Let’s talk about something that is only one step above my least favorite daily thing I do every day. It’s also something that CREATES my least favorite thing to do… the dishes. I’m talking about cooking food.
There are a lot of people out there that LOVE cooking. I just don’t, and I absolutely hate doing dishes. So I play this game while I’m cooking, to see how few dishes I can use to create dinner. I am also a firm believer that no “uni-tasker” belongs in my kitchen! (Thanks to Alton Brown!)
So why am I even writing this?
It’s complicated. You see, as much as I have an intense dislike for cooking, I actually care about the food we eat quite a lot. Health starts in the kitchen, and I strongly believe that our food really matters. My mom was always a bit “crunchy”. She often baked our bread to avoid the preservatives, there was always a veggie tray on the counter as our snacks, fruit was the go-to sweet treat, and most everything she cooked didn’t require a box.
I’ve gotten really good at cooking healthy foods that don’t require a ton of time or require you to use every dish in the kitchen. So, here you go – my favorite healthy dinners that the whole family – including my five kids – will love!
10 Healthy Meals Kids Will Love
Rainbow Chicken Salad
My kid’s favorite salad!
BBQ Ranch Salad
Probably MY favorite salad in the whole world! I replace the onion with avocado, swap the tortilla strips for crunchy onions, and make the BBQ dressing by thinning BBQ sauce with seasoned rice vinegar and a dash of cayenne pepper.
White Chicken Chili
We had this last night and they ALL went back for seconds and thirds.
I add spinach, mushrooms and sausage to this as well. I also intentionally make extra and my husband eats it for breakfast the rest of the week.
I make this with asparagus and sweet potatoes. I love me some Alton Brown.
Tried & True Meals
There are a few meals that are just in our regular rotation. You can customize them however your family like them best!
My Home Made Spaghetti
I always make a huge batch of this and freeze the extra for a quick dinner. It’s the same sauce I use for ratatouille, meatball marinara and spaghetti squash bake as well. This is a family recipe, so don’t lose it!
- 1 lb. Hamburger
- 1 tbs. Dried Onions
- 1 tsp. Oregano
- 1 tsp. Basil
- 2 can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 can Tomato Sauce
- 1 can Tomato Paste
- 2 tbs. Sugar
- 2 Trappeys Jalapeños chopped
- 2 tbs. Jalapeño Juice
Brown hamburger with dried onions. Then add basil, oregano and sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. Dump in cans of tomatoes, sauce and paste. Add jalapeños and juice. Simmer for about ½ – 1 hour. Cook noodles for 10 minutes in salted water and eat.
I normally skip the “taco” and put it all over lettuce.
Just add a package of Lipton’s Beefy Onion Soup Mix and a splash of Worcestershire to the meat before making patties. No-sugar apple sauce and sweet potato fries go on the plate, and call it done.
Chicken on the grill with mashed sweet potatoes, cooked mushrooms and broccoli are a favorite. I also do the meat in my instant pot if the weather is not cooperating for the grill.
What are YOUR family’s favorites? Share them with other parents that are deep into a dinner rut, and leave any questions in the comments.
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Jenni McCarty is a wife, mom of four, l'il bit granola, jean-wearer, iced coffee drinker, home schooler, more than just a little obsessed with photography, frustrated organizer (see “mom of four”) yet ironically logical, Pinterest addict and Facebook follower, sufferer of ADCD (attention deficit crafters disorder), displaced Alaskan. She opened Jenni M Photography in 2012 and she really enjoys blogging about her personal family adventures whenever she has a chance.