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Healthy Living Recipes

Deb Morgan: I love taking a few ingredients that are already in my cupboard and coming up with fun and easy salad meals. Here are two of my favorites that are not only quick and simple to prepare but also really yummy. Add a green salad and a cup of soup and enjoy a delicious meal!

Also check out what nutritionist John Bagnulo has to say about the Tuna Noodle Salad (see below recipe).

Tuna Noodle Salad

Serves four.

¼-½ pound rice pasta (fusilli or penne); you can use more or less depending on whether you’d like a salad with greater emphasis on pasta or on beans
1 can water-packed tuna
1–2 cans cannellini beans: again, adjust up or down depending on your mood
2—3 stalks celery, small diced
3 scallions, small diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped rosemary
1 avocado
¼ cup olives

First cook the rice pasta per the package instructions—be careful not to overcook. Drain pasta and rinse with cool water. Drain tuna and drain and rinse cannellini beans. Combine pasta, beans, tuna, celery, and scallions and toss together. Combine olive oil with vinegar, salt, and rosemary and toss with other ingredients. To serve, place pasta salad on a bed of greens and garnish with slices of fresh avocado and your favorite olives.

Read John Bagnulo’s commentary: Reducing Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

This recipe has several ingredients that are absolute superstars in reducing one’s risk for cardiovascular disease. The EPA and DHA-long-chained, fully formed omega-3 fatty acids in the tuna help control blood lipids and fight inflammation. The avocado is high in plant sterols that have also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. In rosemary, we find terpenes, a class of molecules that helps fight inflammation. The celery is helpful in lowering blood pressure, thereby reducing the workload and potential stress on the heart. The garlic’s allicin content is also useful in lowering blood pressure. And, last but not least, the cannelinni beans are a great source of both blood sugar and lipid-lowering soluble fiber. Beans may be the most useful category of foods overall to help us ward off heart disease. Both the plant protein and the specific types of fiber found in most beans are highly protective against a number of chronic diseases.

Indonesian-Style Rice Salad

Serves four.

3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
½ green pepper, diced
½ cup mung bean sprouts
¼ cup chopped cashews
¼ cup golden raisins
Several scallions to taste

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Pinch cayenne to taste

This salad is a great way to use leftover rice you may have from dinner. Simply combine the dressing ingredients and toss the dressing over the cooked and cooled rice, with the other ingredients mixed in. Be creative with whatever you have around the house. Sometimes I add fresh pineapple or dried coconut, or I substitute the cashews with toasted pecans. Go crazy—it is still spring after all!

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.