Top 10 Healthy Dinner Recipes to Help You Eat Right
In the words of William Makepeace Thackeray, “Dinner was made for eating not for talking”. This suggests we should take time to carefully choose what to include on our dinner menu. Nowadays our lifestyles have become so hectic, we tend to have a natural inclination toward ‘instant gratification’ foods — or at least those which can be delivered within half an hour. Oftentimes we do not feel like cooking or are at a complete loss at what to cook, but we need to remember cooking is an art form and an acquired skill. The more you practice the better you will become at it. However demanding life may be, nothing can match the warmth and healthiness of a good home cooked meal. Dinner is particularly important as it is the last meal of the day before we give our body a break for 8 to 10 hours. This is why dinner should not only be fulfilling but healthy as well so you can wake up energized and feeling refreshed the next day.
Dinner: Why is it necessary?
It is a common practice among many of us to skip dinner particularly if we have gorged on fast food during our evening hours. Always remember that skipping dinner will not help you. Dinner is a necessity for your body. Sometimes you may awaken from a deep slumber in the middle of the night. The hunger cramps you feel are due to your body craving for food when its sugar level drops. Eating at this point in time is not particularly a healthy practice. Rather, it would have been better if you would have had something light yet healthy and nutritious for your dinner. For example, a protein rich dinner in the form of meat, eggs, lentils and carbohydrates which can be consumed in the form of vegetables, fruits, rice, soup or pasta.
There are many other healthy dinner ideas which you can include in your dinner recipes.
Top 10 Healthy Dinner Recipes
1. Baked Salmon with Spinach, Tomatoes and Mushrooms
When a dish is baked, its ingredients consume less oil. Ingredients should be fully cooked without getting burned or dripping with oil. Baking locks the goodness of the ingredients within the food therefore keeping it healthy. Baked salmon with spinach, tomatoes and mushroom is a healthy dinner as it combines protein (the fish) and vegetables together. Spinach and salmon is a good combination and a great source of Vitamin A. Also, Salmon is known to contain small proteins named bioactive peptides which helps maintain good bone density. Spinach is a good source of Vitamin C and fiber. Mushrooms are low-calorie and a good source of B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin and other essential minerals.
Salmon with Spinach, Tomatoes and Mushrooms Benefits :
- This dish is a good source of vitamin A per serving. Vitamin A is essential for growth and development and maintaining a good immune system and vision.
- Salmon is a good source of a particular protein called calcitonin which helps to improve bone density and strength. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin D and helps protect your eyes.
- Spinach is a source for vital nutrients like beta-carotene and iron. It is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C helps heal wounds, protects cells and keeps them healthy and is required to maintain a healthy connective tissue to support other tissue and organs.
- Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene which makes it a powerful antioxidant. Plus a good source of potassium required for the kidney, heart and other organs to work normally.
- Vitamin B in mushrooms is essential for cell metabolism.
2. Braised Chicken with Spinach and Lentils
Braised Chicken with spinach and lentils makes for a healthy meat-free alternative. Cooked in olive oil, the other ingredients used in this dish include celery leaves, spinach leaves and lentils. This dish is low in fat and high in protein and fiber. The dish is a bowlful of ingredients that are a treat for the taste buds.
Braised Chicken with Spinach and Lentils Benefits :
- Good source of carbohydrates and sodium.
- Lentils are a high source of fiber and can help to reduce blood cholesterol. Being rich in magnesium and Folate, lentils are good for a healthy heart. Lentils can also help stabilize blood sugar.
- Lentils contain the third highest levels of protein.
- Olive oil is good for the skin as it helps cure acne, reduces cholesterol levels, makes the arteries elastic and protects red blood cells.
- Celery is a good source of antioxidants like Vitamin C and flavonoids.
3. Caesar Salad with Tuna
This leafy and healthy salad recipe brings together the goodness of tuna and other vegetables. As an added benefit you can include eggs, lettuce and parmesan cheese which all blends together well to give a flavored dish which is rich in Vitamin C, fiber, sodium, calcium, potassium, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, carotenoids. Lemon juice adds a tang to the salad which gives it a zesty flavor.
Caesar Salad with Tuna Benefits:
- Calcium is required for good bone health.
- High in calcium and iron, which make our bones healthy.
- Potassium helps release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during the metabolic process. It also maintains the electrolyte balance in the blood cells and helps manage blood pressure.
- Green leafy vegetables in the salad are a great source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for the immune system, good vision and working of other organs.
- Folic Acid aids in rapid cell division and growth.
- Fiber reduces cholesterol levels and keeps your blood sugar steady.
4. Baked Fish and Vegetables
You can use any fish that is your favorite but the one used in this recipe is Ling. This dish is low fat and supplies protein, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar and important dietary fiber. You can use all the seasonal vegetables but do not forget to use the necessary ingredients that consists red onions, black olives, tomatoes, parsley and zucchinis. Parsley, the fresh Mediterranean herb adds a dash of color and freshness to the palate. Plus it is rich source of Vitamin C, B12, K and A. Being baked, the dish has less oil content which is a plus.
Baked Fish and Vegetables Benefits:
- Olives and olive oil contain an abundance of phenolic antioxidants as well as anti-cancer compounds like squalene and terpenoid.
- Helps reduce pain of chronic inflammatory diseases.
- Olive oil is a good source of Iron which is required for formation of hemoglobin, carries oxygen from one body cell to other, supplies oxygen to blood thereby maintaining normal brain functions.
- Parsley is a good source of Vitamin C, K and A. Vitamin A promotes good eyesight. It also helps to flush excess fluid from the body. It is also good for bones, nervous system and provides relief from joint pain.
- Zucchinis are a good source of Manganese. Manganese helps the body metabolize protein. Vitamin A and C serve the body as effective antioxidants. Zucchinis also aid in digestion and help to maintain low blood sugar.
5. Fresh Spring Garden Potato Salad
Nothing matches the health benefits of a luscious spring garden potato salad. Salads are an important part of everyday dinner menu. When you are full and do not feel like having either meat or fish for dinner, you can satiate your hunger with a bowl of this delicious garden potato salad. This salad is low on fat and rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and sodium.
Fresh Spring Garden Potato Salad Benefits:
- High in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Also a good source of Potassium, Iron and Copper.
- Cucumbers are a good source of Vitamin B and help rehydrate your body. Cucumbers are also good for diabetic patients, reduce cholesterol and help with weight loss.
- Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted in the liver to Vitamin A. Beta carotene protects against muscular degeneration. Carrots are also known to prevent infections.
- White vinegar adds a zest to the salad and helps in absorption of essential minerals.
- Grapes are a wonderful source of Manganese, Iron and Copper which is important for increasing bone strength. Grapes prevent fatigue and migraines, and also have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties.
6. Creamy Rice with Spinach and Chicken
At one look this dish will appear to be a riot of colors. There are pieces of tender chicken breasts, goodness of brown rice, green leafiness of spinach and the creamy consistency of creamed and parmesan cheese. Every spoonful of this dish will melt in your mouth and all the individual tastes mingle together to make this a wholesome dish rich in Vitamin A and C, Iron, Sodium, Protein and Calcium.
Creamy Rice with Spinach and Chicken Benefits
- Baby Spinach is very rich in Vitamin A, C and K. Vitamin K is needed for normal blood clotting, Vitamin A promotes good eyesight and Vitamin C can help boost your immune system.
- Brown rice is rich in Selenium and high in Manganese. It is also high in fiber which prevents colon cancer.
- Chicken is a source of lean, low fat protein which helps in weight loss. It also has fewer calories than other meats.
- Apart from adding a salty and nutty flavor to the dish, parmesan is a good source of bone building minerals like phosphorous and calcium.
- Iron aids in hemoglobin formation, promotes muscle health, regulates body temperature and is a good cure for anemia which is an iron deficiency disease.
7. Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Vegetables
Pasta, shrimp and vegetables makes for a great combination and the flavor is increased by using a Middle Eastern inspired yogurt sauce. The addition of asparagus peas and fresh parsley takes the dish to a new level. Combining all these elements which promises to supply Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron and Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, this is an altogether different way of preparing and enjoying pasta.
Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Vegetables Benefits:
- Shrimp is a good source of Vitamin D which regulates the absorption of phosphorous and calcium. It is also an excellent source of Selenium and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
- Whole wheat pasta is a good source of whole grains which include carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium. The B vitamins help to speed up the body’s metabolism.
- Asparagus contains a high level of amino acids asparagine which acts as a natural diuretic. Asparagus is also packed with antioxidants and works well with Vitamin B12 found in fish.
- Peas are rich in Vitamin K. The B vitamins help prevent osteoporosis.
- Overall this dish offers a good source of Vitamin A, C, K and E. Vitamin E.
8. Chicken in Spinach Soup and Fresh Pesto
A bowl of hot and steaming soup is bound to lift up spirits anytime. It is one of the best light dinner recipes that you can prepare within half an hour. This Italian flavored soup brings together all the ingredients that have a less cooking time like chicken, spinach and beans. The fresh pesto adds the fresh herb flavor.
Chicken in Spinach Soup and Fresh Pesto Benefits:
- This dish provides Protein, Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin A and C and Fiber.
- Chicken breasts are good source of Vitamin E, B6 and B12.
- Cannellini beans are a great source for antioxidants which can help reduce weight while providing energy for long hours.
- Basil helps in maintaining cholesterol and contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and Vitamin A.
- Bell peppers are rich in Vitamin A and C apart from Vitamin E which is good for hair and skin, and are also a good source of Vitamin B6 which is essential for nervous system and cell renewal.
9. Spaghetti with Spinach and Green Beans
An easy to make recipe you can conjure up with little effort. This traditional Italian pasta recipe brings together healthy ingredients like green beans, pasta and spinach. Light yet full of flavor, this is a comforting dish and can be enjoyed well with a fresh salad. When served, it will not only tempt your appetite but leave you feeling filled and satisfied. This dish is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium.
Spaghetti with Spinach and Green Beans Benefits:
- Magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium by the body. It also regulates blood pressure and helps to prevent osteoporosis.
- Vitamin A promotes good eyesight.
- Green Beans are low in calories but rich in dietary fiber, calcium, Iron, beta carotene and Vitamin A.
- Vitamin C helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
- Iron intakes help to cure anemia.
10. Chile Lime Veggie Noodles
Noodles are an all-time favorite among all ages, not only because they are an easy to quick dish which also demands less time but also because noodles can be made healthy and wholesome by adding lots of ingredients. Tossed with multi-colored vegetables including bell peppers, mushrooms and eggs, this dish will bring lots of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, Iron, Zinc and Potassium to your plate while not making you feel stuffed. Noodles are also light on the stomach and easy to digest. A bowl of veggie noodles can turn out to be a great bowl of happiness.
Chile Lime Veggie Noodles Benefits :
- Eggs are an excellent source of protein. The yolk is also a rich source of Vitamin A, Phosphorous, Lecithin, Calcium and B vitamins.
- Bell peppers are rich in Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.
- Most green and yellow colored vegetables are rich in magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
- Zinc helps to improve cardiovascular health and helps prevent diabetes. It also cures depression and boosts brain function.
- Mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D and Iron.