Making Skillet Dinners Easy & Healthy
Skillet dinners are a quick, simple and healthy. Have you tried the two skillet method – one for the protein choice and one for the vegetables? Begin by placing the protein of choice into a lightly oiled pre-heated skillet. This could be a chicken breast, beef patty, pork chop, fish fillet, beans, tofu or left-overs from dinner the night before! Once the protein is cooking, pre-heat the second skillet on medium heat, swirl with oil and add any combination of vegetables. As the vegetables cook, lightly stir every minute or two. Using the two skillet method, dinner can be on the table in 15 to 20 minutes!
What Should You Have on Hand?
- Oil(s): You can use just about any kind of cooking oil; heart healthy olive oil or canola oil are great choices. Canola oil reaches a higher temperature than olive oil before it begins to smoke. You’ll need 1 to 2 tablespoons.
- Fresh Vegetables: Use about 4 cups chopped fresh vegetables. Good vegetables for sautéing or stir-frying include sweet peppers, zucchini, carrots, celery, broccoli, yellow or white onions, green onions, pea pods, cabbage, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms. In a hurry? You can use desired amounts from a bag or two of frozen vegetables. Another simple step is to use frozen vegetable blends.
- Garlic: This aromatic ingredient can easily burn and turn bitter so add it toward the end of cooking, after other ingredients. Start with 2 cloves of garlic, minced, per four servings and adjust to your liking or use garlic powder for a simple preparation.
How to Cook Your Vegetable Skillet
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.
- Add the chosen variety of vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof silicone spatula, for 2 to 4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Add the garlic, if using. Cook and stir for 15 seconds.
- If desired, you can stir in cooked grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or cooked pasta. Another addition could be a sauce of your choice, such as lite soy sauce or a stir fry sauce. Stir all together until the vegetables are coated and all ingredients are heated through, about 1-2 minutes more.
- Sprinkle lightly with cheese if desired, place lid on skillet and allow the cheese to melt.
- Serve immediately.
Easy Skillet Dinners
It’s easy to turn whatever produce you purchase (or whatever produce you happen to have on hand) into a satisfying main dish, with or without meat. Here are a few combination suggestions, just add protein or a whole grain if you choose!
- Skillet #1: Diced onion, shredded carrot, sliced zucchini, diced red pepper, cooked quinoa, topped with Feta Cheese
- Skillet #2: Onion, mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper, brown rice, topped with cheddar cheese
- Skillet #3: Carrot, diced celery, onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes (halved), fresh spinach, top with cheddar cheese
- Skillet #4: red onion, carrots, sugar snap peas, corn, quinoa and shredded cheddar cheese