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3 Easy, Healthy Dinner Hacks for Tired Nurses

We know what it's like - at the end of a long shift, all you want to do is collapse on the couch and sleep for a year. The thought of putting on pajamas even seems like too much of an effort. When you feel like that, who has time to think about cooking a healthy meal?

That's where we come in! We've put together three easy dinner hacks that will get a healthy dinner into your belly as fast as you could make mac and cheese. 

1. Roasted Zucchini Tuna Melts (from The Honour System)

We are officially obsessed with this ridiculously easy, healthy, CHEESY meal. The best part of this meal is that it requires very little hands-on time. When you come home, slice the zucchinis in half, turn the oven on, pop them in, and set the timer. Go change, shower, whatever you have to do, and then whenever you're ready, get out your tuna and cheese. (No red onion or celery on hand? Or just too lazy? Skip them. It's just as delicious without them.) Stuff your tuna in your boats, layer on some of your favorite cheese, pop them back in the oven, set another timer, and go off and do your thing. With about only five minutes of active prep time in the kitchen, you'll have a delicious, HEALTHY dinner waiting for you in under thirty minutes. 

zucchini tuna melts

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tin of tuna, drained
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • ¼ medium red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice ( about half a lemon)
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • ½ cup cheese ( I used ¼ cup parmesan and ¼ cup feta )

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment
  2. Slice the zucchini in half and using a teaspoon, scoop out the centre, about an inch. Brush the four zucchini halves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes. This will depend on the size of your zucchini. You want them to be tender, but not mushy. I used a fork to see how easily I could pierce the side and did a little touch test. Look for them to begin browning slightly on the sides
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the tuna, celery, onion, and dill with the other tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice
  4. Grate the parmesan cheese
  5. Once the zucchini is done, take it out of the oven and turn on the broiler. Fill your canoes with the tuna mixture and top with the cheese
  6. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has browned and is crispy on top

2. Pasta with Yogurt and Sundried Tomatoes

I know, I know, this sounds weird. But just wait! This dish is like the healthy version of eating mac and cheese when you get home...except even better. Guilt-free, delicious, creamy pasta with the brightness of tomatoes... just give it a try. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound medium pasta shells
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin slivers
  • 1 large fresh tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh basil (or fresh basil, if you have any on hand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
 DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook the shells in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain. 
  2. While the shells are cooking, prepare other ingredients. 
  3. Return the shells to the cooking pot and stir in the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

3. Easy Rice Cooker Dinner (from geniuskitchen.com)

Nurses, if you don't own a rice cooker, it's time to get one. This might be the easiest recipe we know of. And best of all, it's completely flexible to whatever you have on hand. To make it even easier and faster, throw in frozen vegetables from the freezer. You can even skip the ham if you want a filling, vegetarian dinner, or use different vegetables. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1cup white rice
  • 1 14cups water
  • 1 12teaspoons ground cumin
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 12teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3teaspoon smoked paprika
  • green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1lb ham, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a rice cooker, combine rice, water, spices, bell pepper and onion. Start cooker.
  2. After 10 minutes, stir in ham. (If you have a bit of ham bone, throw that in too). Allow cooker to finish its cycle.
  3. Stir in kidney beans and close lid. Leave on warm 5-10 minutes until beans are heated through before serving.

We hope you enjoy the recipes, let us know how they turn out! Make sure to subscribe to our blog for all kinds of news and information written for nurses and other healthcare professionals!

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By Christi Green | March 14,2018 | Categories: healthy eating, recipes | 0 Comments

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About the Author: Christi Green

Christi Green

Christi earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Saint Anselm College in Manchester NH and her Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from New England College in Henniker NH. She also holds a Professional Human Resources certification. Christi is an active member of the Healthcare Human Resources Association of New Hampshire (HHRANH), currently holding the position of President (2017-2019) and 2012-2014. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American Society of Healthcare Human Resource Association (ASHHRA). Christi has presented at local, regional and national levels on varying Human Resources topics including Best Practices in Recruitment & Retention, Behavioral Interviewing and Organizational Decision Making & Communication.

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