39 Healthy Dinner Hacks

Featured Article, Healthy Meal Ideas, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition
on March 11, 2013
Ideas from healthy bloggers on quick, healthy dinners.

Need a quick healthy dinner idea? We asked more than 200 top dietitians and healthy bloggers who contribute to the website HealthyAperture.com what they fix for supper when they don’t feel like cooking. Some of them opt for soup, a big salad or eggs and toast, but many shared creative go-to ideas we can’t wait to try. We’ve compiled some of the most interesting suggestions to give you tons of ideas next time you’re stumped for supper.

RELATED: Quick Healthy Weeknight Meals 

1. “A salad with frozen turkey meatballs—sounds weird, but it’s quick and satisfying.” — Abby, Seaweed and Sassafras

2. “I do a quick saute of mushrooms, onions and zucchini and add that to whole wheat pasta and marinara sauce.” — Kiersten Frase, Oh My Veggies

3. “A baked sweet potato topped with black beans and salsa.” — Sadie Crouch, Sweet.Smart.Vegan

4.  “Hummus. I have a simple go-to recipe that I pretty much always have on-hand. I’ll toast a brown rice tortilla for dipping, and chop up some carrot and celery sticks.” — Amanda Maguire, Pickles & Honey

5. “All-natural peanut butter on sprouted bread with a drizzle of agave.” —Anele, Success Along the Weigh

6. “A fried egg on top of some veggies.” — Jennifer Kendall, Home Skillet

7. “Tossed kale salad with a can of organic chicken or tuna, with organic butternut squash cooked in the microwave.” — Chelsy Ethridge, Mangia

8. “Black bean tacos: soft corn tortillas with black beans, avocado and prepared salsa or pico de gallo.” — Rachel Begun, MS, RD, The Gluten Free RD

9. “Mashed avocado on a toasted bagel or sourdough bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and chili flakes.” — Emma-Louise Cooke, A Splash of Vanilla

10. “A pizza omelet with four eggs, pizza sauce, spinach, and tiny bit of cheese.” — Kelly Winters, Primally Inspired

11. “A healthy low-fat Middle Eastern dish called Fool. It is essentially cooked fava beans with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt with veggies on the side.” — Nadine Ismail, Reinventing Nadine

12. “Chicken in the skillet with mandarin oranges and green beans.” — Jennifer Gacek, The Fit Housewife

13. “Brown rice mixed with black beans, pico de gallo, green onion, avocado and a little cheddar cheese.” — Julianne Puckett, Adventures of the Yankee Kitchen Ninja

14. “Chickpeas tossed with harissa, raw baby zucchini, greens, lemon and olive oil.” — Karen Tedesco, Family Style Food

15. “’Fried’ rice: brown rice, scrambled eggs, frozen stir-fry veggies, frozen edamame and leftover chicken if we have it.” — Kate G. Byers, MS, RD, Indulgent Wellness

16. “Salad and sharp cheddar melted over whole-grain farm bread.” —Katie Webster, Healthy Seasonal Recipes

17. “Quinoa with dried cranberries thrown in—they inflate in the water and add a little bit of no-guilt sweetness! Add a can of tomatoes (peeled, crushed) to the quinoa while it’s cooking, and it’s an easy one-pot meal that’s healthy and super tasty!” — Simone Anne

18. Whole-grain flatbread veggie pizza with a salad.” — Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RD, and Kathy Siegel, RD, CDN, NutritionBabes

19. “Whole-wheat pasta tossed with fresh vegetables and/or beans and olive oil.” — Aggie Goodman, Aggie’s Kitchen

20. “Scrambled eggs with kale, a little bit of lowfat cheese and hot sauce.” — Cara Lyons, Cara’s Cravings

21. “Soup. I have a frozen homemade bouillon I keep in the freezer— it has salt in it so it doesn’t freeze solid. I toss some of that into a pan with olive or vegetable oil, add water, and a bunch of root vegetables or cruciferous vegetables. They soften up in 15-20 minutes with almost no active time, and then I can add spices to change it up: curry, cumin, chili, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme—whatever seems to suit my mood and the vegetable I’ve used.” — Ann Plough, Eat Simply Eat Well

22. “I always premake quinoa, roasted veggies and grilled chicken for the week. When I don’t feel like cooking I mix these up with some liquid amino acids. It’s super-easy and delicious!” — Kim Lee, Hungry Healthy Girl

23. “A ‘bowl’ of brown rice, roasted vegetables and tofu.” — Emilie Bell, Scarborough Food Fair

24. “Whole-wheat spaghetti with swiss chard and pecorino cheese.” — Riley Wofford, My Daily Morsel

25. “Baked potato with toppings: veggie chili, steamed broccoli, vegan cheese sauce and TVP bacon bits.” — Abby Thompson, The Frosted Vegan

26. “A whole-grain farro crust ‘salad pizza’: Frozen farro crust that I either drizzle with balsamic or add some marinara or canned pumpkin to and then a heaping—and I mean heaping—pile of greens and veggies.” — Kristen Dodge, K’s Veg Recipes

27. “I have very hungry teenage boys so I make them a Fenway special: I sauté some chicken apple sausages and a ton of bell peppers and onions. I pile it onto a platter with hot dog buns, mustard on the side. Or sometimes I boil some potatoes and toss them around with the peppers, onions and sausages (sliced), adding some olive oil and balsamic. Yum!” — Lisa Goldfinger, Panning The Globe

28. “A salad with whatever greens and vegetables I have in the fridge topped with grilled fish. I always have shrimp and tilapia filets in the freezer. They both thaw very quickly in a bowl of cold water and can go on the grill (or grill pan) with olive oil, salt and pepper.” — Lisa Wells, Cook Eat Paleo

29. “Stuff a sweet potato with sliced garlic and seasonings, drizzle with EVOO, wrap it in foil, and bake until tender.” — Meggan Kaiser, Chowgypsy

30. “A chicken wrap with flavored tortilla and chicken that I cook and shred at the beginning of the week as a back-up plan.” — Joanna Meyer, Baked by Joanna

31. “Grilled shrimp on baby spinach with Craisins, hard boiled egg and bacon.” — Terri Schlather, A Girl in the South

32. “Almond butter, honey and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread.” — Louise Goldberg, RD, An Apple A Day Nutrition’s Healthy Bites

33. “A quick stir-fried chicken wrap with bell peppers.” — Deeba Rajpal, Passionate About Baking

34. “I stick a whole sweet potato right in the oven and roast it. Come back 45 minutes later and eat it just as it is—skin and all.” — Alex Witte, Chowvida

35. “Chopped spinach salad with whatever ingredients we have (beans, veggies, feta) and a grilled turkey/ham and cheese sandwich.” — Kelsey Hilts, Itsy Bitsy Foodies

36.  “Soy beans, bean curd and pickled cabbage, served over rice.”— Erin Brooks, she cooks, she gardens

37. “Quesadillas with vegetables, low-fat cheese and salsa.” — Meme Inge, MS, RD, Living Well Kitchen

38. “Leftover meat in romaine lettuce.” — Brent, Virginia Is for Hunter-Gatherers

39. “A packet of albacore tuna mixed with 1/4 avocado—no cooking required!” — Andrea Syswerda, Delicious by Dre