Healthy Meals to Amp up Your Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
After I took up the healthy lifestyle route, the first roadblock was embracing a diet plan. Initially, I was under the impression that it would be complicated, demanding, and maybe even a little stressful.
I always wondered what should I cook? How should I cook it?
But eventually, I figured that a good way to get started is to try new *healthy* recipes - and find ways of cooking healthier versions of recipes you already know.
Balanced, healthy meals = a balanced, healthy body and mind. A balanced diet consists of a range of foods from different food groups: vegetables and fruits, protein (meat, fish, eggs, soy), dairy (low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt), and carbs (starchy foods).
The important thing to understand is that ‘healthy meals’ cannot be just a part of your weight loss goal or “perfect physique” diet – it needs to go beyond that and be a part of your lifestyle. And this is why I have a list of go-to dishes that are both wholesome, easy to prepare, and can help you save time and money.
For everyone who wants to eat meals that are wholesome and tasty, here are some healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices that are easy to make, easy on the pocket, and even kid-friendly!
Making your Mornings Healthy
Breakfast is the first meal of the day and the importance of eating healthy in the morning cannot be overlooked. I strongly believe that what you eat for breakfast can either make or break your day. So break that fast with these healthy recipes!
Multigrain Toast with Rich Smoked Salmon
This recipe is high in protein and provides you with plenty of energy to start the day, making it a fantastic way to use up salmon. Other vegetables, such as diced tomato, asparagus bits, or chopped bell pepper, can be added if desired. Include breakfast sausage or bacon if you don't require them to be vegetarian. You may use any kind of shredded cheese of your choice.
- 1 large slice of whole-grain bread (see note)
- 1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 thin slices of tomato (a really ripe, flavorful tomato is definitely best)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed baby spinach (we like to remove the stems)
- 1.5 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (we use Scottish-style salmon)
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced green onions (green part only)
- 1/2 teaspoon capers
- Toast the bread lightly. (Before toasting your bread, prepare and measure all other ingredients so the toast is still warm when served.)
- Salt the surface equally. Mix in the salt, pepper, and spices of your choice. On the toast, layer tomato, spinach, and smoked salmon. Serve immediately with green onions and capers on top slices of raw (or cooked) bell pepper on the side and a sprinkle of olive oil on top.
For people who don’t eat meat or who prefer to start the day with fresh veggies and fruits, this one is for you…
The All-Time Hit: Pancakes
Pancakes are a nostalgic favorite for many of us. This breakfast staple is a great way to start the day off right - but only if you make them with nutrient-dense ingredients. I am not talking butter dripped, chocolate topped pancakes. Try substituting all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Add flaxseeds or flax meal to the mix for a boost of Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. Then play around with some healthy toppings. Serve these pancakes with nut butter, sliced fresh fruit, and pure maple syrup drizzled on top.
- Start with a dish you know you'll enjoy to give this morning classic a healthy spin. Substitute 50-100% of AP flour with whole wheat pastry flour, then pile on nutritious toppings or go nuts with the nuts, seeds, and raw nut butter.
- For the Salad lover in you, ditch the doughs, the meat, and the procedure.
Almond Butter Dressing with Rich Sweet Potato Salad
As strange as it sounds, a salad topped with a protein powder-enhanced almond butter dressing tastes incredible. Not to mention, the nut spread's monounsaturated fat can help you avoid those late-morning munchies.
Obviously, salad is that meal that you can be mixed and matched. But the key is to mix the right ingredients, in the right proportions and you will have a salad that will be worth waking up for.
- 1 cooked and diced tiny sweet potato
- 3 cups romaine lettuce or spinach
- 1 tablespoon cranberries, dried
To make the protein dressing using almond butter:
- 1 quart of almond milk
- 4 tablespoons of almond butter
- 3 dates with pits
- 1 vegan protein powder serving (Vega whole foods optimizer, 2 scoops)
In a high-powered blender, combine all dressing ingredients. Toss the vegetables and cranberries together with 2-3 tablespoons of sauce and serve (I used more, but I was probably a little too liberal). Serve and have fun!
Moving on to the next healthy meal - the Lunch
To make a healthy meal, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to deprive your taste buds of the joy and feed them just salads. Spice up your lunch spread with these recipes!
The Pasta Meal
Pasta can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Many people may choose whole-grain pasta since it is lower in calories and carbs but richer in fiber and minerals. However, what you serve with your pasta is just as essential as the sort of pasta you choose.
(Don’t get overwhelmed. It sounds like a lot of work, but we assure its not)
- Rigatoni (12 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced after halving
- 1 1/2 pound zucchini and summer squash, thinly chopped into half-moons (approximately 4 small)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 oz. grated pecorino cheese (about 1 cup), plus more for serving
- 1/3 cup finely sliced mint
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Cook pasta well and drain and set aside 3⁄4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- In a big, broad pan, heat the oil on medium. 3 to 4 minutes, stirring periodically, until onion is golden brown. Cook, flipping periodically until squash is extremely soft but still keeps its shape, 10 to 12 minutes, with 12 teaspoons each salt and pepper.
- Toss the pasta with the squash and cheese in the skillet, adding 2 tablespoons of the leftover cooking liquid at a time to produce a sauce that coats the pasta. Mint and lemon juice should be folded in. If your taste demands, top with more cheese and black pepper.
For the vegan souls out there, you can add some flavor to your lunch with this recipe.
Vegan pumpkin risotto
Risotto is a healthy dish because it contains a good balance of all three macronutrients, as well as a good number of calories.
- Wine Garlic
- Veggie Stock
- Vegan Cream
- Lemon Juice
- Don’t rinse the rice. Rinsing rice removes extra starch, which helps keep rice grains separate after cooking.
- Apart from the wine, it's critical that the liquids you gradually add to your rice are warm so that the rice may continue to cook while you slowly ladle the stock into the pan. If the stock was cold, each stock addition would require the entire dish to come to a temperature, disrupting the cooking process.
- Another key point to remember is that, unlike other rice dishes like paella, risotto requires regular, gentle, and gradual stirring to release amylopectin, a type of starch found in risotto rice that gives it its characteristic creaminess.
You can either cook this OR relish on Delicut’s Healthy Meal Plans that offer a lot of variety, which are made from fresh ingredients and are ready to eat!
Moving on to the last meal of the day, the Dinner.
Usually, people prefer a small meal for dinner, but that doesn’t mean it can be delicious. This recipe is for the foodies who love to sleep with their hearts and tummy full.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 cup white rice(200 g)
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth(355 mL)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro(20 g), chopped
- 1 can of black beans, drained
- 1 lime
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Add the olive oil to a big skillet and cook the chicken skin side down for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Cook for another 3 minutes after tossing the chicken.
- Remove the chicken and sauté the onions for 5 minutes, or until they are transparent. Toast the rice for 3 minutes, stirring to coat it with the oil and onions.
- Place the chicken on top of the rice after adding the garlic and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is ready.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and stir in the cilantro, black beans, and lime juice. Mix until completely coated.
Serve the chicken over rice with cilantro on top.
Won’t deny that this does involve a bit of extra procedure, but again, you can always choose Delicut’s Healthy Meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
And if you absolutely prefer a salad, we can make your dinner healthy with this recipe.
Green Bean and Tuna Salad
This recipe includes fresh greens, minimum preparation, and enough protein to feel satisfied.
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt,
- 1 lb. trimmed green beans,
- 1 1/2 cups basil leaves
- 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large or 2 small heads of Little Gem lettuce or romaine hearts, leaves separated
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can of white beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 1 (6-oz.) jar of oil-packed tuna, drained, flaked into pieces
- In a blender jar, combine onion, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Allow 5–10 minutes to pickle mildly.
- In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, sauté green beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until completely cool.
- Blend the onion combined with the basil, oil, lemon juice, and pepper until nearly smooth. In a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing. Toss in the green beans, lettuce, white beans, parsley, and capers using your hands. Toss in the tuna carefully to mix. Place the salad on a serving plate.
So these are a few recipes that can brighten up your day, please your taste buds, and yet make for healthy meals. You also have the option to opt for the easy route and rely on Delicut’s wide range of delicacies, which are delivered to your doorstep, are made with healthy ingredients, and also include customization!
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