Steak is a good source of protein, zinc, and iron, and flank is one of the leaner cuts. The asparagus is another reason to add this to your dinner plate, since it’s an excellent prebiotic.

Two tall glasses of healthy strawberry almond oat smoothies on a white counter. A sprig of mint is on the top of one glass two spoons and a bowl of strawberries are to the left of the glasses.

Water is the best way to hydrate in my book. That said, it’s nice to have options, such as this antioxidant- and fiber-rich smoothie. Plus, if stress is upsetting your stomach, a smoothie may go down a little easier. If you need more great smoothie recipes check out our 7 Smoothie Recipe Round Up

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

If you’re looking for a sweet treat, these are a pretty healthy bet, particularly since peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E. With so many schools shut down at the moment, these are fun to make with your kids.

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Katie Morford

Katie Morford is the Nutrition Editor for Simply Recipes. She is a writer, registered dietitian, and author of three cookbooks: PREP: The Essential College Cookbook, Rise & Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings and Best Lunch Box Ever, which was nominated for an IACP award. Her work has been featured in Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Health, Real Simple, Oprah, Parents, Self, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times, among others. Katie lives in San Francisco with her husband and three daughters.

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2 Comments

No Image10 Recipes to Keep You Healthy

  1. 2pots2cook

    So precious to have this collection these days! Thank you so much !

  2. Dagmar Degree

    Thanks much, Katie!
    Couldn’t agree with you more. I have been fermenting for about a year now. And love the healthy foods it gives me. It is so easy to do and really no special equipment is required, instant pot of course makes yogurt a breeze.
    I’ve been following your recipes for years now and always find something delicious for my vegetarian tastes. A handful have made it into my regular meal rotations.
    And I see a few more to try on this list.
    Glad your girls are home and safe.
    All the best to you and your family!

A picture of three recipes side by side. To the left is a blue bowl of healthy vegetarian chili, in the middle is greek chicken skewers on pita bread with sliced cucumber, halved grape tomatoes and red onion slices. To the right is immune boosting salmon fillets baked on a sheet pan with broccoli florets and topped with sliced scallions.10 Recipes to Keep You Healthy