All Posts by Keeley McGuire

26 chocolate chip zucchini muffins

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

These mini chocolate chip zucchini muffins are unreal! chocolate chip zucchini muffins My daughter couldn’t wait for them to come out of the oven! When they did, she devoured the first one and announced that it was chocolatey and delicious!

I couldn’t keep the secret, so I told her that it had zucchini in it.  Her reply: “awesome!” and asked for another.  Mom scores!

This recipe can be adapted and made egg-free by using an egg replacer, bananas, or applesauce!  Those options will keep the muffins moist and fluffy, while still “binding” the ingredients (see notes in recipe).

Another plus? They can be frozen and used later! Perfect for a grab and go treat for your kiddos for school or complementing your MOMables menu plans for a nice dessert at lunch.

These are the muffins I included in twenty-eight bentos I recently donated to a school.  They were a huge hit! 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Baking

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oat flour (rolled oats ground into a flour–you can use your blender or food processor for that)
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely grated
  • 2 eggs (see notes below for substitutions)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa (I use a blend of dark and natural, giving them a nice chocolatey color)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (EnjoyLife brand is free of the Top 8 Allergens)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and lightly grease a mini muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oat flour, zucchini, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and applesauce.
  3. Mix in the baking cocoa until evenly blended. Add the chocolate chips, saving a few for topping, and stir.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into each mini muffin cavity.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven, and top each with a few additional chocolate chips.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

Notes

If you’re replacing the eggs with applesauce or banana, substitute 1/4 cup fruit per egg. Increase the baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon per egg and 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder per egg. If you’re using egg replacement, follow the recipe. Baking times may be 3 to 5 minutes longer if you’re using fruit.

 

32 Banana Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Banana Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Granola bars are a great after-school snack.  Finding one that has all natural ingredients and is organic and affordable can be a challenge.  If you have a gluten-free and nut-free kid, even more difficult.chocolate chip banana bars

I’ve never made granola bars before.  Every recipe I found was either full of tree nuts, peanuts, or binding agents I don’t want to use.  For this reason, I’ve chosen to put off creating my own and focusing my attention on nutritious school lunches.

Since starting my daughter on a gluten-free diet, I’ve been experimenting a lot in my personal blog with different recipes and ideas to make them delicious and healthy for my daughter (who also has a peanut allergy).

I finally decided to tackle my nemesis: the granola bar.

It’s delicious. I know. Try to control yourself from eating it yet! You’ll thank me later.  This recipe is really easy to make.  You measure and mix the ingredients, spread it on a baking dish, cool, cut, and serve!

While you’ve been standing there, smelling them, wanting them, waiting for them to cool, I know you’ve been eating chocolate chips from the bag. Admit it! Okay, maybe that’s just me, but it also gave me the yummy idea to melt some additional chocolate chips and drizzle it over the bars. Mmm…

You don’t have to add the drizzle, but I did. I went there. There’s no going back now; there are never regrets when it comes to chocolate!

I wrapped the bars individually in waxed paper and stored them in an airtight container with a lid. That way, we can easily grab bars on the go for lunches or snacks!

These have been a big hit with the fella and my Little Miss! The smell of a banana chocolate chip muffin, but the yummy texture of a granola bar.  From my family to yours, ENJOY!

Banana Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Baking

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats (GF Harvest oats are both gluten- and nut-free.)
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (EnjoyLife brand are gluten- and nut-free.)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy flax cereal (EnjoyLife brand is gluten- and nut-free.) (You could also use a gluten-free crunchy rice cereal, if you prefer.)

Instructions

  1. On an ungreased baking sheet, spread the oats out evenly, and bake at 350F for about 10 minutes, stirring once in the middle of that time.
  2. Remove the oats from the oven, leaving the oven ON, and let them cool completely.
  3. While the oats are cooling, you can mix together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. After the oats are cooled, add them to the bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Lightly coat an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray, and place the mixture evenly into the dish, using your fingers to help push it down flat and into the corners.
  5. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes.
  6. After cooking, allow to cool completely.
  7. After the bars have cooled and the chocolate has hardened, you can slice it however you prefer. I chose to slice down the middle and into six even cuts lengthwise to make 12 bars.

 

 

7 black bean corn cakes

Black Bean Corn Cakes

Do you have a kid who doesn’t eat meat, and find it challenging to sneak in nutrition?

black bean corn cakesAt MOMables, we are always coming up with fresh new ways to introduce healthy foods into lunches.  We plan, you make, they eat.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

We love these corn cakes because black beans have a lot of fiber and protein. They are filling, give lasting energy, and pack a lot of nutrition our kids need, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

But, who wants to eat plain beans for lunch? These corn cakes taste great at room temperature and are very easy to pack for lunch!

I often top the corn cakes with sour cream, cheese, salsa, and diced chicken breast to create a delicious Mexican-inspired dish for lunch!  You can, however, put all items on the side and let your child “dip.”

Black Bean Corn Cakes

black bean corn cakes
  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 20
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, with liquid
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup (or 8-ounce package) cornbread or corn muffin mix, dry
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • Optional Toppings: salsa, sour cream, cheese, diced chicken, corn, avocado

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mash the beans slightly, then add the lime juice, corn mix, and salsa. Mix well.
  2. On the stovetop, lightly coat your skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium.
  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon portions of the batter into your pan, cooking like a pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the cakes, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

 

14 baked cauliflower bites

Baked Cauliflower Bites

Need a gluten-free idea to serve at parties? All your guests will LOVE these Cauliflower Bites!

baked cauliflower bitesCauliflower is so versatile! It can be used to make pizza crustspasta salads, or even mashed like a potato. That’s how this fabulous idea came about!

Just like our Buffalo Chicken Meatballs recipe, party food should be “party friendly”–easily enjoyed with your hands, a toothpick, or a fork. Why not sneak in some nutrition while you’re at it too!? ;)

cauliflower bites Cauliflower is a low-calorie veggie and an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as antioxidants and fiber. People at your party will never know you’re actually giving them something healthy–all they’ll taste is DELICIOUS!

Baked Cauliflower Bites

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 24-26
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 head cauliflower, cleaned and diced into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon favorite all-purpose seasoning, divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (either Cheddar or mozzarella will work)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs (plain will work, but panko is recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax meal (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the water into a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the cauliflower to the water. Cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Let the cauliflower cook for about 15 minutes, until tender.
  4. Drain the water, and let the cauliflower cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. Before mashing, again drain any excess moisture from the pan. Add the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning.
  6. Using a potato masher, begin mashing the florets just like you would mashed potatoes.
  7. Add the Cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Mix together.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, flax meal (if using), the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of the Parmesan cheese.
  10. Using your hands, begin forming balls with the cauliflower mixture, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  11. Roll each ball in the bread crumb mixture, then place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the cauliflower mixture is gone.
  12. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the bread crumbs begin to turn golden brown.
  13. Serve on a platter with your favorite sauce, such as honey mustard or creamy ranch.

Notes

Note: My go-to all-purpose seasonings for this recipe are Garlic and Herb seasoning, Creole Seasoning, and Italian Seasoning.

 

 

16 mini tuna balls

Mini Tuna Balls

Want a new fun way to get your kids to eat their omega-3s? Look no further. These mini tuna balls are not only delicious but also nutritious! 

mini tuna ballsMy daughter has been loving her MOMables Tuna Salad sandwiches in her lunches, so I wanted to find a new fun way for her to enjoy this omega-3 and vitamin B6 food item!

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Whether you have food allergies or not, this is a delicious recipe with only three ingredients! MOMables has tons of ideas that are simple and easy to make, just like this one. It makes packing a school lunch way easier and less complicated. So if that sounds good to you, then you can join us here!

mini tuna ballsThey can be eaten warm from the oven at dinner, cold on a salad, or at room temperature for lunch! They are perfect for school lunches!  Another twist? Add them to your favorite macaroni & cheese recipe.  My daughter calls them Tuna Flavored Chicken Nuggets!

We use homemade gluten-free bread crumbs so they’re allergy-friendly. They are also free from nuts, peanuts, and eggs.

Tips: They can be rolled any size; we prefer them mini (around 1 inch in diameter) so they are bite size. The minis will yield approximately 24 tuna balls. I also like to bake them in a mini muffin pan, so they each have their own place and won’t roll around on the baking sheet.

Mini Tuna Balls

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 5-6 ounces tuna, pouch or canned, drained
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato dressing (or favorite Italian dressing)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease or line a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, work the tuna with a fork, breaking apart the chunks.
  3. Add the bread crumbs and dressing. Mix thoroughly until the tuna is moistened and smooth enough to roll.
  4. Using your hands, roll the tuna into 1-inch diameter balls, then place them on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes (Check for doneness around 15 minutes because oven temperatures vary.) Flip once in the middle, to keep one side from browning more than the other.
  6. Serve warm in a thermos with mac and cheese or at room temperature in a lunch container.

 

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