The beginning of a New Year is the perfect excuse to switch things up for mealtimes. And if you happened to pledge to try to help your family eat better-for-them meals in 2017, you’re in luck. These quick, healthy meals are simple to make and have only a few steps so you can get dinner on the table fast. Add a citrus zing to ho-hum poultry with the recipe for orange chicken with bulgur pilaf. Or make up a double batch of beef and bean chile verde so that you’ll have plenty of leftovers. Or, make more fish dishes by trying out crunchy fish sticks or pan-seared salmon with an apple and kale salad to the side. Your kids will like these dishes so much they won’t even realize they’re also eating healthy!
Introduce your kids to a nutritious alternative to rice or pasta with this recipe for orange chicken with bulgur pilaf from Real Simple. The chewy, nutty bulgur cooks quickly and laps up the bright flavors of tomatoes, olives, scallions and oregano. Meanwhile, sauté the chicken in a non-stick skillet coated with a drizzling of olive oil.
This beef and bean chile verde from Eating Well just tastes like it’s been simmering for hours. But that can be your little secret. Brown ground beef in a skillet along with diced onions and green peppers before adding the seasonings like garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper for an extra kick. Mix in jarred green salsa and a can of pinto beans before bringing to a simmer. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes before bowling out to hungry kids.
These crunchy fish sticks from Delish taste fried, but the crisp coating comes from an ingenious ingredient: baked potato chips. Cut flounder fillets into strips before dipping them into a beaten egg and then into crushed chips that have been seasoned with paprika. While they bake, boil red potatoes until tender. Mash the potatoes with milk, shredded cheddar cheese and scallions to serve alongside the fish.
Here’s another fish dish that’s sure to inspire your kids to eat more seafood: This pan-seared salmon with kale and apple salad from The Food Network comes together quickly. Season salmon with salt and pepper before adding it to a medium-high skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Heat 3-4 minutes on each side. Make the salad by trimming the ribs from the kale and thinly dicing the leaves. Pair with slivered dates and apples and toasted almonds.
No need for meat when you make this sesame-tofu stir-fry from Fitness. And chances are your kids won’t even notice. Chop extra-firm tofu into chunks and then gather up the rest of the sauce ingredients. Trim your prep time by using a bag of frozen vegetables. To cook, toss the tofu in cornstarch before adding to a medium-hot skillet that’s lightly coated with oil. Brown the tofu, remove, then heat up the vegetables along with the sauce. Serve over brown rice.