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Healthy Dinner Recipes

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With January First just a few short breaths behind us and 2012 still a wee babe in swaddling clothes, many of us are re-evaluating our own health and fitness as well as the health and fitness of our families. To prepare a healthy dinner is to ensure that at least one meal a day is full of wholesome nutritious goodness and that you and your loved ones are going off to sleep with visions of vitamins dancing in your heads.

During the winter months in colder climes, stews, sauces and slow-cooked, tender dishes filled with meat, potatoes and vegetables can be filling, comforting and packed with the nutrition your body craves. Even in warmer areas, these hearty dishes can be lightened up by adding certain seasonings like cilantro or making a colder version like gazpacho.

Being an enormous fan of the "sneak-it-in" school of healthy dinners, I encourage lots of cooking with stewed things and sauces. I live with three men (okay, one is a teenager and one is a ten-year-old, but the male factor prevails!) who would rather eat a gallon of ice cream than a veggie burrito.

It's not a judgement, it's just the truth. So in order for me to make sure that healthy dinner includes the things they love to eat as well as the things they really need to be eating, I sneak things in all the time.

For example: Not one of them has noticed a switch-out from plain, processed white pasta to whole grain or even veggie pasta. When the sauce is good enough, they barely even grunt as they are eating it.

Another example is spinach. This is one of the very best "sneak" vegetables because it reduces to such a small size when steamed, sauteed or baked that you literally cannot even see it, especially if it's mixed in with loads of other ingredients.

Switching out beef for a leaner meat like ground turkey or even ground chicken is not only healthier but also less expensive. Turkey meatloaf, meatballs and even turkey burgers are delicious when seasoned with garlic, onions, salt and pepper or even kick it up a notch and use a marinade for the meat of your choosing prior to cooking.

Remembering little things such as choosing slow-cookers, baking and steaming over frying and even sauteeing, can make a big difference in the amount of saturated fats your family is consuming.

Choosing substitutes that still satisfy -- for example, a healthy dinner of turkey burgers with whole wheat buns, baked sweet potatoe fries or home made baked fries with the skin still on, a side salad and water or skim milk -- is a heck of a better choice than a full-on fried beef burger on a white bread bun with deep-fried french fries, a soda and dessert.

Healthy desserts are possible too -- with maple syrup holding steady as an incredible delight poured over frozen or plain yogurt, with fruit to top it off.


Oven Fries. Eating Well. May/June 1993
Retrieved from the internet on January 2, 2012

How To Substitute Turkey in Common Recipes by Gabriella Soninno Soyouwanna
Retrieved from the internet on January 2, 2012

Aimee Boyle is a regular contributor to EmpowHER
Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

It's not possible to have every meal full of vitamin and low fat, so the best thing is, have proper food at least once in a day. Which keeps you healthy and fit whole day.

Natural skin care

January 4, 2012 - 2:01am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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