60 Recipes that are Great for the Whole Family!
Last week I wrote about tackling your 2016 goals “afraid.” If your goals aren’t important to you then you wouldn’t be at least a little bit terrified, right?
Do the thing you fear most, and the death of fear is certain. –Mark Twain
Do you know what’s scary for a lot of people? Cooking. Trying new recipes. Taking this grocery list from our healthy kitchen makeover and then trying to make a life out of eating these foods.
“I have no idea what to make with this.”
“I need recipes for healthy food!”
So let’s tackle the healthy food cooking fears together, ok?
I’ll admit, I’m guilty of eating simply and eating the same meals over and over and over. Sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, turkey, cauliflower….I tend to use the same ingredients each week.
But recently, Erik and I have been talking a lot about food prep. He preps for himself and I prep for myself. I told him a couple weeks ago that I would like to food prep for us both, be able to sit down at dinner and share the same meal, and eventually create a system where I can cook all the weekday meals and he can contribute some fun weekend dinners for us. (I say fun because Erik is typically more experimental in the kitchen.)
We figured just like everyone else that January would be the perfect time to try our hand at this new system of cooking. And because Erik does NOT like to eat the same meals over and over and needs a lot of flavor and variety in his dishes, I of course, have been spending a lot of time researching healthy meals.
AKA, I’ve been on Pinterest.
I know that every one of you reading this can easily log onto Pinterest, Google, Buzzfeed, whatever–and find recipes. It’s what every health conscious person has been doing in his or her spare time between Christmas and New Year’s Day. But just because something is labeled “healthy” doesn’t mean it’s easy, ideal, or even right!
This is what I think is the hard part. You know chicken is healthy. You know sweet potatoes are good carbs. And some of you may know that quinoa is a protein-packed grain while others have never heard of it. You may know that oatmeal is good for you (if you aren’t on a Paleo diet), but you may not know that unless you exercise in the morning, oats are better to eat later in the day.
Finding the recipes are easy. Knowing WTF comes next is is the hard part.
So let me help. I’ve researched some EASY yet very HEALTHY recipes that I plan on trying over the next few months in my goal to food prep for both my husband and me. I’ve also organized them so you know what to eat and when…which is really sometimes the hardest part. Why not try this out with me?
I make a coffee Accelerator Shake that has been quoted as “marketable.” It’s amazing. If you don’t try it, you’re missing out. This keeps me full for hours–depending on when I have to get up–sometimes I’m full ’til lunch. The recipe is in the caption.
- Bullet Proof Coffee. I cringe when I hear this because my recipe is way better. But to each his own, I suppose.
Breakfast or Early Morning Snacks:
- Avocado Egg Salad (I cannot WAIT to make this…with some extra uncured bacon on the side.)
- Baked Eggs in Avocado (I have made these and they’re fantastic. I skip the toast, but that’s up to you! If you want something starchy, add some roasted sweet potato cubes, or eat some fiber-rich berries.)
- Egg Muffins for a Grab and Go Breakfast (Make these on Sunday and then just reheat throughout the week!)
- Green Green Grits (I love grits. I thought this was a great way to make them healthier!)
- Mexican Breakfast Cups
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet (The best thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you want. Onions, peppers, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, corned beef, bacon…..)
- Three Ingredient Pancakes (These would also make a great pre-workout meal.)
- No recipes needed: mixed nuts, hard boiled eggs, uncured deli meats (high quality), cheese sticks/cubes, hummus and veggies–these are great go-to mid-morning snacks!
- If you like eggs and avocados, go to Pinterest and search “Egg and Avocado Breakfasts.” I was pinning and screen-shooting recipes for 30 minutes.
- Beef Stew (I would throw this in a crockpot on Sunday, sub sweet potatoes for the white ones, then eat off this all week. Or since I’m cooking for Erik now, I guess however long it lasts.)
- BLT Bowl (I plan on adding some lean ground beef to this for added protein.)
- Mediterranean Zucchini Noodle Pasta (I will definitely be adding chicken to this amazing looking salad.)
- Paleo Sweet Potato Chili (also a great dinner idea and something easy that will last all week–if you make enough!)
- Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup (This looks like a great recipe–full of veggies, including lima beans. I know many people don’t like limas, but this bean is one of the only foods that contains molybdenum–a mineral that detoxifies sulfites–a preservative in foods like deli meats, bacon, sausage, and other foods. So if you can’t find uncured bacon, eat it with limas!)
- Southwest Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Spicy Fish Taco Bowls
- Stuffed Pepper Soup (I would sub cauliflower instead of the rice. Why? There’s plenty of recipes here that call for rice, always add as many veggies as possible whenever you can, and cauliflower makes a great sub for rice and white potatoes. Also, I’d rather eat my veggies for lunch and save my carb-rich foods for post training when the muscles need them more. For Erik and me, this may make a better dinner. But if you train in the morning, this meal with rice might be idea for lunch!)
- Thai Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce (I would add rice if training that evening or if eating post workout for dinner.)
- Warm Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts, and Sweet Onion Balsamic Dressing
- My go to simple fix: ground turkey with taco seasoning. Throw this on top of a bed of mixed greens and/or cauliflower, toss in black beans and/or corn, add avocado, salsa, maybe even sour cream or cheddar if you want it. Boom. Perfect lunch.
- Another favorite go-to of mine would be spaghetti squash (bake in the oven for 40 minutes on 400 and use a fork to pull out the “spaghetti noodles” and add ground turkey, pepper, and a low-sugar pasta sauce like Classico or Victoria’s. SO easy and healthy spaghetti and meat sauce. Top it with some Parmesan cheese for a little extra happiness.
- Better than Takeout Beef and Broccoli (What better way to eat Chinese than to make your own healthy version?!)
- Brazilian Shrimp Soup
- Cheesy Chicken and Veggie Skillet (This looks like healthy comfort food. I’m totally excited about that.)
- Coconut Shrimp Curry (Save the leftovers for lunch!)
- Crockpot Chicken and Stuffing (I typically wouldn’t tell you to eat anything that comes out of a box. But my husband LOVES stuffing and this recipe would make an awesome post training, tired weekend, kind of meal. You know what I mean. That day you’re too tired to cook but you feel like a wholesome hearty filling meal? Try this one. I’d totally opt for the gluten free (and maybe even cornbread) stuffing so you can keep the meal as healthy as possible.
- Gluten Free Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale
- Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
- Honey Mustard Rosemary Chicken (Cooking with herbs, especially ones like Rosemary, is one of the BEST things you can do for your overall health. Herbs are the medicines of life. Use them often!)
- Jambalaya Recipe (This looks awesome for a post workout meal. I would use lean turkey sausage to keep it on the low-fat side. Remember to avoid fatty foods for the first few hours post training for greater training/fat loss/muscle building benefits. This is also a meal that will last in the fridge–making food prep for the week much easier.)
- One Pan Chicken Burrito Bowls
- One Pot BBQ Chicken Chili (This would be great with lean ground beef or turkey–especially if you’re tired of chicken!)
- One Pot Paprika Chicken Thighs
- Quinoa, Chicken, and Garden Veggies Skillet (Quinoa is a grain high in protein and full of the good carbs our bodies need. This would make a perfect post-workout dinner!)
- Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers (The leftovers would be great for lunch too! I’ll probably double this recipe to do just that!)
- Skillet Roasted Chicken with Parsnips, Lemon, and Fennel (I love this because parsnips and fennel are SO healthy and how often do we use ingredients such as these? If you’re like me, not often enough.)
- Sloppy Jane Tex-Mex Bowls
- Slow Cooker Korean Beef (Erik and I had Korean Bul-Go-Gi for the first time a couple weeks ago, and it has been one of our favorite dishes we’ve eaten recently. Here’s a recipe that I will be making ASAP! I love this because you could eat this with or without the rice and you can ensure you can choose your own ingredients when cooking it yourself.)
Pre-Workout and Post Workout:
- Any of these smoothies that sound good to you. Advice for smoothies: Add protein to ALL of them if they don’t already call for it. Save ANY that include fats (nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados) for BEFORE your workouts. The ones that are just veggies and fruits and protein–these are best for AFTER your workouts. Always avoid foods higher in fat–even the good fat–after your workout for better body results.
- Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins (These would also make a great snack!)
- Crispy Rice Protein Treats
- Funfetti Protein Quinoa Bowl (This would make an amazing post-workout meal!)
- Overnight Oats, Seven Ways (Save the ones with nuts and nut butters for BEFORE your workouts.)
- Sweet Potato Waffles
- Warm Banana Coconut Breakfast Bowl (I would eat this about an hour or more before a big workout. It looks so freaking amazing.)
- Of course you can keep these foods simple. Grab a shaker and your favorite protein powder–Erik and I love Dymatize ISO 100–and have a scoop before and after your workout. If you’re spending a couple hours lifting, have another scoop to sip on while you lift. Have a banana, fruit, oats, sweet potato with your pre/post workout shake.
- Apple Slice Cookies (these would make a great pre-workout snack too!)
- Chicken and Zucchini Poppers
- Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Banana Bites (You’re welcome.)
- Crispy Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
- Cucumber Roll Ups
- Cucumber Sandwiches
- I saw a photo on Pinterest of “Deli Skewers.” No recipe needed: put cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, cheese cubes, and uncured deli meats on a skewer. It’s fun, it’s pretty, it’s healthy. And honestly, you can add whatever you want!
- Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips (For your salty cravings.)
- Healthy Protein Cheesecake Yogurt (I make this a lot when I’m really craving something sweet. I’ve never added the graham crackers like this recipe, but it would make a great go-to dessert option.
- Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Pickle Roll Ups
- Sea-Salt Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Slices (Sometimes you just need something salty and sweet.)
- Steph’s favorite turkey meatballs:
- 2 packages ground turkey
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 2 TBS Parmesan cheese
- 2 TBS flax seeds (probably should be ground up but I never do)
- Pepper to taste
- Mix, form into balls, bake on 400 for about 22 minutes. This should make about 24 meatballs and I typically snack on anywhere between 1-3 at a time. They’re packed with protein, are very filling, and go great with a pasta sauce and/or your veggies of choice.
Adjust your schedule and food accordingly.
- Obviously, any of these dinners would make excellent lunches and vice versa.
- If you’re not hungry, don’t eat the extra snacks.
- If you don’t exercise on a certain day, skip the pre and post workout recipes.
- Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.
- Always have a basic understanding of what your body needs as well as what it responds to. Know when you need smaller portions, and know when you’re training and lifting weights, that your body needs proper refueling.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated! Once you start making a few meals here and there, it’ll just get quicker and easier.
BTW–in case you’re wondering why “uncured” deli meats, sausage, and bacon–it’s because you want to avoid the nitrites and nitrates found in these meats. They have been linked to possible causes of cancer, so why not just spend a few more pennies to minimize your risk?
If you’re in Pinterest, check out my favorite boards for more recipe ideas:
- Asian Inspired
- Better Snack Choices
- Cleaner Treats
- Dutch Oven and Crockpot Cooking
- Healthier Breakfast Options
- Healthy Cooking Ideas
- Healthy Lunches
- Salads that don’t Suck
- Spaghetti Squash Recipes (I get stuck eating spaghetti squash almost every week. Maybe one of my New Year goals should be to eat a wider variety of veggies this year!)
And of course, Strong Figure articles.
Not sure where or what protein to buy? We’ve got you covered with our Strong Figure Protein Buying Guide.
Want more advice on living a longer, healthier, more fulling life? Check out my Strong Figure Total Health and Makeover Pinterest board. It coincides with all we teach in our SF THFM Book and Workbook!
This week’s Strong Figure Conditioning Workouts: