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Struggling with What to Eat Tonight? Here are 20 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes For You To Choose!

Struggling with What to Eat Tonight? Here are 20 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes For You To Choose!

You are a corporate workhorse. Your boss loves you for that. Your paycheque says it all. Life, as you know it, is good.

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. The other side of the story is you always head home with a tired body, exhausted brain, and a hungry stomach. Some nights you would go straight to your favorite fast food joint and get what seems to be your perpetual go-to meal. The question is, are you sure you are eating real, healthy food and not artificial junk masquerading as one?

On other days, you try to muster up all the skills you need to prepare yourself a decent meal–using whatever’s left of your weekly supply. You’re lucky if you happen to have whole grain noodles, fresh tomatoes, and parmesan. Otherwise, grilled skinless chicken breasts would also make a nice, healthy treat. In both instances, you feel a quick sigh of relief, a refreshing break from your rather stale, unhealthy diet.

You don’t need to force yourself to eat food that only does your body more harm than good. It only takes a few minutes to whip up something that will not only satisfy your palate but will also boost your energy for the next day

Here are 20 quick and healthy dinner recipes you can enjoy all without breaking a sweat.

1. Easy, Healthy Meat Sauce

    When you get both nutrition and gastronomic indulgence, you know it’s something you need to try. This easy marinara recipe makes use of fresh vegetables, ground sirloin, and jarred marinara sauce–no need to do the sauce from scratch! If you’re preparing a week-long meal plan, this recipe is recommended as it has a shelf life of five days and can be kept in mason jars.

    • Total prep and cook time: 30-35 minutes
    • Health factor: Ground sirloin is the leanest cut of meat–that’s fatless protein for you!

    2. White Bean and Tuna Quesadillas with Cherry Tomato Pico

      White beans have a mellow, blunt taste to them which means you can mix them in whatever sauce or broth you have. This tuna quesadilla recipe takes its taste from fresh cherry tomato pico, making it a savory meal you can have any time of the day.

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      • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
      • Health factor: Beans are known to score low on the glycemic index. This helps reduce your risk of heart diseases and diabetes.

      3. Sardines Tossed in Marinara With Coconut oil

        Can’t get enough of marinara? Partner it with coconut oil to make a succulent base for this super quick sardine meal.

        • Total prep and cook time: 1 minute
        • Health factor: Aside from tuna, sardines are known to be one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids which lower chances of heart diseases

        4. Green Salad With Lemon Dressing

          The lemon’s tangy taste cuts through the fresh, earthy texture of vegetables ultimately providing you with a satisfying multi-sensory experience.

          • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
          • Health factor: Keeping a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and improve digestion.

          5. Salmon Avocado Poke Bowls

            This simple Hawaiian dish offers a nice balance between the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of fresh salmon and the creamy, smooth taste of avocado. Add to this the filling quality of rice and you’ll surely have a full meal, hook, line, and sinker.

            • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
            • Health factor: Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats.

            6. Sheet Pan Teriyaki Chicken and Roast Broccoli

              A healthy and deliciously satisfying meal in a single sheet pan. This improved and simplified version of everyone’s favorite chicken recipe, cuts down on prep and cook time while keeping the delectable taste of the meal we’ve all grown to love.

              • Total prep and cook time: 40 minutes
              • Health factor: Did you know that chicken meat is a natural antidepressant? Keep your happy hormones afloat even after a challenging day at the office with this easy-to-prepare meal.

              7. Green Eggs and Ham Frittata

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                This version of the popular egg dish offers a generous load of spinach, leeks, and dill. The meal also highlights the sweet taste of ham and the piquant texture of cheese.

                • Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
                • Health factor: This pantry staple is packed with vitamins and minerals and is rich in protein, amino acids, and healthy fats.

                8. Baked Chicken Fingers With Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

                  This delicious chicken meal, that doubles as a snack, is an ideal recipe for people who are on the go. Pop the breaded chicken in the oven, prepare your dipping sauce, add in some greens, and it’s done!

                  • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
                  • Health factor: Baking the chicken instead of frying gives you all the flavors without the guilt.

                  9. Easy Salmon and Potato Foil Packets

                    No need to have advanced cooking skills to put this delicious meal together. This dish has the zesty, refreshing flavors of orange and lemon and infuses it into the tender and flaky meat of salmon.

                    • Total prep and cook time: 25-30 minutes
                    • Health factor: The combination of salmon and potato in this meal makes it great for the bones and heart.

                    10. Asian Prawn and Quinoa Salad

                      Fresh salad recipes always do the trick. If you’re looking for a meal that is packed with flavours without compromising on nutritional value, this delightful concoction is perfect for you.

                      • Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
                      • Health factor: Quinoa, often called as the “wonder grain” is loaded with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. It is also popularly known to be a healthier alternative to carbohydrates.

                      11. Chicken Curry in a Hurry

                        This simpler take on everyone’s favorite Indian meal uses rotisserie chicken, cutting your cooking time in half. It also contains Greek yogurt which adds an interesting dimension to its already flavorful taste profile.

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                        • Total prep and cook time: 45 minutes
                        • Health factor: Yogurt is known to help address certain gastrointestinal conditions such as lactose intolerance, constipation, and diarrhea.

                        12. Tomato Chickpea Salad

                          This hearty and easy-to-prepare meal marries the sublime taste of chickpeas and the invigorating quality of tomatoes. It also offers a generous serving of fresh ingredients such as parsley, cucumber, and green onions—a sure burst of flavors in the mouth!

                          • Total prep and cook time: 10 minutes
                          • Health factor: Tomatoes help maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

                          13. Roasted Cucumbers With Cream and Horseradish

                            Partner your favorite meat recipes with this dolled up cucumber-based meal. Cooked with butter and cream and accompanied with horseradish, lemon zest, and dill, this sumptuous side dish also makes a great, filling meal all on its own.

                            • Total prep and cook time: 35 minutes
                            • Health factor: Cucumber helps fight body inflammation with its cooling properties.

                            14. Quick Chicken Fettuccine

                              Want to treat yourself to an easy yet satisfying dish? This quick chicken fettuccine meal contains all the flavors you need to happily cap off your frantic day at work.

                              • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
                              • Health factor: This fettuccine and chicken combo is a goud source of protein.

                              15. Steamed Mussels With Tomato and Chorizo Broth

                                The refreshing taste of the sea in the mouth is a perfect way to shoo away all the exhaustion you’ve drawn in during the day. This one-pot broth-based meal is easy to prepare and yields a savory delight.

                                • Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
                                • Health factor: Mussels are dense in nutrients and are believed to be the best seafood since they are farmed using environmentally-friendly methods.

                                16. Easy Garlic Kale

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                                  Packed with a wide variety of healthful compounds and minerals, this super meal transforms your dull dining into a unique appetizing experience.

                                  • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
                                  • Health factor: Enjoy kale’s vitamin-rich flavor profile as well as garlic’s pungent nutritional composition.

                                  17. Gyudon (Japanese Simmered Beef and Rice Bowls)

                                    Not even your busy schedule can stop you from enjoying this one-pot Japanese treat. This quick, savory meal will surely give all the after-work comfort that you deserve.

                                    • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
                                    • Health factor: Enjoy a hearty meal that comes with a good protein boost.

                                    18. Healthy Pork Lettuce Wraps

                                      Super simple and easy to prepare, this delicious wrap recipe is a healthy alternative to your usual heavy meat-based meal. The crunchy texture of lettuce and the savory taste of pork will surely bring joy to your taste buds.

                                      • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
                                      • Health factor: Lettuce is a healthier alternative to rice or bread—equally filling minus the carbs.

                                      19. 15-minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

                                        The richness of coconut milk, pungent spice of curry paste, and the tasty slivers of chicken breasts make this easy to prepare noodle soup a perfect evening meal.

                                        • Total prep and cook time: 15 minutes
                                        • Health factor: Soups are generally made up of liquid contents and they fill you up without all the unnecessary calories.

                                        20. Smoky Citrus Shrimp With Parsley

                                          This easy to prepare meal comes with oodles of flavors that burst in your mouth sending you straight to a unique and satisfying gastronomic adventure.

                                          • Total prep and cook time: 40 minutes
                                          • Health factor: Shrimps are known to be low in calories and high in protein.

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                                          Jane Dizon

                                          Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

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                                          Last Updated on October 5, 2020

                                          Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                          Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                          Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

                                          I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

                                          This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

                                          What Is Intermittent Fasting?

                                          As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

                                          While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

                                          The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

                                          Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

                                          Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

                                          The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

                                          It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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                                          My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

                                          You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

                                          Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

                                          1. Drink Plenty of Water

                                          Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

                                          2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

                                          The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

                                          3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

                                          One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

                                          4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

                                          The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

                                          To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

                                          5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

                                          While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

                                          Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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                                          You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

                                          How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

                                          Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

                                          This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

                                          Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

                                          Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

                                          The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

                                          Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

                                          Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

                                          One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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                                          This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

                                          Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

                                          Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

                                          Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

                                          Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

                                          How Much Weight Will I Lose?

                                          The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

                                          While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

                                          Can I Work out While Fasting?

                                          Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

                                          The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

                                          Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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                                          Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

                                          First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

                                          Is Fasting Safe?

                                          As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

                                          I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

                                          Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

                                          As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

                                          I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

                                          For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

                                          Conclusion

                                          Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

                                          If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

                                          More About Intermittent Fasting

                                          Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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