Archive for the ‘Wednesday: Recipes!’ Category
Who’s looking for a super simple, super yummy, super kid friendly recipe? Ooo ooo oo! Me! Me!! By now all of my loyal kids belts blog readers know that I am all about simple and quick! I mean, we’re busy people with important lives, who has time to schlep around the kitchen preparing a 5 course meal? Oh… you do? Well, no offense then, but I know I don’t.
One thing my family loves is breakfast for dinner. It’s quick and the kids think it’s funny when the day seems backwards. I saw this idea on Pinterest (seriously, waaaay too many of my conversations start with that phrase) and I thought I’d run with it. Here’s my interpretation of a breakfast pizza.
6 Bacon Slices (either cook the bacon first or buy the precooked)
1 Pkg Crescent Rolls
Shredded Cheddar (to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375. Open the package of crescent rolls and pull the first 2 out, but don’t pull them apart. Instead, leave them in a rectangle shape, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and press the seam together to make one solid piece. Press the dough out to make it thinner and a little bigger. Now take the edges and and fold them up to make it sides to hold in the egg and toppings. This is where you get to decide how to fill it. You can whip up the egg (one egg per pizza) so it’s all blended, you can leave it sunny side up or you can just crack it and break the yolk. Add a little salt and pepper, cheese and top with a slice and a half of bacon. Bake until the crescent roll has browned some and the egg is done to your liking.
The cool thing is that you can top them with really anything. You can add some spinach, onions, broccoli, whatever you like in your omelets! Get creative with this one and tell me how you did it!
Baaaaacon…. Who doesn’t love bacon? No, seriously, who doesn’t? I’d like to know so I can be their friend, that way there will always be extra for me!
Anyway, I’ve been sitting here at my desk, staring at my computer, trying to come up with a recipe to post to this kids belt blog. Normally, this comes to me pretty easily because I just yell down the hallway at Jen, “JEN! I need a recipe!” and she yells back “That’s not all you need!” and we laugh and laugh… She’s sassy like that.
Actually, she usually just puts a recipe on my desk (or sneaks into my WordPress account and posts it for me) on Wednesday mornings. The recipe I chose to share today is a super cute party pleaser (and gluten free which is a plus considering I now need to be gluten free, but more on that later), BLT Bites.
Aren’t these just the cutest little things? If you make them for your next pot luck, everyone will be super impressed.
2 Packs of Cherry Tomatoes
1 lb of Bacon (thick cut)
Dipping Sauce (optional)
2 tbsp Mayo with Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Hot Wing Sauce
Preheat the oven to 400. Place bacon slices on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. While that’s cooking (and making your house smell like a carnivore’s dream), work on the tomatoes and lettuce. Take the romaine and cut it into about 1 inch strips. Slice off the top of each tomato and remove all of the seeds. When the bacon is done, place the slices on paper towels to drain. Once cooled, break them into about 1 inch strips. Now take the lettuce (rolled into a cylinder) and the bacon and stuff it into the tomato. Voila! It’s that simple folks. You can eat them as is, or top them with a dab of mayo, guacamole or mix up a little dipping sauce. My dipping sauce includes all of the above ingredients. I added the spices sparingly until I got the flavor I was looking for.
Hope you enjoy these super simple little bites!
I kind of have a “thing” for spaghetti squash. I shared a Spaghetti Squash Greek Salad recipe a while ago on this kids belts blog and now I have a new one to share, Mexican Spaghetti Squash (replacing like a beans and rice type dish).
I like this squash because it’s so flexible and a great pasta substitute without any of the guilt and who doesn’t love a little guilt free eating? In this recipe, I roast the squash. You can boil it or microwave it (both of which are faster), but I like the flavor it gets from the roasting process.
Mexican Spaghetti Squash
1 Small Spaghetti Squash
1 Can of Low Sodium Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/3 Chopped Onions
1/2 Frozen Corn
1/3 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper
1 Pint Stewed Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the whole squash on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. While that’s cooking, place the oil in a saute pan and add the onions, garlic and peppers. Saute the veggies until translucent. Transfer the veggies to a bigger pot and add in the tomatoes, corn, black beans. Season this mixture to your taste with the chili & garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat. Keep cooking and let it reduce to thicken some. Use an oven mitt to check the squash. It’s done when its tender when you squeeze it. Let the squash sit and cool for a few minutes. Once it’s cool, cut it in half, remove the seeds, and then use a fork to pull the “spaghetti” apart. Take all of the spaghetti and add it to the bean mixture and fold together. Serve warm just a few tortilla chips and top with a little fresh sliced avocado and fresh chopped cilantro.
This makes a great side dish, but if you want it to be a main course, add some diced chicken to the mix. If you like it a little spicier, add a small can of diced green chilies. There are so many options!! Enjoy and make it your own!
Who doesn’t love a good burger? I know I do, but I tend to shy away a bit because of the carbs and fat and so on. However, here in the world of kids belts (Florida) it feels like spring and all I want to do is grill. With that in mind, I decided to take a different approach on burgers. In order to do that, I reached out to my local culinary expert (also known as our Marketing Manager, Jen, notice the title change?) .
She decided to deconstruct the burger, use a beef and turkey blend and toss the bun.
8oz Lean Ground Beef
8oz Lean Ground Turkey
1/4 Cup Chopped Onions
Garlic Powder, Seasoned Salt & Pepper to taste
3/4 Cup Sliced Sweet Peppers
3/4 Cup Sliced Onions
1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Head of Iceberg Lettuce (or a bed of romaine)
Ketchup & Mustard
Fire up the grill. While it’s warming up, mix the lean ground beef, ground turkey and chopped onions together. Form the burger mixture into 4 oz patties and season them with garlic powder and seasoned salt. When the burgers are almost done top them with a little cheese. In small pan I sautéed onions, mushrooms and bell peppers in coconut oil.
I took a head of iceberg lettuce and quartered it. I took out some of the bulk of the lettuce to make it more manageable. Then added sliced tomatoes & pickles. I put the burger on top and added the pepper and onion mix and a little mustard.
They turned out really good! For the kiddos, I made a quesadilla burger with the cheeseburger and peppers and onions. They were thrilled with that because it was a twist on their normal quesadilla!
Do you think you’ll try this out? Why not? It totally filled the hamburger craving without any of the guilt. Happy grilling season! (Hopefully all you guys up north get to grilling season soon…)
I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, but I am always looking for something healthy for the family, so I thought I’d try again. Shrimp are super good for you, did you know that? Yea, me either, but I was reading an article the other day at the kids belts office and it turns out they are!
Shrimp have a bad rep for being, well, bad, but here are just a few reasons to add them back into your diet:
- Weight-loss - Loaded with protein, vitamin D, vitamin B3, and zinc, shrimp are an excellent, carbohydrate-free food for anyone determined to shed off pounds.
- Anti-Aging - Shrimp contain astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives them their pink color and that can act as a potent antioxidant and protect the skin from premature aging. Also the omega-3 fatty acids in shrimp provide antioxidant protection.
- Cancer Fighting -Shrimp are loaded with selenium. Several population studies suggest that the risk of death from cancer, including lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers, is lower among people with a higher intake of the trace mineral selenium.
Now, why wouldn’t you want a food that packs such a powerful health punch in your diet? Exactly!
Well, here is a super simple recipe that’s awfully tasty. It’s sweet from the honey, but with a bite from the lime and the soy and garlic really bring it together.
Soy Honey Lime Shrimp
1 lb peeled, deveined gulf shrimp
4 tbsp lime juice
Zest from the limes
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a bowl combine all of the ingredients except the shrimp and whisk thoroughly. Taste the mixture and adjust accordingly. (Too sweet? Add a little more soy and lime. Too bitter? Add a little more honey and soy. Etc.) Add the raw shrimp to the mixture and let marinate for 30 minutes or more. Place the shrimp on skewers and place on the grill (or grill pan or on a pan and broil in the oven) for about 3 minutes on each side or until they are pretty and pink!
Serve with a few sides and enjoy!
Hi! This is Jen, the kids belts assistant, I’m taking over Michelle’s blog tonight! Why am I taking it over? Because I just made a super yummy dinner and wanted to share the recipe!
In our house, we have been trying to incorporate more avocados into our normal routine. Ok, well, I am trying to incorporate them into my hubby’s diet because they are so good for you and his cholesterol is a little on the high side. I crave avocados but my hubby is not so fond of them. My 3 year old (he wont be 4 until Sept 20th) LOVES anything avocado. In fact, if he has a plate with lots of stuff on it, he will almost always eat the avocado first. I’m blessed with a really good (non-picky) eater.
Anyway, I wanted to make chicken salad tonight, but alas, I was out of mayo. I did, however, have a few ripe avocados. So, I thought to myself, “‘Jen, how would avocado be as a mayo replacement?’ ‘ Wow, Jen, good idea, it’s creamy, it just might work!’” Yes, I hold conversations with myself, don’t judge me. That’s how, out of my brilliant mind, this recipe came be. (I’m really humble, in case you didn’t pick up on that, aren’t you glad I don’t write these all the time?)
Green Chicken Salad
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 & 1/2 Ripe Avocado Cubed
1/3 Cup Diced Onion
3 Boiled Eggs
3/4 Cup Chopped Steamed Asparagus
3 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1 tbsp Light Ranch Dressing
Seasoned Salt, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper & Salt to taste
Optional (I chose to not eat mine on a sandwich)
Mixed Baby Greens
1/4 Cup Roasted Sunflower Seeds
Sliced Green Onions
I started with frozen chicken breasts, mainly because I am a terrible meal planner. I filled a pot about halfway with water, added salt and pepper, chicken breasts and eggs. When the chicken was done, so were the eggs, bonus! While that’s cooking, I put the avocado, onion, lemon juice, celery, ranch in a mixing bowl. I mashed the avocado with a fork while mixing everything together. Then I tossed in the asparagus and mixed again. When the chicken was cooked through, I took it out of the water, let it cool for a bit then chopped it up into bite size pieces and tossed them into the bowl. Then chop up the eggs (please peel them first) and add to the mixture. Stir everything up and taste to check the seasoning. Adjust if needed.
Serve over a bed of mixed baby greens and top with sunflower seeds and sliced green olives.
I hope you enjoy!
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? If that’s the case, then you should know by now that I think the world of my kids belt assistant, Jen, especially her recipes. I decided to
steal borrow another one from her blog (Coffee Beans & Daydreams). You can follow her on Facebook too…
Ok, shameless plugs aside, I really want to try this recipe. It’s similar to my vegetarian lasagna, only no pasta, which seems healthier. I’m excited to try it, I already picked up all of the ingredients. However, here’s a caveat from her about this “recipe”,
Ok, I know I’m not the only one who loves Italian food but doesn’t want the carbs from pasta. Soooo, I threw together a recipe using no pasta. I use the term “recipe” loosely because as anyone who knows me knows I never follow a recipe to the T and if I’m winging it, I don’t write it down. It drives my husband crazy, because we never get the exact same meal twice.
Here’s how I feel, though, food is a feeling, you just have to go with it. I find that I improvise a lot depending on 1. my mood and 2. what’s in my pantry/fridge/freezer….
And now, without further ado…
Sauce Mixture (throw it all in a skillet minus the sauce and cook until meat is cooked thoroughly, you may need to add a splash of olive oil for a little fat. Once the mixture is cooked, add the sauce and heat through.)
1/2 lb Ground Turkey
1/2 Medium Onion Chopped
4 oz (or 1/2 package) Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 Chopped Frozen Spinach (or 1 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Spinach)
1/2 Chopped Broccoli Florets
1 Jar Classico Tomato Sauce
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cheese Mixture (while the above is cooking, mix all of the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
1 Cup Low-Fat Shredded Mozzarella (set aside about a 1/4 cup or so for the top of the lasagna)
1/2 Cup Part Skim Ricotta
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/2 Tbsp Basil (I used the stuff in the squeeze tube found in the produce section)
Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Blend, Oregano, Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Medium Eggplant Peeled and Sliced into Faux Lasagna Noodles (not too thick)
Preheat oven to 375. Take a baking dish (I used 9×9) and add a layer of the sauce mixture, then a layer of raw eggplant “noodles”, then smear a layer of the cheese mixture on top of the eggplant then another layer of sauce. Repeat until you have either filled your pan or run out of ingredients. Top with a final layer of sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is nice and brown!
Ok, here’s a secret, you don’t want the eggplant sliced to thin because they will over-cook and be to mushy, but you don’t want it sliced too thick because it won’t get done. There’s a fine line, but you do still want it to have a little bite so it mimics al dente pasta. It’s also nice because this lasagna recipe doesn’t get watery which is sometimes a problem with lasagna.
Enjoy and feel free to improvise! Live a little!!
I’ll put this to the test tonight. Jen says her 3 year old and husband LOVED it. Moose (her 3 year old) ate an adult size portion and her husband ate all of the leftovers the next day.
Ok, so it’s not exactly soup weather, at least not here at the Florida kids belts factory, but it’s soup weather somewhere, right? I mean my assistant just got back from Indiana and it actually got down to 52 degrees there (being a native Floridian, she’s amazed by this, it doesn’t get in the 50′s here until at least December, if then!).
The basis of this recipe came from her friend in Indiana, but Jen being the cook that she is, tweaks every recipe to make it her own, so here is her version (the original just didn’t have the spinach or croutons):
Savory Spinach & Butternut Squash Soup
One butternut squash, cubed
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
Croutons (store bought or homemade)
Cook onions in a little olive oil till translucent Add garlic Put squash and spinach in pot and just cover with broth Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Blend using a stick blender or food processor until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and top with bought croutons.
You could also roast the squash seeds with a little salt while cooking the soup 350 in the oven on a baking sheet and top your soup with those instead of the croutons. It will add the crunch with out too many added calories.
For added depth of flavor, you could also roast the squash first, until tender, then add to the soup and puree. You could add a variety of squashes, you could add some peppers (like jalapeno or cayenne or Hungarian wax pepper). You could add some smokiness with cumin… So many ideas! So many variations! What would you add or do differently?
However you decided to prepare it, I just hope you enjoy it and maybe share what you’d do differently!
Breakfast tends to be an overlooked meal in our household, mostly because we love our sleep… However, some mornings, when I’m feeling frisky and manage to get up early enough, I throw something together. The other morning, I was in an avocado mood (yes, there is such a thing) and I thought, “hmmm, eggs and avocado, yum!” I grabbed some ingredients and made myself a tasty and healthy breakfast before I headed out the door to the kids belts office.
Egg & Avocado Breakfast Sandwich
1/2 Ripe Avocado
Baby Spinach Leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
Natures Own Wheat (40 Calories a slice)
Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat the pan to medium/high. Crack the egg and drop it in (break the yolk or don’t, it’s up to you). Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper. While that’s cooking, toss the avocado with a little lemon juice and salt and pepper. Place the slices on your bread (or toast if you are adventurous) add a slice or two of tomato and a handful of spinach. Check the egg and flip if it’s ready. Once the egg is done, place it on top of everything else. (At this point I cooked another egg and repeated the process and made 2 open face sandwiches).
Loved it! The creamy avocado replaced the mayo and cheese and provides lots of healthy fats! The spinach adds a nice crunch and the tomato is a nice cool bite in contrast to the hot egg. It was the perfect sandwich. Now, if you are cutting back on carbs, eliminate the bread and it’s just as good. The flavors of all the veggies and the egg go great together. Also, if you don’t like a fried egg, scramble it. Same concept, and the fluffy scrambled eggs ad a new dimension!
Is it true that there is no such thing as bad publicity? Well, let’s just say that here at the kids belts office, we don’t want to risk it.
By now, you have probably gotten wind of the Golden Corral story. If you haven’t, here’s a local clip explaining what happened.
Ouch, that’s a pretty damaging story and the original video has gone viral. How does a restaurant gain back the trust of it’s customers? Obviously, there are two sides to every story, but right now, there’s not a lot coming out from Golden Corral, other than the manager was fired for improper food storage. Here’s a statement from the Golden Corral Facebook page:
I don’t think that passing the blame is the answer. I think that firing the manager is a start, but blaming the guy who blew the whistle doesn’t seem like the right move. He may not have gone about it correctly, but if this was an ongoing problem, maybe he thought it was the only way. Maybe he was just out for the fame, but if the food hadn’t been by the dumpster in the first place, there wouldn’t have been a story. Also, if it was an unscheduled inspection, how did the manager have time to get the food out to the dumpster? And why was it still in pans on the racks instead of in garbage bags?
I don’t know, no matter whose side you take, you have to admit that they have a PR nightmare on their hands. Since the video came out, I have driven by the Golden Corral in question and the parking lot has been deserted and let me tell you since the restaurant opened not even a year ago, the park lot has always been over-flowing.
Here’s who I feel bad for, the current employees, especially the servers who work for tips. No matter what the restaurant chose to do, the employees are now the ones suffering.
I think that it will be interesting to see how this story unfolds and how quickly Golden Corral bounces back.