A healthy dinner involves more than a piece of meat (or other form of protein) and something to wash it down with. To build a menu, begin with the main course. From there, fill in with different kinds of side dishes (starches, vegetables, and salads), and then wrap up with a dessert (everyone’s favorite part of the meal). Here are some pointers on planning a top-notch meal:
Start with the entree: Entrees come in two forms: combination dishes that combine a protein with a starch or vegetable — think casseroles — and plain old protein by itself — think a chicken breast, a slice of roast beef, a pork chop, or a piece of fish.
Choose sides: You can add starches, vegetables, and salads to your meal to add nutrients, flavor, and interest. You might want to serve veggies as side dishes because they have so many benefits, including:
The different colors look fabulous on your plate, and increase nutrient value.
Vegetables are much less expensive than whole proteins.
Veggies add all sorts of crunch, texture, and interest to the meal.
They’re easy to prepare.
Vegetables fill you up so you don’t overeat.
Wrap up with dessert: You can have dessert during the week, but keep it simple — a piece of fruit is ideal. The weekend is a good time to have a special sweet.