Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day

Here are well-balanced options you can eat for days, weeks or even months at a time and feel assured that you’re getting the nutrients you need. Mix and match them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for variation.

Soy Burger and Baked Fries

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Soy Burger and Baked Fries images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Soy Burger and Baked Fries images

A burger with fries is a go-to favorite meal for many people, so turn it into a healthy choice by swapping out a fatty burger for a soy burger, and roasted or potato fries. Start with a 100-calorie whole grain roll, add your soy burger, and top with lettuce, tomato, low-fat cheese slice, pickles, and a bit of mustard and ketchup. A small baked or sweet potato (the size of your fist) baked whole or cut into six long chunks (Roasted at 400 for 30 minutes, first tossed with one teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper) is a fiber-rich starch. Complete your meal with one cup of sliced melon, or fresh fruit of your choice. That’s a 450-calorie meal with heart healthy fat, high-quality protein, and fiber-rich carbs.

Veggie Frittata

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Veggie Frittata images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Veggie Frittata images

An egg is the most digestible protein in nature and an ideal choice to mix with cooked vegetables and low-fat cheese. Enjoy a vegetable frittata by beating two eggs (or egg substitute) and pouring into a non-stick pan then adding one cup of chopped veggies (fresh or frozen) and ¼ cup of shredded low-fat cheese. Cook until eggs are firm, then fold over one edge if you want it omelette-style. Include a fresh green or fruit salad and you’ve got a low-calorie healthy meal you can eat anytime of the day.

Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables images

Roasted chicken can be a calorie-watcher’s best friend. Whether grilled at home, or cut from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, a skinless chicken breast or leg/thigh combination is a perfect source of lean protein. Just add two cups of a bagged salad and a half-cup of cooked instant brown rice to make it a meal. You can alternate one cup of fresh or cooked broccoli or other veggies instead of salad, and swap out your brown rice for half a cup of cooked couscous or a small baked potato (eat the skin for optimal nutrients). You’ve got a 450-calorie lunch or dinner loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Still hungry? Add a 100-calorie dessert of berries with low-fat topping or small low-fat yogurt or pudding.

The Best Frozen Meals

Seeking an easy way to control your portions and maintain variety? Try a frozen, low-calorie meal. Look for meals that are “lean”, “healthy”, “light” and “smart” and are high in protein and low in sodium. You can find many in the 300 to 350 calorie range. Add a bag of green beans, a fresh fruit, or frozen berries (eaten frozen or thawed) to boost your nutrient intake, and the complete meal should come in under 450 calories.

Low-Fat Deli Sandwich

When you’re on the go and want a deli lunch, look for low-fat options like Subway’s 6-inch sandwiches with 6 grams of fat or less (on whole- grain bread). Skip the cheese, and load up on fresh veggie toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cucumbers. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise. Add a small bag of baked chips or piece of fruit along with a bottled water or low-calorie soda, and you have a satisfying meal for 450 calories or less. Or try the chain’s kid’s combo, which includes a 4-inch sandwich and a choice of mini-yogurt and fruit, for fewer than 400 calories.

Colorful Veggie Salad with Tuna

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Colorful Veggie Salad with Tuna images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Colorful Veggie Salad with Tuna images

You can make this healthy salad yourself, or select it at a serve-yourself salad bar. Start with three cups of dark green mixed greens and add about 4 ounces of water-packed canned tuna. Top with colorful veggies of your choice like tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, or peppers. Mix up different veggie combos to keep it interesting. Put your dressing on the side and use the “dip and scoop” method of dipping your fork in the dressing first then scooping up salad, or use a calorie-free balsamic vinegar blended with a teaspoon of olive oil. Add a 100-calorie pack of whole wheat crackers and a fresh fruit, and you’ve got yourself a 450-calorie nutrient-dense meal that will keep you satisfied for hours.

Egg and Cheese Sandwich

Who doesn’t love an egg sandwich? Make your own healthy version by starting with a 100-calorie whole-grain English muffin, bagel, or slice of bread. Add one cooked scrambled egg plus 2 egg whites (either use the stove or cook a beaten egg and 2 egg whites in the microwave in a glass cup for 1 minute). Top with a thin slice of 2% low-fat cheddar cheese. The whole grains and protein combo is filling and nutritious, and just 275 calories.

Greek Yogurt with Fruit

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Greek Yogurt with Fruit images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Greek Yogurt with Fruit images

A container of plain, low- or non-fat Greek yogurt is a quick and easy breakfast on-the-go. Mix in some sliced fresh fruit, or frozen berries, or take along a whole fruit to add on the side. If you’re drinking coffee or tea, add 1% or skim milk, and if you use a sweetener, stick to one teaspoon of a natural sweetener (honey, brown sugar, cane sugar, etc.), which adds only 15 calories to your coffee. This protein-dense breakfast is about 200 calories.

Waffles with Peanut Butter and Strawberries

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Waffles with Peanut Butter and Strawberries images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Waffles with Peanut Butter and Strawberries images

If you want to lose weight, fiber-rich carbohydrates are the best way to start the day. Spread one tablespoon of peanut butter on a high-fiber waffle and top it off with three sliced strawberries or a handful of blueberries. Add a small skim milk latte and you have a “grown-up” version of PB and J and milk for just 290 calories.

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie images
Strawberry Banana Smoothie images

Whether you’re suffering from nausea, heartburn, or just in need of a cool and refreshing snack or breakfast idea, this is the perfect nutritious pick-me-up. Leftover shake can be frozen in pop molds or 5 ounce paper cups with popsicle sticks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or skim milk
  • 1 banana, sliced

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

Calories per Ingredient:
Here are the foods from our food nutrition database that were used for the nutrition calculations of this recipe.

Calories per serving of Strawberry Banana Smoothie

90 calories of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt, (0.50 serving)

53 calories of Banana, fresh, (0.50 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long))

52 calories of Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened, (1 cup, unthawed)

27 calories of Orange Juice, (0.25 cup)

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 221.3

Total Fat 0.6 g

Saturated Fat 0.1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 4.2 mg

Potassium 572.4 mg

Total Carbohydrate 33.7 g

Dietary Fiber 4.7 g

Sugars 6.8 g

Protein 1.7 g

Vitamin A 3.3 %

Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

Vitamin B-6 20.8 %

Vitamin C 145.4 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 3.4 %

Calcium 3.4 %

Copper 7.9 %

Folate 11.9 %

Iron 7.8 %

Magnesium 10.1 %

Manganese 26.7 %

Niacin 5.9 %

Pantothenic Acid 4.3 %

Phosphorus 3.8 %

Riboflavin 7.4 %

Selenium 2.5 %

Thiamin 8.3 %

Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Pasta

Pasta – Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

Pasta images
Pasta images

Pasta is often made out to be a dietary villain by those trying to avoid carbs and gluten, but it can actually be pretty healthy, says Rania Batayneh, a certified nutritionist and author of the upcoming book, The 1:1:1 Diet. Pasta is not only high in folic acid but also naturally low in fat (unlike unhealthy reduced-fat packaged foods). And pasta’s glycemic index, or GI, (a way of measuring short-term changes in blood sugar after a meal) is only 41. That number is similar to pears, lower than many types of bread and much lower than glucose, which ranks 100, Batayneh says.

Low Sodium Diet Foods List

Low sodium foods are abundant and many are natural, organic, and can be easily found. They can be found in every food group and there are many different possibilities for a low sodium meal.

LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images
LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images

BREADS, CEREALS, RICE AND PASTA
Most rice and pastas are very low in sodium. Compare labels to find products with less salt and don’t add salt when cooking. The following are also all viable low-sodium food items:
• Whole grain bread
• Granola
• Puffed rice
• Rolled oats
• Shredded wheats
• Unsalted popcorn
• Bread, bagels, English muffins, crackers, or bread sticks without salted tops.

FRUITS
Any kind of fruit or fruit juice (fresh, frozen, or canned) is low in sodium if it does not contain sauces. Fruits particularly low in sodium include:
• Apples
• Bananas
• Blackberries
• Cherries
• Peaches
• Pears
• Raspberries
• Watermelons

LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 2 - Fruit and Vegetables
LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 2 – Fruit and Vegetables

VEGETABLES
As with fruits, all fresh vegetables are low in sodium. Vegetables may also be frozen of canned if, like fruits, they do not contain sauces.
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Chickpeas
• Cucumber
• Green peppers
• Lima beans
• Sweet potatoes

PROTEIN
Choose fresh meats when possible. Some fresh meat has added sodium, so always check the label.
• 6 ounces daily of any fresh or frozen beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish without salt or sodium in the preparation and without skin.
• Low sodium, water packed tuna or salmon
• Eggs and egg substitutes
• Unsalted nuts and seeds
• Low sodium nut butter

FATS
• Olive oil and other cooking oils
• Low sodium mayonnaise
• Unsalted butter or margarine
• Low sodium salad dressings
DAIRY
Milk is a healthy dairy product that contains virtually no sodium. Choose fat free or low-fat milk and yogurt more often than cheese, which can be high in sodium. Milk and yogurt are also good sources of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
• Low sodium cottage cheese
• Fat free or low fat yogurt
• Skim or 1% milk
• Soy-based drinks with added calcium
• Cream
• Non-dairy creamers
• Sour cream
• Ice cream

CONDIMENTS AND EXTRAS
Choose condiments that are low in sodium or have no sodium at all, and try seasonings instead of salt to flavor food.
• Spices and herbs without sodium or salt
• Vinegar
• Lemon
• Fresh horseradish or prepared without salt
• Baking soda and powder
• Cream of tartar
• Mustard
• Tabasco sauce or low sodium chili sauces
• Mrs. Dash and other sodium-free seasonings
• Yeast
• Jams and jellies
• Low sodium ketchup
• Low sodium tomato sauces and vegetable juices without salt or sodium added

LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 1 - HIGH SODIUM FOODS TO AVOID
LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 1 – HIGH SODIUM FOODS TO AVOID

HIGH SODIUM FOODS TO AVOID
• Buttermilk, malted milk, chocolate milk
• Bacon (all types), sausages or hot dogs, all lunch meats unless low sodium
• Breaded meats (such as chicken parmesan)
• Meats koshered by salting
• Canned or frozen vegetables if processed with salt
• Anchovies and other smoked fish; caviar
• Anything pickled (such as sauerkraut, pickles); olives

EAT LESS SODIUM:QUICK TIPS

1. Know your sodium limit

  • Healthy adults need to limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day (about 1 teaspoon of salt)
  • Some people, including children and those with high blood pressure, need to keep their sodium intake even lower (no more than 1,500 mg per day). Ask your doctor how much sodium is okay for you.
  • If you need to make changes, slowly reduce the amount of sodium in your foods and your taste for salt will change with time.

2. Check the label

  • Use the Nutrition Facts Label to check the sodium in packaged foods. Try to choose products with 5% Daily Value (DV) or less. A sodium content of 20% DV or more is high.
  • Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”

3. Shop for low sodium foods

  • Load up on vegetables, fruits, beans, and peas, which are naturally low in sodium. Fresh, frozen, and dried options are all good choices.
  • When you buy canned fruit, look for options packed in 100% juice or water.
  • When you buy canned vegetables and beans, choose ones with labels that say “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
  • Compare the sodium in foods like bread, soup, and frozen meals. Choose the ones with less sodium.
  • Limit processed foods, especially foods that are salted, smoked, or cured, like hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats.

4. Prepare your meals with less sodium

  • If you buy canned foods (like vegetables, beans, or fish), choose low sodium varieties.
  • If you use canned foods that aren’t low sodium, rinse them before eating to wash away some of the salt.
  • Use unsalted butter or soft margarine.
  • Don’t add salt to the water when you cook pasta or rice.
  • Try different herbs and spices to flavor yourfood instead of salt.

5. Add more potassium to your diet

  • Adding more potassium can help lower your blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include potatoes, cantaloupe, bananas, beans, and yogurt.

Save Money Without Sacrificing You Food Quality

Save Money Without Sacrificing You Food Quality images
When you’re on a tight budget, the thought of preparing tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can seem daunting. Not only is it easy to get sucked in by grocery merchandising tricks, but it’s also normal for most of us to fall into a mealtime rut, eating the same foods over and over. But you’re in control of your kitchen—and if you cook smart, you can enjoy the first-class meals you deserve.

You can save money and still have quality. If you’ve been using cost as an excuse to eat junk, you can kiss that excuse goodbye! With a little organization and creativity, you can have the proverbial champagne when cooking on a beer budget. To start, here’s a quick review of basic tips of healthy eating:

  • Limit your intake of junk food and alcohol
  • Drink lots of water (at least 8 cups a day)
  • Limit salty and sugary foods
  • Avoid eating many foods that are high in saturated fats
  • Make “variety” the watchword of your eating

Next, set aside regular blocks of time for planning meals, making your grocery list, and shopping—tasks that are most often shortchanged in food prep. Include healthy snack ideas, as well as main menu items. Think about the time of day, day of week, and even week in the month that you shop. Generally, the grocery is the least busy early in the morning, in the middle of the week, and on any day but the first day or two of the month (when many people receive pension or paychecks).

Don’t be afraid to surf the internet for recipes that use specific ingredients (plug the ingredient in as a keyword of your search), since you can often get good buys on breads, meats, and other items marked for quick sale before they go bad.

Stock your fridge and cupboards with items that are quick and easy to cook (yet kind to your wallet):

  • Beans and lentils, whether canned or dried, make nutritious, hearty soups, and can be a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice.
  • Brown Rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more expensive than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. Another inexpensive, easy-to-fix grain, millet, is best when bought fresh. Simply rinse and toast before using it in recipes.
  • Pasta, likewise, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat, or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own embellishments (mushrooms, spices, and herbs.) Choose whole-wheat pasta whenever available.
  • Soups can’t be beat for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use canned or packet soups as your base, then add your own veggies and leftover meat. Again, try to experiment, adding your own herbs and spices.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit should be bought at least once or twice each week, preferably in season, to ensure optimal taste and nutrition. You can also rely on canned/frozen varieties as handy additions to last-minute meals. Veggies make great stir-fries and vegetable patties, while fruit is good for a quick nutritious snack.
  • Meat and fish can be kept on hand also for last-minute meals— try the newer tuna and salmon pouches, and shop for inexpensive cuts of meat that work well in stews and casseroles.
  • Condiments add flavor and interest to your dishes. Keep a selection of dried herbs, spices, curry powder, marinades, vinegars, tomato and soy sauces, along with stock cubes, in your cupboard. Experiment with the new, such as Japanese miso, an aged salty condiment made from soybeans and various other ingredients (found in the natural foods section, usually refrigerated).

Finally, a few more hints that can help you save a little green:

  • When cooking a big meal, make extra to freeze, or use later in the week for lunches or quick suppers. Double recipes, then freeze half.
  • Save your vegetable trimmings to make your own vegetable stock. Not only do you save money, but vegetable stock also makes a nutritious base for casseroles, soups, and Crockpot cooking.
  • Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper; you can freeze perishable items (such as meat, milk, and even bread) in smaller portions to use as needed. It’s always a good idea to buy non-perishable items in bulk (canned foods, dried beans and grains, etc.).
  • Use less expensive cuts of meat for casseroles that you slow cook; add extra vegetables and beans to make the meal go further.
  • Capitalize on one-pot dishes, which generally save prep time, money, and dishwashing, and often make great leftovers.
  • Look high and low (literally) to find the less expensive generic or store brands on grocery shelves, often very similar to higher-priced brand names though packaged under different labels. Stores deliberately place the highest-priced brand-name items at eye level, but if you compare the cost per unit, you’ll be able to figure out the most cost-effective purchase. You can even try your own taste tests— blind, of course— to see where you can save money without sacrificing flavor.
  • Take advantage of specials on staples—broth, soups, pasta, rice, canned veggies, even bread and meat. Many of these items have a long shelf life or can be frozen for short periods of time.
  • Limit your dining out, especially when it comes to fast food, since you’ll find yourself spending unnecessarily on items that are high in fat, salt, and calories, which short-change you in the nutrition department.

There’s no magic formula to cooking on a budget. Like anything else worthwhile in life, it takes a little planning, creativity, and work. But if you think of the rewards—better health and more money—you’ll find it’s worth the effort. No doubt you’ll still have days when you fall back on that quick-fix packaged food or the local burger drive-thru. But if you look at cooking as an adventure, you’ll also have days when you find yourself pleased at what you’ve accomplished—as you serve dinner to rave reviews from family and friends!

Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich

This tastes just like cheese pizza, plus you get about 25% of your daily calcium in one meal! Pair this with a salad and you have a great pizzaria style lunch without the calories attached…or the bill.

Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich images
Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich images

Minutes to Prepare: 2
Minutes to Cook: 5
Number of Servings: 1

Ingredients

2 slices mixed grain bread….I like Orowheat.
2tablespoons marinara sauce
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (low moisture, part skim)
1 teaspoon shredded parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Spread 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce on each piece of bread. Spread mozzarella cheese evenly, on side with sauce, on first piece of bread. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over mozzarella. Top with second piece of bread, sauce side down. Place in heated pan and cook until cheese inside is melted and outside is golden brown…or darker if you like. Plate up and enjoy! Makes one (1) serving.

Nutritional Info:
Servings Per Recipe: 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 234.0
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Cholesterol: 16.1 mg
Sodium: 607.4 mg
Total Carbs: 27.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 13.2 g

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Ditch the crust and boost your veggie intake with these eggplant “pizzas.”

Mini Eggplant Pizzas images
Mini Eggplant Pizzas images

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 12
Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 eggplant – 3 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into 4 half-inch thick slices
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 425 degrees F. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the oil and season with the salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until browned and almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Spread 1 tablespoon of pasta sauce on each eggplant slice. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info:
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 119.1
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Cholesterol: 7.5 mg
Sodium: 458.6 mg
Total Carbs: 8.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 4.9 g