You’ve had a long day meeting a deadline or trying to get on top of your to-do list, and the last thing you want to do is cook a massive time-consuming meal. But you probably don’t want to just always revert to takeaways either. If you’re looking for some quick, easy and healthy dinner ideas you can whip up ASAP, you’ve come to the right place. These meal options can be made in a flash and tick all those nutrition boxes.
1. Use your slow cooker
If you know you’re going to be working late, you can prep ahead. Allow us to introduce you to your new best friend, the slow cooker! If you don’t have one already, there are many affordable options out there, and they are truly worth their weight in gold. A slow cooker has the ability to turn even the simplest recipe into an extremely flavourful meal. Throw everything together in the morning (or even the night before) and you will come home from work to the reward of a fully-cooked meal. Mix and match your protein sources with different combinations of veggies, herbs and spices depending on what you feel like. The options are endless! We especially love bean chilli con carne, lamb shoulder, shredded chicken, all the soups, Asian-style pork and Thai fish curry.
2. Plenty of pasta
Pasta dishes are super simply to prepare at the end of the day, and if you have a family to feed they’re always a crowd-pleaser. Opt for wholemeal pasta for added fibre and nutritional content, and don’t forget to add a good source of protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Plus that pop of colour from your veggies will pack in even more of the good stuff. Some ideas that work well are pesto pasta with chicken and spinach, tuna pasta with peas and tomatoes, salmon pasta with asparagus and lemon, and spaghetti with lentil Bolognese.
3. Fuss-free frittatas
They’re exactly that, fuss-free! Plus, they’re the best way to use up all the random bits, bobs and leftovers that may have been accumulating in your fridge over the past couple of days. They’re so quick and simple that you can get everything ready in a matter of minutes and just put it into the oven. Voila! A frittata also makes for excellent leftovers the next day for brekkie or lunch. Yum! There are just so many reasons this is one of our best healthy dinner ideas.
4. Simple salads
Salads are another nutritious minimal-effort dinner that is a must on a busy schedule. They can be as simple as you need them to be, or you can get creative depending on how much time and energy you have. To make sure your salad is fully nutritionally complete, make sure you include all of the following elements:
- Colour (spinach, rocket, lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot, carrots)
- Quality protein (lentils, beans, eggs, poultry, fish, seafood, lean meat, tofu)
- Nutritious carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, freekeh, bulgar wheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes
- Healthy fats (avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil)
- Something tasty (hummus, guacamole, feta, halloumi, sun-dried tomatoes)
5. Easy oven bakes
Reduce the number of dishes you need to wash after dinner with simple one-tray oven bakes. For nutrition minus the fuss, think butterflied chicken, herbed salmon, Shakshuka… there are so many options! A quick Google search will find you anything, no matter what you’re craving. Add all your ingredients to your tray, and bake! It’s our best idea for a perfect weeknight dinner after a long day.
Make sure you’re always prepared by working to build a kitchen well-stocked with healthy staples, so you will always have something wholesome to eat when you can’t (or don’t want to) get to the shops. And don’t forget to follow us on Linkedin so that you never miss out on workday nutrition information that could change the game.