There are few things you'd rather do than come straight home after a long day at work, put on sweats and a sheet mask and just unwind in the peace of being with no one but yourself. But before you take the solo luxury too far and settle for microwave popcorn and wine for dinner, make yourself something you actually deserve. Here are five quick, nutrient-dense dinners you can throw together that will probably be ready by the time your face mask comes off.
Avocado Waffles With Sunny Egg
This recipe takes everything that's great about egg and avocado toast and replaces the toast with a crisp and tender multigrain waffle. We'll have you know that this dish has 15 grams of protein — thanks to the egg, avocado and feta cheese — which will help keep you satiated throughout the day (or throughout the evening if you decide to make this for dinner). Meanwhile, whole-grain waffles and avocados both help to boost heart health, while crunchy pickled onions add a bright acidity to balance out those healthy fats.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: Avocado Waffles With Sunny Egg
Chicken Vegetable Rice Noodle Salad With Ginger Lime Vinaigrette
The reason this rice noodle salad is so perfect? It's really just a template that you can use for a slightly different version every night of the week based on your preferred protein, available vegetables and the noodles you have on hand. Partaking in Meatless Monday? Swap out the poached chicken for grilled tofu. Have leftover soba from another night? Use those in place of the rice noodles. Going low-carb? Make the salad with zucchini noodles and leave the honey out of the vinaigrette.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: Chicken Vegetable Rice Noodle Salad
Veggie Miso Soba Noodle Soup With Egg
The temptation of instant ramen on a busy weeknight is seriously hard to resist. But those packages are filled with way too much sodium — and who knows what else, depending on the brand — for a single meal. Soba and vegetables in miso soup has the same convenience and comforting feel of ramen at the end of the day, but with the plant protein of buckwheat, the probiotic benefit of miso and the virtues of whatever vegetables you find in your fridge (or freezer). Soba cooks quickly, and because it takes about the same time as a soft-boiled egg, you can cook both together in the same pot.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: Veggie Miso Soba Noodle Soup With Egg
Pesto Brown Rice With Salmon, Cucumber and Pickled Onion
Colorful toasts and grain bowls have become all the rage, but we shouldn't forget the understated beauty of a perfectly cooked piece of fish with a vegetable or carb on the side. Here we poach salmon — a lighter and much more forgiving method of cooking than searing it in a pan with oil — and serve it alongside crunchy cucumbers and tart pickled onions over wholesome brown rice mixed with bright, herby pesto. Oh, and that bottle of white or red wine you opened last night? Pour a couple of splashes into the poaching water for a little extra flavor.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: Pesto Brown Rice Salmon Bowl
A Nicoise salad is the ultimate lazy-but-impressive meal, considering the majority of the work involves opening a can of tuna and quickly cooking a couple of vegetables. Here, we scaled the dish down to serve one and swapped out blanched green beans for fresh snap peas that require no cooking. We also swapped regular boiled white potatoes for every nutritionist's favorite, sweet potatoes. If you like a medium-soft yolk on your boiled egg (rather than hard), you can start the sweet potatoes and egg in cold water together, bring to a boil, reduce heat to gentle simmer and cook for seven minutes. Because you'll only use one pot, that means minimum cleanup and maximum Netflix, workout or reading time for you.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: Tuna Nicoise
What Do YOU Think?
What's your favorite dish to prepare for yourself? Do you have any of the ingredients featured in these recipes at home? Which of these recipes do you want to make first? Let us know in the comments!