A Light and Healthy Dinner is the Secret to Good Health. 10 Recipes for Healthy Meals for Dinner to Stay Fit and Keep Your Weight in Check (2020)

A Light and Healthy Dinner is the Secret to Good Health. 10 Recipes for Healthy Meals for Dinner to Stay Fit and Keep Your Weight in Check (2020)

Contrary to popular misconceptions, your dinner should be a light meal if you want to stay fit and healthy. If you are wondering how to prepare a light and healthy meal for your family that is delicious and loved by all then you have just come to the right place. This BP Guide will take you through interesting and simple dinner recipes which are not only light but extremely healthy as well. It will also elaborate why a light dinner is good for you and which are the types of meals you should definitely not have for dinner.

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Why Should Your Dinner Be Light?

Helps in Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight for quite some time then you should opt for light dinners right away. You can try different healthy meals for dinner which are fulfilling but light on your stomach. Apparently, your body stores more fat because of the slow metabolism at night. This is why heavy dinners can lead you to gain weight rapidly.

Aids in Good Sleep

It’s hard to accept but you can get a good night’s sleep if you have lighter dinner meals. Heavy and too much dinner can lead to indigestion issues which lead to sleeping disorders. Lighter meals are comprised of complex carbs which release soothing hormones. This clearly helps you in sleeping better and deeper.

Prevents Overloading of the Digestive System

Do not indulge in heavy dinner recipes because they can result in overloading on your digestive system. This clear means an uncomfortable sleep cycle, gas, acidity, stomach irritation and many other troubles. In fact, sleeping right after having a heavy dinner results in maximum digestion issues. This is why make sure you have a light dinner followed by some walking.

Important for Maintaining Energy

You feel a lot more energised and active in the morning when you have had a healthier and more balanced dinner on the previous night. This is because your digestive system and brain was free from overwork and you also got a good night’s sleep.

8 Healthy Meals to Make for Dinner

Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi is an all-time favourite in the fasting season but you would be glad to know that it can also be used as one of the healthy dinner ideas. It is so light on the stomach and can be consumed as both lunch and dinner. You can check out its recipe down below:

What You Need:

  • 440 gm sabudana (before soaking)
  • 450 ml water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies
  • ½ tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 2 medium potatoes (cubed)
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts (roasted)
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • Rock salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

How to Make:

  • Wash the sabudana thoroughly to remove starch and then soak it overnight in water just enough to cover it completely.
  • Drain out the excess water the next morning and you will get fluffed up sabudana.
  • Now, add oil in a non-stick pan and add cumin seeds.
  • Once they splutter, add cubed potatoes and cook on a low flame until they become tender.
  • Now, add curry leaves, chopped chillies and ginger and cook for a while.
  • Meanwhile you can add sugar, rock salt, crushed and roasted peanuts and lemon juice in the sabudana bowl and mix well.
  • Now, pour the coated sabudana into the non-stick pan followed by saffron and keep on stirring. Cook for a while and garnish with coriander leaves.

Paneer Tikka

Who doesn’t love paneer/cottage cheese? There are hundreds of recipes you can create with paneer but as we are talking about healthy meals for dinner then we need to focus on healthy paneer recipes only. So, we bring you everyone’s favourite - paneer tikka which is just the kind of light and tasty recipe you need for dinner.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup paneer chunks
  • ½ cup hung curd
  • ½ cup green bell pepper squares
  • 1 cup red onion squares
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Cilantro for garnishing

How to Make:

  • Take a bowl and mix curd, mustard oil, salt and all the other spices in it.
  • Now, toss the paneer cubes in this mixture along with onion and capsicum squares. Make sure that all these chunks get evenly coated.
  • Use a steel skewer and thread the paneer, onion and capsicum cubes in it.
  • For barbecuing, use a grilled pan and pour some olive oil on it then put the skewers on it and cook for 2 minutes from each side. Your paneer tikka is ready.

Bean, Broccoli and Carrot Salad

It is so important to consume greens and other vegetables in balanced amounts on a daily basis. Some of you often neglect them and do not include them in your diet but this Indian bean, broccoli and carrot salad is just the perfect solution for it. Enjoy this in your dinner and give your healthy lifestyle a boost.

What You Need:

  • 250 gm green beans trimmed
  • 1 head of broccoli cut into florets
  • 3 large carrots grated
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 100 gm frozen peas
  • Roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 tsp black mustard seed
  • ½ tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds

How to Make:

  • Take a large pan and boil water with salt then add the green beans in it and cook for 4-5 minutes then add broccoli after the first 2 minutes.
  • Make sure all the vegetables are tender then drain the excess water.
  • Now, heat oil in a large pan and add mustard seeds and red chilli flakes. Now, add peas, green beans and broccoli and toss them all together.
  • Turn off the flame and add grated carrots and coriander and serve the salad warm.

Low Carb Dal

Obesity is being seen even in kids these days. This is why you should focus on healthy dinner ideas for kids too. You can use this recipe of low carb dal for them to make sure they get the adequate amount of protein in their meal along with low level of fats in it.

What You Need:

  • ½ cup red lentil
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • Salt to taste
  • ⅔ cup water
  • Cilantro for garnishing

How to Make:

  • Firstly, take a pressure cooker and pour dal, water, salt as per taste and turmeric powder in it and then pressure cook it.
  • Once the dal is boiled well, then add ghee in a pan followed by dry chilli and cumin seeds.
  • When cumin seeds start to splutter, add garlic and cook till it turns brown.
  • Now, add the boiled dal and bring it to a boil then cook over medium flame. Serve with cilantro on top.

Easy Veggie Biryani

Biryani is the ultimate food bliss for many people but what if we create a healthy version out of it? Here is a recipe of healthy veggie Biryani which is too simple to make and too tasty to resist:

What You Need:

  • 250 gm basmati rice
  • 400 gm special mixed frozen vegetables
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp korma curry paste
  • Handful of raisins and roasted salted cashew nuts

How to Make:

  • Boil the kettle. Now take a large microwave safe bowl and create layers of rice then vegetables and then of raisins.
  • Pour 600 ml of boiling water on the rice mixture and crumble in the stock cube followed by curry paste.
  • Cover the bowl with a cling film leaving a small gap then cook on full power for 12 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl but still let it remain covered for 5 minutes. Mix everything together and serve with cashews on top.

Palak Paneer

You may not like having spinach but you are surely going to love this palak paneer recipe here. This is one of those healthy meals for dinner which is so satisfying and light on the stomach too.

What You Need:

  • 500 gm spinach (pureed)
  • 15-16 paneer cubes
  • 1 tsp each ginger and garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp each garam masala, red pepper powdered and coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup onion paste
  • ½ cup tomato (pureed)
  • 2 nos black cardamom (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp cream

How to Make:

  • Boil the spinach in a pressure cooker and grind to prepare puree.
  • Shallow fry the paneer cubes till they turn golden brown then remove them in a plate and add cumin seeds in the oil.
  • When the cumin seeds splutter, add bay leaf followed by ginger, garlic and onion paste. Cook until the mixture turns pinkish-brown in colour.
  • Add garam masala, salt, red pepper powder and turmeric powder in it and stir well.
  • Now add tomato puree and cook over medium flame.
  • Finally add the spinach puree and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the paneer cubes and mix well. Serve with cream on it.

Quinoa Khichdi

Those who do not eat quinoa are going to go crazy over this recipe. This quinoa khichdi is spicy and super delicious. In fact, you should totally take a break from your regular khichdi and give this quinoa khichdi a try.

What You Need:

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ¼ cup sweet corn
  • ½ cup cooked black beans
  • ½ tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 medium red chilli, chopped

How to Make:

  • Take a saucepan and cook the quinoa with water.
  • Take another pan and heat ghee then add all the spices, corn and black beans and stir fry them for 4-5 minutes.
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork then add it to the pan.
  • Finally, add salt and mix everything together. Your quinoa khichdi is ready to serve.

Chana Masala with Spinach

Give your regular chana masala a twist and add spinach in it to make a quick, easy and healthy meal. Don’t worry because this is going to taste amazing and the mixture of lots of Indian spices makes it completely healthy.

What You Need:

  • 400 gm can chickpeas (drained)
  • 220 gm bag baby spinach
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cm ginger grated
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 400 gm can whole plum tomato
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil

How to Make:

  • For the preparation, dry fry the cumin seeds in a non-stick pan for 1 minute and when they pop, set them aside.
  • In the same pan heat the oil and add garlic, ginger, onion and chilli and saute for 3 minutes on medium flame. Now, add all the spices and cook for 2 minutes on low flame.
  • Now, add tomatoes and stir then break them into small pieces using the side of a spoon.
  • Now, add the chickpeas and 200 ml water. Bring all of this to a boil and then cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
  • Add lemon juice and spinach and cook for a while. Chana masala with spinach is ready.

What You Should Never Have for Dinner

Now that you know what kind of meals you can have for your dinner, but what about the ones that you are supposed to stay away from? Apparently, you should be more aware about your dinner plans and meals more than you are for any other meal in the day. This is why, we are mentioning some of the things you should never have in your dinner.

Avoid Something Too Spicy

Eating spicy food for dinner is the worst idea ever. As your metabolism slows down, the food takes more than usual time to digest and apart from that, spicy food causes heartburn, acidity and major digestion issues. In fact, you can feel really uneasy if you directly lay down just after having a meal. This is why, opt for something balanced and less spicy.

Stay Away from Starchy Food

Starchy food items like potatoes, rice, pasta, macaroni and more are some of the most common food items consumed as dinner especially by bachelors. Apparently, you are supposed to avoid such food completely as they consist of carbs and sugar which slow down your metabolism and increase your blood sugar and insulin levels. Eating such kind of dinner items for a long time can even cause heart issues too.

Big No for Alcohol

You can spot many people gulping down alcohol along with their dinner. Even if you are having healthy meals for dinner, make sure you do not include alcohol with it. Drinking alcohol makes you crave for carbs and leads you to consume more food than usual. This can apparently lead to overeating which is definitely not recommended for any meal.

Don't Consume Simple Carbs

You can have your carbs during lunch time but dinner isn’t the best time to have them. Consuming simple carbs at night means they are being absorbed into the bloodstream at a rapid rate. This means if you are not walking or exercising enough then the chances of you gaining weight is quite high. So, make sure to avoid simple carbs in dinner.

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From our editorial team

Develop a Habit of Having a Light Dinner and Stay Healthy for Life

We hope that this BP Guide would have helped you appreciate why a light dinner is important for your health. You should therefore develop the habit of always having a light and healthy meal for dinner going forward, which will prove extremely beneficial for you and your family as it will keep many diseases and discomforts at bay. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.