Simple Healthy Recipes...HELP?

Summer - posted on 09/30/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )




My husband and I are both trying to lose weight and set better examples for our children, so I am trying to cook healthier, low calorie meals for our family. Our household size is 7 (4 adults and 3 children-boys). My dillemma other than our household size is that I am not a whiz in the kitchen. I can not just go in there and whip something up. I don't know what spices to use on which foods, etc. If I have a recipe though I can follow it and things usually turn out well. I have tons of high calorie, fattening recipes, but very very few healthy recipes. As a result we've been having alot of grilled chicken and salad. I need recipes that are healthy, kid friendly, and easy to follow. Is that possible? Anyone know of any good websites to get these kinds of recipes? Any ideas?

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Sarah - posted on 10/06/2009




I have a really good one that is meatless, really delicious and really healthy. We try to eat a couple meatless dishes a week and this is an easy go-to recipe I found in Family Circle.

Zucchini and Chickpea Ratatouille

2 med zucchini, about 1 1/4 lb, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
1 can (15 1/2 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/8 t red pepper flakes
3 cups cooked brown rice

Heat oven to 425.

Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Add zucchini and red pepper; toss with 1 T olive oil. Bake at 425 for 30 min or until tender.

Heat remaining 1 T oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds to 1 min. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 min. stirring occasionally. Add zucchini, peppers, chickpeas, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook an additional 5 min, stirring occasionally. Serve with cooked brown rice. Makes 4 servings.

Rhonda - posted on 10/05/2009




My favorite healthy low cost meal...

3 or 4 chicken breast ( frozen is ok)

2 cans of black beans

2 cans of shoepeg corn

1 medium size jar of picante sauce

Place in a crock pot. Cook all day.

When ready to serve, place tortilla chips on a plate,spoon chicken mixture on top, add grated cheese, lettuce, onions and tomatos.

My husband and I raised 5 children.. they are all grown now and they still like to eat the "chicken dish" when they are home.

My favortie part is that if you need to feed an "army" just add more corn, beans and picante..

Summer - posted on 10/05/2009




Thank you Wendy. That is one thing I've always wanted to know how to do because I don't like bland food. I never know what to season anything with though. Thanks Pamela I'll check out your blog.

I'm loving all this help guys! I am excited about going to the grocery store so I can try some of these out!

Wanita (Wendy) - posted on 10/05/2009




I was watching Studo 5 and they posted some cards that can be downloaded to help out with the spices delima.

Studio 5 Recipe-Free Ingredient Supply List

It tells you which combination of ingredients to use to get the flavor for: Mexican, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai.

You'll notice that some of the ingredients cross over, it's all in how they are combines.

Pamela - posted on 10/05/2009




Hi Summer

Here's my cooking blog : The Cooking Ninja- it ranges from entree, main course to dessert - cuisine from Asian to European. A lot of my readers have tried them and they love the recipes.

If you have any problem, just leave me a line. I'll be glad to help.

Summer - posted on 10/04/2009




Thanks Gabriella. I definately would love more info on the low glycemic eating. I know that I read somewhere that one of the keys to a healthy metabolism is keeping your blood sugar as even as possible throughout the day.

Gabriella - posted on 10/04/2009





I applaud you for wanting to take care of your health and eating habits. As Karen mentioned, the slow cooker is a wonderful resource. You can't really go wrong with it. Here are a few recipes that my family enjoys:

BBQ Chicken (8 servings)

6 each of thighs drums and wings
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup dry onion flakes

Remove skin from chicken. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover; cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4 hours.

Chicken and Sausage Recipe (8 servings)

4 tablespoons olive oil
16 cloves garlic, crushed
4 medium onion, chopped
4 red pepper, chopped
4 green pepper, chopped
4 small zucchini, chopped
4 cans mushrooms
4 cans tomatoes, stewed Italian
4 cans (6 oz size) tomato paste
1 pound sausage, hot
8 chicken breasts
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
red pepper flakes, optional

Heat oil in skillet. Sauté onion and garlic until light brown; remove from pan. Add sausage and chicken to brown in the skillet. Drain and pat dry.

In the slow cooker, combine all other ingredients together with the onions and garlic. Add the sausage then top with the chicken breasts. Cover and cook on low setting 6-8 hrs.

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip (9 servings)

* 4 pounds rump roast
* 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
* 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
* 6 French rolls
* 2 tablespoons butter


1. Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer. Cook on Low setting for 7 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Split French rolls, and spread with butter. Bake 10 minutes, or until heated through.
4. Slice the meat on the diagonal, and place on the rolls. Serve the sauce for dipping.

I could type these up all day! There are a lot of great sites on the internet for slow cooker recipes. I also subscribe to an ezine which emails a dessert and entree recipe to me each day of the week. This is a free resource but they do take donations. It's called Recipe du Jour and Dessert du Jour. You can sign up online and get great things to try. To help make meals more healthy, substitute where you can. Substitute part of the oil in baked goods with unsweetened apple sauce. There are sites that can help with this as well. You can also try low glycemic eating to keep your blood sugar even all the time. This is not just for people with diabetes. Everyone benefits from low glycemic eating. The health benefits are amazing! If you want more info on this, feel free to send me a message. It is a lot easier than you think and you don't have to eliminate any food groups.

Happy eating!

Karen - posted on 10/04/2009




I just started eating healthy at the beginning of the year & my kids were not on board with me. So I switched up some things to be kid friendly & they don't even know it is healthy for them! One of the biggest things in the house the kids LOVE is pizza ... so we make our own little pizza's here ya go:

ANY tortilla (kids use white, I use low carb wheat)
pizza sauce (I buy mine already made because I hate it chunky & so do kids)
LOTS of cheese (cheese is full of protein & gets your dairy in!)
ANY toppings ... we use pepperoni *can use TURKEY pepperoni too*, sausage, ham, burger, taco meat ... basically ANYTHING you want to put on it. you can even use leftovers (chicken, beef, taco meat, etc).
Throw in the oven on 425 for about 10 minutes & there ya go! It is so quick & easy & so dang healthy!

Here are some crock pot recipes...I love my crockpot. I have 3 kiddos so it is hard to find time to cook with all their sports and dance classes ... I know you can relate ;)

Slow Cooker Chicken w/ italian cream cheese sauce

2 lbs. boneless chicken tenders (RAW)
1/4 c Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce
1/2 c Italian dressing (Light or FF)
1 green bell pepper (sliced)
1 small onion (sliced)
1/2 tbsp seasoned salt (optional)
1 block of FF cream cheese

Put everything into the crock pot EXCEPT for the cream cheese. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. ADD the cream cheese and cook on HIGH for 30-45 more minutes stirring every 15 minutes. VIOLA!


Crockpot Mexican Chicken (for a family of 4-6)

5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 package of FF cream cheese
1 jar of salsa
1 package of taco seasoning
1 can Chili Beans

**Put some salsa a the bottom of the crockpot, put 2 breasts down and sprinkle the taco seasoning on them (repeat for the rest of the layers of chicken). Soften the cream cheese and stir it with the remaining salsa and pour over the chicken. Then put the Chili beans on top. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours (for an 8 hour day, cook on low). You can stir as you like. Serve over rice. (or just eat as is if you can't do carbs)

ELIZABETH - posted on 10/03/2009




Under 20 min Football Sunday Dip. Ground Turkey, Stagg Chilli Beans, Low Fat string cheese, Tortilla Chips. Brown the ground turkey and drain, open chilli beans, peel string cheese. In medium pot: add chilli beans, string cheese, meat. Stir until cheese completely melted. Put in bowl and serve with chips.

Tia - posted on 10/02/2009




I know how hard it can be to come up with meals that are healthy, easy to make and that kids will eat (I have 2 picky boys and wonder of wonders...they both like foods that are totally opposite from what the other likes so coming up with meals that please both palates can be difficult sometimes). I am posting one of our favorite healthy family meals below. Not only is it easy...but it's great left over, too. I call it Pork Cacciatore.

Tia's Pork Cacciatore

1 large pork tenderloin

2 ...14.5 oz cans "italian" stewed tomatoes (with garlic, basil and oregano)

1 small onion chopped ( tennis ball size)

1/2 red bell pepper chopped

1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped

4 cloves finely chopped garlic

1/2-1 tsp dried basil (depending on taste)

salt to taste

pepper to taste

olive oil for sauteeing tenderloin

hot cooked rice

Cut tenderloin into 1/2 inch thick "medallions". Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper on both sides of medallions. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick or stainless steel skillet over med high heat ( do not use cast iron because the acid in the tomatoes will chemically react to the iron and ruin the flavor). Brown pork on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, peppers and garlic. Saute until onions begin to turn translucent. Return pork to skillet and add tomatoes (do not drain), basil, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil...about 1/2 tsp. Cover with a lid and let simmer for about and hour. Stir occasionally. Pork should be very tender. Serve over rice with a nice salad or fresh cooked veggies (my kids love this meal with corn on the cob).

Note* You can double this meal if your family likes it. The only fats I add are extra virgin olive oil. No cheese, no butter on our corn and only a small amount in the rice. Also, if your kids don't like chunky veggies, you can easily mash the tomatoes, onions and peppers with a potato masher to look like a smooth sauce because they cook down so much. You can also make this meal with chicken or turkey breast.

Faith - posted on 10/02/2009




I'm here to help! Check out my website, It is geared toward busy families who want to eat healthy meals at home. Plus, when you pick and choose what your family likes, you get a categorized grocery list from which you can add/delete items, making dinner planning even that much easier.

You can go to the Sample menu at for some easy, family friendly dinners such as Slow Cooked Apple Cider Pork Roast (perfect & wonderful for the season), Italian Chicken Rigatoni (lighter pasta fare), Grouper Fingers, Taco Soup (easy & healthy when made with lean ground beef), as well as some tasty sides like Sweet Acorn Squash. While you are there, sign up to receive the free weekly newsletter which highlights the new menu each week and gives you handy food preparation tips.

Amy - posted on 10/02/2009




My hubby and I are on a tuna kick.

Canned tuna (water not oil)

mix with mustard or sun dried tomato kraft dressing or honey dejoin dressing or whatever. Try to stay away from Mayo!

eat with fat free Triskets instead of bread.

Amy - posted on 10/02/2009




Turkey tacos

brown ground turkey

add Pace chunky salsa simmer couple of mins

top with whatever you want!

Karina - posted on 10/02/2009




hello, there is a book and website here in australia called 4 ingredients.

the book is written by 2 mums and is very good for quick meals. most of them could be healthy just by looking and maybe changing the WAY things are cooked.

i try to do meal planning so i am organised and i dont spend a fortune at the supermariket.i think planning also makes you make healthier choices so you wont be tempted by all the bad things.

some meals we enjoy are....spinach and ricotta canneloni, baked pork chops and steamed vegies, stir-fry beef and noodles, spaghetti and meatballs, vege fried riceand kabobs.

please take a look at the website...when you see what they can do with 4 ingredients it makes you wonder why we have all been using past recipes that are sssooooo complicated...LOL.

good luck, karina...australia.

Cathy - posted on 10/01/2009




Hi Summer! I think that name is so cute! I have a cookbook that is great for losing weight. It is Busy People's Low-Carb Cookbook. Here is one of my favorite recipes from it! You can also visit the Cooking For Busy People's website. They have a lot of free recipes there too! I hope you enjoy this.

Hawaiian Pizzas

You can use low-carb tortillas, however we tested with both and in this recipe we really think it taste best with thte low fat verses the low-carb. The low-fat tortillas taste like a super thin crispy pizza crust.

10 (10”) low fat tortillas

½ cup teriyaki baste and glaze sauce

1 (8ounce) bag fat-free mozzarella cheese

1 (5.5ounce) can pineapple tidbits in it’s own juice-drained and juice discarded (there will be some leftover)

½ cup green onion chopped

1 (8ounce) bag extra lean ham- chopped

-Spray bottoms of tortillas with non-fat cooking spray.

-Spread 2 teaspoons Teriyaki Baste and Glaze Sauce over tortilla.

-Sprinkle 1 heaping tablespoon cheese evenly over all the pizzas lightly.

-Top the pizzas with 1 ½ tablespoons pineapple, 1 teaspoon green onion, and 1-tablespoon ham.

-Put each tortilla pizza directly on the rack in the oven.

-Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 10 individual serving size pizzas

Calories: 257 (6% fat); Total Fat: 2 gm; Cholesterol: 16 mg; Carbohydrate: 41 gm; Dietary Fiber: 4 gm; Protein: 18 gm; Sodium: 1334 mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 2 very lean meat

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Baking Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Menu Idea: This is one of my favorite pizzas served with a fresh red lettuce salad. Recipe on page (000).

Stuffed Flank Steak (Slow cooker recipe)

This flavorful steak taste more like a roast when it’s all done and every bite melts in your mouth.

2 pounds flank steak (also known as London broil)

1 teaspoon of your favorite steak-seasoning blend (I like Tone’s brand)

1 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup fresh mushrooms- thinly sliced

¼ cup dried parsley or ½ cup fresh copped parsley

1 (10.5 ounce) can onion soup- do not dilute

-Pound steak on both sides with either a meat mallet or the edge of a plate to help tenderize the beef.

-Sprinkle with steak seasoning. Set a side.

-Mix onion, garlic, mushrooms, and parsley together until well mixed. Spread on seasoned steak.

-Roll lengthwise (starting at the longest side of the steak) jellyroll style and tie with string about every 2”.

-Place in slow cooker. Pour onion soup into slow cooker.

-Cover. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Yield: 8 (4 ounce) servings

Calories: 193 (32% fat); Total Fat: 7 gm; Cholesterol: 37 mg; Carbohydrate: 6 gm; Dietary Fiber: 1 gm; Protein: 26 gm; Sodium: 471 mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 vegetable

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 hours

Krystal - posted on 09/30/2009




I have been trying to lose weight myself and believe me, salad and grilled chicken gets old fast. One easy way of making healthier food out of the stuff you already know how to make is to replace ingredients with low-fat substitutes (ex. replacing reg. cheese with low-fat cheese or using products like boca to replace meats in things where it wont compromise the taste like in hamburger helper). Use healthy protein choices for main dishes, especially fish if you family likes it. It is easy to make and can be dressed up with just a little salt, pepper, and lemon or a glaze. there are a lot of good recipes on sites like which has a healthy cooking category and the recipes are usually pretty simple and often kid-friendly. Also, i recently picked up a weight watchers cookbook that i liked and you can just double the ingredients to feed more. Here are some recipes that i like.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 (14 oz) italian cheese-flavored pizza crust (such as Boboli)

Cooking spray

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

2/3 cup spicy BBQ sauce, divided

1/3 cups slivered red onion

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozz cheese

Preheat oven to 450

put crust on ungreased baking sheet. coat crust lightly with cooking spray.

combine chicken and 1/3 cup bbq sauce in small bowl and stir well. spread remaining 1/3 cup bbq sauce evenly over pizza crust, leaving a 1-in border.

top crust evenly with chicken mixture and remaining ingredients.

slide pizza from pan directly onto oven rack.

bake at 450 for 10-12 min or until crust is crispy and cheese melted.

when done, remove by sliding pizza back onto pan with a spatula and then cut into 8 slices. (8 servings) 280 cals per serving

Sweet and Spicy Sausage

2 lbs turkey smoked sausage-cut into chunks

1 green pepper- cut into chunks

1 red pepper- cut into chunks

2 sweet onions- cut into chunks

2 10 oz bottles sweet and sour sauce

4 tbsp tobasco sauce (original or chipotle) or to taste

preheat oven to 400

mix sweet and sour sauce and tobasco together and set aside

put chunks of chicken, peppers, and onions together in large bowl

pour sauce mixture into chicken and veggie bowl and coat the ingredients well

pour everything into large baking dish and cover tightly with tinfoil

bake at 400 for about 45 min or until veggies have softened and meat is heated through

Can be served over rice or with baked potato

hope this helps.

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