Easy and Healthy Dinner Ideas

Dinner time can often mean getting home late, looking in the fridge, seeing not a single eatable thing, and heading out for dinner instead. Although once a week this isn’t a big deal, nightly starts to get a bit expensive and unhealthy. And then when being unhealthy costs you even more money, you really have to start asking yourself what you’re doing. The nice thing is, that with a little planning and a trip to the grocery store, you can avoid all of this.

I want to challenge you to have meals planned ahead of time and groceries ready and waiting to make those meals. It could take you the same time as driving to the fast food joint, taste better, help you feel better, and move you to movie star status with your spouse or children. First lets look at some meal ideas.

Pasta is a great way to make something quick and really delicious. I like to recommend veggie noodles due to the extra serving of vegetables you get. Now you can really do whatever you feel like with the pasta. You can use chicken, seafood, or just veggies. You can add cheese or not. You can make a creamy sauce with a little cream or not. It’s all really up to you. I like to do a little butter, a minced clove of garlic, zucchini, shrimp, and some tomatoes and Parmesan at the very end. Its fresh, so good, and super fast. I’m going to make a wager that even your picky eaters might enjoy the veggies.

Another really easy evening meal is Mexican food. With a little ground beef (browned), a can of chili beans, and some chili powder or taco seasoning, you can make a few different dishes. You can use this meat with salad, sour cream, avocado, and cheese for an awesome Mexican salad. Or you can make soft tacos or nachos. You could even make a beef quesadilla. If you add a can of diced tomatoes, a bit more chili powder and a dash of cloves you could have a nice bowl of chili. All of these meals will please the taste buds, and any leftovers can be frozen for a rainy day.

It wouldn’t be a good “easy dinner list” without at least one crock pot idea, so here it is! If you need an easy chicken meal or two, this one is sure to please and is really flexible to what you want. First place some raw chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. Season with some salt and pepper as a minimum. I like to add onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and/or some taco seasoning. Next dump a can of black beans (drained), a can of corn (drained), and a jar of salsa. Put on low for 7 to 8 hours. When you get home, simply shred the chicken and enjoy as tacos, nachos, enchiladas, a salad, or as is. If you want a more soup-like consistency, add a cup of chicken broth in the morning. You will end up with a tortilla soup.

If you want a more plain shredded chicken, just cook the chicken in 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Season well. With that, you could then add barbeque sauce and pinto beans. Or you could serve it with lemon pepper, veggies, and rice. Or perhaps you want to add some buffalo style sauce and serve with carrots and celery. With a plain base, the shredded chicken can really become whatever you want it to be.

Hopefully you’ve gained a few ideas for your dinner process. I highly recommend creating a menu on the weekend and doing all of your shopping. Then when a busy week hits you are prepared and you have a plan. I know you’ll feel better and you might even drop a few pounds! Good luck and happy eating.

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Healthy Dinner Ideas Under 400 Calories

You would be surprised at how many hearty and healthy dinners you can make for less than 400 calories. All you really need to do is a little research and use a bit of creativity, along with a good grasp of portion size and control. The way you cook your food is almost as important as what you cook.

Depending on the way you cook your food you could be adding hundreds of calories and losing the majority of the nutritional content. What you end up with is a high fat, high calorie food with little nutritional value. Ideally you are going to want to broil, bake or grill your food. It would almost be advisable to throw out your deep fryer and frying pans because all they are usually good for is adding unnecessary calories and fat to your food.

Here are 4 great dinners that you can make for less than 400 calories:

1. Chicken Dinner
- A delicious side salad sprinkled with a variety of the chopped vegetables you love such as onions, peppers, carrot. All served with a tablespoon of low fat dressing.
- The meat is a single serving portion (3 oz.) of boneless skinless chicken breast.
- One small baked potato

2. Chicken Salad
- A large tossed salad with 3 oz. of boneless skinless chicken breast sliced
- 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette or light dressing
- Single portion of yogurt

3. Homemade Chunky Vegetable Soup -
- A broth based soup (not a creamy style) with 2 cups of assorted veggies
- A medium sized side salad

4. Baked Salmon
- One medium portion of baked or broiled salmon
- Bed of baby spinach with chopped onion, mushrooms and cucumbers

The beverage of choice for all meals of course would be water. There are other beverages you can choose from if they are in moderation. You could try a glass of unsweetened orange or apple juice. Diet beverages while they do not contain sugar, contain artificial sweetener which can promote water retention. Coffee can also be considered on occasion if you swap out the sugar and cream for skim milk and sweetener. When it comes to beverages you really need to read the nutritional information labels to ensure they are suitable for your diets requirements.

It is not hard to find hundreds of recipes and dinner ideas for 400 calories or less. The internet is littered with people sharing information and ideas. Virtually every time you go to a supermarket you see cookbooks and magazines featuring low calorie and low fat cooking ideas. One other thing that you need to keep mindful of is portion size and keeping it under control. The recommended general rule of thumb is 3 oz. but if you don’t have a scale handy then the meat portion should fit into the palm of your hand.

That little trick should show you want 3 oz. of meat looks like roughly. With so many lean cuts of meat and beautiful salads to include in your daily menus you should have no reason so feel deprived when you’re counting calories.

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Healthy Dinner Ideas – 6 Amazing Tips How Using Your Fondue Set Can Create the Healthiest Dinners

Having a fondue evening is not only a great possibility to spend a nice evening together. It can also create very healthy and light meals your whole family will benefit from. It takes some time to prepare, but most things can be done in advance, so when dinner time comes, all you need to do is prepare your stock, put everything on the table and light your fondue.

In case you don’t know what a fondue is: It’s a pot that is placed on a r├ęchaud. Then everyone sits around it and cooks his or her own meat or vegetables in the stock (they are stuck on a fondue fork). There are usually salads, dips and bread served with it.

One of the big advantages of having a fondue is that you eat really slowly since your food first needs to cook. Also, you will be very busy talking in between. The result is that you are very unlikely to eat too much. You will actually be amazed how little food you really need.

As all meals, a fondue can be very healthy or very unhealthy or anything in between. To make sure you serve the healthiest fondue possible, follow these 6 amazing tips:

use a healthy cooking liquid
choose lean meat
serve healthy salads
serve vegetables or fruit
prepare low calorie salsas and dips
choose whole wheat bread or rolls

Use a healthy cooking liquid

Instead of frying your food in liters of oil, prepare a chicken, vegetable or beef stock. This contains way less calories, goes just as quick and tastes just as great. You can keep the stock afterward and use it to make a soup the next day.

Choose lean meat

This is very important to keep calories in form of fat low. Skinless chicken breast is a good option and any kind of filet too. Poultry and beef contain less fat than pork, so you should prefer these.

Serve healthy salads

A potato or pasta salad with heavy mayonnaise tastes certainly great but they are very high in calories. Use fat reduced mayonnaise or salad dressing instead which also tastes very nice. You can also use low fat yoghurt to make your dressing, or use an olive oil dressing for your green salad.

Make sure you use healthy ingredients: green salads, vegetables and fruit. If you have a meat fondue, don’t still add meat to your salads. If you have a vegetable fondue, you can add some meat or boiled eggs.

Serve vegetables or fruit

Having a fondue is a lot like snacking. Make platters with cucumber slices or slices of red or yellow pepper. Have cherry tomatoes and radish. Even raw or blanched vegetables like carrot or celery sticks, or cauliflower or broccoli florets are great with a dip or salsa.

Serve fruit just as it is, or as a colorful mixed kebab on sticks. Grape-cheese sticks are also very popular (choose low fat cheese). Or make a fruit salad or dip.

Prepare low calorie salsas and dips

The products you buy are often high in calories. It’s better to make your own. A salsa of canned tomato, onions and chopped green pepper is quickly prepared. Mix low fat cottage cheese with various spices to make a nice dip. You can also add some chopped onions and garlic. Or mix it with chopped canned peaches to get a sweet dip.

Choose whole wheat bread or rolls

These fill you quicker so you won’t overeat easily. They also contain much more nutrients than white bread. You can serve rolls just as you bought them, or cut them in half. Toast is very nice if you cut it into triangles and roast it in the oven. If you want garlic bread, apply some olive oil with a brush, spread crushed garlic and chopped parsley over it and bake it in the oven. That will have much less calories than the bread you buy.

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