It may seem like a daunting task, but there’s so much to be gained from eating as a family. It’s not just a great way to spend time together; it can actually help children develop social skills and improve learning ability. A study published in 2014 revealed that the social involvement that takes place at the family table may reduce the risk of childhood obesity. But let’s get real – in order to get those meals on the table, they’ve got to be quick, easy and user-friendly. Here are five tips and recipes to help you make 2015 a year of delicious and healthy family dinners.
Tag: Healthy Recipes
If you’re as excited as I am about the Super Bowl, you’ve already started planning the menu. My game-day spread includes better-for-you versions from the four football food groups – dips, chili, wings and nachos!
When the weather turns chilly, nothing beats a comforting plate of pasta. Indulge the healthy way with these tasty dishes that are low in fat, but high in flavor. Read more
Ever since her childhood in rural Australia, Amy Chaplin’s diet has revolved around whole foods. After 20 years of cooking around the globe, the New York-based private chef, teacher, recipe developer and writer — her work appears on this very blog every week — is sharing this nurturing lifestyle in her first book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well (Roost Books). Through more than 150 recipes — and a slew of striking minimalist photos—for soulful vegetarian and vegan dishes like cherry coconut granola with extra virgin olive oil, millet cauliflower mash and roasted acorn and Delicata squash salad strewn with wheat berries and bitter greens, the former chef of the celebrated East Village vegan restaurant, Angelica Kitchen, illuminates the simplicity and creativity of eating healthy. Read more
Guacamole is a fresh and delicious way to enjoy the bounty of nutrients and healthy fats avocados have to offer. And the simple blend of avocado, other vegetables, and herbs leaves lots of room for interpretation and exploration. After preparing the classic version below, get creative and add a variety of unique ingredients.
Traditional Guacamole: This recipe is approximate, meaning adjust all ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Combine in a bowl 2 cups mashed or diced fresh avocados, 1/2 cup diced tomato, 1/4 cup diced white onion, 1 minced fresh jalapeño, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
Start the following recipes with the recipe above and add or remove ingredients as suggested below.
Mango with Pepitas: Fold in 1/2 cup diced fresh mango; top the guacamole with roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) just before serving.
Pickled Jalapeno & Green Chile: Fold in diced pickled jalapeños, diced green chiles and a little ground cumin.
Sundried Tomato & Cotija Cheese: Instead of fresh tomato, add diced, oil-packed (and drained) sundried tomatoes; top the guacamole with shredded cotija or Monterey jack cheese just before serving.
It can be intimidating to try new recipes, especially when you’ve perfected a healthy and beautiful recipe such as Giada’s Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil and Salmon. It can be difficult to find new recipes that are nutritious and simple to make, and the unknown is always risky — what if a new recipe isn’t as crowd-pleasing as your old standbys? I’ve taken the stress out the search for you: here are a few dishes to try when you’ve tired of the norm – these recipes are healthful, delicious, satisfying and fuss-free.
If You Like: Giada’s Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, and Salmon (above)
This recipe from Giada is like spa food, made at home. All of the nutritious components — whole-wheat spaghetti, salmon, fresh greens — come together to create a rejuvenating and satisfying dish. Capers, lemon zest, and basil infuse the pasta with just the right amount of flavor, while also allowing the salmon to shine.
If you’re ready to switch up your salmon for a different fish, try this seared tilapia. Tilapia is a mild and flaky white fish; the real flavor in this dish comes from the gremolata – a piquant blend of fresh mint, garlic, lemon zest and pepper flakes – that dresses both the asparagus and fish for a refined and healthy dinner.
Get the Recipe: Seared Tilapia with Asparagus and Spicy Mint Gremolata
When I’m cooking the same dish multiple times a week, I know it’s time to find new recipes. This can be difficult because sometimes I don’t have the energy to find new healthy recipes and sometimes I don’t have the time to try out these recipes — I know that I can have my favorite recipes on the table quickly so it’s easiest to defer to those. If you’re facing the same problem, I’ve taken the hard work out the endeavor for you; if Buffalo chicken wings, or Ellie’s healthier Buffalo chicken salad, have become a weekly staple in your house, here are a few new healthy recipes to try.
Trying new food is a hot-button topic at my dinner table. My husband claims to be an open-minded man when it comes to cuisine, but the reality is that new recipes are met with resistance. Especially if the word “healthy” is involved.
Eating healthy can be overwhelming if you dive in head-first. Instead of abruptly changing our eating patterns, I decided to phase healthy recipes into our traditional mix. I chose this Broiled Tilapia With Mustard -Chive Sauce as a first-attempt and stacked the deck in my favor by selecting a dish that had a lot of familiar, husband-approved ingredients in it. Plus, the mustard-chive sauce only called for things I keep in the pantry, which is great because buying a full container of something when a recipe calls for half a teaspoon drives me nuts.
If you eat seared tuna exclusively when dining out because the thought of making it at home intimidates you, fear no more. Searing fish is a very simple process. Actually, the most important aspect is the quality of the fish. Start with the best and the fish does the rest. Ahi tuna, also known as yellow-fin, is moist, supple and best served when lightly seared on the outside, leaving the inside tender and downright raw in the middle. Because the fish should be raw, not rare, you must start with the very best, sushi-grade ahi. If you can’t find high-quality ahi, save this recipe for another day. As for nutrients, tuna is widely known to be rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent inflammation, regulate blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease.
Most people love coconut-crusted chicken, fish and shellfish. Problem is, most coconut-crusted dishes contain lots of fat from heavy egg-based batters and pan-frying or deep-frying in lots of oil. That’s a shame because coconut “meat” is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar. It’s also rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), which, unlike long-chain fatty acids (LCFA’s), have no negative effect on cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. The good news is, you can create a crunchy coconut exterior without tons of fat and calories. In this recipe, I coated chicken with three simple layers: flour, egg whites and coconut. The crust is light and delicious and also works well with fish and shrimp. The tangy and slightly spicy pineapple salsa takes the dish over the top. Let me know what you think! Read more