Cooking at home can be fast and simple. These easy, good-for-you recipes were developed in CR's test kitchen, and they're delicious. Each makes one serving.

Spending more time in the kitchen is one of the best ways to improve your diet. A Johns Hopkins University study found that people who make their own meals just twice weekly take in fewer calories, fats, and sugars, and more fiber than those who cook once a week or less. That's probably because you have more control over ingredients and portion sizes than you do when you dine out.

So try these recipes to get on the road to a healthier diet this year. 


Scrambled Egg and Veggie Wrap (shown above, left)
Sauté ½ red pepper and ¼ onion in 1 tsp. olive oil until tender. Whisk 2 eggs in bowl with 1 tbsp. water; add to veggies and cook over medium heat until eggs are completely cooked. Spoon onto whole-wheat tortilla. Top with 1 tbsp. shredded Monterey Jack cheese and ½ c. spinach; roll up.
Per serving: 370 calories, 19 g fat, 5 g sat. fat, 19 g protein, 4 g ­fiber, 310 mg sodium 

Overnight Oatmeal
Mix ½ c. each skim milk, vanilla Greek low-fat yogurt, and old fashioned oats; ½ mashed banana; and 1 tsp. chia seeds in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate over-night. In the morning, top with ½ sliced banana, 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, and 1 tsp. maple syrup.
Per serving: 510 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g sat. fat, 23 g protein, 9 g fiber, 105 mg sodium

Morning Quinoa
Bring ¼ c. quinoa, ½ c. skim milk, ¼ tsp. vanilla, and ¼ tsp. cinnamon to a boil. Simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Mix in ¼ c. unsalted cashews and ½ c. blueberries. Drizzle with 1 tsp. honey.
Per serving: 460 calories, 19 g fat, 3.5 g sat. fat, 16 g protein, 6 g ­­fiber, 60 mg sodium

Healthy Recipes for Lunch

Easy Salad Niçoise (shown above, center)
Top 2 c. baby lettuce with 3 oz. drained light canned tuna; 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced; ½ c. blanched green beans; 6 grape tomatoes, halved; 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced; ¼ c. chickpeas; 1 tbsp. nicoise (or other) olives; and ¼ c. basil leaves. Toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. red wine vinegar, and 1 tsp. Dijon mustard. Top with ½ c. croutons.
Per serving: 510 calories, 23 g fat, 4 g sat. fat, 33 g protein, 10 g ­fiber, 640 mg sodium

Turkey and Brie Sandwich With Apple Butter
Spread 2 tbsp. apple butter on both sides of a whole-wheat pita. Top with 3 oz. roasted turkey; 1 oz. Brie cheese; ½ apple, thinly sliced; and red leaf lettuce. Serve remaining apple on the side.
Per serving: 500 calories, 11 g fat, 5 g sat. fat, 39 g protein, 9 g fiber, 500 mg sodium

Avocado Toast
Place ¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese on 2 slices whole-wheat bread; heat until melted. Top with ½ avocado, sliced, and a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper. Add 2 slices tomato and ½ c. arugula. Serve with ½ c. each black beans and corn mixed with 1 tbsp. each chopped red onion and cilantro, and 1 tsp. each olive oil and fresh lime juice.
Per serving: 690 calories, 32 g fat, 8 g sat. fat, 27 g protein, 22 g ­fiber, 640 mg sodium


Farro With Grilled Chicken, Butternut Squash, and Kale (shown above, right)
Combine 2 c. shredded kale; ½ c. cooked farro; ½ c. roasted butternut squash cubes; ½ fresh pear, chopped; 2 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese; and 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds. Top with 3 oz. grilled chicken cut into pieces. Toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, and ½ small garlic clove, minced.
Per serving: 640 calories, 28 g fat, 7 g sat. fat, 42 g protein, 11 g ­fiber, 260 mg sodium

Penne With Asparagus and Peas
Cook 1 c. of whole-wheat penne. Add ½ c. asparagus pieces in the last 3 minutes of cooking and ¼ c. frozen peas during the last minute. Drain, saving ¼ c. cooking water. Mix ½ c. small-curd 2% cottage cheese, 2 tsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch each of nutmeg and black pepper. Stir in pasta, using reserved pasta water if needed. Top with 1 tbsp. chopped parsley and 1 tsp. lemon zest.
Per serving: 620 calories, 20 g fat, 5 g sat. fat, 35 g protein, 20 g fiber, 630 mg sodium

Pan Seared Steak With Roasted Vegetables
Place 2 c. of assorted chopped vegetables on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and 1 tsp. oregano (or any dried herb). Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle a 4-oz. tenderloin steak with a pinch of salt, black pepper, and dried thyme. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tsp. olive oil. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until desired doneness.
Per serving: 500 calories, 36 g fat, 10 g sat. fat, 25 g protein, 5 g ­fiber, 680 mg sodium

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the January 2017 issue of Consumer Reports On Health.