4 Ways To Get Healthy Dinners On The Table Faster

Tuna with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

For the busy Avagliano Family, I keep trying to emphasize the importance of knowing what’s in the food they are eating. Because cooking every night is not an option, they need to “assemble” some of their meals instead. One way to do that is to prep the basics on the weekends and then use them to make many different meals. Here are some of my favorites:

Prep homemade tomato sauce and serve it…

  • with cooked pasta and a big green salad.
  • on top of a mild white fish, along with small handful of olives and capers and roast in the oven just until fish flakes.
  • on your chicken breast with a spoonful of sauce and a thin slice of fresh mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and bake in the oven.

Prep a roast chicken and…

  • serve with roasted broccoli and a sweet potato for a nice Sunday dinner.
  • make quesadillas with the chicken; add some shredded cheese, fresh chopped tomatoes and cilantro and warm it in the oven or in a pan on the stove top.
  • chop the chicken up and make it into a salad with a little mayo, some raisins, celery a pinch of salt and some fresh pepper. Serve it on a green salad or in a whole wheat pita pocket.

Prep a seared and roasted pork tenderloin and…

  • enjoy it hot out of the oven with brown rice and a vegetable stir-fry.
  • slice and have it on a whole grain bread with lettuce, tomatoes and mustard.
  • shred the pork and add it to baked taco shells; top with lettuce, a little cheese, chopped avocado and your favorite salsa.

Prep roasted vegetables and…

  • have them room temperature in a sandwich with a dollop of goat cheese.
  • cook some whole wheat pasta to stir in; sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • add them to an omelet along with some rye toast with a drizzle of olive oil.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.

Challenge Yourself: Make a Healthy, Hearty Salad


Every day, Peggy has been concocting new recipes from her fruits and veggies. In her most recent post, she mentioned a delicious salad she threw together: lettuce, pomegranates, feta cheese, baby cucumber and black cherry tomatoes with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

You, too, can make healthy, hearty salads in minutes. Start with a bed of greens, then add lots of fruits and veggies. Top with a lean protein (like chicken, tune or egg whites). Then add a small amount of light dressing, or just a little oil and vinegar.

Need inspiration? Check out our recipes here:

30 Simple, Scrumptious Salads

7 Main-Dish Salads

7 Healthy Salads

What’s your favorite healthy salad recipe? Share in the comments below.

Challenge Yourself: Make Your Smoothies Healthier

To up her daily fruit intake, Peggy is starting her day with healthy mango-strawberry smoothies. Blended drinks are great ways to work fruits and veggies into your diet–as long as they’re not laden down with sugary syrups and juices or fatty ice cream.

Check out five delicious smoothies you can enjoy guilt-free.

What’s your favorite healthy smoothie recipe? Tell us in the comments below.

Challenge Yourself: Sneak Veggies Into Every Meal

Penne Rapini

Tiffany told us how she now has more energy from increasing her daily fruit and veggie intake. Her secret:

Just adding spinach to my eggs or making sure with each meal we have a fruit or a vegetable.

It may seem intimidating at first, but once you start sneaking chopped fruits or vegetables into your meals, you’ll find that it becomes easier to do so regularly. In addition to making you feel fuller, by bringing healthy bulk to your food, they also add extra flavor, texture and color–all the more appetizing!

Check out these great recipes that stealthily incorporate more veggies into weeknight dinners.

What’s your favorite way to sneak fruits and veggies into meals? Share in the comments below.