Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Guacamole and more

So very excited to share these great and easy ways to make your own corn chips, guacamole and cheese dip.  I recently made these recipes when I was hosting a group of ladies to have a chicken tender making party.  I wanted to share some sneaky snacks with them while we made a ton of chicken tenders for our families.  The snacks met with great reviews from all my friends as well as myself and my son. 

It is not hard to make your own corn chips for dipping or snacking.  Not only are you missing out on all the calories, fat and preservatives of packaged tortilla chips, you are providing a good source of calcium, iron and fiber.  Basically, you just brush a corn tortilla with olive oil on the front and back and then cut into wedges with a pizza cutter.  Place on a large cookie sheet or bar pan and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for about 8-10 on each side.  For more specific recipe instructions click here.

Then, I needed something to dip my chips in.  Salsa is a given and already pretty healthy as is (as long as you keep an eye on the sodium).  Then, I found a recipe in my Sneaky Chef cookbook for guacamole.  I have to be honest it sounded kind of bland.  So, I combined the Sneaky Chef's recipe with one from another cookbook and came up with this concoction.  Not only do you get the health benefits of avocado, there is no mayonnaise.  Quickly the recipe contains:  one avocado, 1/4 c. green puree, 1/4 c. salsa, dash of lime juice, clove of garlic and pinch of salt.  Click here for printable guacamole recipe.  Isn't it pretty?

Finally, I made a cheese dip for dipping as well.  I know that you are thinking that there is nothing healthy about cheese dip, but again the Sneaky Chef came through for me.  By using low fat American cheese which melts really well, orange puree and a little milk this dip is creamy and very tasty.  It would also be really good drizzled over veggies if your kids needs some camoflage for their veggies.  Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the cheese dip.  I guess it is time to make more.  Click here for entire recipe.

The added benefit is that you are making these snacks and avoiding the processing that comes in the conveniently packaged varieties.

Random side note, a mama bird made a nest in the wreath on my front door.  Which has resulted in one hilarious attempt of me shooing her out of my house with a broom and several hilarious startlings of my husband when he opens the front door (he was not amused).  Last week I took the wreath off the door and discovered that she had laid four eggs in the wreath which have now hatched into fuzzy little balls of baby birds.  So, if you stop by my house beware of the birds as I guess they have now made themselves a part of the family.

Enjoy the snacks and let me know if you have any healthy treats for your family that you would like to share.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Watermelon Popsicles

It's almost summer and what is more refreshing on a hot summer day than watermelon?  How about a watermelon popsicle?  I found this recipe on the Meal Makeover Moms website and just had to try it out.  It is so simple and great way to use up some of that extra watermelon that may be hanging around. 

1 1/2 c. watermelon
1/2 c. pomegranate/blueberry juice

Combine in a blender and then add to popsicle forms or paper cups with popsicle sticks inserted and freeze.

The Meal Makeover Moms recommend Welch's pomeganate/blueberry juice, but after reading some labels in the juice isle I decided to go with V8 V-fusion Light Pomegranate/Blueberry.  It has almost half the sugar and calories as the Welch's brand and is fortified with vitamins A, C and E.

There you have it, super simple, super refreshing and super yummy.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Mommy Food Blogs

I recently told you about the website which is a website written by two registered dieticians/moms with lots of great recipes as well as tools to arm your arsenal to improve your family's eating habits.  I just ordered their cookbook and am really excited to read it from cover to cover as soon as it arrives. 

I was so excited to learn that these sneaky and healthy moms have been selected as on of the 50 Best Mom Food Blogs on the internet by  I thought that I would include the link here so that you could check out some of these great blogs.  I have started reading through some of them and "wow" there is so much information out there that it is a little overwhelming.  Maybe we should divide and conquer to be able to check them all out.  Here is the link

Not all of these blogs are super healthy recipes, but they are all about making food with love in your own home.  Please let me know if you find a particular blog that peaks your interest or has information that you find particularly valuable.

Enjoy devouring all of this great reading!
Photobucket .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Homemade Gummy Worms

Do your kids like gummy candy?  Mine does.  I don't even buy the stuff and he loves it.  But, doesn't that seem like the nature of kids - they want the stuff that they don't have on a regular basis and that other kids have.  So, when I found out how easy it is to make my own gummy candy I jumped at the opportunity.  The ingredients are simple:  jello, unflavored gelatin and water.  I have used both sugared and sugar free jello in making this recipe at home as I am still torn on my preference for decreasing the amount of sugar that my child consumes and decreasing his exposure to artificial sugar.  Just know that you can choose what is right for your family and it will work fine with this recipe.  Bonus, these are easy and fun to make with your kids.  My son thinks it is fun to open all the packets and pour them into the pan and stir.

Are you dying to know how to do it yet?  Here you go:

1 package sugar free jello
5 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients together in a small sauce pan.  As you mix it all together, it will get thicker until it is almost the consistency of play-dough.  Then heat over low until completely melted.  Pour into 8 x 8 pan and place in freezer for about five minutes or until set.  If you want to have two colored gummy worms then repeat this process with another flavor of jello while the first color is in the freezer and then add to the top of the other color and return to freezer until set.

The just pull the entire blob of jello out of the pan.  It will come out in one big block.  Then use a pizza cutter to cut into strips or worms.  Just so you know, you cannot use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the blob.  I tried - it was not successful.  If you want to have gummy shapes, then you can use a candy mold and pour the melted jello mixture into the individual molds and let set.  Then, just pop them out of the molds.  I would like to try this, but my son is pretty hooked on having gummy worms.

I also know that there are some ways to try this from scratch without the jello and maybe with real juices, but I have not gotten that experimental just yet.  But, I will let you know when I do!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Evolving Broccoli and Chicken Casserole

This recipe is known in our home as Yunker casserole after the family friends that introduced us to it. It has been a staple in our home for years which is amazing since it is a casserole and my husband does not usually like casseroles or food all mixed together. Since I became a "sneaky mommy" I have been steadily and slowly making changes to this recipe to make it healthier.

First, I replaced the store-bought bread crumbs with whole wheat bread crumbs that I keep on hand. You can read about how I make them here. After doing that for several times, I started replacing the mayonnaise called for in the recipe with white puree, which is pureed cauliflower and zucchini. I started by just replacing 1/4 cup of the one cup of mayo and then gradually progressed until I was able to replace the entire cup of mayo with one cup of white puree.

Most importantly, these subtle changes went completely unnoticed by my picky husband. VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you click to see the recipe, I will post both the original and my modified version.