THE BLOG

5 Quick and Healthy Fall Weeknight Meals

11/07/2011 03:54 pm ET | Updated Jan 07, 2012

This time of year, with holidays (and the onslaught of holiday parties) right around the corner, it's more important than ever to get in the habit of eating healthy weeknight meals. Takeout may be the easiest option, but it's rarely the healthiest. Cooking for yourself allows you to control your ingredients and your portions, and to boost flavor while cutting calories.

2011-11-07-quinoa.jpg

People tell me all the time that they are too busy to cook during the week. With a little bit of planning (i.e. shop ahead!) and a few super-simple recipes below, you can have a healthy meal on the table in 30 minutes or less. Even better, that time spent eating and talking around the table as a family has untold benefits. But what constitutes a healthy meal, you might ask?

I've tried to adopt Michael Pollan's mantra of healthy eating from his book In Defense of Food (Penguin, 2009): "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Those seven words are so easy to remember and I've found myself eating better since I decided to follow them.

The recipes below all have some combination of seasonal vegetables, grains, and legumes, heart-healthy fats (like olive oil), and plenty of spices and fresh herbs. Three recipes are vegan, one has fish, and one has a bit of prosciutto (more as a flavoring than a central ingredient). Each dish can be made quickly and inexpensively, and (other than the fish) they all make excellent leftovers.

No more excuses -- give cooking a try! Your health-and your family-are worth it. And chances are, you'll be surprised at just how easy (and delicious) healthy cooking can be.

2011-11-07-IMG_4448.jpg

5 Quick & Healthy Fall Weeknight Meals
(Click on each item for recipe)

1) Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

2) Spicy Black Bean Soup

3) Tomato Chickpea Curry with Kale

4) Roasted Branzini with Brussels Sprouts

5) Tuscan White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

YOU MAY LIKE