5 Simple, delicious, and healthy meals that taste good
3 Minutes Read
Looking for plant-based recipes and menus that are perfect for weight loss, and also work for a busy family? Check out these healthy meals that taste good and are super easy!
Healthy meals that taste good and can feed the whole family
You need to eat dinner, and you want to eat something that looks like a meal for yourself, and perhaps the whole family. Yes, frozen and prepared meals will do, but they get boring fast and can be expensive. Instead, consider some of these incredibly simple, plant-based recipes that fit the needs for weight loss and good health for the entire family!
Plan ahead tips for dinner
A smart, high-protein snack eaten mid-to-late afternoon, often helps to avoid arriving home starving. Perhaps a small apple and cheese stick or a small handful of nuts can do the trick.
Plan ahead and stock up on staple foods.
Have a menu plan for dinner or keep favorite quick recipes ready. If you have a set of five quick, easy dinners, you'll know what's for dinner every night.
Make it easy. Choose a one-pot meal or a two-item menu, such as chicken plus a green salad.
Try these simple plant-forward main courses as the basis for developing your own variations. All five of them take less than 15 minutes.
1. Protein and a big salad
Enjoy variations of this combo every night! Have fresh salad ingredients ready to go and a lean piece of meat or other protein to saute, broil, or grill.
The protein source can be a small pork chop, chicken breast, salmon steak, fish filet, or a burger made from lean beef, turkey, or bison-another easy variation: scrambled eggs or tofu.
Buy pre washed dark greens, and pre-cut vegetables like carrots, snow peas, broccoli, radishes, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes to fill at least half your plate. The best thing about green salad is you can fill up on a big bowl. If you want to avoid caloric salad dressing, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Heat low-sodium, high-quality chicken or vegetable stock in a stockpot.
Add your choice of fresh or frozen vegetables like squash, peas, green beans, spinach, chard, and sliced or chopped onions, peppers, carrots, or celery.
Add a high-protein food like canned kidney, navy, or pinto beans or leftover cooked meat.
Add canned diced tomatoes, a pinch of dried herbs like basil or thyme, salt, and pepper.
Simmer until the fresh vegetables are cooked.
Top with grated cheese.
3. Wrap or Burrito
Endless combinations for creating healthy, tasty meals!
Load a tortilla of choice with vegetables. Chopped tomatoes, peppers, shredded carrots, scallions, mushrooms, greens, sprouts, cucumbers, and other fresh veggies make great choices.
Include one or two high-protein foods: chicken, shrimp, scrambled egg, grated cheese, feta cheese, tofu chunks, refried beans, canned beans, ground or shredded beef, turkey, or pork will satisfy.
For variety, you can use whole-grain and flavored wraps, or try pita bread.
Season with herbs, salt, and pepper.
Lettuce wraps are a calorie- and carb-saving alternative to tortillas. Pile two large lettuce leaves together and load them with chicken or shrimp and fresh veggies and cilantro. Season with soy sauce and a dash of lime juice for a refreshing, Asian-style wrap.
Stir-fry meals are a one-pot meal variation on meat and salad. Any decent, large frying pan will do; you don't need a wok.
Brush the pan with a small amount of peanut oil or other oil. Remember, one tablespoon of oil has about 120 calories!
Cook bite-size pieces of lean meat, chicken, tofu, or fish. Remove from skillet, and keep warm with a lid.
Add chunky vegetables like onions, broccoli, snow peas, cauliflower, peppers, celery, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, etc. Stir as the vegetables cook. Cook until slightly tender but still crisp.
Season with garlic, reduced-sodium soy sauce, pepper, and a dash of ginger. Other seasoning options include a dash of Asian fish sauce or hot pepper sauce.
5. Vegetable Grilled Cheese
No bread in this recipe means low-carb and low-cal! And if you don't like cheese, try using soft tofu.
Use fresh sliceable vegetables like zucchini, yellow summer squash, eggplant, big fresh tomatoes, Vidalia onions, or apples. Another option: sweet potatoes that are partially softened by baking or boiling. Slice your vegetable(s) of choice into large 1/3 to 1/2 inch slices (the thicker slices are best for watery vegetables like tomatoes; thinner slices for potatoes or onions).
Heat a frying pan on medium heat and brush oil on the bottom.
Put the vegetable slices in the hot pan and brown slightly. Flip over, sprinkle with herbs like dried basil, and top with a bit of grated cheese or tofu crumbles.
Let the cheese melt while the bottom of the vegetable slices browns a bit. Serve hot.
You can also make these into sandwiches by putting vegetable slices on top of the cheese or firm tofu.
These plant-based recipes can simplify your week, encourage weight loss, and can serve as main courses as needed for the whole family!
You can make healthy meals that taste good by using these simple weekly dinner templates. Use your creativity to change up the ingredients for variety. For those family members needing a few more calories, add a whole fruit, whole grain, and milk or milk substitute. Turn your weeknight food decisions into low-stress family dinners with a better chance to stay on track with your weight goals.
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