Photos courtesy PBRC.

Healthy recipes to start the summer

We think dealing with a global pandemic is a legitimate excuse to have put on a few pounds. Not ideal, but these months of quarantine have called for treating yourself–especially with your favorite dishes from local restaurants. However, summer has slowly but surely crept up on us and now we’re looking bikini season straight in the face.

Since they say weight loss starts in the kitchen, we rounded up a few of our favorite nutritious and delicious recipes from inRegister’s past collaborations with the dietitians at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Click the dish titles for more recipes and ideas.


3 cups cooked shredded chicken*
1 (14-oz.) bag cabbage coleslaw mix
1 (10-oz.) bag shredded carrots
1⁄2 cup sliced green onion
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. chopped pickled jalapeños**
1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds
1⁄4  cup light mayonnaise
1⁄4  cup light sour cream
4 Tbsp. lime juice
1⁄2 tsp. green pepper hot sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sesame oil
1⁄2 cucumber, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
3 (10-in.) tortillas
To make slaw, add chicken to a large bowl and toss with coleslaw mix, shredded carrots, green onion, cilantro, jalapeños and sunflower seeds.
Create dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and sesame oil. Pour dressing over slaw and toss together. Place a few slices of cucumber and tomato and about 1 cup slaw in the center of each tortilla. Roll tortillas up and slice in half. Makes 3 sharable wraps or 6 servings.
*To cook chicken, we added 1 1⁄2 lbs. raw chicken breast, 1 sliced onion, 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, 1⁄2 tsp. onion powder, 1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder, 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water to a stock pot, covered it, and boiled over medium heat for 30 minutes. Chicken can be removed and shredded and the stock saved for soup.
**Make your own using the Garlic Dill Pickle recipe that follows.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 360 | Fat 13g | Saturated fat 3g | Monounsaturated fat 4g | Polyunsaturated fat 5g | Carbohydrates 32g | Fiber 6g | Protein 28g


5 whole medium-size tomatoes
1 cup cooked quinoa
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1⁄2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 plus 1⁄8 tsp. garlic powder, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1⁄4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tops off of tomatoes. Using a spoon, scoop out inner parts of each tomato (leaving just a shell). Dice scooped portion and set aside in a bowl. Place hollowed tomatoes into a small oven-safe dish. To the bowl with diced tomatoes, add quinoa, fresh mozzarella cubes, basil, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, vinegar and 1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder. Gently mix together until all ingredients are well distributed, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon filling into each tomato.
For topping, combine panko breadcrumbs, mozzarella cheese, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1⁄8 tsp. garlic powder, 1⁄4 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture onto tops of stuffed tomatoes. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are browned and tomatoes are soft. Alternatively, cook tomatoes on a preheated grill until tops are browned and tomatoes are soft. Makes 5 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 
Calories 230 | Fat 13g | Carbohydrates 20g | Fiber 3g | Protein 10g


4 wood skewers
1 lb. raw salmon, skin removed
1 red bell pepper
2 cups fresh pineapple cubes
4 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. ground ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
If using an outdoor grill, soak skewers in water for 30 minutes (this is not necessary if using a grill pan). Cut salmon and bell pepper into 1-in. pieces. You will need at least 16 pieces each of salmon, bell pepper and pineapple. Thread salmon, bell pepper and pineapple onto each skewer until 4 of each have been threaded. Place skewers into a baking dish or pan.
Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic powder and ground ginger, and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Spoon or brush mixture onto skewers, making sure all sides of skewers are coated. Sprinkle skewers with salt and pepper and place in refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes to marinate.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Once hot, spray grill or pan surface with oil. Place skewers on grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove skewers from grill and place on a clean plate to serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 310 | Fat 16g | Saturated fat 3g | Polyunsaturated fat 6g  | Monounsaturated fat 6g | Carbohydrates 17g | Dietary fiber 2g | Protein 25g

What healthy recipes have you tried during quarantine? Let us know down below.