6 Truly Fast and Healthy Dinners

We're here to help with this collection of fast and healthy recipes that will have you eager to get back into the kitchen.

By: Katie Morton

Cooking delicious and healthy meals at home can easily become overwhelming and exhausting. There's the meal planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, and then the dreaded dishes. Repeat most of those steps three times per day, seven days a week, and it's easy to understand why so many people would rather rely the local drive-through for their meals.

We're here to help with this collection of fast and healthy recipes that will have you eager to get back into the kitchen. All the recipes can be made in less than 30 minutes and feature tons of veggies and healthy alternatives to many common unwholesome ingredients.

1. Thai Beef Salad

This Thai inspired beef salad features a fresh base of spinach, thin ribbons of carrot, sweet red peppers, and cherry tomatoes topped with sliced steak, sesame seeds, mint leaves, and a dressing influenced by Thai flavors. To make the dressing, combine 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp fish sauce, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 finely sliced chili pepper, and grated ginger to taste.

2. Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Basil & Mozzarella

Traditional spaghetti is made healthier by using chickpea spaghetti tossed with roasted cherry tomatoes. Drizzle halved cherry or grape tomatoes with olive oil and roast at 400??F for about 15 minutes. Toss the roasted tomatoes into cooked pasta and top with fresh mozzarella, chopped fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh parmesan.

3. Shrimp Rice Paper Rolls

Vietnamese fresh rolls make for a fast and refreshing dinner. To save time, use precooked shrimp, either thawed frozen shrimp or from the seafood case at your local market. To assemble, dip rice sheet papers in water and then fill with cooked rice noodles, lettuce, cilantro and mint leaves, bean sprouts, cucumber strips, and shrimp. Roll the papers like a burrito, tucking in the ends before you roll. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce such as peanut, sweet chili, or Hoisin.

4. Veggie Bowl with Spicy Cashew Dressing

Add a spicy cashew dressing to a bowl of your favorite veggies like raw spinach topped with cucumber, tomatoes, sliced avocado, and garlic saut?ed broccoli. To make the dressing, blend a tablespoon each of creamy cashew butter, apple cider vinegar, and water with hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.

5. Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ground chicken is cooked in ginger and garlic, tossed with frozen veggies at the end, and then quickly simmered in a mix of Asian sauces for a quick and flavorful filling for lettuce wraps. The Asian sauce blend uses a heaping 1/4 cup of hoisin, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Top the filled wraps with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.

6. Vegan Rainbow Tacos

A dash or two of powdered turmeric is added to cooked quinoa to provide a filling base for these vegan tacos. Top the quinoa filled tacos with cooked chickpeas (rinsed canned chickpeas are a time saver here), grated carrots, spring onions, avocado, and thinly sliced purple cabbage. Drizzle the tacos with a dressing of 1/4 cup tahini mixed with lime juice, finely chopped garlic, and salt and pepper.

Cooking Time Savers

Save time by focusing on quality, fresh ingredients, prepared simply. And there's no shame in using prepackaged ingredients like frozen grains, chopped veggies, canned beans, or precooked proteins. A well-stocked pantry of prepackaged ingredients like these makes it more likely that you'll use the foods you have on hand to create quick and nutritious dinners at home.

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