Chef Heather is making a guest appearance on No Whine Wednesday. Chef Heather is has a passion for creating family friendly meals in under 30 minutes. Today, she shares her tips for healthy cooking for picky eaters.

Many will begin ‘new’ diets as part of the New Year; however, healthy eating and cooking should be considered a daily habit or part of your normal routine. Some small steps and easy substitutions make that New Year’s resolution of eating healthy a reality that can last through out the year.

Here are a few healthy cooking tips that I try to incorporate into my daily cooking.

  • Swap out those cans with fresh or frozen. Canned vegetables often have very high sodium content. Look for “low-sodium” canned veggies or try the frozen or fresh varieties.
  • Veggies only. Many ‘hearty meat’ entrees are easy to make vegetarian. Substituting meat with extra vegetables or beans will not only save you money, but will add extra flavor and vitamins and nutrients without the added calories of meat.
  • Turkey all the way. If a meal of only beans and veggies is not your thing try cooking with ground turkey. From hamburgers, to chili, to spaghetti sauce; I almost always use ground turkey instead of beef. If seasoned properly ground turkey has great flavor and similar texture as ground beef but without all the fat.
  • Go half and half. Whole grain pastas and flours are an excellent source of nutrients and fiber, however, for many it does take time to get use to the flavor and texture of the whole grain variety. Substitute half the amount of pasta called for in recipes with whole grain pasta. Most baked goods can also easily be made with half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.
  • Steam them up. Steam your veggies instead of boiling them. The extended heat and liquid of boiling can destroy nutrients as well as make them less flavorful.

Cooking fast, fresh healthy meals does not have to mean spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Try this flavorful recipe for Tomato Bruschetta Chicken, that even the pickiest eaters will love!

Tomato Bruschetta Chicken

Marinate Time: 3 hours to overnight
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes Serves: 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons onion, diced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced

Marinate chicken in salad dressing for several hours or over night. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange chicken in a glass baking pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Arrange tomatoes, garlic, and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with dried basil, salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in oven for the last 15 minutes of the chicken’s baking time. Remove tomatoes and chicken when done. Plate chicken and top with roasted tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese.

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