Shop Once and Eat Healthy All Week: Your Nightly Dinner Dilemmas Solved

Woman pouring olive oil over fish

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Written by: Karen Azeez

Does this sound like you: “I’m just too tired or hungry to cook a healthy meal when I get home” or “I’m totally stuck in a rut with my dinner routine?”  

I’m betting that when this happens, your commitment to eat healthy usually dissolves and you order Chinese, go out for Mexican or pick up a burger and fries to snarf down in front of the TV.

You’re not alone.

Okay, this isn’t a tragedy once in a while or even once a week, but if this is your nightly routine, then you’re probably consuming unnecessary calories, salt, processed carbohydrates and saturated fat – not to mention spending lots of money.

The tricks to avoiding this unhealthy routine are to shop once with five meals in mind, keep your pantry stocked with healthy options and learn a few simple, healthy recipes that enable you to put a lovely dinner on the table in less than 15-20 minutes.  

So, I thought I’d share five of my favorite meals with you. Each of these meals provides at least 2-3 servings of vegetables, lean protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Many of them I cooked in a tiny kitchen (with no counter at all) as a single woman – meaning, you don’t need a lot of fancy tools or have to spend hours chopping. Further, the recipes deliberately repeat ingredients so you can use all the fresh food before it goes bad and keep your shopping list short.


Dinner Salad
  • Mixed greens (already mixed in a plastic shell or bag)
  • Black beans (or chickpeas)
  • Dried cranberries (or raisins or dates, unsweetened)
  • Walnuts, raw
  • Crumbled bleu cheese (optional)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil + apple cider vinegar + sea salt + pepper to taste (dressing)
  1. Combine all other ingredients and enjoy!
If you want to get more ambitious, you can add one or more of the following that involve a bit more prep: hard-boiled egg, crumbled turkey bacon, chopped celery, chopped broccoli, chopped carrots, sliced onion and olives.

Spinach Salad Pasta
  • Bag of spinach
  • Brown rice or quinoa pasta (or make zoodles from zucchini instead!)
  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Blue cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to directions and lightly saute spinach in another pan. Combine with olive oil, chopped walnuts and sprinkle with bleu cheese. Don’t like bleu cheese or walnuts? Substitute parmesan and pignolis. Dairy free option: sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Veggie Burgers
  • Your favorite frozen veggie burger (make sure it’s pure ingredients and organic)
  • Collard or Romaine for your “bun”
  • Sauerkraut
  • Avocado
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil oregano or pepper
  1. Grill burger according to package instructions, put inside your collard or romaine leaf, top with avocado (or blue cheese or onion or all of these) serve with sauerkraut and tomatoes topped with olive oil and oregano or pepper (or parm or blue cheese).

Black Bean And Spinach Quesadilla
  • Whole wheat or gluten free tortilla
  • Black beans
  • Cheese (organic, raw if possible)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Fresh salsa
  1. Melt cheese onto tortilla in a pan, low-medium heat. Meanwhile, saute 1 cup of spinach in a pan with a tbsp of coconut oil or grass-fed butter (or ghee). Add spinach, half a sliced avocado, half a cup of black beans, sliced tomatoes to tortilla and fold over. Top with fresh salsa.

Leftover Omelet
  • Eggs
  • Turkey bacon
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Spinach or broccoli
  • Salad greens or sauerkraut
  1. Vigorously stir cracked eggs, heat oil or butter coated pan. Pour in eggs and let it set a minute. Place in cooked crumbled turkey bacon, spinach or chopped broccoli. Fold over eggs. Serve with a handful of salad topped with your favorite easy dressing (or oil, lemon, salt and pepper).

It’s easy to substitute your favorite vegetables and add-ins to make these dinners suit your particular tastes. The better you stock your pantry or freezer with nuts, oils, spices, beans and canned fish, the more choices (and less boredom) you’ll have.  

For more healthy meal ideas visit my website.

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Karen Azeez
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Karen Azeez

Health Coach, Wellness Expert and Freelance Writer at Well Beings
Karen Azeez is a health coach, wellness expert and freelance writer. Karen helps busy men and women incorporate simple lifestyle changes into their daily routine to address issues such as weight gain, insomnia, stress and digestion problems. Karen enjoys cooking healthy meals, hiking with her husband and border collie and watching way too many TV shows about wedding dress shopping.
Karen Azeez
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