All Entries For dinner
Using a slow cooker is like magic: pour in the ingredients, set the heat level, and then shift focus to your to do list, all the while your slow cooker does the heavy lifting. Chicken is one of my favorite ingredients to use in a slow cooker, since it’s a flavorful source of lean protein and it requires little effort to cook. These are some of SparkPeople’s favorite slow cooker chicken recipes.
Slow Cooker Marinara Chicken and Vegetables (Chef Meg's Makeover)
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Are you looking for new ways to eliminate unhealthy ingredients and add more healthy ingredients to your recipes? Stuffed Bell Peppers are a fun way just to do that. A large size bell pepper has about 50 calories and is loaded with folate, magnesium, copper, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and potassium. Use peppers in place of high calorie wraps that have very little nutritional value. For an added bonus, stuff your peppers nutritional storehouses like beans, lentils, whole grains, finely chopped veggies and lean meats. Top it off with a puréed vegetable sauce for added flavor. Keep yourself healthy with these 10 super stuffed pepper recipes. Read More ›
Ground turkey is a staple in my kitchen. I buy in bulk and keep it in my freezer. My favorite use for this versatile item is turkey burgers. It’s fun to experiment with items in my fridge, cupboard, or farm box, aiming for half of the ingredients to be vegetables and whole grains. This creates a complete nutritional meal for my kids that also affords them choice of toppings and condiments. My personal favorite is to enjoy the patty on top of leafy greens with honey mustard dressing. Instead of consuming that full-fat 500 calorie beef burger, opt for one of these juicy turkey burger recipes. Read More ›
Due to the popularity of Slow Cooker Chicken, I'd like to follow up now with pork, which is another slow cooker favorite. Pork is a staple in our house, especially when we're having a large group of dinner guests. It's a budget-friendly choice that becomes tender and juicy when cooked slowly. Whether you're tired of everything tasting like chicken, or you just need a change of pace, add these slow cooker pork recipes to your meal plan today. Read More ›
Down home Southern cooking has produced some of our finest classic American dishes. At the same time, many of these original recipes include unwanted fats, calories and sodium. With some simple changes, we can enjoy this quintessential comfort cuisine and still stay on-track with our health goals. Read More ›
Rethink your shopping list with these tips for dishing up a nourishing meal.
Problem #1: "Healthy foods are too pricey."
Cut back on organic. Just buy it for foods on the newly extended "Dirty Dozen" list—produce with the highest levels of pesticide residue, including apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, domestic blueberries, potatoes, green beans and kale. But don't stress if you can't afford organic, says Sarah Krieger, a registered dietitian in Saint Petersburg, Florida: "The fact that you're buying fruits and veggies is more important."
Chill out. Produce is cheapest when you buy it in season, so pick up those blueberries on sale in the summer and freeze them for up to six months. Another way to enjoy pineapples, asparagus and more in the winter: buy frozen. They're time-saving too, since no washing or chopping is needed. Read More ›
Pasta is a crowd pleaser and doesn’t have to be hard to cook or unhealthy. Baked pasta is my go to meal when I need to prepare something ahead of time for dinner. With these simple modifications I've been able to take high-fat, high-calorie dishes and replaced them with highly nutritious ingredients.
- Use only half the amount of cheese.
- Replace high-fat protein with lean protein.
- Replace half the pasta with vegetables.
- Try pasta made with rice, corn or quinoa flour for a gluten-free option.
- Use non-fat milk and Greek yogurt for a cream based sauce.
When I was in high school, my parents made a big lifestyle change that included improved diet and exercise. One of our staples when eating out became salmon. Many years later, it's still my favorite fish, but now I enjoy it at home around our family dinner table too. The best thing about salmon is that you don't have to be a professional chef or require expensive ingredients. This fish is simple to prepare, cooks fast, and has high levels of omega-3 fats and protein, but is relatively low in calories. I prefer fresh wild salmon, but you can opt for farmed or canned salmon also. Whether you already love salmon, or if you're ready to try something new, try these simple and healthy recipes to acquaint yourself with this amazing fish. Read More ›
As the weather turns cold, heat up your meal planning with cozy soup recipes. Soup doesn't need to be boring, plain or unsubstantial. Add ingredients like beans, lean proteins and whole grains to turn it into a complete nutritious meal. Avoid high sodium broths. Instead use spices and seasonings to add flavor. Double the recipe and use the left over's for tomorrow's lunch or freeze it to enjoy another night. Curl up with a cup of soup this week by using these recipes and resources. Read More ›
You might not find discussions of pan frying or deep fat frying in most cookbooks geared to healthy cooking for obvious reasons. I guess that means that if we want to live a healthy lifestyle we will no longer enjoy the golden breading color on pieces of cooked Dover sole or the crunch we hear when we bite into a chicken leg coated in a crispy breading. Guess again! If you've said goodbye to those crispy cooked foods--say hello again! Faux frying creates a lighter version of the pan- or deep-fried foods that we all crave. It's simple, quick, and easy. Best of all, your home (and your hair) won't smell of a deep fat fryer for days after the meal. Read More ›
I’m sure you think I cook dinner every night but, the truth is, I eat out with my boys a decent amount. Sometimes it’s because we head straight from school to soccer to chess and there’s no time to run home. Other times, when I’ve been testing recipes and cooking all day, I just want someone else to serve the food. Plus, I love games and we always play something while we wait for the meal: Scrabble, Blink, Spot It, Uno, hangman, tic-tac-toe or word search. This week, I’m traveling with my buddies and we made up a game – we created tee pees with our silverware while waiting for breakfast!
Food-wise, my kids love everything but eating out with picky eaters can be daunting. My boys didn’t start out with open minds and palates, but I used a few tricks to get them started and here they are: Read More ›
Busy schedules don’t mean you have to rely on pricey (and usually higher-calorie) take-out dinners. In fact, hectic days are an even better reason to stay energized with balanced, healthy and delicious meals. Eating smart doesn’t have to break the bank – here are 4 dinner ideas to prove it.
Chicken in Four Steps
This quick, flexible chicken dish from Melissa D’Arabian please everyone. Use just one pan to make the chicken, a lemony sauce and a spinach side dish. Serve it up with nutrient-packed (and budget-friendly) baked sweet potatoes. Shop for deals on larger packages of chicken breasts and stock up in the freezer they’re on sale. Read More ›
With so much talk about hot sauce, we had to taste test all the popular varieties for ourselves. We got our mouths fired up for this spicy taste test. Find out who topped our list.
It’s All About Sodium
Hot sauce is the new ketchup. Dab a little on sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes, chili, grilled meats, eggs – almost any dish. If you check out the label, you’ll notice that there’s not much nutrition information per serving—no calories, fat, saturated fat, carbs, or protein (or at least so little that it can be listed as zero by food labeling guideline). What it does have is sodium—and some brands have more than others. Read More ›
Roasted peppers are perfect for rounding out a dish, enjoying as a snack, or even using as a food wrapper!
Whom should we thank for such a versatile vegetable that adds so much smoky sweet flavor to an endless amount of dishes? Some would say Mother Nature and others a cook... I'm going with both. The earth provides us with the vegetable, but it's the roasting technique that gives it that subtle smoky flavor.
First, let's learn how to make them, and then we can talk about the many ways to use them.
While red peppers are the most common, you can roast orange or yellow ones, too. The roasting mellows their flavor and adds a smoky sweetness. Read More ›
Pasta may be too heavy for a hot summer night, but you can lighten it up by substituting or swapping it out with vegetables.
Zucchini pasta is super easy to prepare and perfect for anyone who is gluten-intolerant, diabetic, low carbing it, a raw food lover, or those like me that are up to their ears in zucchini from the garden. Zucchini pasta is nothing more than raw zucchini that has been cut to mimic traditional pasta: fettuccine, linguine, and yes even lasagna. Read More ›