5 Best Healthy Dinner Shortcuts

There are plenty of excuses to eating healthy, but the most common one is time. There is not enough time to buy and prepare ingredients- but it doesn’t have to be that way. As soon as you learn the quick shortcuts to cooking healthy for you and your family, you will find that its easy to cook healthy and doesn’t take too much time. Cheers to your happy and healthy eating. 

Congratulations to making the step to make your meals healthier! Creating the healthy habits today will benefit you for a lifetime!

1. Use the Microwave

Steam veggies in the microwave. Place veggies in glass bowl or microwavable bowl and cover with a couple teaspoons water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 
Quinoa Salad with Kale
Some great veggies to steam-microwave are sugar snap peas, peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts. Feel free to use frozen ones too!
If you don’t like the texture of steamed veggies, than drain off excess water and grill or saute them quickly for a fired taste. 
One of the best secrets is that you can microwave Quinoa!! I learned this working at the Wellness Kitchen at the Four Seasons. Place the rinsed quinoa with 2x water to quinoa and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 12-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Then, let stand for a few minutes, and fluff with fork. Instant healthy grains for salad, soup, or black bean bowl!
Another tip: find Brown Rice in the Frozen section at Trader Joe’s. It has a great texture and taste and is ready in only 3 minutes in the microwave!

2. Stir Fry. 

The key with this tip is that all your veggies need to be the same size. 
Balsamic Glazed Vegetables
But, you can skip the chopping and buy already chopped vegetables at your grocery store. Just heat a little olive oil, throw the veggies in for a couple minutes and serve with brown rice, noodles, or pita wraps with beans or lentils and avocado. Go Southwest with peppers, avocado, lime, and salsa, or Mediterranean with hummus, cucumbers, tomato, and onion. 

3. Immersion Blender. 

Instead of buying a lot of groceries, decide just to buy really good bread instead. Then, use all the vegetables that you forgot about in your fridge (the ones that are still good of course) and make a soup. 
The key with making a pretty soup is to not mix too many colors. Decide on Carrot-Ginger, or Cauliflower, or Tomato-Basil, or Tuscan Bean Soup. The best thing is that you can just prepare them in 5 minutes, let it boil for 15 minutes, and in the last minutes, puree them and dinner can be ready in 20 minutes. 
Make a great Garlic bread in the time you’re waiting for the soup to cook, and you have a wonderful vegetable filled dinner. 
Butternut Squash Soup

4. Frittata

Splurge on some really good, vegetarian fed, organic eggs and make a colorful omelet that will feed you for a couple days. A frittata is similar to an omelet but usually is filled with more vegetables than meat and gets baked in a pan in the oven for a bit. 
The great thing is that once its cooked, you can cut slices from it like a pizza and eat it cold, or warm it up for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wrap it in a pita, or serve it on whole grain bread with some lettuce and you have a great protein and veggie meal. 
One of my favorite frittatas I learned at the Wellness Kitchen was a Sun-dried Tomato-Feta-Spinach Frittata. A side of salsa would be great too!

5. Pizza. 

No, not the delivery kind, and no, not Digiorno either! Homemade pizza. Ok, you can buy the dough at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, ideally buying whole wheat dough. If not, here is an awesome whole wheat dough recipe by Cookie and Kate
Spinach-Pesto Cherry Tomato

The secret to making it healthy, like all these other tips, is adding the vegetables. Make that pizza healthy by adding mushrooms, peppers, onions,  spinach, and top it with argula dressed with a little lemon and olive oil. 
There is nothing wrong with having a thin crust whole wheat pizza and topping it with veggies, and light cheese. I’m sure you will love it, mostly because you made it yourself! The best part is that it makes a great lunch the next day served cold or warm. Add a salad and done.

Those are just some tips to make your quick dinners healthy. Leave some of your own ideas in the comments below!

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