After a long day at work, sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is spending hours in the kitchen preparing a healthy dinner. It’s all too easy to open the freezer and pull out a pizza for supper. But with bikini season just around the corner, now is definitely not the time to be piling on the pounds.
Here are five healthy dinners that can be made in less than 20 minutes. Now you have no excuse for tucking into that pizza after work!
1. Baked Potato and Salad
Baked potato is a simple, nutritious dinner that takes no time at all. Prick the skin with a fork, throw it in the microwave for 12 minutes, hey presto, dinner. You can add the topping of your choice – tuna fish, baked beans, cottage cheese – and have a salad on the side.
One large baked potato contains 278 calories, 0.4 grams fat, and 6.6 grams fiber – that’s 26% of your recommended daily fiber intake!
2. Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
Another ridiculously easy dinner. Boil the spaghetti (or brown rice pasta) according to the instructions (usually around 15 minutes). Meanwhile, stir fry some chopped onion, garlic, broccoli or other vegetables of your choice. Then heat up a jar of tomato pasta sauce and add the vegetables, onion and garlic. Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the sauce, serve and enjoy.
One cup of cooked whole wheat spaghetti has just 174 calories and 1 gram of fat, but a whopping 6 grams of fiber (25% of your recommended daily amount).
3. Teriyaki Salmon and Garlic Sweet Potato
This sounds complicated but it really isn’t. Get one salmon fillet per person, place them on a baking sheet and pour a little teriyaki sauce over them. Put them in the oven at 350 degrees (F) for 10 -12 minutes or until they are just opaque throughout (this will depend on the thickness of the fillet).
Meanwhile, peel two sweet potatoes per person, slice them and put them in boiling water to simmer for 8 minutes, or until soft. Drain the water, crush 1 clove of garlic into the pan per person, and mash the potatoes. Add a little pepper to taste. Voila – a healthy, easy dinner. You can also add some steamed broccoli to the meal for extra nutrients.
The salmon is full of heart-friendly omega-3’s, the sweet potatoes are full of fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium, and the garlic will help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels lowering your risk of heart attack or stroke.
4. Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
This is another easy, healthy dinner. You’ll need one chicken breast per person. Place them in a skillet (frying pan) with a little olive oil. Cook over a medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side or until they are just turning brown. Then add to the pan (per chicken breast) 1 tsp of dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (these amounts don’t have to be exact). Mix the chicken with the honey, mustard and vinegar, cook for one minute, then transfer to a baking tray. Place in the oven at 400 degrees (F) for 10 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked through).
While the chicken is in the oven, make up a bowl of salad for each person. You can use baby spinach leaves, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, garbanzo beans (chick peas), green onions (spring onions), carrots, beet or anything else that takes your fancy.
Once the chicken is cooked, slice it and place it on top of the salad, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and enjoy.
5. Egg and Bean Burritos
Although these are strictly breakfast burritos, they are also delicious for dinner and are surprisingly healthy.
You’ll need per person: one whole wheat flour tortilla, 1/3 can of black beans, 2 eggs, 1/4 avocado, 1 tomato, 1 green onion, one tbsp of non-fat yogurt, and a sprinkle of grated cheese.
Heat the black beans. Slice the avocado. Chop the tomato and green onion and mix with balsamic vinegar and chilli flakes or hot sauce. Whisk the eggs, add a dash of hot sauce, a pinch of salt and scramble them. Warm the tortillas. On each tortilla put some beans, egg, avocado, tomato mix, yogurt and cheese, roll into a burrito and enjoy. Or you can just lay out all the ingredients on the table and let each person make their own.