This article is part of our ongoing Fitness Friday series.
If you want some hearty and healthy meals this time of year that warms your belly instead of expanding it, then I got you covered with very little effort required.
Plus, these recipes all got thumbs up from our 2 year old daughter. Win! Win!
With this first recipe it don’t get much easier than throwing some meat and veggies in a pot, walking away and coming home to a savory supper full of high quality protein and finely cooked fresh vegetables.
1. Brawny Beef Stew
- 2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 3 red skin potatoes, diced
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, choppedDirections:
- Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
- Cover, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Unless your running a marathon the next day, piling up on the pasta is not such a great idea if you want to be slim and trim. Switching to whole wheat spaghetti will give you some extra fiber but still almost a days worth of carbs in one meal. But what if I told you that there is an awesome substitute for spaghetti that looks the same, and comes pretty close to taste and texture as well…
Say hello to the Spaghetti Squash. Rightly named, as the flesh of this squash closely resembles spaghetti noodles when cooked and scraped out using a simple fork. It’s loaded with natural fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as omega 3 fatty acids.
2. Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
- 4 cups spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter (melted)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1lb extra lean ground beef
- 1/2 of bell pepper
- 1 cup onion (small diced)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut squash in half and clean out the centre and seeds. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil or butter. Season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon and then place in the oven.
Bake squash for 45 minutes or until squash is tender enough to stick a fork into it with minimal resistance. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little.
While the squash is baking, preheat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, lightly coat with spray and add the ground sirloin until lightly browned and cooked all the way through. Add onions and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes more then add in the tomato sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Once squash has cooled a little, scrape the flesh out of the skin with a fork, then place serving on plate and top squash noodles with meat sauce and garnish with the parmesan.
Here is a post-Thanksgiving recipe for Tasty Turkey Soup that is so easy even a turkey can do it!
3. Tasty Thanksgiving Turkey Soup
- 2 cups turkey light meat, skinless, cooked and cubed
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup celery, sliced
- 10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 carton of natural chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup whole wheat macaroni, uncooked
In a quart 4-quart saucepan, combine turkey, water, celery, vegetables, broth, poultry seasoning, and black pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil. Add macaroni and reduced heat to low. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is tender. This recipe can also be a “set it and forget” meal in the slow cooker before you head out the door.
So now you have 3 hearty and healthy go-to meals made with REAL foods that you can feel good about feeding your family and even going back for seconds…
Sean Barker is a busy dad who finds time for family, fitness and fun. He likes pumping iron as well as producing it, as a heavy equipment
operator in the iron ore mines. He is ALSO a nationally certified personal trainer who writes for Fit Parent and Inside Fitness magazines and is the author of The Dad Fitness System at www.DadFitness.com. Sean also has a Dad Fitness Blog with tips, thoughts, and humor on being a fit dad at DadFitnessBlog.com.