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BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,590)
Fitness Minutes: (72,842)
Posts: 2,075
6/15/12 3:54 P

oh wow. thanx sooo much for the replies.

yeah that is one reason I get lazy to cook - too many ingredients or special equipment. while its great and all, gourmet food just isn't good with my kidz lol

I guess I should also look into cast-iron cooking. thanx.

SARAHD33 SparkPoints: (45,694)
Fitness Minutes: (70,941)
Posts: 297
6/15/12 7:31 A

I have been using a meal planning website, I love it! They post 15 new recipes each week. You choose the ones you want to make, and it generates a pdf of a shopping list and all of the recipes that you can print out. I have tried so many new things in the past month. My husband has loved it, too! There are multiple other meal planning websites, too. If you keep your eyes open for Groupon or Living Social deals, you can get a discount, too.

I have also used the meal plans in Clean Eating Magazine. There are some pretty tasty recipes in there, too, that are quite healthy as well.

In general, I try to choose 2-3 new recipes each week.

6/15/12 7:00 A

When I get in a food rut, I try to look up recipes on Sparkpeople or read healthy living blogs. I know that I'm getting into a rut when I'm not excited about what I'm going to eat! I try not to pack the same thing for lunch and snacks every day of the week because I will get bored and start reaching for the extra snacks in the office kitchen.

GRAMMAP1 Posts: 16,692
6/14/12 10:55 P

Is there a web site for 4 ingredient meals? I can't be on my feet very long so adding herbs and spices and numerous other ingredients prolong preparation time. If any know of such a site, please give us that address. I am sure others are in the same fix! emoticon Thanks

MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 9,764
6/14/12 4:14 P

BRENNA84 There are all kind of foods to make from recipes but they do not make themselves for myself like 4 item recipes any more than that and it will not get made
Simple Easy Tasteful that is good
One day at a time

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,590)
Fitness Minutes: (72,842)
Posts: 2,075
6/14/12 2:19 P

thanx so much. I would sooo subscribe if they had online magazine subscription. I would LUV that. the marinar sauce seems great. it would be pretty good to check out some freezing and canning options. thanx.

6/14/12 12:06 P

One of my go-to meals is a Boca burger on an 80 calorie wheat bun. I like it with some whiskey dijon mustard, tomatoes, and avocado slices and a side of this

I am a big fan of roasted sweet potatoes, also. Just some garlic, olive oil, and rosemary (fresh or dried), and sea salt and pepper. They're great done on the grill, too.

Fajitas are excellent, too, just grilled peppers and onions with some lean meat. Serve them in a wrap with lettuce and tomatoes, or salsa (I even add a tablespoon of cheese). Or you could serve them kebab-style (or just do regular kebabs).

As others said, stir-fry is good too, here's my favorite
. And if you have a craving for something "bad" or "uhealthy," check out SP recipes and search for that item. Chances are, someone has made a lighter version (I've had cheese-stuffed shells, glazed pork chops, chicken nuggets... Seriously, everything!).

Don't be scared to invent your own recipes, I do it all the time. Yes, you'll probably end up with a few culinary atrocities, it happens to everyone, but you learn from it. And always have some lean lunch meat and whole grain bread so you can at least have a sandwich if your creation goes awry!

-POOKIE- Posts: 22,528
6/14/12 10:26 A

A cheap way to get a real mix of things is to look at your stores special offers.

Its often in season fruit/veg/meat etc, or new products... and its a great way to get variety and try new things without spending a lot because everything is reduced prices!

some stores have websites to browse first, so even handier.

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
6/14/12 9:59 A

I go to different recipe websites and check out books from the library.

JESSIHOVER1 Posts: 602
6/14/12 8:13 A

When I need good ideas I just go the the internet, like Sparkrecipes, Pinterest,, etc and find food that looks good to me. I sometimes have to modify it to fit my nutritional goals but you learn how to cut things out, add things in and just make it your own. The most important thing is to just have fun with your food, and the process of cooking it, and you won't get bored with eating it. I have also found that making it pretty before I eat it helps with not getting bored also.

FLUFFYWOOL SparkPoints: (1,939)
Fitness Minutes: (946)
Posts: 75
6/13/12 8:24 P

Brenna - what kind of things do you usually like to eat? If it helps, here are a few of the things on our menu this week:

Chicken w/rosemary sauce
I'm planning to add zucchini and mushrooms to the sauce and serve w/baked sweet potatoes. Editing to add - if you don't want to use the wine, just replace w/an equal amount of water or more broth.

crockpot marinara sauce
I made this a few weeks ago and portioned it out in the freezer, so this week I just had to pull a dish of the sauce out and thaw it in the fridge. Served w/whole wheat pasta and baked meatballs. I also made the meatballs in advance, and flash froze them on a cookie sheet and then put them in a large ziplock, so I can just pull out however many I need. I've got at least two more easy dinners from one day's work with this.

We are also having burrito bowls - brown rice, black beans, grilled onions and peppers, salsa, and avocado. Or they are also a great way to use up leftover meats. These come together with very little time and effort, the hardest part is waiting for the rice to finish cooking!

I hope some of this helps, or at least gives you some ideas to get started! :)

Edited by: FLUFFYWOOL at: 6/13/2012 (20:28)
ANARIE Posts: 13,205
6/13/12 8:10 P

I'd actually recommend a cooking magazine with photos of all the recipes, rather than a cookbook at first. You can get used copies of Cooking Light for a quarter at used book stores or Goodwill. (IMO, it was better before 2010-- they changed their format and started using lower quality paper, among other things.) Seeing a nice photo makes it more likely that you'll actually try the recipe.

Also, some grocery stores have a free magazine/sales flyer with really great photos and recipes. Those are usually easy and made with seasonal (cheap) ingredients.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,590)
Fitness Minutes: (72,842)
Posts: 2,075
6/13/12 7:59 P

wow thanx so much. for all the replies. Yes I will have to look for some recipes now. thanx. just don't know what to start with, y'know. sort of at a loss here.

HARDROCKER1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,140)
Posts: 351
6/13/12 5:27 P

I just take the junky version of whatever we usually eat and convert the ingredients to healthy ones and if I can't completely convert them, I usually cut the portion size and add veggies or a salad. For example, I will make goulash with turkey burger and load it up with tomatoes and cut down on the amount of pasta, also throwing in some green peppers and mushrooms, my kids love it! I will take a whole grain pizza crust and make regular pizza for my kids, get me a smaller whole grain crust, mix some light cream cheese and light mayo together for the "sauce" then add fresh veggies and voila! my own veggie pizza, but I'm still eating pizza with my kiddos.

Basically, I just make healthy versions of our junkier food. I agree with others, stir fry's are awesome and you can use different veggies and meats in each one as well as spices and sauces. Italian dressing is my marinade of choice, soak some chicken breasts in it overnight then bake or grill for a tasty flavorful and moist meat. Farmer's markets are awesome, veggies and fruits in season taste way better than frozen or canned. I use to get most of my recipes, I go to their search box and type in low calorie and get so many ideas it is overwhelming. Also, take your fruits and veggies and mix them into smoothies or veggie drinks.

Lots of good ideas, just let your creativity flow and your taste buds will follow!

Blessings, Michelle

FLUFFYWOOL SparkPoints: (1,939)
Fitness Minutes: (946)
Posts: 75
6/13/12 5:10 P

I like both Cooking Light and Eating Well for recipe ideas. And also Pinterest, although you do have to weed through the thousands of terribly fatty, salty, carby yumminess to find the healthier fare. ;)

Also - if you find a couple of recipes you like, you can make extra and freeze into individual dinners so there's always something quick and easy in the freezer next time you're tempted to do takeout.

KATHIES518 Posts: 472
6/13/12 4:57 P

I really believe in menu planning and usually sit down with my latest magazines, the sale flyers and the computer open to sparkrecipes to goodgle different items. Also love the farmer's markets time of the years (and have a winter one here that I love as well) to see interesting unusual veggies. I really make it more of a hobby to cook and plan so it is interesting to me. Of course, every now and then the family begs me to make something more than once!

SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
Fitness Minutes: (97,762)
Posts: 246
6/13/12 3:58 P

Go to your public library and browse the cookbook section. There are many, many cookbooks that focus on fresh, healthy, interesting foods. I recommend Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day, for example, for easy to prepare yet tasty and different foods.

And I love the farmer's market suggestion! I do that and have had some fun food adventures.

KFWOHLFORD SparkPoints: (3,013)
Fitness Minutes: (2,581)
Posts: 729
6/13/12 12:11 P

I don't know where you live, but it's a great season for farmer's markets. I'd go to one on the weekend and check out what local produce looks good to you. Buy a fruit or vegetable that you've never tried before, or one you've seen but you don't usually buy. Ask the person selling them if they know of any good recipes for it.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/13/12 11:48 A

While it's great to have "go to" items - mixing it up by alterning the ingredients, even slightly, is a wonderful way to keep you interested and determined to continue your healthy lifestyle.

Grill your veggies
Stir fries are always wonderful options

Season - experiment with a variety of fresh and dried spices and herbs.
You'd be surprised how different things can taste - just by adding a different combination of spices.

No ideas? Try Spark People recipes, or a google search (especially for spice or herb blends).
Rubs, marinades and sauces can add a dimension you'd not conceived.

Best wishes on your healthful journey

__STEPHANIE Posts: 58
6/13/12 10:19 A

some great suggestions so far... my thing is a sweet tooth so im always trying to make healthy desserts..usually breakfast and before bed!! i eat a bit more but my log is opened feel free to see what i eat!!

one thing i love is SALADS!! you can add fruit, nuts, cottage much!! get creative with them!!

i would just google easy healthy recipes...thats where i get mine... either sparkrecipes or also lean bodies consulting has amazing recipes!! good luck, stick with it !!

MEGSTER6905 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (54,571)
Posts: 75
6/13/12 9:57 A

Try to plan your meals. When i plan my meals it helps me think " okay we are having tacos for dinner, NOT TACO BELL" or we will have ---- instead of eating wherever because i know that is so easy to do. i could eat out every meal!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,330
6/13/12 8:46 A

veggies and steak/chicken can easily get you stir fry.
you could also cook them, chop them up small, mix with some teriyaki sauce and roll up in leaves of lettuce.
you could also make them into a curry.
or you could add a mushroom gravy.

SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
6/13/12 8:39 A

Try new recipes!! You could try cooking fish or pork, turkey, etc. Like a previous poster said, there's a lot on sparkpeople and they're good for you! Check out the marinades aisle at your local grocery store; those help dress up the standard chicken breast and there's so many to pick from. The other item that's a staple in my house is turkey burgers; throw one on the George Foreman grill for 4 minutes and there's dinner.

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
6/13/12 8:00 A

Make healthier versions of your favorite take out. Use grated cauliflower in place of rice with some Chinese 5 Spice and make fried rice. Saute some chicken or shrimp in garlic and ginger or add some garlic chili sauce, and there you go. Get some extra lean ground turkey and some center cut bacon and make a delicious bacon cheeseburger.

THink of your favorite take out, and make it a challenge to yourself to make a healthy version at home. or, search for it on the Spark Recipes page and see what pops up.

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (44,612)
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
Posts: 1,243
6/13/12 6:30 A

Have you checked out the recipes on here? There are TONS that you can find that are healthy and delicious and don't take much time or money to make.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,590)
Fitness Minutes: (72,842)
Posts: 2,075
6/13/12 2:10 A

okay, I have been ordering out more lately and I know I shouldn't.

I think the problem besides emotions - is laziness and food boredom.

I am getting sick and tired of just nooking veggies and adding salt and butter

sick and tired of just plain old fired steak or chicken with salt and garlic powder

I think I need something more "interesting" but not super expensive.

any ideas?

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