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No Brainer Healthy Dinners

Polly Pitchford - Thursday, February 16, 2012

If I did the math on how many dinners I've cooked over all the years of "married with children" it would come out to over 8,500!!  Wow, now I understand why my mom said she would be happy not to cook another day in her life after raising a hungry family of 4.  But I DO like to cook and eating a healthy diet is ingrained in me so I continue to plan, shop and prep at least 5 dinners per week.  

I also know that I'm in a small minority these days because a lot of younger moms don't have the skills to cook from scratch.  Instead, they rely on fast foods, frozen entrees and processed, packaged meals.  Sad but true.  In fact, let me include everybody in this description, not just moms.  What's true is that most of us DO have an awareness of the importance of a healthier diet but just don't know where to start in the kitchen with limited cooking savvy.  This is where this dinner list comes in very handy.  These are my go-to dinners when I'm uninspired for what to cook.  They are quick, easy and healthy and keep me on track until I'm ready to create again.

1.  Large Vegetable Salad (3-4 cups)

Any variety of green leafy lettuce, cabbage, broccoli slaw, tomato, onion, cucumber, mushrooms, etc.

Include 4 ounces (the size of the palm of your hand) of salmon, tuna, shrimp, baked tofu or poultry.  

You may use 2 Tablespoons salad dressing made from canola, sesame or olive oil, or flavored vinegar (balsamic, raspberry, etc.)

2.  4-6 ounces baked or broiled fish or poultry, or 4 ounces lean beef (i.e., flank, top sirloin or filet) 

2 cups steamed fresh vegetables

dinner salad with an olive oil based salad dressing or flavored vinegar

3.  Vegetarian Tortilla made with one whole wheat tortilla 

1/2 cup black beans or nonfat refried beans, lettuce, tomato, slice of avocado and salsa.  

1 cup fresh fruit.

4.  Frozen entree with 300 calories and 7 or fewer grams of fat.  

2 cups steamed fresh vegetables

Side salad with 1 tablespoon dressing or flavored vinegar.

Something there for everyone, I hope.  Believe me, these suggestions aren't meant to be the height of culinary creativity, they are the safety net of dinner ideas when you are out of ideas.  You can't go wrong if you stay to the portions mentioned in each meal.  I guarantee you that you will walk away from the table feeling satisfied and happy with yourself for not throwing another frozen pizza in the oven!

Happy Healthy Eating!

Polly Pitchford, your vegetable pushing Motivational Speaker!

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