Top of the morning to you lads and lassies.
For today’s session, we have a list of 19 healthy dinner ideas devised to serve the busy individuals and the health-conscious type. Simple, healthy and quick-to-make are the three main criteria of our selection.
“Why these criteria” you ask? It’s because I, myself, am also of the sort.
Man, I longed for a healthier diet. The only problem was I was busy and/or too lazy to act. During work hours, I usually (and still do) grabbed the most convenient and quickest breakfast and lunch with only a slight regard to their contents. Around time for dinner, the energy left after a day of work tends to spend on relaxing. Clearly you can imagine take-outs were the logical solution.
Then I decided to cook my own dinner when I realized my diet, for a long time, was not okay AT ALL. I digged around in books and kitchen blogs, asked ideas from friends and family to find at least some simple recipes. You know, just to get things started.
It turned out that, much to my surprise, there are A LOT of them. Not only easy to cook, but clean, lean and tasty as well.
I was, in a way, shocked. All these times, a decent, healthy dinner to my limited knowledge involved hours of process and hundreds of steps of instruction. If I had known dinner could be so uncomplicated, I would never had resorted to take-outs (well, at best, occasionally).
So I now want to share these ideas, partly to aid those who have the same struggle in journey of bettering themselves, and partly to present a quicker way to people who are already cooking dinner but want to save some time doing so.
Why These Recipes And What Makes Them Healthy?
First of all, the whole process with these recipes, including eating and cleaning up, usually takes less than an hour and a half. The average making time (prepping and cooking) spreading across the list is about 35 minutes, which means you can finish up with less than an hour.
Second of all, these ideas are picked based the fact that they’re all health-friendly thanks to the diverse ingredient selection that spring across all food groups. In short, healthiness as well as tastiness are the two underlined element of the eventual plate.
However, they are written up mostly to serve more than two people, so you might want to count the calories.
One Last Thing….
Cooking our own dinner allows us to select our own food with the nutrition portion to our liking. We can control what we eat (at least for dinner) to gradually improve our overall health. Especially with the busy schedule of work and such, we scarcely have the time to think about what we put in our bodies.
Breakfast and lunch are already hurried and probably not potent. So it’s not a stretch to rightly treat ourselves with a well-deserved healthy dinner.
Dinner Time: 19 Healthy Dinner Recipe Ideas
The whole list consists of solely recipes which are under 40 minutes of making time and do not require multiple tools or complicated cooking techniques. All are for the purpose of having a simple yet hearty dinner.
Let’s go from the low level of difficulty to the higher one. Also, we actually need fiber more than the other nutrients since fiber is harder to find in general food.
Basic Greek salad with calorie-light yet extremely fiber-rich vegetables is one of the best and simplest solutions for a quick 5 veggie servings. Easy to make and pleasing to eat, we should take this as our pocket recipe for regular dinner making.
Note: the dressing is key and the vegetable choices are not fixed.
With A bundle of vegetables and a tasty dressing based of Greek yogurt and lime, this can never disappoint. The making of this recipe lies mainly in the mixing of the dressing, which is not trying.
Note: if you have a food processor, mixing the dressing is even more simple.
A light and refreshing salad recipe with flavorful cooked shrimps to make it all more interesting. Served with a slightly spicy dressing, it is a salad suitable as a main course for dinner. Not too light and not too heavy.
Note: Once drizzled with the dressing, the salad should be served right away to avoid the lettuce becoming too mushy.
A salad recipe that stresses more on protein as boiled egg is the core ingredient. In combination with scallions, celery, radishes and romaine lettuce leaves, the recipes doesn’t eat as heavy as one might expect.
Note: roll the eggs on the counter with enough pressure to crack the shell.
Pasta and Vegetables ideas
With pasta, sure your dinner will have a little more weight from carbohydrate, but not entirely overwhelming thanks to the balancing vegetables.
A dish built mainly from fettuccine and zucchini, which helps balance out the carb-fiber ratio. Offering a spicy and herby taste, the recipe is good for an evening of a tiring day.
Note: the recipe serves for four. So cut everything down by half or a quarter if you’re making this only for one.
An easy-to-make Italian pasta and garlicky tomato sauce recipe with an addition of anchovies, capers, olives and red pepper flakes to spice up the already flavorful mixture.
Note: if you’re new to cooking, watch the heat. The ingredients of the sauce are edible raw themselves. Heating is merely a method to better blend them together. Finally, a touch of herb like parsley, oregano, marjoram or basil leaves usually brings about good bites.
A tomato sauce easily made from tomato, onion, celery, carrots and leek. The recipe is meant to be a sneak of 5 veggies servings into one’s daily diet, which is both healthy and tasteful.
Note: While simmering the sauce, start boiling water and pasta (of your choice) to save time.
We simply can’t ignore chicken ideas for dinner. Rich of protein, low on fat and doubtlessly delicious, chicken is among the best choices for healthy meat there are.
Chicken fajitas is no strange sight at dinner. But it does seem a bit complicated for amateur cooks. This recipe aims to simplify every bit of both making chicken fajitas and cleaning up afterwards by putting a sheet pan to use.
Note: prepping for this particular dish can take up to 20 minutes. You may want to do that when you have time. For example, prep on Sunday for Monday dinner. The dish can also be refrigerated for other nights.
Another easy-to-cook and easy-to-clean sheet pan chicken idea. Though the recipe is written to serve 6 seats, we can always cut back the ingredients list to fit our needs. The main point is this is a really simple, delicious and lean dinner.
Note: we SHOULD line the pan with foil for even simpler clean up.
A chicken recipe from Guy Fieri. Don’t judge the dish by its picture. Although the final result looks unhealthy, it is NOT, considering the components and cooking method.
Note: if you are avoiding skin and fat in general, skinless chicken is still fine.
Now for a little taste of healthy seafood, shrimp is obviously the perfect choice. Easy to find and easy to cook, dinners made of shrimp seem too simple to be as tasty as they do.
Shrimp cooked up with the infamous tuscan butter brings about a feast for the eye and the stomach. The process takes very little time and the final taste is just incredible.
Note: can be served with rice or pasta.
Stir-frying shrimp does seem to be the next best thing to do. In combination with corn and zucchini, the dish has a mild, “spring” flavor and a fresh sense thanks to the lime juice at the end of making.
Note: can be served with rice or pasta.
A spicy, zesty mixture that goes amazingly well with rice or any mild-tasting side. There’s not much to say about the recipe except for its astonishingly few steps.
Note: adjust the amount of red pepper for desired heat.
Shrimp and Pasta Ideas
Pasta is basic. To make a good pasta dinner, all we need to do is find a good sauce and protein source. And it looks to be that the flavor of shrimp does blend in considerably well with most sauces.
The delicious garlic butter combined with shrimp makes for a wonderful mixture to go with pasta.
Note: red pepper flakes and herbs are up to change for taste.
Once again, a collaboration of shrimp and a popular sauce introduces an interesting variation of Fettuccine Alfredo. The sweetness and the texture of the shrimp allow for a new taste of a traditional dinner recipe.
A quick and easy dish for a lazy evening. The flavor is not too impressive but it’s far from bland or boring. Such is a suitable choice for a not-too-heavy dinner.
Okay, we have gone over 2 major healthy protein sources, which is chicken and shrimp. Now it’s only fitting to talk about another major and common powerhouse of such important nutrient: salmon.
All you need is an oven and a few fillets of salmon. The rest of the ingredients can be found in most normal kitchen (except for the brown sugar, I suppose.) The making is unquestionably straightforward. I doubt that it would be even troublesome to beginners.
Note: the fish is done when it is opaque, when we can lift flakes with a fork or when the internal temperature is 145 F.
A different version of the simple, uncomplicated grilled – or baked – salmon. For those who don’t enjoy spicy food all that much, this recipe would be more enjoyable. Seasoned with only kosher salt, black pepper, garlic parsley and lemon juice, the general flavor is familiar.
Note: use a wide spatula to flip the fish instead of tongs to avoid breaking the flesh.
With the addition of mustard, shallot, thyme leaves and rosemary, this specific salmon recipe can satisfy most foodies for its simplicity in making and delicacy in taste.
Note: when it comes to herbs, we can be as creative as we want for a flavor of our own.