You don’t have to slave away in the kitchen for hours in order to prepare a healthy dinner for your family. A healthy dinner also does not have to rely on strange or exotic ingredients. Get a healthy meal on the table in no time, using ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
Pasta With Vegetables
A pasta dish is a great meal to prepare when you are short on time. Pasta can also be healthy, as long as you don’t eat too much of it. Use a whole-wheat pasta if you want to get more fiber. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Saute several brightly colored vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli and kale, in olive oil. Add some garlic for a bit of flavor. When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve about a cup of its cooking water. Stir the pasta into the vegetables, adding the cooking water if needed. You can increase the protein by adding skinless, grilled or broiled chicken or grilled tofu.
Protein + Grain + Vegetable
One of the simplest healthy dinner dishes consists of a whole grain, such as brown rice or quinoa, a vegetable and a source of protein, such as salmon, poultry or tofu. You could serve variations on this dish all week without eliciting any complaints from your family. Prepare the protein in a way that does not add too much fat. For instance, broil or grill the poultry instead of frying it, or bake the tofu. Broiled salmon or other fish is simple to prepare. Give the grain a flavor boost by using vegetable or chicken broth to cook it. Steam a vegetable, such as spinach or broccoli, and season with ground pepper, dried herbs or minced garlic. When serving the dish, fill half the plate with the vegetable, a third with the grain and the remaining amount with the protein.
A meal-sized salad is a great way to ensure that your family members get enough vegetables in their diets. Keep the salad healthy by going easy on the dressing and by using low-fat sources of protein. You may want to dress the salad before serving it to prevent children and other family members from adding too much fat at the table. You can mix and match vegetables and other ingredients to make a different salad every day of the week. To simplify things, you may want to limit the number of ingredients in the salad to five. Choose a leafy green, such as lettuce or spinach, to serve as the salad’s base. Chop up another vegetable, such as a bell pepper, cucumber or tomato, and toss it into the salad. Add a protein, such as chopped-up broiled chicken or cubed, marinated tofu. Add another vegetable, nuts or whole wheat croutons. Dress with your favorite dressing.