Kid-friendly, Mom Approved Pizza

This recipe actually came from Harvesters Nutrition Department. We made it with volunteers during our New Year’s Eve Family Volunteer Day. I told my team, “We should try this recipe before we serve it.” It got a thumbs-up from my entire team.

My husband was a little apprehensive about trying it. He was surprise how much he enjoyed it. In fact, it’s become our go to snack.

Here’s hoping your little ones enjoy making this healthy snack.

FullSizeRender (14)Fruit Pizza by Harvesters Nutrition Service Department
1 flavored rice cake
Greek yogurt
Fruit

Spread yogurt on rice cake and top with fruit.

Notes:

  • We used chocolate and caramel with the volunteers. I like the caramel best.
  • We used vanilla Greek but you can use another flavor to match your fruit. You can also just use regular yogurt.
  • I’ve used bananas, berries (raspberries/strawberries/blueberries), and mangos. Fresh or thawed frozen fruit both work.

Purple Resolution Smoothie

A few weeks ago, Jeremiah and I decided to make shrimp tacos. I found a recipe that included a slaw complete with red cabbage. Unfortunately we didn’t need very much of it so we went searching for recipes to make with the rest of it. I told Jeremiah that the Pioneer Woman had a smoothie recipe I’d tried before and it wasn’t bad. I’m not sure Jeremiah believed me. Red cabbage is really healthy and their aren’t a lot of recipes out there to make with it. We added it to Jeremiah’s green beans with bacon. It was ok but we didn’t like it as well as when he usually makes it with bacon, shallots, and garlic. So I made the smoothie for him. It’s super healthy and fills you up until lunch. Make it yourself and see what you think.

Berry smoothiePurple Resolution Smoothie by Pioneer Woman
2 c. Greek yogurt
2 c. mixed berries
2 c. blueberries
1/4 head red cabbage
1/4 c. honey
1 banana
1 c. cranberry juice

Blend together and serve. Makes four cups.

Nutritional Information (Based on a two cup serving): 524 calories, 2 g. fat, 5 mg. cholesterol, 163 mg. sodium, 988 mg. potassium, 106 g. carbs, 13 g. fiber, 83 g. sugar, 28 g. protein, 30% Vitamin A, 145% Vitamin C, 78% calcium, and 11% iron.

Notes: 

  • You could probably use regular yogurt but it will decrease the protein in this recipe.
  • You could probably use berry flavored yogurt and decrease berry content.
  • I used frozen berries and banana.
  • I used lite cranberry juice. The original recipe also suggest grape juice. 

Turkey Taco

Recently, a group was using our kitchen at work to teach a nutritious cooking class for daycare providers. The group leader invited me to sample some of their recipe. I really liked this tasty taco. It wasn’t too spicy and extra healthy with beans and sweet potatoes. Jeremiah and I used tortillas high in fiber so one taco really filled us up. We also served it with fresh guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.

Turkey TacoTurkey Tacos by John Haddock
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 sweet potato, zucchini, or carrot grated
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground turkey over a medium heat. Add beans, veggies, and seasoning. Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Serve in a tortilla shell. Top with shredded cheese and any desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream).

Whole Wheat Pancakes

This recipe is for all of you out there trying to eat healthy but are still feeling hungry. My sister is doing the doing the Mayo Diet where you don’t eat sugar (non-natural sugar) for 10 days. I’ve been watching my diet and tracking everything I eat for the last two months. Sugar is in everything – or added to everything to make it taste better according to the documentary Fed Up. I told my sister I thought she could eat this recipe if she use the Cary’s sugar free syrup my grandma has to use for diabetic reasons.

I ate three of these as was so full that I skipped lunch.

Whole Wheat PancakesWhole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes from the Coffee & Quinoa Blog via Pinterest
1 ½ c. whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ c. skim milk (or almond milk)
1 egg
2 T. maple syrup
½ tsp. vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Pour into dry and stir. If it seems too thick, you can add 2 T. of milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Pour and cook. Serve with fresh fruit or milk syrup. (Made six medium pancakes.)

Skinny Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh my goodness, these were so good. I wished I hadn’t halved the recipe.

Skinny Chocolate Chip Raspberry MuffinsSkinny Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins from Pinterest
2 ½ c. whole wheat flour (you can also use half all-purpose and half whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. honey (or maple syrup)
½ c. brown sugar
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
¼ c. Greek yogurt
1 egg, beaten
¾ c. milk
½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ¾ c. fresh (or frozen) raspberries

In a large bowl, mix powder ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk honey and brown sugar. Add banana, yogurt, and eggs. Slowly pour into dry ingredients. Fold together. Add milk. Fold in chocolate chips. Fold in berries. Bake at 325 degrees for 17-18 minutes. Makes 15 muffins.

Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

I’m a pretty practical person. When my mom ask me what I want for a holiday gift, I usually have a hard time coming up with stuff. This year, I decided to take my birthday money though and invest in a Ninja blender. Sure, we have all seen the infomercials for it – but does it really work? I did a little online research. I usually don’t read people comments on stuff because it just gets my heart racing. The anonymity of the internet makes people think they can say anything. But I figured if the major of the 100 reviews written on multiple websites were good, maybe all those people weren’t paying to write them. I also chatted with a friend of friend who said it worked good at everything but chopping kale. Ice was my biggest concern. I had some cheap blender and it couldn’t chop ice for anything. I wanted a Starbucks quality blender at a price that fit my budget. The basic Ninja is $99. I used my Bed, Bath, and Beyond 20 percent off coupon getting it down to $80. With birthday money, I could justify the expense.

This smoothie was one of my first test. I have to say, it work beautifully. (Just so you know, I haven’t been paid a dime to say this or anything else on my blog). In the weeks ahead, I will share how it did on other recipe. (I’m even going to give homemade ice cream a try even though I didn’t buy that level of Ninja.) This recipe is definitely a keeper though. I saw it while watching Pioneer Woman on the Food Network and found the exact recipe on the internet. It will be on my Pinterest favorites if you want to tag it for later.

Orange Resolution SmoothieOrange Resolution Smoothies by Ree Drummond
2 c. frozen mangos
2 c. peaches
2 c. Greek yogurt
1 c. Orange Juice
1 c. pineapple
¼ c. honey
1 banana
1 c. mini carrots

Blend together and serve. Makes eight servings.

Notes:

  • I used canned pineapple packed in natural juices.
  • I chopped up the carrots.
  • I cut the recipe to a fourth and it made a good cup and half smoothie.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Honey, bananas, and Greek yogurt are great healthy recipe substitutions. The recipe has all plus the low fat, high fiber quick oats. Throw in a little flax seed which is currently being researched to prevent breast cancer. You might be surprised to learn this recipe is actually pretty good. I would totally make it again.

Banana Oatmeal MuffinsBanana Oatmeal Muffins from Pinterest
2 ½ c. oats
1 c. low-fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
½ c. honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. flax seed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas

Food process oats to a finer consistency. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixed. Pour into 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and it still made 9 muffins.
  • I substituted low-fat vanilla yogurt because it was what I had on hand.
  • I added some frozen berries to a few muffins. Feel free to mix chocolate chips or nuts into yours. The plain muffins were also good.
  • I didn’t have any flax seed so I made it without.

Berry-Burst Yogurt

In September, I took a job as the Volunteer Services Manager at Harvesters – The Community Food Network. The position was the perfect match for me – volunteerism and food. Plus, as a donor and episodic volunteer I knew just how great an organization Harvesters was…or so I thought. I quickly learned that this organization was even better than I realized.

Harvesters is the Kansas City area’s only regional food bank. The difference between a food bank and a pantry is something most people don’t know. Each week, Harvesters processes enough food to feed 66,000 people in our 26 country service area. They work with a network of over 620 food pantries, kitchens, and shelters to get the food to where people live. From some of the rural counties we serve, this might even be a few hours from our Topeka facility. Harvesters operates like a business – quickly processing food orders placed online like Amazon might do. The high level accountability and relationship building with local businesses mean that 97% of the food and funds received go right back out to the people served by our community partners. I’ve worked for a lot of great nonprofits by nobody with that little of overhead expenses.

I, like so many of you may be, was shocked by just how many people are food insecure. One in six people in our country are hungry. That means, probably someone you know has or currently is struggling to eat. And for some reason, many people have this perception that if someone isn’t skinny or displaying a bloated stomach than they aren’t really hunger. In fact, major health issues like obesity and diabetes are often the result of food insecurity. When people are limited on funds, they purchase unhealthy, cheap foods that fill up their bellies. Since 1980, the cost of processed foods has decreased by 40% while the cost of healthy foods like fresh vegetables/fruits and lean meats has increase by 40%. Are you as surprised as I am by this? What is even sadder is that one in three kids born in the year 2000 will develop Type II Diabetes (the kind that is caused by what you eat and limited exercise).

One of the coolest things Harvesters does to help address these issues is that it provides nutrition education. We have a whole team of people who spend their days testing recipes and teaching nutrition classes. These dishes are selected for their healthy qualities, tantalizing taste, cost, and ease in preparation. I have to say, I haven’t tasted a recipe yet that I haven’t liked – and you know veggies aren’t my favorite. In addition to teaching classes for both children and adults, we also share these recipes at our Mobile Food Pantries. Each month, Harvesters distribute a ½ million pounds of fresh produce. Nutritious recipes help people utilize the healthy fruits and vegetables they receive.

Check out this Kids in the Kitchen recipe for a delicious breakfast/dessert favorite.

Berry-Burst YogurtBerry-Burst Yogurt with Granola by Harvesters Nutrition Services
1 c. uncooked oats (quick or old fashioned)
¼ c. honey
¼ c. canola oil
1 lemon, zested (2-3 T. juice, 1 T. zest)
1 (12 oz.) package frozen mixed berries (2 ½ c.)
2 bananas, ripe
¼ to ½ tsp. cinnamon
3 c. vanilla Greek yogurt

Combine oats, honey, and oil. Heat skillet to medium temp and add mixture. Stir frequently for 8-10 minutes until golden brown (but don’t burn). Immediately remove from skillet and cool on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then, break into clumps.

Zest lemon and add with cinnamon to yogurt. In a separate bowl, mash together bananas and berries. Dish up ¼ c. yogurt, ¼ c. fruit, and top with 1/8 c. granola.

Nutritional Information: (Serves 12) 178 calories, 6 g. protein, 27 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber, and 22mg sodium.

Notes:

  • Total cost is $8.31 or $.69 per serving
  • I made it with lemon juice and no zest.
  • I microwaved the berries for a few minutes to thaw. Leftover yogurts were refrigerated.
  • Greek yogurt is expensive so I used low fat vanilla yogurt. Greek yogurt is $1.15 per container. Each regular yogurt was $.40 per container. Just note it might change your nutritional information.

Low-fat Creamsicle Cake

I loved this simple three ingredient recipe. Each bite better because it is low in fat. It’s good even without the dusting of powdered sugar.

Low-fat CakeLow-fat Creamsicle Cake from Pinterest
1 box white cake mix
1 (6 oz.) non-fat Greek yogurt
1 c. orange juice

Mix all three ingredients in a bowl and pour into a 8 x 8 glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-33 minutes. Dust with powder sugar before serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (makes 9 servings): 201 calories, 4.4 g. fat, 40 g. carbs, 1.1 g. fiber, and 3.3 g. protein

Notes:

  • I used sugar free cake and 100% orange juice to decrease sugar intake.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

This is one of my favorite days to celebrate – recognizing the people who keep our organizations running every day. This morning, I made Brown Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies. It’s a recipe a find from a link on the Bravely Obey blog (a dear friend of mine’s blog). I love snickerdoodles and I hope you also enjoy this yummy treat.

Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles CookiesBrown Sugar Snickerdoodles
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. brown sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. Greek yogurt

Rolled Mix
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. In a pan, melt butter on the stovetop on a medium heat until it foams. In another bowl, mix together butter and sugars. Add and mix sugar, eggs, vanilla, and yogurt. Blend in flour mixture in batches. Refrigerate overnight. Make into balls and roll in cinnamon/sugar. Bake 8-11 minutes at 350 degrees.