Vegetarian Pasta: Clean out the Freezer

I cleaned out the freezer this weekend, and I created the most awesome Vegetarian Pasta dish. My kids loved it, and they asked me if we were having company coming over. This is so easy and quick, under 30 minutes to prepare. Feel free to use any frozen vegetables in this recipe or add leftover cooked chicken or shrimp if you wish. People tend to forget that frozen foods and vegetables are picked at their peak and then flash frozen so they are just as nutritionally healthy and sometimes even more economical. Read more about the use of frozen food tips on Easy Home Meals and NFRA.

Also, check out my television appearance last week in New York on Fox & Friends First and  Fox & Friends on “What to Toss and what to keep”. It was such a blast! Video is here.

Pumpkin-Protein Smoothie: Kid-Friendly

How many smoothies do y’all make a week? I can’t even begin to count over at my house. My kids are always trying new creations, and I am trying to keep up with their creativity. This Pumpkin-Protein Smoothie was a recent favorite. I had some leftover pumpkin, and I thought why not try it with peanut butter? It sounds a little weird at first, but it works. Happy Halloween! Here’s to a great fall 2012!

10 Awesome Rice Krispie Treats: Kid and Adult Friendly

My daughter, Leigh, has a “Hoedown” party where she dances tonight. Since we had to bring a dessert, I decided to make Cowboy Rice Krispie Treats using a cowboy hat crispy cookie cutter. This is Leigh’s favorite easy dessert, and she said they taste even better like this. Here are 10 other fabulously creative ideas for Rice Krispie Treats.

Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats via Paula Dean

Stuffed Rice Krispie Treats via Love From the Oven

Rice Krispy Cake by Yummy Tasty Recipes

Gluten Free Rice Krispy Treats via Gluten Free Goddess

Crispy Rice Treats with Almond Butter via Whole Foods

Caramel Turtle Rice Krispies Treats via Glorious Treats

Easy Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats via Food Family & Finds

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispy Treats via Browneyed Baker

Candy Corn Rice Krispy Treats via Glorious Treats

Chocolate Dipped Krispie Treats via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Nonalcoholic Bananas Foster: Kid Friendly

Bananas Foster is one of my favorite desserts, and I was so impressed with my daughter, Leigh, told me she came up with a nonalcoholic version (perfect for kids). She used maple syrup instead of alcohol and created her own Nonalcoholic Bananas Foster which was fabulous! With only 7 ingredients and 15 minutes, you can make homemade kid-friendly Bananas Foster too! Thank you my precious and very creative daughter, Leigh!

 

Two Ingredient Raspberry Popsicles

When I first saw “Sparkling Ice”at a friends house, my 3 kids begged me to buy it. After taking a look at the ingredients, I thought, “Why not give it a shot.” They loved all of the flavors, but it is also great to use in cocktails and even popsicle recipes. The Black Raspberry flavor was one of their favorites, and I love how easy it is to make Two Ingredient Raspberry Popsicles. Sparkling ICE is also a great alternative sport drink beverage for people of all ages. Sparkling ICE combines fresh spring water, natural fruit juices and vitamins and antioxidants to create tasty, lightly-carbonated refreshments in assorted thirst-quenching flavors. It’s a great alternative to soft drinks. It is caffeine-free, Kosher U and free of sodium and carbohydrates. For more information, see their Facebook page or website.

Sparkling ICE retails for $1.29, or $12-$15 for a 12 pack. Flavors include Coconut Pineapple, Lemon Lime, Kiwi Strawberry, Lemonade, Orange Mango, Pomegranate Berry, Pink Grapefruit, and Black Raspberry. Sparking ICE is available at retailers nationwide, including Kroger, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Publix, Winn Dixie, Amazon and more.

Easy Trail Mix Recipe

It was great to have a Leap day last week for Leap year. It was like having an extra day (although I worked), but I was so excited to be a part of the “Delightful Discoveries for Leap Year Campaign” for Quaker. I had the chance to giveaway a $75 Visa gift card to a great blogger, Marnely Rodriguez, who won it from my blog a week ago. For my Leap Day discovery, I used my time to create a new Easy Trail Mix Recipe with the new Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares from Quaker. This is a wonderful Easy Trail Mix to eat for a great afternoon snack for the kids and adults. It also makes a great topping to stir in nonfat Greek yogurt, and it’s perfect to make to take on trips (I think I’ll be making some before spring break). My kids and neighbors went wild over it, and before I could get my hands on it, it was all gone.

No Bake Chocolate-Peanut Flaxseed Butter Bars

No Bake recipes bar cookie recipes are some of my favorite cookie/bar types of desserts, especially this time of year when I’m so busy. I quickly mixed up these up  one afternoon, and my kids told me these were a “home run” (well that was what the boys said). My daughter loved them even though she isn’t a coconut fan. These No Bake Chocolate Peanut Bars call for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. These make a great afternoon snack, dessert (with milk) and an easy homemade gift for Christmas or Hanukkah.

Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini

Lately, I’ve had so many requests for an easy, healthy fall weeknight dinner recipe that kids will love too. This recipe for Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini is one that really sticks out in my mind. I purchase a rotisserie chicken for the chopped, cooked chicken which makes my life easier. I also used light cream cheese, low sodium chicken broth and whole wheat noodles to make this dish healthier. The panko breadcrumb topping is probably my favorite part, giving it a toasty crunch and pretty golden color. This is a great make-ahead recipe or wonderful to take to someone who is ill or just had a baby. Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time and freeze. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking as directed.

Homemade Caramel Corn

Homemade Caramel Corn anyone? This child (and adult) favorite is a great snack, dessert or even fun tailgating recipe. It also makes a great fall or Christmas food gift. I love this homemade Caramel Corn because it’s simple to prepare and uses a variety of almonds, pecans and walnuts, adding more protein. Make this even healthier by using my Saucepan Popcorn recipe to pop your popcorn. It’s so easy and uses no microwave. Be careful, this can get very addicting 🙂

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks with Edamame Salsa

On a busy school night or jam-packed weekend, these Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks are a snap to prepare and one of my kids’ favorites! They taste and look so fantastic – no one will ever know they are oven-fried.

With only 390 calories and 10 grams of fat, I feel good about serving this recipe to the kids and their friends. Whether you pair them with this Edamame Salsa or chop them up for a salad, they are perfect for football parties, picnics and casual dinners! On top of it all, what I really love is that the exact measurements can be used to make fish “cakes” as well.

I developed these crunchy fish sticks as part of the CanolaInfo “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection for World Heart Day 2011 (Sept. 29). This observance encourages families to take their health into their own hands starting at home with diet and exercise. To learn more about World Heart Day or to view the complete recipe collection, visit CanolaInfo.org.