To make healthy dinners fast, you have to do a little bit of planning and a little bit of improvisation. You can do it, and you can do it well, even if pressed for time.

What Defines Healthy?

Healthy is not following a fad diet precisely as they plan out. Very few people have the time or the energy to start making dinners exactly as they come in the book.

So, we improvise and follow a few basic guidelines.

The first and most significant, guideline that you should follow is that the majority of your healthy meals should be vegetables. After that, the meat and grains are compliments.

The coaches here at Custom Health Centers can help you plan out tasty, fast, healthy meals that meet your needs and tastes. Schedule time with one of them to see how they can help you.

7 Ways To Make Healthy Dinners Fast

  1. Plan Ahead

    Without knowing what you’re going to do, you have to waste time thinking about what you’re going to make right at the moment and then start making it. You’re limited by ingredients, time, and effort. But, if you’ve planned out what you’re making ahead, you’ll save time and make sure you have all the ingredients on hand.

  2. Prep the Day Before

    Cut up all your vegetables the day before. If all of your fruit prep is done in advance, you can simply cook quickly. Be sure to keep them clean and sprinkle the chopped up vegetables with a little bit of lemon juice before storing it in the refrigerator in a clean container. That way, you prevent your food from browning or going bad.

  3. Utilize the Crock-Pot

    Most crockpots sold today come with timers that start your food at a particular time or shut off at a specific time. Even for the older models that only have an on and off switch, you can run to the crockpot on low all day. That means you can have a hot, healthy meal right as you walk in after work.

  4. Enlist Members of Your Family

    If you have a roommate, significant other, or older children that are home before you are, leave a list of tasks for them to complete for dinner. This could be chopping up vegetables, starting the rice, we're merely having everything washed and ready for you. If you're adventurous, you could have them make the food, so it's ready when you get home.

  5. Make-Ahead of Time

    Never underestimate the power of a good leftover. On days when you have a little bit more time, double or triple the amount of food you’re making, and then freeze the leftovers. You can then thaw out the meal and have an excellent healthy dinner quick. Some people even make several meals on the weekends and freeze them for during the week. If your schedule is very tight, this is a good option.

  6. Partner Up

    Being a friendly neighbor means more than having somebody keep an eye on your house. You could rotate making meals, which can reduce the pressure on you for providing food for you and your family. This one requires excellent communication, so be sure you know your neighbors well. In some areas, church groups get together and will organize these dinners.

  7. Choose Simple Recipes

    Above all else, choose recipes that have simple ingredients and simple procedures. Several chefs have put out cookbooks that feature recipes that can be completed start to finish in less than 30 minutes. Even some more complicated recipes can be made fast and straightforward by preparing ingredients ahead of time or swapping out components.

A Final Thought

Quick and healthy meals are something you can accomplish if you plan ahead. The planning stage is one of the most important.

Another good tip is to enlist in a culinary program at a technical school or college to learn proper technique for cutting up vegetables and cooking. The appropriate use of a knife can save you both time and Band-Aids.

Here at Custom Health Centers, we know what it’s like getting home late, so we use many of these tips ourselves. Let us know if you want to learn more!

February 09, 2021 — Dr. Jason Olafsson