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Friday, May 31, 2013

Time to Start Gardening

As it is the beginning of the summer soon, now is a great time to be thinking about planting a garden.

Try these ideas for planning and growing your own food.
Growing an Italian Pizza Garden
Growing an Herb Garden
Grow your food scraps

Also check out our Kids Cooking Camp Growing and Cooking as it is the perfect time to get started with this ebook.


This unit gives you tips on growing different vegetables, recipes to try for each vegetable and food facts about vegetables. We've included 10 vegetables and herbs with information on planting and why you should plant a vegetable garden with your kids. Each vegetable or herb includes at least 4 recipes to cook.

Unlike other summer camp curriculum this one is designed to plant your seeds and watch them grow, then harvest them and try the recipes.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Easy meal ideas with roast chicken

5 Easy Meal Ideas With Rotisserie Chicken 

For anyone who is trying to Rotisserie chicken can be a great easy meal idea when planning what is for dinner as well as an item that can be picked up at your local grocery store quickly.

Besides having a roast chicken with a side dish here are a few ideas of what you can do with shredded chicken.
  1. Add to a salad. If you are short on time buy bagged lettuce and vegetables already cut up. For a cheaper alternative buy lettuce, vegetables of choice, sliced ham, sliced cheese and your rotisserie chicken. Assemble your salad at home and serve with garlic bread if desired. Another option is a Caesar salad topped with shredded chicken.

  2. Add shredded chicken to tortillas. Top with shredded cheese and salsa or sour cream. Roll up and either broil in the oven for a crunchy tortilla or place in the microwave until the cheese is melted.

  3. Create a quick quiche chicken pie. You can always make a chicken pot pie with vegetables with your chicken. But if you want something different add shredded chicken to 1 1/2 cups milk, 3 eggs, and 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Blend together and pour into a pie crust. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees or until lightly browned and knife inserted in middle comes out clean. To add a vegetable to the meal add 1/2 package frozen chopped broccoli thawed and drained to your egg mixture then pour into pie crust.

  4. Put together a soup. Using canned or homemade chicken broth add frozen vegetables, shredded chicken and pasta noodles or ravioli noodles for a standard chicken soup. Other soup ideas are adding chicken to a white bean chili, spice chicken soup up with tomatoes and corn, or add rice or dumplings instead of noodles.

  5. Chicken salad. For a quick meal idea stir shredded chicken with mayonnaise and pickle relish and serve on a croissant or hard roll. Or go for a different chicken salad mixed with almonds,cooked noodles and chopped eggs with or without mayonnaise. There are many variations of chicken salads you can find.

No doubt Rotisserie chicken can help make dinner into an easy meal with just a little imagination. Chicken can be used in so many variations of meals it is no wonder it is so popular throughout the world.

Learn how to roast a chicken.


Easy Rotisserie Chicken Meals
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kids Cooking Video- Cookie Pizzas

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kids Eating Greens

How to get your kids to eat their greens

There seems to be a love-hate relationship between kids and any kind of healthy vegetable. Why is that? Whatever the reason, they do need the nutrients locked inside. So, how can you get your kids to eat their green vegetables?

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s true. Whatever we do not like or won’t eat, we are not likely to introduce to our kids. It is an unconscious process that we, as parents, go through. When you shop, if you don’t like peas, you won’t pick them up.

So, in reality, getting your kids to eat their greens is also an experiment for you as well. Through them, you can learn to appreciate vegetables that you may have shied away from as a child and again as an adult.

With that said, introducing new foods to kids when they are young is one way to get them to eat their green veggies. Their palate is clean and ready to accept new foods. They will learn how vegetables are supposed to taste and choose the ones they like. Resist the urge to smother them with butter or salt. Let the natural flavor come through.

If your children are older and haven’t developed a love for veggies, you may have to be a little covert with your veggie operation. The first thing to do is double the vegetables in foods they normally eat. 

Let’s take a hamburger for
instance. Homemade burgers are the best. Kids who don’t eat a lot of veggies will put them on their burger. This is your opportunity to smuggle a few more greens in. if they usually take one piece of lettuce, put two. Vary your types
of lettuce so they get a variety of tastes: romaine, Bibb, iceberg and even mixed greens.

Add a salad to your meals. Serve the salad while the kids are waiting for the main course. When they are truly hungry they will dive right in. it also gives them a chance to create a salad they will like. Offer a smorgasbord of add-ins including green things like cucumber, lettuces, beans (edamame, peas) and green peppers. Make your own dressing so you know its low-fat.

Offer veggies and dip for snacks. Instead of serving popcorn with your favorite movie, try a platter of veggies and great-tasting dip. Kids love to dip things so give them each a small bowl of their favorite dip.

One more suggestion is diced veggies. Add them to soups, stews and even spaghetti sauce. You can hide a bevy of good things in these places.

Are your kids averse to eating green things? Help them by using every opportunity to get introduce them to their palate.

Do you have a hidden vegetable recipe to share? Add a little more nutrition by adding shredded or pureed vegetables in your food.

See our vegetable recipes kids can make!
Serving vegetable side dishes plus vegetables in the main dish really adds a boost of vitamins!
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stocking the freezer with hidden vegetables

I puree vegetables and store them in the freezer to add to soups, breads, ground meat, sauces, and on and on...

I take no credit for the idea it is all thanks to The Sneaky Chef. You can learn how and what I hide vegetables in. 

So today I enlisted some help peeling carrots, zucchini, pureeing in the blender and adding labels. We had several pounds of carrots and zucchini alone.


It's a beautiful thing -isn't it?! So much beautiful colors




My favorite thing about this day was seeing their variations of spelling on the labels. Still brings a smile to my face.











More Freezer Cooking Resources

  freezer cookbook
Freezer Cooking Ebook- Over 100 recipes for freezer meals!

Visit freezer meals for more information on how freezer meals can make life easier for you and your family.
Stocking the freezer with hidden vegetables.
Stock the freezer for school lunches
What are freezer meals and why use them?


 
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Monthly Meal Planning

We live in a fast paced world, which is the reason why fast food restaurants are thriving so well in our economy. It almost seems like we don’t have enough time to stop and cook lunch or dinner for our family anymore. We are moving so fast during the day, by the time we get home we want to plop down and hang out for about an hour before we are falling asleep. If there was a way you could have lunch and dinners prepared for your family every night and not have any of the typical stress, would you try it out?

Cooking 

Believe it or not, you can have high quality meals ready for you every night of the week and not have to lift a finger to prepare anything each night. Many people are taking advantage of monthly meal planning.

Basically, one day a month, preferably on a Saturday or Sunday, people will spend the entire day cooking meals to freeze for later. Now, a month worth of food is quite a bit and even more difficult to store, so many people opt for the weekly meal planning.

Same type of situation, only this time you’re doing it on a weekly basis. Spend one day cooking and have meals prepared for the rest of the week; that takes a lot of the stress and effort out of planning healthy meals for your family doesn’t it.

Freezing

Freezing is probably the most challenging task you will come to if you decide to try out monthly or weekly meal planning. It is not difficult because freezing is freezing, the problem comes in with storage space. Many people who chose to meal plan this way, typically purchase a deep freezer or a separate stand-up freezer to keep all of their meals in.

Since space is limited, you will have to devise recipes and meal plans that you know will be able to fit into the space you have available. Just remember, if you are trying to freeze items like pancakes or berries, it helps to lay them out first to flash freeze and then bag, otherwise you will end up with a solid mass of frozen pancakes. Unless you want to eat 30 pancakes, I suggest the first way. 


Reheating

Reheating is simple. Some dishes you will want to cook all the way, such as casseroles, which can simply be reheated in the oven on 250 degrees for about 25 minutes. Other dishes, like lasagna, you will want to leave un-baked so it will have that fresh taste when you pull it out and bake it for 30 minutes on 375 degrees.

Usually the recipes you got the meals from will have proper reheating instructions so be sure to check there first for reheating directions.Fixing healthy meals for your family is simple and preparing them ahead of time takes all of the stress out of trying to squeeze in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich between practice and bedtime. Why not have great tasting meals to sit down with every day of the week? Grab some recipes and a free weekend and prepare the best week of meals your family has ever seen.

Get more help with creating freezer meals:

freezer cookbook
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fight Unhealthy Eating with Meal Planning

When you are busy with kids, career and home, it’s easy to make a quick trip to the fast food joint for lunch or dinner. In the fight to stay healthy, try menu planning. When you know what you are going to eat, you can fight the hunger bug without added calories.

Every mom has had those days where they are so busy they forget to eat. How about forgetting to take something out of the freezer for dinner? It’s hard to face a hungry family with a frozen roast in your hand.

Planning meals avoids the question, “What are we going to eat?” And, to make it fun, get the entire family involved. Let everyone be in on the solution to the problem. Here are some tips for planning meals.

1. Hold a meal planning session – Each week, get the family together and decide what you want to eat for the week. It will be hard at first to think that far ahead especially for the kids. Keep a copy of the food pyramid handy so you can be sure that enough vegetables and fruits are included each day. Include desserts and snacks in your meal plan.

2. Use your food list for grocery shopping – With a list in your hand, it’s less likely for you to pick up something that you don’t need. Be sure to read labels to find the best ingredients for your meals.

3. Use less pre-packaged and fresher foods – Let the family get in on the act. When the family helps to prepare the meals, they can see the fresh food choices that you are making. Kids learn how to cook with fresh ingredients and mom gets help.

4. Meal planning helps with portion control – When you eat out at a fast food restaurant or a dine-in spot, you don’t know if the portion you are getting is right for you. Usually it is twice as big as anyone should have at any meal. When you prepare your own food, account for each person in the family and what they will eat. If that is all you cook, there are no leftovers to tempt you.

5. Do some prep work – When you plan meals in advance, you can do the slicing and dicing on a day when you are less busy than usual. Dice vegetables, marinade meat, and mix dry ingredients ahead of time so that meal cooking is a quicker process when you need it to be.


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~