In the evening, after a long, tiring day at work, quite a few of us are not making the right food choices. However, a healthy dinner is a must if you want to keep fit, while still ensuring yourself a fair sleep. But what is a balanced evening meal and how do you prepare it? Whatever we tell you, the perfect healthy dish is neither the one without carbohydrates nor the one that is low in fat. It’s all about finding the right balance between the three essential macronutrient groups of fats, proteins and carbohydrates..
A balanced evening meal equals a meal made up of all three main macronutrients
One of the easiest ways to calculate the macronutrients on your plate is to use your hands. Yes, you got it right – one hand is more than enough to define the exact amount of protein, carbohydrate and fat to include on your plate. The recommended amount of protein for example will correspond to the size of your palm (without fingers) – 1 for women (20-30g of protein) and 2 for men (40-60g of protein). When it comes to carbs, it’s the same logic but with a handful – 1 handful of carbs (20-30g) for women and 2 handfuls of carbs (40-60g) for men. To calculate the amount of vegetables in its portion, we will use the handle – 1 handle for women, 2 for men. As for fat, women would need one inch (7-12 g) and the amount will double for men – two inches (14-24 g).
Idea how to calculate the proportions of macronutrients on a plate
After grasping this simple principle, you can move on to a concrete recipe that will appeal to the whole family. Which ? Choose from our rich selection of the best light meals to find below !
To properly feed the children or offer a vegetarian aperitif – stuffed potato pancakes
- 400 g of boiled and mashed potatoes
- 100 g of rice flour
- 40 g grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 egg
- dried tomatoes
- green onion
The ingredients to make crispy potato pancakes
- Place the boiled and mashed potatoes, rice flour, grated Parmesan cheese and dried oregano in a bowl.
- Crack the egg in it and knead with your hands until you get a dough.
- Transport the ball of dough to a floured surface and roll out using a rolling pin.
- Then, using a cookie cutter, cut circles of dough, which to transport to a plate.
- Take a circle, arrange a slice of mushroom, sundried tomato, a little mozzarella on it and finish with green onion.
- Place another pastry ring on top and seal the border well to bring together the two slices of dough and enclose the stuffing inside.
- In a frying pan, heat olive oil and brown the bites for about 3/4 minutes on each side.
- Place on a plate and serve with your favorite sauce.
Boil and mash the potatoes
Pour the flour
… and then the grated Parmesan
Season with dried oregano
Breaking an egg
Roll out the dough
Cut circles of dough
Place a slice of mushroom on it
… then a sun-dried tomato
… a slice of mozzarella
Close another circle of potato dough
Brown in a frying pan
Serve and desute
For Asian and vegan evenings – Recipe with silky tofu for your balanced menu
- 250 g silken tofu
- 5 tablespoons of soy sauce
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of chili paste
- 3 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 250 g of broccoli
- green onion
The necessary ingredients
- Prepare the marinade first, by mixing the soy sauce with the lemon juice, garlic powder and chili paste in a bowl. Mix well with a spoon.
- Then, cut the tofu into cubes, before adding to the bowl of marinade. Leave to marinate in the fridge,
- However, pour some sesame oil into a heated skillet over medium heat. Pour and sauté the broccoli. Then add the marinated tofu and green onion. Let cook.
- Serve the tofu on a cane of rice. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
Squeeze the lemon
Here is the soy sauce
Prepare the marinade
Cut the tofu
Make tofu cubes
Marinate the tofu
Sauté the broccoli
Add the tofu to the broccoli
Serve over rice
For Mexican evenings where you’d like to vary the menu – Pork fajitas recipe
For the meat and the marinade:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup dried cilantro
- 1 kilo of flank steak
- salt and ground pepper
How to make the marinade for your fajitas
For the peppers and onions:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chopped onions
- 1 large poblano pepper
- 3 large peppers, cut into strips
- a pinch of salt
Super easy fajitas or meat with vegetables
As topping: guacamole, sour cream + tortillas, lettuce cups
- In a large bowl or airtight plastic bag, combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper and mix well.
- Cover / close and marinate for 2 to 8 hours in the fridge.
- Remove from the fridge, transport on a cutting board and wring out with a paper towel. Generously season with pepper and salt on both sides.
- Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a large enough pan and cook on both sides for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the desired degree of doneness.
- Remove from the pan, transport to a cutting board and let rest in aluminum foil.
- However, pour the rest of the oil (1 1/2 tablespoons) into the pan. Then add the onions and peppers and cook for 8 minutes or until tender, stirring regularly.
- Slice the meat diagonally and against the grain of the meat.
- Serve the meat and vegetables on a tortilla, lettuce leaf or on a salad.
Place on a tortilla to make an appetizing Mexican dish
For those evenings where you die for a tiny slice of pizza – Balanced Cauliflower Crusted Pizza Recipe
- 1 cauliflower in florets
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 250 g sliced mushrooms
- 100 g pepperoni
Cauliflower Crust Pizza – a light gluten-free meal for the evening
- Preheat the oven to 200 º C.
- Cover a baking sheet with baking paper and sprinkle lightly with olive oil.
- Pour the cauliflower florets into a food processor or blender and work until you get seeds similar to rice.
- Pour the cauliflower rice in a heat-resistant bowl and heat in the microwave for about 4 minutes.
- Once the cauliflower has cooled, store on a clean tea towel, form a ball and twist well to wring out.
- Transport the cauliflower in a bowl, add the egg and herbs. Mix everything using your hands and form a ball.
- Put the pizza dough thus formed on the baking paper and distribute well to obtain a pizza-shaped circle, the recommended thickness of which would be about one centimeter.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, top with the sauce, cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms.
- Return to the oven for about fifteen minutes or until the cheese has melted.
How to prepare your homemade gluten-free pizza step by step
For those post-workout evenings when you need to fill up on protein – Chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and sundried tomatoes
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 4 tablespoons of cream cheese
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Chicken breast stuffed with spinach, sundried tomatoes and cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180º C.
- Lay the chicken breast on a cutting board and with a knife cut a pocket inside, being careful not to cut everything from end to end. All you need to do is make a stuffing pocket.
- Season the inside and outside of the chicken breast with salt.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, pesto, cream cheese and mozzarella. Leave besides.
- Fill the pocket inside with the chicken breast with the cheese stuffing, then place the sundried tomatoes on top and finish with the spinach. Secure with toothpicks, if necessary.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large ovenproof pan. Cook the chicken on both sides (3-4 minutes per side) until golden brown.
- Return all the chicken breasts to the pan. Place in the oven and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 75 ° C. The process will usually take 16-18 minutes or more, depending on the size of the breasts..
Great idea what to eat tonight
For those evenings when you fancy an exquisite little dish with a taste of the sea – Sautéed shrimp and asparagus as a balanced evening meal
- 500 g peeled shrimp
- kosher salt and and ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 3 tablespoons of ghee or extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups of mushrooms
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
- Combine the shrimp with the salt, pepper, onion powder and vials of red pepper in a bowl.
- In a cast iron skillet, pour two tablespoons of olive oil or ghee and heat over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté for 4 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked. Be careful not to overcook to avoid a rubbery texture. Leave besides.
- In the same pan, pour a tablespoon of olive oil and add the mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the asparagus and cook until tender. Stir regularly.
- Return the shrimp to the pan and mix everything well.
- Garnish with fresh parsley !
Shrimps with mushrooms and asparagus – easy and quick recipe for the evening
For the evenings when you are tempted by a “junk” meal but would like to make it healthier – Sweet potatoes stuffed like tacos
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 avocado
- 2 peppers
- 1 onion
- 1 package of taco spice blend
- avocado oil
For the potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200º C.
- Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork, so as to make mini holes.
- Cook for 50 minutes.
For the stuffing
- Preheat the oven to 200º C.
- Cut the two peppers and the onions.
- Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or use a silicone baking sheet.
- Place the vegetables inside, sprinkle with a tablespoon of avocado oil and season with 1/4 of a packet of spices.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- To prepare the beef, heat some avocado oil in a pan, then add the beef. Season again with 1/4 of the package of spices. Cook for ten minutes.
- Serve with mashed avocado on top.
Sweet potato taco style – wonderful balanced menu idea for weight loss
For vegetarian evenings when you don’t feel like meat – Zucchini and spinach lasagna recipe
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes with juice or 800 g of fresh tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of fresh basil
- 3 cups chopped spinach
- 430 g ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 medium-sized zucchini, sliced
- 450 g crumbled mozzarella
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
How to make a vegetarian lasagna by step
- In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Add the garlic and sauté, being careful not to burn it. Then add the crushed tomatoes with the juice.
- Add salt and ground pepper and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Finally remove from the heat and add the spinach and basil. Stir well.
- Cover the bottom of a fattened baking sheet with zucchini slices. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes before draining with baking paper, if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 190º C.
- In a medium bowl, pour the ricotta, Parmesan and egg and mix.
- Cover the bottom of an oven dish (22 × 30 cm) with a layer of tomato-spinach sauce. Top with 5 to 6 zucchini slices. On top, pour a little of the ricotta mixture and cover with mozzarella on top. Repeat the same operation, alternating the layers of ingredients until they are used up.
- Finish with a layer of tomato and mozzarella sauce.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Then remove the film, and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Let cool for about ten minutes before serving and garnish with fresh parsley.
What to do to eat tonight? … Prepare yourself a light lasagna without dough
Another great idea for your light evening meal is the frittata
Enriching meatballs with vegetables – great tip for balanced eating
Meals prepared in foil will save you a lot of time and effort
Looking for a recipe for low carb sushi? We suggest you substitute traditional rice for that of cauliflower
Mashed cauliflower and greens are a great side dish
Easy slimming recipe for a week – sausage with vegetables on white rice couch
Eggplant lasagna with marinara sauce and cheese
Idea of an original and super satisfying mixed salad
Peppers stuffed with minced meat for your balanced menu
Balanced evening meal of chicken bites with broccoli served with rice
Stuffed avocados – fantastic idea for anyone on a ketogenic diet
Greek salad with chicken as an answer to the question “What are we for tonight?” “
Zucchini, tomato, mozzarella and basil spaghetti salad
Salmon with Mustard, Garlic and Parsley – Here’s How to Make a Simple Evening Meal
Our favorite vegan zucchini crust pizza
If you have little time, prepare a shakshuka !