Take the schlep out of making dinner (and avoid greasy, expensive takeout) with these quick healthy dinner ideas…

As a working mom of two Terry Harris, dietitian at Discovery Vitality, knows how hard it is to juggle work commitments and still serve up a healthy dinner.

“With longer work hours and more frequent post-work obligations, it is so easy to fall into the bad habit of going without a healthy, home-prepared supper. Tucking into snacks and the ease of convenience meals and take-outs is a reality for most of us,” says Harris, “The pre-planning of meals – especially supper – is key to healthy eating and it is also the best way to lose weight.”

Fortunately, Harris has some ideas on what you could rustle up in just 30 minutes:

Stir-fry

Frozen or fresh pre-prepared vegetables do the trick with seasoned chicken, pork or beef strips.  Sliced pineapple is a tasty addition as well as a garlic, ginger, fresh coriander and a dash of soya sauce.

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Pasta

Whole-wheat pasta is delicious served with a pre-made tomato-based sauce. Add sliced avocado and chopped fresh basil to serve.

Red lentil and carrot soup

Fry an onion in a little olive oil with a teaspoon of garlic and fresh ginger. Add two chopped carrots, one litre of boiling water, one vegetable stock cube and 100g of red lentils. Cook until lentils are tender.

Spicy chicken wraps

Pan-fry sliced chicken fillets in chilli, lemon juice and garlic and layer on a whole-wheat wrap with hummus, finely grated carrot and thinly sliced peppers.

When it comes to her favourite healthy winter dinner, she loves lamb cassoulet with haricot beans & rainbow carrots (Click here for the recipe).

How to prevent over-eating

Harris says that, to prevent yourself overeating at night, pay attention to your food while eating and avoid eating dinner in front of the TV.

“If you are trying to lose weight, keep your serving size of starch and protein small and load up on vegetables and salad. The timing of the meal by itself doesn’t lead to weight gain, but rather the choices we tend to make when we eat late that make a difference.”

Related: How to meal prep for the week in an hour