So, it’s the end of another busy day. You’re exhausted, you have nothing in your fridge, and you need to get dinner on the table fast. What do you do? Even if you manage to stock your fridge with nutritious staples such as fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, life can throw you some curveballs from time to time. There will be nights when the last thing you feel like doing is chopping up a bunch of ingredients or spending an hour in the kitchen.
You don’t have to settle for unhealthy takeout or fast food every night because you’re too exhausted to cook anything else. With just a little bit of prep work and planning ahead, however, it’s not hard to keep healthy home-cooked meals on the table every night of the week. These 5 ideas for a quick & healthy dinner will help get dinner on the table quickly and easily so that hungry bellies can be filled once again!
Beans are your friend
Beans are a fantastic source of protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins – and they’re also very affordable! You can buy a big bag of dried beans for the price of a single can of the same amount of beans, and you can use them in a wide variety of dishes. What’s more, dried beans are much more nutritious than canned beans, due to the fact that they’re not cooked with any harmful chemicals. Plus, they’re easy to prepare: just soak them overnight, then simmer them slowly in a pot of water until they’re tender. Most types of beans only need about an hour to cook, so they’re an excellent option for a quick and easy dinner.
Toss a rotisserie chicken in the oven
If you happen to find yourself at the grocery store with absolutely nothing in the house for dinner, a quick stop at the rotisserie chicken counter can save the day. Rotisserie chickens are already cooked and ready to eat, so all you have to do is heat them up for a few minutes in the oven.
While it’s cooking, you can stir together a quick side dish made from rice and vegetables, such as rice with broccoli and carrots, rice with edamame, or brown rice with asparagus. And if you need a quick and easy vegetable side, broccoli and cauliflower are both quick-cooking vegetables that will go great with a rotisserie chicken.
Go for grains and veggies
If you have a bag of rice, a vegetable steamer, and perhaps a few tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil in your pantry, you can make a quick and easy side dish with virtually anything. For example, you can mix together a bowl of rice and edamame, rice and black beans, or rice and lentils. You can also use your rice steamer to cook other grains such as quinoa, barley, and farro. You can round out your side dish with any combination of frozen vegetables, salad greens, and fresh herbs.
Make a big batch of protein-rich broth
A big pot of broth is an excellent way to use up any vegetable scraps you have lying around in the kitchen. You can use any combination of vegetables – from carrots, onions, and celery to broccoli, mushrooms, and squash – and any type of broth: chicken, fish, or veggie. You can either serve the broth as a broth-based soup, or you can use it to cook grains, beans, and vegetables. You can also freeze the broth in small containers to use in the future.
Beans and greens: The ultimate comfort food
If you need something really comforting, greens and beans go together like peanut butter and jelly. You can use any type of greens you have on hand: collards, kale, spinach, or Swiss chard work particularly well. You can either sauté the greens in a bit of olive oil or coconut oil while you boil the beans, or you can use the leftover broth from your big pot of protein-rich broth. If you have a little more time, you can make a delicious bean stew by simmering a few types of beans together with vegetables, herbs, and spices.
A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential for optimal health and wellness. While it’s important to eat a variety of healthy foods, it’s also important to eat those healthy foods in appropriate portions. These quick and easy dinner ideas are great options when you’re short on time and need to get dinner on the table quickly. From canned beans to rotisserie chickens and canned soups, these ideas are simple, delicious, and nutritious!