Creating healthy dinners can be a struggle. It can be so much easier to rely on take out, prepared and processed foods. Unfortunately, if it comes in a package that promises to cook quickly, it typically means the food contains chemicals and ingredients that are unhealthy. Most people think it takes a long time to cook something healthy. But it really doesn't.
Organic fresh or frozen vegetables do not need a lot of time to cook. In fact, most can be cooked in just 5 to 7 minutes. Eating vegetables that are cooked yet still crisp allows the vegetables to retain their nutrients. If you overcook vegetables, they lose some levels of nutrients.
Frozen vegetables won't be crisp when cooked but are great for recipes that use a sauce. Stir-fry's, pasta with vegetables and basil pesto or tomato sauces work really well with frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables can also be cheaper than fresh vegetables making them an economical choice for a family.
There are some people who need to eat soft vegetables due to health conditions, such as poor digestion and reduced stomach acid. Frozen vegetables work well since they are naturally softer when cooked. However, these symptoms can be a sign that some other health issue is happening. Our bodies tell us through symptoms when something is wrong. It is important we listen to them.
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Discovering the root cause and how to get healthy can be confusing and hard. I am here to help!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal your symptoms so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Focus at work
✅Have more energy
✅Stop running to the bathroom
✅Workout without fear of an accident or farting
✅Restore your confidence
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
When you suffer from symptoms that make food the enemy, it is time to start looking at what foods you are eating and how it is cooked. If you need to eat well cooked vegetables, drinking fresh vegetable juices can help provide powerful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that may be lost when cooking vegetables.
Unfortunately, the down side of vegetable juices are they lack fiber. If you are drinking juices once a day and consuming well cooked vegetables throughout the day, you will be able to get much needed fiber into your day. Did you know adults should have between 8 to 12 grams of fiber at every meal? Most adults do not get enough fiber at every meal.
An easy way to get more fiber into your day is to start eating a plant based diet. What is a plant based diet? It is one where meat, chicken, fish and pork are not the focus of any meal. Instead, vegetables, whole grains and fruits are the main part of the meal.
It doesn't mean you are vegetarian or vegan when you eat plant based. It is simply a decision to not eat so many animal products. Some people even take it a step further and eliminate meat, chicken, fish and pork a couple of days a week.
I started eating a mostly plant based diet many years ago. As I was learning how to reduce how much meat I ate in a day, my husband agreed to eat one meatless dinner per week. This is a very big deal because he is a meat and potatoes type of guy.
I now eat plant based at least 4 days a week. That means I don't eat any animal products during those days. It has changed my life and my health. The nice thing is that my husband has agreed to eating two dinners per week without meat! I am so proud of him.
Studies have shown that eating meat and processed meat regularly has negative health benefits. A 2014 study from the American Heart Association showed that men ages 45 to 79 who ate 75 grams or more per day of processed red meat, like cold cuts, sausage, bacon, and hot dogs, had a 28% higher risk of heart failure compared with men who ate less than 25 grams. (Source: Harvard Health)
It makes me really happy that my husband is taking steps to reduce how much meat he eats daily. It is so much better for his health. If you would like to learn how to start eating a plant based diet, check out my blog post on the topic: Plant Based For Beginners Made Simple And Easy.
Even if you aren't going plant based, the healthy dinner recipes below include a couple of easy vegetable only dinners to try. You never know what you might like to eat until you try!
Skillet Sausage and White Beans with Spinach From Valerie's Kitchen. I love this recipe because the sausage used can be really healthy. For example, Applegate Farms sells a sweet Italian chicken sausage that is Non-GMO Project verified. Using this type of sausage in this recipe helps increase the meals health factor. Click here for the recipe.
20 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp from Sally's Baking Addiction. Did you know shrimp is healthier than eggs? Most people think that because of the cholesterol content of shrimp they shouldn't eat it. Not true! There was a study done that while the "bad" cholesterol rose by 7% in people who were eating a diet based on shrimp, the "good" cholesterol rose by 12%. Compared that to an egg diet, the "bad" cholesterol rose 10% and the "good" cholesterol rose by 7%. Seems like shrimp is a better choice! Click here for the recipe.
Creamy Cherry Tomato & Summer Squash Pasta from Cookie & Kate. This is a very timely recipe given my garden is producing squash like crazy! I have cherry tomatoes growing as well but they won't be ready until later this summer. Cooking the tomatoes makes them even more nutritious. Tomatoes are known for their lycopene content. When they are cooked, the lycopene activity is even greater then if they were eaten raw. Lycopene is known for it's ability to help prevent heart disease. Click here for the recipe.
Garlic Roasted Pork Chops from A Sweet Pea Chef. We love garlic in my household. It is so good for you and has anti-inflammatory benefits which may benefit those with arthritis. This recipe is really simple - all you need is 5 minutes to prep the pork chops and the oven does the rest. I would serve this with a rice side dish and broccoli to make a complete meal. Click here for the recipe.
Ground Turkey and Broccoli Stir-fry from Fashionable Foods. Ground turkey is a nice reprieve from chicken. It is very mild in flavor which allows you to really spice things up or not - depending on the flavors your family likes. This is an easy dinner that comes together fast. In 20 minutes, dinner is done and on the table. Click here for the recipe.
Crispy Butternut Squash & Poblano Tacos from Love and Lemons. Butternut squash is a great vegetable to make crispy because the squash is soft and creamy, which makes a great texture to eat in a taco. You could also just make the crispy butternut squash and eat it with vegetables or as a snack. Click here for the recipe.
Vegan Summer Pasta from Lazy Cat Kitchen. This pasta is truly summer on a plate. Full of tomatoes, zucchini, olives and garlic, this healthy pasta dish only takes a total of 20 minutes from prep to plate. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspires you to cook healthy and fast recipes for your family. If you eat meat, look to buy the best meat you can afford. Free range and grass fed meat has higher nutrients than meat that has been contained in cages and fed corn. The plus side is that meat with higher nutrients will fill you up faster, which means you will eat smaller portions.
Do you think you will try any of the above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.