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12/27/12 10:17 A

My grocery store sells plain pork tenderloins, and they are very versatile and low in calories. Considering there is no waste on them --- no bone, no fat, no gristle -- they are economical too. The possibilites are endless -- teriyaki, mustard glaze, cranberry glaze, or just plain old garlic and a little olive oil.... Add a baked potato and a green veggie and you've got a good meal.

KAPELAKIN Posts: 1,984
12/25/12 11:09 A

I like to do a fajita or stirfy, and this could work well for your family, because each can take more of the foods they prefer. When you say peppers, I'm going to assume that bell peppers are OK since they are not spicy. What I do is slice up onions, red and green bell peppers, and some other veggies like summer squash, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower, depending on what I have around, and saute them all with some olive oil, cumin and oregano. Separately, I'll cook strips of chicken or beef with the same seasonings over a high heat. Then on the side we will have beans and either Spanish rice or tortillas (for Spanish rice, just throw some white rice in the slow cooker with a small can of tomato sauce, water and a little bit of salt and chile powder). I will usually eat the meat, beans and veggies over some salad greens, and my husband will have his with tortillas or the rice and adds grated cheese to his.

You could also do this same idea with an Italian flare by having pasta or French bread for your carb, maybe meatballs or chicken for the meat, and some pesto and marinara sauce for sides, as well as cannelini beans if you like beans (we love beans and eat them all the time).

Chinese style, this would be any stirfried veggies and meat with some soy sauce, maybe a mild prepared Asian marinade, and noodles or rice on the side.

American style, you could steam a mixture of broccoli and caulflower, have baked potatoes and a meat chili, and let the carb eaters top their baked potatoes which chili and cheese, and the non-carb people can have chili (again, you could have a side of beans to stir in to the meat chili) and a side of vegetables.

I hope that some of these ideas help, and I can only encourage you to get your kids to start eating what you make so that they develop healthy habits and learn to eat their veggies so they aren't struggling later with diet-induced health issues. If you're in control of the food budget, purchase the ingredients for the meals, and don't run up your food budget by stocking convenience foods that the kids will eat while turning up their nose at a home cooked meal. Good luck!

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,229)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,780
12/25/12 1:52 A

I understand the needs to budget while trying to please different needs. How about these suggestions:
-meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli
-lean roast beef, quinoa, roasted carrots
-lamb chops, spaghetti squash with marinara sauce

12/23/12 3:24 P

I should have added the restraints I cook with; 1 carnivore who only likes red meat. 1 carbaholic who only likes pasta, bread, potatoes ( but not mashed) 1 who wont eat anything exotic or spicy, prefers packaged convenience foods, 1 adult make who needs to watch his cholesterol but only likes meat and potatoes, 1 diabetic who needs to watch calories. I have given up pleasing all of them on a given day. I cook for the adult make and the diabetic because health rules all, but our food budget is out of control, as the children are picky and often make their own dinner if they don't like the offerings.

I appreciate all the replies and ideas. This week I am going to try spaghetti squash with marinara.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
12/23/12 2:52 P

If you click on the link to my Pinterest page in my signature, you'll see all the stuff I've actually made and liked to get some great ideas. I try to add calorie calculations to every description also. Just click on the picture to take you to the actual recipe link.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 124
12/23/12 10:37 A

Here are some things that we like that aren't very spicy:
Turkey Burgers and Veggies Kebabs or Oven-Baked Potato Wedges
- For the burgers I typically add a little olive oil and some mushrooms that I have chopped with the food processor. This adds some moisture and flavor, but there are endless options of what you can mix in.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs
- For the turkey on this I normally mix in Italian seasoning, olive oil, shredded zucchini, and finely chopped onions, but again, there are endless options.

White Bean Chicken Chili
- While we make this on the spicier side there are a lot of mild variations.

Lemon Garlic Salmon or Tilapia
- I typically pair this with rice and asparagus

Parmesan Crusted Chicken or Tilapia
- I typically top this with a homemade sauce and low fat mozzarella. Most often I will pair it with come sauteed zucchini.

There are a lot of site that have great, healthy recipes. Here are some sites I like:

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,229)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,780
12/23/12 4:26 A

Some random ideas we like:

Baked tilapia filets with roasted asparagus soup
Baked salmon filet with steamed zucchini
Spaghetti squash with roasted garlic, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes
Colorful kabobs (zucchini, mushrooms, purple onions, cherry tomato, yellow squash, shrimp)
Turkey meatloaf, steamed broccoli florets, boston-leaf lettuce salad
Broiled orange roughy, tomato soup, spinach salad

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
12/22/12 5:44 P

what about things like stuffed zucchini for fancy nights? because there are tons of stuffed pepper recipes out there and, while you can't have those, you can use the recipe with appropriate substitutions [like stuffing in a zucchini and skipping peppers].
lasagna and curry are also both great ways to use up whatever you have on hand. and once you have a recipe you really like, anything can go in it.

MEG-NATALIA07 Posts: 679
12/22/12 4:33 P

Frittatas, omelets... pasta with marinara sauce... enchiladas... soups or stews... a loaf of artisan/french bread with cheese and fresh fruit and veggies...

12/22/12 4:31 P

crock pot: spit pea soup or lentils or barley soup add meat or keep it vegetarian. Pot roast: small amount of lean meat and lots of root veggies, tons of soup recipes on SP most are really good. Vegetarian spinach lasagna, spinach salad with fruit and veggies, warm dressing and homemade croutons. Turkey meat loaf and steamed veggies, tacos with corn tortillas use beans instead of meat if you want and lots of veggies. Lots of recipes and a menu builder on SP!

12/22/12 3:18 P

I plan for a family of five, and frequently run out of inspiring ideas for a healthy dinner. Breakfast and lunch are covered. BUT dinner...options can be meat or veggietarian, simple to fancy but shouldn't contain peppers or be to spicy. I am bored with the basic chicken, rice, veggies. Any ideas?

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