10 quick easy healthy dinner ideas

What’s not for dinner (photo: theimpulsivebuy.com via Flickr)

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day at work and a long commute and realizing There’s Nothing For Dinner.  Not only that, there’s no food in the house that could reasonably be turned into dinner.  Unfortunately this sometimes means dinner is a bag of potato chips, a big dish, or two, or ice cream or something equally dreary and non-healthy.  What to do?

Well, one thing you don’t have to do is complicated cooking.  Throwing something edible and healthy together doesn’t have to be either complicated or time-consuming.  But it does take at least a little planning ahead, so useful ingredients are in the frig or pantry, ready to go.  Here are 10 quick and easy healthy dinner ideas:

  1. Eggs: sauté some veggies, pour a couple of scrambled eggs over and cook on low heat right in the pan until the top is firm.  Or finish under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.  Add grated cheese, voila!  Or just cook some eggs and have sautéed vegetables or a tossed salad.  Add some crusty bread if you need more food.
  2. Soup, salad and bread: you’ve got canned soups in the cupboard, pre-washed and pre-chopped greens in the frig and some bottled olive oil vinaigrette.  Throw together a green salad, heat some quality canned soup (MSG-free, lots of veggies) and break out some bread or whole grain crackers (Ak Mak is a great choice).
  3. Burritos or wraps: open a can of refried beans, grate some cheese, add salsa and chopped vegetables, either raw or sautéed.  Almost any vegetables will do, from zucchini to onions to tomatoes to peppers to potatoes to broccoli.  Or go for a fresh-style wrap, with hummus and fresh vegetables like sprouts, cucumbers and tomatoes.
  4. Pasta: cook some pasta, open a bottle of marinara sauce, get out the grated cheese.  A good addition is a green salad, or have some fresh fruit as dessert.
  5. Desperation time: cold cereal and milk with fruit
  6. Not so desperate: yoghurt, fresh fruit, crusty bread or muffin
  7. Sandwich: turkey or some other meat, sliced tomato, avocado, sprouts, cucumbers, lettuce or dark greens like arugula; thin slices of cheese, mustard
  8. Grilled sandwich: interesting cheese, not too much, and add vegetables like tomatoes or even slices of fruit like pears of apples.  Brush the pan with olive oil instead of using butter or margarine.
  9. Frozen vegetable pizza, on which you dump lots more vegetables: artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers…
  10. Green or Chopped Salad:  lots of different vegetables, drained canned beans, a handful of nuts, grated cheese, corn kernels, chopped avocado, served with crusty bread.  Variation: hot “salad” — a big plate of sautéed vegetables with grated cheese.  Filling!

Of course, there are plenty of other options, from frozen meals to pizza (heavy on the veggies, light on the cheese and grease) to take out to going out.  But sometimes you don’t want to go out or you don’t have time.  So stock up on simple food items that keep reasonably well and that make your dinner solution easier:

  • cheeses
  • eggs
  • bread
  • whole grain crackers
  • pre-washed vegetables
  • cut up fruit
  • canned soup
  • canned beans
  • tortillas or wraps
  • frozen single serve meals

That way there are no excuses for just eating a bag of potato chips.

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