Without fail, dinner always seems to be a pain in the rear.
Every single night is the same thing: you can’t think of what you want, you wrestle with what you want to eat vs. what you should eat, and you argue with yourself or others about whether to cook something or simply pick something up and make it easy on yourself for the night.
But dinner doesn’t have to be such a pain. By taking the time to prep meals in advance and using a little brainstorming to think up some simple, easy, but still delicious dinners that can serve as your go-tos, you can simplify dinner time while making things healthier in the process.
Thinking up creative dinner ideas that are simple, healthy, and tasty all at the same time can be tough. But don’t fret as we’ve got you covered with eight amazing meal ideas to make dinner both healthier and easier.
What’s easier than ordering pizza? Tossing a bunch of ingredients in the air and then swiping your knife in random directions to cut it all up. Drop it all on a pan and that’s pretty much what stir-fry is.
Jokes aside, stir-fry is incredibly flexible and makes it very easy to drop in all kinds of veggies, nutrient-dense starches, and proteins together into one dish and still make it taste great without much effort.
The cool thing about stir-fry is you can make it countless different ways, so if you’re ever unsure of what to make just see what you can fry together, preferably including some veggies, healthy fat such as coconut oil, and a protein.
*Time to prepare: 10-15 minutes
2. Tomato and basil pizza
For most of us, pizza is that thing you order when you’re feeling lethargic and can’t even get yourself off the couch, let alone into the kitchen to cook something.
However, with the right toppings, pizza can be far healthier than the delivery variant and just as good too.
For a quick and easy version, purchase some ready-made pizza dough and throw it in the oven. It should take anywhere between ten and fifteen minutes to become golden-brown depending on the strength of your oven.
Once that’s done, crack open a can of tomato-basil sauce, spread it on, and add some sliced tomatoes, basil, goat cheese and olives if you like. Bam, you’re in the pizza business.
*Time to prepare: 15 minutes
3. Veggie and fruit smoothie
Veggie and fruit smoothies are super fast and easy and one of the single healthiest things you could ever consume, with the ability to add all kinds of nutrient-dense foods together while still creating something that tastes great.
You might not like the idea of just consuming a smoothie for dinner, but if you’re either watching your weight or typically work out around dinner time, a smoothie can be the perfect diet and recovery vehicle.
There are all kinds of options here too, some of the more notable veggies including kale, broccoli, cucumber, and carrot and fruit being apples, oranges, grapes, grapefruit, blueberries, and strawberries.
*Time to prepare: 5-10 minutes
4. Breakfast bowl
Bagel Bites told me I could have breakfast for dinner when I was a kid and boy am I glad I listened. Forget scrambled eggs and pancakes, though I do occasionally enjoy a good classic breakfast for dinner.
Instead, you can take that nutrient-rich smoothie– preferably an all-fruit version using something like açaí or or mango– and put it into a bowl, adding your favorite toppings such as blueberries, granola, coconut shavings, bananas, or strawberries.
*Time to prepare: 5-10 minutes
5. Avocado toast
Currently all the rage with the kids, avocado toast is one of the more notable inventions so far of the 21st Century.
Seriously though, we’re not sure why it’s just now become so popular, but it tastes amazing with just about anything else on top including tomato, goat cheese, greens, and pepper, takes no time at all to make, and is both incredibly healthy and filling.
*Time to prepare: 5 minutes
6. Lettuce wrap BLT
BTLs are awesome. Carbs maybe not so much, at least if you’re watching them (sneaky suckers).
If you prefer to skip the bun or sandwich bread, you could try a lettuce wrap BLT (or, as they call it at my local In-N-Out, protein style) by layering a few cut lettuce leaves and dropping in thick slices of tomato, bacon, avocado dressing, and anything else you like such as a hard-boiled egg.
*Time to prepare: 10 minutes (If you use a hard-boiled egg, boil a few in a batch at the beginning of the week which you can use for various dishes throughout the week and shorten this down to five minutes)
7. Batch-cooked roasted veggies
Okay, we’re soft of cheating here, but it’s so worth it.
Preparing a huge batch of veggies can take some time. However, with about an hour of combined chopping and roasting, you can have a weeks worth of veggies for various different dinner ideas.
Some examples of veggies you can roast include:
- Bell peppers
- Sweet potato
Chop them, season them up, toss them in the oven at about 375°F depending on your oven, and watch them sizzle. Store them in the fridge after cooling for the week, take them out and make a bowl or boiling them in a soup.
*Time to prepare: 1 hour for one week worth of veggies
8. Tofu lettuce tacos
Tacos are awesome, so are wraps. These are kind of both of those things.
Fry up some tofu on the stove until it’s cooked to your liking and, while you’re waiting, cut about halfway up the stem on a few lettuce leaves (depending on how many you’re eating).
Once the tofu is done, drop it in the lettuce and bust out some dressing, anything particularly sweet and savory works great here but you could also go with another light dressing, ranch, or whatever is to your liking.
*Time to prepare: 10 minutes