Finding healthy meals to cook for your family can be a challenge. Over time, shopping lists become static and families settle into the routine of devouring carbs. Luckily for you, the doctors at Miramont Family Medicine have a few tips on how to break out of the unhealthy food cycle.
Think about it for a second- it’s easy to become familiar with cooking the things that are easy. More often than not, those foods aren’t full of the nutrients that are essential to living a healthy life. We automatically default to cooking pasta or rice with bread on the side. If we’re lucky, there will be a vegetable on the side, but more often than not, that’s not the case.
If your weekly menu often consists of lasagna, casseroles, or worse yet, frequent trips to the nearest fast food place with a dollar menu, we have some news for you. Cooking healthy foods doesn’t have to be as hard it seems. Keep reading for a few suggestions that you can incorporate into your own weekly menu!
A Few Healthy Eating Suggestions from Your Doctor
Ditch the pre-packaged quick-cooking noodles and replace them with slices of zucchini or spaghetti squash. Replace the sugar-filled marinara sauce with some freshly diced tomatoes and consider upgrading the greasy sausage you’re using for a leaner ground beef. Trust us when we say that it’s so good you won’t even miss the lasagna you’re used to. You can continue to use the ricotta or cottage cheese, but do so in moderation.
Our suggestion is to brown your ground beef, drain it off, and then add the tomatoes, and ricotta or cottage cheese. Make sure it’s nice and warm. Start with a layer or your veggie noodle of choice, spoon on some of your ground beef sauce mixture, and sprinkle with your favorite cheese. Repeat as necessary to create a multi-layered lasagna that’s much better for you!
To cook, cover your dish with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes to ensure that your cheese gets nice and bubbly. Remove it from the oven, let it sit for a few minutes so everything settles nicely, and then dig in and enjoy!
Replace the Rice
What’s your favorite rice dish? Whether it’s a chicken and rice casserole or a shrimp and rice stir fry, consider ditching the rice in favor of some riced cauliflower. You can purchase frozen riced cauliflower at a number of grocery stores, or make it yourself by pulsing your heads of cauliflower in a food processor. Either way, it’s a great alternative to a carbohydrate that many people consider a staple in their culinary rotation.
If you’re skeptical of how cauliflower will taste as a substitute for white rice, that’s okay. The doctors at Miramont were too, but once you try it, we think you’ll agree that it’s an easy way to get a similar texture and taste in a way that’s much better for you than rice!
Simply pulse your cauliflower in the food processor until the pieces are approximately the size of rice, then melt a bit of extra virgin olive oil or butter in your skillet and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Season however you like and then serve it with your meal of choice. Trust us when we say that you’ll thank us for providing you with an easy way to get a vegetable into your family’s dining routine and everyone will love it!
Cook Your Chicken Slowly
If salad is considered an optional appetizer in your family, look for ways to make it the main course. There are a number of great salad recipes out there, but we’re huge fans of a classic- the chicken caesar salad.
Prep time is almost non-existent and we think it will leave your whole family smiling and satisfied. Make thing easy on yourself by cooking your chicken in a slow cooker or crockpot while you’re at work. All it takes is some boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs and half a cup of water per pound of chicken you’d like to cook. Cooking times will vary depending on the type of cooker you’re using, but generally speaking, leaving your chicken to cook for 8 hours on low heat should do the trick. It’s never a bad idea, of course, to try this recipe out on the weekend to ensure that things cook the way you want them to while you’re at home to monitor.
When the chicken is done, simply pull it apart and put it in the fridge for when you need it during the week. Top a chicken caesar salad, make a lettuce-wrapped chicken taco, or combine with your cauliflower rice and a low sodium cream of mushroom soup for a unique take on chicken and rice casserole. The possibilities are endless and you get juicy, flavorful chicken with almost no effort or cleanup. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Trust the Doctors at Miramont Family Medicine
At Miramont Family Medicine, our doctors want to help make you the happiest, healthiest version of yourself possible.
Whether you’re new to the area and need a family doctor or you’d like to stop by for a physical, we’ll be there to take care of you.
With offices in Loveland, Fort Collins, Parker, and Wellington, we’re the doctors you can count on to take good care of you. Schedule an appointment today!