After a long, hard day of working on the job, the last thing on your mind is cooking—let alone eating healthy. The most common option dinner selection is whatever is fast and easy to eat. So, up the drive-through you go—right?

That normally means—more calories, more cholesterol, more sodium and sugar, and more money. Take-out isn’t your only option. Besides, those dollars add up.

But there is an alternative! I took the liberty of coming up with five easy meals that won’t require you to exert too much of your energy or cause you to pull you hair out. Trust me, starvation will make you do crazy things!

Marinated Chicken Breasts paired with a salad

This is a great meal to eat that will leave you full and satisfied. If you don’t like the herbs in this recipe, swap them out with your own. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your sodium intake. Cooking allows you to control how much sodium is added to the food you eat. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, our bodies only need between 180mg to 500mg daily to function properly.* There’s only 291mg of sodium in this recipe. So, you’re right on track. Pair this yummy dish with mesclun greens and you’re all set! Bon appétit! (Julia Child voice)  Click here for more on this delicious treat.

Yield: 4 servings

Cost: $10

Chopped Tuna Salad

Salad is such a simple and easy meal to prepare. All you have to do is add the ingredients and voila it’s done! Not only are you getting your vegetable intake but protein as well. If you don’t like tuna, try substituting it with chicken or whatever meat you prefer. Don’t forget, if you need help keeping track of your food group intake, check out the link below.

Yield: 4 servings

Cost: $11

Patty Melt with onion salad

If I could smother everything I eat in cheese, I would be one happy being! Although it is important to implement dairy into your daily diet, too much cheese is not good for you. This patty melt gives the proper balance of protein, dairy, and vegetables. To reduce fat opt for a lean beef and fat free cheese if possible. **

Yield: 4 servings

Cost: $9

Baked Fish Recipe

Try this 366 calorie citrus-roasted Salmon dinner. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. ***If salmon isn’t really your thing, try tilapia or another fish. Whatever you choose, do not fry! Add fresh green beans as a side or red skinned potatoes. Find the recipe here.

Yield:

Cost: $13

Quinoa Salad

Have you heard of the quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) craze that’s been going on? It is a grain that is high in protein and the greatest benefit of it all…zero carbs!

Here are the facts:

  • It has been consumed for thousands of years
  • Consists of all nine amino acids to make a complete protein
  • It is an ancient plant hailing from South America****

Yield: 8 cups

Cost: $6

 

So tell me why this isn’t worth a try? Yep, I couldn’t think of a reason either. J

I hope these recipes are stress-free, simple and delicious.

 

Sources:

*http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssodium/

** http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/leanbeef.aspx

***http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/01/13/salmon.farmed.fresh/

****http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/24/superfoods_n_5613758.html

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/marinated-chicken-breasts-recipe.html

http://www.marthastewart.com/338304/chopped-salad-with-tuna?czone=food%2Fdinner-tonight-center%2Fdinner-tonight-main-courses&gallery=274292&slide=338304&center=276948

http://www.marthastewart.com/326870/patty-melt-with-pickled-onion-salad?czone=food%2Fdinner-tonight-center%2Fdinner-tonight-main-courses&gallery=274292&slide=326870&center=276948

http://www.marthastewart.com/318128/quinoa-salad