Broccoli & cheese pasta muffins for the whole family

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In the world of green veggies, broccoli is my #1 enemy. Not so fond memories of childhood dinners where I would cry and sit at the table until 9 at night because I absolutely was afraid to death of it. I tried to feed it to the dog or put it back in the bowl when no one was looking. Fast forward 30 years and I have come to my senses somewhat. I can still gag at the smell of it. ūüė¶ Anyway, I don’t want to pass along my fear and hatred towards this unique green veg to my kids so I introduced it to Charlotte this week who just turned 10 months old. I am obsessed with my new silicone mini and full-size muffin trays that I just got so I knew the fresh beautiful broccoli I made myself buy from the market on Monday had to take a turn in them. I also knew that Max, my 9 yr. old, might like these as well because surprising the kid loves broccoli in a weird way that I don’t really understand.

So, I thought what better way to have it than to mix in small orzo noodles which are the perfect size for the baby and Max happens to like this particular noodle as well. I am accommodating if nothing else. I added some shredded cheddar cheese, which Charlotte is also familiar with, as well as Greek yogurt, panko breadcrumbs and eggs. Nutritionally packed mini “muffins” for sure!

Here is what I did:

Roasted about 3 stalks of broccoli in some coconut oil for 20 min on 375. Looking back I don’t think I even needed to do this but thought it would make it more enjoyable tasting.

Then I chopped it up and looking back again for Charlotte’s sake I wish I would have chopped it up just a bit finer and took off more of the trunk or stalk and just kept more of the flowery floret part. Trust me I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to broccoli so I had to google “broccoli parts” to even tell you this which was weird.

Boil 1/2 cup orzo noodles while the broccoli is roasting or while it cools before you cut it up.

Here it is roasted and chopped which I estimated was about 2 cups

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Mix the following into the chopped broccoli:

2 eggs

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup of the cooked orzo noodles

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(note-I didn’t really season them with anything since they are mostly for Charlotte and her taste buds don’t know any better but feel free to jazz them up a bit)

Then scoop out and press into mini or full muffin tray like this:

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Bake at 350 for 15 minutes for mini size or 20 minutes for full size.

This recipe made 24 mini’s and 2 full size. They won’t rise so go ahead and fill them up all the way. I can’t say enough about the silicone baking trays. No spray needed and they pop right out once cool. It is really easy and not messy to clean.

 

I originally had these in mind for Charlotte but I actually ate quite a few that day and liked them! I froze some and have some in the fridge for this week’s meals for both of us and Max too!

 

Enjoy friends!

xo, Adrienne

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Pesto Chicken Lasagna

Hey all, I wanted to share my recipe for pesto chicken lasagna that I made this weekend. I will try to break it down by each layer to make it pretty simple. It is chicken based so it is protein packed. I went easy on the cheeses and used some Greek yogurt to add moisture and flavor as well.

First: here is everything that I used in this picture. I had boiled and shredded the chicken the day before.

  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms & white onion with some EVOO
  • 1 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 medium chicken breast boiled and shredded
  • 4 medium stem tomatoes sliced and salt & peppered
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 cups ricotta cheese & a blend of mozzarella, Gruy√®re & parmesan¬†cheese….or whatever you have ūüėČ you don’t¬†need that much
  • Homemade pesto or a small jar (about 8 or 10 oz.)
  • Lasagna noodles-I used 9/4 bottom then 3 and 3 for the next 2 layers
  • Seasonings like parsley, red pepper flakes, oregano & basil, salt & pepper

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Second:  cook your mushrooms, onions and warm half of the already cooked chicken in a skillet for about 15 min on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Then add half of the pesto and season with parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano to your liking. Meanwhile, boil your noodles according to package directions.

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Third: pre-heat your oven to 350 & begin your assembly line by having your tomatoes sliced and ready, your spinach close by, noodles, the other half of the shredded chicken mixed with the rest of the pesto and the 1 cup of Greek yogurt. Your can of fire roasted tomatoes ready with the liquid (don’t drain) and your 2 cups of ricotta cheese along with the shredded cheese options near by.

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To assemble:

  • Coat your pan with a spray or whatever non-stick option you like
  • Spread some fire roasted tomatoes and liquid on the bottom
  • Place 4 lasagna noodles overlapping each other’s edges just a bit
  • Place warm chicken & mushroom mixture on top
  • Add a layer of ricotta cheese and shredded Gruy√®re cheese
  • Then add a layer of spinach leaves and sliced tomatoes
  • Top that with 3 more noodles
  • Then the chicken, pesto and Greek yogurt mixture (this can be room temp)
  • The rest of the ricotta cheese and the shredded parmesan cheese
  • Another layer of spinach and sliced tomatoes
  • Finish with 3 more noodles, the rest of the liquid and diced fire roasted tomatoes and shredded mozzarella cheese

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Cover with foil and bake for 30 min in 350 degree oven, then remove foil and bake for another 25 to 30 min. Let cool for 30 min before cutting.

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I hope you will try this and I really hope you enjoy it!

xoxo, Adrienne

 

Wraps

wrapsWhat an awesome way to sneak in veggies to your meals, wraps! When you get tired of salads and want just a little more try these Flat out multi grain wraps, the nutritional facts on these are amazing! Check it out:

1 wrap offers 8 g of FIBER, 9 g of PROTEIN and only 17g of total carbs at 100 calories. Load these up with veggies mostly then protein and cheese! I add hot sauce to mine and in these pictured above I used pesto paste, olive oil and greek yogurt to flavor the chicken as I cooked it.  So this combo was super fabulous and spicy with red onion, red pepper, cucumbers, banana peppers and a slice of mozzarella cheese.

One way, I find, ¬†to keep eating healthy and not get bored is to think of the wrap, quinoa, rice, ¬†whatever the grainy source as your blank canvas and keep creating from there! Have a healthy foundation to your meal always available or on hand! Also, trying different ethnic ways of cooking will add variety your meals so mix it up and get the whole family involved in finding new recipes. I am thinking next week I will keep my family fed while¬†I try a different taste from around the world Monday through Friday, from Greek to Cuban¬†to German-anything can be made healthier (even my YiaYia’s Pastitsio)!

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I hope these wraps make their way into your life! I know a package of 6 wraps is more expensive than a loaf of bread but to me it is totally worth it!!! I don’t want just bread or even anything with the word “loaf’ in it-ha! I want more for¬†myself¬† and I want to make the most out of each bite that goes into fueling my body!

Enjoy! xo! A

Egg Bake with a pancake bottom

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DIRECTIONS:

Cook 5 or so pancakes to line the bottom of your baking dish with-I used a  healthy buckwheat mix and only added water and unsweetened applesauce to make them. (You can also use Greek yogurt instead of applesauce.)

Add 1 cup frozen hash browns

Next, rough chop mushrooms-about 1/2 cup and cook 1/4 lb of sweet or spicy sausage with minced garlic and¬† some chopped onions to add to the mixture (mine was left over from another dinner so I didn’t have to make it this go around)

Layer the meat and mushroom mixture on top of the pancakes and hash browns.

Next, add a 1/2 cup shredded cheese-I used a Colby jack mixture

Lastly, mix 4 eggs, 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup flour with pepper, parsley, red pepper flakes and hot sauce. pour egg mixture over and bake at 375 for 30 to 35 min.

Packed with protein and good carbs!!! So delicious! I love this so much because you can use whatever you have around, add any veggies you have, salsa, use ground turkey instead of sausage, omit the pancakes, change the cheese (spinach and feta with egg and hash would be great!!!) No butter was used to make this masterpiece. This my friends is what heaven looks like or at least what a kick ass brinner (breakfast+dinner) looks like !

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Enjoy!!!

xoxoxo-A

Cheeseburger Pizza

Who says eating healthy isn’t super yummy and delicious!? Make smarter choices and enjoy all of your favs! I used Greek yogurt, lean beef and a better crust choice than the traditional pizza and voila! I get to eat one of my favorite things and my jeans still fit! Awesome!

What you will need:

Crust-thin or whole wheat

Meat-ground turkey, lean or extra lean ground beef (1/2 lb)

Sauce: 3/4 c plain Greek yogurt, 2 tsp spicy brown mustard, 2 tsp ketchup, 2 tsp hot sauce, pepper and red pepper flakes to your liking

Toppings: chopped onions, pickles, tomatoes

Cheese: 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Colby jack cheese-the less cheese the better so go easy

Bake according to the crust instructions.

ENJOY!!!!

xoxoxo-A