Tag Archives for " family dinners "

2 Vegetable Tian Recipe

What if I told you that this delicious lunch is made from dinner left overs?

Welcome to our new series: Dinners Transformed.  Because part of eating healthy is having good-for-you food ready, we are going to show you how you can take dinner left overs and create amazing lunches!


I know I can be a regular offender of wasting food because I don’t know how to re-purpose it!  Then MOMables™ asked me to begin this fresh-food series called Dinners Transformed. In this series, I’m going to show you lunch ideas of what you can do with those little leftovers -don’t worry, I will share the recipes too!

This is a Vegetable Tian I made this weekend. One little, lonely scoop of this yummy Tian was left in fridge. I actually have no idea how this scoop survived dinner, because this recipe was soooooooo delicious! It is a must try recipe, trust me, you will thank me later.

If you’ve ever wondered “what am I going to do with one miserable scoop of left overs” then you are in the right place.

I placed the leftover serving of vegetable Tian on a slice of  bread with a little mayo or avocado and now I have lunch made the next day!

Pictured above is a vegetable tian sandwich, cherry tomatoes, watermelon and trail mix.

Vegetable Tian
 
Author:
Cuisine: Lunch
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-2 russet potatoes
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning salute (or any salt free multipurpose seasoning, like Mrs. Dash)
  • ¼ cup Italian blend cheese (mozzarella & parmesan)
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice potatoes, plum tomatoes, yellow squash, and zucchini. Set aside. To give the tomatoes a little extra kick, I placed the thin slices on a paper towel to absorb some liquid and sprinkled 1 tsp or the multipurpose seasoning.
  2. Saute your chopped onions and minced garlic in 1 tbsp of butter until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).
  3. Spray a pie pan with non-stick spray and layer onions on the bottom of the pan. If you do not have a pie pan, an 8x8 pan will also work.
  4. Create a spiral layer (or rows if you are using a square dish) of potato, zucchini, squash, potato, tomato, potato, zucchini, squash, potato, tomato, potato, etc...
  5. Drizzle with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp of seasoning and salt. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees, covered for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes.
 

3

Chicken Parmesan Cups

One of the challenges in family cooking is finding a recipe that everyone will eat and can be adjusted to the proper portions.  This Chicken Parmesan Loaf was a hit with my family.  Rethinking the whole portion-control thing, I made this recipe in a muffin pan for perfect individual-size portions.

This recipe is simple to make without the breading, coating, and frying of traditional Chicken Parmesan recipes.  Zero hassle and 100% authentic tasting.

These individual cups make a great meal for the entire family. Oh, and let’s not forget that leftovers are perfect for lunches too, MOMables style!


Chicken Parmesan Cups
 
Recipe yields 12 cup-size portions. Tip: For this recipe, silicone or foil muffin liners will work best in lieu of paper liners.
Author:
Cuisine: Lunch
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (oregano, basil, & garlic)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup pasta sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat muffin liners lightly with cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, egg, bread crumbs, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Mix with your hands, just like a meatloaf.
  3. Place the mixture into each cup, leaving enough room to add sauce on the top.
  4. Top each cup with 1 to 2 teaspoons of sauce.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 165F.
  6. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on each cup. Place back in the oven until the cheese has melted.
  7. Remove from the oven, and allow each cup to rest before removing the liners, if serving immediately.
  8. Make-ahead tip: This recipe can be frozen after mixing and dividing among the lined cups. Just thaw, top with sauce, and bake following the directions above.

 

15

Easy Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup

This cheesy crockpot potato soup is one of those one-pot wonder soups that hits the spot! Bonus: the whole family will love it!In many parts of the country, springtime is full of rain and fluctuating weather. One day it’s 70 degrees, the next it can be in the 40s.

On those cool, rainy days, there’s nothing we love more at our house than a bowl of soup. Especially when I can cook it in my beloved crockpot!

Slow-cooker meals are my favorite—there’s something so great about being able to throw the ingredients in, walk away for a few hours, and BAM! Dinner is served.

What else is convenient about soup? It packages great for lunch in a thermos! The MOMables™ lunch plans have many—although they are mostly in the winter months.

Below is an easy crockpot recipe for this cheesy potato soup. Ditch the canned stuff, and let’s get real!  You can jazz it up by adding real bacon bits and chives (or dill as pictured).

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup
 
Author:
Cuisine: Dinner
Ingredients
  • 1 32-ounce bag Southern-style potatoes (diced potatoes), thawed
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup celery, diced (about 2 ribs)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional garnishes: real bacon bits, chives, dill, or green onion
Instructions
  1. Coat the crockpot with cooking spray.
  2. Add in the potatoes, chicken stock, water, onion, and celery.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. One hour prior to serving, in a small bowl, mix together the flour and milk. Whisk until blended, then add to the pot, and stir.
  5. Change the crockpot temperature to high, and let it thicken for 20 to 30 minutes. It will look cloudy. After the 20- to 30-minute period, the soup should be thickening.
  6. Return the temperature to a low setting. Add the Cheddar, and stir into the pot.
  7. Let the soup cook for an additional 20 minutes. The cheese will melt, and the soup will continue to thicken.
  8. Serve hot, and top with garnishes, if using.
 

26 Easy to make veggie macaroni and cheese made with carrots

Homemade Veggie Mac and Cheese

Do your kids love macaroni and cheese but can’t get enough veggies in their diet? If so, this Homemade Veggie Mac and Cheese recipe is for you.

Easy to make veggie macaroni and cheese made with carrots
I want to share with you how I began adding an extra serving of veggies to my veggie-averse son’s macaroni and cheese. At first, I read about adding the pureed carrots directly into boxed macaroni and cheese. But what about those of us who don’t wan to use boxed mixes?

Eventually, I settled for the ricotta and sharp cheddar combination because it resembled the creaminess texture my son loves.

I love ricotta cheese because it packs on the calcium and protein he needs to grow (he’s not a big milk drinker either). After much experimenting, I began creating larger batches to freeze ahead. I love knowing I can just go to the freezer and pull out a serving to make an entire dinner!

I will tell you that this doesn’t taste like traditional macaroni and cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is essential to creating the sauce because it intensifies the cheesy flavor and tones down the sweetness from the carrots.  Medium cheddar won’t cut it and you’ll have a very sweet tasting sauce.

For more creative ways to feed kids veggies, check out our meal plans.

For a homemade traditional version of stovetop macaroni and cheese, check out this recipe.

1.0 from 1 reviews
Better Than Boxed: MOMables Veggie Macaroni & Cheese
 
Author:
Cuisine: Dinner
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup steamed carrots or,
  • ½ cup carrot puree
  • ⅓ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup cooked pasta
Instructions
  1. Peel and wash the carrots. Cut into pieces. Steam until tender in the microwave or stovetop.
  2. In a blender/food processor, add steamed carrots, ricotta cheese, sharp Cheddar cheese, and milk.
  3. Pour cheesy veggie sauce over 1 cup cooked pasta.

Meatball Madness: A Healthy Recipe Everyone Will Enjoy

Do you know how to make homemade meatballs?

Let’s face it. Meatballs have kid appeal. We sing songs about them. We see them in movies and on TV. We have pictures of them in storybooks and coloring books. In fact, they are easily identifiable to most of the world. They span the globe from North America to Europe, the Mediterranean to Asia, and they are universal and extremely versatile. Even my pickiest eater  (who has never allowed one to cross his lips) can pick one out of a picture lineup. But how on earth do you make a good one?

Thanks to one of my dearest friends, I learned a simple way to make the lightest, most tender meatballs on the planet. The secret is in the cooking method. Put away your skillets, and no baking pan required. You won’t even need to turn them! Instead of baking or frying the meatballs, we drop them into a pot of simmering broth. 

The best part? When they are cooked through, they float to the surface of the liquid! Simply scoop them out with a slotted spoon and cool. This recipe makes approximately 50 meatballs, but it all depends on the size you like them. The kids love them in miniature, but my husband and I prefer them a little bit bigger.

Meatball Madness! Easy and Delicious
 
For this recipe, you will require 6 to 8 cups of beef stock (your own or premade) or a 50/50 mix of beef stock and ground tomatoes for cooking. Bring the stock to a simmer in a small stockpot or a deep sauce pan.
Author:
Cuisine: Dinner
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ounces bread crumbs
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Splash of red wine
  • Additional seasoning as you prefer
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Gently squeeze them together until well mixed. The texture should be moist and soft. If it is dry, add another egg. Using a leveled tablespoon or cookie scoop (my personal favorite), shape the mixture into balls.
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer.
  3. Gently place 10 to 12 meatballs in the simmering stock, not too many at a time, because you want to clearly see them float to the top when they are cooked. As they float up, scoop them out with a slotted spoon.
  4. Use immediately in your favorite recipe, or allow them to cool completely if you are freezing them. You can also skim the fat off the stock used to cook the meatballs, and freeze it in ice cube trays to use in other recipes!
 

The Meatball Madness Sub:
A family favorite at our house on movie night, this is a snap to prepare. Place precooked (thawed) meatballs in the slow cooker with your favorite spaghetti or pizza sauce. Don’t be afraid to add a cup of pureed carrots or squash to this dish—they blend right in and enhance the flavor perfectly. Cook on the lowest setting for 6 to 8 hours. Serve on lightly toasted submarine buns with your favorite cheese melted on top. Who needs fast food when home-cooked is simple and tastes this good?

About Jenn Sprung: A full-time Mom to three wonderful children, with a keen interest in boosting the nutrition in every bite. Because in my world, every bite counts! Visit Jenn’s blog Cleverly Disguised as Cake for additional sneaky resources or learn more about Pediatric Feeding Disorders and how to help your child.

 

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