INSIDE: Tired of trying to find simple, healthy recipes that everyone in the family will like? I was too, and that’s why I put together these simple, healthy living recipes. They are all super easy to make, and they’re pretty healthy too!
I’m so tired of doing google searches for “simple healthy meals for family” or “simple healthy meals for kids” and getting the results I get.
The results are almost always one of the following:
1) Not at all simple – They contain ingredients I don’t even know where to find in the store, and certainly not anything I keep on hand.
2) Not kid-friendly – I’m sorry but do the people who create these recipes that they claim kids will love even have kids? We have a blended family of 5 boys, and three of them came from a home where healthy meals was not a priority. Unless you have raised your kids from the get-go on incredibly healthy stuff, there is no way they are gonna even try most of the stuff.
So I went on a mission to come up with my own healthy living recipes that are actually practical, simple and lovable (by the whole family), and I figured my readers might be looking for the same thing!
Now, do all of these fit in with a holistic eating lifestyle? Not completely, but I think it’s more realistic this way. We do the best we can, right?
Here’s what I’ve come up with… (Please comment below with simple, healthy meals your family loves too!)
Healthy Living Recipes For Dinner
Roast Beef Sandwiches
This is sooooo simple and a family favorite for us. Here’s how we make it:
1) Just buy some roast beef lunch meat and one packet of French Dip gravy and one packet of brown gravy.
2) Combine the two gravy packets in a saucepan and follow the instructions on the back (the combination of the two was a happy accident for us that we love) and add the lunch meat to it one piece at a time. Heat for 5 minutes.
3) Serve with green beans – Buy fresh green beans, snap the stem side off, wash and put them in a frying pan. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and double the amount of water. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning the top ones to the bottom every so often.
4) Serve with baked potatoes – Wash and poke potatoes with a fork, and bake for about an hour at 375°. If you are pressed for time, first put them in the microwave for a few minutes until they are almost done and then bake them the rest of the way to make the skins crispy.
5) Use tongs to add about three pieces of roast beef to each kaiser roll and enjoy!
The kids love when we make these, and they are very simple to make.
1) You can either make this super easy and buy a rotisserie chicken, or you can bake chicken tenderloins sprinkled with Adobo in a large casserole dish at 375° for about 30 minutes.
2) Lay out 2 large flour tortillas on a cookie sheet.
3) Break up chicken into small pieces and spread it evenly on the flour tortillas.
4) Spread shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken.
5) Add a second flour tortilla on top of each.
6) Bake at 350° until cheese is melted.
7) Serve with a side of corn and cut up cucumbers, and top quesadillas with taco sauce. Sometimes, I whip up some rice with black beans to go with it.
BBQ Pulled Pork
This is probably the easiest meal I make, yet it tastes so good that it would seem like I worked really hard at it!
1) Place one large pork roast in the crockpot.
2) Follow the directions on the back of the packet (any Slow Cooker BBQ Pork packet without a lot of unwanted additives will do).
3) Cook for 5-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
4) Serve with kaiser rolls and your vegetable of choice.
Don’t have time to cook at all? Buying a rotisserie chicken is a simple solution, and they are so full of flavor that I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t love them.
1) Buy the healthier chickens (organic or at least no hormones).
2) Make some easy sides to go with it, such as buttered egg noodles and a can of peas.
Pasta With Meat Sauce
I threw this together one day, and it has now become one of our family’s favorite meals. The garlic is the key ingredient because it gives it a really different taste. Many of our boys don’t like sauce on spaghetti, but they love this, and I think it’s because of the garlic.
1) Buy tri-colored rotini, which is enriched with veggies like spinach and tomatoes (we make two boxes at once).
2) Cook the pasta, drain, and pour it back into the pot you cooked it in.
3) Brown some grass-fed ground beef or ground turkey breast in a frying pan. Once cooked through, add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and lots of minced garlic (I use this minced squeeze garlic because it’s so easy).
4) Add the cooked meat to the pasta, along with two jars of Prego Traditional sauce (or one jar if you are only making one box of pasta).
5) Mix well and serve with sliced cucumbers or a small salad.
Ground Beef & Gravy
This is something my mom used to make, and I always thought it was so simple but so good. I forgot about it until recently, and now our whole family loves it.
1) Brown some grass-fed ground beef or ground turkey breast in a frying pan.
2) Once cooked, add a packet of brown gravy mix and the water it calls for to the meat.
3) Mix well.
4) Serve with egg noodles or baked potatoes.
5) Try carrots for your vegetable: Pour a bag of baby carrots into a bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and microwave on high for about 5 minutes.
Easy Chicken Parm
I used to bread my own chicken to make chicken parm, but one day I needed a faster solution. I tried this, and we love it!
1) Buy organic or no hormone breaded chicken strips.
2) Bake as indicated on the package.
3) Spoon sauce on top of the chicken, top with shredded mozzarella cheese, and bake till the cheese is melted.
4) Serve with a side of spaghetti and sauce and a side salad.
Seasoned Baked Chicken
Here’s another super simple meal that you can play around with to make your own, and you can make it lots of different ways for variety.
1) Spread chicken tenderloins in a casserole dish.
2) Add a half inch of chicken broth (this helps the chicken to keep from drying out, and it comes out super tender).
3) Sprinkle the chicken with your favorite seasoning. We like garlic powder, onion powder, and a little turmeric, but you can also try Adobo or Italian seasonings or anything you want!
2) Bake at 375° for about 40 minutes.
3) Serve with your favorite noodles or potatoes, and a vegetable.
You can keep this super simple by using store-bought teriyaki sauce (just make sure you read the ingredients and pick one that doesn’t have a bunch of chemicals in it), or you can make your own. I love to make my own because it tastes better, it’s easy to make, and it’s so much healthier.
1) Here’s the teriyaki sauce recipe we like.
2) Spread chicken tenderloins in a casserole dish and pour teriyaki sauce over it, making sure all of the chicken is covered.
2) Cover with foil.
3) Bake at 375° for about 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
3) Serve with jasmine rice and a vegetable.
Chicken With Honey Mustard & Japanese Crumbs
Not all of our kiddos love this one, but we do and your kids might!
1) Spread chicken tenderloins in a casserole dish.
2) Wisk some brown mustard and honey together and spoon over chicken.
3) Top with Japanese breadcrumbs. Lightly press the breadcrumbs down to help them stick to the honey mustard sauce.
3) Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes.
3) Serve with buttered egg noodles and a vegetable.
Stir-fry is one of those things I turn to when I didn’t plan dinner and don’t know what to throw together. I keep some bags of frozen veggies and grilled chicken strips in the freezer, and I always make sure I have rice and the ingredients I need to whip up some teriyaki sauce (I prefer homemade teriyaki sauce because then you don’t have to consume the unwanted chemicals that come in the store-bought brands). By having these things on hand, I always have a healthy meal that I can throw together at the last minute.
1) Here’s the teriyaki sauce recipe we like.
2) Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan over high heat.
3) Pour frozen veggies into the pan.
4) Add frozen grilled chicken strips.
5) Cook till not frozen anymore, stirring occasionally.
6) Add teriyaki sauce and stir till coated. Cook for about five more minutes.
7) Serve with your favorite rice.
Pasta Alfredo Skillet
This is a great way to get some veggies into your kids because the alfredo sauce is so powerful that they don’t really taste the veggies.
1) Cook up some spaghetti (I always use whole grain pasta because it is so much healthier than regular pasta).
2) As the pasta is cooking, add some frozen veggies (we like peas and broccoli) and some frozen grilled chicken strips to a large frying pan. Cover and cook on medium for about 5 minutes.
3) Add a can of drained corn.
4) When pasta is ready, add it to the pan, and pour 1 jar of alfredo sauce on top. Mix all the ingredients together and cook on med-high for about 5 minutes or until done.
5) You might want to add some real bacon bits as well.
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
This is a quick and easy meal that most everyone likes. Make it super simple by using jarred tomato soup or throw some ingredients in the slow cooker for a simple, refreshing tomato soup.
1) For the sandwiches, use a quality whole grain bread to get some added nutrients into your loved ones.
2) Add the cheese to the bread and butter the outside of both pieces of bread.
3) Cook on a skillet for a couple minutes on each side.
4) To make the homemade version of the tomato soup:
- Add 2 cans (about 56 ounces) of tomatoes to a crock pot.
- Add 2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 small chopped onion, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 t. Oregano, 1/2 t. Garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add a half stick of butter and 1 cup of coconut milk.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Use a hand blender to blend the chunks out of the soup (or use a regular blender).
Salmon & Veggies
Salmon can seem like it is exotic and difficult to make, but it’s actually very simple.
1) Add a splash of olive oil to a pan
2) Place the salmon on the pan and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice (I like this seafood spice blend).
3) Cook for a few minutes on med-high and then flip it over for another few minutes.
4) Serve with your choice of veggies and sides.
Fun With Salad
There is an unlimited amount of choices when it comes to salad, which is what makes it an ideal choice for a whole family. Everyone can make it the way they like it, and by getting creative, even kids who don’t like salad can find a combination they’ll enjoy (for example, they could make a pasta salad). Of course, you can make a typical chef’s salad, Greek salad or Caesar salad. Consider adding any of your favorite veggies, chicken, shrimp, bacon, beans, nuts, seeds, and even pasta, rice or quinoa. In the summer, it’s fun to add strawberries and pecans with poppy seed dressing. Experiment with different dressings, and it’s also pretty easy to whip up your own dressing. Here’s a dressing I created for myself that is delicious:
1) Combine equal parts of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
2) Add some mustard and mayonnaise, and keep adjusting till you like the taste.
3) Add a splash of lemon juice and some herbs and spices.
Chili is easy to make and has a lot of room for flexibility. If you want to reduce the overall fat, you can use ground turkey instead of ground beef, or you can use a mixture of ground turkey and ground beef. You can use whatever beans you prefer, and you can even add a bunch of veggies for a well-balanced meal (shredded carrots and zucchini are great because the kiddos won’t even know they’re there). You can also adjust the seasoning depending on how hot you like it. Serve it alone or with some shredded cheese and reduced fat sour cream. Here’s a simple crockpot recipe:
1) Brown 1 lb of ground turkey in a pan and then add to the bottom of the crockpot.
2) Add 2 cans of drained kidney beans (30 ounces total), 1 can of tomato sauce (about 15 ounces), a can of tomatoes (about 15 ounces), 1 packet of chili seasoning, and 2 cups of water.
3) Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
Healthy Living Recipes For Lunch
Mason Jar Salad
Some brilliant person came up with this, and it’s awesome for people who need a nutritious meal on the go. You simply add the ingredients to a mason jar and then when you are ready to eat, you dump it into a bowl. So easy, yet it stays fresh and crisp because of the way you layer it. Here’s the recipe.
Veggie Hummus Pitas
You can’t get much simpler than this for a healthy, delicious lunch! You can use store-bought hummus for this one, but carefully read the ingredients so you can try to avoid unwanted additives and chemicals. I prefer to make my own, however. Once you have your hummus, just spread a layer of hummus and raw veggies inside the pita pocket and enjoy (I like grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers).
Here’s a really delicious hummus recipe:
1) Cook 1 cup dried chickpeas according to the instructions on the bag. Drain when finished.
2) Add chickpeas to a medium saucepan and cover with water (water should be about 2″ above the chickpeas). Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered until the skins begin to crack (about 45-60 minutes).
3) Add the following ingredients either to a regular blender or to a bowl and use a hand blender: cooked chickpeas, 5 T. Lemon Juice, 1/2 cup Tahini, 2 T. Water, 3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 6 t. Minced Squeeze Garlic, 1/4 t. Ground Cumin, and 3/4 t. Salt.
4) Blend till creamy, adding more lemon juice, water, and salt to taste.
Quinoa is loaded with nutrients, and I especially love it because it is so versatile. You can add almost anything to it, and it will taste great. I’ve tried lots of different quinoa salad recipes, and I’ve also just thrown a bunch of my own ingredients together, and it’s always delicious either way.
Easy Chicken Salad
Anytime I have leftover chicken, I whip some of this up for lunch the next day. It’s a delicious treat and that way, you don’t waste any chicken.
1) Cut up chicken into small pieces (you can use leftover grilled chicken, or you can buy a whole rotisserie chicken for this recipe).
2) Chop some red grapes in half and add them along with some chopped walnuts to the chicken.
3) Slowly add mayonnaise, mixing to combine as you go, adding more only after you know you need more.
4) To serve, spoon chicken salad onto multigrain bread and add some romaine lettuce.
Healthy Living Recipes For Breakfast
I used to get frustrated with making smoothies because it is a pain to get out all the ingredients you need and to measure it out properly each morning, plus I would have a lot of waste because the bananas or kale would go bad before I got to use it all. Now, I’ve found a much better way!
Now I make pre-portioned baggies that contain all of the ingredients (except for any protein powder or other powders you might be adding). I put a mixture of bananas, mangoes, berries, kale, and chia seeds into ziplock baggies, and freeze them. That way, I just have to grab a baggie, dump it into the blender, add coconut milk and protein powder, and it’s done! Plus, I don’t waste any fruits and veggies. If you’re adding any yogurt or spices, that can go right into the baggies as well. If you want to add honey, I would just add that at the same time as your milk.
Maple Steel Cut Oats
This is one of my favorites, and it’s great because you can make up a big batch in the crock pot to have for days. Here’s the recipe.
This is another favorite of mine! It’s so simple that you just add the ingredients to a mason jar and put it in the fridge. That’s the extent of it! Here’s the recipe.
Fruit & Nut Loaf
I love pastries, muffins, and breads, and fortunately, there are healthy versions that you can load up with nutrients. This is an easy way to have quick grab-and-go breakfasts ready for the entire week. There are lots of different ways you can go with this, such as a loaf with fig and almonds, or a multi-berry loaf with applesauce and walnuts. Here’s a paleo recipe that is grain, sugar, and dairy free, and sooooo delicious.
Protein bars are incredibly convenient, and if you buy the right ones, they can be healthy and delicious. I prefer Lara bars because they use a minimal amount of simple ingredients, but it’s also fun to make your own. Here are a variety of protein bar recipes that I just came across and can’t wait to try. I think the kiddos will love these!
Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches
Instead of having a full-service restaurant going on in the morning, you can make egg sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them. It’s so much healthier than the pre-made ones you can buy in the store, and it’s certainly healthier than fast food. Here’s how it works:
1) Whisk up some eggs and seasonings (we like pepper and onion powder) and pour into greased muffin tins. You might even consider adding some chopped veggies, and you can even just crack an egg right into each tin for “over easy” eggs. Bake at 350° until cooked through (about 17 minutes).
2) Add one cooked egg patty to a whole grain English muffin.
3) Add cheese, bacon, or ham if desired.
4) Place each individual sandwich into a ziplock baggie and freeze.
5) To serve, simply remove it from the bag, pop it in the microwave, and enjoy!
When you make your own granola, you have control over the ingredients. That way, you can make sure it is a nutritious snack or breakfast that everyone will love. Here’s how we make ours:
1) Combine your choice of nuts, seeds, and oats into a large bowl (we like sliced almonds, chopped pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and oats).
2) Sprinkle a bunch of cinnamon on top of the mixture and mix it up with a wooden spoon.
3) Start pouring pure maple syrup into the mixture and mix to combine with the spoon. Keep adding the maple syrup in small amounts until fully coated.
4) Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° until golden brown (about 20 minutes), turning the mixture over on the pan about halfway through.
Breakfast toast has recently gotten popular among the health-conscious on Instagram and Pinterest. There are tons of combinations you can put together for these. You simply toast some multigrain bread and top with healthy stuff. Try mashed up avocado with a fried egg on top. Some other good ones are almond butter with sliced fruit, salmon and hummus, and veggies with hummus. You can get some inspiration here.
Hopefully, these meal ideas will help you enjoy healthy meals in the midst of a busy lifestyle. Healthy holistic living doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. There are always creative ways to make it easier and more fun. I’d love for you to share your family’s great ideas in the comment section below!
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