Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No Butter Spinach Berry Oatmeal Cookies for the Whole Family

I thought of this idea a few weeks ago, and finally decided to try coming up with a recipe yesterday. I wanted to bake a cookie that I could give to my toddler and not feel guilty after. This cookie is made without butter, and is jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants for you and your little one. The best part, it actually tastes good! My husband had 3 last night, and my little one was so excited when I told him we were going to have cookies for a snack! This is for little ones 12+ months who are ready for finger food.

Here's what you need (makes 12 to 16 cookies)
5 oz organic baby spinach puree (or you can use 1 Plum organic Spinach Peas and Pear baby food pouch)
1/4 + 1 tbsp cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups stoneground wheat flour
1 packet Trader Joe's organic Oats & Flax instant oatmeal (or 1/4 cup quick cooking oats and 1/4 cup flaxseed)
3/4 cup dried mixed berries (these come in a package at any grocery store. My blend had blueberries, cherries, plums, and cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cookie sheet (I used cooking spray). Mix veggie puree with sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended. Gradually stir in flour, oats and flax. Stir until smooth. Add dried berries and stir again. Spoon cookie dough onto cookie sheets. Place in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Broccoli Crunch Salad

I made this yesterday to bring to a Memorial Day BBQ. It's a great alternative to your everyday salad, and it's super yummy too. This salad has three main ingredients: broccoli, cabbage and carrots. This simple salad packs a super nutritious punch. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and fiber. It's also a great source of antioxidants. Red cabbage is a super nutritious food that contains disease-fighting properties that offer antioxidants and anti-cancer benefits. Red cabbage is also a great source of fiber and vitamin A. Carrots are also a great source of beta carotene and vitamin A. You can serve this as a yummy lunch or a side dish with dinner. This is for older kids (like 4+ years) and adults. Enjoy!

Here's what you need: Serves 4 to 6
For the dressing:
2 pkgs beef flavored seasoning from the Ramen noodles
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Mix together in food processor do not add dressing to salad until ready to serve (the salad will get soggy if you add too soon)

Salad ingredients:
5 organic heads of fresh broccoli cut into florets
1/2 head of red cabbage chopped
2 cups thinly sliced organic carrots
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 pkgs ramen noodles crunched
1 cup sliced almonds

Mix together in a large salad bowl and add dressing when ready to serve and mix again. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Zucchini Muffins for the Whole Family

As my son is getting older, and more aware of the different types of food I put in front of him, he is becoming quite skilled at eating around the veggies. Now there are some veggies that he loves and will eat no matter what, but others will end up on the floor or left on his tray. As a result, I sneak the other veggies into his food by mixing them into muffins or meatballs, etc.... I do secretly feel like an evil genius when he's eating said muffins and meatballs and loving them. I'm definitely doing the evil "HA HA HA" laugh in my head thinking how I got him to secretly eat the veggies.

Now onto the muffins. I made a discovery about a month ago when I was baking bread and realized I didn't have all the veggies I wanted to put in it. I went to my pantry and grabbed a baby food veggie pouch and put it in the batter instead. The bread came out moist and tasted like the veggies in the pouch! Seriously one of the greatest baking discoveries I've made! So much easier to use the veggie pouch, especially when you're short on time caring for a toddler. With the muffins, I used mashed banana, and then 1 Plum Organics zucchini banana pouch. If you can't find that one you can use any pouch or baby container with squash or spinach, or puree your own zucchini if you have time. These muffins are for little ones 10+ months who are ready for finger foods.

Here's what you need: Makes 12 muffins
2 cups stoneground whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 Plum Organics zucchini banana pouch or 1 large zucchini pureed
2 eggs beaten

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, stir together butter and brown sugar until it gets creamy. Add mashed banana, zucchini, and egg to the brown sugar and butter mixture. Stir until smooth. Add banana mixture to flour and stir until well combined. Lightly grease a muffin tray, and spoon the mixture into each slot on tray (one to two spoonfuls per slot). Place in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Let cool, serve and enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tuscan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables for the Whole Family

I was looking through my recipes this weekend and rediscovered this recipe. I have not made this in years and forgot how yummy it is! The first time I made this meal was at my bachelorette party. Yes, I love cooking so much that my bridesmaids surprised me with a cooking class as part of my bachelorette party. It was the perfect surprise! Now, so many years later, here I am making this meal for my family. This is for little ones 10+ months who are ready for finger foods. You can also puree this for little ones 8+ months. 

Here's what you need for 4 servings:
6 Roma or Plum tomatoes
3 medium zucchini
1 fennel bulb 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
3/4 tsp salt, divided
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 chicken breast halves, skinless, bone-in (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary or 1 tsp dried
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and remove the seeds. Trim the zucchini and cut in half crosswise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise once if the piece is thin and twice if it is thicker, so that the pieces are relatively uniform. Remove the outermost layer of the fennel bulb and discard. Cut the bulb in half so that each half retains part of the stem end. Cut each half into 8 thin wedges so each wedge is held together by a little piece of stem. Put the vegetables into a large baking pan. Toss them with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan with the vegetables. In a small bowl combine 1 tbsp of oil, 1/2 tsp salt, the garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Rub the mixture into the chicken in the pan. Season with pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then give the vegetables a stir and add the rosemary. Cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken is done and the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. Serve and enjoy! Cut off bone and into little pieces for your little one (serving size is between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup). If pureeing cut up chicken and veggies and place in food processor with a little water. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lemon Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Spinach and Tomatoes for the Whole Family

I found this recipe a few weeks ago on pinterest. This is easy to make and sure to impress! You can serve this as a meal with the chicken sausage, grilled chicken, or shrimp, or you can serve it minus the protein as a side dish. Either way this pasta dish is sure to be a hit with your whole family. This is for little ones ready for finger food. Remember to cut your little one's portion up into bite size pieces.

You can find this recipe and other yummy recipes here. The only things I substituted from the original recipe is whole wheat pasta, and regular milk instead of heavy cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baked Ziti for the Whole Family

This is another great recipe from weight watchers that the whole family can enjoy. I love baked ziti, and this is the best baked ziti I have ever had. What makes it the best is that it's healthy and delicious! My whole family loved it. You can serve this to little ones ready for finger food (approx 10-12+ months).

Here's what you need:
1 package whole wheat ziti
1 package sweet Italian turkey sausage (casing removed)
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium green bell pepper chopped
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
2 tbsp canned tomato paste
10 oz frozen organic green peas
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Crumble the sausage meat into a large saucepan and brown over medium heat, stirring often, about 4 minutes.

Drain off any fat, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, peas, tomato paste, oregano, basil, thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook uncovered 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the cooked pasta and half the cheese. Spread evenly into a 9- X 13-inch baking pan. Top evenly with the remaining cheese.

Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Remember to cut everything up into small pieces for your little one. Enjoy!
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