Quick and Healthy Dinners Ideas

As we head into the fall, it can be easy to slip into a habit of grabbing takeout while running from school and work to practice and games.  But with hectic schedules, your body needs the best fuel possible to keep up with your inevitably long list of demands to deal with on a daily basis.  With this in mind, we’ve collected a few quick and easy recipes that aren’t only healthy but are sure to be a hit with the whole family!

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Divide turkey into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total.
  2. Sprinkle 4 of the patties with 2 tablespoons each of roasted red peppers and cheese, and top with remaining patties working the turkey around the edges to seal burgers closed. Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  3. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

 

Oven-Baked Fish Sticks

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup crushed almonds
  • 1/2 cup crushed bran flakes cereal
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound cod, rinsed and cut into 1-inch by 5-inch pieces
  • Prepared marina sauce, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix the almonds, bran flakes, wheat germ, sea salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and oregano together in a medium bowl. Crack the eggs into a separate small bowl and beat until frothy.
  3. Coat a baking pan with the olive oil. Dip the fish sticks first in the egg mixture, and then into the almond mixture. Place the fish sticks on the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce as a dip.

 

Lightened-Up Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces fusilli or other corkscrew pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup shredded low-fat Swiss cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, basil and/or chives

Directions:

  1. Preheat the broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  2. Add the butter to the empty pot and melt over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and mustard powder and cook, stirring, until the flour begins to toast, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and the reserved cooking water; cook, whisking, until thick, about 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium. Whisk in the sour cream, mozzarella, Swiss cheese and 1 tablespoon parmesan; continue whisking until melted, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the pasta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
  6. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan, the herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Broil until golden and bubbly, about 2 minutes.

 

Oven-Fried Chicken

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 sleeve (about 20) whole-grain salted crackers, pulsed in a food processor until fine (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 1/2 cups corn cereal flakes, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat, plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 medium sized skinless chicken breasts and 4 skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry (about 3 1/2 pounds chicken)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. Combine the crackers and corn cereal crumbs, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Reserve.
  3. In a large bowl, combine egg whites, yogurt, Dijon mustard, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture.
  4. One at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the cracker mixture, packing crumbs onto chicken. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife.

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