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Dinner Prep-A Task For The Whole Family

I enjoy getting the whole family busy in the kitchen.  Conversation flows like water and I am able to see my kids from so many angles.

Determined, silly, competitive, enthusiastic, learning.

More than that, when we all pitch in, dinner is on the table with the ease that only teamwork can bring.

Giving kids tasks to help get dinner ready gives them a sense of accomplishment and they become part of the team rather than a bystander.

Giving kids tasks to help get dinner ready gives them a sense of accomplishment and they become… Click To Tweet

With a tribe of kids from ages 4 to 15, we cover a wide range of activities available.

Ages 3-4 (My triplets are 4 and they love helping out in the kitchen.)

  • Help measure ingredients for salad dressing, meat rubs or marinades.
  • Help remove stems from fresh herbs.
  • Rinse dry beans before prep
  • Wash vegetables before prep
  • Tear salad for salad prep
  • Throwing away wrappers or dumping bowl full of scraps
  • Add silverware to table

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Ages 5-10 (My 7-year-old loves helping me measure out ingredients and makes a mean garlic bread)

  • Read easy recipes and help prepare marinades or salad dressing
  • Learn to do a rough chop on vegetables for soups or kebabs.
  • Shred cheese for various dishes
  • Add plates to the table

Ages 10 and up (My 10 & 12-year-old love baking and have claimed “their” signature dish)

  • Help prepare pasta or rice
  • Make guacamole
  • Prep vegetables for stir fry
  • Bring family style dishes to the table

How do you get your kids involved in everyday cooking duties? There are many benefits that come with empowering kids in the kitchen.  The biggest benefit our family has experienced is the desire to eat at home instead of eating out. Cooking with your children will reap many rewards. For more research on these benefits click here

Honey Nut Bites {Gluten Free & Vegan}

 Last week I was in the kitchen planning out the menu for the upcoming week.  Before I knew it I had the processor out and began adding ingredients.  The result was a nut butter sandwich in a ball.  At least, that is what it tastes like to me.  I decided to take it one step further and make them a special treat for our family dessert time.  You can read more about that here.

These take a few minutes to throw together and they are perfectly portioned.

 Oatmeal is the primary ingredient which offers protein and fiber which will keep you full longer and support a healthy digestive track. 

Oatmeal is the primary ingredient which offers protein and fiber which will keep you full… Click To Tweet

  The almonds are a great source of monosaturated fat which is a healthy fat that has been shown to promote heart health. 

The almonds are a great source of monosaturated fat which is a healthy fat that has been shown… Click To Tweet

The almond butter is a good source of protein and vitamin E which aids in building strong bones and improving the health of your hair and skin. 

The almond butter is a good source of protein and vitamin E which aids in building strong bones… Click To Tweet

 

 Honey is a great option for natural sweetness. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The best option is raw unpasteurized local honey that has not been heated.

Honey is a great option for natural sweetness. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and… Click To Tweet

 

 Ingredients

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup craisins

[Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that aid the immune systems. ]

1/2 honey

1 cup almond butter (you can use whatever nut butter you prefer)

dash of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Put oatmeal and almonds into the bowl of  a food processor and pulse to combine.

Add the craisins and pulse a few times.

Add honey, nut butter salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pulse to combine

Transfer mixture into a medium bowl.

Scoop out a tablespoon of dough and roll between palms to form a ball. Place bites on a cookie sheet and continue to roll all of the mixture.

For an extra treat:

If you want to make these a special treat heat 1/2 a cup of chocolate of your choice and roll balls in chocolate until covered.  Place chocolate cover ball on a plate and sprinkle with chopped nuts, coconut or pretty sprinkles.  Place bites in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to allow chocolate to set.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Honey Nut Bites {Gluten Free & Vegan}
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
A quick and nutritious spin on a nut butter sandwich.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup craisins
  • [Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that aid the immune systems. ]
  • ½ honey
  • 1 cup almond butter (you can use whatever nut butter you prefer)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Put oatmeal and almonds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Add the craisins
  3. Add honey, nut butter salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pulse to combine
  4. Transfer mixture a medium bowl.
  5. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough and roll between palms to form a ball. Place bites on a cookie sheet and continue to roll the mixture.
  6. For an extra treat:
  7. If you want to make these a special treat heat ½ a cup of chocolate of your choice and roll balls in chocolate until covered. Place chocolate cover ball on a plate and sprinkle with chopped nuts, coconut or pretty sprinkles. Place bites in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to allow chocolate to set.

Carrot Banana Muffins

 In my attempt to make my kids lunches less routine and boring I have been experimenting with different ways to incorporate a good balance of fruit and veggies.

I wanted to make a muffin that was easy to put together, freezes well and hearty enough to handle my kids lunchtime hunger.

If you have followed my blog you know my favorite juice is carrot juice and being a person that hates to waste I freeze the pulp so I can use it in pancakes, muffins, and other dishes.  I decided to try a combination of banana bread and carrot bread.  The end result was a hearty muffin that is perfectly sweetened with banana, carrot and a bit of brown sugar.


Carrots make the muffins a rich source of beta-carotene which is perfect for supporting strong vision.

Carrots make the muffins a rich source of beta-carotene which is perfect for supporting strong… Click To Tweet

The combination of the banana and carrots gives the muffins a natural sweetness so I used a fraction of the sugar normally used in quick bread.

The combination of the banana and carrots gives the muffins a natural sweetness so I used a… Click To Tweet

 I used wheat germ to give the muffins an added boost of fiber, but the wheat germ also offers folate, healthy fatty acids, vitamin E as well as minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, selenium, and manganese.

They turned out perfectly and we have all enjoyed them for breakfast and lunch. This is a big batch recipe.  This recipe makes 48 muffins.  They freeze and thaw well.  So make a batch for now and later.

 Ingredients

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup coconut oil

6 eggs

2 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 5-6)

2 cups shredded carrot

1 cup coconut milk

4 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups wheat germ

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

 Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Prep muffin tins with oil or liners

Combine brown sugar, coconut oil, and  eggs. Mix well with blender.

Add in banana, carrots, and milk. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix till moist.

Use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop to fill muffin pans.

Bake for 22 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

To freeze, let muffins completely cool and place in freezer safe container.

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Carrot Banana Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 48
 
A hearty muffin that is perfect for breakfast and lunch
Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2½ cup mashed ripe bananas (about 5-6)
  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Prep muffin tins with oil or liners
  3. Combine brown sugar, coconut oil, and eggs. Mix well with blender.
  4. Add in banana, carrots, and milk. Mix well and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together.

Quinoa and Brown Rice stuffed Mushrooms 

Quinoa and mushrooms are two of my favorite ingredients to work with in the kitchen. Quinoa stuffed mushrooms make the perfect combination of two kitchen powerhouses. They are both so versatile and a play well with other ingredients.

Quinoa stuffed mushrooms make the perfect combination of two kitchen powerhouses. They are both… Click To Tweet

 


Quinoa is a nutrient dense small grain. Each little grain is packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, and calcium, offering bone health, cancer prevention, and many other benefits.

Quinoa is a nutrient dense small grain. Each little grain is packed with protein, healthy fats,… Click To Tweet

Mushroom contain compounds that boost the immune system, helps fight against cancers, combats infections, and protects against auto-immune diseases like lupus and arthritis.

Mushroom contain compounds that boost the immune system, helps fight against cancers, combats… Click To Tweet

Ingredients
2 cups quinoa prepared according to directions

1 cup brown rice prepared according to directions

1 onion diced and sautéed

1 bell pepper diced and sautéed.

1 cup Parmesan cheese grated

1/4 cup parsley chopped.

10-12 mushroom or 4 portobello

Directions

Prepare quinoa, brown rice, onions and bell peppers.

Mix together and add Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Rinse mushrooms and pat dry.

Place mushrooms cap-side up on an oiled pan.

Spoon quinoa mixture into mushroom caps and press lightly.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Increase to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an additional 5 minutes.

Enjoy.

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Quinoa & Brown Rice stuffed Mushrooms
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 13
 
Easy and delicious Meatless Monday meal or perfect party appetizer.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups quinoa prepared according to directions
  • 1 cup brown rice prepared according to directions
  • 1 onion diced and sautéed
  • 1 bell pepper diced and sautéed.
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped.
  • 10-12 mushroom or 4 portobello
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa, brown rice, onions and bell peppers.
  2. Mix together and add Parmesan cheese and parsley.
  3. Rinse mushrooms and pat dry.
  4. Place mushrooms cap side up on an oiled pan.
  5. Spoon quinoa mixture into mushroom caps and press lightly.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  7. Increase to 400 degree Fahrenheit for an additional 5 minutes.

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