Category Archives: Kid Friendly

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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 This custard is a nod to apple pie a la mode with it’s rich creamy texture spiked with the traditional apple pie spices.  I make this custard for Thanksgiving celebrations and then continue making it throughout the year. It’s so healthy that we often eat it for breakfast! Who needs oatmeal when you have this custard waiting to greet you in the morning?

custard

The recipe below is my breakfast custard recipes so it’s not as sweet as a dessert would be. You can of course add extra sweetener 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, store it in the fridge for up to five days 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.

Kid Friendly Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Quinoa Burritos

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quinoa-burritoes

Not all UnDieters are following Paleo or Low Carb so I wanted to give you all one of my favorite burrito recipes. Vegans can forgo the cheese and this will still be a delicious recipe. As with most of my recipes there are many variations which I’ll share with you at the end after the basic recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chopped vegetables such as zucchini, onions, or bell peppers, or a mix

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

one 15 ounce can black, pinto, or kidney beans

2 cups tomato salsa or salsa verde

8 whole wheat tortillas

1t o 2 cups shredded cheddar, pepper Jack, or Mexican cheese blend

Instructions

Rinse quinoa well. Drain and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, paprika, vegetables and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir in beans and 1 cup salsa. Place one tortilla in an oiled baking dish. Fill with 1 cup of the quinoa mixture. Fold over. Continue filling and folding tortillas until all 8 tortillas are filled. Top with 1 cup of salsa and the cheese. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until hot and bubbling.

Vegan Variation

Use soy cheese in place of the cheese or just eliminate the cheese altogether.

Spice Change Up

Change up the paprika with taco seasoning or fajita seasoning.

Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic to the quinoa while boiling it.

For really cheesy burritos add 1 cup cheese to the quinoa mixture before rolling it up in the tortillas. You’ll have extra filling left over which you can set aside for another meal or just use a couple extra tortillas.

Top It Off

After removing from the oven garnish with chopped avocado, sour cream, sliced green onion, chopped roasted green chilies, sliced olives, chopped red onion …

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Neutral Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

Pumpkin Spiced Almonds

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spiced-nuts2It’s a hot day here in Southern California, although that’s probably the equivalent of saying “pizza pie”, isn’t it? Anway, I was itching to get into the kitchen but the heat was zapping my energy so I settled for something quick and easy and for me that means – no measuring. Hopefully you all will be able to appreciate how easy it is to cook to your own taste without measuring exact amounts or ingredients.

I’d roasted a Delicata squash the other night and had saved the seeds. I’d given them a rinse and rubbed them to remove the squash goo, but had put them wet into a little container and refrigerated them. So the first step was to dry toast them.

I placed the seeds in a cast iron pan on the burner and heated it to medium. I stirred them occasionally and when they were no longer wet I added some nuts that I had soaked and dried last week. So in went pecans, almonds, and cashews. I continued toasting everything, stirring occasionally until the Delicata seeds started to pop.

I swirled in a little coconut oil, then stirred in a small handful of pumpkin pie spice, a pinch of sea salt and a couple pinches of monk fruit (sweetener). You could really use any sweetener that you have on hand, stevia, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, rapadura, sucanat … and continued stirring occasionally for five minutes. I removed a couple of nuts. Let them cool, then tasted them and adjusted the seasoning. When I liked the seasoning I removed the pan from the heat and allowed the nuts to cool before packing them in a glass jar and storing in the fridge.

Then I read that a Penn State study had determined that eating 35 almonds a day resulted in a 1/4 cup loss of fat around the belly. One more reason to enjoy these almonds 🙂

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Paleo Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Sweet Potato “Fries”

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baked sweet potato friesI’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately with quotation marks around them. “Fries”, “rice”, “potato”, “guac”. Oh well, this one is one of my favorites. It’s quite simple and really nothing new but I thought I’d post it anyway as a reminder of how easy it is to eat healthy and enjoy what you’re eating. Why feel deprived while eating to lose weight and get healthy if you don’t have to?

I peeled these potatoes because they were a little old, but I prefer these “fries” with the skin on. Cut sweet potatoes into fry shaped sticks or wedges. You can cut them as thin or as thick as you like, the important thing is to cut them all roughly the same size so they’ll cook evenly.

Place them on a baking sheet. Spray or toss them with your choice of oil, coconut oil or olive oil are my oils of choice with these. Sprinkle with sea salt and arrange so they’re in one layer and not too crowded. Pop them into an oven preheated to 450 degrees. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how large your slices are. Take out of the oven and flip them after 15 minutes, 10 minutes if your slices are especially thin.

Variations

1 teaspoon (per potato) of a spice or spice combination of your choice:

  • chipotle powder (small pinch)
  • wasabe powder (small pinch)
  • smoked paprika
  • fajita seasoning
  • taco seasoning
  • Chinese five-spice
  • cumin
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • garam masala
  • Cajun seasoning

Eat them as is or serve them up with ketchup, mustard, mayo or as you’ll see in the photo above I served mine with mayo to which I’d added mashed cloves of roasted garlic.

You can thank me later 🙂

Beverages Gluten Free Kid Friendly Living Food Low Calorie Neutral Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

Delicious Easy Nutritious Coconut Milk

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freshly made coconut milk

freshly made coconut milk

Recently I discovered that the “organic” nondairy milk that I’d been buying wasn’t so organic. It’s right there on the ingredients label, I was just blinded by the “organic” in big letters on the front of the package. I’ll add more to this post next week detailing what I learned, but for today I wanted to give you all who saw my post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter this super simple recipe for coconut milk.

Once I figured out that the only way I was going to get nondairy milk without all the junk added to it was to make it myself I started looking around for the easiest and least expensive way to do this. Almond and cashew milk are fine, but pretty expensive when you’re buying organic nuts AND it’s a little more work than I want to invest.

I’ve yet to try making brown rice milk, which I will and will post about later, but today I had a bunch of coconut flour and shredded coconut and decided to give coconut milk a try.

For my first batch I went with the coconut flour method mostly because I could skip the blender step.

Coconut Flour Milk

Ingredients

4 cups filtered hot water
1 cup organic coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Ingredients

Mix the water, coconut flour and sea salt in a large measuring cup. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. Pour through a very fine sieve, cheesecloth lined colander or nut milk bag. You could also pour through a coffee filter set on top of your coffee pot. Once no more milk is coming through the sieve, press down on the flour to express as much milk as possible. Most people discard the coconut flour that’s left over but I used mine to make a nondairy cream cheese. You could also use it to thicken sauces, stew, soup, or gravy.

My Review: the milk tastes flat and watery, not a lot of flavor. I’ll use it to make a smoothie but won’t make it this way again.

 

Shredded Coconut Milk

Ingredients

4 cups filtered hot water
2 cups organic shredded coconut

Instructions

Pour the water over the shredded coconut in a blender. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or until the water has cooled enough to safely blend. Blend for a few seconds. It doesn’t take much. Pour through a very fine sieve, cheesecloth lined colander or nut milk bag. You could also pour through a coffee filter set on top of your coffee pot. Once no more milk is coming through the sieve, press down on the flour to express as much milk as possible.

The left over shredded coconut can be used in any recipe calling for shredded coconut, however it won’t have as much flavor or fat since these were expressed into the milk, but you will get the bulk and the fiber. You could also just add to your smoothies, pancake batter, home made bread, or yogurt.

My Review: the milk tastes fabulous! I don’t drink milk, even nondairy milk but I had to stop myself from drinking the whole batch and calling it breakfast. I thought I would have to add some sea salt at least, if not vanilla and sweetener, but this milk doesn’t need a thing.

The milk will separate as it sits, just shake it up before you use it. I don’t worry about skimming the fattier cream off the top because I try to add coconut oil to my diet every day anyway.

Beverages Fruit Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Calorie Low Carb Recipes Vegetarian

Protein Smoothies – Kick ‘Em Up a Notch

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protein smoothie recipe

Breakfast and lunch – ready to hit the road.

Sometimes I get tired of protein powder shakes, add ice cubes and some water, blend, yawn. So I start playing around with the basic recipe and suddenly my mornings are a lot more interesting. I’m using stevia as a sweetener but you can use monk fruit, Splenda, or any other healthy sweetener.

Strawberry Flaxtini

To your chosen protein powder recipe add 1/2 cup frozen or fresh strawberries and 1 tablespoon ground flax seed. If all you have is whole flax seed add them by themselves in the blender and process until ground, then add the remaining ingredients.

Mocha Monkey

To your chosen protein powder recipe add 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk, 1/2 banana, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/4 cup cold coffee, 1 teaspoon stevia.

Green Energy

To your chosen protein powder recipe add 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk, 1 cup spinach leaves, 1/2 pear or apple, 1 teaspoon stevia.

Ginger Kick

To your chosen protein powder recipe add 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk, 1/2 pear or apple, 1/2 banana (optional), 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon stevia.

Mocha Magic

To your chosen protein powder recipe add 1 & 1/2 cup unsweetened nondair milk, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/4 cup cold coffee, 1 teaspoon stevia.

Pineapple Smile

To your chosen protein powder recipe add 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk, 1 cup chopped pineapple, 1 teaspoon stevia.

Cinnamon Roll Smoothie

To your chosen protein powder recipe add 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon stevia.