Lunch doesn’t need to be the only time of the day when you embrace the fruits and vegetables. There are plenty of healthy dinner ideas you can create that will help you include superfood ingredients in your meals than one each day.
Why You Should Add More Superfoods to Your Diet
Do you know that most people don’t get the right amount of vitamins and nutrients in their diets? Unless you’re taking a fruit and vegetable supplement, or eating mostly fruits and veggies along with a variety of other healthy food options, you may be missing out on some key nutrients for optimal health.
One way you can increase your vitamin and nutrient intake is by making sure that you’re adding superfoods to each of your meals. There are plenty of superfoods – they are food items that contain a wide variety of health benefits, including a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Superfoods are more than just fruits and vegetables – they include some grains, meats, and other food items. Olive oil, fish, and quinoa are all superfoods. Even yogurt is a superfood (it contains vitamins and nutrients, as well as live cultures that help with healthy digestion).
How to Add More Superfoods with These Healthy Dinner Ideas
If you want to start feeding healthier meals to your family, and yourself, you can increase the goodness in each meal by coming up with something that incorporates superfoods. It’s not that difficult, especially when there is such a wide range of these foods.
Here are 6 meal ideas you might want to try out. They may become new favorites.
1. Harvest Style Popped Lentils
Image from SkinnyFitalicious.com
Why lentils? Lentils have an amazing amount of nutrients, from complex carbs to fiber. They’re rich in folate and magnesium. They are a great diet food (helping your body burn fat) and they’re better for you than rice.
Lentils aren’t for everyone, and when they’re made in a soup, they can sometimes be soggy. This recipe gives you crisp lentils that you can use in all sorts of ways, from tossing them on your salad to eating them in a grain bowl. They’re great added to a main dish or a side dish.
The key is making them into “popped” lentils by cooking them in a skillet until the pop, using a couple ounces of olive oil (once they start to sizzle it will only take about 10 minutes for them to pop. After that, use them to make this great skillet meal.
To make the harvest skillet you will need –
1/2 of a bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a green apple, diced
1/4 cup of diced butternut squash (sweet potato makes a good alternative, and both are superfoods, too)
A pinch of grated orange peel
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
A splash of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
If you want to make more, add more vegetables. Other great additions include kale, mushrooms, onions, and carrots.
You can set the popped lentils to the side and use the same pan, just add an extra drizzle of olive oil to keep things from sticking. Add in your veggies and the apple and toss them around like you’re making a stir-fry. As it cooks, add the orange peel and spices.
You’ll continue cooking over medium heat until all the vegetables start to brown. Then, add the lentils and the splash of apple cider vinegar. Cook for a few more minutes, and then they’re ready to serve.
2. Green Bean and Sweet Potato Salad
Image from Cooking with M&S
Sweet potatoes are another amazing superfood that deserves a regular place in your diet. They are full of fiber, calcium, iron, vitamins B and C, and even beta-carotene. This is a great food for revitalizing yourself after a junk food binge.
What’s even better about this salad is the Maple-Mustard Dressing that pulls the tastes together with something sweet and slightly tangy. This is a great side dish to your favorite chicken or fish meal.
You’ll need –
4 thinly sliced sweet potatoes (unpeeled)
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of thyme (fresh or dried)
8 oz of green beans
A handful of dried cranberries
A handful of toasted walnuts
A small bag of spring mix lettuce
Begin by preheating your oven to 450F. Mix the sweet potatoes with the cinnamon, olive oil, sea salt, and thyme. Arrange the seasoned sweet potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast them for 25-30 minutes then set them aside to cool slightly.
While your cooking the potatoes, cook the green beans in boil water for only a couple minutes and then plunge them in a bowl of ice water. Once the beans are ready, slice them in half.
Mix the beans and potatoes, along with the other ingredients, and toss in the dressing as well. The ingredients you’ll combine for the dressing are –
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp of spicy mustard
1 tsp of finely ground sea salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Combine the vinegar, maple syrup, and spicy mustard in a medium bowl. Add the salt and pepper, and then whisk in the olive oil. Adjust for seasoning.
3. Avocado Chicken Salad
Image from Super Healthy Kids
This is a great choice for lunch or dinner. You can do various things with this chicken salad – like mixing it in cooked noodles for a casserole, having it on a sandwich, or enjoying it on top of a bed of lettuce with some tomatoes.
Avocado is a superfood that keeps the heart and brain healthy. It’s rich in healthy fats, and it makes an excellent substitute for many ingredients in all sorts of recipes, from tuna salad to sandwich additive.
To make this tasty recipe, you will need the following ingredients –
1 fully ripe avocado
1 juiced lime
1 tbsp of Greek yogurt
2 diced celery stalks
¼ cup diced red onion
1 cooled and cubed chicken breast
sea salt and pepper to taste
Mash the avocado, lime juice, and Greek yogurt together. You can also opt to blend them in a food processor to make it smooth. Then, stir in the rest of the ingredients and serve!
4. Grilled Halibut with Kale Pistachio Pesto
Image from JenSinkler.com
Pistachios are heart-healthy nuts that give you a boost of protein and healthy fats. Kale is also a superfood, full of nutrients. And, of course, fish is heart healthy as well.
First, you’ll want to make the pesto, since it’s the key ingredient to the meal. You will need –
¾ cups of roasted pistachios
4 peeled cloves of garlic
Zest and juice from one lemon
2 cups of fresh basil
3 to 4 packed cups of chopped kale
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese
Combine the pistachios, garlic, and lemon zest in your food processor (on pulse). Then add the basil, kale, and lemon juice and blend. Add in the olive oil, while stopping to scrape down the side from time to time – blending until it reaches your desired consistency.
Dump into a bowl and then mix in the Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate until it’s time to use.
For the halibut, you’ll need –
Four 4 to 6-ounce halibut fillets
You will only need to use 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pesto per filet, leaving you with some leftover pesto (great with tortilla chips as an appetizer).
Start by preheating your grill and lightly oiling the clean grates. Rinse and dry the fish fillets and then squeeze lemon juice on them. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until flaky.
Once you remove the fillets from the grill, you can spread the pesto on each of them and serve.
Final Thoughts on Superfood Filled Healthy Dinner Ideas
Superfoods are easy to find, you probably already have some in your kitchen. Start making it a point to add a few to each of your meals. You'll get more vitamins and nutrients which can increase your overall health.