As much as we love salads, there comes a point in the year when a cool, crisp dinner just isn't satisfying. However, when salad is forced off the menu in favor of warmer, heartier dishes, it suddenly presents a problem: how do you cook healthy dinners that are still satisfying?
It turns out that it's not as big of a challenge to make healthy recipes as I presumed. All you need to do is to identify the flavors you like, find a few healthy dinner recipes, and practice.
To cut down on your time sifting through recipe archives or spending hours on pinterest, here are 12 healthy dinners that will be welcome on the table any night.
1. Crispy Black Bean and Feta Tacos
Crispy corn tortillas folded around a protein-filled helping of black beans and feta cheese is a recipe for a successful quick dinner. Add a pinch of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime and it's like having dinner out.
2. Spring Vegetable Potstickers
Dumplings are undeniably a year round treat, But often you don't want the same combination of squishy peas, carrots, and mushrooms, or the even worse questionable pork filling.
So, in an effort to keep things fresh, here is an elegant interpretation of potstickers filled with chopped asparagus, mellow nutty favas, and sweet little peas.
3. Tomato, Basil, and Balsamic Chicken
Who doesn't want familiar flavors served up in an inspiring way? Thankfully, this easy recipe of chicken breasts topped with tomatoes, onions, and basil does just that.
You can always serve this as a pasta dish as well, using whole-wheat spaghetti or even angel hair pasta.
4. Honey Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin
It could be a holiday main dish or it could be a healthy weeknight dinner. Don't you love when a dinner recipe is that flexible?
This pork tenderloin is roasted with simple ingredients, making this elegant meal a snap to put together.
5. Chicken Enchilada Casserole
With four ingredients and five minutes of prep time, you might find yourself making this easy dinner a lot more often than you anticipated. Plus, this recipe allows you to take advantage of shortcuts by using rotisserie chicken or last night's roasted chicken.
This is a sure bet for your heathy weeknight dinner conundrum.
6. Slow Cooker Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Slow Cooker recipes are some of our favorites! Hearty and flavorful, this set-it-and-forget-it recipe and is great for making healthy meals that are as restorative as they are satisfying.
Make a double batch of this slow cooker soup to bring as a healthy lunch the next day.
7. Tilapia and Quinoa with Feta and Cucumber
Protein keeps you full longer, and this recipe has a genius combination of quick-release animal protein paired with slow-burn, plant-based protein from quinoa.
You won't even want that late-night snack after this dinner filled with fresh flavors.
8. Paleo Shrimp and Avocado Salad
For this recipe, you only need four ingredients and five minutes to make yourself a supercharged meal that will help get you through even the longest days.
Use fresh (not frozen) shrimp to get the fresh flavor you desire.
9. Turkey Chili
What do you do with all that Thanksgiving turkey? You make it into chili of course! With an unbeatable texture and lots of spice, including chili powder, you're going to wish that this was Thanksgiving dinner.
10. Kickin' Cajun Chicken and Rice
Chicken and rice is an economical and comforting dish but it can also get really boring fast. Kick things up a notch and add some bell peppers and spice to jazz up an otherwise ubiquitous weeknight meal.
Healthy recipe tip: use brown rice in this recipe to up your whole grain intake.
11. Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew
If you've never had Ethiopian food, get ready to be blown away.
Of course, this is an interpreted version of a traditional dish, but with bright veggies and hearty potatoes simmered in creamy sauce of berbere-spiced red lentils, you won't be complaining about the creative license used for this dish.
12. Garlicky Shrimp
Don't be shocked when you see that this recipe uses 10 cloves of garlic. Yes, ten. Somehow that many cloves just magically blends with the briny shrimp to create a pleasant medley of flavors.