We’re always being told that we should eat a healthy, balanced diet, but exactly what this entails is harder to pin down. To help answer this, we thought it would be a good idea to go straight to the source and see what meals nutritionists suggest making. This way, you’ll know you’re getting the real deal! At NetCost Market, we’ve got five great meal ideas suggested by nutritionists themselves.
Stir-fries are one of the healthiest meals you can prepare for yourself and your family according to nutritionist Toby Amidor because they contain at least 3 major food groups – lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Try using either quinoa or unrefined brown rice to serve your stir-fry with, and stick to leaner cuts of meat such as chicken breast or lean cuts of beef. A top tip is to marinate the meat you’re using in low-sodium soy sauce and lime juice for at least 6 hours before you make dinner – this helps break down the meat so it’s softer and infuses with those classic Asian flavors!
Zoodles (noodles made using zucchini) are all the rage, and nutritionist Amy Gorin thinks this is for good reason! Zucchini contains a fraction of the calories that pasta noodles do and are high in fiber and several vitamins and minerals. This means that even if you ate zoodles until you were completely full, you’d still be under the number of calories you would have taken in if you’d had a normal-sized portion of pasta noodles! Try partially cooking your zoodles in a little bit of vegetable broth for a minute and then add cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and some homemade basil pesto for a delicious and healthy meal!
Keri Gans, a registered dietitian suggests that lentil soup is a great addition to your weekly meal schedule. Lentils are a great source of soluble fiber, but also contain a reasonable amount of protein and slow-release carbohydrates. Make a lentil soup by frying some chopped onions and garlic in a pan, and then adding a tablespoon of tomato paste and a teaspoon of ground cumin. Next, add a cup of red lentils and four cups of water, and season with salt and pepper. Blend once the lentils have completely cooked down and served with a sprinkle of olive oil.
Maya Feller suggests making a quick and healthy salad that incorporates high-vitamin vegetables with the probiotic properties of low-fat Greek yogurt. She suggests mixing together a squeeze of lemon juice, a chopped small red onion, plenty of low-fat Greek yogurt, chopped garlic, a small amount of feta cheese, diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, some slices of avocado, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of cumin. This one-bowl wonder is a great way to incorporate healthy proteins with high-fiber raw vegetables.
Bowls are trending right now, with poke bowls taking American cities by storm. Alissa Rumsey, a dietitian operating in New York, believes bowls are a great way to go. They contain a good mixture of food groups, and you can easily manage what goes in them so unhealthy components aren’t masked by more healthy ingredients. A great idea is the Sorghum bowl which contains whole grains like quinoa or bulgur wheat, a type of beans like kidney beans or white beans, grilled above-ground-growing vegetables, and some cooked green lentils. The simple bowl is then topped with good quality olive oil and salt. Simple!
Nutritionists know how to eat healthily, it’s their job! But, sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what they mean when they say we should be eating a “balanced diet”. Try some of these quick and healthy meal ideas to keep your diet balanced. You’ll find all the quality ingredients you need to make tasty midweek meals at NetCost Market, so head down and start eating that balanced diet nutritionists are always recommending!