Happy Monday beautiful! As another school/work week begins, have you thought about what you’ll be fixing for dinner tonight? As a busy mom, I find it difficult, and sometimes downright stressful, to get a healthy and delicious dinner on the table. With after school activities, homework, bath time, reading time, and preparing for the next hectic morning, it seems the afternoon hours zip by so fast I run out of time to cook. Although it may seem easier to throw some frozen chicken tenders in the oven, there are many other options that are just as quick, but also healthier and tastier. Since we eat out frequently, I make sure our meals at home are nutritious and healthy, but they need to be simple and speedy to prepare.
My go-to option for quick and easy meals (and clean-up) is the grill. If I grill, it’s fast and one less pan to clean. I also love to roast veggies- it gives them an earthy, almost nutty flavor with a bit of caramelized crunch. Since all you do is put the veggies in the oven and set the timer, roasting is also super simple. For our Sunday supper last night, I grilled balsamic chicken breasts (I just marinated them in a balsamic vinaigrette), roasted purple asparagus (it turns dark green as it cooks) , and made quinoa. I got this all done while Daddy swam with the girls in the pool (I even had time to take a quick dip with them while everything was cooking). As you can see, our girls loved everything! I also had a bowl of fruit on the table which everyone reached for as soon as they finished their dinner. All of this is easily swapped out for your family’s favorites. You can easily grill fish or lean meat, roast some sweet potatoes or corn on the cob, and whip up some rice or whole wheat couscous. Get adventurous and try something new! You never know- you’re family’s new favorite dinner could be super healthy and simple.
Here are some tips to help get a healthy dinner on the table in a flash:
- Choose organic when possible.
- Keep it simple- no need for fancy sauces, let the natural flavors of the food shine.
- Keep it lean- choose a lean protein such as chicken or fish.
- Grill it- grilling makes cooking and clean up a breeze. Try grilling veggies too!
- Roast it- all you have to do is put it in the oven and walk away. You can get other things done (or relax with a glass of wine) while the oven does all the work!
- There’s no such thing as “kid food”. Don’t assume your kids won’t like it- they just might surprise you. Look how much Kaiya and Mila enjoy asparagus and quinoa!
- Serve the rainbow- when it comes to fruits and veggies, more colors = more nutrition. Try a different color of a veggie you typically eat. Here I roasted purple asparagus, but you can also try purple sweet potatoes, orange cauliflower, or yellow carrots. Again, keep the prep work simple and let the natural flavors stand out.
- Place a bowl of fruit on the table alongside your dinner. Chances are your kids will reach for some fruit when they finish their dinner. Have them fill up more on fruit then they won’t be able to eat as much ice cream or cookies for dessert. Here I had a bowl of oranges and pluots served with dinner and everyone reached for the fruit as soon as they cleaned their plates.
What are some of your tips for a quick and healthy dinner? Please share, I’d love to know.