Guest Bloggers: Nicole & Alex of The Candid Cooks

Now that we’re over a month into the new year and reality is back in full swing, you might be feeling overwhelmed by those lofty resolutions you made back in January (we certainly are!).

With a never-ending list of work, chores, and errands on your plate, how are you supposed to prioritize healthy eating, exercise, and self-care?

It’s certainly a juggling act – which is why we’re here to help with 9 easy and healthy dinner ideas that will fit into your busy schedule.

Oh, and by the way: we firmly believe that “healthy” doesn’t have to mean leafy greens and cutting carbs.

So ditch those boring salads and plain veggies, and try some of these nutritious and flavorful healthy dinner recipes instead!

1. Sweet Potato Black Bean Rice Bowl

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This vegetarian dish is truly a power bowl. It’s loaded with sweet potato, black beans, brown rice, peppers, onion, avocado, and goat cheese for a super flavorful and nutrient-rich dinner you can enjoy all year long.

Plus, it’s easy to make a big batch and have leftovers for lunch or dinner throughout the week!

2. Spinach Tomato & Olive Oil Pasta


Keep healthy eating simple with this light and fresh pasta dinner that only takes 20 minutes to cook.

All you need is spaghetti, spinach, tomatoes, and a high-quality olive oil for a fun twist on pasta night that also happens to be vegetarian and budget-friendly.

3. Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Bowl

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Dressing up a simple dish of teriyaki chicken and rice with scallions and toasted sesame seeds is the perfect solution when you’re craving comfort food.

Made with two kinds of store-bought teriyaki sauce for quick and easy flavor, this high-protein takeout style recipe cooks in 25 minutes or less!

4. Panera Copycat Southwest Chili Lime Salad With Chicken


Salads don’t have to be all leafy greens and no fun! This Panera-style southwest salad is beyond flavorful, loaded up with bean corn salsa, fresh tomato, onion, avocado, and a creamy dressing.

You can even omit the chicken for a quick and easy vegetarian version and this salad is still super satisfying.

5. Mediterranean Chicken and Rice

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For another great high-protein dinner option, try this Mediterranean-style grilled chicken and basmati rice.

Served with a side of whole wheat pita and creamy homemade hummus, this dish feels more indulgent than it actually is – and only takes 30 minutes (or less!) of hands-on cooking time.

6. Cashew Crusted Fish Tacos


If you’re a fan of crispy fried fish, try these cashew-crusted seafood tacos for a savory alternative to beer batter that’s high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Topped with homemade lemon aioli and quick pickled cabbage for zesty flavor and crunchy texture, these fish tacos are the perfect lighter dinner for Taco Tuesday!

7. Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

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Slow-cooker meals are lifesavers on busy days! Make a big batch of this spicy vegetarian chili while you’re running errands, working from home, or taking the kids to school, and enjoy it for healthy dinners all week long.

Black beans, sweet potatoes, onion, tomato, and chili peppers provide nutrient-rich flavor and a chunky chili texture to comfort your soul.

8. Shakshuka For Two


Traditionally served as a breakfast or brunch, shakshuka is a flavorful tomato and egg stew seasoned with spicy peppers, garlic, and onion.

Because this dish is so savory and easy to throw together, it makes a perfect lighter dinner that’s both satisfying and healthy!

Indulge a little and serve it with a side of toasted bread for dipping, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t started making this sooner.

9. Spicy Udon Noodle Vegetable Stir Fry

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Get your daily serving of vegetables in with this simple stir-fry recipe!

The spicy sauce adds so much flavor, you won’t even realize you’re eating veggies.

Plus, you can easily customize this dinner with fresh, in-season produce to suit your tastes and save on groceries.

Visit The Candid Cooks for more easy and healthy dinner recipes, cooking techniques, helpful appliances, and best practices in the kitchen!

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