St. Patrick’s Day- Kids Cook Monday

6

We love to celebrate any and all holidays around here. An excuse to give a gift, decorate, or make a special meal- and we’re on it! For Kids Cook Monday we decided to start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with some green food. Last year we attempted green smoothies and, while they were delicious, they weren’t, um, green. This year we were determined to have GREEN smoothies. And we got our wish! We also made some cute little shamrock quesadillas to go with our smoothies.

9

Green Smoothie Ingredients

1 banana
2 kiwis
1 bag frozen peaches
1 container flavored Greek yogurt
about 1/2 cup of Orange Juice
about 3/4 bag of spinach leaves

Brady enjoyed helping me pick out green ingredients for our smoothie at the grocery store. He even chose key lime yogurt because of the green container. He was also excited to try kiwi- which he described as green strawberries with lots of seeds. Sounds about right to me.

3

We tossed everything in the blender (tasting each item along the way.)

4

Nolan did the honors of pushing the blender buttons. He’s come a long way from being terrified of it and running away screaming.

5

Here’s how our smoothie turned out. Super green!!! This batch made enough for me and the boys to each have a very big glass. Nolan finished his and then asked to finish mine. That’s a big deal because he is not an easy kid to get healthy food into.

8

And because we couldn’t just eat smoothies for dinner, we made some fun cheese quesadillas using Spinach wraps and a shamrock cookie cutter.

10

These took just a few minutes to cut the shapes out and cook up in a pan.

11

Helpful hint: these were much easier to cut out when warmed up for about 15 seconds.

We served them with some bright green guacamole and felt super festive!

1

Not exactly an Irish tradition, but tasty and GREEN!

2     7

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

12

Oh, and because I can’t leave well enough alone, here’s Brady’s lunch for school tomorrow!!!

wpid-20150316_200633.jpg

Turkey spinach wrap, green apple with peanut butter, and cucumbers and hummus. Wonder if he’ll notice the color scheme?

Dr. Seuss Day- Kids Cook Monday

15

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! On March 2, people across the country come together to celebrate “Read Across America Day” in honor of Dr. Seuss. This is a day to not only recognize one of our most amazing authors, but also a great opportunity to for teachers, students, parents and children to come together to read and take part in literacy related activities. I always loved celebrating this day with my students when I was teaching, and now it is a day I look forward to enjoying with my own kiddos as a stay at home mom.

This year Dr. Seuss’s birthday falls on a Monday, so we made some tasty treats for “Kids Cook Monday” to go along with some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books.

We started by reading the most classic Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. It’s funny. It’s silly. And, it’s always a crowd pleaser. We made some easy little fruit kabobs to go along with our lunch and story.

1612

Then we read my favorite Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hatches the Egg. It’s the sweetest story about an elephant who promises to take care of an egg and goes through terrible circumstances but never leaves the egg. I just adore Horton’s selflessness and love. I always loved reading this book to my first graders and will never forget reading it to my Brady when he was just a tiny baby. Seriously, my favorite.

We made these cute little haystacks that look like a bird’s nest with blueberries to represent the egg that Horton was protecting. These are the easiest and tastiest treats.

Nest and Egg Ingredients

1

1 cup Butterscotch Chips
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
2 cups Chow Mein Noodles
1 cup of blueberries

Here’s how we made our nests…

2

Melt the peanut butter and butterscotch chips together in the microwave. (About 1 minute)

 

3

Stir the mixture until smooth.

 

4

Add the chow Mein noodles.

 

5

Stir until all the chow mein is coated with the peanut butter mixture.

 

6

Scoop spoonfuls of the chow mein mixture onto a greased cookie sheet.

 

7

Add blueberries to the tops and put into the refrigerator for at least a half hour.

While the nests are cooling and hardening in the fridge, let your littlest helper lick the bowl.

8 9 10

These little guys are sweet, salty, crunchy and the blueberries are surprisingly necessary!

13

If you don’t have many Dr. Seuss books at your house, or you can’t make it to the library to check some out, look on Youtube for some awesome readings of some of his most popular books. This is one of my favorites too!

Hope you and your little one get to spend some time in the kitchen and with a great Dr. Seuss book!

11   14

If you would like any more information about “Read Across America Day” or ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss, check out this website!

http://www.seussville.com/parents/

Happy, Healthy, Heart Pizzas! {Kids Cook Monday}

wpid-2015-02-09-18.01.50.jpg.jpeg

Happy National Pizza Day! With love being in the air and all (Valentine’s Day right around the corner!) we decided to make heart shaped pizzas today.

Recently I read a study that talked about how much pizza the average kid eats and how bad it is for them. **Insert guilty mom face** Depending on what kind you eat, it can be high in fat, sodium, and empty carbs. No, we do not eat pizza all the time (maybe once or twice a month) but we do enjoy it around here- especially Nolan. Plus, it’s just so darn easy to order and have delivered! Well, even though I still stand by delivery pizza as an every once in a while treat, it’s always nice if you can “healthify” something you enjoy by making it at home now and then.

wpid-20150209_163646_1.jpg

Healthy, Happy, Heart Pizza Ingredents

 

We made our Heart Pizzas with a store bought whole wheat dough, but there are tons of great homemade whole wheat dough recipes like this one –  Ultimate No-Knead Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

We rolled out our dough on our counter top that we (washed) and dusted with flour. Once we pressed the dough out flat, we began to cut out our heart shape with a cookie cutter.

wpid-20150209_164817.jpgwpid-20150209_164941.jpg

wpid-20150209_165126.jpgwpid-20150209_165504.jpg

We topped our pizzas with our favorite jarred marinara sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese.

wpid-20150209_165544.jpgwpid-20150209_165912.jpg

Brady picked his favorite veggies to top the pizzas. (I tried to get him to pick a red pepper for a pretty Valentine Day color, but he insisted on orange.) Here he is munching on his veggies!

wpid-20150209_164646.jpgwpid-20150209_164635.jpg

We chopped them into shapes that we could use for making happy faces on our hearts.

wpid-20150209_164401.jpg

wpid-20150209_164344.jpg

Then we decorated our happy hearts!

wpid-20150209_170128.jpg

We baked our hearts for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

wpid-20150209_171706.jpg

These came out so cute and definitely satisfied a pizza craving for my boys. It was a fun way to kick off Valentines Day or just an overall love of pizza.

wpid-2015-02-09-17.47.26.jpg.jpeg

Happy National Pizza Day! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

Homemade Chips and Guacamole- Kids Cook Monday

wpid-2015-02-02-13.43.33.jpg.jpeg

We love guacamole around here- especially Brady and Nolan! So, you can understand why I was so inspired by this blog post from Teeny Tiny Foodie…

http://teenytinyfoodie.com/lets-make-guacamole-toddler-recipe/

Not only is guacamole delicious, but it’s super easy and fun to make. And with these easy to follow instruction sheets, they’re perfect for the littlest of chefs.

Guacamole GuacamoleInstructions

I have to admit, the teacher in me was really excited about these. I can definitely see a fun Science or Writing lesson that could happen with these on Cinco de Mayo!

I knew I wanted to try this guacamole recipe with Brady, but we made a bigger batch because, well, Nolan eats a lot.

1

We gathered all our ingredients and got to chopping. We ended up using 2 avocados, the juice of 1 lime, 1 tomato, a handful of chopped cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic and about 1/3 of a white onion.

8

Brady felt so big following the recipe instructions on the I-Pad and his favorite part was definitely squeezing the good stuff out of the avocados!

wpid-2015-02-02-13.36.30.jpg.jpeg

We also made some homemade corn chips today to go with our guacamole. This was fascinating for B. “Wait. Chips don’t always come from a bag?!” Here’s how we made our baked corn chips.

Baked Corn Chips

Ingredients

Corn Tortillas
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

2

Here’s how we made our baked chips. So much easier than you would think!

3

First we brushed each tortilla with a small amount of olive oil on each side.

4

Then we stacked our tortillas (we had 5) and sliced them up with a pizza cutter.

5

Then we spread the chips out into an even layer on a baking sheet.

6

We liberally sprinkled the sea salt on the chips.

7

Then we put the chips in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. (Until they were crispy and golden brown.)

wpid-2015-02-02-13.39.15.jpg.jpeg

There ya have it- A healthy snack that was easy and fun to make! (And maybe a little learning took place along the way!)

wpid-20150202_123311.jpg wpid-20150202_123346.jpg

Full disclosure… the chips were a hit, but Brady definitely asked me for a spoon at one point. Apparently, it’s now socially acceptable to just eat guacamole straight from the bowl!

 

 

Veggie Egg Bake- Kids Cook Monday

9

Eggs are always a great go-to for Meatless Mondays around here. Brady has always loved eggs-Nolan, not so much. However, I find that if they are in something else (like a quiche or a breakfast sandwich) he will eat them. This egg bake we made for Kids Cook Monday has gotten his stamp of approval. We have this dish in different varieties several times a month. It’s easy to throw together and you can add in whatever you have one hand (bacon, mushrooms, spinach, turkey sausage, etc.) We like it equally well as a meat or vegetarian meal. It’s great for breakfast, but we have it a lot for dinner. It’s also a nice way to sneak some veggies into a meal for kiddos (or adults) who are a little picky.

Here’s how we made ours!

Ingredients

1 can of crescent rolls
6 eggs
About 1/2 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to season veggies and egg mixture
Your choice of produce- we used;
1/2 green pepper, 1/2 onion, 1/2 a container of mushrooms, handful of grape tomatoes, handful of green onions
2 Cups shredded cheese

1

Any combo of vegetables would be delicious in this!

We started by chopping up our vegetables and giving them a quick sautee in olive oil. We seasoned them with salt and pepper.

2 3

Then we prepared our egg mixture. We whisked up 6 eggs with 1/2 a cup of milk and a little salt and pepper. We also threw our green onions in the mixture.

4

Then we got to assembling…

5

Brady helped unroll the sheet of crescent rolls and press them into the (greased) baking dish.

6

Then we topped the crescent dough with our sautéed veggies, 2 cups of cheese and poured our egg mixture on top.

7

We baked the whole thing at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes (or until the egg mixture is completely firm.)

8

We serve ours with salad or fruit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It also makes great leftovers for the next day’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

10

We’ve also made this with salsa and pepper-jack cheese for a Mexican flair. Gotta love kid friendly food that appeals to the whole family and is EASY- Win, win, win!

 

Greek Yogurt Berry Pancakes- Kids Cook Monday

11

We love Greek Yogurt around here! It’s always in our fridge and while it’s a great breakfast or snack on it’s own, I love when I find a new way to use it. I’ve been trying to find ways to incorporate more protein into our breakfasts lately (and some of us are not in the mood for eggs too early in the morning!) so I decided to try adding Greek Yogurt into a pancake batter. I’ve seen lots of versions of this online, but I like this one the best. It’s sweetened by the yogurt and comes out thick and fluffy.

Greek Yogurt Berry Pancakes

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 container Blueberry Greek Yogurt
1 Egg
About a cup of any type of berry

1

The strawberries can go in the batter or as a garnish on top.

(This recipe made about 3-4 pancakes. So, for our family we definitely doubled it!)

2

In one bowl, we mixed the Baking Soda and Flour.

 

3

In another bowl we mixed the egg and yogurt.

 

4

Then, we mixed the two bowls together.

 

5

Brady threw some of the strawberries into the batter for good measure.

 

6

It should be noted that the batter was thick and not pretty. Tasty when cooked, but not pretty.

 

7

We put a little butter on the griddle before spooning the batter on. We flipped them when they began to bubble a little in the middle and the other side was brown.

 

8

A few more strawberries, just because.

9

Not the prettiest, but yummy!

This pancake recipe is not overly sweet, so some recipes I’ve seen call for extra sugar or even a little honey. We left that out of ours because we knew that we’d be adding syrup to the top and they’d be plenty sweet. I was pleasantly surprised by how these came out and I really want to try different versions of it…with vanilla yogurt and bananas, with peach yogurt and peaches. The possibilities are endless!

10

 

 

 

 

“Healthy” 7 Layer Dip- Kids Cook Monday (Football Edition!)

One of our favorite things to do on the weekends is watch football. Our kiddos cheer for our teams and clueless-ly scream, “Touchdown!” whenever we get excited about a play. This weekend was full of NFL playoff games (sadly, the Cowboys were robbed of their win) and tonight is the college football Championship game. We’re sad to see football end this year, but happy to indulge in some football-watchin’ food!

16

One of our favorite party foods is 7 Layer Dip (or Taco Dip). We have it at most of our family gatherings, but I thought it would be fun to do a little makeover with a few tweaks for a slightly healthier version. We made this up yesterday for a meet and greet with our new neighbors to watch the Broncos/Colts game and are enjoying it again tonight for the Ohio State/Oregon Championship game.

Here’s what went into our new and improved 7 Layer Dip…

6

Ingredients

1 Can Refried Black Beans
1 Container Guacamole
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 can sliced black olives
About half a jar chunky salsa
3 stalks of chopped green onion
1 brick of Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
Chips for Dipping

We swapped out the refried pinto beans for refried black beans, and the sour cream for non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt. I also switched up my regular onion for green onion (just for a change!) and regular tomatoes for salsa (just for a little more flavor!) This was an easy dish to assemble. Here’s how we layered ours…

7 8

9 10

11 12

15

Beans, guac, Greek Yogurt, Black olives, salsa, green onions, and cheese on top!

There were lots of kid helping opportunities for this dip- Spreading the beans on the bottom of the dish, grating the cheese, opening and draining the olives, sprinkling the cheese on top, and Brady’s favorite…cutting the green onions with big scissors!

4

Even though this dip did not bring the Cowboys much luck, it did help Chris drown his sorrows…

3

And Brady is pretty much a fan of anything with guacamole and olives. He’d root for that team all day long!

 

1 2

You really can’t go wrong with any combo of these ingredients…

17

And for what it’s worth, you could really healthy up this football food by eating it with Baked Tortilla chips (And the leftovers also make a mean taco salad!)

5

Happy Football Watching!

13

Veggie Hummus Wraps- Kids Cook Monday

Happy New Year! January is usually my least favorite month, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to look at it as a fresh start where everything is new and it can actually be somewhat motivating! As much as I hate to say good-bye to the holidays, family, and overall lack of routine, my inner planner and organizer really likes when the structure of day to day reality comes back. So, with that in mind, it’s time to get back to our Kids Cook Monday posts. This one is extra exciting because it was made in our new kitchen!

1

These guys were filled with light cream cheese, hummus, beans, and whatever veggie you have on hand that your kiddos love!

We decided to make some Veggie Hummus Wraps for lunch today. They were really, really, good. This idea came from the fact that we needed a meatless lunch that was going to be tasty but full of protein. These wraps delivered for both categories. Here are the ingredients that went into our wraps- really you can put anything in them that you have on hand that sounds good to you.

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Light Cream Cheese
Hummus (any flavor)
Shredded Lettuce
Black Olives
Black Beans
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Diced Red Pepper
Diced Cucumber

6

For today’s lunch we did lots of chopping and assembling. Brady loves to help with cutting up vegetables (he feels so big!) and today he was an expert cheese grater as well.

7 9

10

Giving a 3 year old an entire block of cheese to grate…that was just too much power. He couldn’t resist.

11 8

For the assembly, we took one Whole Wheat Tortilla and spread cream cheese on half of it, and hummus on the other half. We sprinkled our beans, then veggies and cheese on next.

12 13

Then we began to tightly roll the tortilla by starting with the cream cheese side and rolling towards the hummus (this way each bite has both hummus and cream cheese in it!)

14 15

Then I carefully sliced our wraps into little pinwheels to make them easier to eat. I mean, they were messy either way, but this seemed to work best for my boys.

2

Yummmm

These were a hit!

3 4

I went ahead and took the time to figure up how much protein/fiber were in one of these wraps including the tortilla, hummus, cream cheese, and beans. 8 grams of protein! 6.5 grams of fiber! That’s not counting the shredded cheddar or veggies either. I also love that this is so versatile- I’m picturing adding avocado, tomatoes or spinach leaves next time. I’m all for eating healthy, but much like my kiddos, I’m not down for it if it doesn’t taste good. But, in the wise, ever so eloquently put, words of Brady, “This is good.”

16

Vegetable SOUPer Stars! {Kids Cook Monday}

Today we whipped up a simple and tasty vegetable soup. This is the kind of soup that is perfect on a rainy, cool day, and utilizes whatever fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand. It’s exactly what you want to eat when you’ve maybe been overindulging in junk food or perhaps need to detox after several days of binge eating Thanksgiving foods!

12

We started our soup with a combo of fresh, frozen, and canned ingredients. And to really make our soup “shine” we used some awesome star shaped pasta in it.

1

Ingredients:

2 Cups Frozen Vegetables (we used 1 cup peas, 1 cup corn)
1 onion (diced)
2 carrots (shredded)
1 can Italian tomatoes (don’t drain!)
1 box vegetable broth
About 1/2 box pasta

2

Check out these awesome star shaped pasta noodles. Brady was so impressed!

 

3

Brady asks for me to buy him a carrot practically every time we go to the store.

4

Using the box grater to shred the carrots is such a fun activity for kiddo helpers.

To make this simple soup, we started by cooking up our onions in a big pot in some olive oil. Once they were tender, we tossed in the frozen vegetables. Then we threw in the carrots and cooked them for about a minute. Next, we added the entire can of tomatoes (juice and all) and the entire box of vegetable broth. We brought the whole pot to a boil and then added about half the box of pasta. We turned down the heat a bit and let everything cook for about 10-15 minutes (until the pasta was tender.)

 

5 6 7 8 9 10

This soup thickens as it sits and the pasta absorbs the liquid. If you want your soup soupier, add less pasta. If you want it thicker, add more pasta. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these flavors.

15

Nolan- caught eating vegetables and he doesn’t have a clue. A win for mommy!

13 14

11

Vegetable Souper Stars! Easy, peasy, yum.

 

Yogurt Parfaits – Kids Cook Monday

We’ve been on a Greek Yogurt kick here in the Smith house. Or as Nolan calls it, “Yoyo.” We have it in the mornings with granola and fruit, but I got to thinking how fun and easy it would be for our afternoon snack. I decided to set out our yogurt and a bunch of topping choices to make it like our own self serve yogurt shop. Most of the toppings were super healthy, but there was just enough yummy stuff set out to make it seem like a real treat.

Here’s our ingredients…

1

We used honey flavored Greek Yogurt, but you could certainly use plain or vanilla and add a little honey for sweetness. We had berries, bananas, chocolate chips, granola, and peanut butter for topping choices. Other yummy options could be blueberries, slivered almonds, coconut, crushed pineapple, or chocolate syrup. The possibilities are endless!

2

Brady was such a big boy scooping out his own yogurt and chopping up his fruit for toppings.

 

3

Of course Brady opted for peanut butter in his parfait!

 

4

Brady’s finished product- delicious!

 

5

Rollie Nolie got in on the action too!

 

6

I went with a chocolate strawberry combo with a little granola for crunch.

This would be such a fun activity for a morning playdate or birthday party. We’ll be doing this for our afternoon snack again, for sure!