Recipe Roundup: 5 Easy and Healthy Meals to Make in 2018

by Katie Mulligan, MS, RDN

 Photo courtesy of CreateHerStock.

Photo courtesy of CreateHerStock.

Katie is a Rhode Island-based registered dietitian nutritionist and mom of two girls. In her business, WellFamily Nutrition Coaching, Katie helps families navigate the ins and outs of childhood feeding and nutrition. Connect with Katie on Facebook @KatieMulliganNutritionCoaching

 

Planning and preparing meals is probably the biggest daily task required when caring for children. Getting a meal on the table that has something everyone approves of can be a surprisingly time-consuming and anxiety-provoking task.

After sifting through my dinner meals from 2017, I offer my favorite ones to you! These meals are quick and easy, yet healthy and delicious; there is something on the table that everyone will eat.

1.       Healthy Chicken Nuggets from Skinnytaste – These chicken nuggets are on the top of the list because they are just that good! They take a little time to prepare, about 20-30 minutes, not including cooking time, but it’s not hard and they are worth the effort. You’ll never want to buy frozen nuggets again. Make it a complete meal by serving with grapes, green beans, egg noodles, and milk.

 Photo courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

Photo courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

 

2.       Sautéed Chicken Sausage with Onions and Rainbow Peppers – Chicken sausage is an easy way to put lean protein on the table, and you don’t have to worry about seasoning the dish! Sauté sliced onions on low until they caramelize (about 5 minutes), then add fresh (or frozen) rainbow peppers. Finally, add the sliced chicken sausage. Serve with steamed broccoli, whole wheat bread, and milk. If little ones do not like pepper and onions, separate the chicken sausage and offer the onion and pepper separately on their plate. This promotes the introduction of new foods!

 

3.       Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas – These are the worlds easiest, healthiest quesadillas; made even better because you don’t have to make a vegetable with dinner!

Ingredients:

·         1 medium sweet potato, steamed

·         1, (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

·         ½ tsp ground cumin

·         ½ tsp chili powder

·         ½ tsp garlic salt

·         Whole wheat tortillas

·         Shredded cheddar cheese

·         Sour cream (optional)

·         Salsa (optional)

·         Avocado (optional)

Directions:

1.       Combine steamed sweet potato and black beans (drained and rinsed) in a large bowl. Mash together with a potato masher.

2.       Stir cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt into the mixture.

3.       Spread about 1/3 cup of mixture onto half of a whole wheat tortilla.

4.       Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

5.       Fold over other half of the tortilla.

6.       Drizzle olive oil on top of folded tortilla and disperse with back side of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7.       Toast quesadilla on a griddle or skillet until golden brown. .

8.       Cut into four triangles and serve with sour cream, salsa, and sliced avocado.

 

4.       Easy Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry from Chef Savvy – This is another no brainer; plenty of choices, even for selective eaters! If you are serving selective eaters, keep items separate when cooking, or take a portion of the vegetables and chicken out of the pan before adding the sauce. Serve with brown rice, pineapple chunks, and milk. (Note: I double the sauce ingredients and added 2 tablespoons of water in this recipe.)

 Photo courtesy of ChefSavvy.com

Photo courtesy of ChefSavvy.com

 

5.       Rice and Bean Burrito Bowls - A no-recipe, no-cook (almost) meal idea. I use my rice cooker to make brown rice during the day and simply warm up some chili black beans. The only cooking to do is to steam or roast the sweet potatoes. For condiments, dice red onion, cilantro, avocado, and tomatoes. Serve the bowls family style – along with sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced olives. Serving meals family-style gives children options and a sense of control over their dinner, making a more pleasant family meal.