Top 3 Healthy Family Meals

Finding family friendly healthy food is not always easy

Finding family friendly healthy food is not always easy

In today’s world finding time to spend together as a family can be difficult. Meal time is perhaps the most ideal time to all sit down together and spend some quality time. Yet this can be difficult and maybe even stressful. Often at least one member of the family may be on a diet and that has to be balanced with catering to the palate and tastes of the children. This can be a real challenge. Eating healthy is obviously really important but this can potentially make meal times very stressful.

YogaBugs want to help so we have scoured our recipe books and found 3 top recipes to help you make the most of your family meal times.

1. Meatless Manicotti

Ingredients –

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package manicotti (14 shells)
1 (26-ounce) jar fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
Cooking spray
1 cup water

How to prepare –

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese, and the next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a medium bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cheese mixture into each uncooked manicotti. Pour half of tomato-basil pasta sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce, and top with the remaining sauce. Pour 1 cup water into dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until shells are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

2. Plum Chicken Salad

Ingredients –

bout 8 ounces fresh plums, pitted and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chopped almonds
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup olive oil
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped
8 ounces roasted or grilled boneless, skinless chicken, chopped or shredded
(about 2 cups)
6 cups mixed greens (like mesclun), torn into bite-size pieces

How to prepare –

Toss the plums with the vinegar in a large salad bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.  Meanwhile, put the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until they are aromatic and beginning to darken, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. . Sprinkle the plums with salt and pepper and add the oregano, oil, celery, onion and chicken; toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. (The salad can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to an hour.) To serve, divide the greens evenly among 4 plates and top each with some of the plum-chicken mixture, or add the greens to the salad bowl and toss everything together. Garnish with the toasted almonds.

3. Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients –


4 carrot(s), medium, peeled and finely diced 1/4 pepper, black ground
2 stalk(s) celery, finely diced 1/3 cup Chinese plum sauce
1 pepper(s), red, bell, large, seeded and finely diced 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, less sodium
1 water chestnuts, canned, (8 ounce), drained and finely diced 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 scallion(s) (green onions), (white and green parts), thinly sliced 1 tsp. chili paste, Oriental, such as sriracha (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. ginger, fresh, grated or finely minced 1/4 cup cashews, dry-roasted, unsalted, chopped
4 clove(s) garlic, minced 1/4 cup cilantro, fresh, minced, plus extra for garnish (optional)
1 lb. chicken, ground, (at least 90% lean) 1 head(s) lettuce, Boston, (may substitute iceberg lettuce or romaine hearts)

How To Prepare –

Liberally coat a large skillet with oil spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, water chestnuts, scallions, ginger, and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water at a time as necessary to prevent scorching. Reapply oil spray if necessary, and add the ground chicken to the skillet. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, breaking the meat into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with the black pepper. Add the plum sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until heated through. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the cashews and cilantro. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Clean the lettuce and break off 12 individual leaves (trim away the stem end of the leaves if they are tough). Fill each lettuce cup with roughly ½ cup of the chicken mixture. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.


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