If you’ve been trying to eat more balanced meals these days, there are lots of options out there. Whether you prefer foods that are spicy, crave comfort food, or want something fresh and light, there are ways to make the foods you love without the excess calories, fat and sugar you’re trying to stay away from. Here are four healthy dinners you can try this week.
Quinoa is filled with protein and fiber and is more nutritionally dense than rice. A quinoa bowl may also be a good idea if you’re looking for more paleo products that you can incorporate into your diet.
Simply cook quinoa the same way you would prepare rice and add your favorite steamed vegetables like broccoli or carrots for fiber and calcium. You can also add roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts for more protein and to make the meal more filling. To make the meal complete, you can choose your favorite protein to add to the bowl, such as roasted chicken or a soy-free vegetarian alternative.
A popular dish that is making its popularity in America is pho, a Vietmanese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat or tofu. With these basic ingredients, there are plenty of recipes that add to the soup to create more flavor and variety. Pho is a much healthier alternative to something like top ramen which has loads of sodium. When portioned correctly, pho can be a great source of fiber and protein.
Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids that boost brain power and protein that will make a meal especially satisfying. For a quick and healthy weeknight dinner, season salmon or tuna with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.
Add your favorite fresh herbs and a little butter or margarine and sautee in a skillet with oil for about 15 minutes. You can complete the meal with steamed asparagus or cauliflower, using the same seasonings. This is a low-carb, paleo-friendly meal that is also free of sugar and unhealthy fat.
Veggie One-Pot Dinner
A one-pot dinner is great if you have a large family to feed and want to make sure that everyone gets at least one healthy meal a day. In a large pot, add olive oil, chopped onion, and chopped garlic, along with the veggies of your choice (carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, corn, etc.).
Sautee the veggies for a few minutes and add broth and your favorite protein (i.e. tofu, sausage, chicken) along with additional seasonings. For instance, if you want an Italian flavor, fresh basil and parsley are ideal.
When you want the meal to have a Mexican or Latin flavor, cumin and chili pepper will bring out the flavor of the veggies. You can keep the meal low-carb or add healthy carbohydrates like black or brown rice so you can make the meal more filling while keeping your blood sugar balanced.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Baked potatoes are a delicious go-to meal, but potatoes can spike your blood sugar and could make you gain weight faster than sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are filled with beta carotene and fiber to enhance eye health and slow the aging process. Poke small holes in the sweet potatoes and rub with grapeseed oil and sea salt.
Roast the potatoes for about an hour, and prepare your filling while the potatoes are in the oven. Onions that are sauteed with vegan butter and olive oil and white wine, roasted corn, chopped turkey bacon, and chopped leeks are among the tasty toppings that go great with sweet potatoes. These potatoes are delicious on their own, but you can also add a meat entree like roasted chicken breast for more protein and B vitamins.
After you try these dishes, you may want to put your own personal touches on them to customize the meals and motivate you to cook more. For instance, instead of adding savory ingredients to the sweet potatoes, you can add sauteed pineapples, pecans, or shredded coconut to make a healthy dessert. Or, you can change the veggies in your one-pot dinner depending on the season. Happy eating!