It’s not that easy to make a healthy dinner time after time again, but if you know how to prepare healthy meals using a quick guide you’ll stand a better chance of whipping up something delicious and nutritious without even thinking too much about it for you and your loved one.
The most important part of coming up with a plan for healthy dinner recipes for 2 every night is to know which foods to pick as well as how much of those foods to serve for dinner. The best recipes for dinner are usually the most simple ones you can prepare quickly and deliciously.
Here’s how to do it:
- Select only foods that are healthy. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s a proven fact that the majority of people on this planet have no idea how to pick the healthiest foods on a consistent basis. You can start by choosing only foods that are nutrient-dense. For example, if you’re picking out a protein food, try your best to not have red meat more than once a week because of the saturated fat content, even in so-called lean meats. Instead, choose fish, chicken, and beans or lentils as your protein source. Whatever you pick out as a protein source, try to pick out the ones that don’t have saturated fats because as you know, this can lead to having problems with your cholesterol and add on extra pounds fairly quickly. When you’re picking up vegetables for dinner try to stay away from the ones that are high glycemic. Starchy vegetables are notorious for packing on the pounds. When it comes to starchy, we’re talking about baked white potatoes, white rice, and enriched white breads, for example. If you’re going to have bread with your dinner, try to pick out a healthy bread such as whole-wheat or any other bread with whole grains. For those of you who want to add calcium to your diet, pick out a low-fat milk or fat-free milk. Stay away from the 2% and above when it comes to milk and cheeses.
- Use the proper balance when you’re serving your dishes. If you place vegetables and fruits on one half of your dish, a protein source on one fourth of that dish, and some type of whole grains on the other fourth of that dish, you will have a very healthy meal as long as the amount of food you eat is not overbearing.
- Properly control the amount of food you eat. You may have picked out the perfect balance for your meal by having your plate full on one side with vegetables and fruits and the other side with protein and whole grains. However, this will not do you any good if you go back for seconds every single night!
- Do your best to eliminate unhealthy foods. Even though it’s okay to splurge every once in a while and have that chocolatey delight that you’re always craving or that pepperoni pizza with extra cheese, it’s wise to severely limit any type of food that is not good for you. If you’re eating a food that contains far too much sodium or saturated fat, excess sugar, or too much cholesterol, you are going to place yourself in a position where your body will most likely start complaining on you after a while; and everybody knows there’s nothing worse than a body that is continually complaining to its owner!
Here’s an example of healthy dinner recipes for 2:
Baked or Rotisserie Chicken with Green Beans and Brown Rice
This dish is extremely simple to make. Buy two whole breasts and two chicken quarters. Season the chicken with Badia (Sazon Completa) complete seasoning, a little bit of salt and pepper, and fresh minced garlic 9or use garlic press). Bake in the oven for 45 minutes on 375 or use your rotisserie at the appropriate settings.
For the brown rice, you will need 1 cup of rice, 1 1/2 cups of water, 3 medium cloves of fresh minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt.
In a two-quart saucepan, saute the garlic in the olive oil on medium until the garlic is a little off-white (do not overcook). Immediately place the 1 1/2 cups of water in the pan, and place 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Place the burner coil on “hi” setting.
When the water comes to a boil, put the cup of rice in, stir it a little bit, then lower the setting to just a little bit less than medium. Cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes, making sure the rice does not burn on the bottom.
Add some steamed or pan-fried green beans in a little bit of olive oil and top them with a tiny bit of salt and pepper.
Add your favorite fruit and you are good to go!
If you don’t feel like cooking chicken that night, go to your favorite supermarket and grab one of their rotisserie chickens and make the rice and green beans at home.
Just one taste of a good chicken noodle soup and you’ll probably figure out how important celery is as a part of the recipe. Many people wonder, “Is celery good for you?” because it’s a vegetable and after all, if it’s a vegetable it has to be good for your health, right?
Celery Nutritional Benefits
First let’s talk about how celery was first introduced to humankind. At around 850 BC it was discovered in the Mediterranean basin and used as an herb and a couple hundred years after that, people began eating it as a food source. Back then, celery was used to fight against the flu, common colds, and many stomach problems. These days something you probably don’t know is that celery actually fights off Alzheimer’s disease and has been shown to ward off cancer in laboratory animals. Talk about packing a powerful punch!
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There are very few carbs in celery has the ability to lower your blood pressure because it has certain chemicals in it that actually unclog arteries over time, improving your blood circulation. As a matter of fact, if you eat just a little amount of celery every single day, you will probably notice improvement in your blood pressure within a couple of weeks.
Celery also contains rich sources of vitamins. A few of the notable vitamins in celery are vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamin K. Antioxidants, as you know, prevent cell damage in your body. Vitamin K is instrumental in helping to reduce clotting in your blood.
This amazing vegetable also yields celery oil as an herbal supplement. This herb helps keep your kidneys functioning properly, it helps to prevent arthritis, and it gives you a chance to have healthy blood pressure. In laboratory tests, celery also been shown to reduce the number of times laboratory animals acquire tumors. The amount of celery nutritional benefits are off the charts!
If you cook your meals at home, chances are you’ve heard of celery seed. This is an herb that has a strong aroma and it’s used to flavor many types of dishes including sauces, breads, soups, and meat dishes. I have an aunt who actually uses celery seeds in her fried chicken recipe and I have to say, it is freaking phenomenal!
As you can see, celery is actually very good for you and it’s one vegetable, herb, or spice that deserves consideration the next time you’re cooking a meal, preparing a dish, or using herbs as remedies.
There are a whole lot of ways you can cook baby back ribs and plenty of great recipes but there is one that I have found to be my “go-to” method because of its deliciousness and simplicity. It involves cooking baby back ribs in the oven as a shortcut, brushing a homemade barbecue sauce on it, and finishing them off on a charcoal or gas grill.
1. Your first step is to preheat the oven at 350 °.
2. Then, we need to get the baby backs going and for this method to work quickly and well, we are going to learn how to cook baby back ribs using a shortcut; you will place a good amount of dry rub on your ribs (I use Emeril’s Rib Rub Seasoning) and place them side by side in an aluminum baking dish in the oven. Cover the aluminum pans tightly with aluminum foil (very important).
Cook the ribs at 350 ° for exactly two hours.
3. Now, we need to make the barbecue sauce. Of all the barbecue sauces I have tasted when I eat out at restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse, Longhorn’s, or any other local barbecue joints that boast about their baby back recipes, nothing beats the recipe I’m about to give you!
It starts with Big Mama’s Recipe, which, believe it or not, I got off the Internet years ago. Of course I made some modifications to suit my personal taste such as eliminating a lot of the sugar content in the original recipe. This allows you to eat and enjoy more ribs because sugary barbecue sauce is repugnant after a while and can make you feel sick very quickly. Still, as far as i am concerned, there is no better recipe for baby back ribs barbecue sauce. In my circle of friends and family, over 300 people can’t be wrong!
Here’s the modified version I use (better than the original in my opinion because it is less overbearingly sweet):
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 4 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup margarine or butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 med onion puree (use a blender or food processor) – this is optional but recommended
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup steak sauce
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
All you have to do is to mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Then you bring the contents to a boil and reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
This barbecue sauce recipe blows anything and everything away!
As a quick and cheaper alternative, use 2 “Sticky Fingers” brand Tennessee Whiskey or Memphis Original sauce and add the 1 medium onion puree as described in the above recipe. This is not the real deal but it comes very close and is far better than just about any baby back ribs barbecue sauce you will eat at any barbecue restaurant.
4. Once the ribs are done after exactly two hours at 350 °, it’s time to finish cooking them. You can do it using either a charcoal grill (which I recommend for maximum flavor) or a gas grill. Use hickory chips to add a nice smoky flavor (also very important). Cook the ribs and start brushing plenty of barbecue sauce on them until they are seared and have slightly black grill marks. Use your own personal preference when it comes to how long you want to cook them. Usually, 5 minutes on each side does the trick.
Who Said Cooking Baby Back Ribs In Oven Is Useless?
It isn’t when you simply use it as a shortcut! I have traveled the country and I have eaten in some highly-regarded barbecue restaurants. I have tried and eaten many great-tasting baby back rib recipes and I can easily say this recipe blows everything out of the water. The meat should firmly stick to the bones but they should come off easily and melt in your mouth!
If you want to do it the real way and slow-cook these baby back ribs a few hours on the grill, even better!
If you are like me, you often find it difficult to figure out what the heck you are going to cook or prepare for your family on any given weeknight. I have to admit I am not the best cook I know but I do just fine when it comes to satisfying my family’s palate for the most part.
It isn’t easy to come home after a long day at work and jump right into making dinner for the family so I always have a few tricks up my sleeve where at a moment’s notice, I can get by with a simple dish that everyone can enjoy even if it’s not the most nutritious food possible!
Funny how my kids’ favorite main dishes are coincidentally the easiest to make. They are beef brisket, fried Cuban palomilla steak in a little olive oil with white rice on the side, baked spaghetti, Lasagna, chicken fingers with baked fries, chicken parmesan, and Domino’s pizza. As you can see, they love Italian-based foods.
When I am either tired or short on time, I will reach for macaroni & cheese on occasion or settle for the chicken fingers with their favorite curly fries baked in the oven. I rarely deep fry anything at home except those rare occasions when we chow down on my beer-batter dolphin fingers which beats the heck out of any fried fish I have ever tasted in any restaurant.
Domino’s or the frozen DiGiorno pizza comes to the rescue at least once every two weeks in my household and it satisfies the kids although I don’t like getting in the habit of feeding them all this extra saturated fat. Aside from that, I rarely buy my kids fast food; every two weeks or so if we are on a family outing I may splurge for a fast food lunch at Mcdonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s.
Family cooking does not have to be so complicated. There are many 5 ingredient dinners you can make at home in less than 30 minutes and all you have to do to get yourself rolling is to start researching on the Internet or by visiting your neighborhood book store in order to find a cookbook that suits you.
There are more easy weeknight dinner recipes featuring chicken breasts than you can shake a stick at if you just look for them. When I am learning a new recipe, the first thing I look for is the nutritional value as I stay away from foods with saturated fat. The most basic chicken breast dish I prepare that has my kids licking their fingers and begging for seconds is when I fry thin-sliced breasts in a little dab of olive oil and serve it with Uncle Ben’s chicken flavored ready-made rice. Of course, I season the chicken with a bit of fresh garlic, oregano, a little pepper, and a pinch of salt. I try my best to limit my family’s salt intake.