Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family Friendly Dinners

Even with my background in Nutrition, it is still hard to come up with a healthy meal that the whole family enjoys. Here are a few winners that work in our household. They are simple, healthy and crowd pleasers.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 Iceberg Lettuce Head
  • 2-3 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Noodles (Annie Chun's is a good brand)
  • 15 ounce bottle of Teriyaki Sauce (Soy Vay is a delicious brand)
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Sliced Water Chestnuts
  • Bamboo Shoots (if desired)
  • a few ounces of Thai Peanut Sauce


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in pan. Poor the teriyak sauce over the chicken until fully covered. Bake chicken until done for about 30-40 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. Pull apart lettuce cups from iceberg lettuce head. Wash the lettuce cups and dry with lettuce strainer or paper towels. Cook brown rice noodles on stove top as directed by package. Put lettuce cups, chicken, brown rice noodles, slice almonds, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots seperately on a large tray for each person to do their own assembly. Place small bowls of teriyaki sauce and peanut sauce for each person to garnish their wrap.

Turkey Burgers


  • Lean Groud Turkey (Jennie-O)
  • Low-fat cheese slices
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Sliced Red Onion
  • Low-fat Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns


Have the barbequer of the house make patties (season with a dash of salt, pepper and olive oil). Add a slice of low-fat cheese and melt if desired. Then place buns and burgers out and have the family garnish their burger any way they like with the recommended ingredients above.

Sweet potato fries and salad are excellent, popular sides.

Lean Beef Tacos


  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Low-fat Shredded Cheese
  • Low-sodium Pinto or Black Beans
  • Low-fat Plain Greek Yogurt (used as sour cream)
  • Chopped Red Onion
  • Avocado or Natural Guacamole (Whole Foods makes a great one)
  • Salsa (no sugar added) or Pico de Gallo
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Corn Tortillas (or no tortillas:))
  • Brown Rice
  • Sliced Black Olives (good for the little ones)


Grill up the ground beef on the stove top until brown. Make the brown rice as instructed on the box. Heat up the beans in the microwave for 60-90 seconds in a bowl with a paper towel on top. Put greek yogurt, salsa, lettuce, cheese, sliced onion and avocado or guacamole out for self-serve. Heat up the tortillas between two wet paper towels in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Give the family some plates and have them build their own taco. Can't go wrong with this one.

I didn't give ingredient amounts for the last two recipes because it really depends on family size. The amount of ingredients listed for the lettuce wraps is based on serving no more than 4.

Hope you enjoy!

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