8 Healthy Dinner Ideas
October 28th, 2016 by Lauren Tharp
Last week, we gave you a list of substitutions you could make to create healthier lunches. This week, we’re taking on dinner!
You can use a lot of last week’s suggestions in regard to healthier lunchtime meals when it comes to cooking healthier dinners (lunch and dinner aren’t that different from one another, let’s be honest); however, here are eight more ideas to change up your normal routine in a nutritious manner.
Instead of using white or wheat flour pastas, try using a vegetable-based pasta. Spinach pastas taste great and spinach has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K; and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium, and potassium.
Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous and health-conscious, try using thin strips of zucchini as a stand in for carb-packed pastas. Just sauté them for a few minutes until they’re soft.
Actually, let’s just get this out of the way here: More vegetables, in general, is a good idea.
Use butter. We aren’t kidding. In moderation, butter is better for you than most oils on the market – and way healthier for you than margarine. Plus, it tastes great!
However, if you’re just looking for a way to grease your pan in order for your food not to stick, you could also try non-stick cooking sprays (just be careful not to breathe them in when you spray!); or, better yet, invest in a truly non-stick pan.
We love ourselves some potatoes, but they can be kinda carb heavy, especially for the end of the day when you’re probably not going to use the energy they give you (which will, in turn, cause them to get “stored” in your body as fat).
Try using turnip mash or steamed cauliflowers as stand-ins for potatoes. This works especially well if you mash them and use them as substitutes for mashed potatoes.
Try using pita or wraps instead of traditional “loaf” bread. One pita slice/pocket typically runs around 80 calories and only one gram of fat. Two slices of whole wheat bread typically comes in at around 138 calories!
You can also use lettuce as a substitute for bread in some cases. Those of you who are familiar with In-and-Out Burger will know this as “protein style.” 😉
Corn tortillas have half the calories and less than half the fat of flour tortillas. I think we’ve made our point.
Try boiling your own beans. Dried beans are not only cheaper, but they don’t have the excessive amounts of sodium and preservatives that canned beans have. You’ll be giving up a little convenience, sure, but it’s worth it in the end. (Pro tip: Soak your beans overnight so they’ll be ready for you to boil the next day!).
Red meat is fine in moderation – we’re not going to come between you and the occasional steak! However, when possible, opt for chicken.
Wondering if you should go for the white or the dark meat? Go for the white. It has fewer calories, higher protein, less fat, and more iron. Just make sure whichever meat you choose is skinless.
Just kidding. We wouldn’t do that to you.
Try eating yogurt with fruit. Or, you can create a delicious banana “ice-cream” by freezing some peeled bananas and then pureeing them. Or, you could have the best of both worlds and eat some frozen yogurt with banana slices on top. Yum!
So, what are you waiting for? Get cooking! 😀