Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘kid friendly’

If you’re in the mood for comfort food, this is the dinner for you!  Serve with a toasted baguette on the side.  Note: I used a bit less garlic and I prefer to use fresh cooked white beans (any kind) over canned.

Chorizo and white bean stew

Recipe from Bon Appétit.

Chorizo and White Bean Stew

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo or Italian sausage links
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 10 cups)
  • Smoked paprika (optional)

Preparation

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprig. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-8 minutes. Add beans and broth and cook, crushing a few beans with the back of a spoon to thicken sauce, until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach by handfuls and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Slice chorizo and fold into stew; add water to thin, if desired. Divide stew among bowls; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

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Think of this as an Americanized version of a Chinese stir fry — tasty and only takes 15 minutes to prepare.  What’s not to love?  Also a good excuse to use up any ground beef and/or pork in your freezer (before it sits in there for too long!)  Serve with brown rice and put a bottle of Sriracha at the table for those who want more heat.

Mapo Tofu

Recipe slightly adapted from Food and Wine; contributed by Chef Kuniko Yagi.

“This is totally my way of making this dish,” chef Kuniko Yagi says. “I’m sure Chinese people wouldn’t let me call this mapo tofu.” Yagi’s version has more meat than tofu, but she still relies on jarred toban djan, the chile­-bean paste that gives this Chinese takeout staple its signature heat and deeply savory flavor.”

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 pound ground beef chuck (85% lean)
1/2 pound ground pork
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon chile-bean sauce, preferably toban djan (or 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce or tenmenjan (soybean paste)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
One 14-ounce package soft tofu, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
4 scallions, finely chopped
Brown rice, for serving

Directions:

1. Heat a large skillet until hot. Add the oil, followed by the beef and pork. Season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring and breaking up the meat, until crumbly and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

2. Stir in the chile­-bean sauce, hoisin and soy sauce and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Gently fold in the tofu. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the water. Add to the skillet and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 minutes. Stir in the scallions and serve with brown rice.

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This is a wonderful tasting, moist and healthy muffin that you can feel good about giving to your kids or enjoying as an afternoon snack.  After tasting these, you won’t believe there isn’t any white flour, sugar, butter or vegetable oil in them.  They truly taste decadent — and they’re not!  Note: if you don’t have the wheat germ or flax, substitute with oats and the muffins will turn out fine!

Healthy Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Recipe adapted from the blog Baking Adventures in a Messy Kitchen.

Healthy Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened or melted
2 large eggs
1 banana , well mashed
3/4 cup yogurt (vanilla or plain; Greek or non-fat or low fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed or meal
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (heaping) dark chocolate mini chunks (Whole Foods private label sells these in a bag)

Directions:

To prepare, grate the zucchini, using paper towels to squeeze out any excess moisture, and mash the banana.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease mini muffin tray, planning for 45-50 mini muffins.

Using a stand mixer, beat together the zucchini, honey, molasses, coconut oil, eggs, banana, yogurt, and vanilla until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, flax seed, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk.

Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer incrementally, beating on low speed, stopping as soon as the flour is fully incorporated.

Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the dark chocolate mini chunks.

Scoop the batter into mini muffin cups (filling just over 3/4 full), and bake them in the oven for approximately 13 minutes. Let sit in the pan for a few more minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Try to eat just one. Really. Try.

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I don’t own a Vitamix.  I’ve never done a cleanse or a detox.  But I do love a good, healthy smoothie every now and then.  This is a great way to start your morning or makes a great snack.  My kids love this too (although I could put just about anything into a blender and they’d be hard-pressed to not like it!)  I try not to have juice around the house (we have diabetes in the family and juice is filled with sugar) but this smoothie is plenty sweet without it.  This has become my “go to” green smoothie because it actually tastes good and it’s good for you.  It’s from Brit Morin, who is a young Martha Stewart type.  Her website Brit + Co is fun to check out for DIY and craft ideas.  Enjoy!

 

Spinach Smoothie

Recipe from Brit + Co.

Ingredients:
– 2 cups spinach
– 1/2 cup almond milk (original recipe uses sweetened, but I buy unsweetened)
– 1/2 cup frozen mango
– 1/2 of a small banana (2 ounces if you have a scale)

Directions:

Place your spinach in the blender. Add the almond milk and frappe until smooth. This step is key for a smooth texture. Add the frozen mango chunks and banana. Blend again until smooth. Your smoothie will be thick, but not so thick that you can’t drink it from the glass without the help of a spoon.

Total Calories – 145 calories.

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I know what you’re thinking.  “You really think I’m going to take the time to brown butter for some homemade cookies?”  I know it seems like one more step, but it’s worth it!  These cookies are amazing!  Crunchy, nutty, buttery, salty, sweet, and wholesome.  What I do as a time-saver is I make a double batch, roll up all of the cookie dough balls, and freeze half in a freezer ziplock bag.  The balls won’t stick to each other and you’ll have them ready to go for when you need a fresh, baked dessert.  Just bring them to room temperature and follow the same baking directions … and it’s like you’ve just been slaving away on them!  Note: I use dark chocolate chunks because I prefer dark chocolate.

 

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chunk Cookies

Recipe from the blog How Sweet It Is.

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chunk Cookies

Makes about 15-18 cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cups rolled oats

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup chocolate chunks

optional: 1- 2 tablespoons milk, if dough is crumbly

Directions:

Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add butter. Whisking constantly, cook butter until bubbly and until small brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan – about 5-6 minutes. Watch closely and immediately remove the butter from the heat, whisking for an additional 30 seconds or so. Set aside and let cool COMPLETELY. Note: It does not need to solidify at all, but it should not be warm to the touch.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, oats and cinnamon, mixing, then set aside.

Once butter has cooled, add to a large bowl. Whisk in sugars, stirring until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla, whisking until smooth once again. Slowly begin to stir in dry ingredients, using your hands if necessary (I always do) to bring dough together. If you find that the dough still won’t come together, add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time (I rarely have to do this.) Fold in chocolate chips, distributing them evenly. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on a nonstick baking sheet, then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are golden. Let cool before serving.

 

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This is one of my ‘go-to’ grilled chicken marinades – very flavorful, fresh and healthy.  I do think marinating the chicken overnight makes a big difference (and makes for one less thing to do the day of!)  I whiz up my marinade, toss with my chicken pieces in a bowl, and store in Ziplock bags in the fridge overnight.  Let sit on the counter 15-30 minutes prior to grilling.  Recipe is easy to double if you’re having friends over.

 

Zesty Chicken Thighs

Recipe very slightly adapted from the blog healthyseasonalrecipes.com

Zesty Chicken Thighs

Active Time: 1 hour

Makes: 8 – 10 thighs or drumsticks

Make ahead: Prepare marinade 1-2 days before adding the chicken.

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat or Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 
2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Approx. 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, any extra fat trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Fit food-processor with steel blade attachment. With motor running, drop garlic cloves one at a time through feed tube and process until finely chopped. Remove lid and add yogurt, ginger, honey, lime juice, curry powder and salt. Process until smooth.
  2. Place chicken thighs and/or drumsticks in a large bowl and toss with marinade. Pour everything into a resealable plastic bag and seal. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator a minimum of 4 hours or up to 1 day for maximum flavor.
  3. Oil grill rack and pre-heat grill to medium heat (375 degrees). Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill and cook without turning for 10 minutes. Turn chicken over with a thin flexible spatula and continue grilling, turning and rotating occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (without touching the bone) registers 170-180 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Note the chicken may stick to the grill slightly. Serve hot or cold garnished with cilantro.
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