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Creative and healthy family meals!

After multiple conversations, recently, about the struggles we face eating healthy and with school starting back in just a few weeks, I thought it would be a great idea to share some of our favorite healthy meals, tips to make your favorites a little healthier, and ways of sneaking in veggies that your kiddos will love! All of these tips and recipes are not only quick, but tasty!

The first recipe is for a PF Chang's inspired Turkey Boat!

My boys LOVE lettuce. The one vegetable the will eat every night is lettuce/salad so when I suggested we make "boats" out of turkey meat, they were all for it! It is fun and tasty! For this recipe you can add to and take out what you do not want. A lot of these inspired recipes call for water chestnuts, cashews, or almond butter but since we have a peanut allergy in our house, we leave them out. Using sesame oil in place of olive oil still gives us the nut flavor!

What you need:

*1 pound ground turkey (or chicken or plant based protein)

*2 tsp of sesame oil plus 1 tbsp. for the meat

*1/4 cup of coconut aminos (lower sodium than soy sauce)

*1tsp of rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

*2 tsp of freshly ground ginger

*1 tbsp. of hot sauce

*1/2 one yellow onion, diced

*3 cloves of garlic, minced

*Lettuce of your choice to make the wraps (I use Romaine)

*Salt to taste

*(optional) Baby Bella mushrooms, minced

*(optional) 1 1bsp of almond butter

*(optional) shredded carrots

*(optional) green onions, thinly sliced

*(optional) water chestnuts, diced

Now, for the sauce you can make it OR you can just purchase a sugar free sauce that is delicious and quick! Our family loves all things G. Hughes, including the Sugar free Thai Chili wing sauce. Below is a link to some of this brands items. Nope, no kick backs for telling you about these, they are just awesome sauces with zero sugar and we pretty much have an assortment in our fridge of everything they make!

First, whisk together the 2 tsp of sesame oil, aminos, wine vinegar, hot sauce, and ginger in a bowl and set to the side. Add 1tbsp of sesame oil to a heated skillet and sauté the onions until translucent (if you want the mushrooms, now is the time for them). Add in garlic and stir constantly for about 30 seconds. Next, add your ground turkey and cook until browned (use a wooden spoon to break it up into crumbles). You can cook the carrots at this time, however, my family likes to have them raw and crunchy on top. Your preference!

Pour the mixture in the meat and heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring the sauce in to the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture on top of your lettuce boats and drizzle sauce and raw carrots (and whatever else you may want: sesame seeds, onions, peppers, etc.). Serve with a side of jasmine rice!

Tomato Pie

Okay, I was a skeptic on this one but my sister in law encouraged me to try hers on Easter and it was amazing. This is a super quick recipe and can be prepped the night before to make it ready in 25-40 minutes in the oven. Add a steam bag of broccoli or peas and you are good to go for a meatless Monday!

Now I will be honest with you, I eat pretty much anything, vegetable wise, but raw tomatoes are not for me. I prayed that when I got pregnant that my taste buds would change and I would crave them, but I did not. Both of my boys will eat them like candy, but me....I need them cooked to eat.

This recipe can be made with homemade pie crust or store bought. For me, I'm using store bought. This recipe will make two pies!

Pre-heat oven based on the back of the pie shell. Bake the pie for 8-12 minutes. While this is cooking you can be preparing the ingredients. *Note* do NOT puncture your pie shell or all the leftover juices will sink to the bottom.

While your pies are cooking, take 4-5 tomatoes, one purple onion, fresh basil (in a pinch just use the jar), 1 cup of mayonnaise (divided - 1/2 for each pie) and 4 cups of shredded cheese (divided - 2 cups per pie). You can use whatever cheese your family likes and you can mix it! For these I used cheddar, gouda, and Havarti.

Chop the tomatoes as small or as big as you want them and place them on a paper towel to get as much of the juice out as you can and pat them dry before putting them in the pie. Chop the onions small (note - I only used about half of the onion between the two pies). Some people may prefer a yellow onion, that is fine also! My boys love purple onion so that is what we use.

Once you pull the pies out, layer the bottom with tomatoes, followed by onions, and then the fresh chopped basil, to taste. Mix your shredded cheese and mayo together and then paste it on top. If you are prepping for the next day, stick in the fridge. If you are making it for this night, pop it in the oven for 25-40 minutes, until it is browned and bubbly.

A few easy week night meal ideas

Here are some of our favorite healthy week night ideas!

  • Air fryer turkey burgers with sweet potatoes/oven baked tater tots (my boys do not like sweet potatoes so I make them tots instead - you can also skip the bun and use lettuce or go bun less).

  • Breakfast for supper (air fryer bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese toast - make it healthier with turkey bacon, egg whites, and cinnamon toast ).

  • Chicken fajitas (chop 2 sweet bell peppers and an onion, diced boneless, skinless chicken breast. Add some street taco seasoning and Ortego sauce and bake in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes). Use low carb wraps or lettuce boats!

  • Crock pot spaghetti (If you have the time, cook the sauce all day and add mushrooms for a boost of veggies, if not, use the instant pot. I also use veggie noodles).

  • Grilled chicken, air fryer Brussel sprouts, brown rice, and a salad. A simple staple that you can season with skinny girl Italian dressing, G. Hughes sugar free dressing or balsamic glazed onions for a quick and fancy kick!

  • Homemade pizza! This is my kiddos' favorite because we let them decorate their own with their favorites. You can go healthier with a cauliflower crust (when my kids hardly know the difference), go low on cheese or do a low fat cheese, put your veggies on there, and spice it up with your favorite peppers!

I hope you all have a great rest of your week! Enjoy your last few days of summer break and soak up the sun before school starts back and we get into the grind of homework, early mornings, and sports!

Lots of love!

Allison, The Queen of Bags

Mrs. Georgia Petite 2022


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