When it comes to food, people have different ideas about what is considered healthy, but for most, a healthy dinner typically include a meal with fresh food that is as close to their natural state as possible. This does include plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and unprocessed meats. Carbohydrates in these meals should come from starchy vegetables or whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread or whole wheat pasta. Refined sugar should be avoided or used in very small quantities.
Healthy protein sources include untreated, trimmed fat meats such as boneless skinless chicken breast, beef with all visible fat away and low-fat ground turkey. Complete vegetarian protein sources like tofu or beans mixed with brown rice is as healthy for carnivores, and may add some variety to everyone’s daily diet.
Replace pasta, bread and other foods made with bleached white flour with whole-wheat varieties. Brown rice contains more fiber than white rice, and is as easy to prepare and serve with a wok or mixed into homemade soup or chili. When buying whole wheat bread, pay attention to the nutrition label and list of ingredients. Many whole wheat bread with high-fructose corn syrup as one of the first ingredients. High-fructose corn syrup is a form of sugar and should be avoided when preparing healthy dinners. Look for whole wheat products which do not contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
Remember that starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and sweet potatoes or yams can be used instead of bread, rice and pasta. These vegetables contain large amounts of carbohydrates and is often just as filling as processed carbohydrate sources.
Every healthy natural noon should contain vegetables, whether fresh or frozen. Incorporating vegetables into the main entree at dinner is an easy way to ensure that they are eaten. On a busy night, it only takes a few minutes to warm up a bag of frozen vegetables in the microwave. Try sprinkling them with herbs and spices such as garlic salt, black pepper, basil or Cajun spices to enhance flavor.
In a slow cooker, mix together 2 cups of dried assorted beans (Great Northern, black, kidney, pinto, etc.) 1 chopped onion, 2 cans chopped green chiles, chopped tomatillos 5, 4 cups water, and a large container of vegetable or chicken broth. Allow the mixture to boil on high for 4 to 5 hours. Then add 1 cup uncooked brown rice, and cook for an hour or until rice is tender.
Combine a cup of 100 percent orange juice, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 5 tsp. cornstarch in a bowl. Stir everything together and set it aside. Cut 2/1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts into bite size pieces and cook them in a hot wok with 1 tbsp. olive oil. When the chicken is no longer pink, stirring into a bag of frozen broccoli florets and 1/2 head chopped cabbage. Cover the wok and fry until the broccoli is hot all the way through. Remove the lid and slide the chicken and vegetables to the sides of the wok, forming a well in the center. Pour prepared sauce in the middle of the wok and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened. Mix everything together until chicken and vegetables are coated with orange sauce. Serve over hot cooked brown rice or soba (buckwheat) noodles.