Top Ten Healthy Recipes that are Still Delicious

Top Ten {Tuesday}

After completing one of the Writing Workshop prompts from Mama Kat last week, on my very new blogging endeavor, I decided that I enjoyed compiling my own Top Ten lists. It allowed me to be creative, funny, serious, or weird all in the same post! After doing a little web search I found O Amanda’s “Top Ten Tuesday” link-up (click above). So, here I am with my first official Top Ten Tuesday.

In the past 6 months I’ve lost more than 50 pounds. Trying to be more active and eat healthier can be a major challenge, especially when you have young children, and finding healthy meals that don’t taste like “health food” is especially difficult sometimes. Here are my top ten favorite healthy recipes that still taste sinfully delicious! They come from a mix of sources, to which I have included links. My daughters readily devour most of these dishes, but a few can be slightly tweeked to meet the less-sophisticated child palate, if needed.

10. Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash – Slow cooker (or crock pot) meals are great, aren’t they? Pop in the ingredients in the morning and several hours later you have a meal all ready! For this dish, I think it needs a little extra flavor. You can add an additional bell pepper and some spices according to your taste. A little more salt, maybe a bit of cumin along with the paprika, or anything else your tastebuds might find appealing. We served this over egg noodles.

9. Cheesy Chili-Mac – This dish is a comfort-food favorite for many people. This version is healthier without sacrificing flavor. For an even healthier version, you can use whole-wheat elbow macaroni.

8. Spinach Lasagna Rolls – Lasagna rolls are a twist (haha) on classic lasagna. Instead of layering the noodles, each individual lasagna noodle serves as a single serving. Using cooked and cooled noodles you place your filling along the length of the noodle and roll it up, jelly-roll style. In the past, I have enjoyed other versions of these, but the calorie counts are so astounding that I don’t even want to share them. This one, though, has a lean 225 calories (and only 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus) per serving.

7. Chicken Pot Pie – Who doesn’t love chicken pot pie? This one doesn’t come in a box, taste like cardboard, or promise to add an inch to your waistline, but it’s still satisfying and tasty!

6. Falafel Pitas – This dish is on our menu for this week. I’m cheating a little bit and using a boxed falafel mix, which will add a few calories, but overall it’s still a really healthy, cool, satisfying vegetarian meal. For those who fear anything labeled “vegetarian” you can grill up and slice a chicken breast. The yogurt dressing tastes wonderful on the chicken, as well!

5. Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken – The adults usually nix the rice as part of the suggested serving of this dish and opt instead for fresh, shredded cabbage. My girls eat it up with the rice!

4. Layered Mexican Chicken – A much lighter version of the classic Mexican chicken casserole, this dish will be requested again and again! I added about a cup of salsa to the sour cream/chicken mixture for an extra kick. Turned out great so I’ll definitely be doing that again. Leftovers of this dish are awesome!

3. Chicken Larb – The name may not sound extremely appetizing, but let me assure you…this dish is delicious! Larb is a Thai/Laotian meat salad. This dish has ten ingredients and cooks up quickly. It is served as more of a lettuce wrap than an actual salad and would even make a great appetizer, but we usually eat it as a main dish. My oldest daughter enjoys hers in a tortilla or pita.

2. Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles – This one is one of my hubby’s favorites to make. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser! We have found that it is a MUST to use fat-free sour cream in this dish. Low-fat sour cream tended to make the sauce separate.

1. Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli – I often substitute ground turkey, as it is quicker and usually more readily available if you don’t want to grind your own chicken. We serve as recommended, with mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus (or other green vegetable – peas compliment the dish nicely). This is my ALL-TIME favorite!!!

I hope I’ve inspired you to seek out some leaner, healthier versions of your favorites and given you some new ones that will become part of your go-to meal ideas. Happy and healthy eating!


Top Ten Don’ts for Summer 2011

10. Aviator glasses. DON’T. You think you look something like this: 

But in reality, you look more like this: 

9. Yes, most of you have to mow your lawns. Of course you don’t want to mow at 3:00 PM when it’s 107 degrees outside in the shade. The alternatives you have chosen? Mow early in the morning or in the evening. Those are great alternatives. However, DON’T mow your lawn after 8:00 PM on a weekday. Please be considerate of your neighbors who work early or have children in bed. I don’t want you to suffer heat stroke by mowing mid-day, but that’s what weekends are for. People are more flexible and well-rested on weekends.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. You think I’m going to say something disparaging about it now, don’t you? Well, I’m not. So what’s the don’t? DON’T make fun of people who go see it, even if they’re dressed up like a bunch of lunatics. Why? Because I’M going to go see it and if you make fun of me I’ll punch you in the face.

7. If you’re my neighbor, and you look something like this:

             please feel FREE to mow your lawn shirtless!! Pretty please!!

If, however, you live within a 30 mile radius of my house and look anything like this (you know who you are):

 we are ALL begging you – DON’T mow shirtless!! At the very least, have the decency to get some manscaping before even cosidering baring those pecs!

6. DON’T drive like a bat out of hell down neighborhood streets. Remember that kids are out of school and many will be playing outside. I would hope they’re all being supervised by their indefatigable, omnipresent, responsible parents…but I’m a realist, so I know that most of these little heathens are home alone for the summer, running around the neighborhood looking for trouble. As much as you might want to, running over them with your car is NOT an option. Try to be safe and use good judgment.

5. If you love yourself at all, please DON’T wear an adult onesie, aka a jumpsuit. They are not cute past the age of 7. These ladies are models, and even THEY look silly. What do you think you’re going to look like?

4. You might be tempted to, but DON’T keep your A/C set at 65 degrees all summer, forcing you to wear a scarf and mittens inside. I plan on being comfortable, but I’m going to avoid the meat-locker-esque environment this summer. I’m not trying to preserve myself, for crying out loud! Your energy bill will be much more tolerable if you keep temps reasonable.

3. DON’T continue telling everyone that you’re going to take a STAYcation! We all get it. The economy sucks right now. I can’t take a vacation either, but when someone asks me if I’m going anywhere, I’m just going to tell them,  “No.” It’s really simple. Saying that you’re having a staycation does not make you sound cool. I think the word was trendy for about a week. We’re over it.

2. For the love of all things good in the world, DON’T wear UGGs in the summertime…especially when you’re wearing shorts.

1. DON’T forget the sunscreen, especially for your children. Building up a little vitamin D is definitely a good thing, but getting blistered skin or melanoma – not so much. It only takes a minute to put some on yourself or your kiddos and everyone will be happier and healthier if you do!

Thanks to Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop for the topic inspiration!
Check her out!

Mama’s Losin’ It

If I Knew Now What I Knew Then

Would I do anything differently? If I knew when I was 18 years old what I know now in my early 30s, would I make different choices? Probably. I would hopefully be a better student in college, even though I wasn’t too bad. I would avoid a devastating employment situtation that has shaped my life in a bad way. I would eat better and exercise more. I would choose my friends more carefully.

But, I would only do all of this if I knew that no matter what choices I made differently, that I would still have the same beautiful daughters and loving husband that I have now. If it meant giving any of that up, then I would do everything exactly the same. All of the challenges I have faced, personally, and with my family have not been pleasant, but I know they have made us strong. Thinking back on it, some days I feel like we should be the strongest family EVER because of all we’ve been through. Then I get real and remember just how blessed we’ve been, even if we have had to ask for help along the way.

Many people suffer hardships. Some persevere and some give up. It is true what they say about hindsight, but it is still useless information unless we continue on and learn from the past. I’m trying not to give up because I know I am one of the lucky ones. I have much to be thankful for and very little to be sad about.

It’s up to me to not let the sad things become so magnified that they overshadow everything. That’s harder than it sounds, but at least I have supportive people in my life that I can lean on.

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