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Complex Carbohydrates and 5 Minute Dinner


Ever have a quiet minute in the day, so you pick up a book, only to fall asleep? Or you try to watch your favorite TV show and then fall asleep on the couch, missing the whole thing?  There is a way to get your groove back, and I promise it doesn’t include Diet Coke.

Complex carbohydrates, like whole-grain bread, whole grain cereal,  brown rice, and whole wheat pasta  is our bodies preferred source of energy.  However, for maximum efficiency, we also need protein. It helps to control the release of that energy (including beans, eggs, nuts, and lean meats)  The nutrients involved in this process are:

  • Vitamin B        you need 6 micrograms per day
  • Iron                 need 18mg
  • magnesium     need 400 mg
  • zinc                 need 15 mg

Eating the wrong foods will have an opposite effect.  These are energy drainers!

  • skipping breakfast
  • eating foods high in saturated fat.  (especially fast food)
  • eating high sugar junk food!

So here is my fabulous, energy producing, non-draining, fast, easy, quick dinner!  Anyone who tells me they don’t have time to make dinner and that it’s faster to do the drive thru, I tell them about this meal:

broccoli dinner shk
  • Whole Wheat Capanelli (much like angel hair in thickness, so it only takes 4 minutes to cook.. Got it on sale for $0.89/ lb
  • One bag of frozen veggies like broccoli
  • Chicken (Optional: If I have leftover chicken I’ll use it, or a delicious rotisserie chicken!!)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste.

I boil the frozen vegetables and whole wheat pasta together in the same pot.  Then when the pasta and the vegetables are both cooked, I drain it.  Put in about 1 TBLS of butter (you may want more according to taste, or none at all). Then I sprinkle it with parmesan cheese.

This dinner is literally on the table in 5 minutes!!!

For more dinner ideas, check out our MyPlate Meal Ideas

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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