10 Last-Minute Dinners That Are Good for Your Overall and Oral Health
Quick Meal Ideas for a Healthy Smile and Body
On busy days, grabbing takeout or heating up a frozen TV dinner makes things easy, but with some pre-planning, you can quickly put together a home-cooked meal that is nutritious and delicious. The trick is to create a menu of last minute dinners that take less than 30 minutes to make and can be prepared in advance for those hectic nights.
Diet and oral health share a strong connection, so these balanced, nutritious recipes are just as good for your body as they are for your smile.
1. Italian Chicken Zucchini Skillet
Italian flavors are always a win, but sometimes pasta can feel heavy. This Italian skillet recipe will make things lighter with lean protein and plenty of veggies. Yellow squash, mushrooms, or even eggplant would be great in this recipe, but we recommend trying zucchini. Zucchini is very affordable and an excellent source of vitamin A. Best of all, this delicious dinner only requires one pan!
2. Sheet Pan Chicken and Asparagus
All you need to make this recipe is a large baking sheet, fresh chicken breast, asparagus, potatoes, and a few items from your pantry. Asparagus is loaded with several important vitamins and minerals but is quite low in calories when compared to similar vegetables. If you and your family are into meal prepping, this recipe is perfect for putting together several healthy lunches at once.
3. Moroccan Chickpea Carrot Salad
Salads aren’t just side dishes; they can absolutely be a filling and nutritious entrée for veggie-loving families. This Moroccan-inspired chickpea carrot salad is loaded with flavor and an especially appealing crunchy texture. Chickpeas and quinoa are excellent sources of plant protein, which helps round out the nutrition profile of this amazing salad entrée.
4. 20-Minute Taco Bowl Recipe
Does a Tuesday taco night in 20 minutes sound too good to be true? Not with this speedy but delicious taco bowl recipe. All you need is boil-in-bag rice, tomatoes, your family’s favorite peppers, yogurt (or sour cream), beans, and your favorite protein. We recommend trying ground turkey! Don’t forget to garnish with some fresh cilantro.
5. Zucchini Pasta With Lemon Garlic Shrimp
The zucchini pasta trend isn’t going anywhere soon, especially when you can use them in recipes like this one. Zucchini pasta with lemon garlic shrimp sounds fancy, but trust us when we say that putting it together is a breeze. This recipe uses homemade noodles, but if you’re short on time, feel free to substitute with “zoodles” found in your grocery store’s produce section. Another helpful tip for families with picky eaters is to try mixing zucchini noodles with regular pasta at first. Even a 50/50 mix is still more nutritious than regular pasta alone.
6. Mediterranean Ground Beef Stir Fry
It’s hard to beat Mediterranean cuisine when you want something fresh but filling. This ground beef stir-fry is quick to make but full of red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. These vegetables and herbs are full of nutrients and also make the dish look visually enticing for adults and children alike. The crumbled feta finish is also hard to beat for anyone who loves a little cheesy kick.
7. Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies
Sheet pan simplicity returns with this sausage and veggie recipe that can easily be customized to your family’s tastes. You can follow the recipe exactly, or use it as a way to finish any leftover carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and other veggies in your fridge. For root vegetables, be sure to cut them small enough that they’ll cook in time. The original recipe is loaded with spices and herbs, so you may want to season one-half of the pan with less if you have young children.
8. Baked Bell Pepper Tacos
It doesn’t get much easier than stuffed peppers! This stuffed pepper recipe is perfect for nights when your family wants tacos, but you’re short on time. We really love this particular recipe because they offer several options for meat and veggie protein fillings and plenty of great ideas for toppings. It’s also a great way to use leftover taco meat from the previous night.
9. 30-Minute Quinoa Enchilada Skillet
Many quick recipes use ground beef or chicken, but this 30-minute enchilada skillet uses only vegetarian and vegan products. You can cook the entire meal in a single large skillet pan, and any leftovers keep very well in the fridge to heat up for a meal the next day. We think this recipe is a great way to start a “Meatless Monday” trend in your household.
10. Healthy Pork Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce wraps are the perfect quick dinner option that can easily be prepared ahead of time if you know you have busy days upcoming. This recipe is very easy to make and uses lean ground pork, though you can substitute it with ground turkey, ground chicken, or whatever other protein you’d like. For leftovers, keep the filling separate from the lettuce to prevent it from getting soggy.
How long has it been since your family had a checkup and cleaning?
It’s hard to enjoy a meal if your teeth and gums hurt! Remember that everyone in your family should visit the dentist every six months for an evaluation and professional cleaning. Not only do these preventive care appointments keep cavities and toothaches away, but they also help you maintain optimal oral and overall health.
Take a moment to schedule your next wellness visit at Parmer Lane Family Dentistry in Austin.