Getting a meal on the table quickly is something we all can appreciate. These beautiful, healthful dishes can be whipped up in under 30 minutes, which are perfect for dinner at the family dinner table, impressive enough for an impromptu gathering, or even curled up in front of the TV (because we all have those nights after a long day). The other benefit of these simple dinners is that is allows you the time and the freedom to spend out on the trail, hitting the pavement, in the pool, or partake in whatever your favorite activity may be.
1. Quinoa & Kale Stuffed Tomatoes
This vegetarian meal is packed with superfoods: quinoa, kale, garlic, and even tomatoes. Kale is very trendy right now, and for good reason. These leafy greens contain cholesterol-lowering benefits, risk-lowering benefits for cancer of the bladder, colon, and reproductive organs, as well as serves as detoxifying agent.
4 vine-ripened tomatoes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups of vegetable broth
2 TBL coconut oil
1 bunch of lacinato kale
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
¼ goat cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice off 1/2 inch of the stem end of the tomatoes and hollow out the inside. Then slice just a small section off of the bottom of the tomatoes so that they will sit flat on a square casserole dish. Set aside.
2. Place broth, quinoa, a pinch of salt, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
3. In a frying pan, heat oil and add the chopped kale. Once the kale begins to wilt, add the garlic–cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the cooked quinoa and the cilantro to kale; mix well. Evenly divide the filling among the tomatoes.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle tops evenly with goat cheese. Bake for an additional minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.
2. Salad Nicoise
Salad nicoise is a Mediterranean salad that contains mineral-rich tuna, cancer-preventing olives, and vitamin B6-rich potatoes. There is not really recipe here, but ingredients are more based on what is fresh and seasonal. In a large bowl combine lettuce or mixed greens, oil-packed tuna (drained), a handful of green olives, parboiled fingerling potatoes and green beans, hard boiled egges, and some sliced cherry tomatoes or roasted red peppers (drained). Serve with a light vinaigrette.
3. Poached Eggs on Whole Wheat Spaghetti
This meal is great after a long run or a strenuous workout as it has a well balanced mix of whole grains and protein. The other benefit is that it only takes as long as it does to boil some pasta which is great for the those busy work days.
1lb. whole wheat pasta
1 cup of pesto (store bought is fine)
a handful of fresh basil, roughly torn
4 eggs, poached (or sunny-side up–your preference)
1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain, add back to the post, and toss with pesto. Divide the pasta into 4 bowls and top with a poached egg. Scatter basil over each one. Serve immediately.
4. Thai Style Stir-Fry
Refuel your busy day with a quick, easy stir-fry. The combinations are really endless here, and you are also getting a balanced mix of protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. To serve four people, saute 1lb. thinly sliced lean sirloin beef, chicken breasts, or cubed tofu in olive oil. Add a heaping handle of snow peas, julienned carrots, or chopped broccoli to the pan once your protein has browned. Top off with a ½ bottle of Thai peanut sauce and cook until the veggies are tender. For your whole grain, and your stir-fry base, cook up brown rice or soba noodles to serve alongside your meal.
5. Grilled White Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Grilling—rather than frying—the fish makes these tacos on the healthy side. Halibut is a nutrient-dense food that contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that contributes to glowing skin, cardiovascular health, and much more. This recipe leans more toward Pacific flavors, creating a fresh, light meal.
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sesame oil
a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
8 corn tortillas
For the slaw:
4 cups green cabbage, thinly shredded
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced
1 fresno chili, deseeded and diced
the juice of 1 lime
2 TBL cilantro, chopped
2 TBL pickled ginger, roughly chopped
a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper
1. Combine the lime juice, oil, and seasoning in a bowl. Place the fish in the marinade and let it sit for 30 minutes.
2. Mix together the cabbage, onion, pepper, mango, lime juice, cilantro, ginger and seasoning in a large bowl.
3. Coat a grill rack with oil and preheat the grill. Remove the fish from the marinade and grill over medium heat, turning once, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until nicely charred and cooked through. If you want to do this indoors place an oven rack closest to the broiler. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray, place the fish on the pan, and broil for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the fish to a cutting board and thinly slice.
4. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler for 1 minute. Lay out the tortillas and divide the fish among them. Top with the cabbage slaw and avocado. Serve with hot sauce if you need a little more heat!