THE BLOG
01/04/2015 09:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Start the New Year Off Right: 7 Healthy, Fast Weeknight Dinners

1. Blackened Tilapia

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This is one of my favorite fish recipes, and it's super quick and easy. Mild tilapia fillets are dusted with a bold Cajun spice rub, then sautéed in olive oil until crisp and flavorful on the exterior and tender and flaky within. GET THE RECIPE

2. White Chicken Chili

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Made with rotisserie chicken, this is a one pot meal that you can have on the dinner table in under an hour. The broth is thickened with puréed white beans, which makes it hearty and satisfying but still low in fat. GET THE RECIPE

3. Spaghetti Squash Gratin

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Spaghetti squash is a low-carb, low-cal alternative to pasta; when cooked, it miraculously transforms into golden, spaghetti-like strands. My favorite way to prepare it is to toss it with with marinara sauce, sprinkle it lightly with crispy breadcrumbs and cheese and bake it in the oven until golden brown. It's like a gift from the diet gods! GET THE RECIPE

4. BBQ Turkey Meatloaf

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For all its merits as a low-fat alternative to beef, ground turkey can be incredibly dry and bland. The secret is to add flavor and moisture without adding fat, which would obviously defeat the whole purpose. This turkey meatloaf is generously seasoned with sautéed onions, garlic and a tangy-sweet barbecue glaze, which makes it deliciously full-flavored and satisfying. A family favorite! GET THE RECIPE

5. Quinoa Pilaf with Shiitake Mushrooms, Carrots & Pecans

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Eating healthy should never leave you hungry, which is one of the reasons I love quinoa. Though it looks like couscous and eats like a grain, it's actually the tiny seed of a plant related to leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard. Quinoa is incredibly high in protein and fiber, and contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. What's more? It's gluten-free, cooks quickly (just 15 minutes!) and can take on limitless flavors. Here, I've gussied it up with sautéed onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and pecans to make an earthy and hearty dish. GET THE RECIPE

6. Chicken Tacos

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These are my kids' all-time favorite tacos -- they're healthier than traditional beef tacos, and just as good, if not better. GET THE RECIPE

7. Ginger, Garlic & Chili Shrimp

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In this quick and easy recipe -- adapted from The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift -- jumbo shrimp are bathed in a brine flavored with salt, sugar and chili powder, and then sautéed with loads of fresh ginger and garlic. It's a delicious and flavorful dish that appeals to kids and adults alike. In fact, the recipe headnote reads: "If there is one recipe in this book that is guaranteed to have your family moaning with gratitude, this is it. After eating these shrimp, a five-year-old has been known to say, 'Wow, Mom, thanks!' And they've driven a grown woman to shamelessly lick her plate--in front of everyone." GET THE RECIPE