I know that it can be a challenge trying to cook healthier meals for your family. There’s times when I really want that extra flavor from chopped bacon in my pasta. I know, that’s okay. Part of eating healthier is knowing how to curb the urge to add more fat than I really need. Acquiring skills to change family favorites and go-to meals into more healthful dinners is a learning process.
A few years ago I participated in a program to teach low-income families how to shop for healthier alternatives like brown rice, properly store fresh fruits and veggies and prepare meals within their budget.
Here are some pointers I gave to them that can be applied towards creating healthier meals.
- A general rule to keeping food fresh is buy what only what you need or store bulk purchases properly. Break larger portions of packaged meat into individual meals and freeze separately.
- Try to buy local produce when possible. Wash fresh produce when you are ready to use it. Storing wet produce may promote bacterial growth and spoilage.
- Choose leaner cuts of meat and ground beef whenever possible. Trim away some of the excess fat from pork roasts and chops.
- Oven bake family favorites instead of frying. A light coating of oil on chicken or potatoes gives the flavor of fried without all the calories.
- Introduce your family to one new food at a time. Try making an old favorite dish like spaghetti and meatballs with ground chicken or a fresh tomato sauce instead.
- Sneak healthy greens like spinach and kale into soups, stews and casseroles.
I’ve found that the bottom line is if tastes good, my family will eat it!
- 2 cups shredded cooked spaghetti squash
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup diced green onions
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine, gluten-free*
- 1 cup vegetable broth, gluten-free*
- 1/4 cup chopped blanched or toasted almonds
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste, optional
- Sauté mushrooms, onion and garlic in oil until tender.
- Add broth, wine, spinach and squash. Cook until thoroughly heated and most of the liquid evaporates.
- Add red pepper flakes,nuts and salt if needed.
*Some wines are processed in oak barrels where gluten is added as a binding agent. Vegetable broth can contain gluten as a thickener. Read labels carefully if you are intolerant.
American Family Insurance understands the importance of serving healthier meals to our families.
Visit the Family Favorites Recipes Pinterest board for more more healthful meal ideas.
Follow the Family Favorites Turned Healthy #ChooseDreams Pinterest board for great ideas on turning classic dishes and family favorites into healthier meals for your family!
Stay connected with American Family Insurance for the latest news and happenings.
Special thanks to Katie of Ruffles & Truffles for hosting this healthy meals event with American Family Insurance!
Enjoy more great tasting healthy meal choices from the Sunday Supper Group!
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Beef Stroganoff by Country Girl in the Village
Buffalo Cauli-Tots by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Corn and Crab Chowder by The Dinner-Mom
Crab Cake Salad by Family Foodie
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms On Red Pepper Slaw with Cucumber Dressing by Seduction In The Kitchen
Healthy Chicken Salad by Run DMT
Lighter Beef Tacos by Alida’s Kitchen
Meatballs with Vegetable Noodles and Fresh Tomato Sauce by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese by The Messy Baker
Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Spinach by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Superfood Pancakes by girlichef
Tex Mex Enchilada Skillet Lasagna by Neighborfood
Zucchini Meat Lasagna by Peanut Butter and Peppers
Chewy Coconut Granola Bars by Savvy Eats
Enlightened Southern Banana Puddings by The Weekend Gourmet
Mom’s Fruit Salad by Magnolia Days
Strawberry Vanilla Canapés by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Zucchini Carrot Snack Cake by The Foodie Army Wife
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.