10 Healthy Dinner Ideas (including some tasty desserts and drinks). Post contains affiliate links.
I know how much fun new recipes are. No matter how many cookbooks, how many awesome cooking and food websites I become aware of, I still get excited when I find a new tasty recipe to try. This is especially true when the recipe is healthy and easy too!
As a result of my love for new recipes, and the fact that I know my readers feel the same way. I’ve decided to round up a few tasty ones for you today.
Below you will find 10 healthy dinner ideas that are perfect for the lengthening days as we dream of warmer weather (well most of us any way)! 😉 Let me know what you think, okay?
- Mango-Honeydew Salsa
- Caribbean Tacos
- Whole Wheat Linguine with Chicken & Vegetables
- High Protein Pasta With Vegetables
- Pasta Delicioso – with Chicken or Without
- Instant Pot or Slow Cooked Meatball Subs
- Chicken Avocado & Lime Sandwiches
- Healthy Fudgsicles
- Homemade Hot Chocolate
- Green Smoothie Even Your Kids will Love
I don’t know if you’ve ever tasted Mango salsa. But it is surprisingly delicious! Salsa in general, especially if it’s fresh, is technically a vegetable. This salsa is a vegetable mixed with a fruit!
Mangos are rich in vitamin C and so is Honeydew. The peppers are also rich in vitamin C, and other important vitamins and minerals, including potassium. Potassium is especially important because most people are not getting enough of this crucial mineral in their diet. Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of this important mineral.
So, if your family likes salsa, then this is a great way to sneak in some extra fruits and vegetables into their diets. Fresh, easy and yummy!
- 2 mangos
- 1/2 honeydew melon
- 4 T minced onion
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeno or other pepper, seeded and chopped
- Juice of 2 limes
- Salt and Honey to taste
Chop fruit into small pieces. Add all other ingredients and chill to allow flavors to blend. Great on fish, pizzas, and chicken.
Caribbean Tacos (Perfect for the Mango Salsa)
- 1-1/2 lbs shredded and cooked chicken (we use the Rotisserie chicken from Costco, which is an incredible money saver).
- Shredded Lettuce or Cabbage
- Chopped tomatoes
- Minced onion (optional)
- 4 T Honey
- 3 T Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 T Oil
- 2 tsp Chili Powder (experiment with different ones until you find one you love)
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Mix marinade and toss with cooked and shredded chicken. Take soft corn tortillas and fry a bit to soften or heat if you don’t want them fried. Layer the chicken, shredded green cabbage, and mango salsa on tortilla. Delicious!!
You and your kids will not be able to lay off these healthful treats, which will be delicious anytime, especially in the summer. And don’t forget that chocolate has a lot of health benefits.
- 3 bananas
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3-4 TBS. cocoa
- Pinch of salt
Directions: Mix all ingredients in your blender, then pour into Popsicle molds and freeze for 4-5 hours.
Green Smoothie Even Your Picky Eaters Will Drink!
It’s super easy and fast to make. You can also play around with the fruits you use. And you can use just spinach, mixture of spinach and kale, or just kale. We just started using broccoli, which is surprisingly good. You can also add flax seeds, wheat germ, and any other extras you’d like!
This recipe is super simple. All you need is a blender and the following ingredients:
- 1-2 bananas
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- Couple handfuls of spinach
- water – add 1/4 cup at a time until is thin enough to blend; may also use juice or milk of your choice
- 1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt (optional)
Whole Wheat Linguine (or other pasta) with Veggies
The beauty of pasta dishes is you don’t have to stick to just one type. Depending on your mood or your family’s preference, you can use pretty much any shape pasta you want.
I do recommend using whole grain or legume pasta though. This is because white, enriched pasta is missing a lot of the original nutrients naturally available in the whole grain.
Also, try this trick for cooking pasta to serve without sauce:
Boil the pasta/linguine in 1/4 part water and 3/4 part chicken broth. This gives the pasta (especially whole wheat) a much more interesting flavor.
You an also use gluten-free legume pasta for this recipe. Not only is legume pasta rich in protein, but it is high in fiber, magnesium, B6, and iron as well.
- 1 package* whole-wheat linguine or high-protein legume pasta
- 1/2 c part-skim ricotta
- 2 T olive oil
- Broccoli or other favorite green vegetable such as peas, zucchini, or spinach (or all of the above) 🙂
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 t salt or to taste
- 1/2 t freshly ground pepper or to taste (we use white pepper because our son doesn’t like black pepper)
- 2 c halved cherry tomatoes
- Zest from one lemon (this is what it’s called when you grate the skin off of the lemon).
White pasta is usually in a 16 ounce package. However, whole wheat and legume generally come in smaller package sizes. So pay attention to how many servings you are actually getting.
Cook the pasta until al dente or as preferred. (We cook our whole grain pasta a bit longer because our son complains that it is grainy if we don’t cook it long enough).
Drain…reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the hot pasta to a large bowl and add the ricotta, tossing to combine.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the green beans, garlic, salt & pepper and sauté for 4 minutes.
Add the reserved pasta cooking liquid and cook until tender, about 4 more minutes.
Add the pasta & ricotta to the pan with the beans & toss to combine.
Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Top with the lemon zest.
Ready for another delicious, easy, and flexible recipe your kids will love? Here it is:
This recipe has no exact measurements. You really can’t mess it up, so just go with your gut. (Don’t you love those kinds of recipes?)
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add chicken stock or chicken bouillon to the water. (This gives the pasta a yummy flavor)
Add your favorite pasta (I like whole wheat or legume spiral, tubes, thin spaghetti or angel hair, and bow tie pasta.
- Boil according to directions on box.
- Chop up all your favorite veggies and sauté in 2TBSP of olive oil.
- I like squash, zucchini, tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, mushrooms, garlic. Add balsamic glaze and continue to sauté.
- Cut up chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and cook in separate skillet. Add chopped onions (these are a must because they caramelize and give good flavor to EVERYTHING) and garlic. Add balsamic glaze.
- Add the chicken mixture and pasta to the veggies and stir. Add parmesan cheese and stir. I also sprinkle parmesan cheese on top when serving.
Vegetarian Style Pasta Delicioso
Just skip the chicken and go with all the veggies!! (This is an ESPECIALLY good time to try to legume pasta because it will supplement the protein and iron that is missing when you don’t eat meat).
Healthy Yummy Homemade Hot Chocolate
All it takes is replacing sugar with honey and VOILA!!
- 1 c. water
- 3 c. whole milk (2% is okay)
- 2 TBS. pure cocoa powder
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1 tsp. Real vanilla extract (tastes WAY better than the Imitation stuff)!
- Pinch salt
In saucepan over medium heat melt water, honey & cocoa. Add vanilla, salt and milk. Heat to desired temperature then remove and serve! Enjoy!
Healthy Instant Pot Ideas – Slow Cooked Meatball Subs
You can use already prepared meatballs from the store for a super easy meal. However, I recommend making a big batch of meatballs and freezing them. That’s what my husband does. In fact, he uses part pork and part turkey for his recipe (add recipe) but you can try the chicken/turkey only option if you don’t eat pork.
In fact, we eat the meatballs in Swedish Meatball recipe as well as spaghetti and meatballs. I eat them by themselves sometimes! (I love meatballs)! =)
By the way, if you are vegetarian, you might want to try this delicious looking recipe for vegan meatballs.
The really cool thing about making meatballs is that they freeze really well, and you can heat up 1 or 2 for a single lunch or enough for the whole family for dinner.
- 1 lb. frozen meatballs (preferably homemade), chicken, turkey, 10% lean ground chuck, or combination of these ground meats, will all work
- 1 (26 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce (My favorite is Barilla) – you can also add some fresh cut up vegetables such as bell pepper, onion, garlic, and mushrooms to spruce it up
- 1 package whole wheat hot dog buns (whole wheat is really important here because when you eat white buns, all of the original vitamins and minerals are stripped away including magnesium and vitamin B6).
- 8-12 slices provolone cheese (provolone cheese is not only delicious but it’s lower in fat and calories than cheddar cheese).
To cook, pour frozen meatballs and spaghetti sauce in slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high 2-4 hours.
Scoop a few meatballs into a bun (of your choice) and top with cheese. As shown in picture, you can use a small bun and just 1-2 meatballs to help control portion size.
Calorie watching? Here is an option: buy slider rolls and only use 1-2 meatballs per sandwich.
Chicken Avocado & Lime Sandwiches
- 4 chicken breasts
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 avocado
- 4 kaiser rolls
- 1-2 Roma tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (may use light mayo or homemade mayo)
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
Drizzle olive oil on chicken breasts, and season with salt, pepper and season salt.
Grill chicken breasts.
Spread dressing on roll.
Put chicken on roll and add Swiss cheese.
Add avocado and tomato slices.
Easy peasy and yummy!