Three Super Easy, Healthy Dinners


By Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM

Author: Tip-a-Day Guide to Healthy Living

(Deseret Book, 2007)


Three Super Easy, Healthy Dinners

Many of us feel like we have to make something extravagant for dinner… and feeling like “there’s nothing good to cook for dinner” can be the one driving factor that, well, ends up driving us out the door—and to the nearest restaurant. Instead of sabotaging your health, think simple and get back to the basics of healthy eating, even when you’re living life in the fast lane. Let go of the idea of a “perfect dinner” (save those for the nights when you actually have time to cook) and focus on nutrition for you and your family. Adjust your standards to make your priorities be 1) nutrition 2) ease and 3) taste. Here are three downright easy dinners that nourish your body and keep your sanity in tact, try one today:

Dinner Option 1

Whole-wheat tortillas filled with black beans and sprinkled with cheese and salsa; serve with apple slices or fresh berries and a glass of low-fat milk.

Dinner Option 2

Boiled eggs over fresh baby spinach (or greens) topped with tomatoes, green peas (microwave frozen peas for 1 minute to soften), carrots, corn or any vegetables of choice; low-fat salad dressing; fruit and a glass of milk.

Dinner Option 3

Fresh fruit; steamed veggies (or veggies with salad dressing dip); whole-wheat toast with cheese or peanut butter; low-fat milk.

If these dinner options look boring, dull, or simply too basic for you… wait until you see the table below! The superior nutritional power of simple at-home meals is obvious when you compare at-home meals to hitting a drive-thru or ordering take-out.


Bean Tortilla Meal Typical Cheeseburger,
Fries, Cola Meal
Calories 460 1130
Fat 10 46
Saturated 9
(mostly from cheese)
Sodium 1200
(skip cheese & salsa
to cut sodium)
Fiber 13 7
Protein 27 34
Salad & Fruit Meal* Typical 2-Slice Pizza
2-Breadstick Meal
Calories 410 1100
Fat 9 54
3 16
Sodium 380 2300
Fiber 12 6
Protein 40 40
Toast, Fruit & Veggie Meal* Typical Mexican (2
Enchiladas, Beans, Rice)
Calories 410 1260
Fat 9 57
4 19
Sodium 590 2850
Fiber 12 n/a
Protein 40 n/a

*These meals are also higher in vitamins (A, C, D, folate), minerals (iron, calcium, phosphorus) and disease-fighting phytonutrients.

Have a health question for Melanie? Click here to submit your question and Melanie will answer your question on an upcoming Studio 5 segment!

© 2007 Melanie Douglass, Deseret Book

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