We all live hectic, busy lives, and sometimes the last thing we have the time or the energy for at the end of a long day is to cook an elaborate, well-balanced dinner.
Why does it seem like all the simplest meals are the worst for your body? Even on days when we have honest intentions to eat a healthy meal, it can feel so much easier to just pop a frozen dinner in the microwave and be done with it.
Luckily, it is a complete myth that healthy, well-balanced meals have to take a long period of time to get ready.
This article will provide you with a bunch of tips on how to efficiently shop for groceries and prepare your kitchen for quick, simple, and most importantly healthy meals. Then it will detail 10 examples of delicious 10-minute meals full of essential nutrients, so you can support your health without losing valuable time in your daily schedule.
Tips For Quicker Meals
In an ideal world, we would have access to the healthiest ingredients for the cheapest prices, and would have unlimited time to prepare well-balanced meals. Unfortunately, for most of us, there is not enough time in the day to make the dishes we would like, and we cannot afford to constantly order out, or buy only organic.
The following tips help solve the issues of limited time and money, so that you can maximize your time in the kitchen without breaking the bank or sacrificing quality/health.
- Invest in a slow cooker/instant pot: These handy kitchen tools are extremely popular for a reason! All you really have to do is put all the necessary ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, and let the slow cooker do the rest. You will come home from a long day of work to the delicious smell of ready-made dinner. Talk about convenience!
- Cook once, eat thrice: You can use the same base to make many different recipes. Consider how many different ways you can prepare chicken, for example. If you buy a rotisserie chicken one night, or cook more than is needed, you can add the leftovers to a variety of different dishes in order to get your share of lean protein over the course of many meals.
- Make large batches: Especially when it comes to grains, beans, and lentils. These foods are highly versatile and go with just about anything. You can use leftover rice to make fried rice, for one. Add eggs for protein, vegetables for nutrients, and stick to a healthy oil source for a well-balanced, healthy meal.
- Double or triple recipes: The more you make of a recipe, the more you will have leftover to eat again. Thus, one night’s dinner becomes two or three nights’ dinners!
- Cut your meat into smaller pieces: It will cook faster!
- Limit your food shopping: Going out for groceries once a week will help you save money and force you to be more intentional with your purchases. It will also make you plan ahead, so you are not scrambling each night to figure out what you are going to make.
- Use your freezer: Keep your meats fresh, and store frozen fruits and veggies for healthy and quick options. You can even freeze leftovers like casserole dishes and save them for later.
- Great items to keep on hand: Good-quality canned proteins (such as tuna) and ready-to-use spices.
- Collect recipes: Nowadays there are infinite healthy recipe websites and cookbooks available, so you can find tons of recipes for any ingredient or base you want. The more recipes you have in your locker, the more prepared you will be to improvise and get creative with whatever foods you have. Below are 10 healthy, quick, and tasty recipes you can use to start your collection!
Ten Healthy 10 Minute Dinners
The above tips can help you eat more efficiently and economically, and now here are 10 recipes you can rely on for proper nutrients and delicious taste, even when you are pressed for time!
1. Spinach Omelet
Bored of the same old dinners? Breakfast for dinner is a fun way to mix up your dinner options while staying simple, well-balanced, and nutritious.
This spinach omelet recipe contains spinach, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Use coconut or olive oil to saute the vegetables and to get a good source of healthy, unsaturated fat. In addition to the eggs that make up the omelet, you can add a little bit of cheese for even more protein. Three eggs should be enough to build the perfect omelet, just big enough to satisfy your hunger.
If you want to fully embrace breakfast for dinner, stick two slices of whole wheat bread in the toaster, and cut up some slices of orange or a fruit of your choosing.
2. Western Omelet
Okay, yes, this second recipe is another omelet, but this is simply to show how versatile and healthy omelets can be!
This time use some black beans and vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes to make up your western omelet. Add some salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin for extra flavor, and top your omelet with whatever you would like (it would go well with guacamole!) for a meal that is absolutely bursting with protein and nutrients.
3. Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
You might consider salad to be a side dish, especially for dinner, but this strawberry goat cheese salad is as well-balanced as they get.
The mix of spinach, fresh strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese provide you with excellent servings of fruit, vegetables, and protein. For even more protein, consider adding grilled salmon or chicken. A balsamic vinaigrette will tie the meal together perfectly!
4. Brisket Taco Salad
Own a slow-cooker? This brisket taco salad recipe will rock your world!
Just add some grass-fed brisket and salsa verde (you can buy it in a jar) into your slow cooker in the morning and it will be ready for you in the evening!
Remember the tip to cook once, eat thrice from above? This recipe can be made into a salad by using it to top a bowl of spinach, into tacos using low carb cassava root or almond flour tortillas, or into cabbage bowls. Toppings such as shredded cheese, cilantro, and red onion will complete the meal.
This chili recipe has a grass-fed beef base, with other ingredients including protein-rich beans, and antioxidant-rich tomatoes. You can make it with an instant pot, or quickly mix it up on the stove in just over 10 minutes. Serve it with cheese and/or chives, and even treat yourself with some corn chips to add some crunch.
6. Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli
Ingredients like coconut oil offer healthy fats, while apple cider vinegar soothes the digestive tract. Top this dish with sesame seeds, and maybe serve with some leftover brown rice for some healthy carbohydrates.
7. Simple Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is a simple dish that can stay in the fridge for a couple days, and can be eaten on its own or used in a sandwich/lettuce wrap. Combine cooked chicken, celery, your choice of nuts (such as almonds), apple cider vinegar and organic mayonnaise to make the salad, then serve it on top of lettuce.
8. Chicken Caesar Salad
If you have some leftover chicken in the fridge, or even some grilled salmon, add it to a chicken Caesar salad made of healthy greens like spinach and romaine lettuce. The dressing made of olive oil, lemon, parmesan cheese, dijon mustard, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce is both nutritious and delicious, and finishes the meal nicely.
9. Fresh Caprese Salad
So, caprese salad is technically a side dish, but all it is really missing for a healthy balance of nutrients is a serving of carbohydrates. If you have some leftover grains or beans in the fridge, but do not know how to supplement them, consider making a caprese salad. All you have to do is throw tomatoes, mozzarella and basil into a bowl, and top it all off with a flavorful balsamic vinaigrette. This salad will leave you feeling refreshed and full.
10. Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry
Finally, a chicken and vegetable stir fry is an excellent option for a quick dinner because of how open-ended its ingredient list can be. You can thaw a bag of frozen vegetables, or use whatever is lying around in the fridge, like broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers. Saute the vegetables with chicken and a healthy source of fat such as coconut oil.
For a healthier alternative to high-sodium soy sauce, try Braggs Liquid Aminos, a protein source derived from soybeans. Flavor with garlic and serve over cauliflower rice!
Food should be enjoyable, not a source of stress. Using these tips and recipes, you can save time and eat better.
When you eat a healthy, well-rounded diet, your whole body reaps the benefits. Even with limited time and budget, you can accomplish real health and better wellness.
For more healthy recipes such as these, check out Make Food Simple, Dr. Livingood’s free book of over 100 easy recipes!