Getting dinner ready can be a challenge, especially when you’re short on time and trying to maintain a healthy diet. If you’re looking for fast and fresh meal ideas, it’s time to rethink your approach. Check out these 10 brilliant dinner shortcuts and get your meal on the table in 20 minutes or less.
From batch-cooked roasted vegetables to canned seafood and simple stir-fry, these shortcuts are worth stealing.
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1. Batch-Cooked Roasted Vegetables
By roasting a big batch of vegetables once or twice a week, you can create multiple meals. These can be turned into a veggie bowl or a creamy vegetable soup made with coconut milk, providing a convenient and healthy meal option.
2. Canned Seafood
Canned seafood can provide a quick and easy protein source for your meal. Small fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerel are not only sustainable and healthy but also versatile and easy to prepare. They can be added to a variety of dishes such as salads, pasta, and beans, offering a simple and nutritious meal solution.
3. Simple Stir-Fry
Creating a simple stir-fry with leftover roasted vegetables, a protein, a carbohydrate, and a healthy fat can be quick and satisfying. By experimenting with a variety of herbs and spices, you can keep your stir-fry interesting and enjoyable, ensuring a tasty and nutritious meal in no time.
4. Eggs Anytime
Eggs are not just for breakfast. They can also be a quick and versatile option for dinner. By incorporating eggs with a variety of vegetables and additional ingredients like avocado and kimchi, you can create a simple and nutritious meal within 20 minutes.
With these 20-minute meal shortcuts, you can enjoy healthy and delicious dinners without spending hours in the kitchen. Try out these ideas and start eating well even on your busiest days.
5. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie
When it comes to quick and healthy meals, a well-balanced smoothie can be a go-to option for dinner. Liz Moody of Sprouted Routes, the author of Glow Pops, recommends smoothies because they are not only quick to make but also affordable. She suggests incorporating a good amount of greens, fat, and protein to create a satisfying dinner smoothie. Some of her favorite flavor combinations include mint chocolate chip and cilantro cucumber.
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6. Cooked Quinoa
Sara Sullivan, a plant-based nutrition counselor and holistic health practitioner, recommends batch-making quinoa at the beginning of the week. She emphasizes the versatility of quinoa, suggesting various options to utilize it in meals such as adding it to veggie chili, tossing it with roasted vegetables, or combining it with pesto for a quick and nutritious meal. Sullivan highlights that quinoa is a complete source of plant-based protein and a budget-friendly alternative to meat.
7. Canned Chickpeas
Jenny Lei of LiveGreenHealthy shares her quick and simple chickpea salad recipe, perfect for those hectic days. With a can of chickpeas, half an avocado, a sprinkle of feta, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, dinner can be assembled in no time. Adding mixed greens enhances the salad’s nutritional value, making it a convenient and healthy meal option.
8. Red and White Cabbage
Lisa Stewart of FamilyandForks.com loves the versatility and affordability of cabbage. She suggests creating a Filipino pancit by sautéing cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic, then topping it with broth-soaked rice noodles and any leftover pork or shredded chicken on hand. This dish, which can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, provides a low-maintenance yet flavorful meal option.
9. Anything-Goes Tacos
Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks emphasizes the versatility of tacos, especially for using leftovers. She recommends using ingredients from the refrigerator and pantry to create mix-and-match tacos, reducing food waste while enjoying a quick and creative dinner.
RELATED: 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas
10. Frozen Cauliflower
Jessica Hoffman of Choosing Chia provides a unique twist by using frozen riced cauliflower in smoothies. This creative approach not only adds nutritional value but also maintains the original color of the smoothie while ensuring daily vegetable intake. Hoffman recommends adding a source of protein like almond butter, hemp seeds, or plant-based protein powder to make the smoothie a more substantial meal.
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