Healthy Family Meals for Fall

Healthy Family Meals for Fall

Annette Doody
Savory Bistro Owner and Wellness Coach

Dear Annette:
Fall is in full swing. With busy schedules, it seems impossible to have healthy meals ready for my family. Help! before I go through the drive-thru again!

Dear Reader:
First, let me congratulate you for not wanting to go through any drive-thru. Children’s brains are still developing and there are now thousands of studies that clearly show that trans fats, processed sugars, and food additives affect how our brains develop and function. That means that fast foods are negatively affecting the brain and the body. So, what is the answer?

To be healthy we need to be using our kitchens or have access to healthy “to go’ meals such as the meals we have at Savory Bistro. One dish meals were always popular because they were fast and easy to make and full of good nutrients if made from scratch. This time of year, think of soups and one dish meals that are fast and easy. Most can be frozen and keep for up to 3 months for those nights when there is no time to cook. Yes, this takes a little time and coordination but the rewards are huge. Plan one day a week to make a large pot of soup. Let it cool and then divide it to freeze for another night. Soups are yummy and highly nutritious. Kids love soup especially if they have helped to make it!

Think also about sauces. One or two sauces can transform a simple baked chicken breast or some plain pasta into a gourmet meal in minutes. Things like tomato sauce, pesto sauce, or a balsamic vinegar sauce bring a simple baked chicken breast to life.

Another option is what I call the “picky“ dinner. I like to use boards and put out all sorts of fun ingredients. Some items might include olives, cheese, nitrate free cold cuts, pickles, nuts, fruit, hummus, vegetables cut small, a little bread, and you have a great dinner that requires no cooking and is fast and easy.

Breakfast for dinner is also a perfect solution. Simple scrambled eggs with onions, mushrooms, peppers, cheese and spinach is a high protein, high fiber dinner. It’s also fun to let the kids decide what they want to put into their eggs.

Take a little time to search for recipes with ingredients that appeal to you and take less than 20 minutes to make.

Here is one of my favorites:

Easy Pesto Sauce
5 minutes • COOK TIME: 0

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeeze lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon water (optional)

Put the basil, pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until well blended. For a thinner pesto, add the water and briefly process again. Taste; you may want to add a squeeze of lemon juice or a pinch of salt.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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