Looking for super easy healthy meals that are allergy-friendly, kid-approved, and ready in 20 minutes or less? These are my top three go-to meals as a busy working mom whose family has severe diet restrictions. Enjoy!
MY FAMILY'S DIETARY NEEDS
For the longest time, I struggled to find dinner ideas that met my family’s restrictive dietary needs. Between the five of us, we need meals that are:
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- Soy free, and
- Nightshade free (This food group includes common staples like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, paprika, and more! For more on why nightshades can be so problematic for some people, see here. Long story but cutting these out was the ONLY THING that solved my husband’s horrible migraine problem!)
I used to LOVE cooking, but coming up with dinner ideas that met all these criteria drove me crazy! And, worst of all, a lot of things I found at first were things my three kids (ages six & under) wouldn’t touch.
After a lot of experimenting and adapting, I’ve finally got a long list of fast, easy, healthy dinners that my kids love and I can make quickly. Take it from me: these nightshade-free dinner recipes are seriously the best easy meals for busy moms!
And best of all, I promise: they’re DELICIOUS! You’ll never know what you’re missing!
EASY-PEASY BURRITO BOWLS
- 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (already cooked!)
- 2 cups rice (preferably already soaked & neutralized for ~24 hours; see here for more on why it’s important to neutralize the phytic acid & enzyme inhibitors in foods like this)
- Beans (black, pinto, kidney…any kind works!)
- [Feel free to add any other toppings of your choice, especially if you DON’T have diet restrictions ;)]
- Bring rice to a boil in a large, enameled cast iron pot. (I absolutely adore my Le Creuset one, but this Amazon version is way cheaper and does a great job, too!)
- As the rice starts to boil, skim the scum (the foamy stuff on top) from the surface with a large spoon. Throw this away once cool. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for ~10 minutes, stirring as needed.
- While rice is cooking, dice cooked chicken into small-ish cubes.
- Drain canned beans, corn, and olives and place into separate serving bowls.
- Peel and dice ripe avocado.
- Slice pre-washed lettuce.
- When rice is done, put a scoop onto a plate or bowl. Have each person add their preferred toppings.
- Serve & enjoy!
ONE-POT CHICKEN & NOODLES
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 pkg. gluten-free spaghetti (we like this kind)
- 2-3 carrots
- 2-3 stalks celery
- 32-oz. chicken broth
- 2 tsp. salt
- Pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 tsp. sugar
- Dice raw chicken into 1-inch cubes.
- Wash carrots and celery. Slice into small pieces.
- Drizzle olive oil into a large, enameled cast iron pot. (Again, I use this Le Creuset one, but the Amazon version is great, too!) Make sure bottom of pot is thoroughly covered with oil.
- Place diced chicken into pot.
- Add spaghetti noodles atop chicken. (I typically break the noodles in half and arrange in various directions.)
- Add carrots and celery.
- Add salt, pepper, and sugar.
- Pour chicken broth on top.
- Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil. As the heat rises, check periodically to make sure chicken isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- When it starts to boil, stir to ensure all ingredients are well mixed, re-cover with lid, and turn heat down to medium-low. Let cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When noodles are soft, remove pot from heat and let sit covered for 10-15 minutes. (This helps the sauce thicken even more.)
- Serve & enjoy!
GOOD OL' BACON SANDWICHES
- 1-2 pkgs. bacon
- Gluten-free bread
- Mayonnaise (we use this yummy canola mayo that’s entirely soy-free)
- Avocado (optional)
- Carrots, cucumber, and any other sides you want (I always wash our fruits & veggies with this all-natural spray first)
- Cook bacon. (We’re obsessed with this nonstick ceramic griddle–it cooks bacon soooo evenly and quickly, and I never have to worry about the nonstick surface flaking off! It’s also super easy to clean. Win-win!)
- Toast bread (if desired).
- Spread mayo onto bread.
- Add lettuce, bacon, and avocado (if desired). (Again, we can’t do tomatoes but if you can, by all means–add them!)
- Add baby carrots & sliced cucumber as sides.
- Serve & enjoy!
The resources below have been invaluable in helping me navigate my family’s various dietary needs. There’s so much wisdom in here, along with such great recipes and reasons why taking care of ourselves really isn’t as hard as we might think. I highly, highly recommend them, even if you don’t struggle with dietary limitations or issues like ours!
NOTE: This page includes affiliate links to products I personally use and love. If you purchase a product using an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission (at absolutely no additional cost to you). I also participate in the Amazon Associates affiliates program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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