Archive for March, 2011

I don’t know why I haven’t shared this recipe with you sooner. If you have a picky eater, this chicken dish may just be something that your whole family can enjoy. The trick is to get the thinnest chicken cutlet as possible. I will often lay the cutlets out, cover them with Saran Wrap and tenderize them. Basically, I beat them thinner.    :o)

You can use this same recipe with turkey cutlets or beef cutlets as well. This inexpensive recipe can feed an entire family for less then going out to fast food. It is also a lot healthier.

As you use this recipe you will find that you do not need to measure out the flour or bread crumbs. You just add more if you run out!

Put flour on a plate (1 cup?)Add salt and pepper to flour and mix with your fingers.

Beat 2 eggs in a bowl.

Put bread crumbs in a bowl

Take your thin cutlet and roll in flour mixture. Then dip into egg and coat in bread crumbs.

Heat olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add cutlets after oil is hot. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or when you think they are done. *Be careful when cooking with hot oil. Make sure your little ones are in the other room since it can splatter.

Squeeze fresh lemon juice on cutlets.

This can be used as a topping on salads or for a meal. I usually serve it with rice and broccoli. If you missed my broccoli recipe, you should check it out. It can be prepared ahead of time and uses lemon juice as well :o)

Enjoy! My kids LOVE when I make this. It is so easy and quick. You can make an entire home cooked meal in under 15 minutes.

This recipe goes over really well at my house. A friend gave it to me a few years ago and we have been enjoying it ever since!

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

4 (4 oz) skinned, chicken breast halves (I have used boneless breasts as well)

1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Sprinkle thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of salt over chicken. Add chicken to pan; saute for 6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, preserves, vinegar and pepper to pan. (I use extra preserves and vinegar for extra sauce.) Stir constantly until preserves melt. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

This recipe is quick, easy and really really good :o)

A quick and easy idea for a child’s party or family night is to have a make your own pizza party. You can find pizza dough  at any grocery store, and often times a pizza parlor will sell you uncooked pizza dough. *Just make sure you call in advance and ask. It is also easy enough to make.

2-1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 Tablespoons Yeast

2 teaspoons salt

6-6-1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In mixer, mix yeast and water. Let stand for a couple of minutes to activate yeast. Add salt and olive oil. Add flour slowly until dough forms. Mix on low . Dough should stick to hook but should not be tacky to the touch. Keep adding more flour until desired consistency is reached.

*I like to let the dough rise for about an hour as it is easier to work with. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Optimal to rise in oven with a little steam (80-90 degrees)

Now you can either buy or make your own pizza sauce. Next, get the toppings. Experiment with different cheeses, vegetables and meats.  Cut them up and put them in separate bowls. Let each person make their own pizza and then put them in the oven. I use pizza stones, but cookie sheets will work as well.

Dessert? How about make your own sundaes or decorating cookies or cupcakes? Each person will love making their own personal creations! This will save you money and time with a child’s party because it saves you the trouble of buying and orchestrating the “party games.”

*Left over pizza toppings work great for omelets*

Looking for that real mayonnaise taste without the unwanted eggs, dairy products, over-refined sweeteners, fillers, gums, colorings, preservatives, etc? Look no further then Vegenaise. This condiment is perfect for those watching their cholesterol or someone with allergies. Vegenaise actually tastes good. It is one substitution that you won’t mind making. Your kids will love it. It comes in 4 different varieties: original, grapeseed oil, organic and expeller-pressed. I used to only be able to find it at organic markets, but now it is available at my neighborhood grocery store. Vegenaise is a great alternative to mayo! You should try it!

I love the fact that at any grocery store or farmers market, you are able to get a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Every grocery store in our area imports fruits and vegetables that I didn’t even know existed! You don’t have to try crazy foods in order to get your kids to, but we think it is fun to try new fruits and vegetables. (Often times the store puts on a sign how these foods are best prepared, but if not a simple internet search will find plenty of recipes!)

I’m not going to tell you the importance of fruits and vegetables because, let’s face it, you know. One way to find out what your kids like is to give them a lot of options. It doesn’t have to cost a lot either. Cutting all the vegetables will be the most time consuming part, but having a healthy snack is the best part! Get the entire family involved. Prepare your “platter” on a weekend and snack on it all day long. Leftovers? Stir fry it up for dinner!

Some great options for vegetable platters

Broccoli, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Cucumbers, Cauliflower, Green peppers, Red peppers, orange peppers, yellow peppers, radish, celery, tomatoes…..

You can also purchase salad dressing or dip packets for under a dollar and mix it with 8 oz of sour cream for a dip.

Your kids may just pick up a vegetable when it is right in front of them. Maybe they like green beans….try them uncooked with dip.

Fruit platters are another great way to get kids to snack on healthy foods. You can incorporate different types of cheese as well. Left over fruit can be made into a fruit salad or used on top of yogurt.

Good luck…you never know what your kids may like!

This recipe contains both peanuts and peanut butter. Most pediatricians do not recommend giving your children peanuts and/or peanut butter until they are at  least one. Please make sure if there are little kids around that these snacks are kept in a safe place!

This healthy snack is quick and easy to make. It is perfect for outings and camping. It only takes 10 minutes to throw together and makes 14 servings.

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1.2 cup finely chopped peanuts

1 small banana

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

Mash together banana and peanut butter. Stir in wheat germ. Roll individual tablespoons into balls.

Mix mini chocolate chip and chopped peanuts in separate bowl.

Roll the balls in the chocolate chip and peanut mixture.

Chill until firm.

These little balls of energy will keep your kids full and energized. Have a great day!
-Heather

My kids love soup, so I always try different recipes. My friend gave me this recipe a few years ago and my kids love it.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1-1/2 lbs Italian sausage

2 onions chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon red peper flakes

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes

6 cups chicken broth

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

8 oz fusilli pasta

1/2 cup finely chopped basil

8 oz. ricotta

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of Pepper

2 cups Shredded Mozzarella

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat

2. Add sausage, and saute-breaking it up into small pieces

3. Drain excess fat

4. Add onions and saute for 6 minutes

5. Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes; saute for 1 min

6. Ass tomato paste and saute until paste turns a rusty brown color

7. Add tomatoes with juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil

8. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes

9. Add pasta, increase heat to medium-high and boil the soup until pasta is tender to the bite

10. Stir in basil, season with salt and pepper to taste

11. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pinch of pepper

12. To serve, place about 1-1/2 tablespoons of Ricotta mixture in each bowl, sprinkle with mozzarella and ladle the soup on top.

Enjoy :o) This soup is perfect for a cold rainy Sunday

2 slices extra-thick cut bacon,  dice
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
Salt
2 plump cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup brown lentils
1 14.5 ounce can plum tomatoes with their juice, cut or torn into pieces
5 cups water
Chunk of parmesan rind (optional)
1 cup cooked al dente, drained and rinsed ditalini or other small pasta shape
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For serving:
Best-quality fruity olive oil
Grated parmesan
Coarse grindings black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and stir to coat in the oil. Allow to cook until softened and translucent. Add the onions, celery and carrots; stir. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Tip in the lentils and stir to coat. Add the tomatoes, their juices, the water, a pinch of salt and optional Parmesan rind. Bring soup up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just about fully tender, 20-30 minutes. Add the ditalini and cook an additional ten minutes until the pasta is cooked to taste. Correct seasoning with salt.
  2. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of good olive oil, grated Parmesan and black pepper.

This hearty lentil meal goes over very well in my house. My kids and my husband LOVE when I make it. It is relatively quick and easy to make and I typically have the ingredients around. I found this website on TLC.com a few weeks ago and I have made it about once a week since. Special thanks to Buddy and Kitchen Boss for this awesome recipe.

This healthy recipe is a great “dip” that your kids will enjoy. 3 ingredients/2 minutes or less and all you need is a food processor or blender.

2-3 Avocados

1 container of fresh salsa (you can make your own salsa if you prefer)

*Make sure you get mild salsa so your guacamole is not spicy

2-3 limes

Take avocados and remove skin and pit. Add green fruit to blender or food processor

*With older kids you could use a fork or potato masher  to mash up avocado, but for younger kids I recommend a blended smooth texture.

Add salsa to food processor as well. Blend well. Add the juice of 2-3 limes (to taste) blend again.

There are many different uses for this healthy “dip.” It is perfect for dipping tortilla chips in (I use multigrain). It is also a great substitution for mayonnaise on sandwiches. It can be used on tacos or salads.

Avocados contain more potassium then bananas.  They are also rich in B vitamins, as well as Vitamins E and K. They are high in fiber and help promote healthy cholesterol levels. This power fruit is also rich in health promoting fats.

Looking for a quick and healthy dinner option?

My kids and my husband absolutely LOVE when I make this meal!

Cut chicken into small pieces (You can use left over cooked chicken if you have any. If you are using left overs, you do not need to cook it first.)

Add to pan and cook on stove top. Remove from pan and remove excess grease.

Butter 1 wrap/tortilla (I use whole wheat)

Add buttered wrap to pan over medium heat

Add chicken, pinto beans and cheese (I use cheddar) Sometimes I add cut up avacado. *Only put filling on one half of the tortilla.

Fold wrap in half. Continue to cook until wrap is brown and cheese is melted. Flip.

You can give your kids salsa or sour cream to dip their quesadilla in. I typically cut up tomatoes as well because my kids will just eat the pieces.

This recipe is easy, fun and filling. It is a healthier alternative when you are pressed for time, or when you are looking for something new and different. Aren’t you always looking for something to do with your left over grilled chicken? Enjoy~