Sunday, January 23, 2011

Double Smoothie Strawberry Pie

Here is a new recipe that I tried this week and my family loved it.  I also shared it with a fellow church family and they enjoyed it as well.  It is from the website  These moms are dieticians who have written two cookbooks and offer recipes as well as recipe makeovers on their website. 

Immediately below is the picture from the actual website which is a lot prettier than my cell phone picture below, but I did like that my filling cooled with the shape of heart in it, so I thought I would share it, too. 

My husband especially enjoyed the crust which contains crushed graham crackers as well as flaxseed.  I think it could easily be substituted for any other graham cracker crust recipe. 

Please check out the Meal Makeover Moms website for more great recipes and tips to encourage healthy eating in your home.  Click the title of this blog post or here to get the full recipe.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sneaky Sloppy Joes

I have been cooking lately just not blogging.  So here goes my attempt to add some of my favorite recipes that we have tried and enjoyed over the last several months.  First, I want to share this yummy and easy recipe for sloppy joes.  I tried the Sneaky Chef's recipe for "Camouflage Joes," but felt that it was kind of bland for our tastes.  So, I consulted my old faithful Betty Crocker Cookbook and found a recipe for sloppy joes and decided to combine the seasonings of the Betty Crocker recipe with the Sneaky Chef recipe.  It was a successful experiment.  The Sneaky Chef recipe recommended ground turkey and called for white puree for added health benefit.  I added old-fashioned oats, seasonings such as worcestershire sauce, garlic and chili powder as well as chopped green pepper for flavor. 

I did have to make two versions:  the grown up version, pictured below, with large chunks of onion and green pepper and the picky husband/kid friendly version where I pureed the onion and green pepper which is pictured in the picture below.

Grown-up Sloppy Joe

Picky husband/kid friendly Sloppy Joe

For convenience, I made a double batch of this recipe and then froze individual servings of snack size bags which I then placed in a freezer bag.  Now when I need a quick lunch or dinner, I just have to thaw the number of servings that I need. 

Click here or on the title of this blog entry to get the entire recipe in a printable version.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Got Breakfast Cookies?

No one questions the importance of providing your family a healthy breakfast these days.  Some of the benefits include:  better brain power, especially when it comes to memory; better test scores, school attendance and mood; longer attention spans in school; better overall nutrition; and, healthier body weights, even for breakfast-eaters who end up eating more overall calories than those who routinely skip the first meal of the day.  The dilemma becomes finding the time on busy mornings to make any breakfast, much less a healthy one.  Honestly, some of the convenience foods that are available in stores these days are just plain scary when you examine their nutritional content (or lack thereof). 

I guess you can say that I am a bit obsessive about breakfast.  I love to test breakfast recipes and then figure out the best way to make them ahead of time for a quick breakfast on a busy morning.  That is one of the reasons that I started this blog.  I wanted to share some of the yummy, healthy recipes that I had found with family and other moms.

The very first "sneaky" recipe that I ever tried was for Breakfast Cookies.  That was over two years ago and to this day if we are out of breakfast cookies there is an air of panic in our home.  I love this recipe for many reasons.  First, they are delicious.  Second, they are super healthy stocked full of wheat germ, whole grain cereal, whole wheat flour and low fat ricotta cheese.  Finally, when I make a quadruple batch like pictured above then freeze the dough in balls, I have a quick and easy breakfast that is ready in less than 15 minutes, 12 of which I don't have to do anything but wait for the timer to go off.  Click here for the first post that I ever wrote about breakfast cookies. 

This is a great place to start if you are thinking about trying some healthier options in your home.  Besides what kid (or grown up) would not love having cookies for breakfast. 


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Skillet Wagon Wheel Pasta

I am so excited.  I got a new cookbook in the mail. I could seriously sit and pour over a cookbook for hours (or squeeze in 5-10 minutes as often as I can).  I may have even taken a cookbook to read while waiting for my son at Kindermusik.  I love cookbooks and cooking magazines.  My new love is America's Test Kitchen which is a great, informational TV show on PBS.  You can visit the website, too.  America's Test Kitchen is also responsible for the magazines Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country.  Their mission is to create and test recipes until they perfect them and then share the results.  They have scientists on staff to analyze ingredients and explain why certain reactions occur and therefore why your bread turns out flat, for example.  The inner science geek in me thinks that is awesome.  Their job is to test and re-test and re-test recipes until they get it just right.  How cool is that?  Well, as you can tell, I am pretty excited that America's Test Kitchen came out with a Healthy Family Cookbook.  I have tested three recipes so far and have not been disappointed.

First, I wanted to share this easy, one-skillet recipe for a healthy, kid-friendly meal.  The recipe calls for turkey or chicken italian sausage, spinach, peas and fun wagon wheel pasta.  It had a great flavor and the best part is that I was able to cook it all in one large skillet.  I also thought that incorporating the spinach with the pasta was a great way to include wilted spinach without setting out a serving of pure wilted spinach which may not look too appetizing for grown ups much less kiddos.  I used a seasoned chicken sausage as pictured below, but the recipe calls for sweet, Italian sausage.  You could change the recipe easily just by changing the type of sausage and style of pasta that you use.  I do think that I will add a few more peas the next time because I really like their sweetness with the other flavors in this dish.  It was also really good reheated for lunch the next day.  I do wish that some of the healthier pastas, like Ronzoni Smart Taste, came in fun shapes like this.

Click here, to get the full recipe in a printable version and ENJOY!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Homemade Fruit Roll-ups

Recently I found this handy tip for hulling strawberries.  It is great for when you need to hull several strawberries and not waste any of the strawberry by using a knife to cut the top off.  It works better with a sturdy straw (like the ones you get from Sonic).  Simply place the straw through the bottom/center of the strawberry and push toward the stem.  The center/hull of the strawberry comes out through the straw and all you have left is yummy strawberries.  I used this technique to make homemade fruit roll-ups not long ago. 

This is something that I had wanted to try for awhile.  My mom, Seth and I made the annual visit to Reid Valley Orchard in Kentucky and picked lots of fresh blueberries.  It was surprisingly easy although it did require 5-6 hours on the lowest setting in my oven to completely dry out.  But, it did not require any specific attention during that time.  I just had to be in the house (which some days is hard to find that kind of time). 

 Just click here to get the full recipe, but here is the short version.  I pureed the fruit, cooked it on the stove-top with some honey and almond extract until it was thick and then poured it on top of parchment paper in a large bar pan, placed it in the oven and waited and waited.  It was worth the wait.  Once the fruit leather cooled, I covered it with plastic wrap and cut it into to three sections which I rolled up and then sliced into individual roll-ups.  Stored well and travelled well.  Tasty fruit treat without all the crazy preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. 

For more kitchen tips, click go to and check out some of her yummy recipes and other great tips.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homemade Fish Sticks

I cannot believe that it has been a month since I last posted here.  Where does the time go?  I have been cooking, sometimes it feels like all I do is make a mess in the kitchen, clean it up, make a mess, clean it up . . .you get the picture.  But, I have to admit that I have been using up my stores of pre-made food and purees and that my usually well-stocked freezer is almost bare.  Now, I just have to find the time in our busy summer schedule to schedule another puree party and maybe a chicken tender making party, which I hosted several months ago (I forgot to take any pictures and therefore figured that it would not have made a great blog post), but have since emptied my stores of frozen chicken tenders. 

Recently, my son tried fish sticks for the first time and enjoyed them.  But, trying to find a "healthy" premade fish stick is practically impossible.  I have used resources such as Eat This, Not That and while it does offer one or two products to try, those brands are not available in my area.  The other part to this endeavor is that I am trying to be a big girl and try new foods that I previously would not eat.  Fish, would be one such food.  So, I got out my sneaky cookbooks, waited until my mom was here for moral support and finally took the plunge.  I don't know why I was so intimidated by working with fish, but I was, and maybe you are too.  I learned that my irrational concerns were just that, irrational, and made some yummy and healthy fish sticks that my family now enjoys.  As far as my journey with learning to eat fish, it is off to a slow, steady start with several successful ventures involving tilapia.  Any suggestions for a newbie fish eater would be greatly appreciated. 

This recipe is fairly simple and almost identical to the tasty chicken tenders that I have been making for quite a while.  I started with fresh tilapia (the recipe also says that you can use flounder).  I cut the fish into "sticks" about one inch wide strips or whatever looks like a fish stick in your home.  Before I got the fish out of the refrigerator I prepared my breading station which looked like this except I used white puree instead of orange. 

Once your fish is cut into sticks then it is time to bread it.  Simply, coat it in the flour mixture on both sides, then dredge it through the white puree and egg mixture and then coat in the better breading mixture.  I added some simple seasonings to the breading mixture, but could you get creative and add your favorite fish seasoning here as well.  If you are going to use immediately then you can go ahead and pan-fry or bake in the oven.  But, if you are making these for future use, then place on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet and place in the freezer to "flash freeze" for about 1-2 hours then you can store in freezer bags until you are ready to use.  Simply, pan-fry or oven-bake the frozen fish sticks as you would the fresh. 

These fish sticks cook more quickly than the chicken tenders and are a great option for a quick dinner or lunch.  As a bonus, researches at the University of Sydney have found that children who regularly eat fresh, oily fish have four times lower the risk of developing asthma than do children who rarely eat such fish.

To get the full recipe in a printable format, just click on the title of this post or click on the tab in the sidebar labled recipes and then scroll down to "white puree."  Fish sticks should be listed there.

Enjoy! Hopefully, it won't take us this long to catch up again!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Friends' Recipes

I want to share several healthy recipes that friends have shared with me.  You can access these recipes under the "friend's recipes" tab in the right side bar.

First, from my blog friend Ruthsneaky lasagna

Second, from my real life friend Liz: sneaky cornbread muffins and banana bread.

I would love to try and share any of your favorite healthy recipes as well.