Category Archives: Kid Friendly

Kid Friendly Low Carb Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

15 Three Ingredient Meals with a Healthy Spin

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20160109_160537

You’re committed to eating healthy, but sometimes the effort to plan, shop, prepare, and clean up can be enough to send you screaming to the drive thru with the golden arches. Sound familiar? To give you the motivation to continue your healthy journey I wanted to share with you all some of my quick to make and even quicker to clean up three ingredient meals. I realize that none of these are particularly innovative. However, I find it helps to have a bunch of ideas all in one place that I can go to when I need them.

Below is an excerpt from my book,  14 Days ~ 14 Pounds: Low Carb Daily Plan with 140 Quick & Easy Recipes (Low Carb Daily Plan – High Protein: Menus with Recipes). You’ll notice that some items don’t seem like low-carb choices, in the book I share the low-carb hacks for those.

1. Peanut butter + banana + whole wheat bread or crackers.

2. Boxed soup + leftover cooked veggies+ whole grains or pasta.

3. Sweet potato wedges + olive oil + sea salt.

4. Pasta + pesto + veggies

5. Pasta + parmesan + extra-virgin olive oil.

6. Steak or chicken or pork or turkey or ham + veggies + pesto.

7. Eggs + tomatoes + pesto.

8. Eggs + salsa + shredded cheese.

9. Whole wheat tortilla + veggies and/or shredded lettuce + hummus or cream cheese or shredded cheese.

10. Whole wheat pita + hummus + cucumbers or tomatoes.

11. Hot dog + mustard or ketchup + large lettuce leaf.

12. Frozen veggie burger + pasta sauce + cheese.

13. Frozen whole grain waffle or pancake + chopped fruit + maple syrup.

14. Celery stick, radish, tomato, or cucumber + cream cheese + chopped herbs.

15. Frozen whole grain mac ‘n cheese + frozen chopped spinach + thinly sliced green onion.

Eat healthy, enjoy your life!

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Low Calorie Low Carb Paleo Recipes Vegetarian

7 Easy Summer Recipes For When It’s Too Hot to Cook

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seven easy summer recipes

If the thought of spending time in the kitchen making a hot meal on a hot night makes you want to dial for pizza delivery then check out these seven easy summer”recipes” for when it’s too hot too cook. I’ve put recipes in quotes because none of these recipes actually require a measuring device and they’re all endlessly variable. So here goes …

Braised Artichokes

Whenever I make these artichokes I always make enough to have the next day. They’re nice for lunch, a snack, or another easy dinner. After two days though they tend to get grainy and while not spoiled, don’t taste as nice.

Trim artichokes and cut in half so that each side mirrors the other. Trim the end off the stems and peel off the tough outer layer. Cut out the choke or wait until after it’s cooked, like I do.
Pour some broth and/or wine (red or white) a little less than halfway up the sides of  a large saute pan with high sides. Turn heat to low.

Season broth with black pepper and salt, then add any or all of the following:

  • garlic
  • cayenne pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Italian seasoning
  • Herbes de Provence

Tip: this is not a dish to experiment with curry or Asian spices. Although if any of you have success with this, please let us know in the comments.

Place artichoke halves and stems in seasoned broth. Cover pan and leave it alone for at least an hour. If you need to add more broth or wine, do so, although just enough to keep the artichokes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When a leaf pulls out easily and I mean like butta’, there should be no resistance at all, then your artichokes are done.

Remove from heat and let artichokes cool in the broth. Remove the choke if you didn’t do so earlier. Serve, hot, warm, room temp, or cold.

Slow Cooker Version

Place two cups seasoned broth/wine in a slow cooker with the artichokes. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours,or on low for 4 to 7 hours (depending on the size of your artichokes). Since you won’t be serving these artichokes hot, the one hour variable isn’t a problem. You can make these earlier in the day then set them aside until dinner.

Deli Plate

This is a meal that will please everyone. If someone doesn’t like something they can just ignore it. Half the fun of this meal is experimenting with different combinations and laughing at someone else’s strange concoction.

Leftovers like steak, chicken, fish, bacon, meat balls, sausage links, or hot dogs can be served cold with this meal or just serve up the deli plate for a light dinner or appetizer.

Get out a big platter and arrange a mix of the following on it:

Proteins

  • thinly sliced meats
  • smoked sausage
  • hard boiled eggs, whole or halved

Veggies

  • dill pickles
  • roasted bell peppers
  • sliced cucumbers
  • jicama
  • lettuce leaves
  • sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil and drained (save the oil to make a salad dressing for another meal)
  • kimchi    http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/homemade-kimchi.html)

Dips & Spreads

Place any or all of the following in little bowls:

  • hummus
  • ranch dressing (link to UD recipe)
  • sugar-free creamy salad dressing
  • mayo thinned with lemon or lime juice, seasoned with your choice of cayenne pepper, garlic, dill, Herbs de Provence, or thyme
  • mustard
  • barbecue sauce
  • ketchup

Taco Bowl

This meal is so easy to prepare you can pretty much tell your eight year old twins the title of this recipe and nothing else, let them loose in the kitchen and end up with a delish dinner.

Layer in a bowl or on a platter roughly in this order:

  • shredded lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • black beans or kidney beans
  • precooked taco meat or chili (can be warm or cold)
  • salsa
  • avocado
  • sour cream or yogurt

Chili Bowl

You can of course substitute dressed lettuce for the coleslaw.

Layer in a bowl or on a platter roughly in this order:

  • dressed coleslaw
  • cold pre-cooked chili
  • sour cream or yogurt
  • cream cheese or mascarpone cheese with pesto mixed in

Chicken Waldorf Salad

You can use pretty much any protein in place of the chicken, tuna or any white fish, turkey, ham, pork, bacon (better as a garnich rather than mixed into the salad), smoked or pre-cooked sausage.

I sometimes cut the mayonaisse 1:1 with Greek yogurt.

Place in a large bowl and toss together:

  • chopped apples
  • chopped celery
  • raisins or halved grapes
  • toasted walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds
  • your choice of meat
  • mayonaisse thinned with fresh lemon or lime juice or your favorite sugar-free creamy salad dressing
  • sliced green or red onion (optional)
  • chopped fresh parsley, mint, oregeno, sage, or thyme (optional but don’t use dried herbs in place of fresh in this recipe)

The following can go into this salad but aren’t necessary to its success. I will add these just to use up items that I are hanging out in my fridge.

  • chickpeas
  • Great Northern beans
  • lima beans
  • spinach, chopped or thinly sliced
  • kale, thinly sliced and rubbed with lemon or lime juice until it softens
  • feta cheese (use sparingly)
  • blue cheese (use sparingly)

BLT Avocado Salad

The title of this recipe is pretty much the recipe for this dish.

Toss together:

  • cooked bacon, don’t crumble it, chop it into bite size pieces
  • lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped avocado
  • mayo thinned with fresh lemon or lime juice or your favorite sugar-free salad dressing

Corn Salad

When it’s too hot to even look at my grill I like to steam my corn in the microwave right in the husk.
Trim the top inch off each ear of corn and microwave 3 minutes per cob. Remove from microwave, let cool and peel off the husks and silk. Bonus, the silk comes off super easy with this method.

Use a knife to seperate the kernals from the cob.

Toss together in a bowl:

  • corn kernels
  • chopped tomato
  • fresh basil, mint, or cilantro, roughly chopped
  • sugar-free oil and vinegar dressing

 

You can of course add a rotisserie chicken from the market, grilled burgers, hot dogs, or sausages to any of these meals. Many of these meals are easily to transport and so ideal for a picnic or a potluck.

Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Paleo Recipes

Sloppy Joe Pasta

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gluten free pasta

All the goodness of a sloppy joe without the carbs or wheat! Hallelujah!

I love sloppy joes. Who doesn’t? Seriously, do you know anyone who doesn’t like sloppy joes? Alas, once I started cutting out wheat, no more sloppy joes for me – until the day I cooked up a batch for a backyard barbecue and couldn’t resist making a few tweaks so I could have some too. I can’t believe that I hadn’t thought of this before.

This recipe makes four servings at a mere 3 net carbs per serving. For those UnDieters following a Paleo diet just substitute zoodles for the shiritaki pasta, or scramble up some eggs and top them with the sloppy joe sauce. I’ve also made cauliflower steaks and topped them with this sauce.

I don’t add sweetener when I’m making this for myself but many people like the extra sweetness so I’ve included that option.

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
¾ low-carb cup ketchup
¼ cup beef broth
1 minced garlic clove
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon white vinegar (do not use balsamic or apple cider vinegar – too many carbs)
1 serving liquid stevia or monk fruit, or 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup, optional
½ teaspoon dried oregano
small pinch of ground black pepper
2 packages shirataki noodles

Instructions

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté ground beef or turkey for 5 minutes. Add onion and green bell pepper; sauté for 5 more minutes or until vegetables are just barely tender. Drain off any fat.

Stir in remaining ingredients except shirataki noodles. Cover and leave on stove until mixture has thickened, approximately ten minutes. It will thicken a little more when it cools down some.

While sauce is cooking, prepare shirataki noodles according to package directions. If someone in your family prefers to have theirs on a bun, that’s fine, as long as you have yours over the shirataki pasta.

Set aside half of the sauce to use for another meal. Serving size is based on using ¼ of the portion of sauce left for this meal.

Family Friendly

Serve the sauce over regular pasta or buns for anyone who doesn’t appreciate shirataki pasta.


This recipe as well as a salad recipe that make a 6 net carb dinner can be found in 14 Days ~ 14 Pounds: Low Carb Daily Plan with 140 Quick & Easy Recipes (Low Carb Daily Plan – High Protein: Menus with Recipes)

High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes

Pasta Nicoise

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pasta-alfredo

I love me a good tuna casserole and once I got off wheat based pasta that’s been one of the things I’ve missed. I’ve come up with several tuna casserole recipes which we’ve all enjoyed, but I wanted to have a go-to dish for those times when we were hankering for a tuna casserole but there wasn’t time or I didn’t have all the ingredients. This quick Pasta Nicoise does the trick. Bekki M – please don’t mention any comparisons to Slop on Glop on Rice in the Comments :)

Note: this recipe is not gluten-free, because of the flour used in the sauce. You can sub 3 tablespoons coconut flour + 3 tablespoons additional milk for the whole wheat flour.

This recipe makes 8 servings, mostly because we love leftover Pasta Nicoise. It’s like mac ‘n cheese that way, it just gets better with age. And just like mac ‘n cheese it’s best reheated in the oven so that you get to enjoy all the crusty browned bits. You don’t get that with a microwave.

 

Ingredients

4 packages shiritaki pasta – any shape

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced or very thinly sliced

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour

3 & 1/2 cups unsweetened plain nondairy milk (you can use dairy milk if you prefer)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

10 ounces drained white tuna

2 cups frozen peas, thawed

 

Instructions

Drain and rinse shirataki noodles, any shape that works for you. Place in a microwave safe bowl or medium sauce pan and cover with water. Liberally season with garlic salt. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and allow to sit until you’re ready to use them. I like to let the pasta sit in the salted water as long as possible.

When you’re ready, drain and rinse the pasta.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until the flour is slightly golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Add drained pasta, stir to combine. Leave on heat until hot. Remove from heat and serve.

Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Paleo Recipes Vegetarian

More Easiest Tastiest Breakfast EVER

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Paleo low carb egg bake recipe

We’ve all been enjoying the egg bake cups so much that I got to work making up some variations.

These can easily be converted to a Paleo breakfast by eliminating the cheese.

If you’re doing low carb and want to reduce the carbs a bit you can add 1/4 to the vegetable side and subtract 1/4 from the onion side.

 

Feta Spinach Cups

You can use plain ol’ feta or you could use one of the varieties that have sun-dried tomatoes or other add-ins.

1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed to get as much water out as possible)

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup feta cheese

Heat a small pan over medium high heat. When hot swirl some cooking oil into the pan. Add the onions to the pan and saute until soft, seven to eight minutes. Mix spinach into onions. Divide vegetables among muffin cups, topping with feta cheese and then egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Asparagus Cups

1/2 cup diced asparagus

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup shredded white semi-soft cheese such as jack, Havarti, mozzarella, gouda …

Heat a small pan over medium high heat. When hot swirl some cooking oil into the pan. Add the onions to the pan and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add asparagus and saute until al dente. Divide vegetables among muffin cups, topping with shredded cheese and then egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Tomato Bacon Cups

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced bacon

1/2 cup shredded white semi-soft cheese such as jack, Havarti, mozzarella, gouda …

Heat a small pan over medium high heat. When hot add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Add the onions to the pan and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add tomatoes and saute until most of the moisture from the tomatoes is cooked off. Divide vegetables among muffin cups, topping with bacon and shredded cheese. Either evenly divided egg base among the cups or fill to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

Kid Friendly Recipes Vegetarian

Buffalo Ranch Popcorn

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seasoned popcorn snack recipe

Do you all love popcorn as much as I do? Lately I’ve been trying to move away from microwave popcorn. I started by switching to organic microwave popcorn which actually tastes WAY better than popcorn of the Orville Redenbacher variety, however it does still use palm oil and butter flavoring. I tried several types of popcorn that didn’t have the bad stuff added to it and didn’t really like the taste. So the next stop on the popcorn train is to make it from scratch so I can use the kind of oil I want and then add different seasonings to make it fun. This Buffalo Ranch version is the first one in a series that I’ll be posting. I love that this one has tons of flavor and isn’t loaded with butter. If you want to really make the butter stand out, brown it before adding the buffalo wing sauce.

Ingredients

8 cups popped popcorn

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce

1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix

1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Place popcorn in a large bowl or paper bag. In a small bowl mix butter and buffalo wing sauce. Drizzle this mixture over the popcorn and toss to evenly distribute.

Sprinkle ranch seasoning and sea salt over popcorn and toss again.

Now settle in with a good movie or if you’re in my house take it out to the bonfire in the back yard.

Dessert Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes

The Easiest Chocolate Pudding You’ll Ever Make

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chocolate puddingWhile looking around my kitchen for something to satisfy a major sweet tooth attack I came up with quick and easy pudding which makes a nice snack, dessert or breakfast. This is actually faster to make than opening a box of Jello instant pudding and one serving = 3 net carbs! You can easily double or even quadruple this recipe and I’ll include those measurements below the instructions.

Ingredients

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1 large egg

3 tablespoons 3 carb/serving chocolate protein powder

Instructions

Soften the cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Microwave for one minute. Stir and let rest for a minute so that the flavors blend and the pudding sets up a bit.

 

Double Batch

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

2 large eggs

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 3 carb/serving chocolate protein powder

 

Quadruple Batch

1 cup mascarpone cheese

4 large eggs

3/4 cup 3 carb/serving chocolate protein powder

Dessert Gluten Free Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes

Apple Pie For Breakfast? Count Me In!

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custard

This dish is a nod to apple pie a la mode with it’s rich creamy texture spiked with the traditional apple pie spices.  I made this custard for Thanksgiving celebrations and have continued making it as it’s so healthy that we often eat it for breakfast.

I intended this to be a breakfast custard so it’s not as sweet as a dessert would be. You can of course add extra sweetener if you wish, or top with pureed berries. The apple pie spice (and surprisingly – the sea salt) helps to lend this dish a sweet flavor without adding extra sweetener.

You won’t want to make more than you can eat in two days. After that the custard starts to pull away from the sides of the dish and gets weepy (water starts to separate from the custard). You can however make a large batch of the custard and then bake it as you want it. Store it in a pitcher, give it a good stir when you’re ready to bake, and you’re good to go any morning you just gotta have a custard, although because of the long cooking time I usually bake this up the night before.

Ingredients

6 large eggs

2 packets Stevia or monk fruit

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon apple pie spice

5 cups half and half

dash of sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325° F if baking in one big dish or 350° F. F if baking in individual servings.

Whisk together (or buzz in blender) eggs, maple syrup, spice, salt, and vanilla. When blended, whisk in milk. Pour into an 8×8 baking dish or six custard cups. Sprinkle the top with a little more apple pie spice or cinnamon. Carefully set the dish(es) in a larger pan filled half way with hot water. Carefully place in oven so that no water spills into the custard cups. Bake the 8×8 pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour; bake cups at 350° F. degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Custard is done when a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold.

Family Friendly

Drizzle maple syrup over the top of each serving.

 

This recipe is calculated for six servings at 8.5 net carbs for each serving.

Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Paleo Recipes

The Easiest Tastiest Breakfast EVER!

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egg-cups

I don’t know about you but I DO NOT WANT to spend any time in the kitchen in the morning, yet I’m not really into the usual suspects on the instant breakfast train – cold cereal with milk, instant oatmeal? No thank you. So I decided that it would be worth it to spend some time developing a make-ahead breakfast that I would actually look forward to. Enter the Egg Cup in all it’s many variations.

I started with a simple scrambled egg base which I can make up in big batches and then add different ingredients so that I’m not eating the same thing every morning. In one hour I can make up enough egg cups to keep me happy for a month! Now if you don’t think that’s the easiest breakfast EVER then you can go back to your bowl of cold cereal.

Each of the filling recipes makes enough for 6 cups.

 

Large Batch Egg Cup Base

Makes 29 egg cups.

15 large eggs (in my house these are going to be pasture raised organic eggs)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk or heavy cream

1 & 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

In a blender or large bowl with a pouring spout whisk everything together until well mixed.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 29 muffin cups or cook in smaller batches.

Place the filling ingredients for whichever type of egg cup you’re making into the oiled muffin cups. If you’re able to work with 24 cups at once then you can easily divide the egg base evenly among the cups. If you’re working in smaller batches then pour in enough of the egg base to fill about 3/4 of each cup.

 

Small Batch Egg Cup Base

Makes 12 egg cups.

5 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a blender or large bowl with a pouring spout whisk everything together until well mixed.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 12 muffin cups or cook in smaller batches.

Place the filling ingredients for whichever type of egg cup you’re making into the oiled muffin cups. If you’re able to work with 12 cups at once then you can easily divide the egg base evenly among the cups. If you’re working in smaller batches then pour in enough of the egg base to fill about 3/4 of each cup.

 

Smoked Salmon Cups

This makes enough for 6 egg cups.

3 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1 inch squares

3 ounces mascarpone, Neufchatel, or cream cheese, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley

I don’t like to add another bowl to wash to my task list so I just divide the ingredients evenly amongst the muffin cups, however if you’re making more than six Salmon Cups it would probably be easier to mix all ingredients in a bowl and then divide amongst the muffin cups.  Top with egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Chorizo Cups

4 ounces chorizo, crumbled

1/4 cup diced roasted green chili, or roasted red or green bell pepper

1/2 cup cheddar, Jack, or pepper Jack, shredded

1/4 cup drained salsa

Divide ingredients individually or mix in a bowl and then divide amongst the muffin cups.   Top with egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Mushroom Cups

1/2 cup diced mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup shredded white semi-soft cheese such as jack, Havarti, mozzarella, gouda …

Heat a small pan over medium high heat. When hot swirl some cooking oil into the pan. Add the onions to the pan and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until al dente. Divide vegetables among muffin cups, topping with shredded cheese and then egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

High Protein Kid Friendly Recipes

BBQ Beer Chicken

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beer-bqe-chicken

My absolutely favorite way to cook chicken is slow cooked in a flavorful liquid. This doesn’t always have to be done in a slow cooker, but it does make dinner a lot easier.

This isn’t a picky dish; you can use breasts, thighs, or a cut up whole chicken. You can leave the skin on or off. It can be bone in or boneless. You can use pasta sauce in place of the barbecue sauce and if you use pasta sauce you can use red or white wine in place of the beer. You can even add more veggies to the pot. Any type of beer works except a bitter beer such as an IPA.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon cooking oil

4 pounds chicken breasts, thighs, or a combo

2 medium onions

1 cup beer

1 & 1/2 cups sugar-free or low carb barbeque sauce

Instructions

Mix beer and barbecue sauce in 5-quart slow cooker bowl.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown on both sides. As each batch is browned, place in slow cooker.

While chicken is cooking cut onions into wedges leaving each wedge attached at the root so it doesn’t fall apart while cooking.

When chicken is all in the slow cooker, give everything a stir to coat with sauce. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.