One Bowl Healthy Dinner in a Snap
After school sports have you spinning? Can't figure out how to get a healthy meal on the table after a crazy day? Check out this quick and easy meal prep idea to keep the energy flowing with a tasty pasta alternative.
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My son races mountain bikes. It keeps us crazy busy and expends a ton of energy. I am always thinking about how to pack in the important nutrients he needs to fuel his rides and keep him healthy. Some of the BIGGEST energy zaps are loaded into quick fast food meals that we turn to when life gets nuts, so I try to avoid them as much as possible... but life isn't always perfect.
The BIGGEST health and energy disruptors in our diet are:
TRANS FATS - FRIED FOODS
These foods can truly mess with our digestive health (which is directly linked to our overall health and immune system), focus & concentration, weight, and sleep. Often times, when we are eating quick meals from restaurants - they are loaded with these energy zappers and void of the healthy stuff..... well sourced protein, fiber, healthy fats such as omega 3, and nutrient packed vegetables.
So often I hear clients share that meal prepping is overwhelming, they don't have time for complex recipes, and just don't have the discipline. WE ARE MAKING IT TOO COMPLICATED! While there are awesome websites available to help you create healthy meal plans such as Skinnytaste and RealPlans, sometimes we can wing it with a little forethought at the grocery store.
Here are the main ingredients I like to have on hand to whip up a quick and healthy dinner:
- Banza Pasta
- Frozen Veggies such as zucchini, broccoli, peppers. (I always add at least two veggies)
- low sugar pasta sauce
- well sourced, organic, free range meat - ground beef, chicken or turkey and/or Applegate
- parmesan cheese
- olive oil
The beauty of this - you can tweak it and pick what your family likes...... make a double batch and keep some in the fridge and/or freezer to re-heat. Serve it alone or with a quick salad and you just NAILED IT!
Banza pasta is made with chickpeas. It is a little denser that traditional pasta, but a great
alternative and gluten free. It has higher protein and fiber with less carbs - WIN! It comes in all different shapes and varieties so you can choose whatever you like. This is one of my favorite go-to items for making sure my son gets the energy stores healthy needs without the junk.
I love using fresh veggies too, but frozen veggies are a sure fire standby. They have just as many nutrients (some might argue even more) than fresh veggies and are easy to keep on hand with out worrying about spoilage. They often cost less too. I love to roast them or air fry them to get a little different flavor profile.
Sauce - keep it simple - check the label and choose a product that is low in sugar and has a simple ingredient list. Here is one of my favorites: Rao Pasta Sauce
Meat....... this is one where QUALITY MATTERS!!! This is where I allocate a higher budget. Conventional meats are often loaded with all kinds of undesirable chemicals and void of nutrients. Aim for organic, grass fed, pasture raised, sustainable sourced meats. I often source my protein online and have it shipped on dry ice to our house in bulk. One of my favorite websites is Greensbury If I am in a huge hurry or looking for a different flavor, I will also reach for Applegate Sausage.
So here's the plan - 30 minutes or less:
- begin heating a large pot of water to boil for the pasta
- throw the veggies in the oven to roast or airy fry (you can also steam or microwave)
- in a large pan brown ground meat or sausage (I like to cut the sausage with a kitchen shear to
- add pasta to boiling water and set the timer
- while these items are cooking..... dice any fresh ingredients you may want to add such as sweet
peppers or mushrooms
Drain the pasta - add back to the pot. Toss with a little olive oil. Add meat, veggies, sauce. Stir together and keep on warm for a few minutes. Serve in a bowl and top with parmesan cheese and a dash of parsley or oregano.
Keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days or freeze for another easy meal.
YOU JUST ROCKED HEALTHY DINNER !!!