Heart Healthy Foods You Can Find in Your Pantry

We all experience those days when we’re just too busy or too tired to cook a wholesome meal. Don’t stress, we have you covered with this list of quick, easy-to-prepare pantry and freezer staples that will minimize prep time and help you quickly create a balanced, heart healthy meal full of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, beans, and legumes. 

Protein On The Plate

Proteins: Aim to make heart-healthy protein 1/4 of your meal

Choose lean proteins that are low in saturated fat. Frozen options are great for convenience, but can contain a lot of sodium! Look for options that are <500mg sodium and <5g saturated fat with few added ingredients. Avoid fried foods and those with added creamy sauces and gravies. Seasonings, herbs, and spices make great flavor additions.

Try these staples:

Frozen fish burgers, such as salmon, tuna, mahi-mahi

Pre-cooked, frozen grilled chicken

Pre-cooked, hard-boiled eggs

Frozen edamame

Frozen fish fillets/shrimp

Frozen chicken/turkey burgers

Frozen veggie burgers

Canned tuna/salmon/chicken

Canned fish, such as sardines/mackerel

Vegetables Half Plate

Vegetables: Fill 1/2 your plate with vegetables

Frozen and canned vegetables sometimes get a bad rap, but they are in fact still nutritious. Theoretically, frozen vegetables may even be more nutritious than fresh as they are harvested at peak ripeness and flash frozen to preserve their nutrients, rather than sitting on a truck for a few days and then in the store before they even make it to your kitchen. In any case, if the ease of frozen/canned vegetables will help you eat more of them, then we’re fans! As with frozen proteins, avoid those with added creamy sauces and gravies.

Try these staples:

Frozen vegetables, such as bell peppers, spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.

Frozen riced cauliflower and other ‘riced’ vegetables

Frozen steamer vegetable bags

Canned ‘No Salt Added’ vegetables, such as green beans and tomatoes

Whole Grains And Beans

Starchy vegetables, beans, legumes, and/or whole grains: Fill 1/4 your plate with whole grains or starchy vegetables

When buying whole grain crackers, look for a whole grain (not ‘enriched’) as the first ingredient in the ingredients list. Watch out for added sodium in seasoned varieties (look for sodium <500 mg). Par-boiled, quick cook options (such as Minute Rice) are just as nutritious and save time.

Try these staples:

Frozen pre-cooked brown rice, quinoa, or other whole grain

Quick cook old-fashioned or steel cut oats

Frozen/canned peas, corn, carrots

Farro, barley, brown rice, quinoa, etc.

 Whole grain crackers

Winter squash


Sweet Potato

Canned/dried beans

Quick-cook brown rice, quinoa, whole grain blends

Sat And Unsaturated Fat

Round out the meal with healthy fat: Aim for about 1-2 tbsp per meal

Fats high in unsaturated fats like poly- or monounsaturated fat are great for your heart. They also add good flavor, texture, and can help keep you feeling satisfied. Replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, not refined carbohydrates or sugar. 

Try these staples:

Olive oil

Salad dressing

Unsalted, or lightly salted, nut/seed butter like peanut butter or sunflower seed butter

Unsalted nuts, such as almonds and walnuts

Seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds


What We Were Talking About in 2019: Serving Up Instaworthy Breakfasts

At FLIK Hospitality Group we believe in great food, great service, and great people. Our wellness first approach ensures our food supports healthy and delicious choices, specially curated by our team of culinary experts and registered dietitians. At FLIK, we believe in seasonality in sourcing our ingredients and providing a customized approach to the culinary and hospitality needs of each client. Our dedication to providing quality hospitality service is unparalleled in the industry.

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