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Posts Tagged ‘healthy recipes’

muffinsA few weeks ago we went to the zoo with some friends and I wanted to make an easy, portable breakfast.

I found this new muffin and tried it since it is strawberry season. These muffins are good, and everyone liked them, including my two-year old. Because of the yogurt, they are dense muffins. I love the big chucks of strawberry in them. They lasted a few days in an air-tight container.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped strawberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degress.
2. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar and baking soda. In another bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla. Toss the strawberries into the flour mixture.
3. Spoon batter into greased muffins tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Makes 12 muffins.

The original recipe came Stonyfiend Farm.

Notes: Don’t try to substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the whole wheat and white flour. I tried it, and it didn’t work.

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The other night at a friend’s house we had english muffin pizzas. My daughter has had pizza before, but not on english muffins. It was a great meal – budget-friendly, healthy, simple, quick, and fun. 

My friend’s daughter is almost three, and she was able to help make the pizzas. First, we gave her a pastry brush and she was able to “paint” on the pizza sauce on the english muffins. Then, she added the toppings to the pizzas. That is one of the great aspects of this meal. The entire family can participate in creating the meal.

We used a variety of toppings – mushrooms, yellow bell peppers, pepperoni, and sausage. Everyone was able to customize their pizzas according to their tastes. 

We cooked the pizzas in a 350 degree oven until the cheese was golden brown. At my house, I also use the toaster oven to cook our pizzas. The toaster oven uses less energy than the oven and also heats up the house less. 

What you need for this meal: english muffins – my favorite are Whole Foods Organic Whole Wheat English muffins, pasta or pizza sauce, shredded cheese – we used mozzeralla but any kind of cheese would work, and toppings, any type of veggies and meat.

Some ideas: Greek pizzas – use pesto instead of sauce, Feta cheese, olives, fresh tomatoes. 

[Photo Credit: Pizza]

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The Toddler Cafe by Jennifer Carden is my favorite children’s cookbook. I read several baby / toddler cookbooks when my daughter started eating solid foods last year. I never used any of the recipes because they were mostly combinations of foods – pears and cottage cheese, and the books were boring.

This book is different. It is filled with unique and interesting recipes, and good advice on feeding children. 

Now, I haven’t had the opportunity to make any of the recipes yet. Life has been completely too crazy for me to make a list, go to the grocery store, buy ingredients, and follow a recipe. After the munchkin and I finish moving and are settled in our new home, I plan on trying lots of these recipes.

So what can I tell you then? The recipes in this book look yummy and interesting. The recipes are simple and healthy. I have read the book’s introduction, and I like the author’s attitude towards eating and cooking with kids. She believes that parents need to foster a positive attitude between children and food, and that mealtime should be “fun and interactive.”

The introduction also has great ideas about how to make mealtime more creative and fun, such as telling your child that the food they are eating is their favorite character’s favorite food. 

Some recipes that I can’t wait to make are:
Lily Pad Pancakes – pancakes made with frozen peas,
Starry Night Stew – black bean and pasta stew,
Toddler Truffles – black beans truffles,
Treasure Triangles – puff pastry with black beans and bananas,
PB&J French Toast – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich dipped in egg and milk and cooked until golden brown, 
Peanut Butter Globe Globs – globs of peanut butter mixed with honey, oats, and cereal.

(Yes, we love black beans in this family. And yes, it makes for fun diapers!)

Check out this book. It has great ideas and fun recipes. It is available from the Columbus Metropolitan Library. You can also visit The Toddler Cafe blog.  I will keep you posted as to when we finally get to cook up some of these fantastic looking recipes.

[Photo Credit: Book Cover]

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One thing I’ve learned from all my trips to the farmers’ markets is to ask the farmers what is the best way to cook their produce. They always have excellent ideas.

Today I cooked up some of my farmers’ market veggies – zucchini and fresh peas – for our dinner. I roasted the zucchini and barely boiled the peas. Both vegetables turned out really well. 

For the zucchini, I slice them into 1/4 inch rounds. I put them on a cookie sheet and coated them with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt. Then, I cooked them for 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven, turning them once.

For the peas, I boiled a large pot of water while I shelled them. I blanched them for 30 seconds, drained them in a colendar, and rinsed them under cold water. I served them with butter and salt.

The pumpkin ate both veggies, but she preferred the peas, especially after I let her dip them into plain yogurt. This is a trick my sister taught me. Kids love to dip foods, and plain yogurt is the perfect food to them to use.

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