Simple, Healthy Meals for the New Year

Are you looking for ways to help your family be healthier in 2016? Consider ways to sneak in more exercise – even during the wintertime. Perhaps you can find new places to explore together like a nearby Metropark. You can also lighten up at the dinner table with these simply, healthy meals. For something quick, try making whole wheat pita bread pizzas or fettuccine with olive oil, garlic and red pepper. Serve more fish to your family with tasty recipes for herb-crusted tilapia with lemon potatoes or salmon with toasted Israeli couscous. Encourage your kids to cook with you – if they feel involved, they’re more likely to eat the meal, too.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread Pizza

Save yourself time and calories by making these whole wheat pita bread pizzas from Eat Yourself Skinny. You use whole wheat pitas instead of dough as the crust. Top with a homemade pizza sauce, sliced veggies and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake to crisp perfection and pass out slices to hungry kids.


Fettuccine with Olive Oil, Garlic and Red Pepper

There are only a few ingredients in this fettuccine with olive oil, garlic and red pepper from Cooking Light. Saute fresh garlic in olive oil while the fettuccine cooks in a pot of boiling water. Once cooked through, toss the pasta with some of the reserved cooking liquid (this helps your herbs stick to the noodles). Add grated Parmesan, fresh chopped parsley and a dash of red pepper. You can also mix in leftover cooked chicken or veggies.


Baked Parmesan Chicken

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Dredge chicken breasts in whisked egg whites and then a mixture of cracker crumbs seasoned with fresh chopped parsley. Cook this baked Parmesan chicken from Perdue and then top with fresh-made tomato sauce and mozzarella. Broil on high for a few minutes until the cheese crisps.


Herb-Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Potatoes

This recipe for herb-crusted tilapia with lemon potatoes from Betty Crocker also starts with coating the meat. This time, fish fillets are covered in seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Serve with roasted potatoes that have been tossed with fresh thyme and grated lemon.


Salmon with Toasted Israeli Couscous

Saute shallots, diced bell peppers, pistachios and couscous (the larger variety) in a skillet heated to medium-high. Cook until the couscous becomes golden. Add water and then place salmon on top. Cover and heat on low until the fish is cooked through. Finish off this salmon with toasted Israeli couscous from Eating Well with lemon wedges.


Slow Cooker Lentil Bolognese

Once a week, consider having a vegetarian night with your family. This slow cooker lentil Bolognese from Holy Cow Vegan is a good recipe to convince your kiddos that not every meal needs meat. Soak the lentils in water. Meanwhile add oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the Crock-Pot. Drain the lentils and then add them, too, along with herbs, vegetable stock, tomato puree and seasonings. Cook and then use to top pasta or rice.