Kids’ Kitchen: Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Bites

Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Bites

Holy health nuts, batman! This is one of the recipes I’ve made recently for River that he has absolutely scarfed down. Probably because it seems to him like a mini muffin (aka: carbs) and as I’ve previously mentioned about my little guy, he’s a carb king. These little bites are teeny flavorful and pack a punch of super nutritious spinach and quinoa. Enjoy!

CHEESY SPINACH QUINOA BITES
*makes about 36 bites

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed and dried
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
    Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Bites

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together quinoa, eggs, spinach, cheese, garlic, shallot, flour, salt and pepper until very well combined
    Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Bites
  3. Spoon mixture into the cups of a mini muffin tin, pressing down with the back of the spoon or your fingers. Bake 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
    Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Bites

Veggie Burgers

Veggie Burgers

Hello all! Today I’m continuing my contributions to your healthy kitchen by sharing my Veggie Burger recipe. It’s made primarily with chick peas and packs a lot of veggies in each bite so give it a whirl for either your dinner or your little ones!

VEGGIE BURGERS
*makes about 8 large burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 stems flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • vegetable or olive oil
    Veggie Burgers

Directions:

  1. In a food processor blend the chickpeas, carrot, garlic, onion, parsley and eggs until smooth.
  2. Add chickpea mixture to large bowl and mix with bread crumbs and salt.
    Veggie Burgers
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil.
  4. Place a 1/4 cup of the mixture in your hands and roll into a ball. Place in pan and flatten slightly with your fingers of the back of a spoon.
    Veggie Burgers
  5. Cook patties for about 5 minutes, then flip, reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove patties from pan and serve.
    Veggie Burgers

These burgers are great served open faced on a whole wheat roll with some shredded lettuce, garlic aioli and mild cheese. Enjoy!

Kids’ Kitchen: Green Veggie Pancakes

Green Veggie Pancakes

Happy Sunday, everyone! Today I’m sharing a recipe for Green Veggie Pancakes for the mini people in your lives. Full disclosure, this particular recipe did not meet with overwhelming approval from my little guy, but he’s a toddler so I’m not taking it personally or as anything wrong with the recipe, necessarily. I think they’re pretty delicious, and even River came around when I served them to him the third or forth time (with marinara sauce for dipping.) They’re super healthy and quick to pull together, let me know how it goes for you and your minis!

GREEN VEGGIE PANCAKES
*makes about 6 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup broccoli, very finely diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, grated and finely diced
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp water
  • vegetable or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan
    Green Veggie Pancakes

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix broccoli, zucchini, flour, egg, garlic, basil, parsley, water and salt and pepper. Mix well.
    Green Veggie Pancakes
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. When oil is hot spoon 2 tablespoons of the batter per pancake into the pan, top each pancake with a pinch of the grated Parmesan.
    Green Veggie Pancakes
  3. Cook pancakes about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place onto a towel lined plate to drain oil.
    Green Veggie Pancakes

Serve either plain or with a dipping sauce like yogurt sauce or marinara. Enjoy!

Kids’ Kitchen: Sweet Potato Apple Pancakes

Sweet Potato Apple Pancakes

Happy hump day! I’ve been feeling so stuck in a rut lately with poor River and his dinners. This morning I was feeling inspired to remedy this rut situation so I made a whole bunch of stuff that I can pop in the freezer and take out every day. These Sweet Potato Apple Pancakes I made first and while I was making everything else, I gave River one for his morning snack. It was a hit, so I thought I’d share this recipe with you first. Of course, as with pretty much everything I make for River, these are delicious for anyone, including adults and would be a lovely addition to a dinner or brunch as a side dish. Hope your little ones (and you) enjoy them as much as mine (and I) did!

SWEET POTATO APPLE PANCAKES
(makes about 9 patties)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup self rising flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • vegetable or olive oilSweet Potato Apple Pancakes

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl add sweet potato, apple, flours, eggs, garlic powder and salt. Mix well to combine.
    Sweet Potato Apple Pancakes
  2. Add oil to a large pan and heat over medium heat.
  3. Place about 3 tablespoons of batter per pancake in the pan and press flat with the back of spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes then flip and cook about 5 additional minutes on the other side.
    Sweet Potato Apple Pancakes
  4. Remove patties from heat and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil and cool.
    Sweet Potato Apple Pancakes

Dried Carrot Bits

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Hello, hello!  This week is Valentine’s Day week, with all it’s chocolate and sugar-y treats and rich food, so I thought I’d share a recipe for a simple and super healthy snack to help balance it all out. So just eat these yummy little nuggets before and after all the fattening deliciousness you’ll have on Thursday, that’s balance…right?!

DRIED CARROT BITS

Ingredients:

  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • Kosher salt
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Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Using a mandolin, thinly slice carrots into rounds.
  3. Place carrots on parchment lined baking sheet.
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  4. Sprinkle with salt and bake 45 minutes until carrots are dried and crispy.
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  5. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!Image

Kids’ Kitchen: Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

Happy Friday, everyone and for those of you in the Northeast, Happy Nemo! Yes, the snow is a-comin’, friends, and I’m spending my day doing what I always do when a storm is supposed to hit: making sure there is enough food and movies to sustain us. Because my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Linaberry, taught me the 5 P’s: prior planning prevents poor performance (yay, knowledge!) I went to the grocery store yesterday before it got too crazy. Today I’m cooking away making sure that we all have tasty, comfort-y and healthy food to get us through the snow-y weekend. I just finished a batch of these yummy Eggplant Parmesan Sticks and wanted to share the recipe with you all. It’s super easy and a healthy alternative to traditional Eggplant Parmesan for your little one. Although, like everything I make River I would be lying to you if I didn’t mention that I may have tasted one (or four.) This recipe only makes about 3 servings because I’ve discovered River gets a little testy about eating things for more than 3 days in a row, so I try not to make large batches of things anymore. If you want to make more at one time it’s super easy to make as much as you want, just get as big of an eggplant as you wish and adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly.

EGGPLANT PARMESAN STICKS
(makes 3 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled
  • 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/3 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • olive or vegetable oil cooking spray
    The Ingredients

    The ingredients

    Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch wide by 2 inch long sticks.

Eggplant cut into sticks

Eggplant cut into sticks

3. Line up three bowls next to one another. In the first mix the flour, garlic powder and salt, in the second add the whisked egg with 2 tsp of water and in the third mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

flour, breadcrumbs and egg wash

flour, breadcrumbs and egg wash

4. Dredge each eggplant piece in flour, the, egg egg wash, then generously coat each with the breadcrumb mixture. Move breaded pieces to baking sheet. When all of the eggplant is breaded, spray a light coating of olive oil or vegetable oil over them.

Breaded eggplant sticks

Breaded eggplant sticks

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Out of the oven!

Out of the oven!

Serve eggplant parmesan sticks with a red sauce of your choosing. I am using a tomato sauce that I made a while back for a different recipe and froze the leftovers. Any red sauce will do!

Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

Enjoy!

Strawberry Citrus Preserves

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What on earth do you do when you find delicious looking strawberries on a crazy good sale and citrus is in season and delicious? You buy an insane amount of both and make some super cinchy Strawberry Citrus Preserves. Duh. Here’s my recipe, it’s a breeze and you don’t have to fuss with any pectin or any such thing. For the win!

STRAWBERRY CITRUS PRESERVES
*makes 10 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 8 cups granulated sugar
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Directions:

1. In a very large mixing bowl add diced strawberries, lemon juice, orange juice and sugar.
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2. Transfer strawberry mixture to large heavy bottomed pot. Set to low heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved and strawberries are very soft. With a potato masher, mash strawberries until the texture is largely smooth with some strawberry chunks in tact.  When sugar is dissolved and mixture is mashed, increase heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Boil, stirring often until mixture reaches 220 degrees. As it boils the mixture will become thicker and thicker.
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3. Immediately transfer preserves to sterile jars, leaving about 1/3 to 1/2 inch of space at the top. Process in water bath if you are canning to store, if you are going to eat preserves right away, skip the processing and move jars right to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 12 hours before opening.
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Serve on toast, mixed into oatmeal or even over ice cream. Enjoy!