Tips for Quick Healthy Dinners
What is the most common reason for not cooking at home for most of my clients? A busy lifestyle and a lack of quick healthy dinner recipes.
When I first realized I had food sensitivities to gluten, soy and corn I became very discouraged. I began looking diligently at food labels and found that almost all packaged foods and frozen dinners contained one or more of these ingredients. It was even worse when I looked up the allergen content for menu items at fast food restaurants.
I had no choice but to cook at home from scratch.
In 2008 I was a wife and mother with a full-time administrative job Monday through Friday. I did not get home on most days until 5:30 or 6:00 pm and by that time our whole family was starving. I could cook, so I began to assemble a collection of dinner recipes that could be prepared in about 30 minutes or less.
Assemble recipes and meal plans ahead of time.
Go through your recipe books and find some that your family enjoys eating. Pull out those that can be prepared in 45 minutes or less and make a list of them. The weekends are an ideal time to do this.
Plan dinner entrees that use boneless meats.
Boneless chicken breasts and thighs, boneless port chops, ground beef or lamb and fish all can be prepared and cooked quickly. It is key to know what you are having for dinner either the night before or in the morning so that you can have your meat thawed before the evening.
Eat eggs for dinner.
There is no rule that says egg dishes are only for breakfast. Organic eggs cooked into an omelet or frittata along with salted vegetables make a very healthy and nutritious dinner entree.
Use frozen vegetables.
Frozen vegetables can be as nutritious as fresh vegetables and are ready to cook. I keep a variety of organic vegetables in my freezer including broccoli, green beans, green peas, cauliflower, carrots, and brussels sprouts. These can be prepared simply in five to ten minutes and add great nutrition to your dinner.
Quinoa is a power-packed side dish.
If you have not tried quinoa, I encourage you to do so. It is a nutritious higher-protein side dish that is ready in fifteen minutes. For better flavor and increased nutrition I often use organic broth instead of water to cook it. White rice is also quickly prepared, but lacks the nutrients of quinoa.
Use packaged, pre-washed salad greens.
Salads are an excellent addition to any meal. They add lots of fiber and baby greens of lettuces, kale, and spinach have lots of micronutrients. Boxed greens are ready in a flash and you can add additional toppings such as grape tomatoes and pre-cut carrots and radishes.
Add flavor with dried herbs.
Plain meats and vegetables can get boring, but by keeping a variety of herbs and spices in your pantry, you can pick up the favor of your dishes without the time involved in chopping fresh herbs.
Try this quick healthy dinner recipe and let me know what you think.
It can also be prepared with boneless chicken if you do not eat pork. For more quick healthy recipes check out my recipe page.
Pork Chops with Apple
2 apples, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
2 boneless pork chops
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced apples in the bottom of a greased oven-proof baking pan. Top with sage and rosemary. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chips with salt and pepper. Place pork chops on top of the apples and bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until pork is cooked through. Makes 2 servings.