This is a Guest Post submitted by Brooke Chaplan. Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for blogs about family, health, and well-being.
With hectic schedules, balancing both the work and home life, it can be difficult to discover new foods that are both delicious and healthy for your family or even find time to cook. By incorporating new ingredients and trying healthier versions of classic recipes, it will make for a nutritious home that can enjoy fresh flavors for every season. Make time for family dinner and you won’t regret it.
Kale and Fruit Smoothies
One of the easiest ways to incorporate kale, spinach, and other greens into your family’s diet is by blending it with fresh fruit for a sweet and nutritious snack. Kale is one of the healthiest greens available, packed with anti-oxidants and nutrients that can prevent cancer. Sometimes it can be difficult to get the kids to try these leafy vegetables. Mix a handful of kale, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 banana, and 2 cups of fruit in commerical blenders. The fresh fruit will make it sweet and delicious, without your kids knowing how healthy it really is.
Cucumber Coconut Salad
Dress up your salads differently by adding coconut and cucumber for a light and refreshing meal or side. Add two small cucumbers, 1/2 cup coconut, 1 small green chili, 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. Pour sauteed oil and curry leaves over the salad before serving. Not only is coconut a fun food to use in the summer, but it also boosts immunity, contains fiber, amino acids, and a load of electrolytes. Pair the salad with grilled chicken and naturally sweetened tea for the perfect summer meal.
Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta, cooking faster, and containing more nutrients without the heavy carbs. Spaghetti squash is only 42 calories per cup and contains vitamin A, folic acid, and potassium. Cut the squash in half and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Separate strands after it cools, serving with a low-fat or light marinara sauce for flavor. Saute mushrooms, eggplant and ground turkey to mix in with the sauce.
Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Opt for a healthier version of stuffed bell peppers by incorporating quinoa. Add organic corn, tomatoes, green chilies, quinoa, and beans by mixing in a bowl. Spoon the mixture into bell peppers and top with pepper jack cheese, baking at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Add a touch of garlic salt for flavor. The meal is not only healthy, but is a filling option that is easy to make and serve. Add a fresh salad as a side.
Salmon with Mustard Sauce
Salmon is one of the healthiest dinner options, improving eye health and preventing cancer with its nutrients and omega-3 fats. Mix 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup whole grain mustard, 1 Tbsp dried dill and a handful of fresh basil for the perfect mustard dressing to top four salmon fillets. Apply to each fillet, cover with foil and broil for 20 minutes. Uncover and broil for an additional five minutes before cooling and serving. Healthy side options include baked asparagus, green beans, or grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.