Category Archives: Kid Friendly

SLOW COOKER COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN

With chicken thighs in the fridge and a hankering for coconut curry, I set off on a web search for a recipe that I could put together before lunch and have ready for us to eat when we cruise on in after saxophone lessons around 6:30pm.  I came across this recipe on the blog, Sweet Treats and More.

Mondays are our CRAZY BUSY days and the slow cooker is my saving grace.

This recipe was an absolute winner! I served the curry with jasmine rice for those who wanted it and poured my portion of the curry over steamed veggies.  At the end of the meal all the slow cooker was left with was sauce.

The next time I make this recipe I will be doubling the amount of chicken which will leave us with enough food for two meals.  I love making a big pot of something and freezing half for dinner on another day.

I also used 1/2 tsp. chili flakes vs. the 1 tsp the recipe called for since my youngest is not a fan of spice.  I then put more chili flakes on the table for those who wanted more heat.

It would be great to add some sweet potato or Yukon golds to the recipe as well.

Click HERE for the recipe.

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Filed under Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Recipes

EGG-FREE PALEO MACAROONS

Elana's Pantry Egg-Free Paleo Macaroonsphoto provided courtesy of elanaspantry.com

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Summer is here for my kids…yay!!!  School just got out and I couldn’t be happier.  I just made these Egg-Free Paleo Macaroons and they are in the oven as I type.  The macaroons came together insanely fast and I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry.  If the batter is any indication, these are going to be amazing.

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Egg-Free Paleo Macaroons

Recipe provided courtesy of Elana’s Pantry

  1. In a food processor, combine shredded coconut and coconut flour
  2. Pulse in salt, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla
  3. Dough will form a ball
  4. Scoop batter 1 level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes
  6. Cool and serve

Makes 12 macaroons

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For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

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Filed under Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

THE BEST DARN CORNBREAD MUFFINS – GFree, Refined Sugar-Free, Fat-Free

Best Darn Cornbread Muffins (18) CROPPED

I really like cornbread.  There is just something about ending a cold day with a bowl of hot stew, chili, or soup and a side of cornbread.

When I was really young that meant opening a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix and as I got older my family transitioned to Marie Callender’s cornbread mix.  Let’s just say that Marie set the bar pretty stinkin’ high…that stuff is gooood!!!

When we found out that my daughter needed to go gluten-free I began purchasing pre-packaged gluten-free cornbread mixes and I have to say that I have just been tolerating them.  In my opinion I have yet to come across one that is good.  The mixes I have purchased through the years tend to be bland and DRY.

I finally decided to tackle the gluten-free cornbread monster and came-up with a recipe that I am really happy with.  The muffins taste like corn and honey and they are nice and moist.  To top it off there is no refined sugar and these moist muffins have NO OIL!!!

Problem solved.

THE BEST DARN CORNBREAD MUFFINS

Best Darn Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffin COLLAGE 2

INGREDIENTS - Makes 12 muffins

DRY
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
3/4 cup gluten-free flour mix (I used King Arthur)
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
 
WET
1 cup applesauce
1 cup creamed corn (8.5 oz. can…make sure it is dairy-free)
8.75 oz. can whole kernel corn (no salt added), drained (chop finely if desired)
2-4 Tbs honey (I prefer 2 Tbs) (to make vegan, use maple syrup or agave)
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (I used convection bake).

Combine the cornmeal, flours, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl combine the applesauce, creamed corn and honey.  Whisk together until fully incorporated.

Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon until fully mixed.

Chop up the whole kernel corn until it is the size you prefer for your muffins.  Fold the corn kernels into the batter.

Line your muffin tins (grease lightly with coconut oil spray) and fill each muffin 2/3 full with batter.

Bake for 14-18 minutes (rotating half-way through) until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely. *

These muffins taste great straight out of the refrigerator.

.Best Darn Cornbread Muffins (26)

*Remember that homemade gluten-free baked goods taste best once they have cooled completely.  Straight out of the oven they tend to be gummy.

For a printable recipe click HERE.

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Filed under Breads / Crackers / Muffins, Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grains, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

homemade vegan peanut butter cups collage

Now that we are into the holiday season I do make a few more treats than normal (though I do feel the need to admit that I generally do not eat many of them).

People tend to think that making candy is complicated…it doesn’t have to be.  Last year the kids and I make homemade peanut butter cups.  These peanut butter cups were made with only three ingredients:

  1. Freshly ground peanut butter
  2. Chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips)
  3. Coconut oil

Melt the bag of chocolate chips over a double boiler along with 1-2 tsp. of oil.

Once melted, pour a small layer into mini cupcake liners and place it in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes.  Place the melted chocolate over the double boiler to ensure that it remains melted.

Top the hardened chocolate with some peanut butter and try to keep it in the center allowing a rim of chocolate to remain around it (this will allow the next layer of chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter).

Cover the peanut butter with another layer of chocolate and place in the refrigerator to harden.

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This year I used the same method to make chocolate covered pretzels (gluten-free) and peanuts.  My daughter and I broke small pretzel sticks in half and mixed them with the melted chocolate.  We then placed spoonfuls of the chocolate covered pretzels on waxed paper to cool and harden…little chocolate bird’s nests.  We had some left over at the end with a little too much chocolate, so we mixed in some peanuts and made spoonfuls of that.  They have been a total hit with my family!

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Filed under Candy / Fudge, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

TEACHER / COACH GIFTS

I am in the thick of preparing gifts for the coaches and teachers in my children’s lives and I thought I would share with you what we are gifting food-wise this year.

My daughter wanted to gift her teachers with some body butters, and my son will be giving some of his middle school teachers gift certificates, but we will be giving the coaches in our lives the “healthier” caramel popcorn that I made one month as my Secret Recipe Club assignment.

The original version was loaded with butter and sugar, so I rolled-up my sleeves and did my best to remake the recipe. My family loves the recipe I came-up with and while it is definitely a treat, it is much healthier than the traditional version.

I just air popped the popcorn and will be making it into caramel popcorn tomorrow.  This recipe is SO EASY.  I have made caramel popcorn before where you have to stir and stir and stir and with this recipe you shake it all up in a big brown paper bag…it couldn’t be more simple.

Click HERE for the recipe or HERE for the original post with detailed pictures.

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Filed under Dessert, Gifts, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

SEMI HOME MADE TOMATO SOUP

I know we are all in the market for fast dinners.  When I was little I would get so excited when my parents would announce that dinner was going to be grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  My parents probably thought they were making a cop-out dinner, but I seriously loved it.  Those dinners cemented the relationship between tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches in my mind.

The other day my son announced that he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.  We were short on time and in all honestly I hadn’t given dinner much thought that day, so I went along with the plan.  When trying to figure out how to round-out the quick meal, tomato soup popped to mind, however we didn’t have any on hand.

I have tried so many tomato soups through the years and most of them are too sweet in my opinion OR they have cream / milk in them.

Well…necessity is the mother of invention, so I popped into my pantry and came-out with a jar of pasta sauce, a can of navy beans, and some broth.  In the time it took for the Daiya grilled cheese sandwiches to brown, semi-home made tomato soup was on the table as well.

Here’s what I did…

  1. Get out your Vitamix 
  2. Rinse and drain one can of navy or other no salt added white beans
  3. Pour the beans into the Vitamix
  4. Fill the bean can with pasta sauce
  5. Pour the pasta sauce into the Vitamix
  6. Fill the can with broth
  7. Pour the broth into the can
  8. BLEND
  9. Add more broth if a thinner consistency is desired (I like it thick…my kids like it thin)

And there you have it…a fast, healthy, tasty tomato soup that courtesy of the beans is packed with fiber and protein.

NOTE – I am an affiliate for Vitamix which means that someday I may earn a tiny bit of money if a reader decides to purchase a Vitamix by clicking on the link to the right  :-)

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Kid Friendly, Quick Tips, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Here is a round-up of some of my favorite pumpkin recipes…my daughter began her day with the oatmeal.  Have a happy and safe Halloween!!!

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PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL

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PUMPKIN PIE DESSERT HUMMUS

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PUMPKIN RICE PUDDING

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CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE ICE CREAM

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans/Legumes, Breakfast, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Pudding / Mousse, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

CURRY-SPICED POPCORN

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I was assigned the blog, Daily Dish Recipes.  Nicole is a mother of 5 teenagers (my hat’s off to her) who has been a food writer since 2003.

I decided to make Curry Movie Popcorn, which she made for another SRC assignment.  I found lots of wonderful recipes on her blog, but somehow I couldn’t get my mind off of that popcorn!

I took her advice and opted to add the spices to the pan prior to cooking the popcorn vs. pouring the melted oil and spice over the popped corn (which is the method she originally tried and didn’t like)…it worked like a charm!

While I generally stay away from oil, the coconut oil adds such a nice flavor and compliments the curry spice.  I did however eliminate the butter from the recipe because it wasn’t necessary.

This was so easy and quick.  I am already coming-up with other flavor combos…anyone want some spicy chipotle popcorn???

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons butter (I omitted)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (I used 1 tsp Curry Powder & 1 tsp Garam Masala)
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic Salt
  • 1/2 cup (75 g.) popping corn

METHOD

Melt the coconut oil in a pan (make sure it is large enough for the popped corn).  Whisk in the salt, curry powder, and Garam Masala.

Add the popping corn and pop while shaking the pan to avoid burning.

Serve immediately.

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Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – PEACH ICE CREAM

I was assigned the blog, Feeding Andy, for my September Secret Recipe Club assignment.  The blog’s author, Peggy, is a culinary student and her blog follows her progress through school as well as her daily exploits working at Louisville mainstay, Jack Fry’s.

I bookmarked a lot of recipes when trying to decide which recipe I would go with.  Some of the finalists were Rice Pilaf, Spicy Pickled Carrots & Asparagus, and Indian Spiced Lentils.  I ultimately decided to make her Peach & Clove Ice Cream after my latest trip to the farmer’s market since the peaches there were so ripe it felt like I was slapped in the face with their wonderful perfume.

What a perfect Summer dessert!

INGREDIENTS

1-1/3 lbs ripe peaches; peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 peach; peeled, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. Triple Sec (I dislike the taste of alcohol, so I eliminated it)

1 teaspoon ground cloves (I wanted the flavor of the peaches to take center stage, so I eliminated it)
3/4 cup sugar (I used 2Tbs. SweetLeaf Sugar Leaf stevia/sugar replacement)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used 1 single-serve container of So Delicious Vanilla Almond Milk Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer)
1/2 cup milk (I used So Delicious non-dairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
juice from 1 lime (I used the juice from 2 tangerines)
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Combine the coarsely chopped peaches and water in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until peaches are soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.  Mix in SweetLeaf Sugar Leaf stevia, and set aside to cool to room temperature (or speed-up the cooling process with an ice bath).

Add the cooked peach mixture to your high speed blender with yogurt, cream, milk, vanilla, and tangerine juice. Process until smooth. add the finely chopped raw peach and blend VERY briefly so some chunks of peach remain.  Chill thoroughly in refrigerator, about 6-8 hours (or speed-up the process once again by pouring the mixture into a glass jar and cooling it in an ice bath). Once chilled, transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.



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Filed under Cooked Fruit, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian

RECIPE REDUX – Most Memorable Summer Meal

I first learned about a group called the Recipe Redux through a blog I follow called Jeanette’s Healthy Living.  The recipe Redux was founded by registered dietitians and I knew I wanted to take part in it when I read what they are all about…

“As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you.  The group was founded “[O]n the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious. As the Latin term ‘redux’ means to revisit or reinvent, we are reinventing the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach. We aim to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.”
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Once accepted into the group I received my first assignment which was to blog about our ‘Most Memorable Vacation Meal.’ The challenge was to make the meal healthier.

As I thought through the vacations in my life and the wonderful meals I have had, one truly did stand out.  It may seem overly simplistic, however this meal was truly a standout to me.  Last summer we went on a Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream (click HERE to read my post about it).  The crew was so overly accomodating to my vegan diet and to the dietary restrictions my daughter lives with on a daily basis.

Disney owns their very own island called Castaway Cay in the Bahamas and the first day we spent on the island the crew sent my daughter’s and my meals for the day onto the island.  When we went to pick-up our lunch at the designated restaurant, both my daughter and I were amazed by what they prepared for us.  They provided my daughter (5 years old at the time) with 3 meals to choose from and made me the most gorgeous ENORMOUS fruit platter.

It was HOT HOT HOT that day and the fruit was perfectly ripe and gorgeously displayed.  I could not have imagined a more perfect meal.  Whole food, bursting with flavor, naturally cooling to the body…the perfect summer meal…a meal I couldn’t even possibly make healthier.

What is your “Most Memorable Vacation Meal” and have you taken the time to re-create it as well as make it healthier?



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Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipe Redux, Recipes, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian