Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Monday, I shared my tips for healthy eating.  Today, I'm going to share some of my favorite dinner recipes - to get you going in the right direction, and show you that healthy eating can be fun, easy, and DELICIOUS!!  Now, there will be other days where I share recipes - but today is devoted to DINNER!! 

Dinner is the one meal that my entire family eats every day together.  Each week, I come up with something different to eat every day - and my kids LOVE the meals that are prepared for them.  So, let's get to it.  All recipes will make enough to serve 4 people.  You will need to adjust for more or less people.

We'll start with chicken, because this is probably the most eaten meat in my house:

Honey Mustard Chicken
  • 4 (4ozs) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp orange zest (I use the store bought zest)
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
Combine last 4 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir into a paste.  Brush or rub mixture onto chicken breasts.  Place chicken into a small baking dish.  Place in fridge and marinate for one hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook chicken in the oven until completely cooked (approx. 15 minutes).  Broil for 1-2 minutes to brown chicken.  Serve with brown rice and/or steamed veggies.
This chicken is also great to cook on the grill.

Cheesy Lemon Chicken and Rice
  • 4 (4ozs) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 can 98% fat-free broccoli cheese soup
  • 1/4 cup fat-free or 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp lemon-pepper seasoning
Prep (Chicken):
In large, nonstick skillet, cook chicken in oil until browned on both sides (about 10 mins). Drain.  In a large bowl, combine soup, milk, juice, and pepper.  Pour mixture over chicken.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer chicken until chicken juices run clear (about 5 mins).
Prep (Rice):
If you have a rice cooker, place rice, chicken broth and lemon-pepper seasoning in the rice cooker and cook.  On the stove, cook rice in chicken broth instead of water and add lemon-pepper seasoning before allowing to simmer.
Place rice on plate, top with chicken breast, and spoon sauce over chicken.

Salsa Chicken Skillet
  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (I use pre-minced garlic)
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 cups hot, cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup fat-free shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
In a large skillet, saute chicken in canola oil until no longer pink.  Drain and set aside.  Coat skillet with cooking spray.  Saute mushrooms, green pepper, onion and garlic until veggies are tender.  Add salsa and chicken.  Heat for 5 mins.  Serve over hot rice and top with cheese and sour cream.

OK, lets move on to pork.  Pork is a fattier meat, so try to limit your pork meals to once a week.

Korean Pork Chops and "Healthy" Fried Rice
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cooked, brown rice
  • cooking spray
Place chops in large Ziploc bag.  Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Pour mixture into the bag with the chops.  Marinate the chops for 6 hours.  Then grill or broil until cooked.

For rice, spray skillet with cooking spray.  Heat skillet over medium heat and add eggs.  Cook eggs until lightly scrambled.  Add cooked rice, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce.  Stir for 1-2 minutes.  Serve with chops.

Hot Pepper Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • 1 - 2lb boneless pork shoulder roast (extra pound can be used for lunch the following day)
  • 2 tsp fajita seasoning
  • 2 10oz cans enchilada sauce
  • 2 fresh jalapenos (seeded if desired, or green or red pepper can be used to replace)
  • 4 whole-grain hamburger buns
Trim fat from roast.  Place roast into slow cooker.  Sprinkle roast with fajita seasoning and add enchilada sauce and chopped pepper.  Cover and cook on low-heat for 8-10 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours.  Remove roast from cooker.  Using 2 forks, shred the meat.  Once meat is shredded, stir in 1 cup of cooking mixture.  Serve on whole grain buns. 

Margarita-Glazed Pork Chops
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • 1/3 cup low-sugar orange marmalade
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tequila or lime juice (I use Tequila, of course)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
Trim any fat from pork chops.  In a small bowl, stir together marmalade, jalapeno, tequila, and ginger.  Place chops on a charcoal grill and grill for 7-9 minutes or until no longer pink.  Glaze chops with mixture during the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Serve with grilled or steamed veggies of your choice. 

Let's move on to the other unhealthier meat: beef.  Again, try to limit beef to once per week.

Zippy Burgers
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1lb lean ground beef (I use the 97/3 hamburger meat)
  • 4 whole grain hamburger buns
In a bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well (I use my hands to combine meat and mixture).  Shape into 4 even patties.  Hamburgers can be grilled on a grill rack coated with cooking spray or cooked under the broiler.  Cook for approx. 6-8 minutes per side.  Serve on buns.

Sesame Orange Beef
  • 8ozs fresh green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 12 ozs boneless beef sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups hot, cooked brown rice
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
In a covered saucepan, cook green beans in a small amount of boiling water for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain.  In a small bowl combine orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and orange zest.  Set aside.  Coat an unheated skillet with nonstick spray.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Add green onion, ginger and garlic to hot skillet; cook and stir for 1 min.  Add green beans; cook and stir for 2 mins.  Remove vegetables from skillet.  Carefully add canola oil to hot skillet.  Add beef and cook until desired doneness.  Remove from skillet.  Stir sauce and add to skillet.  Cook and stir until sauce thickened and bubbly; cook and stir an additional 2 mins.  Add meat and vegetables to skillet and stir coating with the sauce.  Serve over rice.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Add orange slices to top of dish.

Zesty Beef Tenderloin Steaks
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 (4ozs) beef tenderloin steaks
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.  Brush steaks with olive oil and then rub with mixture.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Cook on the grill until done.  Serve with baked potatoes or grilled veggies.

Last, but not least, we finish up with fish.  This is another staple in our weekly menu.  Fish, as well as chicken, should be eaten more than the other meats.

Broiled BBQ-Spiced Rubbed Salmon
  • 4 (4ozs) fresh or frozen skinless, boneless salmon fillets  (thaw if using frozen)
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat broiler.  Rinse fish, pat dry with paper towels.  In a small bowl combine paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt, cumin, and oregano.  Transfer spice mixture to a piece of wax paper.  Gently roll fish fillets in spice mixture to coat.  Coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Place fish on baking pan.  Coat fish with cooking spray.  Broil fish 4" from heat for 4-6 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Carefully turn once halfway through broiling.  Serve with brown rice or steamed veggies.

Fish Taco Wraps
  • 1lb fresh or frozen skinless halibut fillets (halibut is expensive, so can substitute cod or another firm white fish)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fruit salsa (such as mango, peach or mango-peach)
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix
  • 4 8" whole grain tortillas
Thaw fish, if frozen.  Preheat broiler.  Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels.  Lightly coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.  Place fish on rack.  Sprinkle with chili powder.  Broil 4" from heat for 4-6 mins or until flakes easily with a fork.  Cool fish slightly.  Flake fish into bite sized pieces using a fork.  In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream and salsa.  Add coleslaw mix, and toss to coat.  Divide coleslaw mixture between tortillas.  Top with fish.  Roll up tortillas.

Salmon with Tropical Rice
  • 4 (4oz) fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup mango salsa (or other fruit salsa)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
Thaw salmon, if frozen.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Rinse fish, and pat dry with paper towels.  Place fish in prepared baking pan.  In a small bowl combine sesame seeds, cumin, brown sugar, and lemon-pepper seasoning.  Sprinkle fish evenly with mixture, use fingers to slightly press mixture into fish.  Bake for approximately 6 minutes, or until easily flakes with a fork.  Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together cooked rice, salsa, and lemon peel.  Serve fish with rice.

So, there you have 12 amazing recipes to add some pizazz into your dinners.  I wish I could take the credit for these awesome recipes, but I can't.  I found all of them in my two FAVORITE cookbooks.  I own a lot of healthy cookbooks, but these two books are, by far, the most often used:

Taste of Home Guilt Free Cooking  Available at Wal-Mart for about $13, this book is loaded with 356 easy to prepare healthy recipes.

Better Homes and Gardens: Eat Well, Lose Weight  This book I bought at Borders for $21.95.  I love this book because it's loaded with over 500 recipes and has sections like "Restaurant meals", "Holiday meals", and "short-cut recipes".  It provides replacement options for TONS of family favorites like pizzas, burgers, cakes, breads....all stuff that should be avoided, but given in a healthy version. 

I haven't made anything from these two books that my family didn't love.  Both books offer replacements options for things like expensive meats, spices, etc. so you're never reading and thinking "what the heck is that?" 

Hopefully, you'll try some of these recipes.  They are easy, delicious, and HEALTHY!!  Please post a comment if you do decide to try one, and let me know what you think.

Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about supplements.  I want to clear up some common myths, discuss healthy supplements, and explain what they're used for.  Supplements are a great way to get the nutrition you need easily. 

Till next time.  ;)

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