healthy recipes

Grill Your Veggies for Healthy Benefits + Recipes

One of the reasons I love grilling is because of how deliciously easy it is to put healthy food on your family’s table.

You might be surprised to learn how many foods you can grill! Combining different food groups to take them to a whole new level of tastiness - fruit with veggies, veggies with fish, citrus with fish, chicken with fruit, the list goes on.

I’ve even seen grilled salad in some recipes! One of my favorite things - and one of the healthiest foods to grill - is vegetables.

The benefits to your diet from eating more veggies is endless, so why not enjoy them grilled?

  1. Gets More Nutrients into Your Body Where They Belong – Grilling vegetables cooks away less of the vitamins & nutrients in them than other cooking methods, like boiling. Next to eating them FRESH, “grilled” is one of the best ways to eat veggies.

  2. Naturally Adds Flavor – The heat of the grill causes the natural sugars in vegetables to caramelize, which gives the same veggies an entirely different flavor than when eaten fresh, steamed or boiled.

  3. Variety – You can easily mix veggies with each other, or with your favorite lean meats, seafood, and even fruits. The possibilities are endless.

  4. Picky Eaters Eat More Vegetables – Grilled veggies taste different and can be easily seasoned with herbs and spices to make their taste more appealing to even the finickiest eater. This may be a major way your picky eater will add more veggies into their diet.

  5. It’s Fun! – Grilling gets you outside for some fresh air and Vitamin D! Whether dinner with the family or a get-together with friends, grilling has a way of getting us outside where we enjoy the fresh air! Who couldn’t use more of that?

Enjoy more veggies at your house with these easy, delicious recipe ideas:

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Spicy Mexican Grilled Sweet Corncobs

Ingredients

  • 5-6 FRESH ears of sweet corn

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/3 cup feta cheese (or Cotija Queso)

Instructions

Preheat grill to medium heat. 

Boil ears (shucked and cleaned) in a stock pot for about 20 minutes, then drain and remove. 

Place corn ears over grill and drizzle olive oil over them, then cook for 5 minutes on one side. Using tongs, turn ears over to cook for 5 minutes on other side.

Place corn on a platter, and sprinkle with the spices, and place a pat of butter on each ear. Then sprinkle a few crumbles of cheese over corn and serve.

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Lemon & Garlic Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch thin asparagus

  • 1 bunch of green onions, trimmed

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • Olive oil

Instructions

Preheat grill on low-to-medium heat, and prepare a cookie sheet-sized, folded “pan” made from the aluminum foil. 

Rinse the bunch of asparagus off, trimming off at least an inch from the bottom of stalks. Place the spears on the aluminum foil, spreading them out in an even layer. Add the bunch of green onions, spreading them through the asparagus stalks. 

Sprinkle the minced garlic over the stalks, and squeeze the juice from the two lemon halves over the vegetables. 

Drizzle olive oil generously over the vegetables, and place homemade “pan” over the grill slats. Grill for about 10-15 minutes (to desired done-ness) over low to medium heat.  Serve immediately.

Get creative, research fun recipe combinations, and remember there is no limit for what you can cook on the grill!

How to Make Crock Pot Shredded Chicken {BONUS Chicken Enchilada Recipe!}

This shredded chicken recipe is a great “protein base” recipe, so that you have moist, tasty shredded chicken on hand for entrees later in the weekly meal plan, like salads, tacos, enchiladas or even to add to soup.

Cook up a large batch, then shred and freeze or refrigerate in pre-portioned freezer bags ready to pull out and use later. Makes nightly cooking too easy, and everyone loves the rich, brothy taste of this chicken (even the picky eaters!)

The chicken is also ready to be additionally seasoned, for instance, use chili powder and garlic for a Mexican-flavored dish, or taco seasoning for a taco salad protein topper!

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken & Healthy Chicken Enchilada Recipe.jpg

Here’s how you make it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can (or half box) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6-7 whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine (white is best)

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients together into a crock pot, cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4. Once chicken pulls apart easily, it is ready! Let chicken cool, remove from crockpot, and shred. You’ve got shredded chicken!

Here’s a quick & comforting recipe you can whip up using this easy crock pot shredded chicken: 

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups crock-pot shredded chicken (soaked in ¼ cup of enchilada sauce)
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 1 small can mild enchilada sauce
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt (optional, as topping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the enchilada sauce in a deep fry pan over low heat.
  3. Place corn tortillas, 2-3 at a time, into the saucepan and soak them until covered by sauce. Remove, lay flat on plate.
  4. Line one side of corn tortilla with small amount of chicken, sprinkle half handful of cheese, then roll and place into baking pan (9x9 size works if the enchiladas are rolled tight, 13x9 is better if you want them looser.)
  5. Once all enchiladas are rolled and placed together into pan, spread remaining enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle remaining cheese.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Then remove foil, put oven on broil (high) and bake for another 3-4 minutes. Watch it carefully as cheese may burn if left too long on broil.
  7. Remove finished enchiladas and enjoy with a side of rice and beans!

FRESH n’ Healthy Tip: Garnish with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream – it’s a protein-rich & healthier fat option!

If you enjoyed these recipes, we think you might like these articles & recipes too:

Turkey Carrot Quinoa Meatballs

Napa Cabbage & Chicken Salad Recipe

Healthy Fried Chicken Tenders

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Orange Chutney Chicken Cutlets Recipe & How-To

With a fancy name like “Orange Chutney Chicken” one might mistakenly guess that this simple chicken cutlets recipe is too complicated or stressful to prepare.  

Be assured, it’s as easy as 1-2-3! 

For even quicker prep, prepare the cutlets ahead of time, or use a commercially baked chicken. This delicious dinner is a wonderful dish that the whole family will enjoy, and ask for again!

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Here's how to make it:

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup chutney (or same amount orange marmalade)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • 8-12 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, pre-baked plain or with panko coating in the oven at 375-400 degrees for 8-10 minutes
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Instructions

1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the sliced garlic cloves and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring for 30 seconds more.

3. Add in the chutney and orange juice, cooking until melted.

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4. Gently stir in the segmented orange and remove from heat.

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5. Serve the sauce drizzled over the chicken cutlets, over a bed of brown rice or pasta, or a FRESH Salad.

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This dish is another piece of  proof that comfort-food dinners CAN BE made healthy! They are good-for-you and can be made over, just switching out a couple ingredients as items from the old favorites aren't always the best.

Follow along with us as we introduce many new dishes on this blog - to help you keep comfort food on your family’s dinner table! It’ll just be the nutritiously delicious kind!

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Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

There are many health benefits in this Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie, and it is easy to make!

This little smoothie is jam-packed with antioxidants and vitamins because it's made with sweet potatoes. Yes, you heard it here first- baked and mashed sweet potatoes make a terrific smoothie! In addition to the yummy flavor of a sweet dessert, sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamins C, D, and B6, along with providing good amounts of iron and magnesium.

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

The nutritional benefits found in this great-tasting healthy snack will improve your skin health, immune system, and your heart muscle! As if that's not enough reason to dig into this smoothie, the kids will love this creamy treat, too!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large sweet potato, baked until soft
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • Topping: Whipped cream, sprinkle of cinnamon

Instructions

Blend all ingredients together in blender for about 2 minutes, or until smooth.

The Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie will make a great addition to your breakfast (or snack!) rotation - it's superfood on the go! 

You can try any one of our other delicious smoothie recipes in our FRESH Start recipe box! Smoothies are an easy & fun way to make healthy food for your family, so we love to help you find FRESH new ways to do that! 

Tell us what you think of this recipe in the comments below or in our LIVE Facebook Online Community here.

One-Pot Summer Salmon DinneR

Here is a simple one-pot summer salmon dinner, and it takes no time to prepare - 20 minutes start to finish! 

It is a well-rounded dish, with whole-grain pasta, gently sauteed summer veggies, and steamed (you could also grill it) salmon - all in one pot!  It is a beautiful and tasty dish, filling for every member of the family.  Even the busiest mom has time to make this one! 

Here's how to make the One-pot summer salmon dinner:

Step #1 - Put a medium pot with 3 quarts water on to boil for the pasta.  When the water is boiling, add pasta, cook it for 7-8 minutes (for al dente pasta).  Meanwhile, chop and saute fresh summer veggies like broccoli, yellow squash, red onion, and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil.  (I like to use my wok!)

Step #2 - Cook the salmon, either in a pan (with a lid) or on the grill.  (Either way, it only takes about 7-10 minutes.)  I flavor the salmon with garlic, olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and sea salt.  Once it is fully cooked (It will flake easily with a fork), then cut into pieces.


Step #3 - Drain the al dente pasta, and add it to the gently sauteed veggies in the wok.  Toss in the salmon pieces, add a tablespoon olive oil, some cracked pepper, sea salt, and stir together.  Dress the dish with a small amount of grated Parmesan, and serve!  That was easy as 1-2-3!

Fresh N' Easy Mediterranean Tilapia

This fish dinner is fresh, light, and so comforting.  The warm blend of olive oil, and kalamata olives mingled with carmelized onion and garlic will fill your kitchen with the scents and sensations of the Mediterranean! 

Created from all healthy ingredients, this Easy mediterranean tilapia dinner satisfies in one serving!

It’s easy to make, too! 

The white wine simmering in the dish will tantalize even the pickiest taste buds in the house! The tilapia could be substituted for another fish if preferred, just adjust cooking time for thicker fillets.  This recipe is a great “first try” for a family cook wanting to expand their repertoire of quick and healthy family dinners (especially using fish!) - as it is relatively simple, takes only a few minutes to make, and is guaranteed to be a hit!

Fresh N’ Easy Mediterranean Tilapia

Ingredients

•    1 tablespoon olive oil
•    1 onion, thinly sliced
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    1/2 cup dry white wine
•    1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
•    1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
•    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
•    1 lb tilapia fillets (4-6 fillets)
•    Sea salt, freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

1.    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  
2.    Add onion and garlic, sauté until softened.  
3.    Add wine, tomatoes, olives, and parsley.
4.    Simmer 5 minutes or until fish turns white and flakes easily with a fork.  
5.    Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serve with rice or whole wheat pasta mixed with fresh spring veggies to complete this simple family dinner.

Easy, Healthy, Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

After finding that most pre-made spaghetti sauces are loaded with sugar and other additives, I have begun making a great-tasting homemade sauce instead!  Don’t worry, it is still time-friendly, using canned tomatoes and quick and easy fresh flavors like garlic and herbs.

Easy, Healthy, Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

•    1-large can of crushed tomatoes (low-sodium, if you can find them)
•    1-small can of either tomato paste or sauce (depending on how thick you prefer your sauce – paste thickens more than sauce)
•    1-small can of chopped mushrooms or fresh mushrooms, sliced small
•    3-4 smashed cloves of garlic
•    1 tsp thyme
•    1 tsp oregano
•    1 tsp sea salt
•    1/2 medium onion, diced fine (optional)

Instructions

Place the crushed tomatoes in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce or paste and the mushrooms. Stir in the garlic, thyme, oregano and sea salt and onions. Cook until onions are transparent, or simmer sauce on lowest heat for at least 30 minutes.

If I’m making it a meat sauce with it, I like to add the sauce into the sausage/ground meat as I sear it - it brings out the delicious scent and flavor stronger! 

Fresh flavors, easy fixing – this sauce is a winner every time. 

So flexible for any way of eating - it can be meatless if you are vegetarian, or just add in lean ground meat for a more filling and protein-packed dish!

Serve over whole grain pasta, or a cooked spaghetti squash – garnish with fresh parmesan cheese, and you have an easy, healthy sauce without the sugar and calories!

Napa Cabbage Chicken Salad Recipe

The tasty greens and protein in this Napa Cabbage Chicken Salad are always a hit at our house!

This easy dinner recipe is a family (and guest!) favorite – we never get tired of throwing this easy, fresh dish together for a light dinner. 

Even though it's a salad, you might be surprised at just how filling it is just served by itself for a meal. The chicken and cabbage combination delivers lots of tasty nutrients, which help keep you full longer than most salads, yet it doesn't feel heavy on your stomach. 

Even the kids like it, and ask for this crunchy entrée often!

Here's how to make the Napa Cabbage Chicken Salad for your own family:

Napa Cabbage Chicken Salad Recipe

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 3 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 Head Napa Cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • Crunchies for topping:
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 package ramen noodles, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds

    Dressing:
     
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine the shredded cabbage, green onions, and cilantro in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter, adding the ramen, sesame seeds, and almonds to the pan. Toast the mixture for about 3-4 minutes, or until browned nicely. Make sure not to burn them.
  3. To make the dressing, set a small saucepan on high heat, and add in all the ingredients together. Stir frequently, until the mixture comes to a quick boil, then immediately remove the pan from the heat. Let the dressing cool to room temp.
  4. Toss the salad mixture, crunchies, chicken, and dressing together just before serving for this quick and delicious dinner!
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Cabbage really is an under-rated superfood - rich in many nutrients, but most notably Vitamin C.  Did you know that cabbage is actually higher in vitamin C than oranges?  This salad is also a delicious source of potassium, sulphur, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E!

I would love to hear how you liked the Napa Cabbage Chicken Salad after you make it! Share your food pics and happy faces in our (FREE)  FRESH Start Online Community on Facebook or you can post a comment right here on this blog!