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It is back to the busy school season routine, with homework, activities, lunch box packing and dinner planning in full swing! I don’t know about you, but time seems to go quickly at this time of year, and I find myself stretched in so many directions! It is so important that I provide my family with healthy meals, but meal planning can be tough. Luckily, I was recently introduced to Dinnerly, which is perfect for busy families like ours, and it’s the most affordable meal kit on the market!

At only $5 per meal, DINNERLY is half the price of other meal kits, making it particularly attractive to young families who want to cook more at home or who want to try meal kits but find them cost prohibitive. Dinners are quick & simple, with only 5 steps and a maximum of 6 ingredients per recipe. Plus, Dinnerly is paperless, and you simply go to their website to view the recipes that you were sent that week!

We had so much fun trying 3 unique and healthy recipes with Dinnerly during the first week back-to-school… Red Pepper Flatbread, Za’atar Chicken, and the Beef & Broccoli Noodles.

Our favorite was definitely the Za’atar Chicken! Accompanied by a fresh cucumber and tomato salad and toasted bulgur wheat, it was flavorful, tender and healthy! Best part – it only took 30 minutes to make from start to finish! It reminded me of all the delicious Za’atar bread I enjoyed growing up as an expat in Saudi Arabia.

Each week, you choose the menu items you wish to make that week with your family. They have so many interesting choices that it was hard to pick only three! You can view more menu items here: https://dinnerly.com/menu

*Dinnerly generously provided a week’s worth of meals for this article & review. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Looking for an alternative to tacos on Taco Tuesday? Look no further than this flavorful tortilla soup! Filled with a variety of healthy vegetables, such as avocado, onions and tomatoes, this soup is one of our favorites! You can even make the broth ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for the next night’s meal!

Tiny Green Mom’s Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2-3 ripe organic tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 carton organic chicken stock (1 quart)

1 can organic tomato sauce

1-2 T. dill

1-2 jalapeno peppers

4 Fresh tortillas

1-2 avocados, cubed

Organic sour cream (1 T. per bowl served)

Organic finely shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, approximately 1/2 cup

Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste

Preparation

Finely dice the onion and set aside. Finely chop the tomatoes and set aside. Mince garlic and set aside.

Add olive oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions, tomatoes, and garlic; cook until transparent and soft.

Add chicken stock and dill; bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Be very careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth while handling the pepper! Set aside.

Cut the tortillas into thin strips and set aside.

Heat 1 T. extra virgin olive oil in small skillet on medium heat and when hot, place the jalapeno peppers into the oil. Turn after 1 minute. After one more minute, place the peppers on a paper towel on a separate plate to drain.

Next, cook the tortilla strips in the hot skillet until light brown. It is easiest to place in a layer, cooking only a few at a time.  Set on paper towel on a separate plate.

To serve, divide and place the cubed avocado, monterey jack cheese, jalapeno pepper slices, organic sour cream and tortilla strips into 4 bowls. Pour the broth over the top to slightly cover the ingredients in the bowl. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste.

Please do not reprint recipe without permission.

 

 

 

 

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Yes, there really is a day for everything! One of our favorite things to make are soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies, and the recipe below has been adjusted through the years to make the very BEST chocolate chip cookies. I even cut 1/2 cup of sugar out of the recipe to lower the sugar content. The key to the perfect cookies is to bake them until they are almost done, only slightly brown on the bottom. When you take them out of the oven, they will continue to bake a bit longer as they cool down on the baking sheet. In this recipe, 7 minutes in our oven is the ideal timing.

My husband loves these cookies… without the chocolate chips! So I always bake a tray without the chocolate chips first, and then add in the chocolate chips to the rest of the batter. I think the base for these cookies could be made with other delicious ingredients, such as macadamia nuts, pecans, raisins, or chocolate chunks.

Tiny Green Mom’s BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks of organic, grass-fed butter, softened

3/4 cup Organic Sugar in the Raw

3/4 cup organic brown sugar

1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

2 cage-free eggs

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, ground to a fine powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 cup frozen chocolate chips (or more, if you like)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place two cups of oatmeal in a food processor or blender, and ground to a fine powder. We use our Ninja Blender on the Flour/Mill setting, and it works very well. Set aside.

In large mixer, cream the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together. Add in the oatmeal and mix well. Add in the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Slowly add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time until and continue mixing until batter is well blended.

If adding chocolate chips or other ingredients, stir them in by hand. I find using frozen chocolate chips makes the chips stay together well when baking.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until slightly brown on the bottom of the cookies. In our oven, 7 minutes is the magic number for the ideal cookie.

Remove and let cool…. or don’t! Why not enjoy a warm cookie right out of the oven! Yum!

Do not reprint recipe without permission.

 

I’m not going to lie… I am a sucker for a delicious blueberry muffin! While dining at Sweet Tomoatoes this past week, I enjoyed several of these warm, moist muffins with my soup and salad. I am thrilled to share this recipe with you from their team, as well as offer you the chance to win a visit for four to eat at Sweet Tomatoes this summer! Just head on over to the Sweet Tomatoes Summer Giveaway on my website here… good luck!

I made a few suggestions below on simple modifications to the recipe to make them even healthier. As always, choose organic ingredients when possible. Yum!

Wildly Blue Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

2 ¾ cups white flour (“Mom” prefers organic, unbleached flour)
½ cup wheat flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 2/3 cups buttermilk (“Mom” prefers organic)
1 cup white sugar (“Mom” prefers organic)
2/3 cup canola oil
¼ cup cracked eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free eggs)
1 teaspoon blueberry extract
½ lb blueberries (“Mom” prefers organic)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Combine white flour, wheat flour, baking powder, and table salt in a 1 quart mixing bowl and thoroughly mix to combine. Set aside.

In a separate 2 quart mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, sugar, canola oil, eggs, and blueberry extract and thoroughly whisk until sugar is thoroughly dissolved.

Add dry mixture to wet mixture and thoroughly mix to combine.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Grease muffin pan with pan spray. Spoon muffin batter into muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until batter is firm and springs to the touch. The muffin will be a light golden brown.

Enjoy!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Sweet Tomatoes.*

I am always on the lookout for a healthier treat for my family, and these little bites of organic goodness definitely fit the bill! I have seen Emmy’s Organics Coconut Cookies tucked in the bins at Starbucks and have always wanted to give them a try… so when asked to try all 4 of their delicious flavors, I jumped at the chance!

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Emmy’s Organics Coconut Cookies are made with clean, organic ingredients like fair trade cocoa powder, and contain zero artificial ingredients or coloring! They are certified USDA organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan and paleo-friendly, making them an ideal little snack!

Available in flavors like Dark Cacao, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Bean, Lemon Ginger and more, these superfood snacks are great atop smoothies, yogurt, or as a yummy bite straight from the bag.

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Emmy’s are also the perfect size for summer travel and can be found at Starbucks stores nationwide — making them an ideal on-the-go vegan or paleo option!

We loved the simplicity of the vanilla flavor, which reminded me of traditional shortbread with a hint of coconut! If you have little ones like I do, make sure they eat those over a plate as they are soft and can be a bit flaky.

To learn more about Emmy’s Organics Coconut Cookies, visit emmysorganics.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Whole grains, organic yogurt, and bananas… these are all nutritious foods for your little one, combined into delicious mini muffins that are easy to hold, pack in lunch boxes, or serve for a quick snack!

Banana & Yogurt Muffins

Ingredients & Supplies

1 Happy Tot Apple & Pear Whole Milk Yogurt Cup OR 2 Happy Baby Plain Whole Milk Yogurt Cups
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 very ripe bananas
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg*
1 tablespoon milk or milk alternative (“Mom” prefers organic)
24-cup mini-muffin tin

Preparation

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 24-cup mini-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda.

STEP 2
Add bananas, vanilla, oil, egg, milk and yogurt to a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute or until well combined, smooth and creamy. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

STEP 3
Divide batter evenly into mini-muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool muffins for 5 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Muffins are best served warm and even better the next day.

Makes 24 muffins.

*If your baby has an egg allergy, replace the egg with 2 to 3 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce.

If your baby suffers from allergies, check with your pediatrician before trying these recipes.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Happy Family.*

We eat yogurt daily in our home, and have been feeding our little ones organic yogurt since they started solids! Happy Family has always been one of our go-to organic brands for snacks, yogurt, solids, and squeeze pouches… and so finding this delicious recipe for pancakes that uses their Whole Milk Yogurt Cups has me really excited! Breakfast, anyone?

Yummy Yogurt Pancakes

Ingredients

4 Happy Baby Whole Milk Yogurt Cups (pick your favorite fruity flavor!)
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup whole milk* (“Mom” prefers organic)
1 egg**
Butter or oil for cooking (“Mom” prefers organic butter or coconut oil)

Preparation

STEP 1
Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl.

STEP 2
In a separate bowl, mix together yogurt, milk, and egg.

STEP 3
Combine yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix. Batter will be a bit thick.

STEP 4
Heat a small amount of butter or oil in a pan over medium high heat.

STEP 5
Place a few tablespoons of the mixture in the pan, cook until bubbles appear, and then flip. Cook until golden brown. Repeat.

STEP 6
Freeze the remaining pancakes, and enjoy for a quick meal or snack in the future.

Makes about 20 small pancakes.

Please Note:

*This small amount of cow’s milk is safe before 1 year if your baby doesn’t have a milk allergy. If they do, use a plant-based milk.

**If your baby has an egg allergy, replace the egg with 2 to 3 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Happy Family.*

If you’re like me, you are always searching for healthier versions of your family’s favorite snack foods… and Junkless Chewy Granola Bars definitely deliver! Upping the YUM factor considerably, we are now stocking our pantry with these delish chewy granola bars!

Chocolate Chip Junkless

These family-friendly, better-for-you snacks that are minimally processed, contain no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and are Non-GMO Project Verified. Produced by Junkless Foods Inc., the bars are made with less than eight ingredients. No junk, and they taste good!

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Junkless Chewy Granola Bars are available in 4 flavors you and your kiddos will love, including Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, 100% REAL Strawberries and Cinnamon Roll. The Chocolate Chip flavor is my little guy’s favorite, and I find the Cinnamon Roll to be almost sinful!

The bars are perfect for lunch boxes or tossing in a diaper bag, purse or backpack for an emergency snack.

Ernie Pang, who used to do marketing for Kellogg’s, came up with the idea after he and his son were grocery shopping and Michael asked about the lengthy list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the side panel of a frozen food product. Ernie thought there had to be a better way!

Junkless Chewy Granola Bars are available nationally on Amazon and in select grocery stores around the country. Learn more at junklessfoods.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Calling all popcorn lovers! If your family is anything like mine, popcorn is a staple for movie nights at home! We love snuggling up on the couch with a big bowl to share, while the toddler runs circles around the living room as we watch the latest flick. With a massive family size bag – there is (hopefully) enough for everyone!

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Organic Nearly Naked Popcorn from Popcornopolis makes enjoying popcorn deliciously easy! With only 38 calories per cup, Nearly Naked Popcorn is popped in coconut oil and expertly salted to taste. For me, as a total health nut, this fact alone makes this a top pick for my family!

Organic Nearly Naked Popcorn from Popcornopolis is:

100% American Grown Corn
Non-GMO Corn
Certified Gluten Free
No Added Preservatives
No High Fructose Corn Syrup
No MSG
0g Trans Fat
Popped in Coconut Oil
100% Whole Grain

For all of you with Costco memberships, Organic Nearly Naked will be in Costco stores from March 13, selling for $5.39 a bag. From April 19 – May 13, the cost will drop to $3.49. It’ll be the perfect time to grab a few bags for spring & summer fun!

Interested in learning more about Popcornopolis? Check out their website at Popcornopolis.com, and connect with them on social media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/popcornopolis/
Instagram: @popcornopolis
Twitter: @popcornopolis

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Lasagna noodles are transformed into tasty chips for snacking in this easy recipe – perfect for your 2018 Olympics viewing party! Kids will love to help make (and eat!) these fun lasagna chips. While the original recipe calls for regular lasagna noodles, we prefer using whole wheat lasagna noodles for added health benefits.

Herbed Lasagna Chips

Ingredients

6 lasagna noodles (“Mom” prefers whole wheat lasagna noodles)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Italian herb mixture
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but firm. Drain; let cool in single layer on baking sheet.

Cut noodles into bite-size pieces; toss with Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, Italian herb mixture, salt and pepper.

Spread in single layer on parchment paper–lined baking sheet; bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp.
Let cool.

Tips:

Add a pinch of cayenne for heat if desired. Serve with a variety of dips, such as hummus, marinara or tzatziki sauce, for dipping.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 100 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 3 g protein

*Recipe and image courtesy of Pasta Fits.*