Here is the second of the two kid-friendly recipes I promised this week. I’ve actually been making these a lot, simply because we get tired of plain old sandwiches for lunch. Joel works from home, so I struggle with trying to think up tasty, quick lunches all week.
I don’t make these too often, because, clearly, they’re not the healthiest, but when you’ve got a teething toddler who doesn’t have any interest in eating all of the sudden, you’ll do what you can to make meals fun. However, I do use the reduced fat crescent rolls for these instead of the regular. Cassidy still hasn’t gotten past pulling her’s apart and eating the meat and cheese separate- but hey, whatever keeps her happy, I guess.
Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups
1 roll refrigerated reduced fat crescent roll dough, such as Pillsbury
8 slices deli ham
8 slices cheddar or swiss cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unroll the crescent dough and spread a little mustard on each triangle. Lay a slice of ham, then cheese on each triangle, then roll up, starting with the wide end. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 11-13 minutes, until golden brown. Serves 2-3 as a lunch; or 6-8 as a snack.
Recipe source: Gooseberry Patch’s Kids in the Kitchen cookbook
Let’s say hypothetically, you’ve had a day from you-know-where; maybe hypothetically, your sweet, precious little angel had somehow transformed into a squealing, screaming, whining, hitting little devil. [hypothetically] Perhaps the little tike dropped her toy espresso maker on your foot at just the right angle, so as to make each step you take after that excruciatingly painful. And then, perhaps, upon trying to give her a hug, the little sweetheart tried to slap your face away and ended up cutting your gums with her adorable little fingernail. HYPOTHETICALLY. 12 screaming tantrums, 4 thrown sippy cups, and 1 disappointingly short nap later, it’s dinner time. Joy. And since your precious cherub is teething, getting her to eat anything is darn near impossible. And don’t forget the fact that you let her eat Chick-fil-a nuggets for lunch, so whatever you cook needs to be healthy. Go ahead, supermom. Get in that kitchen and make some magic! And don’t forget to whistle a happy tune while you do it!
Luckily, I have recipes like this one on standby. Quick, easy, and good for you. My 3 requirements. And when I’ve had the (ahem, hypothetical) day from you-know-where (by the way, my freaking foot is still throbbing…), I can pull this dinner off in less than 30 minutes. Remember that awesome roasted broccoli I just shared with you? Well guess what- it’s GREAT on pizza! And Cassidy loves it! Mommy: 1; Rotten day: 0!
Roasted Veggie Pizza
4 personal-sized thin pizza crusts (I use store-bought, but feel free to make your own)
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 heaping cup button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the broccoli, red pepper, and mushrooms in a little olive oil and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
Make your pizzas: spread each pizza crust with a thin layer of pizza sauce. Top with roasted veggies, then cheese. Bake in the preheated oven (still at 400) for about 8 minutes, until crust is crisp and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Moms: do you have trouble getting your little ones to eat their veggies? Well don’t give up! Green vegetables like peas, spinach, green beans, broccoli, kale, etc are so, so good for our growing kiddos! I understand the struggle – up until I started cooking it like this, I could never get Cassidy to eat her broccoli. She loves peas and green beans, but it seemed like no matter what I did, she wouldn’t touch broccoli. Probably because it tastes like flavorless mush by the time I finish steaming it. But broccoli fixed this way? She can’t get enough and I’m thrilled!
It’s SO simple- toss your broccoli florets with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast it at 400 for about 15-20 minutes. That’s it and it’s WONDERFUL! The broccoli gets nice and soft, but it’s still bursting with flavor. I’m a huge fan of roasting any vegetables since it brings out the flavor so beautifully, and I have to say, I think roasted broccoli is my new favorite.
…just make sure you burn a candle or open a window since we all know how stinky it is to cook broccoli. A small price to pay for a delicious, healthy side dish, right?
1 head fresh broccoli, cut up into bite-size pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the broccoli with the olive oil, then spread onto a baking sheet lined with foil (this makes cleanup a snap!) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, turning the broccoli over halfway through cooking. Edges should be slightly dark and broccoli will be tender when done. Serves 2-3 as a side dish.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original, although, this is not a new concept
I like to set goals. It’s my thing. Even if it’s tiny and insignificant, I’ll still try my hardest and do everything I can to achieve it. I’ve done it all my life, and I’m sure I’ll do it the rest of my days. Some big (really big!) goals I’ve set for myself over the years have been college (private school isn’t cheap, and my goal was to get as many scholarships as I could to help out), grad school, singing with Fort Worth Opera, Joel (probably the greatest achievement of my life!), and so many more! Nowadays, my goals tend to be more family-related, such as putting healthy, homemade meals on the table at least 5 nights a week. It’s a challenge, but it’s definitely doable! Especially with quick and easy meals like this one!
This is actually an old recipe from a few years back, but since it’s one of our favorites, I thought it could use some updating. This is as simple a dish as they come and comforting and hearty to boot. Like I said, it’s a family favorite and I make it all. the. time. Cassidy loves it.
Beefy Noodle Bake
1 1/2 pounds lean, ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup onion, chopped
8 ounces egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, brown the beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat; drain fat. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar and black pepper; reduce to low heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Combine Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and cream cheese in a bowl; mix well and stir into the beef mixture.
Place the noodles in a greased 9×13 baking dish and top with the beef mixture. Top with cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbling. Serves 6.
Recipe source: heavily adapted from Gooseberry Patch ‘Best Ever Casseroles’
It’s pretty hard trying to be healthy when you’re a recovering sweets-aholic. I’ve been almost 100% good over the past few months, but to be perfectly honest, most days I find myself daydreaming about giant slices of dark, dreamy, moist, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (seriously- have a look at my pinterest boards…). So what’s a girl to do when those (really, really) bad cravings hit?? Recipes like this one save my life!
I love Greek yogurt anyway, but add in smooth peanut butter, vanilla, and mini chocolate chips, and mama’s HAPPY, y’all! I really love this little trick- it satisfies even my worst cravings and helps keep me on track. Plus, the added protein in my diet helps me burn fat and stay satisfied longer! Double win!
Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt
1 small container (6 oz.) plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon agave nectar, honey, or other sweetener of choice
Mix peanut butter, vanilla, sweetener, and chocolate chips directly into yogurt cup. Eat immediately. Serves 1.
Recipe source: my fridge food
I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about summer is the fresh corn on the cob. Our grocery store will usually have them for around 5 for a dollar, so I stock up! We grill them, roast them, make salads, casseroles and all kinds of awesome dishes. But right now, fresh corn on the cob isn’t in season, so I’m stuck with frozen. Luckily, I found this tip about how to make oven roasted corn using frozen kernels. I was so intrigued I just had to try it.
I’m not going to say it’s as sweet and awesome as fresh-off-the-cob, but hey, in a bind, it works great! I added in some red and green peppers and my family gobbled it up!
[Short Cut] Oven Roasted Corn
1 bag frozen corn kernels
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the frozen corn with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for about 10 minutes until corn begins to blister slightly. Serve immediately.
Recipe source: adapted from Bev Cooks
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone who reads this blog: I love sweets. Rich, decadent desserts are my thing. Give me a big plate of warm chocolate chip cookies or brownies or chocolate cake and I’m a happy girl. BUT eating all the sweets you want doesn’t really fit into a post-partum way of life. Joel and I are both working really hard on watching what we eat, plus now that Cassidy eats whatever we eat, I’m super picky about what I cook. I don’t want her growing up eating junk food, so I’ve been working really hard at cooking healthy, all-natural meals the whole family can enjoy. But what about my poor sweet tooth?? Am I supposed to just give up sweets cold turkey? I say no.
That’s why I LOVE recipes like this- they incorporate something super good for you, while satisfying the old sweet tooth at the same time! Win-win! I’m not going to lie and say you can’t detect the avocado in this pudding- you can (barely). But for an avocado lover like me, I thought it was awesome. SO smooth and creamy! It honestly tastes so decadent and rich; nothing like you would expect “health food” to taste. Joel and I were both wowed by this pudding and I’ll be making it again and again. And while I’m on this little health kick, maybe next I’ll try black bean brownies!
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
2 ripe medium avocados, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup milk (regular or almond milk, coconut, etc.)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients, until smooth, in a food processor or blender. Serve immediately or chill first. Serves 2-3
Recipe source: my friend Nikki at Seeded at the Table; originally from Forgiving Martha
Ok, I realize “World Nutella Day” was yesterday, but better late than never, right?
This is possibly one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever posted, considering every ingredient is store-bought. But hey, sometimes life can get a little crazy and you just need a recipe like this. All it takes is canned crescent roll dough, nutella, and sugar, and in minutes you’ll have a warm, gooey, comforting snack, breakfast, or dessert. Yes, please! These would actually be really cute (and quick!) for the kids’ Valentine’s Day breakfast- maybe even use a little pink decorating sugar and it’s just downright festive!
Quick and Easy Nutella Crescents
1 can refrigerated Pillsbury crescent roll dough
sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a little nutella (about one tablespoon per triangle) on each triangle of dough. Starting with the big end, roll into a crescent shape and sprinkle generously with sugar. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately. Makes 8 crescents.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Packing sucks. I think pretty much every person in the entire worlds knows this. For me, it’s not so much putting my things in boxes, but having a mess everywhere I turn and not being able to easily walk through my own house without tripping over a giant box. That’s the part I hate. Izzy hates it all. She hates us moving, she hates the packing, the boxes everywhere, and the general stress that goes along with moving. Poor doggie. I keep telling her she’s getting a huuuuge backyard upgrade, but I don’t think she cares at the moment.
Cassidy, on the other hand, is still happy as a clam. She doesn’t care that we have a ga-jillion more boxes to pack…when it’s playtime, it’s PLAYTIME, people! Hmm, maybe that’s why I don’t seem to have gotten anything done….
That’s where these simple pizzas come in. There is ZERO time for cooking when there are boxes to be packed. I just don’t have time to spare in the kitchen. Not to mention, all my pots and pans are packed. I used whole wheat bagel thins for these and they were really good- I like the bread-to-topping ratio. I can see a lot of these in our future once we move. There’s nothing easier, and they’re pretty darn tasty too!
2 whole wheat bagel thins (or regular bagels, if you prefer)
shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 a green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
thinly sliced button mushrooms
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lay the bagel halves in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
Spread bagel thins with marinara and top with the vegetables, salt and pepper, then the cheese, using as much of each ingredient as you like. Place back in the oven for an additional 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serves 2.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
I have to admit, it’s been over six months since giving birth to Cassidy and I’m still having trouble losing the last bit of weight. We’ve been watching our portions and trying (TRY-ing) to cut back on sweets. However, for me, this proves veeeerrrry difficult…I can’t be expected to quit cold turkey! That’s why recipes like this make me happy- I still get my sweet fix, but I don’t have to feel so guilty afterwards!
This one couldn’t be easier- a box of angel food cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple. I loooove angel food cake, and the addition of pineapple makes it even yummier! Just bake it up in little cupcake liners and you have the perfect portion sizes! (of course, then, you’ll have to practice a little self control and not eat 12…..).
Pineapple Angel Cakes
1 box angel food cake mix
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the pineapple into the cake mix and pour into cupcake pans lined with cupcake liners (you’ll have enough batter to fill around 24 cups).*
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Cool before serving. Serves 24.
*You can also bake in a 9×13 pan or a tube pan.
Recipe source: adapted from allrecipes.com