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7 Simple and Healthy Recipes to Create with Family

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Posted by Kirsten Diegel, RD, LDN

Temple lung transplant patient Kevin and his wife, Annette, cooking healthy recipes at home.

Practicing social distancing (also known as physical distancing) due to COVID-19 might mean cooking more of your family’s meals at home — and that’s a good thing! Eating whole, healthful foods has been linked to improved mood — important when the family is living in close quarters. And preparing meals together as a family offers a wonderful opportunity for social interaction and bonding.

To help you find easy, family-friendly dishes to cook together, I’ve compiled these 7 heart-healthy recipes courtesy of the American Heart Association. You may find you love them so much you add them to your recipe box to make even after the coronavirus pandemic has passed. Bon appétit!

1. Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Substituting spaghetti squash for pasta adds important nutrients like Vitamin B6 and manganese without subtracting any deliciousness. Kids will love it!

Get the recipe for Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti >

2. Sweet Nutty Stir-Fry

This healthier take on take-out contains less saturated fat and sodium than a typical restaurant-prepared version, making it the perfect meal to cook when you’re craving Asian food.

Get the recipe for Sweet Nutty Stir-Fry >

3. Tuna Salad with Pico de Gallo

Elevate canned tuna — an inexpensive grocery store staple — to a zippy, veggie-filled dish kids will love to help assemble (and eat!).

Get the recipe for Tuna Salad with Pico de Gallo >

4. Edamame and Penne Salad with Feta

Try this lighter, protein-packed version of pasta salad. Kids will love the bright green edamame beans, and everyone will love the feta.

Get the recipe for Edamame and Penne Salad with Feta >

5. Slow Cooker Harvest Beef Stew

When the weather allows you and your children to get outdoors for some walking or play, pop these ingredients into a slow cooker to return to a hearty dinner with fewer calories and fat than a typical beef stew.

Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Harvest Beef Stew >

6. White Bean and Quinoa Burgers with Avocado

These delicious meatless burgers will be a hit with the whole family. Best of all, they freeze well. Make a double batch so that you can freeze extra patties to have for later. Then just thaw before cooking.

Get the recipe for White Bean and Quinoa Burgers with Avocado >

7. Three Sisters Soup

Derived from a Native American recipe, this wholesome soup combines the three “sisters” of beans, corn and squash. Add a tossed salad and some whole-grain bread for a fresh, delicious meal the whole family will enjoy.

Get the recipe for Three Sisters Soup >

Preparing your own meals during this era of social isolation can help you and your family develop healthy eating habits that last long after the pandemic has passed.

And if you should develop any health issues or questions, be sure to call your healthcare provider at Temple Health. We’re here to help you live healthy now — and in the future.

Kirsten Diegel, RD, LDN

Kirsten Diegel, RD, LDN, is a Registered Dietitian at Temple University Hospital who works primarily with pulmonary patients.

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