Quick for Kids
When I first approached my kids about having lettuce wraps for dinner I was greeted to a collective yawn. Not so when I mentioned we’d be having lettuce tacos. Sometimes, getting your kids to eat more greens is all in the phrasing.
You can fill your lettuce tacos with whatever fillings you usually use on taco night – or go for something different. We decided on a Thai-themed version.
Thai Taco Recipe
! head Boston or Romaine lettuce*
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. white pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper (opt.)
Salt to taste (I prefer sea salt on this one)
Thai slaw (opt.)
1 1/2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 tbsps. Greek or Italian vinaigrette salad dressing (I use Matsos)
2 tbsps. mayo
Salt and pepper to taste
- Sriracha sauce
- Chopped bell red pepper
- Golden raisins
- Wash and clean the lettuce pieces – try to keep them as large as possible.
- Meanwhile, add the oil to a large saute pan and bring to medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the hot pan and saute until no longer pink. Stir in the garlic and seasonings. Finish cooking through (about 5-7 minutes total, depending on how small you diced the chicken pieces). Remove from pan; squeeze the chicken with the juice from the fresh lime.
- Lay out your DIY tacos with filling ingredients – lettuce pieces, chicken, red peppers, golden raisins, slaw, Sriracha and let your kiddos serve themselves.
*Use Boston lettuce leaves (for softer tacos) or Romaine lettuce (for a stiffer taco)
Admission: I’m a Broncos fan and fully expect them to win the Super Bowl this Sunday (even though Peyton Manning has a 0-4 playoff game record when it comes to temps under 40 degrees).
These easy chocolate almond footballs are a fun way to dress up your Super Bowl party table or top game-day cupcakes.
Here’s how to make them.
- Melt a few wafers of white almond bark in the microwave.
- Use a toothpick to draw the threads on chocolate almonds (tasty football stand-ins).
- Place the almonds on waxed paper to set. That’s it!
I’m happily drowning in apples around my house–we’re snapping up every last Honey Crisp apple until the season is over. But all those extra apples need a place to go (when we’re not munching on them). My idea? Waffles. To up the apple-y flavor I thinned the batter with apple cider and a touch of maple flavoring.
But I wanted these apple waffles to be filling enough to serve for dinner. So I used plain Greek yogurt for a dose of protein in the mix and added in some whole-wheat flour. Walnuts round out the nutrient boost to make these waffles worthy of dinner.
Servings: 5 waffles
Prep time: 10 minutes + baking
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup all-purpose, 1/2 cup whole-wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt
4 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup apples, diced small
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup apple cider
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped small
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
- Preheat your waffle iron.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk together yogurt, butter, milk, maple flavoring, and the egg.
- Stir in walnuts and apple dices; thin the batter with apple cider.
- Add batter to the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cook through.
- The waffle will be soft when you remove it from the iron and will then firm up as it cools.
Pumpkin loves garbanzo beans–the proof is in the hummus. Add pureed pumpkin into your hummus for a subtle, earthy underlying flavor.
The basic recipe is fast and easy to put together:
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans
4 tbsp. tahini
4 tbsp. pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Drain beans (reserving liquid) and place them into a food processor along with the pumpkin.
- With the blade running add in the olive oil and half of the reserved bean liquid.
- Remove the top of the food processor, scrap down the sides and add salt and tahini.
- Adjust the texture and flavor of the hummus using seasoning and more pumpkin, bean liquid, and/or spices.
For pumpkin pie hummus:
Add 1/2-1 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning (or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves) and more pureed pumpkin
For Lebanese pumpkin hummus:
Add 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika, and the juice from one lemon
A kick of sweetness–courtesy of fruit–is just the thing to brighten the flavor of many savory dishes.
My kids were intrigued when we added thinly sliced strawberries to burgers. The verdict? The tangy berries mixed in with the other fixins’ perfectly. We don’t add strawberries all the time–but I like to use what I have on hand to reinvent dishes we have all the time. Which brings me to salad…
I usually throw some sort of fruit into our salads–diced apples, peach wedges, sliced mangoes. Again, it’s a matter of using what’s in season (and on your counter) to bring new life to your old-standbys. Plus, cutting up fruit is a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen prep.
It’s that time of year again. Break out the baskets and start picking! We brought home 4 baskets of berries from a nearby farm, Monroe’s Orchard.
Some of our berries didn’t even survive the car ride home, but I’ve already frozen plenty so we can have fresh berries in the winter. Have you been raspberry picking yet?
We have brinner a lot around my house. Breakfast for dinner works for my busy crew since it’s quick to put together.
Ingredients for breakfast sliders:
Breakfast sausage patties and/or bacon slices–I’m hooked on Costco’s precooked bacon
Eggs–Whisk them and then cook as you would an omelet, removing them from the pan so that you can slice into squares to place on the patties
Cheese–optional, I like mine sans cheese but the kids prefer a thin slice of American cheese to meld the ingredients together
Put ‘em together:
Cut the buns in half and let your kids layer what they want in their mini-sandwiches.
Heat the sliders in the microwave for a few seconds before serving. Option: We like to grill the sausage patties and then put them on the buns so they have more of a smoky flavor.
Make it a meal by serving the sliders with fruit salad and tater tots or homemade hashbrowns.
Waffle brownies, of course!
My kids couldn’t wait to try these chocolate chalkboards in this month’s Family Fun magazine.
These edible chalkboards are easy to put together and make for a cool back-to-school craft.
Regular-sized chocolate bars (like Hershey’s)
- Use the toothpick to carve a message in the smooth side of a chocolate bar.
- Sprinkle enough powdered sugar on the message to fill the scratches.
- Carefully(!) blow the extra powdered sugar from off the chocolate (or rub it off with a napkin).
- Mold the caramels into a strip in your fingers. Note: You may need to microwave them at half power for a few seconds in the microwave to soften them.
- Press the caramel strips onto the chocolate bar to frame around it.
- Add the white sprinkles to look like chalk.
- That’s it! Eat once you’ve taken a picture–or during.
As you’re getting ready your Fourth of July picnic fixins’ put your kids in charge of making one of these cool treats.
Watermelon limemade. Serve watermelon in cups instead of dishes with this sweet-tart drink combo.
5 Minute yogurt popsicles. Yogurt, fruit, freezer. That’s all you need for these icy treats.
Elvis ice pops. Frozen banana slices dipped in chocolate and then peanuts. Yeah, you won’t be able to eat just one of these.
Fruity animal mini popsicles. Pour your favorite fruit juice into animal molds.
Carved orange elephants. To dress up your picnic spread, have your kids make these animals out of oranges.
Now who’s ready for the holiday?!