By Haley Bridges
Myth or Fact: It takes a lot of time and effort to make a healthy dinner? Myth! In fact it’s neither time consuming nor hard.
There are many ways to make a healthy dinner and if you stick to the basics your options are endless. There are four basic food groups needed to make a healthy dinner: protein (chicken, turkey, beef or beans), vegetables, fruits and grains (rice, quinoa, bulgur and barley). Each food group provides essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy; vitamins (B vitamins, vitamin A and C), fiber, iron and potassium.
Now let’s talk about how to get all these nutrients into a quick healthy meal.
One of the best and easiest ways to accomplish this is a DIY Burrito Bowl. Similar to Chipotle’s extremely delicious meal option, only this one will be healthier.
There are just a few simple steps and the amounts of toppings/ingredients are unlimited. The best thing about making your own is that you will be able to control the portion size and where the ingredients come from.
Start with a grain; either white or brown rice. Since most of us do not have a rice cooker and cooking rice on the stove can get messy and take time, there is a great solution, Trader Joes Organic Brown Rice (which can be microwaved in 3 minutes). *Grains are important source of nutrients filled with vitamins, fiber and minerals.
Protein: Beans. Typically black beans are used but feel free to customize it to your preference. If not black beans try pinto beans, red beans or kidney beans. *Beans provide one of the best sources of protein especially you follow a meat-free diet.
Protein: Meat. You can basically add any meat to your bowl however if you are trying to stay healthy go with chicken or ground turkey. *Meat is a good source of iron, which helps support a healthy immune system.
Toppings: You have many options here. You can add basically anything you want. Corn, tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, cheese (in moderation), avocado, salsa, Greek yogurt (a healthier substitute for sour cream) or sauté up some of your favorite vegetables and throw them in there!
You now have a healthy meal that includes all of the basic food groups. Quick and easy right? Now take what you’ve learned here and apply that to every other meal you make. Just remember to work in the basic food groups and each meal you make will be healthy.