5 Quick and Healthy Dinner Options

The last meal of the day can seem like a hassle after a long day of work, making it easy to grab a frozen pizza and throw it in the oven. Rather than ending your day with highly processed foods that are high in calories, try these 5 quick and healthy meals that offer a variety of nutrients. By making your own dinner, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Plus, you can always warm up leftovers for lunch the next day.

Sauteed Peppers and Mushrooms Served with Protein

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 whole Red Pepper
  • 1 whole Yellow Pepper
  • 1/2 large Onion, yellow or red
  • 1 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced

Directions

Warm a skillet over medium heat and add the oil so that it just covers the bottom of the skillet. Add the peppers and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

How to Serve

There are several ways to serve these sauteed vegetables, keeping your meals fresh and interesting:

  1. Wrap sauteed vegetables in a tortilla with grilled chicken or a veggie burger. Add some avocado slices, spicy mustard, and cheese for some extra tang.
  2. Place the same fixings from above between two slices of your favorite artisan bread and then place in a George Foreman to make your own panini.
  3. If you’re looking for a light meal, just eat the sauteed vegetables plain with a side of grilled chicken or a veggie burger for added protein.

Vegetarian Stir Fry

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, sliced into large chunks
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced into large chunks
  • 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced into large chunks
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium Zucchini, cut into large chunks
  • 1 head of Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • Cooked rice for serving

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat, thinly coat the bottom of the pan with oil. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Then, cooking for 2 minute between each addition, add the zucchini and broccoli. Stir in soy sauce (or any of your favorite Asian sauces) and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve over brown rice or noodles.

Pasta with Pesto

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pasta of your choice
  • Pesto sauce to taste
  • 1-2 tsps olive oil
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced or cut into small chunks
  • 1 Yellow Squash, sliced or cut into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Parmesan cheese to taste, shredded

Directions

Fill a small pot 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and boil for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. While the noodles are boiling, add oil to a skillet and saute zucchini and squash over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Drain the noodles in a colander and then place them back in the pot. Add pesto, butter, and sauteed vegetables to the noodles and stir. Serve warm with Parmesan sprinkled on top.

Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Salad

  • Spinach
  • 1 pomegranate
  • Feta cheese
  • Pecans or walnuts

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside. Fill another small bowl with spinach and top with your desired amount of feta cheese and nuts. Cut a pomegranate in half and pick out seeds to add bursts of sweetness to your salad. Finally, add your dressing to enjoy a light, flavorful dinner. Top with some grilled chicken or tofu for protein and a more filling meal.

Fried Egg Sandwich

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 English muffin
  • 1-2 eggs, fried
  • 1 slice of  cheese
  • lettuce, enough for one sandwich
  • 1 slice of tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Split your English muffin in half and then toast it. Then, place the egg, cheese, lettuce, and tomato on half of your English muffin and add salt and pepper, if desired. Top off with the other half of your English muffin and enjoy breakfast for dinner with this protein filled egg sandwich!

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Next time you find yourself reaching for that frozen pizza, try out one of these recipes instead. They’re fast, healthy, and full of flavor. These quick and healthy dinner options will satisfy your appetite while ensuring you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Shelby is a copy editor, writing tutor, and research assistant. She is a senior at Blackburn College with a professional writing major and computer science minor. Shelby loves the earth, books, media literacy, and the oxford comma. You can follow her on Twitter: @ShelbyRainford

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