Tips for Quick and Healthy Dinners

quick-healthy-dinners

It is often a challenge to prepare healthy dinners due to the hectic pace of today’s society. Most American’s are busy running from one activity to the next whether it be work, the gym, kids, or other appointments. Dinner is forgotten in the midst of the hustle and bustle, and as a result, many swing through the drive-through or pull out a frozen dinner instead of cooking a meal.

Bringing balance back into the busy schedule of life can be well worth the effort. Making dinners at home can be fast, quick, and healthy with a little effort ahead of time. Here are some tips to help kick start the dinner habit:

  1. Create a week’s worth of menus on Sunday (or whatever day works best). Write them down on a piece of paper, calendar, or whiteboard and make the grocery list based on the week’s menu.
  2. Add a vegetable and fruit as side dishes to the menu’s entrées. Vegetables and fruits are quick and easy to prepare side dishes that add nutritious benefits to meals.
  3. Keep the kitchen stocked with staple items that are quick to fix such as staples like rice, pasta, or beans and fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables (with minimal salt and added sugars). Keeping these items on hand will make it easier to make a healthier choice when days get busy and hectic.
  4. Cook multiple batches of main ingredients at one time. Try cooking extra ground beef (double or triple batch), chicken, or pork on days you have time, freeze the extra, and then on busy nights, throw it into tacos, stir fry’s, or casseroles.
  5. Making dinner can be easily done with one person but if there are extra helpers, get them involved! Have them help cut, chop, set the table, or do dishes to help make your meals a family affair.

Getting balance back into life can be a challenge, but making sure to be prepared for dinner in order to avoid the drive through is a great place to start. Check out this fast, quick, and healthy recipe below!

Confetti Sloppy Joes
Ingredients:
Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
1 lb Extra-Lean Ground Beef (or lean)
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp white vinegar,
¾ c catsup
2 Tbsp mustard
6 100% whole wheat sandwich buns
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:
1. Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray and Combine ground beef, diced peppers, and onion in the skillet. Cook on medium heat until the beef is thoroughly cooked, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Mix the vinegar, catsup, and mustard together. Add to the beef mixture and simmer 10-15 minutes.
3. Scoop ¾ c onto each sandwich bun and top with a slice of sweet onion.

Nutrition Facts for 1 Sandwich: 270 calories, 6 g fat, 630 mg sodium, and 21 g protein
Recipe Source: http://www.eatright.org/kids/

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