Broccoli & cheese pasta muffins for the whole family

broc cheese pasta muffin 4

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

broc cheese pasta muffins 1

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

broc cheese pasta muff 2

(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:

broc cheese pasta muffin 3

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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Fresh Greek Summer Pasta

fresh greek summer pasta

We had this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! I have to share it with you! It’s a Greek themed super easy pasta that requires little work! You will need tons of fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh¬†basil! If you like kalamata olives and feta cheese then you are going to love this!!

Ingredients:

3 cups halved cherry tomatoes

15 leaves of basil-cut into ribbons

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Red pepper flakes to your liking

Garlic powder or freshly minced to your liking

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 cup kalamata olives

3 to 4 servings of the Pasta of your choice-we did a really thin long noodle

How to:

Mix the first eight ingredients together gently in a bowl, cover with clear wrap and leave on counter or a few hours.

basil tomato salad

Cook the pasta when ready to eat then top with tomato basil mixture and lastly add the olives and feta, then serve. Makes about 3 to 4 servings.

There are so many yummy combinations you could do with this!

Here are some that I have thought of (add to the tomatoes as a base & olive oil/seasonings):

Chickpeas, zucchini, parsley and shredded carrots

Basil, pine nuts, yellow pepper and mushrooms

Chicken, red pepper, onions, balsamic vinegar and spinach

Sunflower seeds, Asparagus, radishes, fresh mint and yellow squash

I will be making this or some version of it a lot this summer!

fresh greek pasta finished

I hope you enjoy it too!

xo-A

Wild Buffalo Chicken Casserole

wild buffalo chicken casserole

Ingredients and directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

8 oz chicken breast or tenders/cubed and cooked on med heat/stove top in the following seasonings:

***cummin, dash of cinnamon, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, Red Hot or any hot sauce

Boil 1.5 cups of pasta noodles (use whole grain or any non-white bleached flour based) cook almost to the time according to the package.

Chop 1/4 cup red onion and 1 cup tomatoes

Add the chicken, onions, tomatoes and pasta to casserole dish

Add 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, 1/2 cup lite sour cream or Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup skim or almond milk

Give everything a stir and then add any additional hot sauce that you may like for taste and spiciness!

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 min then sprinkle whole wheat unseasoned panko breadcrumbs on top and let bake for an additional 10 min. At the very end add a few more crumbles of blue cheese and place back in oven just long enough to allow it to melt.

I hope you enjoy!!! A

 

 

Healthy Hamburger Helper

HEALTHY “Hamburger Helper”

hamburger helper

I have never actually made or have eaten Hamburger Helper but I thought this would be what it is like EXCEPT healthier!!! So……..
Cook 1 lb lean ground meat (grass fed if you can because it is beyond delicious) or ground turkey then drain and place in 9 x 13 baking dish. Season meat with Badia seasoning and a dash of pepper and cumin or whatever you feel you may like….
Cook 2 c elbow macaroni for half the time indicated on the box then rinse in cold water and add to the baking dish.
Add: 1/3 c sour cream 1 c plain Greek yogurt 1/3 salsa 1/4 chopped pineapple 1 c chopped peppers 1/2 c chopped onion 1 c shredded Mexican cheese
Mix all together.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 min then add 1/4 whole wheat panko breadcrumbs and 1/4 c shredded Mexican cheese and bake for another 15 min.
Let it set and cool for 5 min or so then cut. This makes enough to feed an army. ***Use lean meat, whole wheat/grain noodles and Greek yogurt to make sure this is a healthier version! Enjoy! xo-A

Chicken & Squash with Tomato Basil Pasta

tomato pasta with chicken and veggiesveggies

Chicken & Squash with Tomato Basil Pasta

You will need 1/2 lb to 3/4 lb chicken breast or tenders. Cook chicken w/ a little salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, paprika and lemon juice.  Then set aside.
Cook the following in skillet over med heat for about 8 to 10 min while the water for the pasta is boiling:
2 c sliced yellow squash and zucchini
1/4 c chopped white onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
1tsp. light olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice and a bit of zest
Cook pasta-I found these amazing tomato basil noodles by “Amish Wedding”-no preservatives, colors or salt in them AND 9 g of protein in each serving!
Add 2 c marinara sauce-I like “Mama Rosa” brand to the veggies.¬†Also, ¬†add the chicken back in. Let it simmer on low together while the pasta is cooking for about 12 min.
Drain the pasta and then combine in skillet with everything else. Give it a toss and let them all become friends for a few min before serving.
Serve with green salad and make sure everyone is a member of the “Clean Plate Club”-that is what we do here at our house and how we encourage our 4 yr old to eat it all up-yes even that mushy squash he ate so he could be in the club!!
Enjoy! xoxo-A

Chicken, peppers and angel hair tossed with pnb & soy sauce

What you will need:

Seasonings: (1/2 tsp of each)

ginger

garlic powder

cinnamon

dry mustard

blk pepper

Sauce:

2 tsp Light olive oil or reg olive oil

1 tsp natural peanut butter

1/4 c lite sodium soy sauce

2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce

whisk together and add into pan right before you drop the pasta in to toss

Peppers and onions:

1/2 cup sliced red onion, 2 cups chopped sweet peppers-yellow, red, orange

Chicken:

cube 1 and 1/2 lbs chicken breast and boil in water for 8 min. Drain and then add back to pan with 1/4 c water remaining. Add to the skillet 1 tsp unsalted butter, 2 tsp minced garlic, the peppers and onions. Season with the above seasonings evenly and cook for 10 min on med while the pasta cooks.

Angel hair or other pasta:

Whole grain, 4 servings-cook according to package

Toss all together and serve! Serves 3 adult portions and one hungry 4 year old!

angel hair with peanut butter soy sauce

Enjoy! A

Mexican Chicken Bake

Mexican chicken bake

Buckle up! This is a good one and  figure friendly too!!! This would also be great with ground turkey instead of chicken!

Step one:

Take 3/4 lb chicken breast and cut into cubes. Cook over med heat for 10 min in skillet adding the following:

1/4c  lime juice

1/4 c lemon juice

1/4 c chicken stock-low sodium

Season with cilantro, pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, garlic powder-all to your liking. (I used about 1 tsp of each)

Step two:

Boil whole grain penne pasta just under the suggested time on the package-I used 3 to 3 1/2 cups dry (this will give you about 5 servings in the dish)

Step three:

Combine in baking dish the following:

8 oz container of lite sour cream

1/2 c chopped onion

1/2 c peach/mango salsa (or whatever salsa you like)

1/2 c chopped pepper (whatever you like)

1/2 c skim milk

5 to 6 oz corn

***If you like it spicy add Sriracha and or hot sauce at this point too!

***You can add other garnishing¬†like diced green onion or fresh parsley or cilantro on top-I just didn’t have any on hand!

Step four:

Combine ALL ingredients together and mix well in baking dish. Top with 1/2 c shredded cheese of your liking.

Bake at 385 degrees for 30 min. Serving size should be 1 1/2 cups. Great to make for dinner and have for leftovers the day or even two!

Enjoy!

A

Greek Goddess Pasta

Directions:

Cook 1 lb chicken breast(that you cubed and marinated in a light Greek dressing for about 40 min) then set aside

Cook 3 c whole grain penne pasta noodles and set aside (make sure you save 1 c of the pasta water to add to your sauce)

***SAUCE***

In pan sautee’ the following on med for 15 min:

Kalamata olive paste-2 tbsp (I got mine at the local Greek store)

Olive oil-2 tbsp

Garlic-1 tbsp

Red onion-chopped or sliced-1/4 c

Kalamata olives-1/2 c

Feta cheese-1/4 c

Water from pasta-1 c

*1/4 c pine nuts (optional)

*1 tbsp chopped banana peppers (optional)

Season with red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper

Add the pasta and chicken to the kalamata sauce then add 2 c spinach leaves and 1/4 c feta.  Mix everything together and let them blend together for 10 min or so until the spinach is wilted down and everything is well coated in the sauce.

Enjoy!!!

xoxoxo-A