7 Days of Easy Convenience Dinners That Are Still Healthy
This healthy meal plan with seven dinners ready in 30 minutes or less proves that even "fast" food can be satisfying and nutritious.
Sponsored by Muir Glen Organic
Busy days are the norm, not the exception, and at the end of those days, we still need to put a healthy dinner on the table. A smart plan, a few quick-cooking shortcuts and a great supply of pantry and fridge staples makes this seven-day healthy dinner plan easy, delicious and practical. All of these recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less, so they're perfect for weeknights.
Day 1: Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry: This 20-minute curry relies on several quick-cooking ingredients and grocery store shortcuts to cut down on cook time and get this dish on the table fast. Buy washed, precut vegetables in the produce section, or scour the salad bar at the grocery store for great options that are ready for cooking. Instead of making your own simmer sauce (a great idea when you have more time), look for one of the many delicious options in the Indian section of the grocery store.
Day 2: One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta: One-pot pastas are a time-crunched cook's best friend. This one utilizes flavor-rich spices and herbs to bring spinach and whole-wheat pasta a little zest. The secret ingredient here is the can of diced tomatoes, like Muir Glen Organics. These tender chunks of tomato maintain a great deal of bright flavor, imparting it to the final dish. The rich juices help add richness and body to the sauce, too.
Day 3: Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Swap fried corn taco shells for tender sweet potatoes with this fun twist on taco night. The creamy potato is the perfect pair to spiced ground beef, tangy cheese and juicy pico de gallo. To shorten your workload, let each person stuff their own potato with their preferred toppings. Bonus: Getting everyone involved in a little DIY meal is a fun way to start a conversation-and perhaps convince them to help with the dishes, too.
Grilled Blackened Shrimp Tacos: Sweet, quick-cooking shrimp get a Cajun spice coating in these blackened shrimp tacos. The combination of smoky-sweet spices pairs beautifully with a creamy avocado mash. To keep prep easy, opt for peeled and deveined shrimp, which are ready to be cooked right out of the package.
Day 5: Speedy Crab Cakes
Speedy Crab Cakes: Most forms of seafood are great options when you need a fast and healthy dinner. Crab is no exception, as you can buy pre-steamed options in the seafood section. For the jumbo lump crab in these crab cakes, look in the prepared products, not on the ice. Make a quick mix of breading and herbs, and sear each patty to golden brown for an incredibly fast but highly impressive dinner. Serve with a green salad dressed with Parsley-Lemon Vinaigrette.
Quick King Ranch Chicken Casserole: The classic comfort food casserole is typically a time-intensive meal, but we've sped it up for weeknight cooking by mixing the ingredients into a skillet, cooking until tender and broiling for a crispy, cheesy crust. For a little extra spice, add a chopped chipotle chile or a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Serve with Steamed Fresh Green Beans.
Cheesy Spinach-&-Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash: Swap carb-heavy pasta for veggie-rich spaghetti squash in these stuffed squash boats. To cut down on time, skip baking and instead steam the squash halves until tender, when they can be easily pulled apart with a fork. This creamy spinach-and-artichoke filling is rich and decadent, but this recipe manages to be fast, filling and not at all a calorie buster.