Family friendly meal ideas

jessie2k1 Posts: 2 Member
I'm so tired of cooking the same thing. Any low calorie ideas that the whole family will enjoy?


  • andreagenther
    andreagenther Posts: 67 Member
    One of our families favorite is Minestrone soup. I add meat, any is good: beef sausage, chicken. I don't add the pasta.
    Sometimes i sprinkle Parmesan on top when I serve it.
    It's as tasty as pizza but much healthier.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,614 Member
    Cheat's teriyaki chicken made with coca cola.

    Joint a whole chicken or use a packet or two of skin on chicken thighs and drumsticks. Brown the skin in a large sauce pan or casserole dish, working in batches if needed. No need to add oil because fat will render from the chicken skin. When pieces are browned, toss in a few minced cloves of garlic into the rendered fat and fry under fragrant. Stop the garlic from burning by tossing in a tin of regular coke (you need the sugar to caramelize later), several large glugs of soy sauce and simmer with the chicken for 25 minutes, lid off, turning the pieces occasionally so everything gets coated in the cooking liquid. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt/sugar/acidity with soy/sugar/vinegar. Boil furiously the last 5 or 10 minutes at high heat so that sauce reduces to a thick caramelized mass.

    Serve with rice which you can put on after you have browned the chicken and garlic. While the chicken cooks make some easy veg side such as steamed broccoli, frozen peas or spinach sauteed in a little butter.
  • pjuddesl2868
    pjuddesl2868 Posts: 2 Member
    Taco salad! You can use chicken or ground beef on a bed of lettuce and vegetables (I like to add mini cucumber slices along with green onion and chopped pepper and maybe avocado / tomato). Add salsa and Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and cut some tortillas up and toast them in the air fryer or oven for a crunch.

    I’m not a big meat eater, so sometimes I use black beans and corn heated in skillet with southwest seasoning mix instead of meat.
  • Kiwi2mfp
    Kiwi2mfp Posts: 87 Member
    Tonight we are having steak...4 ounce piece for me, small to medium baked potato with only a teaspoon of butter, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic salt, and a side salad (fresh express Italian salad with 2 Tablespoons KRAFT Catalina fat free dressing and 4 tablespoons of small croutons.) Might make some steamed broccoli as another side. I usually load my baked potato up with sour cream, butter, salt and pepper....but now I am taking it a bit easy on the potato toppings. I love my croutons in salad so I have made room for some by cutting most bread out of my diet. At most I might have two slices of bread at lunch for a sandwich but that's not every day. Potatoes aren't every day either.
  • Kiwi2mfp
    Kiwi2mfp Posts: 87 Member
    Sam's club has frozen bags of stir fry mix and I grab a bag of frozen, boneless/skinless chicken breast tenders. Foodlion has bottles of general tsos sauce, Korean BBQ sauce and other sauces for like $2.19 a bottle (was $2 a bottle two weeks ago 😒). I take 1.5 cups of Jasime rice and 3 cups of water and bake this in a glass 8x8 dish for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees (I use my toaster oven for this). Meanwhile I take two chicken tenderloins per person being fed and cut into cubes. Brown this in a little bit of olive oil. The I add the stir fry bag and a bottle of the sauce. Serve over a half a cup of rice for me (more for everyone else) and I try to strain out a bit of the sauce before serving a quarter cup to half a cup of meat and stir fry over my rice. You can top with sesame seeds and I used to add chow mein noodles but I am refraining from that for now. Yesterday we did a version of this using chicken thighs and legs we got on sale at Foodlion for like 59 cents a pound. I glazed the chicken with the sauce and baked it for 45 minutes at I think 350 F. Then made my rice and sauted the stir fry mix with only a drizzle of sauce and a teaspoon of olive oil. I then served myself a half cup of rice, a small scoop of stir fry and got the chicken leg that I had skinned before baking to eat with it. We did saute some asparagus in a tiny bit of olive oil and drizzle of sauce to serve with everything. This is our healthier versions of Chinese take out food. It doesn't taste quite as good but with fast food prices and's a whole lot better for us and our wallets. BTW, Foodlions general tsos sauce does not taste like general tsos but we like it in its own way....they should consider renaming it though.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,875 Member
    This largely comes down to portion control for the individual. Not everyone in the family is on a diet and calorie needs vary. I eat larger portions than my wife, as do my two boys. If my wife is trying to cut weight she might skip the grain or starch and have extra veggies with dinner...stuff like that. If we have pizza she usually has a slice and a salad...I usually have 2-3 boys often will eat 4 or more.
  • themommie
    themommie Posts: 4,985 Member
    I love to do burrito bowls, I can add lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, black beans, salsa to keep calories down my family can add more meat, cheese, etc. I also like to do chicken teriyaki bowls and add alot of broccoli and carrots sometimes c as cabbage to mine, taco soup or chicken breast grilled with roasted potatoes, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini and yellow squash another favorite is chicken curry over rice, I only do a little rice and add extra veggies to mine, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, mushroom and yellow squash , these are my go tos
  • wakegrrl
    wakegrrl Posts: 149 Member
    This is one of our family's new favorites:
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,964 Member
    edited May 18
    The best way IMO is to make meals that you can portion out each piece of the meal individually... so like, a protein, a starch and a veg. You can just eat more of the veg and less of the starch than say, your husband or whoever needs to be eating more calories.

    I find that works better than making meals that are all in one "pot" because then my portion ends up being too small :(

    stir fry, served with rice. So I just use less rice.
    meat of some type with potatoes and a veg.
    bowls of any kind. (burrito bowls, teriyaki bowl, sushi bowl etc) with rice and veggies
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,875 Member
    I grilled cheeseburgers last night and made baked beans. My wife had her burger sans bun and had a salad instead of the beans. I had my burger with a whole grain bun and beans. My boys had the same plus French Fries from the air fryer plus desert, and then some cereal about an hour later.