Creating healthy, organic meals that the whole family will enjoy is no easy task, but it can be done. Here are three modified family favorites that can help your family transition from boxed, processed foods, to more nutritious alternatives.
Macaroni and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a staple in almost every home. Crystal Collins, of Natural & Thrifty, came up with this cheap and easy recipe to balance her children’s love of this pasta classic, with her aversion to boxed mac’n’cheese’s high sodium and unhealthy food dyes.
- 2 cups organic noodles
- 2 1/2-3 cups of organic milk
- 1/2 stick organic butter
- 2 cups shredded organic cheese
- paprika (optional)
- Boil noodles and milk in a medium-sized pot.
- Turn down heat and allow to simmer until all the milk is absorbed, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in butter and shredded cheese. Season to taste with salt and paprika.
Macaroni and cheese is a great choice when you’re running late, haven’t had a chance to make a grocery run yet, or are working with fewer ingredients while a technician finishes your fridge repair. From Calgary to Chicago, you can’t go wrong with this classic kid-pleaser. Best of all, leftovers (if there are any) will keep well in a fridge from a company like Atlas Appliances Ltd.
If you or your children are grain or gluten intolerant, you may despair of what to make for family dinners. Lots of gluten-free options just don’t give the same satisfaction as real-deal comfort food. Which is why Hallie Cottis, of Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, set her mind to creating this grain-free, organic alternative to traditional lasagna.
- 1 pound ground turkey, browned
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 8 oz of fresh mushrooms
- 1 tbsp grass-fed butter
- 4 cups fresh packed spinach, wilted
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1 cup raw cheese of choice, shredded
- Preheat oven to 375?.
- Brown turkey and add Italian seasoning. Remove from heat.
- Melt and sauté mushrooms until tender. Remove from heat.
- Wilt the spinach.
- Mix ricotta cheese, egg, and garlic salt in a bowl.
- Spread about a cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Layer with turkey, spinach, mushrooms, and ricotta cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Repeat steps 6-8 two or three times until pan is full.
- Top with shredded cheese. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove cover cook for 10-15 more minutes until slightly brown and bubbly.
This Italian comfort food is sure to be a hit with your entire family.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Where would family dinner be without dessert? Dara, of Gen Y Foodie, converted her grandmother’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe into this completely organic, chewy, chocolate-y dessert the entire family can enjoy.
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 14 tbsp organic unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
- 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup organic packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1 large free-range egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cup organic semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
- 3/4 cup organic chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375?.
- Whisk flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl, set aside.
- Melt 10 tbsp butter in a skillet. Continue cooking until butter is dark brown.
- Remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Melt remaining 4 tbsp into hot butter.
- Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to butter. Whisk together.
- Add egg and yolk. Whisk until smooth.
- Let mixture stand for 3 minutes and then whisk for another 30 seconds.
- Repeat process of resting and whisking until mixture is thick and shiny.
- Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
- Mix in chocolate chips and nuts.
- Divide dough and place on two large baking sheets.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate baking sheet halfway through bake time.
Your kids are sure to love this classic dessert, whether it’s tucked into school lunches or served hot with a glass of milk.
Use organic ingredients with your favorite recipes to help your family eat healthier. Switch some of the ingredients in your family’s favorite foods to organic alternatives to find even more winning combinations.