Between cleaning, taking care of our kids, running the household errands, and during these hard economic times fitting a part time job into our schedules, moms are very busy people. No matter how busy you are it is still very important to take the time out to eat right.
Fixing healthy meals for our family often takes a lot more time to prepare than those “not-so-good-for-you” meals. To make it a lot easier I’ve put together a few healthy recipes that are simple and don’t take a lot of time to prepare.
For breakfast try fixing your family whole wheat pancakes. Whole wheat pancake mix can be found in most grocery stores and it isn’t that expensive either. Try this recipe out.
Oatmeal Pancakes with Mixed Berry Topping
Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:20 min
makes:6 servings (2 pancakes with 1/4 cup topping)
1 bag (10 oz) frozen berries, thawed and drained
3/4 cup real maple syrup (or you can substitute a low calorie sugar free syrup)
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
Whole Wheat pancake mix (follow instructions on the package)
1. In 2-quart saucepan, cook topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from heat; set aside. In medium bowl, beat pancake ingredients with wire whisk until blended.
2. Spray griddle or 10-inch skillet with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray. Heat griddle to 375°F or heat skillet over medium heat. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto hot griddle.
3. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges. Turn; cook other sides until golden brown. Serve with topping.
1 Serving: Calories 310 (Calories from Fat 60); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 290mg; Total Carbohydrate 55g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 32g); Protein 6g
You can also make pancakes and freeze them. After freezing your children can heat them up in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Try topping pancakes with plain low fat or fat free organic yogurt and fresh fruit, or chopped nuts and raisins, or all natural organic applesauce and cinnamon.
For lunch serve a salad with fresh fruit or healthy wrap sandwiches. These recipes can be prepared in less than a half an hour.
Layered Shrimp, Corn and Pea Salad
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper
11⁄2 lb ripe tomatoes (we used red cut in wedges and yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut in small chunks
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cups green peas, thawed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 cups salad greens
1 lb peeled, cooked shrimp
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil or parsley
1. Whisk oil, vinegar, juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and avocado; toss to mix and coat. Let stand about 20 minutes to deveIop flavors.2. Mix corn, peas and bell pepper in a 4-qt serving bowl; spread in a layer. Top with 1⁄2 the salad greens, all the shrimp, then remaining greens. Spoon tomato mixture over the top; sprinkle with cilantro. Toss to mix or spoon through the layers.This is especially attractive when brought to the table in a clear glass bowl, preferably one with plain sides so all the layers are visible.
Yield 4 servings, Calories 508, Total fat 24g, Saturated fat 4g, Cholesterol 221mg, Sodium 815 mg, Total Carbohydrates 44g, Dietary Fiber 9g, protein 34g.
(source: Women’s Day)
Bean and Veggie Wraps
Prep Time:10 min
Start to Finish:15 min
4 fat-free flour tortillas (6 to 8 inch)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (5 oz)
1 medium onion, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into thin slices
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1. Heat tortillas as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook mushrooms and onion in skillet about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in beans; heat through. Stir in spinach; remove from heat.
3. Divide bean mixture among tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold one end of each tortilla up about 1 inch over filling; fold right and left sides over folded end, overlapping. Fold remaining end down.
1 Serving: Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 30); Total Fat 3 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 280mg; Total Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 8g, Sugars 5g); Protein 16g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 60%; Vitamin C 10%; Calcium 25%; Iron 25% Exchanges: 2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 2 Vegetable; 1 Lean Meat Carbohydrate Choices: 3 MyPyramid Servings: 1/2 c Dairy, 1 oz-equivalents Grains, 2 oz-equivalents Meat & Beans, 1 3/4 c Vegetables
*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
I love serving salmon for dinner and when I do we rarely have leftovers. Salmon is a healthy lean protein full of omega 3 fatty acids. Here are a couple easy and tasty salmon recipes. Always make sure you are serving wild Alaskan salmon.
Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter
Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.
Makes 4 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy
2 tablespoons unsalted pepitas (see Tip)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Toast pepitas (see Tip). Place in a small bowl with butter, lime zest, lime juice and chili powder.
2. Generously coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook until browned and just cooked through in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the salmon to a plate. Add the butter-lime mixture to the hot pan; stir until the butter is melted. Serve the salmon topped with the sauce.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 259 calories; 17 g fat (5 g sat, 5 g mono); 74 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 0 g fiber; 360 mg sodium; 458 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Excellent source of omega-3s.
0 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 fat
TIP: Tips: Pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) can be found in the bulk-foods section of natural-foods stores or Mexican groceries.
Place a salmon fillet on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
Place pepitas in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
(source: Eating Well.com)
Don’t be intimidated by this fancy-looking breaded-salmon pinwheel, it’s quite easy to do. This technique works best when you use “center-cut” salmon fillet. If you don’t have a center-cut fillet or want to simplify the preparation, leave the fillet whole, spread the mayonnaise over it, top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake. To cut down on prep time, ask your fishmonger to skin the salmon for you. Serve with garlic-rosemary roasted potatoes and wilted spinach.
Makes 4 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy
1/2 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped rinsed capers
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut lengthwise into 4 strips
4 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil, mustard, shallot, lemon juice, capers and thyme in a small bowl until combined.
3. Working with one at a time, spread 1 teaspoon mayonnaise on a salmon strip. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumb mixture over the mayonnaise. Starting at one end, roll the salmon up tightly, tucking in any loose filling as you go. Insert a toothpick though the end to keep the pinwheel from unrolling. Place in the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining salmon strips.
4. Bake the pinwheels until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 342 calories; 20 g fat (4 g sat, 8 g mono); 84 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 30 g protein; 1 g fiber; 221 mg sodium; 528 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Potassium & Vitamin C (15% daily value), excellent source of omega-3s.
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 lean meat, 1 fat
TIP: Make your own breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry and crispy, about 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs.(Source: EatingWell.com)
Serving healthy meals for your family does not have to be hard work or take a lot of your time. You can also include your children in the cooking process. Letting your kids help you prepare meals can teach them more about healthier eating habits and it can be a lot of fun too!