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7 Healthy Dinners For You and Your kids

I don’t teach a diet. I help women create a life long way of eating that suits their specific body and lifestyle so they can permanently be at their ideal body weight and size.

One of my clients asked me what I eat. She asked me to share some ideas of quick and healthy meals that my kids enjoy, that would be appropriate for her too. So you can thank her for this!

One thing that effects weight loss is the amount of insulin in your body. If you have too much insulin, your body cannot burn fat. One way to reduce insulin in your body to take concentrated food like flour and sugar out of your diet. I help my clients do this.

The food I eat will be different to what my clients eat (and what you will eat) in order to maintain an ideal body weight, because we have different bodies. What I want to share is a week worth of ideas, including ideas to efficiently prepare food for the whole family that is simple, healthy, practical and insulin friendly for you.

My main approach to food is practicality. I am no longer a self proclaimed “foodie”. I decided to make my life more exciting than food a while back. So the food our family eats is simple and nourishing food. All of the recipes below are appropriate for my family of four (two adults and two children with healthy appetites).

This is a very long blog, if you would like a PDF version of these recipes, go ahead and request one by emailing me at nicky@nickyhammond.com

Tip one:
Plan ahead of time. Before I do my shopping, I do a quick meal plan. It takes me 10 minutes to decide what we are going to eat for the next 7 days. I buy all the ingredients I require. We pretty much eat the same thing every week which keeps things simple.

Tip two:
Make extra. I always make leftovers for lunch the next day (or all week) and I often will make a double batch and put an extra serving in the freezer for when I don’t have time or energy to cook.

Tip three:
Choose a protein that the whole family can eat and then adapt the meal for the family. (Notice that I usually just cook a protein for the entire family and I can add salad, vegetables or carbs to the meal. I will describe how this looks for each specific meal.)

Tip four:
Make staples in bulk ahead of time. I eat loads of salad and vegetables. I wash them and cut them up ahead of time so I just have to grab a handful of veggies and throw them I the fry pan to sauté them. Or I can grab some washed salad (mixed lettuce) to eat with my meal. Sometimes I’ll just buy a giant bag of prewashed mixed greens. The vegetables I choose are just a mixture of seasonal vegetables (for example eggplant, zucchini, red cabbage, round beans, mushrooms, capsicum, coriander). I make a container of salad dressing ahead of time. Sometimes I will prepare fruit ahead of time too. If you are getting out a knife and a chopping board, think about what you need prepared for the next day or few days that you can do in advance. This saves me loads of time and when I need to literally grab a handful of prewashed lettuce for a salad, I am way more likely to follow through if it’s sitting in my fridge.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients: 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2/3 zucchinis, 1 carrot, 2 sticks of celery, 2kg mince, 3 x tinned tomato, tomato paste, dash of vinegar, 2 x bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste and pasta.
Cooking method: Cut up veggies finely (you can grate zucchinis and carrot). Brown onions and garlic in ghee. Add vegetables and sauté for a couple minutes. Add mince and brown the meat. Add tinned tomato and tomato paste as required. Add a dash of vinegar and 2 bay leaves. Add salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 hour.

Tips: This huge amount of sauce will be enough for at least a few dinners. I fill a couple of containers and throw them in the freezer.

Serving Suggestion: Cook spaghetti or the kids favourite pasta, serve topped with cheese. The healthier alternative is to make zucchini pasta. Use a spiralizer to turn a zucchini into long curly pasta like strips. Put in boiling water for one minute, drain and serve instead of wheat pasta.

Chicken Tacos

Ingredients: 2kg free range chicken breast, 1 x onion,2 x garlic clove, tomato paste, zucchini, tinned cannellini beans, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste, taco shells, tortilla wraps, salad (lettuce), tomato, avocado, lemon juice.

Cooking method: Cut up veggies finely (you can grate zucchinis). Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. Brown onions and garlic in ghee. Add vegetables and sauté for a couple minutes. Add chicken and brown the meat. Add tomato paste as required. Rinse the cannellini beans in a strainer and add them to the chicken. Add a dash of vinegar and 2 bay leaves. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is cooked through. Prepare the salad (washing and cutting). Prepare the guacamole by mashing avocado with finely chopped garlic (one very small close) a squeeze of lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Tips: This huge amount of chicken will be enough food for lunch the next day and we will put a full container in the freezer for at least one other meal.

Serving Suggestion: Prepare salad to eat on the taco or tortillas for the kids. You can use taco shells or tortilla wraps. Turn the meal into a taco salad for you. My favourite is to eat chicken taco mix with kimchi… Don’t knock it until you try it! My hubby often eats his tacos with sauerkraut.

Chicken Curry and Pappadams

Ingredients: 1 kg of free range chicken breast, pappadams, banana, unsweetened shredded coconut (unsweetened) cucumber, yoghurt, vegetables, curry sauce, rice and vegetables.
Cooking method: I don’t cook curry from scratch, we buy a premade packet that has herbs and curry sauce. This meal literally takes 20 minutes to cook. Follow the instruction on the curry pack. Prepare the side dishes by chopping up cucumber into cubes and mix it with yoghurt. Slice up a banana and sprinkle the slices with shredded coconut. Sauté some prepared vegetables in a pan to go with the curry.

Tips: The curry doesn’t freeze well so I just make enough for dinner and lunch the next day.

Serving Suggestion: Serve the curry with rice, pappadams and side dishes for the kids. If you don’t plan on eating rice or pappadams, eat the curry chicken with a portion of sautéed vegetables.

Marinated chicken strips

Ingredients: 1kg free range chicken breast, olive oil, soya sauce, 1 x garlic clove, lemon juice, Chinese cooking wine, rice, salad, pepper to taste.
Cooking method: Slice chicken into strips. Make the marinade by mixing crushed garlic mix with 2 parts olive oil, 1 part soya sauce, 1 part lemon juice, a dash of cooking wine and pepper to taste. Marinate chicken. Pan fry chicken. Cook rice. Prepare salad/vegetables.

Tips: This is enough food for lunch the next day.

Serving Suggestion: Serve the chicken with rice and/or vegetables for the kids. I will often give my kids corn on the cob, sautéed round beans or sautéed broccoli. You can serve the chicken warm on a salad or with vegetables.

Pan fried Skinless Salmon

Ingredients: Skinless Salmon Fillets, salad/vegetables/soba noodles/ baked potato chips, soy sauce, sesame oil
Cooking method: Pan fry the salmon fillets in ghee. Make a sauce with 1 part soy sauce and 1 part sesame oil and pepper to taste.

Tips: Salmon does not keep for the next day so only buy what you need.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with home made baked potato chips for kids with veggies. You can serve the salmon warm on a bed of salad or with sautéed vegetables drizzled with the sauce.

Omelettes

Ingredients: Eggs and whatever other ingredients your heart desires – vegetables, cheese, ham, cooked bacon, salt and pepper.

Cooking method: Heat up pan and melt ghee. Prepare the eggs in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well. Pour in the egg mixture. Place filling into the middle of the omelette. Fold omelette in half and allow to brown on one side. Flip omelette and cook until it is fully cooked all the way through.

Serving Suggestion: You can all decide what you want in your omelette and then serve with raw veggies/ salad. Prepare the omelette mix for each individual omelette so you can keep track of how many eggs you are using.

Sausages

Recipe: Buy sausage from the butcher.

Cooking method: Throw them on the BBQ.

Tips: Cook extra to pop in the school lunch box the next day for lunch. I cut them up in slices with a toothpick and give them a little container of tomato sauce.

Serving Suggestion: Serve them as an easy dinner for your kids with pasta or even on a bread roll. You kids can munch on some raw veggies too. You can make a big salad to eat with your sausages.

Image by Hal Gatewood