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You asked, and we answered! Hundreds of Startup members told TODAY they want more healthy, balanced meal ideas to help them reach their health goals. A meal plan designed by a dietitian gives you the flexibility to eat healthy.
This week’s meals center around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil. But the topic is convenience, showing you how to fuel your body without spending many hours in the kitchen. You’ll find many of our favorite easy food items, like eggs, tuna, canned beans, roast chicken, and low-sugar barbecue sauce. From Greek Egg Scramble to Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad to Sheet Pan Flounder and Turkey Bolognese, you’ll enjoy healthy meals that require very little effort.
Here’s what you need to do to prepare a week’s worth of nutritious meals. Spend about an hour preparing fried eggs, sweet potato puree, chickpea and tuna salad, and a batch of quinoa. After that, breakfast and lunch meals can be grouped minutes before eating. Dinners consist mainly of a sheet pan and one pot, and most take less than 20 minutes to make. Enjoy!
What are we eating this week, June 12, 2023
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Many people wonder if eggs are okay in a heart-healthy diet. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), they are. Most people can safely eat an entire egg per day or seven per week, though it also helps to include them in a vegan diet that limits saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. We’ve put two eggs on this week’s menu, so you can eat up to three times and stay within AHA limits.
You don’t have to worry with an omelette when you get the same flavor from the scramble. The recipe makes for two servings, but you can scale it up to eat a few times throughout the week. It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. Serve the mixture with a cup or a piece of fruit.
Instead of choosing processed carbohydrates, such as a bagel, sugary cereal, or a piece of white toast, try a sweet potato for breakfast. It is a better choice for taming hunger and giving your body the nutrients it needs to grow. Prepare the sweet potato puree in advance and assemble the rest of the parfait the next morning.
Two simple meal prep options save you time and money this week. Quinoa — like other whole grains — will keep in the refrigerator for several days and freezes well, so consider making a large batch to use throughout the week and freeze for later.
Tuna is one of our favorite staples because it’s a quick, budget-friendly source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fish fats. Here it’s blended with another signature ingredient – chickpeas – for a boost of fiber and nutrients. The combo makes for a versatile salad, so stuff it in whole-grain pita bread with a side of baby carrots one day and serve it over arugula another. If you cook some quinoa in batches, the spoonful will add a hearty, grainy element to your chickpea, tuna, and arugula salad.
Courtesy Matt Armendariz
Grilled chicken and quinoa are pre-seasoned and then tossed with a few ingredients for a hearty, filling lunch. If you don’t want to make chicken, use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead. And choose a barbecue sauce with no more than 6 grams of added sugar per serving. You can also substitute canned or frozen unsalted corn for the corn on the cob to simplify the recipe even more.
This week’s dinner menu features meals that are full of flavour, yet light in practice. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos or a fish dish that will wow your diners, there’s something for everyone.
Casey Barber / Today
Spend 15 minutes chopping and combining ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning, and you come home with a stuffing casserole later that day. Although the recipe indicates that any type of milk will work, we recommend low-fat or fat-free milk to keep the saturated fat content low. Served with fried green beans.
Nathan Congleton / Today
Eating a meat-free meal at least once a week helps you increase your intake of plant-based foods, and black beans are a healthy ingredient that provides healthy carbs and protein. We chose tacos for this list because they’re an easy way to dip your toe into meatless meals. Served with a basic green salad.
Only 10 minutes of preparation and your job is done. Every night should be so easy! Serve the chicken and vegetables with a side of the quinoa that you’ve cooked in batches to make this BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad Lunch.
Gentle + Hires / “Small Victories” by Julia Turshin
A rich blend of roasted tomatoes and black olives is the perfect flavor to pair with light and flaky flounder. Although it is an easy meal to prepare, the results are impressive. And the best part is, it’s only the dirtiest of one pan. Serve with arugula salad and some crunchy whole grain bread to soak up the tomatoes.
Nathan Congleton / Today
This pasta dish gets some healthy upgrades, like swapping ground white turkey for ground beef and adding shredded zucchini to the sauce. Serve it over pasta (ideally whole grain or beans) with roasted broccoli or any other vegetable of your choice.
Snacks that contain whole food sources of protein and fiber make a winning combination that will keep you full for hours. Here are some ideas:
- Apple slices with walnut dip. To make the dip, mix plain Greek yogurt with nut or nut-free butter.
- Ricotta cheese topped with grape tomatoes.
- Red pepper with goat cheese pesto sauce. To make the sauce, mix the pesto sauce with the goat cheese. Thin with olive oil if needed.
- Frozen marinated banana with tahini. To prepare, sprinkle cinnamon and cocoa powder over banana slices and place in the freezer until firm. Sprinkle with tahini.
- Baby carrots with hummus.