Friday, January 20, 2012

Healthy Dinner Challenge

Let's face it, one question we get asked almost every day, "What's for dinner?"

Maybe you are the type of person that sits down at the beginning of each week and lovingly writes out a meal plan.You always has the right ingredients for every meal and your family rises up and calls you blessed.
You are my hero. One day, yes one day, that will be me, but for now when I get asked that question I think...
Oh Snap! Dinner!

This week, however, I was determined not to look in the freezer an hour before dinner and wonder what to make. I was not going to look in the pantry and pray a magic fairy appears with a brilliant idea for dinner. I decided to challenge myself. Make a healthy dinner without a can of cream of whatever soup, no sour cream, no cheese. A balanced meal with little fat and very tasty.

I only determined to do this one night a week, baby steps, let's not get too crazy.

Challenge accepted.... here we go...

I started with dessert, really? would you think any different of me.
A fresh fruit parfait of sorts.

You will need:

Plain yogurt (I used one small container of Chobani)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Fresh fruit 
(I used apples, grapes, clementines and bananas)
nut of choice (I used pecans)
Juice from a lime

Use whatever fruit you have on hand. You could also use Chobani's vanilla and honey yogurt. I thought about that after the fact, but I look forward to using it in the future.

Peel and slice the fruit and squeeze some lime juice on it.

Mix the yogurt, honey and vanilla.

Add the yogurt mix and nuts, then stir to combine.

There you have it! A healthy dessert.

Let's move on to dinner.

Grilled chicken, baked asparagus and "ranchified" red potatoes

I didn't get pictures of the chicken, because let's get real, chicken is not very pretty
I put the chicken in a large ziploc bag and poured low-fat italian dressing over them. Place in the fridge to marinate. Do this step in the morning and let it marinate all day.
Next week I will try a homemade marinade, baby steps remember.

For the Ranchified Red Potatoes you will need:

1-2 Tbls Olive Oil
Dry Ranch Dressing packet
Red Potatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Slice red potatoes into cubes and place on cookie sheet. Pour on the olive oil and toss to coat.
Sprinkle on the Ranch packet (I only used half the pack) and toss to coat
Bake for 20-25 minutes

While that's cooking work on the asparagus
You will need:
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Slivered Almonds

Chop the ends off and place in shallow pan. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle on some almonds.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Back to the chicken. 
I took some fresh Rosemary, Red pepper flakes and some of the Italian dressing and made a paste. Spread it on the chicken and grill it for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken.
If you have a fabulous husband like mine. Just hand the marinated chicken to him and he will grill it for you.

Challenge Complete!
It was all very tasty, even my boys ate it with minimal complaints.That is saying alot seeing as one of my sons has an aversion to anything green on his plate and the other son doesn't care for chicken. The rule here is you have to taste it before you can say you don't like it. I would say it was a success.

I hope you get inspired to try something healthy too.
If you do please come back and tell me, I could use some more ideas.

Cooking from my heart to your kitchen,


  1. This meal looks perfect! It seems like all I want to make is sweet treats. Its so hard to come up with something healthy, but also very tasty!

  2. I agree, I want and make alot of sweets, so I thought I would start adding some healthy and tasty delights in there too. :)

  3. You could buy the grill pan and press through my Pampered Chef party!

  4. Thanks Heidi! I thought you might like that. Something healthier for a change.
    Jess-I'll have to check that out!