Shape Up North

3 Healthy Meal Ideas With 5 Ingredients or Less

These healthy recipes from Chef Laura McCain, RD, can be made start-to-finish in under an hour using whatever fresh produce you have in your fridge. Have fun with different combinations of vegetables and herbs.

Pasta Salad


  • 2 cups cooked beans
  • 1 cup cooked pasta (any shape)
  • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts or sunflower seeds)
  • 4 cups stir fried veggies
  • 1⁄2 cup vinaigrette

Instructions: Combine all of the ingredients and let flavors mellow. If you don’t have a vinaigrette on hand, just toss the pasta salad with a good quality vinegar, a little olive or sesame oil, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add any leftover meat.

Stir fry


  • Cubed veggies of any kind
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: Heat the wok at high temp, stir fry the veggies, starting from hardest (such as carrots) to softest (such as mushrooms). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add herbs or a sauce such as a vinaigrette at the last minute if desired.


  • Olive oil
  • Diced vegetables of any kind
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Your choice of cheese

Instructions: In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add vegetables such as pepper, onion or mushrooms and cook until tender. Stir in leftover corn, broccoli or carrots, etc. Pour in eggs (two per person, stirred up in a bowl with a whisk or fork), season with salt and pepper and stir mixture until it begins to thicken. Lower heat and cover for 3-5 minutes until mixture is firm. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Slide skillet under broiler to brown top of frittata, or, just put the lid back on for a minute so the cheese melts.

Bonus Recipe: Cherry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing


  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cherry juice concentrate
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions: Put ingredients in a Mason jar and shake. Or, blend everything but the oil in your blender. While it’s running, open the small part of the lid, and drizzle the oil in very slowly. This will keep the mixture from separating with the oil on the top and the vinegar in the bottom. Store in the refrigerator, keeps around 2-3 weeks.

Optional: Substitute a pinch of dried herbs such as oregano or basil instead of cherry juice concentrate.

Cherry vinaigrette recipe courtesy of Traverse City Area Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services


By Carly Simpson, MyNorth Media