Nowadays, due to our hectic and busy lifestyles, most of us don't get time to cook. After a long, tiring day, preparing a healthy meal for the entire family can be exhausting. Especially if you are a working mom, trying to maintain a balance between your professional and personal life, becomes extremely difficult. Most working women spend lots of time looking for quick and healthy meal ideas. This article offers some dinner ideas that will help you cook healthy food without wasting much time in the kitchen.
How to Plan a Weekly Menu
Here are some ideas for a family dinner that one can take into consideration, to sail smoothly past one of those tough and tiring days:
- Planning the menu for the entire week, a day before the week starts, will save a considerable amount of time. It's essential to follow the weekly dinner menu strictly, where you can make some variations in it on the days when you return home, early.
- Preparing dinner in the morning will make cooking in the evening more comfortable and easy. For example, mashing boiled potatoes or peeling some vegetables, before leaving for the office, will save sufficient time in the evening.
- Cooking instant meals that don't require much time, that can be enjoyed by everyone, is another great idea. For instance, pasta treats, bread rolls with cheese, turkey and ham, pork spring rolls, meatballs, taco soups, etc., are not only easy to prepare, but also satiate everyone's taste buds.
- Employing modern kitchen equipment like a Crock-Pot, casserole dish, etc., will surely make cooking easier. All you have to do when it comes to cooking in a Crock-Pot, is add all the ingredients to the vessel and let the mixture stew for about 8 hours.
Healthy Meal Ideas
Black-Bean-Smothered Sweet Potatoes
- 1 (15 oz.) canned black beans (rinsed)
- 2 teaspoons, extra virgin olive oil
- 2, medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons, reduced-fat sour cream
- 1, medium-sized tomato (diced)
- ½ teaspoon, ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon, salt
- ½ teaspoon, ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons, fresh cilantro (chopped)
Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork in different places and microwave on high, until they are tender. Take a glass bowl and mix the beans, tomato, oil, cumin, coriander, and salt; microwave on high setting for 2-3 minutes. Now, slice (halfway) each sweet potato lengthwise, widen the opening using your fingers, to make a hole in the center. Stuff the bean mixture into this hole. Finally, top each potato off, with a dollop of sour cream. Garnish it with the cilantro, and serve hot.
Curried Squash and Chicken Soup
- 1 (10 oz.) packet, winter squash (chunks)
- 8 oz., boneless, skinless chicken breast (thinly sliced)
- ½ cup, lite coconut milk
- ½ cup, water
- 1 teaspoon, Thai red curry paste
- ¼ teaspoon, salt
- 1 (6 oz.) bag, baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons, lime juice
- 2 teaspoons, brown sugar
In a skillet, heat the squash, coconut milk, and water, over medium heat for 12-15 minutes or until the squash turns to pulp. Add the chicken and simmer the mix on medium heat for 5 minutes; stir occasionally. Stir in the spinach, lime juice, brown sugar, curry paste, and salt. Allow it to simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Serve hot.
Marsala Poached Figs over Ricotta
- ½ cup, quartered dried figs
- ¼ cup, Marsala or port wine
- ⅛ teaspoon, vanilla extract
- ½ cup, part-skim ricotta
- 2 teaspoons, honey
- 1 tablespoon, toasted slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon, sugar
In a saucepan, put the figs, Marsala (or port) wine, and honey. Let it simmer on medium heat until the figs soften and the wine is syrupy. Add the ricotta, sugar, and vanilla, to it; stir well. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl. Top it off with the almonds. Serve warm.