At this time of the year, it can be difficult to find healthy summer meals. This especially serves true with pasta salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream served at parties.
Thankfully, though, the expert chefs at BistroMD have created healthy dinner recipes. What's more, they will make you forget all about those summer favorites packed with calories, fat, sugar, and salt.
So take a bite out of these easy healthy summer recipes throughout the entire summer (and year)!
Healthy Dinner Meals & Ideas
Dinner is served with a Mediterranean chicken dinner or tasty bean and veggie burrito. While each is vastly different in ingredients, both are bountiful in nutrients and flavor.
And not to mention, they are easy healthy summer meals simple to prepare!
Mediterranean Chicken Dinner
A Mediterranean diet is essentially an eating pattern filled with wholesome foods. The diet includes whole grains, fresh produce, legumes, nuts and seeds, olive and canola oils, and fresh herbs and spices.
Following a Mediterranean diet can lessen metabolic syndrome risk, prevent against bone loss, manage diabetes, and reduce psoriasis symptoms. But a Mediterranean diet does more than benefit the body, as it pleases the taste buds. And bistroMD's Mediterranean Chicken truly does just that!
The chicken is baked, which bypasses frying oils and limits overall fat. But the low-fat content of chicken may have people avoiding the oven to prevent a dry, bland end-product. So, can baking a chicken into a juicy, flavorful protein source coexist? This chicken dinner proves so!
Yield: 4 servings
• 1 lb. chicken breast, boneless and skinless
• 2 Tbsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp paprika
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp onion powder
• Olive oil
1. Prepare the pan and oven: Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and lightly coat with a nonstick spray. Position a middle rack in the oven and heat to 400°F.
2. Brine the chicken: Fill a pot of warm water and dissolve in a small handful of salt. This is merely a solution the meat absorbs for a juicier product. Let the chicken soak in the brine for at least 15 minutes. After the allotted time, take out the chicken, rinse under cold water, and pat dry.
3. Add the Mediterranean flavors: Combine all spices into a small bowl to assemble a dry rub. Place brined, dried chicken onto a lined sheet pan. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and rub the chicken with the spices inspired by the Mediterranean.
4. Bake the chicken breast. Baking the chicken at a high temperature for a shortened time period locks in the natural juices. It reduces the risk of a dry and unpleasant product, too. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperate has reached 165°F to prevent foodborne illness.
5. Rest the chicken. Most have the urge to cut into the chicken right after it is out of the oven. However, let the chicken rest for five to 10 minutes before cutting into it. Doing so sustains its juiciness and tenderness that was initially sought out after.
Serve with appetizers, side dishes, and garnishes likewise inspired by the Mediterranean. Some ideas to get you started include:
• Roasted garlic hummus in cucumber cups: Hummus is a staple in a Mediterranean diet and offers plant-based protein and fiber. The hummus is topped onto cucumber cups for a low-carb, yet satisfying appetizer.
• Mediterranean quinoa salad: This quinoa salad bursts with flavor and nutrients! It features many ingredients inspired by the Mediterranean, including artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil.
• Grilled vegetable salad with herb dressing: Prepare a grilled vegetable salad with herb dressing to pair with the chicken. Grilling and using fresh herbs truly elevates the flavor of the in-season summer produce.
• Red and yellow bell pepper coulis: Coulis is a sauce prepared by pureeing fruits or vegetables. And in this instance, red and yellow bell peppers. Not only does the sauce offer aesthetic to the meal plate, but elevates the flavor of the dish.
• Honey drizzled broiled grapefruit: Fresh fruit is a mainstay in a Mediterranean diet. And rather than resorting to a sleeve of cookies after dinner, kick that sweet tooth with honey drizzled broiled grapefruit. It is naturally sweet and supplies a mere 70 calories per serving!
Tasty Bean & Veggie Burrito
This tasty bean and veggie burrito is a quick and healthy dinner idea. It is packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and phytonutrients as well.
The burritos also take no more than 30 minutes! That means eating healthy throughout the week has never been so delicious nor nutritious thanks to this recipe.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1, 15-ounce can black beans, drained
• 1 bell pepper, diced
• ½ red onion, chopped
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 4 whole-wheat tortillas
• Optional fillings: shredded cheese, corn, rice, and other bean varieties
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
2. Add beans, bell pepper, onion, beans, and cumin.
3. Sauté for about five minutes, remove from heat, and set aside.
4. Lay tortilla on a flat surface and add ¼ of the bean mixture. Wrap burrito tightly, folding over the edges until mixture is concealed. Repeat this process for all tortilla shells.
5. For a crispy burrito, heat a large skillet then add 1 teaspoon olive oil or nonstick spray. Place the burritos on the skillet for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden in color. Feel free to omit this step if desiring a softer burrito.
6. Serve with favorite burrito toppings, such as tomato, salad greens, salsa, and sour cream.
• Up the protein content by adding grilled chicken, sirloin, or tilapia.
• For a lower-carb option, omit the tortilla and top mixture onto a salad loaded with fresh veggies.
• Make the bean and veggie mixture ahead of time to expedite the process.
• Prepare in bulk and freeze the burritos for a healthy meal throughout the week.
• Serve with a fresh fruit salad to perfectly complement the spice of the burritos. Fruit also can curb a nagging post-dinner sweet tooth while offering beneficial nutrients. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt for added protein and creaminess.
Healthy Dinner Ideas From BistroMD
Amidst a busy summer schedule, preparing healthy food dinners regularly may be challenging. If looking for something fast and convenient without the hassle of going to the grocery store, look to bistroMD!
BistroMD is a diet delivery program that takes out the guesswork of healthy eating. Also offering 200 recipes and a completely customized menu, there is always a recipe to satisfy the taste buds. Nutritious and delicious dinner options include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Chicken meatballs with marinara and linguini
• Sliced ham with mustard maple sauce
• Southwest bison meatloaf with smoky tomato glaze
• Tilapia with smoky tomato sauce
• Jerk spiced tilapia with mango pineapple
• Manicotti with vodka marinara
• Chicken spinach meatloaf with tomato glaze
• Macadamia crusted barramundi sea bass
• Roasted cauliflower and lentils with charred red pepper sauce
• Scallops with chili garlic sauce and couscous
• Shepherd's pie
• Sliced ham with mustard maple sauce
• Spinach and feta stuffed salmon
• Turkey breast with honey orange glaze
But despite the allure of such meals, rest assured they are all healthy food choices! In fact, all meals provide a scientific balance of complex carbohydrate, lean protein, and healthy fat. The balance of nutrients adjusts the body's specific metabolic rate and achieve successful lifetime weight management.
Truly, rather than cooking in the kitchen, meal delivery allocates time to be spent on what you find most important! This includes enjoying a pool party, heading to the beach, or watching a movie with loved ones.