Thursday, September 1, 2011

Banana Roll Up

This is a recipe that Callie created based on something she saw on The Berenstain Bears :)  She can make this for a snack completely on her own now... something she is very proud of!  You need three things:  bread, PB, and a banana.

First, cut the crust of the bread - give it to an adult to eat or throw it out to the birds so you don't waste!

Spread the PB (or any nut butter) on the bread.

Cut banana into slices.

Place slices in a row on one end of the bread.

Important (per Callie)!  Push the bananas down with your knife to make sure they don't fall off :)

Roll up the bread.

Squeeze it closed so it doesn't come open when you're eating it.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zucchini Muffins

My mom and dad have had an overabundance of zucchini in their garden this year.  We can hardly use what they give us - we've pretty much incorporated it into every meal the past two weeks!  I decided to use up a couple and make muffins.  Muffins are great because you can eat them for breakfast, a snack, or easily take them to share with others.

For these I used a basic muffin recipe that I originally used with the left over pulp from juicing.  You can definitely reuse the recipe if you juice a lot - just replace the zucchini for pulp.  I've tried a lot of different varieties of juice pulp and they all work great.  The zucchini is definitely not as sweet as fruit would be, but the frosting takes care of that.  If you don't care for frosting, I would just add a little more sugar or honey to the recipe.

I don't have a recipe for the frosting - I originally wanted to make a cream cheese frosting, but didn't have any cream cheese on hand.  We did have about 1 1/2 cups of quark (Greek yogurt would work just as well) so to it I added about 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2/ tsp. vanilla, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  It was a bit tart, but I like it that way.  Just add more sugar to tone it down.  Refrigerate to thicken.

Zucchini (or juice pulp) Muffins

2 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar or honey
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup milk (I used soy, but any is fine)
1/3 cup oil
1 Tbs. vinegar
1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded zucchini or pulp (I would recommend 2 cups if using whole wheat flour)

Preheat over to 375 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients.  Pour wet into dry and stir to combine.  Fold in pulp.

Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grilled Salmon & Veggie Rice

We have a version of this dinner about once a week - it's so fresh and light and perfect for summer.  I actually think I could eat it every night!  It doesn't look too kid friendly, but our very picky 4 year old will eat it most of the time - although we are hit and miss with the salmon.  We really think fresh sustainable fish is important to our diets and try to eat it at least twice a week.  We've been getting our fish from Vital Choice - Caleb has done a few projects with them so we have been lucky enough to try a lot of their products.

So, back to the picky eater :)  We find that very small portions of fish work best.  She will eat it most of the time if there is rice or pasta that she can eat with it in the same bite, which is fine by me.  We also have good luck mixing fresh greens and veggies in with our rice.  Below is jasmine (a kid favorite) - it's quick cooking (20 min), but if I have time I will make brown rice (40 min).  Also, for this rice recipe you can make the rice ahead of time or even the night before.

From this meal, Callie ate all of the corn, most of the rice, and the smallest piece of salmon (better than nothing and definite progress for us!).

Veggie Rice

Prepare rice according to directions.  I buy in bulk and use these general rules: 1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cup water.  Meanwhile, saute chopped (finely chopped if serving toddlers) fresh greens, herbs, and vegetables* in olive oil on medium heat - I actually use safflower oil because I can't stand the smell of olive oil, but any kind will do.  Add a bit of sea salt.  They will cook fast, so stir often for about 5 minutes.  Add rice and soy sauce (secret ingredient!) and increase heat to medium-high.  Cook for another few minutes, stirring often.  Serve!

*We make this recipe all the time and use whatever we have on hand... it makes it interesting each time to use different flavors.  For the meal above, we used garlic scapes, zucchini, red onion, chard, beet greens, and parsley.  You wouldn't think a 4 year old would eat these things, but I swear it makes a difference if it's mixed with something she likes!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cob Salad

This isn't exactly a recipe, but I decided to post it just as an idea.  I took this to my mom's birthday picnic and it was a big hit.  You basically lay a bed of lettuce on a large serving platter and line desired fixings in rows.  I used blue cheese crumbles, all natural bacon (which I baked in the oven... it tasted better but was a huge mess), hard boiled eggs, avocado, and grape tomatoes.  I served it with an Italian vinaigrette, but I think you could really use any dressing with this salad... Callie used ranch, of course :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Raspberry Blueberry Crepes

We have always loved crepes, but had never really thought of making them ourselves until recently - and it's actually really easy!  Since we've been picking so many fresh berries this summer, we have been making them quite often.  The recipe that has given us the best results is below and you can also find it here.  We've made both savory and sweet varieties and have also substitued whole wheat flour into the recipe, which tastes great as well.  You do have to make the batter and let it sit, so a bit of planning ahead is required.

The recipe below if for the actual crepe only, not the filling.  You can really put whatever you like inside.  For these we heated some of the berries on low unitl they broke down a little.  We added a little honey to them, because the raspberries were quite tart, along with some chopped mint.  We spread quark (kind of a cheesy tasting yogurt, ricotta would also work well) on the crepe then topped it with the warm berry mixture.  You can spread the ricotta on cold because the hot berries will warm it.  We topped them with some homemade berry sauce, whole blueberries and a sprig of mint!

For Callie, plain crepes with butter and rapberries on the side.  She doesn't care for blueberries or anything jam-like... and then there's me who will eat a jar of jam with a spoon in one sitting :)



  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Butter, for coating the pan


In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.
*Savory Variation Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture.
*Sweet Variation Add 21/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ramen Salad

On weeknights, easy is a must.  And nothing is easier than spaghetti.  This spaghetti was a little different than usual - made with local buffalo.  I would like to say the sauce is homemade, but I enlisted the help of a jar :)  We always add a few extra veggies to our sauce, though - tonight was green bell pepper and red onion.  It really adds to the flavor - the more, the merrier!  On the side were fresh, local greenbeans.  I steamed them with a little sea salt and garlic gold.  I LOVE greenbeans!

Also on the side was ramen salad, which is my absolute favorite salad in the whole world!  We honestly make it about once a week.  I've been making it for about 3 years now and have never tired of it.  I always take it to potlucks and parties and everyone always loves it.  I know top ramen isn't exactly real food, but for this salad I will gladly make the exception!  Plus who doesn't secretly love top ramen?

We give Callie very small portions at dinner, then if she's still hungry give her more.  We have better luck with her finishing everything this way.  This plate was actually a little more than we usually give her, but she must have been hungry because she asked for more!

Hi Bambi!

Sometimes it's ok to play with your food :)

"The slurp!"

Ramen Salad (original recipe from my friend, Whitney)

Dressing - shake in jam jar:
- top ramen seasoning packet - chicken flavor
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste

- romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/2 onion or cucumber, chopped
- crushed top ramen noodles
- 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
- mandarin oranges

Add chicken and make it a meal!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

French Toast, 3 Ways

Everyone in our family likes their french toast a little different!  To sneak in a little extra nutrition I always add purees to the batter.  Today was pumpkin :)  I freeze different fruit and vegetable purees in ice cube trays then transfer to freezer bags.  I take out what I need, defrost, and add to anything from spaghetti to... french toast!

Callie - strawberries & honey 

Caleb - strawberries, blueberries, peanut butter, and maple syrup

Lacey - blueberries, blueberry syrup, and unsweatened coconut