All Posts by Brooke Wheeler

17 crockpot tomato sauce

Crock Pot Tomato Sauce

Do you need one more reason to love your crock-pot? How about making your own crock pot tomato sauce!

crockpot tomato sauce

Today I’m sharing how you can make tomato sauce in your crock-pot. Not just any tomato sauce my friends, but a delicious recipe that will lead your family to believe you must have hovered over your hot stove-top all day preparing it. In reality, all you have to do is place some washed tomatoes in the crock-pot (no peeling, seeding, or coring needed), add some seasonings and heat over low for approximately 8 hours. That’s it.

So what are some perks to making tomato sauce in the crock-pot? Below are just a few:

Versatility:

Tomato sauce is very versatile. One batch can be used in several different recipes. Make several batches at once and put the leftovers in cans to be used at a later time. This allows you to quickly throw together a spaghetti dinner on those crazy busy nights.

Here are some suggested recipe from the MOMables blog in which you could incorporate this tomato sauce:

It’s Good For You:

Tomatoes are very good for you. They contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant (which is important for protecting your cells & providing immune system support). A cooked tomato contains approximately 6 times as much lycopene as a fresh tomato.

Can Be Made Year Round:

I used canned tomatoes for this recipe, however, you can use fresh.

May Trick Picky Eaters:

My son would tell you he dislikes tomatoes and if I put it on his plate it would most likely trigger his gag reflex. However, one of his favorite meals is…spaghetti. He doesn’t like the texture or taste of a fresh tomato but when it is pureed and broken down and cooked with other seasonings, he gobbles it up. So if your child is anything like my son then this tomato sauce recipe is a great way to sneak in those ingredients your child won’t eat fresh.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Crock-Pot Tomato Sauce
 
Author:
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 28oz cans whole tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 carrot, grated (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Toss all of the ingredients into the crock-pot (the tomatoes can go in whole).
  2. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the tomatoes have broken down, uncover. Continue cooking for another hour or two, until sauce has thicken.
  4. Run the tomato sauce through a food mill, carefully blend in a blender, or use an immersion blender to create a smooth sauce.
  5. Refrigerate unused sauce and use within 4 days.
Notes
Yields 2 pints.
The possibilities are truly endless. What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate a good tomato sauce?

20 Homemade Wheat Thins Recipe via MOMables.com

Homemade Wheat Thins

Want your favorite snacks, but much cheaper?

Homemade Wheat Thins that taste better than the real thing! Crunchy, fresh, and delicious -> baked right in! Perfect for the lunchbox too! Recipe via MOMables.comRaise your hand if you are someone who hears of a homemade version of a favorite food, and you immediately assume it must be super time consuming and/or involves expensive and hard to find ingredients –I raised mine too!

 

Snacks and all the other “add ins” that go inside the lunchbox are also important. It’s easy to prepare a healthy lunch and then blow the good efforts on junky treats. If you need more lunchbox ideas click here

Not so long ago, my hand would have shot up before I was even done reading that sentence. Fortunately MOMables has a ton of How-tos

I was totally under the false impression that homemade recipes were only for people with a much higher cooking skill set than me. Thankfully one day, I decided to just go for it and experiment with recipes I had assumed would be hard to make.

I was shocked to find that not only was it much easier than I had assumed, it was also cheaper…not to mention much healthier.

Take this recipe for homemade wheat thin crackers for instance. There was a day when I would have thought making these would be an all-day process and that at the end of it, they would taste nothing like the real thing. If you are under the same impression you must try this recipe! It is so easy to make, requires very few ingredients, and tastes exactly like the real thing. I seriously couldn’t believe it! Join us and you will learn a ton of new stuff!

Make these crackers for a snack, or pack it as the crackers in the MOMables deli box. I am confident you could fool your kids into believing they are consuming crackers from a box!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Homemade Wheat Thins
 
Author:
Serves: approx. 60 crackers
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • (or more if dough it too dry)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, paprika, and salt.
  3. Using a cheese grater, shred butter onto flour mixture. Using your hands, combine until thoroughly mixed.
  4. In a small dish, mix together the water and vanilla and pour liquid into the flour and butter mixture. Stir this until it comes together. You made need to use your hands a bit to really mix this together. If the dough appears dry add a touch of water, but not too much, as you do not want the dough to become sticky.
  5. Split the dough in half. On a floured surface or on a non-stick mat, roll out one half of the dough very thin (1/16th inch). Using a pizza cutter, large knife, or cookie cutters, cut into whatever shape you desire. Immediately after cutting, transfer the crackers onto lined baking sheets. Repeat as necessary. Sprinkle with more salt, if desired.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching closely, because they can burn quickly. Half way through baking, rotate the pans to ensure even baking. Cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Notes
This recipe also works with all-purpose gluten free flour mix (one that already has xanthan gum in it).
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookbook.
 

13 10 Healthy classroom snacks

10 Healthy Classroom Snacks

Did you know you can send relatively healthy snacks to school that your kid’s entire class will love?

10 Healthy classroom snacksMost of us with school-aged children have been there…your child is sent home with a note saying that it is their turn to be “snack kid” at school. My kids love being “snack kid,” but really why wouldn’t they? They get to show up to school the next day with goodies to share and enjoy with their friends.

What else do you need for your kid’s lunchbox? MOMables has all the recipes and tips you could possibly need!

The not-so fun part comes for us moms. Why does that seem to be a common theme in motherhood…mom does the grunt work, the kids reap the benefits? We’re the ones left with the decisions of what and how much you need to bring/make, all while trying to come up with something that is healthy for the kiddos and something that they would be excited to share with their friends.

Because even though us moms would be tickled to bring a snack of fresh fruits and veggies, our kids don’t always want to be the ones to bring carrots and celery sticks for snacks. So, when we get the dreaded note, I try to think of things that are the best of all worlds (healthy, kid-friendly, yummy, and easy to make in larger quantities).

To make it easier for all of you, I have constructed a list of 10 classroom snacks to share with you today, many of which are a healthier homemade version of children’s favorite staple snacks.

Homemade Lara Bars

homemade fruit roll ups

maple-glazed-raisin-and-friends-snack-mix-MOMables-

  • Kitchen Sink Muffins
  • Homemade Oreos (ok, ok, this may not be “healthy” exactly, but they are a way better homemade alternative to the store bought and processed cookies)

You can find even more delicious snack ideas by browsing our recipe index. What are some of your favorite go-to homemade snacks that you send your child to school with for the whole classroom?

35 homemade dorito recipe

Homemade Dorito Recipe

Need a better, healthier alternative to those well known nacho cheese chips?

homemade dorito recipeMOMables is notorious for finding the recipes our kids love and adore and giving them a “real food” makeover. For example:

Just to name a few…

From the recipes above to homemade, healthy and yummy lunches MOMables has you covered! Join us here!

From cookies to crackers to spreads, to meals for the whole family, we’ve tackled them all. Today we’re pushing the envelope even further and sharing a simple yet absolutely delicious recipe for DIY Nacho Cheese Chips. Yes, a recipe for those chips all of our kids can’t get enough of, sans the processed junk. Plus, they taste so good, your kids won’t even know they didn’t come from a bag!

This particular snack also has a pretty interesting back story. The chief mom’s daughter is allergic to the yellow fake cheese on the real chips. Her food allergies to highly processed ingredients increased when she was little, and that fact, along with several other factors, eventually led her to launch MOMables.

These are so simple to make you will be absolutely amazed and your kids will gobble them right up! These would be a perfect side in their lunch or also a great after school snack.

2.5 from 2 reviews
DIY Nacho Cheese Chips
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay tortillas on rimmed baking sheet and brush with oil on both sides. Stack them up and cut 3 ways making 6 pieces.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together Parmesan, chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Toss the sliced tortillas in the spice mix and lay them in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Serve when cooled and enjoy immediately.
Notes
Recipe source: www.snack-girl.com.
 

32 how to cook ground beef in a crockpot

How to Cook Ground Beef in a Crockpot

Have you ever cooked ground beef in a crockpot?

how to cook ground beef in a crockpot

Because we know a lot goes into keeping families moving, MOMables is always sharing ways to simplify things on the “feeding your family” front. Just as you will find prep-ahead tips in the weekly plans, today we’re sharing a prep-ahead tip for how you can cook ground beef in a crock-pot, for all of your meals for the week, at once.

Cook once and eliminate a step later on in the week when you’re making meals. If you can eliminate one of the more time consuming steps like this, your dinner prep moves a lot faster, which gets dinner on the table faster and leaves more time for you to cross other things off that never-ending mommy list.

how to cook ground beef

All you do is add up to 3 pounds of ground beef to your crock-pot (I have done as many as 5 lbs. at one time). Break up the beef and add ¼ cup water (per pound of beef). Turn your crock-pot on and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 4-6 hours. Cooking time will vary depending on how many pounds of beef you are cooking.

During the cooking process, I stir the meat mixture occasionally to help the meat cook evenly. Once your meat has fully cooked, drain off the grease. I then divide the meat out and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Then later on in the week, when I need to add it to a casserole, sauce, etc., I just pull it out of the refrigerator and add it along with the other ingredients. It is a huge time saver. Not to mention, it means dirtying one less pan that night!

I don’t exactly know what it is about the onset of colder weather that makes me feel compelled to start stocking my freezer with meals, but it happens every year around this time. If this happens to you as well, this method for cooking ground beef in a crockpot is also great to do and instead of using the beef right away, you can stock your freezer with the cooked beef.

I use this method to cook up a bunch of ground beef and then freeze the cooked meat in a freezer safe plastic bag. Then on days when I am in need of a quick meal, I can pull out the beef, let it thaw, and add it to any dish (spaghetti sauce, taco meat, etc).

A quick and easy way to cook ground beef that requires very little work…count me in!

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