Our favorite family dinner recipes these days

Imagine the scenario of this place. you make something delicious and life-giving (and easy) for dinner…and everyone at your table actually eats it, including your kids. They might love it, even. Ask again. Or at least eat it without too many complaints 🙂

Now did I just name your 6pm fantasy land? Wait, this isn’t a dream.

This no it is impossible to do. In fact, I think that a lot can start when you are ready to simplify some things in your home.

SIMPLIFY Your Food! (aka, to real food). Bonus tip: when you get chemicals, additives, emulsifiers, and processed stuff in your food, your (and your kids’) taste buds are opened up (and real food tastes amazing). You must allow 2 weeks to clear the remaining items. Quit before you see this change, but once you do, everything else becomes easier.

SIMPLIFY performance (also, learn what works well for your family: the fastest vegetable prep, having a pantry stocked with real food, and ideas that sound good for the week).

and: UNDERSTAND the pressure on you so that your meals are 5-star, magazine-worthy meals. Bonus tip: this is a *prime* example of all or nothing thinking. it makes us not even try to make anything because we know we don’t have the time or energy to do it “perfectly”.

Let me tell you which is true, though.

As long as it’s SIMPLE and REAL, your body will thank you.

As long as it’s simple and real, it’s time well spent.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Or complex. Or anything crazy.

So today I want to simplify the process for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed in the kitchen these days, whether you have kids or not. With five meals that are my go-to, even when I only have 10-20 minutes to get dinner on the table…which seems to be most nights these days. Yes.

They are simple, easy to prepare and do not require a lot of ingredients. And the most? There is no need to prepare a separate meal :).

Grass-fed burgers and sweet potato fries (with a side of veggies)

Even before the grilling days of summer get here, burgers are that quick dinner we can’t get enough of. I like to look for grass-fed lamb, beef or turkey at the store (I usually get ours at PCC if you’re local to Seattle). If you’re looking for a great vegetarian option, Hilary’s veggie burgers are delicious (and a great pantry staple when you’re short on time). I pair them with sweet potato fries, which are so easy to make, and something green. My recent visits. Roasted green beans, roasted broccoli or cauliflower, or a fresh salad.

Chili and GF Cornbread

Is there anything better than walking into the kitchen to smell delicious chilies cooking on the stove? I don’t know about you, but it’s one of my all-time favorite everyday moments. You can make turkey, beef or veggie chili, my sweet potato version (recipe here) Simply Real Eating Cookbook, and has been a favorite in our family ever since. I usually pair it with gluten-free cornbread using my corn muffin recipe (also in the Simply Real Eating cookbook) and just bake in a square pan instead. For extra veggies, top with some arugula if you like.

Vegetable Wrapped Chicken Enchiladas

This is straight from my Cooking Club where I’ve been sharing tons of family dinner ideas lately (like, a new one every week). AND, guess what? This family recipe post inspired me to make something fun just for this week. This Sunday only, I offer a 7-day free trial, so you can check out this recipe and many others. You can stay after your trial for just $9.99/month (or $97/year), both on flash sale through this Sunday, 3/19. Come intry some healthy family recipes and see if it works for you.

All you need for this recipe is chicken (if you like), peppers, zucchini, green or red salsa, corn tortillas, and mozzarella cheese (also optional – leave it out if you want to go dairy-free). It’s so good and makes enough for leftovers the next day. Also check out my version of Mild Verde Salsa.

Asparagus and Chickpea Risotto

This is also from the Cooking Club. check it out here to see how the recipes are laid out. I try to make each meal easy to follow, customize, and simplify for everyone (you can customize serving sizes, search by ingredients you already have in your fridge, save your favorites, and print coordinating shopping lists too).

This is one of those meals that looks fancy but is actually very simple to throw together quickly. Just add your favorite protein (we like fried chicken, salmon, and halibut). It’s always a hit with the whole family and I use whatever vegetables are on sale/in season that week.

Lentil pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce (and side vegetables)

I like to simplify where I can, and for this recipe that means reaching for Rao’s, my favorite store-bought tomato sauce. Then I whip up some Greek meatballs or turkey meatballs (both available my first cookbook (which turns 8 this week). and yes, also available in Cooking Club). Short time? Substitute them for the organic chicken sausage in your fridge.

I usually serve it with broccoli, sea salt, pepper and butter on the side or mixed in, and for the adults I top it with arugula or mix in a quick side salad. Lentil pasta is high in protein and fiber, and when it’s topped with a sauce, you’ll never be different. I like TJ’s brand the best.


Want more simple, delicious, nutritious dinner ideas for the family? Join the Cooking Club! free this week or visit the entire SRH store. You’ll find tons of recipe resources, including seasonal meal plans, my cookbooks, and baby food files.

photo by talitha bullock

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