5 Healthy Dinner Formulas All Busy Women Must Know

Don’t you love a good recipe? I do. But what I REALLY love is a recipe formula.

Formulas are faster, smarter and never require measuring spoons or a Pinterest account. In fact, they barely require cooking at all.

You need this.

Takeout is getting old and it costs a fortune anyway. Last week you worked late and ended up eating a grilled cheese at 10pm, which isn’t doing anything for your goal of losing 10 pounds.

Ready to change the game?

Today I’m going to share with you five of my healthy, go-to formulas for dinner.

They pack up great for lunch, too.

The idea is that you’ll get 1 short list of groceries and be able to combine ingredients different ways to feed yourself all week long.

1. The Power Bowl

This is perhaps the most versatile formula as it can be eaten warm, cold or at room temperature. Think of it as a really robust salad, minus the…salad. A light vinaigrette can work but I like a more substantial dressing or sauce. Think pesto, tahini or honey mustard.

1 part protein
1 part whole grain
2 parts vegetables
Dressing or sauce
Optional toppings: Scoop of fermented food, seeds, olives, etc.

Here’s a simple example where cooking is completely optional. You could, if you want, buy a rotisserie chicken and pre-cooked brown rice. Then just throw it together.

Brown Rice
Raw spinach
Dressing: tahini and lemon
Toppings: kalamata olives and roasted red peppers

2. The Super Salad

What makes it super? The magic is in the ratio. See, a plate of lettuce and cucumbers with dry turkey breast is about the WORST meal ever. You need a salad that kicks as much butt as you do, with plenty of good quality protein.

1 part raw greens or other veggies
1 part protein
Optional toppings

For example:

Romaine and Swiss chard
Ham slices and kidney beans
Real food ranch dressing
Topping: chopped dill pickles

3. The Broth Bowl

Homemade soup isn’t just for grandmothers. When you see how easy this is, you’ll jump at the chance to make something warm on a cold day. The key here is having a good quality broth. You can make it yourself and freeze portions. Or, buy a brand made with real food ingredients that isn’t swimming in sugar and salt.

1 part broth, any kind
1 part protein
1 part green vegetable
1 part whole grain or noodle
Optional toppings

For example:

Chicken bone broth
Shredded chicken
Thinly sliced cabbage
Topping: hot pepper sesame oil, soy sauce, fried egg, kimchi

4. The Skillet

There’s some cooking required here, but it all happens in one skillet. Choose a protein that is pre-cooked or easy to cook on the stovetop. You’ll start with 1-2 Tbsp. cooking fat (butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) I prefer my cast iron skillet.

1 part green vegetable
1 part protein
1 part whole grain or bean
Optional toppings

For example:

Black beans
Salsa and guacamole

5. The Stuff-It

This one requires an edible “container” like a sweet potato or acorn squash. (A taco shell is edible, but we’re going for something that’s nutritious in its own right.) Roast until tender, then stuff and dress. Your leftovers have never looked so impressive.

1 part “container”
1 part protein
1 part vegetables
Optional topping

For example:

Roasted acorn squash half
Ground turkey
Cranberry sauce

Are you getting the hang of this whole formula thing? It’s almost like you have a salad bar in your house and you can combine quick ingredients endless ways.

Remember, I’ve put together more creative ideas and done-for-you shopping lists to make use of these formulas with as little food waste as possible. Grab yours now and say bye-bye to dinnertime overwhelm.