I find that I am the most successful eating healthy at home when I come up with a meal plan for the week ahead of time. I’ve tried many online recipes and found some things that have become staples in our house. Often, I tweak recipes I grew up with to make them healthier (or at least less processed!). I’ve been playing a lot with gluten-free recipes lately too and have found a few that are pretty tasty.
So, to help you succeed in a healthy eating plan, I figured why not put two weeks of my favorite meals I’ve found in one place so you can have a varied meal plan that will help you eat fresh, non-processed food, at home, for two whole weeks. (I’ll do this in 2 parts so it isn’t insanely long.)
Some recipes will be gluten-free, some won’t. Some will be dairy-free, some won’t (most will at least have a dairy-free alternative because I eat pretty much dairy-free other than some butter). All will be much healthier than store-bought junk that’s full of additives, msg and sodium.
Note: All recipes feed a hungry family of 4. It’s not 6, even though I have 6 family members, because I have one toddler who eats very little and a teenager who is picky. 😉
Week 1, Day 1: Tacos
Let’s start off simple with tacos! I don’t make my own tortillas, but I do buy non-GMO sprouted corn tortillas (or chips sometimes!). We use ground turkey instead of ground beef, fresh veggies (tomato – well, a fruit, but close enough, lettuce, avocado, and sometimes corn), spices and the rest of my family tops theirs with cheese. My homemade taco seasoning mix is really cheap and easy, and tastes better than store-bought that is laden with msg and other additives that you typically can’t even pronounce. I mix this seasoning together in a glass measuring cup, and then add a cup of water.
- ½ T Cumin
- 1 T Chili Powder
- ½ t Black Pepper
- ¼ t Dried Oregano
- ½ t Onion Powder
- 1 t Salt
- ½ t Paprika
- ½ t Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 1 Garlic Clove, pressed or minced
Mix all taco seasoning together. Add 1 cup water to cooked ground beef or turkey (or cooked chicken). Then let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Week 1, Day 2: Grilled Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes
This has become an almost weekly staple because even my kids will eat it. We usually have it with zucchini and onions because they go well together. If I make it on the grill (I sometimes use a grill pan inside), I make foil packed with the veggies and add the seasoning to this as well. It doesn’t get much simpler than this, so this is great on a busy night (if you’re like me, that is most nights).
- Boneless, Skinless chicken breasts cut into 2 inch wide strips (you can leave them whole, they just take longer to cook)
- 2 T. Olive Oil
- 1/2 t (or about ½ clove) Garlic Powder
- ½ t Crushed Rosemary
- 1 t Black Pepper
- ½ t Sea Salt
- 1 T Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
Dredge chicken in olive oil and sprinkle liberally with seasoning mix. Grill until chicken is no longer pink inside. Be careful not to grill too long or chicken will be dry. Usually about 4 minutes on each side is plenty, depending on how thick your children breasts are.
Week 1, Day 3: Gluten-Free “Spaghetti” with Meatballs
I have kids. With kids comes pasta. I am trying to avoid gluten, so I’ve found zucchini ribbons (just use a vegetable peeler, or you can buy a spiralizer) or string beans make a good substitute. Again, we use ground turkey instead of beef, but you can use whichever you prefer. I do recommend making the meatballs ahead and putting them in the sauce for at least an hour or so before serving or they will be dry.
- 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey or Beef
- ½ c. Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- 1 t. Black Pepper
- 1 T. Fresh Chopped Basil (or more if you really like basil)
- ½ t. Dried Oregano
- 1 Large Egg
Combine all ingredients and shape into balls (about 2 inches in diameter). Brown in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Roll over and brown the other side. If you simmer in the sauce for an hour or so before serving, this is plenty of cooking time because they will finish cooking in the sauce. If you need them done faster, throw them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
- 2 T. Olive Oil
- ½ Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1-2 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 t. Sweet Basil (fresh is best and it’s so easy to grow!)
- 1 T. Parsley
- 1 t. Sea Salt
- 1 Large 28 oz can of crushed, no salt added Tomatoes
- 1 T. Tomato Paste (I use Cento Tomato Paste)
- 1 t Dried Oregano (more to taste)
Place onions with olive oil in a sauté pan and cook until onions are translucent (about 3 minutes) then add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add in all other ingredients. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better to marry the flavors. I often add in mushrooms as well. Add meatballs after the sauce has simmered at least 15 minutes.
Serve over either noodles or the veggie “noodles”. (Note – I’ve read you can add a potato to the sauce while it simmers. A whole potato. I’ve read it makes the sauce a little less bitter since there is no sugar in this recipe. I think the basil in this recipe already helps, but try it out!)
Week 1, Day 4: Vegetable Frittata
My kids call this brinner (breakfast for dinner!). I call it high protein and an easy way to get lots of veggies in my body! We usually do eggs and pancakes or waffles for at least once a month. I usually make a frittata full of veggies. My husband tops his with cheese. I eat mine as is. A frittata is essentially a crustless quiche. It’s also Whole30 compliant, so it’s a great part of this healthy meal plan! I use a cast iron skillet sprayed liberally with olive oil (I use the Misto Sprayer rather than commercially made oil sprays that have toxic propellants).
- 12 Eggs, well beaten
- ½ c. Milk (or I just add water, it works fine)
- 1 t. Dried Oregano
- 1 t. Black Pepper
- 1 t. Sea Salt
- 2 c. Kale or Spinach
- 2 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
- ½ Onion (use the other half of the one from last night!), chopped
- 1 T. Olive Oil
- Any other Veggies you want!
Combine eggs and milk/water in one bowl and beat well. Stir in spices. In an oven proof skillet, sauté veggies for about 2-3 minutes in olive oil. Spray (or wipe) all sides of the pan with olive oil. Pour in egg mixture. Cook about 2 minutes over medium heat. Transfer to a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until the center is puffed up and set.
* Don’t add cheese before cooking if you want cheese because the grease will make the center look unset. Just sprinkle it on top while still hot once the eggs are cooked.
Week 1, Day 5: Bacon Mushroom Burger
I mentioned this in my Whole30 blog. It’s not low-fat, but it’s low carb and SO yummy it’s worth adding to the mix. The others are my recipes. This is not, so I’ll post the link to give credit where credit is due, but also add in my alterations because I can’t eat it any other way now that I’ve tried it “my way”.
Bacon and Mushroom Burger as found on Nom Nom Paleo as the Big O Bacon Burger
Courtesy of Nom Nom Paleo.
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef (and we do go with beef on this one!)
- 8 oz Mushrooms (she says Cremini, but we use regular old white mushrooms), minced
- 6 oz Bacon, chopped
- 1 T. Fat of choice (ghee, lard, or, best for this one in my opinion, bacon fat)
- 1.5 t Kosher Salt
- 1 t. Black Pepper
Cook mushrooms about 3-4 minutes in fat. Drain excess from pan. Combine all ingredients, including the cooked mushrooms, and shape into 4 burger patties. Cook in a cast iron skillet about 3 minutes on each side. (Do NOT grill these burgers! You will lose too much of the bacon flavor.)
I eat mine over a bed of spinach with sliced tomatoes and an over-easy egg on top. When you break the yolk over the burger, the flavor is amazing, you don’t need “dressing” for your spinach, and you won’t even miss the cheese!
Week 1, Day 6: Kalua Pig
The crockpot is a must sometimes. As I’ve mentioned, I have 4 kids. Some days it’s nearly impossible to get a good meal on the table unless I use my crockpot. This is another recipe based on a Nom Nom Paleo recipe, but this one is super simple and I’ve changed it to suit my pantry (I haven’t had any luck finding Hawaiian red salt for a decent price, so I just don’t use that).
- 1 4-5 lb Boston Butt
- 3-4 Slices of Bacon (sugar-free)
- 1 t. Sea Salt
- 1 Garlic Clove
Line the bottom of the crockpot with slices of bacon. Place the pork roast on top, I’ve never trimmed it, but if you want to cut off the fat before cooking, go ahead. (I think it’s juicier with it.) Top the pork with salt and garlic. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. The longer you cook, the better this will taste. That’s it!
Doesn’t get much easier than that! You don’t need sauce on this, but I’ve whipped up some homemade teriyaki sauce and put that on leftovers of the pork and it’s really tasty!
Week 1, Day 7: Barbecue Chicken or Pork with Maple Syrup BBQ Sauce
I live in Georgia, so 10 months out of the year, it’s warm enough to grill outside. If you don’t live somewhere warm enough to grill, invest in a cast iron grill pan. They are tough to clean, but worth it! This recipe can be used on chicken or pork chops. Just keep in mind that the pork chops (especially boneless) will cook faster than the chicken. You want to be sure it’s cooked, but boneless center cut chops are lean, so they’ll dry out quickly.
- 1 lb Boneless Chicken thighs
- 1 small can no salt added Tomato Sauce
- ¼ c Maple Syrup
- 1 t. Onion Powder
- 1 t. Garlic Powder
- 1 T. Ground Mustard Seed
- 3 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 t. Salt
- 1 t. Black Pepper
- (Optional 1 t. Cayenne pepper if you like spice)
Combine all sauce ingredients and stir well. Brush onto meat and grill. I like to brush it on again as it cooks if I’m grilled outside because some of the sauce will drip off. And be sure to have some extra sauce on the table, just in case.
Why Should I Eat Healthy?
We are all told how important it is to eat healthy but do we really listen? This video clip explains why it’s so important to eat properly and give your body the nutrients it needs.
One Week Down on the Healthy Eating Plan
One week down in my healthy eating plan! I’ll be back with week two soon! There are some great recipes there as well! One is one passed onto me by a friend from Palestine. It’s a hearty meal that tastes like comfort food, but is 100% Whole30 compliant! I hope you’ll add some (or all!) of these recipes to your healthy meal plan! Eat healthy, drink and be merry!
What is your favorite healthy, family-friendly recipe?Tagged With: Cooking, Recipes