family of four eating a meal together

3 Recommended All-Inclusive Meals for the Whole Family

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My friend asked me to recommend some dishes that would suit every member of a family – from the youngest toddler to the oldest senior. In addition, she asked for dishes loaded with flavor as well as packed with nutrition. The following three dishes are go-tos for my family: we have all three of them duplicated and ready to go in the freezer. These dishes are all-inclusive meals, meaning that they can be served for dinner without any additional sides. They contain plenty of meat, veggies, and carbs (of the healthy kind). They are low-fat, high-fiber, and loaded with essential nutrients for growing kids. But most importantly, they are delicious and fun to eat! 

These three all-inclusive meals for the whole family have my doctor's and mom's stamps of approval: Turkish Lentil Soup, Chinese Baozi, and Spanish Rice.


all-inclusive meals for the whole family: Turkish lentil soup


Turkish Lentil Soup


  • Red Onion
  • Carrots
  • 1 Part Lentils (best to soak them overnight before cooking)
  • 6 Parts Chicken/Vegetable Broth
  • Butter
  • Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Pepper flakes, Paprika
  • Tomato Paste
  • Lemon
  • Mint

Finely chop the onion and carrot. Sauté in butter until slightly soft (not browned). Add lentils, broth, and seasoning. Simmer until lentils are soft. Use a blender to make it smooth, then add the seasonings to taste.

Garnish with lemon and mint and serve with pita or bread.

The soup can easily accomodate ground beef or seared beef chunks as well. Total Preparation Time: 2 hours


all-inclusive meals for the whole family: Chinese baozi


Chinese Baozi

Baozi Filling:

  • 1 kilo Ground Pork
  • 1/2 kilo Shrimp (cleaned and ground)
  • 3 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 3 tsp Five Spice
  • 2-3 Green Onions
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro
  • 1 cup Chinese Dried Mushrooms (hydrated and chopped)
  • 1 medium piece Ginger Root
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 cups finely chopped Napa Cabbage

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and fill with hot water. Place another bowl on top to hold them down in the water to hydrate and set aside.

Clean and grind the shrimp and pork. Chop the cabbage into very fine pieces. Finely chop or food processor chop the following ingredients: green onions, cilantro, mushrooms, and ginger. Mix everything together.

Baozi Dough:

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 3 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 tbsp White Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1-1 1/2 cups Warm Water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add warm water a little at a time. Thoroughly mix before adding more. Knead the dough until thoroughly mixed. It should be slightly dry and not sticky. Place in a covered bowl somewhere high to ferment for at least an hour.

Once doubled in size, punch out the air and work the dough into a roll. Let rest, then cut into pieces. Roll out the pieces with a rolling pin into slightly thick skins. Fill the center of the skins with a little spoonful of filling. Then wrap the skin around the filling and pinch off at the top.

Steam or pan fry the baozi. Total Preparation Time: 3 hours


all-inclusive meals for the whole family: Spanish rice


Spanish Rice


  • 2 cups Rice
  • 1 large Onion
  • 3-6 cloves Garlic
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 small container Tomato Sauce
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Butter

Chop the onion and garlic, then fry in a pan in butter until softened. Add in oregano, pepper, and rice and fry until some of the rice starts to slightly brown. Transfer to a rice cooker pot and add tomato paste and chicken broth. Cook until tender. Alternatively, leave in the pan and do the same, cooking covered on low until tender. Adding ground beef as an option can be done after frying the onion and garlic. Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Featured Photo: Source // All opinions are my own.

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