April 19, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese (Guest Post)

I'm having a cooking fail day in my house, ugh some days cooking makes me so frustrated!  This recipe, Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese, from Stephanie at Football, Food, & Motherhood is going to be on my must-cook list this next month as I have always wanted to attempt to cook spaghetti squash but have yet to try.  Hope you all enjoy! 

This is one of the first recipes I tried when I was learning to be more  health-conscious of the food we eat. It is still one of our favorites, as you can really change up the ingredients every time - sometimes we add bacon, and of course, lots of veggies to fill up on. My son loves it, and doesn't realize it's not "real" mac and cheese. I think your family will love it just as much!

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but get creative here!
  • 1 cooked spaghetti squash
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas (optional – or pick another veggie!)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.  Wash off the  squash and cut it in half. (Can be tricky, use your muscles!!) Make sure to scrape out the seeds.  Place the cleaned squash face-down on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then take a fork  and scrape out all the goods (will look like spaghetti!) and put into a large bowl. Or your baking dish if you’re like me and don’t need to dirty any extra dishes!!!  

In a saucepan, combine the flour, salt and pepper.  Over medium heat, gradually add the milk to the flour mixture  and whisk until smooth.  Heat and stir (constantly) until it thickens.  Remove from the heat and add in the cheese.  Stir until the cheese has melted (this is pretty quick) and the mixture is smooth.  Pour the cheese sauce over the spaghetti squash.  Add in the onion and frozen peas.  Mix it all up! Finish by adding the sprinkle of parmesan cheese  on top.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the parmesan cheese is melted and the squash is heated through.


Stephanie Barnhart is the founder of Socialminded Media Group, which provides marketing strategies and coaching for small business and soloprenurs (like bloggers!). She is also the founder/author of Football Food and Motherhood, a blog about parenting survival in NYC, and the NY Editor of MommyNearest.com – a mobile national parenting magazine and resource. She speaks at multiple national conferences on SEO, internet monitoring for parents, and social media. You can find her published in the Huffington Post, NY Metro Parent and PARENTGUIDE News.

April 18, 2014

Honey Teriyaki Chicken Pizza (Guest Post)

It's Friday night and that is often pizza night in our house!  I love this creative spin for a pizza idea, Honey Teriyaki Chicken Pizza, from our friends at Playground Talk.  Easy, simple, and looks delicious.  Thanks for sharing!    

 At PlaygroundTalk.com we're always looking for quick, easy recipes our whole family will enjoy. Local mom, Nicole didn't disappoint when sharing her Honey Teriyaki Chicken Pizza Recipe. Check it out...

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place two of the flatbreads on a baking sheet.  Drizzle and spread the olive oil on top of the flatbread.  Bake for 4 minutes to get the flatbread crispy.  While they are in the oven you can mix the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the honey teriyaki sauce.  Remove the flatbreads from the oven and spread the remaining honey teriyaki on each flatbread leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges.  Top evenly with the shredded chicken, sprinkle with the crumbled bacon and the cheese. Bake the flatbreads for 3-6 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the flatbreads are lightly browned.
PlaygroundTalk.com - is a local resource for parents in the NY Metro Area. Don't miss our curated events calendar, reviews by local parents, giveaways, community support, directories and more! Find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/playgroundtalk) or sign up for our weekly newsletter  http://eepurl.com/z-YwT


April 17, 2014

Super Simple Green Smoothies (Guest Post)

Veggies and kids.  For some of us, this is a battle and today, we are excited to have Michelle from Petit Organics share some super simple green smoothie ideas for moms AND kids.  

Super Simple Green Smoothie 

As a mother of three growing boys, I catch myself saying “eat your veggies” a little too much – three children, three meals a day – you do the math. The phrase must come out of my mouth nine times a day at least. Gasp! I have officially become my mother. We all know how important leafy greens are for our little ones’ growing bodies, but it is a rare child indeed who specifically requests vegetables. Need some ideas to help your munchkins get their greens every day? Try sneaking greens into smoothies. My boys have 8-ounce smoothies every morning at breakfast. Half of their daily-required veggies are knocked out in one smoothie – can’t beat that!

Read on for two green (and insanely delicious) smoothies that both moms and children will devour.  Serve them with breakfast, lunch or as a snack. You can also easily freeze them in popsicle molds during the warmer months for a cool treat.

 Kid Smoothie Idea

It is no surprise that like most leafy greens, spinach is packed with nutrients.  One cup of raw spinach contains over half of the daily requirement of Vitamin A for children. It is also overflowing with Protein, Iron, Potassium and Calcium.  Spinach is particularly rich in antioxidants whether consumed raw, steamed or boiled. Your foodies-in-training may even get a giggle out of this little known spinach fact: It is a part of the “goosefoot” vegetable group because of its shape!

·      1 ripe banana, peeled
·      1 ½ cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed
·      1 cup fresh or frozen berries
·      Filtered water (1/3 – 2 cups depending on preference)

Place all ingredients into your Nuk Smoothie & Baby Food Maker. Add water to cover approximately 1/3 of the vegetables and fruit. Blend for 30-45 seconds until smooth. Pour into cups and serve.

 Purple Kale and Pear Smoothie Recipe

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, you must be clued into the great and powerful kale leaf. One of the most abundant super foods available, it is loaded with Vitamins K, A and C. Its extraordinary health benefits include fighting cancer, detoxifying the liver, carotenoids that promote optimism and even turning on genes to promote a longer life. In short, this veggie should be a regular in your child’s diet at least 2-3 times per week and a smoothie is the perfect way to serve it!

·      2 kale leaves (curly or Tuscan varietals), rinsed and ribs removed
·      1 red delicious apple, cored with skin on
·      1 pear (bosc, d’anjou or Asian), cored with skin on
·      4 leaves fresh mint
·      Juice from half a lemon
·      ½ cup water
·      1 tablespoon hemp or chia seeds

Preparation: Place the first six ingredients into your Nuk Smoothie & Baby Food Maker. Blend on high 30-45 seconds until smooth. Poor into cups, stir in hemp or chia seeds and serve.

Don’t forget to have fun with your green smoothie recipes – get creative by adding unique foods like chia seeds, cocoa powder, papaya, mango and even dates. Simply adding banana or pineapple will mask any green vegetable flavor. Banana and pineapple flavor cut the bitter greens taste, making delicious smoothies for even the pickiest of eaters. Cheers to a healthy 2014!

Raised in Texas with a down home Southern upbringing, Michelle Muller-Marinis grew up with a passion for food and cooking. After moving to NYC and beginning a family of her own, Michelle realized the importance of fresh, healthy baby food – she discovered her little ones were always happiest with a spoonful of homemade food in their mouths.  She is the founder of Petit Organics, the nation’s first fresh baby food delivery service. Most recently, while working in the food industry, Michelle realized one recurring challenge parents everywhere face is the daily struggle to make healthier meals and snacks for their children. Dissatisfied with other online resources, Michelle set out to build a website to help parents and families get back on track - that is when Silver Spoon was born! It is the ultimate resource for modern families trying to balance their schedules with clean, nourishing food. Silver Spoon offers how to videos, resources and recipes for every stage of family-building from pre-pregnancy all the way through baby, toddler, adolescent and adulthood. Most importantly, Michelle is a mom of three boys, Pearce, Rylan and Brandt in NYC.


Brown Butter Double Chocolate Whole Wheat Bread (Guest Post)

Today we are welcoming Megan Wolf, from The Domesticated Wolf, to share a delicious bread recipe with you all.  This may be the perfect addition to Easter brunch this weekend or a fun recipe to help make with the kids!

As a Registered Dietitian and avid baker, I am always experimenting with different flours, sugars and oils.  Brown butter imparts an amazingly full flavor, and it couldn’t be easier!  I’m a big fan of whole wheat flour for its nutty flavor and boosted nutritional profile.  But realistically, some families do not use whole wheat flour and children (and adults!) may be unfamiliar with the flavor and texture of whole wheat baked goods.  A great way to ease into whole wheat (and other whole grain products) is to substitute part of the recipe’s all-purpose (white) flour for whole wheat.  This recipe works well using all white flour, half white and half whole wheat or all whole wheat.

 Brown Butter Double Chocolate Whole Wheat Loaf

Ingredients for 8 servings:
8 oz whole wheat flour (or 4oz all purpose and 4oz whole wheat)
4 oz sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 oz milk
2 whole eggs
2 oz butter
½ C unsweetened applesauce
½ C semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside
2. Weigh dry ingredients with a basic kitchen scale, add chocolate chips and stir to combine
3. Melt butter over low heat, cook about 10 minutes or until browned pieces begin to form, let cool
4. Measure the wet ingredients, add browned butter, stir to combine
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just incorporated
6. Transfer to a loaf pan and cook for 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean

Nutrition information for one serving:
189 calories, 6g fat, 33g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 5g protein

Megan Wolf is a New York City based Registered Dietitian and the owner of Megan Wolf Nutrition LLC, a nutrition counseling and consulting private practice specializing in women’s and pediatric health.  She holds a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Bates College. She believes no food is off limits, but rather there is room in your diet for all of your favorites.  Simply put: eat better, feel better, live better.  Megan is an avid cook, public speaker, and an aspiring cookbook author.  She is active on social media and writes for her blog, The Domesticated Wolf (http://thedomesticatedwolf.com/). 

You can follow her for healthy living tips and healthy recipes on Instagram(http://instagram.com/thedomesticatedwolf), 
or you can visit her website at http://meganwolfnutrition.com/. 

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