Easy Weeknight Meals, Healthier than Takeout
Finding the time to cook, let alone eat healthy during the week, can be a challenge. Our last resort is often takeout; however, quick and healthy meals aren’t impossible. Here are some staple meals that are quick and easy to prepare, often customizable with ingredients you have at home.
The rice bowl is one of my favorite go-to meals because of its simplicity and versatility. It’s especially easy if you have cooked rice and veggies to use up on hand. The Rice Bowl with Fried Egg and Avocado is a simple and delicious meal that’s both easy and nutritious, full of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Add your favorite veggies for an added nutrient boost or mix up the base. Try quinoa or cauliflower rice as a an alternative to brown rice.
Breakfast for Dinner
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and nutrients and shouldn’t be reserved just for breakfast. Whether you’re scrambling eggs or making a frittata, get creative by adding greens, herbs and veggies to the mix. Check out these recipes for Scrambled Eggs with Zucchini and Mushroom and Spinach Frittata. They are sure to become favorites beyond your morning meal.
Pasta is another great weeknight meal. Make it healthier by using whole wheat pasta, adding veggies for texture and volume and steering clear of heavy cream sauces. Check out this easy one-pot spaghetti or this veggie pasta, and feel free to mix in any veggies that you have in your kitchen.
Avocado Toast + Egg
What exactly is avocado toast? It’s an open-faced sandwich that’s topped with mashed avocado. Toasting the bread allows you to pick it up and eat it like a piece of pizza. It’s a winning combination similar to peanut butter toast or even cream cheese on a bagel, but healthier due to the vitamins and healthy fats in the avocado.
This is my other go-to meal when I’m in a rush and low on groceries, but want a simple, nutritious meal. You can make it as simple or complex as you want, based on the ingredients you have in your kitchen. Whether you simply smash the avocado on the toast with a fork and call it good, or take the time to add any mix-ins (lime juice, cayenne pepper, garlic) or toppings (egg, spinach, arugula, onions), avocado toast allows you to put your creativity to the test with minimal, if any, cooking.
Here is my favorite recipe for avocado toast:
- Toast a piece of whole grain toast to your liking
- Mash an avocado in a bowl with a squeeze of lime juice. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt and mix.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and cook your egg—poached, scrambled or fried. I usually cook my eggs over-medium so they’re a little runny.
- Spread the avocado mixture on your piece of toast.
- Place egg on toast and top with black pepper and lemon zest.