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10 Healthy Recipes That Will Spice Up Your Weekly Menu

I think variety is the key to sustainability. If we get bored we are unmotivated. If we are unmotivated we are unlikely to complete our goals. One way to avoid veggie boredom is some great new recipes that will spice up (no pun intended) your weekly menu.

I love when people share delicious recipes with me. I get to try new, healthy, and delicious food all of the time because I get so many recommendations. It motivated me to compile a list of my all-time favorite veggie-based and healthy recipes that are tried and true! These are recipes that will add variety to your weekly menu AND help keep those veggies on your plate.

Even if you aren’t the biggest veggie eater, try these recipes out. I think they can turn the worst critic into the best veggie lover. Trust me on this. They really are THAT delicious.

My Top 10 Healthy Recipes

Paleomg 5 Ingredient Pizza Bake

This recipe is a major family staple for us. If you follow me on Instagram you will see me share my love for it often. Even further, you can sub shredded chicken or lean ground beef with enchilada sauce for a Mexican food option. It’s such a simple, yet delicious option. And the best part? The kids (and even you) won’t know it’s filled with healthy vegetables. That’s the ultimate way to enjoy healthy recipes!

www.paleomg.com

Skinnytaste Scampi for 2 (or double it for 4)

Um—yes, please!  I love shrimp and I love pasta. What I love most about this recipe is that I get the “pasta” craving filled, and I don’t even have to use regular pasta. While zucchini noodles aren’t a direct substitute (don’t think they’ll actually taste like carbs on carbs on carbs), they are a great way to have a “pasta” dish without the guilt afterward. You can eat a big bowl of this and still go up for seconds if you want!

www.skinnytaste.com/

Damn Delicious Garlic Parmesan Zucchini

This zucchini dish is a great option on the side to add to any meal you can do it with broccoli too. I’ve even been known to just snack on these right out of the oven. Hey, don’t judge me. They’re that delicious.

www.damndelicious.net

Nom Nom Paleo Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Another major go-to for my family and I. I slightly modify this recipe and use a spray of olive oil rather than all that is called for in the recipes and 3-4 slices of diced bacon. I promise, it tastes amazing. Think about it, can you really go wrong with any dish that has bacon in it? Healthy recipes or not, bacon is pretty much life. However, brussel sprouts stretch it out and keep it from feeling overly greasy and heavy on your tummy. That’s a win-win in my book.

www.nomnompaleo.com

Paleo Cupboard Healthy Coleslaw

My husband makes some awesome pulled pork in our smoker. I love serving this alongside it and it is even better the next day. If you have a chance to let the flavors meld for 24 hours or so, you will absolutely love it. But it’s good when served right after prepping too! Either way, you can’t really go wrong with this recipe.

www.paleocupboard.com

Iowa Girl Eats Cauliflower Fried Rice

You can add any lean protein you want to increase your protein for this meal. But it’s also super yummy on its own. Add any veggies of choice like carrots, peas, water chestnuts, snow peas, broccoli, and turn it into a stiry fry type rice! Yum!

www.iowagirleats.com

Skinnytaste Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of those healthy recipes that is to die for. I make mine in my Instant Pot. When it’s almost done I’ll add in some lean chicken sausage or rotisserie chicken to increase the overall protein in the meal. To top it off, it will keep you full for hours, so it’s great for a lunch option as well.

www.skinnytaste.com

Gluten-Free Girl Brussel Sprout Salad

This one was such a hit in my Green Plate Challenge that I wanted to share again. I discovered it at a New Year’s Eve party and have been addicted ever since.  Of course, I made some tweaks to fit my lifestyle, and I used far less of the oil. If you’re like me, you can leave out the cheese too. The freshness and crispiness of the sprouts is so yummy, and you don’t even miss the cheese and extra oil in this recipe!

www.glutenfreegirl.com

Paleo Grubs Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats

This is an ultimate kid favorite…because what kid doesn’t like eating their food out of a “boat.” Again, a million variations here that you can create to keep the variety up. Spaghetti squash is a great vessle for many different creations, and is widely available (and cheap) during the fall and winter season. Enjoy!

www.paleogrubs.com

Gimme Delicious Protein and Veggies Foil Packets

My kids love this one again and I do too! Foil packets aren’t just for camping and can be a great way to get the kids involved in dinner prep. Plus, they’re super simple to make and clean up is a breeze! Happy kids and a happy mom you say?

www.gimmedelicious.com

Paleo Cupboard Zuppa Toscana

Another popular one from the challenge that I needed to reshare. I discovered this soup from a friend year’s ago and fell in love. My husband asks for it all the time. I use sweet potatoes instead of turnips, lean chicken sausage and little to no bacon if I don’t have it on hand. The flavor will still be fabulous.

www.paleocupboard.com

(Want to make your health a priority in the new year? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

The beauty of all these healthy recipes is that they can be tweaked to meet your nutrient needs or taste buds. The great thing about every recipe is that it can be modified for YOU.  If you ever need help with one, just email me and I’d love to help you think out of the box.

With these recipes and their variations alone you have 2 weeks worth of meal ideas. Just another reason you have no reason not to keep that veggie intake up.

What are some of your favorite veggie-loaded healthy recipes?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Veggies and Dips You Can’t Live Without

If you know me, you know I love any excuse to turn simple fruits and vegetables into some delicious concoctions. And one of my favorite ways to dress up veggies is to have veggies and dips!

Veggies-Shmeggies

I am not sure what happens at 5:00 pm but all kids must communicate to make that hour of the day the whiniest. I’d like to think that I have awesome kids, but the moments leading up to dinner seem to be their toughest.

Not only are they ravenous, like I haven’t fed them for hours, but they just seem to be hangry. And that’s not fun for anyone. I always try to include them in dinner preparation thinking it will pass the time more. Some days it works, while other days I swear it makes their hunger unbearable. I know many of you can relate.

I recently read a Mom Blog “From Stork to Fork” that gave an amazing suggestion. In an effort to increase vegetable consumption for her children, this mom started putting out a veggie platter right before dinner. She filled it with fresh, raw veggies and didn’t mention a word to her kids.

The moment they saw food out and available, they welcomed it with open arms. She provided a simple dip on the side and they ate those veggies in a hot second. What parents don’t want their kids to eat more veggies even if it does spoil dinner? It was a WIN all around.

What’s more interesting is a recent study completed by Texas A&M University identified the one factor that determined whether or not kids ate their veggies.  That one factor was what those veggies were paired with. The article’s conclusion was that “Kids, in short, are much more likely to eat their vegetable portion when it’s paired with a food that isn’t so delicious, so it gets all the attention.” So, offer those veggies alone or with a more nutrient dense but less kid-desired option and BOOM! They become veggie connoisseurs.

Leading By Example

This study supports the prime reason we as parents are lifestyle role models to our children. Kids let taste lead them. They aren’t mature enough to choose something less tasty because it’s more nutrient dense. We as parents must guide them and be sure to encourage better eating habits.

I work hard with my kids to model and discuss the importance of vegetable consumption at every meal. I’ve tried to teach them that there are foods we eat every day, foods we eat sometimes, and foods we eat on special occasions.

It isn’t always perfect and some meals are better than others.  My heart is always happy when I hear them tell people no thank you to things because they know they’ve already had their “sweet treat” for the day.

My Early Parenting Days

I was a total earthy pregnant mom and newborn mom. I was particular about everything that went into my body and on my body. I came up with a Zen birthing plan (which never remotely happened), I breastfed both my kids for 18 months and I made every single ounce of their baby food myself. I am darn proud of that!  My kids are awesome eaters and I think my investment in their food early on has paid dividends.

I went off the deep end at first. I once told a friend that our kids would never eat at McDonald’s. My friends who had kids older than mine told me I was unrealistic but I told them “No way.”  I’ve loosened up over the years. My kids have had a Happy Meal. But at the heart of it all, they know and understand that is a rare experience and should and never will be the norm.

Deprivation is Not Sustainable

I’ve come to believe that if I deprive my kids of anything mainstream food or otherwise that it only cultivates their desire for it more.  I know some of you are shaking your head at me right now. But listen— it is like when your mom tells you not to hang out with the “bad boy” so naturally you are drawn to him. In my almost 7 years of parenting, I’ve learned that being the example for my children’s healthy lifestyle is less about what they shouldn’t have and more about what they should have.

Are Adults Any Different?

This research got me thinking if adults were any different. And, personally, I don’t think we are. I am pretty sure my hubby wouldn’t eat his veggies if I wasn’t regularly preparing them for him at home. If what that veggie is paired with makes a difference, then adults need good options too.

(Want to focus on your health and make it a priority? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Options that are rich in nutritional value and even richer in taste. It should be easy and convenient. I used to commonly buy a big tub-o-sour-cream and dump in a “seasoning packet” to serve alongside veggies. But now I have some great options to replace those packets and that tub.

Veggies & Dip DIY

Seasoning packets are filled with all types of fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives.  If you look closely to identify the real food ingredient list, you will notice that you have those things sitting in your pantry.  So why not take them and make your own seasoning, without all the junk?  I mix together the options below and have them on hand for dips, for marinades, rubs, and any other mealtime options.

Ranch Dip

¼ Cup Parsley Flakes

⅛  Cup Dried, Minced Onions

4 Teaspoons Salt

1 Tablespoon Dill Leaf

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

Onion Dip

1/3 Cup dried, minced onion

2 Teaspoons Parsley Flakes

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

1 Teaspoon Celery Salt

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

½ Teaspoon Black Pepper

Fiesta Seasoning

1/3 Cup Chili Powder

¼ Cup Onion Powder

⅛ Cup Ground Cumin

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Paprika

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

I mixed all of my spices into small glass jars to keep them fresh. Once these seasonings are prepared, you can mix 2-3 tablespoons with 4-5 oz of greek yogurt for amazing veggies and dips combos, or you can even serve these dips with healthy and nutritious chips!  They are perfect for a mealtime side or for some tailgating munchies.

(Tired of feeling like healthy eating is impossible? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Eat those veggies friends. Find ways to incorporate them into your life to improve your health and be an example to the little people surround you.

What are your favorite veggies and dips combos?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk