Everyone knows that healthy eating is ideal, but a lot of wholesome dishes are labor-intensive. Luckily, healthy doesn’t have to mean elaborate. Next time you feel like you won’t be able to make it a full seven days without visiting the drive-thru, try one (or all) of these healthy meals that take around 30 minutes each to prepare and cook. It may seem impossible, but when you have a week’s worth of healthy recipes at your disposal, there’s no reason why you and your family can’t try eating healthily.
Monday: Baked Dill Tilapia
Not only is tilapia a great source of protein, but it also cooks quickly and absorbs other flavors easily. In short, it’s the perfect choice when you need a healthy meal without a lot of hassle. Just preheat your oven to 350°F and place the tilapia filets on a baking sheet. Brush a dab of extra virgin olive oil over each filet and season with dried dill, salt, pepper, and oregano (add a squeeze of lemon for good measure, if you want). Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, usually about 10-12 minutes.
Tuesday: Chicken Vegetable Wraps
All you need for this recipe is a chicken breast, some whole-grain wraps, and any flavorful veggies you happen to have a hankering for (onion and zucchini work well). If you want to save time without sacrificing any flavor, check to see if your grocery store offers pre-marinaded varieties of chicken breast. If they don’t, a little salt and pepper should do fine. Just chop the veggies up, slice the chicken into bite-sized strips and sauté everything with a little extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until the chicken isn’t pink in the middle. When it’s ready, place the chicken and veggies into the center of your wrap, roll, and enjoy.
Wednesday: Spinach Salad with Lemon and Orzo
This refreshing salad can be done in just a little more than the time it takes to cook pasta. Grab a box of whole wheat orzo from your grocer’s pasta aisle (orzo is a tiny, raindrop shaped pasta). You’ll also need a lemon, some extra virgin olive oil, a bag of spinach, and some feta cheese. Prepare the orzo according to package directions, then toss it in a bowl with the fresh spinach, the juice of the lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and ¼ cup of the feta cheese.
Thursday: Fish Tacos
Got any tilapia filets leftover from Monday night? Just add a few fixings and you’ve got a delicious option for a healthy taco Thursday. All you need is a package of taco seasoning, any fixings you want, and taco shells or tortillas. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the tilapia filets and cook until flaky. Break them apart with a spatula and then stir in the taco seasoning (add it little by little to avoid over seasoning). Once the fish is cooked through (if it’s flaky, it’s ready), just spoon it into your shells, top with any fixings you desire, and chow down.
Friday: Quinoa Vegetable Stir Fry
Quinoa has a consistency close to rice or couscous, but it’s packed with nutrients like magnesium. To cook, bring one cup of quinoa and two cups of water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. While everything’s simmering, heat a frying pan or wok over medium heat. Toss in any veggies you have on hand and add the quinoa when it’s ready. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Saturday: Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
In the mood for something with a little substance? Brush some olive oil over a whole Portobello mushroom, season with garlic salt, oregano, and basil, and toss it onto a frying pan over medium heat. Grill for a few minutes on one side, then flip the mushroom over. When it’s ready, you can either eat it as-is or put it on a whole wheat bun with some fresh tomatoes for a healthy take on a Saturday night burger.
Sunday: Quick and Crispy Pizza
If you’ve got some tortillas leftover from fish taco night, then you’re half way to a healthy, homemade pizza. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Top the tortillas with some fresh sliced tomatoes, then add any other toppings you like (maybe some spinach, mushrooms, or low-fat mozzarella). Put your pizza on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy (about 5-7 minutes; be careful not to let it burn!)
When your meal takes between half an hour and forty-five minutes, there’s no reason to opt for a drive-thru dinner. And after you’ve had a whole week of quick, healthy, and delicious meals, you’ll probably never want to go back to anything else.