These healthy recipes are a few of my family’s favorites. Not only are they healthy, but they are quick and the children can help make them! I absolutely love the crock pot. It allows me to make the meal the night before or even a couple of days ahead of time and have a warm meal ready when I get home from work.
Southwestern Chopped Salad
- Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
- 1 Can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 Large orange bell pepper
- 1 Pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 Cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- 5 Green onions
- Optional: avocado
- 1 Cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
- ½ avocado (or ½ cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about ½ lime), more to taste
- 1-2 Garlic cloves
- ¼ Cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
Making the dressing: Puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Making the salad: Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Toss with desired dressing.
Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad
- 2 Beef Strip Steaks Boneless, cut ¾ inch thick (about 8 ounces)
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2 – inch thick slices
- 3 different vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, eggplant, red onion, red and yellow bell pepper or romaine lettuce, cut lengthwise into quarters
- ½ cup reduced-fat dressing or vinaigrette, such as Italian, non creamy Caesar or red wine vinegar, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Toss potato and vegetables with ¼ cup dressing; set aside. Rub beef Steaks with garlic and pepper.
- Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Arrange vegetables around steaks. Grill steaks, covered, 7 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill time remains the same) for medium rare (145 F) to medium (160 F) doneness, turning occasionally.
- Carve steaks and vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Combine beef, vegetables and remaining ¼ cup dressing in large bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
Italian Lentil and Vegetable Stew
- 1 ½ cups dried lentils
- 3 cups water
- 1 small butternut squash (1 ¼ lb), peeled, seeded and cut in 1 – in. chunks (about 3 cups)
- 2 cups bottled marinara sauce
- 8 oz green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut in half (2 cups)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, cut in 1 – in. chunks
- 1 large all – purpose potato, peeled and cut 1 – in. chunks
- ¾ cup onion, chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, preferably extra – virgin
- Mix lentils and water in a 3-qt or larger slow cooker. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients except olive oil; place on lentil.
- Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or until the vegetables and lentils are tender. Stir in the oil. Serve in soup plates or bowls.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 cups water
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 can coconut milk
- 6 cups of butternut squash, cubed
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Pepper to taste
Cook all ingredients until very tender. Transfer into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You can add cooked shrimp or cooked chicken. We prefer it meatless.
Crockpot Fiesta Chicken
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 can of black beans – drained
- 1 jar salsa
- 1 8oz package of cream cheese
Combine chicken, beans and salsa in crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (high for 4-5 hours), adding the cream cheese for the last 60 minutes. Shred chicken in the mixture and serve.
Crockpot Steel Cut Oats – 4 servings
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons of butter (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (optional, I just like the extra flavor it adds).
Combine all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours.
You can also add apples, Craisins or raisins during the cooking.
We like to top with walnuts, bananas, berries, maple syrup or brown sugar. Truly, with the spices and if you add any fruit it does not need any sugar – that is just what my children prefer!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 4 chicken breast halves
- 2 cans black beans
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups of water
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 cup salsa
- 4oz. can green chilies
Combine in crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Just before serving shred the chicken. You can top the soup with cheese and chips.
Kale Chips – 6 servings
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or herbal seasoning
Wash kale and remove the stems. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the kale on top. Sprinkle the kale with olive oil and seasoning. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Sweet Potato Fries – 6 servings
- 4 Sweet Potatoes
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper, Salt or Cayenne Pepper
Peel and wash the potatoes cutting into wedges. Put about tablespoons of olive oil on the baking sheet than I usually roll the potato wedges in the oil so they are completely covered. Sprinkle the wedges with whatever seasonings you prefer. Remember a little cayenne pepper goes a long way! Bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.
- 1 French loaf
- 1.5 to 2lb boneless chuck roast
- 1 can beef broth
- 1 envelope onion soup
- Chopped onion
Cook roast on low with broth, soup and onions for 7 hours. Take roast out and shred. Drain meat and spread evenly on bottom of French loaf. Top with cheese than top side of bread. Wrap in foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Use the sauce in the pot for dipping.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 can chickpeas
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 of a roasted red pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 T. tahini
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Drain the chickpeas but keep the liquid to add later. In the food processor combine all the ingredients. Once it is thoroughly mixed, I add the liquid from the chickpeas to get the consistency I want. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
We like it best with vegetables but you can serve it with crackers or tortilla chips.
Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
- 2 cups cooked black beans (or 1, can rinsed and drained)
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup honey)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor bowl, combine the black beans, eggs, melted butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, and sugar. Pulse until smooth (or as smooth as possible).
Grease an 8X8 inch glass baking dish. Pour the batter into the greased dish. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and use a spatula to push them down into the batter just a little (but not too much; they will sink some while the brownies bake).
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until brownies are set in the middle. Watch the edges for excess browning if you are not sure they are done. Mine seem to take a full 50-minutes, and are still chewy but not gooey.
Cool and then chill before serving! Store in fridge.
Skinny Monkey Cookies
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 2 cups oats
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix and let stand for 20 minutes. Roll into cookie-sized balls
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes
Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Anymore with food allergies and special diet request for kids it is almost impossible to find snacks that work for everyone! I really tried to find gluten-free, peanut-free and dairy-free recipes and to exclude all 3 is nearly impossible. Here a few simple recipes even the kids can help make.
Fruit Dip (wheat and peanut free)
- 1 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1 T. brown sugar/honey
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Serve with your favorite fruit; Apples, cherries, strawberries or bananas.
Juice Jelly Cubes (Wheat, Dairy and Peanut Free)
- 2 cups 100% fruit juice (apple, fruit punch, and grape)
- 2 packets of unflavored gelatin
- 1 T. sugar or honey (optional) – I believe there is enough natural sugars in the juice and would avoid adding extra
Pour ½ cup of juice in a bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. While this sits, heat the remaining juice to boil. Pour hot juice over juice and gelatin mixture and stir, adding extra sugar if desired. Pour mixture into a loaf pan and chill for 3 hours or until firm. Cut into squares.
Cinnamon Tortilla Chips (Dairy and Peanut Free)
- Flour Tortilla Shells
- Olive Oil
- Cinnamon and Sugar
Lightly coat the tortilla shells with olive oil on both sides than sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes