2015-10-09 3 Quick Dinners Without the Fuss Main Article Content Breadcrumb navigation All/Nutrition/3 Quick Dinners Without the Fuss The average American household spends an average of $3,008 a year on dining out. Save some money (and time!) with these quick, nutrient-rich meals from Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Registered Dietitian Katisha S. Nielsen, RD, LDN, MPH. Are you among the 90 percent of Americans who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables? Pair each meal with steamed vegetables like broccoli or leafy greens, and finish with a sweet treat, like a handful of berries or other in-season produce. Get more healthy recipes at our community cooking programs or by visiting Healthy Eating Roundup. Lentil Tacos Ingredients 1 cup dry lentils (can substitute 2 cans of cooked lentils) 2 teaspoons oil 1 cup finely minced onion ¼ cup vegetable broth 1 packet taco seasoning ½ cup salsa Tortillas Toppings 1 bag shredded cheese, 1 head romaine lettuce, 1 small container of plain Greek yogurt Directions Put dry lentils in a saucepan, add enough water to cover the lentils, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes until lentils are tender. Remove lentils from pot, drain and rinse. Set aside. If you use canned lentils, you do not need to cook them. Just drain, rinse and proceed to the next step. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add in the reserved lentils, vegetable broth, taco seasoning and salsa. Mix well, slightly mashing with a potato masher, wooden spoon or fork. Serve on tortillas with chosen toppings. Pan-Seared Chicken Ingredients 3 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half and pounded thin Salt and pepper 2 shallots 1 clove of garlic minced ½ cup chicken broth Directions Melt 1 tablespoon butter and heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and brown on both sides in the skillet. Cover, and continue cooking 10 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. Set aside, and keep warm. Mix shallots and garlic into skillet over medium heat, and cook until tender. Stir in broth, and continue cooking 5 minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened. Mix in the remaining butter until melted. Serve the sauce over the chicken. Heart-healthy Pasta Ingredients 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 16-ounce package frozen broccoli florets, thawed 1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced; slices halved ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese Freshly ground black pepper to taste Directions Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package directions. Heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and sauté 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to fully release into the oil. Add the broccoli, beans, pepper, 3 tablespoons water, and salt. Cover and adjust heat to medium. Steam, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the broccoli is hot and the pepper is crisp tender. Toss the pasta with the vegetables. Top with the Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper. For a spicier flavor, add more garlic and/or pepper. Interested in connecting more to the Northwestern Medicine community? Sign up for the Healthy Tips E-Newsletter for everything from health and wellness ideas to patient breakthroughs to academic and medical advancements. Because what makes us better, makes you better.® Share This Page Related Topics Healthy Diet Favorite Foods Recipes Northwestern Medicine - On a relentless pursuit of better medicine. Related Content Nutrition Back-to-School Bento Box Lunches (Infographic) These healthy lunches are both parent- and kid-approved. Nutrition Health Benefits of Avocados (Infographic) Avocados contain nearly 20 essential nutrients. From heart health to depression, this infographic shows how eating avocados impacts you. Healthy Tips Keep Your Kids Sharp This Summer How to help your kids avoid weight gain and keep their minds engaged during summer break. Nutrition The Best Times to Eat Trying to lose weight? Set yourself up for success. Nutrition Heart-Healthy Foods on the Road Heading out on a road trip? We’ve got easy, on-the-go snacking ideas to fuel your adventures. Nutrition Quick Dose: When Is the Best Time to Buy Heart-Healthy Summer Produce? Eating nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables is essential to a heart-healthy diet. Stock up on your favorites while they’re in season. Nutrition Quick Dose: What Should I Eat Before Donating Blood? Donating blood is an extremely rewarding experience that has the opportunity to save up to three lives with just one donation. Proper nutrition beforehand can help prevent you from becoming dizzy or weak after giving blood. Fitness 7 Heart-Healthy Summer Activities Heart-healthy activities can be fun for the whole family. Here’s a to-do list you’ll actually enjoy finishing, with a little help from Northwestern Medicine. Nutrition Heart-Healthy Grilling Recipes Try these recipes without the guilt this summer. Nutrition 6 Pitfalls That Might Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Struggling to lose weight? Here are six pitfalls that could be causing your weight loss to plateau. Nutrition Best Foods for a Healthy Brain Fuel your most important organ with these superfoods. Health Library Quick Dose: Is Red Meat Bad for Your Heart? A Northwestern Medicine cardiologist tackles the debate regarding red meat and its impact on your heart health. Health Library Quick Dose: Is Red Wine Healthy or Harmful? Toast to good health? Not so fast. A Northwestern Medicine cardiologist discusses whether red wine is good for you. Nutrition Dairy: Do You Really Need It? People who CAN digest dairy are actually in the minority. Learn the truth about dairy products, milk substitutes and calcium consumption. Wellness Bite-Sized Resolutions Tips for making realistic New Year’s resolutions – and keeping them. Nutrition Healthy Eating Roundup Whole nutrition advice, all in one place. Nutrition Navigating Holiday Diet Restrictions How to satisfy your and your guests’ dietary restrictions this holiday season. Nutrition Superfoods Through the Decades Four decades of America’s most popular health foods. Healthy Tips The Skinny on Cheat Days Learn how to incorporate cheat days into your diet to sustain a long-term healthy lifestyle. Daily Health Promoting Healthy Brain Development in Infants Learn what lifestyle habits play an important role before, during and after pregnancy. Nutrition Go With Your Gut: 4 Facts About Gluten Intolerance Gluten intolerance can be unpleasant, downright painful and potentially dangerous to your long-term health. Wellness How to Beat the Bloat Learn why bloating happens and how to prevent it. Wellness Understanding, Preventing and Treating UTIs They’re painful, frustrating and very common. Here’s how to recognize, treat and prevent UTIs. Health Library Quick Dose: Is Eating Too Fast Unhealthy? Learn why eating too fast could wreak havoc on your health from a Northwestern Medicine clinical research dietitian. Healthy Tips Healthy Tips for Regular Travelers From finding a good place to eat to avoiding germs in an airport or hotel, traveling for work often comes with a physical and emotional toll. Nutrition Meal Prepping Like the Pros The ultimate guide to making delicious, healthy and ready-to-eat meals. Nutrition Cutting Down on Sugar Can Lead to Better Health Sweeter is not always better. Here’s why you may rethink your drink. Nutrition Seasonal Allergy-Fighting Superfoods Incorporate these foods into your daily diet for some extra seasonal relief. Daily Health A Guide to Asking the Right Medical Questions Asking your physician these four questions can put you on the path to better health. Nutrition The Latest on Peanut Allergies When’s the best time to introduce your baby to peanuts? The answer might be earlier than you think. Nutrition ‘Sup with Supplements? There’s no substitute for a healthy diet and good nutrition, but dietary supplements can play a role in supporting a healthy lifestyle. Health Library Heart Health Roundup Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women. Learn more about your heart and a healthy life. Nutrition How to Cut Back on Sugar Eating less sugar can help control weight and improve overall health. Nutrition More Sugar, More Problems [Infographic] Get the facts about sugar and why the danger of overconsumption has been overlooked and underestimated in the past. Daily Health 7 Reasons to Listen to Your Gut Gut health affects more than just digestion, it can have tangible effects on your mood, immune system and more. Daily Health Down With the Bad, Up With the Good Maintaining proper cholesterol levels can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Nutrition What’s in the Tea Leaves? A warm cup of tea is a delightful drink, but the health benefits are often exaggerated. Here are two truths and a lie about tea. Fitness Fitness Goals and How to Meet Them Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or just live a nice long life, working out can help. Nutrition What it Means to Eat Well With Chemo Good nutrition habits can be tough to keep during cancer treatment, but eating well can give you the strength and energy you need to fight. Wellness New Year, Better You 5 alternative ways to ring in the new year with resolutions you can keep. Medical Advances Attacking an Epidemic From All Angles Cross-disciplinary research from Northwestern Medicine is revealing effective, affordable interventions to stop diabetes in its tracks. Nutrition How to Serve a Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Meal The holidays can be a time of great anxiety for someone with diabetes. Take the bite out of your next dinner with these tips for hosting a friendly meal. Emotional Health Staying Healthy When Stressed The better you take care of yourself during stressful times, the easier they’ll be for your mind and body to endure. Daily Health It’s Time to Talk About Periods Menstruation topics have been making headlines now more than ever before. Nutrition What Makes Chicken Noodle Soup Special? Infographic Chicken noodle soup is a go-to home remedy for coughs, sore throats and stuffy noses – but why does it work? Wellness Make Meat Safety a Household Priority Safe meat handling is paramount to safe meat eating, and is something everyone should practice. Health Library 5 Surprising Facts About Diabetes Despite its prevalence, there are probably a few things you don’t know about diabetes – and they may even surprise you. Nutrition How to Make Your Coffee Shop Order Healthier With so many seasonal beverage choices at coffee shops across the country, learn to you choose one that tastes good and is good for you. Wellness How Your Body Fights Weight Loss Sustainable weight loss is possible and understanding how your body responds to your efforts can help you establish realistic expectations. Wellness Living Life After Breast Cancer Treatment might be over, but your journey to “new normal” is just beginning. Here’s how diet, exercise and being patient with yourself can help. Nutrition A Healthier Pasta Bowl Pasta doesn’t have to be the enemy! It can actually be a healthy source of energy when prepared with the right sauces, spices and veggies. Nutrition Pick Pumpkin for Better Health Adding a little pumpkin to your diet can help fight heart disease, regulate blood sugar and improve eye health. Nutrition A Healthier Pizza We All Can Love Not everyone can sit down to enjoy a slice of cheesy pepperoni pizza, but these twists might be just what the doctor ordered. Nutrition Sugar Doesn't Have to Be Scary Candy is a big part of Halloween and it can be okay if your family follows a well-rounded diet the rest of the year – and a few healthy tips on the big day. Nutrition 7 Ways to Make Eggs When you know these different styles of egg preparation, you can enjoy your eggs whether it’s morning, noon or night. Daily Health 8 Smart Uses for your Smartphone Many smartphones have numerous features and smart apps that make them much more than just phones. Here are eight. Medical Advances Missed, But At Risk A new study revealed that the guidelines for diabetes screenings missed 55 percent of high-risk individuals with prediabetes or diabetes. Daily Health 7 Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee Discover easy healthy habits that can keep you energized all day without needing coffee as a crutch. Daily Health (De) Hydration: What You Need to Know Water works hard for our bodies. So what happens when the well runs dry? Nutrition Could the Chicago Dog Ever Be Healthy? The Chicago dog is a city treasure, it’s not, however, considered a healthy meal. But part-by-part, you can try to make it one. Daily Health Too Hot to Handle Heat-related illness takes five primary forms: sunburn, heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wellness 5 Healthier Ways to Hang Out This Summer The next time you’re socializing with friends or family, think about healthy substitutions. Health Library The Journey From Stroke to Recovery Recovering from a stroke takes time, patience, determination and a dedicated team of health professionals. Nutrition In Season: Grow Your Own Produce Growing your own fruit and vegetables not only guarantees your food will be fresh and local, it also has surprising health benefits. Nutrition Do You Need a Nutritionist? 6 frequently asked questions answered by a Northwestern Medicine RDN. Wellness You Want to Eat What? Chocolate. Pickles. Curry. Popular pregnancy cravings can be as disparate as they are desirable. Health Library Healthy Eating for Colon Health A healthy diet is a key part in maintaining colon health. Discover the fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich food that can help prevent colorectal cancer. Daily Health Eats to Help You Sleep Everyone has his or her own trick to turn to when it’s hard to fall asleep. Find out what really works. Nutrition Put an Egg on It Eggs are accessible, affordable and a high quality source of nutrients that can be incorporated into a healthy diet in any number of ways. Nutrition Drop the Beet on Your Diet Beets are more than the latest food trend: the spring root vegetable is a nutrient powerhouse. Nutrition Debunked by a Dietitian: Fad Diets, Part Two This is the second in a two-part series on the facts about fad diets, focusing on long-term trends, like paleo or gluten-free. Nutrition Debunked by a Dietitian: Fad Diets, Part One This is the first in a two-part series on the facts about fad diets, focusing on short-term programs like juice cleanses and fasting. Medical Advances A Coffee A Day An observation from a routine clinical trial could offer a breakthrough lead in colon cancer prevention. Health Library Understanding Eating Disorders Disordered eating is a complex and complicated condition, and treatment and support is no less nuanced. Health Library Disordered Eating and Your Heart Disordered eating affects and is affected by your physical, psychological and social health. Nutrition The Heart Value of Being Vegetarian A vegetarian diet may be particularly good at ensuring your body gets the nutrients your heart needs. Medical Advances The Early Impact of a Heart Healthy Diet A recent study suggests that following a healthy diet in young adulthood can decrease the likelihood of heart disease later in life. Daily Health How to Winterize Your Health Your home, your car — entire guides are written for winterizing what you own, and your health is no less deserving. Nutrition Can Food Fight Cancer? Is there such a thing as cancer-fighting foods? Two Northwestern Medicine dietitians weigh in. Nutrition In Season: Winter Produce Winter can feel like a dead patch for produce, but a number of fruits and vegetables come into season between December and March. Nutrition Healthy Holiday Eating Habits Healthy eating can be tricky during the holiday season. Whether facing cookies or a full dinner, find tips inside to eat well. Nutrition Make a Healthier Holiday Menu Holiday season is full of indulgent meals, but substitutions and healthy recipes help you eat well. Here are our top recipe picks. Nutrition In Season: Fall Produce With local farmers’ markets and CSA, you can enjoy nutritious fruits and vegetables in season in fall. Find out what’s available in autumn. Nutrition Healthy Hosting How-To Fall starts the season of dinner parties, tailgates and hosting and you can stay health conscious while serving up tasty favorites. Learn more. Medical Advances How Neighborhood May Affect Diabetes Research from Northwestern Medicine shows how neighborhood resources and access to healthy food may affect diabetes rates. Wellness Good Health Getaway Depending on the destination, a weekend getaway can create chaos for wellness. Follow these tips to ensure a stress-free trip. Daily Health Parenting Like a Pro We know back-to-school is a busy time for parents, so we've brought together our best parenting tips to help out. Nutrition Quick and Healthy Breakfasts Made in advance or on-the-go, easy wholesome recipes can make the morning run smoothly for everyone. Find our top 10. Wellness Need More Milk? Life can get hectic with a newborn, but breastfeeding should be simple. Find out what’s normal and what’s not. Nutrition Considering a Cleanse? From weight loss to energy, people do cleanses for many reasons. Find guidelines for detoxing and whether it’s the right route for your health. Fitness Debunked by a Doc: Sports Drinks Hydration is a huge part of healthy exercise, and sports drinks can replace fluid loss. Learn the facts when sports drinks get debunked by a doc. Nutrition In Season: Summer Produce Get your fill of nutritious and delicious summer produce. Find out what's in season. Nutrition Have a Healthier Barbecue Filling your plate at cookouts and barbecues doesn’t have to result in filling out your waistband. Discover healthy alternatives to BBQ classics inside. Nutrition Jump Start Snacks Fight fatigue and boost your energy with nutrient-rich snacks and meals. Find out which foods are full of fuel. Nutrition Breastfeeding Nutrition A nutritious diet when you’re breastfeeding can boost your strength, stamina and health. Discover how to eat well for you and your little one. Nutrition A Handy Guide to Serving Size [Infographic] Portion control can be tricky. Use your hand – and this infographic – to measure your food. Medical Advances Deconstructing Coffee Studying coffee is difficult due to variables like metabolism, caffeine reaction and lifestyle factors. A new research plan plots to find better measures. Nutrition In Season: Spring Produce Reap the benefits of eating in season with fruit and vegetable picks for spring. Medical Advances How Numbers Can Predict Hypertension Hypertension can be a difficult condition to predict and prevent. But people with undiagnosed high blood pressure may find help from technology. Medical Advances Chicagoans Lack Sufficient Vitamin D A recent Northwestern Medicine study links Vitamin D deficiencies to three types of cancers, and Chicagoans may get too low of a dose. Nutrition How to Treat Yourself to Chocolate Love chocolate? Discover the heart healthy benefits in your favorite treat when you follow these 5 rules to heart healthy indulgence. Nutrition Comfort Food That’s Good for You When you're craving something rich and filling, a few strategic substitutions can offer heart-friendly options for heart-warming meals. Nutrition 5 Ideas for a Healthy Pack Lunch Send your child off to school with a healthy lunch when you pack up these five fun and nutritious ideas. Wellness Live Well With a Little Tech Help Health apps can help with your fitness, diet and organization. Find out how technology can help you meet your wellness goals. Nutrition Dos and Don'ts for Picky Eaters Picky eaters can be a challenge for even the most experienced parents. Avoid bartering carrots for cookies when you practice these dos and don'ts. Nutrition 10 Simple Rules for Eating Heart Healthy Healthy eating can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attacks or strokes. Discover 10 tips for a heart healthy diet. Learn more. Health Library Managing Your Weight With Osteoarthritis Obesity represents one of the biggest risk factors for developing osteoarthritis. Learn more about the link plus how to lose weight and lessen pain.