Easy Breakfast Recipes Especially for Kids in the Kitchen

 

Healthy Overnight Oats Breakfast Make-Ahead Recipes

On especially busy days, whether you have kids at home or not, it can be surprisingly difficult to make time for a healthy breakfast to start off the day. (above Photo by Irina Grigoraş on Unsplash)

When you’re also trying to get kids out the door for school or activities, it can feel nigh on impossible at times.

But don’t give up on that healthy breakfast idea just yet! These easy breakfast recipes are so simple even the kids can help make them, and you can pull these dishes out of the fridge for a quick, healthy breakfast in no time.

 

overnight oats with raspberries; make-ahead breakfast

 

Make-ahead overnight oats recipes are a great way to serve up a healthy breakfast with very little effort. Start the night before (let the kids help) and pick out the ingredients each person wants to add to their oats, layer it all in a glass jar or dish and set in the fridge, all ready for you to eat in the morning.

Oats are such a healthy way to start the day – gluten-free and packed with antioxidants, healthy fiber, protein and vitamins and minerals. They’re great for helping reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as encouraging good bacteria in the digestive tract.

Check out these 10 fruit-filled overnight oats recipes put together in this fun infographic by Personal Creations.

 

Overnight Oats Recipes - Make-ahead Breakfast Ideas - Infographic

 

Whichever mix-ins you choose, be sure to use whole rolled oats for the dish and not quick or minute oats, as they’ll get pretty soggy in a dish like this.

Leave us a comment and let us know which ones you’ve tried and which mix-ins are your favorites.

Back to School $250 Cash Giveaway – Oh the Places You’ll Go!

 

 

Are you ready to win big during our Oh! The Places You’ll Go! $250 Cash giveaway event celebrating back to school?

You have the option of choosing between $250 PayPal Cash OR a Gift Card of choice!

This event was organized by The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island and sponsored by fabulous bloggers, authors, and Etsy shop owners!

Plunge your way through the entries during our September Cash Giveaway Event!

 

backtoschool cash

 

Giveaway Details:

ONE entrant will be selected from the entry form to win $250 PayPal cash OR a $250 gift card of choice. Open for entry WW, 18 years and older from 09/01/18 at 12:01 a.m. ET thru 09/18/18 at 11:59 p.m. ET. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. A winner will be chosen after/around September 19, 2018. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. See Rafflecopter for official rules. The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island ARE responsible for sending the winner their prize via PayPal or e-gift card. The winner has the option of choosing between PayPal and an e-gift card of choice. Prize may be less than $250 if you choose a gift card with fees. Any fees associated with PayPal are the responsibility of the winner and will be deducted from the total prize amount.

Twitter profiles with no profile picture and dummy accounts are ineligible for entry and will be blocked. Authentic accounts only are eligible to win.

A huge THANK YOU to these fabulous bloggers, without which, this giveaway would not be possible. Please note the first entry is to show them love on one of their posts below and is NOT optional. All entries are verified.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Prepare a Casserole on the Grill or Smoker

How to Prepare a Casserole on the Grill | Dish Dish


Sponsored by Grills Forever

Casseroles are the perfect examples of comfort food we often crave. Being a one-dish meal, serving just a simple salad with it would suffice. You can make casseroles as cheesy as you want, so it’s equally delicious for those who prefer that and those who don’t. Casseroles can be dished up as easy appetizers, side dishes and main dishes, too.

While people often make casseroles in the oven, I decided to try something different. I was able to successfully make the perfect casserole with nothing but an electric smoker! If you are thinking that casseroles can only be baked in an oven, then I just proved you wrong!

Don’t worry, the process is not too different from the oven-baking process. With the correct mix of ingredients and grilling techniques, you can have the most delicious casserole you ever tasted. I have also given a casserole recipe that I did in the oven, in case you don’t feel like grilling or using the smoker.

BBQ Chicken Casserole

This is the awesome chicken casserole recipe I was talking about doing in the smoker. The process is not too complicated as you will see. Just grab a grill and the ingredients and work your grilling magic.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
one finely sliced onion
2.2 pounds of chicken pieces (including drumsticks and thighs)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 carrots, chopped into small chunks
20 oz. (600 ml) of warmed chicken stock
1 pound of potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 leeks, chopped finely
1 tablespoon of leveled, plain flour
2 cups of water
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
a lemon, cut in half

Directions

Now that you have the ingredients all sorted out, it’s time to get grilling!

1. Set your grill smoker to its highest temperature setting. This is similar to preheating an oven. (In case you’re wondering if you might need the oven anytime soon — Well, you won’t!) Grilling expert, Dan Morrison, says that Masterbuilt smokers work best for making casseroles compared to average grills.

2. Take a pan and pour olive oil into it. Saute the onions in the oil for around 20 seconds. Take an aluminium foil container and place the sauteed onions into it. Add the chicken pieces, garlic, carrots, potatoes, celery, leeks, and chicken stock, and properly mix them together. Stir the flour into the water, and add to the mix. Finally, add rosemary sprigs. Squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon; place the other half piece of lemon inside the container as well. Do not cover the aluminium foil container. (The water is added to ensure that the risk of burning the ingredients is low.)

3. Check to see if the grilling temperature has reached 700 degrees F. Once the grill has reached this temperature, place the casserole inside the grill. Cover up the grill with a lid.

4. You don’t need to open the lid and check on how the food is doing. Resist that temptation, and just wait for approximately 20 minutes.

5. Remove the casserole from the grill / smoker. Your casserole will be smoking hot, ready for serving at your barbecue event.


Baked Potato Casserole Dish
 

If you’re not up for grilling and would rather stick to the traditional baking method, here is a recipe for you that combines yummy potatoes, turkey bacon and cheddar cheese to create the most perfect side dish.

Ingredients

8 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup of low-fat milk
1/2 cup of light sour cream
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
6 turkey bacon slices (cooked and crumbled into pieces)
Optional ingredient — use sliced green onions

Directions

1. First, place the potato chunks into a saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes, and heat to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they appear to be tender (around 15-20 minutes). Drain the water from the pan.

2. Take a casserole dish and grease it. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Add milk, sour cream, pepper and salt to the saucepan containing potatoes and beat the mixture with a handheld mixer until it appears to be smooth.

4. Add 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese and half of the measured bacon into the saucepan. Mix well and then place the mixture in the greased casserole dish.

5. Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the dish is heated through well. Then sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over top; additionally, if desired use green onions and remaining bacon as extra toppings. Continue baking for another 3 minutes until the cheese melts.

You could assemble this casserole ahead of time and keep it refrigerated. If baking after refrigeration, you could cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes instead of 25 minutes. Uncover the dish and use toppings as before and again bake for 3 minutes.

Why Grill Instead Of Bake?

When I told my friends that I ended up grilling a casserole instead of baking one, they were surprised. However, they were even more shocked when they tasted that unique smoky flavor of the casserole. The next time we went outdoor camping, we grilled the casserole and made a few other dishes, having one of the best camping nights ever.

Casseroles are easy to make and don’t take much time to prepare, making them ideal for outdoor cooking or BBQ party grilling. If you’re looking for party grilling ideas, you can read more here.

So, the next time you go out to grill, try grilling different chicken casserole recipes and experiment.

Of course, baking also has its advantages. Baked casseroles can be refrigerated easily, and have lower risk of burning.  While it is possible to create a stew-like casserole in an oven, it’s harder to do the same with a grill.

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole - Crockpot Recipe | Dish Dish

One of the best things about a casserole is the ability to increase its nutritional value by adding more vegetables (particularly those high in vitamin A and C). The fiber and protein content in casseroles makes it a good dish for people who are regularly into fitness training.

Casseroles can also serve as main dishes, and kids often love having casseroles for lunch. Preparing a breakfast casserole before setting out to work would be an excellent way to kickstart your morning.

Whether you choose to bake or grill your chicken casserole, that’s completely up to you. You could even try preparing casseroles using a stove. It doesn’t have to be chicken; there are so many kinds of casseroles, including egg, fish, ground beef, mushrooms and vegetable casseroles. Add some variety to yours by experimenting with various herbs and spices to mix the flavors up.

Casseroles could be slow cooked to produce dishes that are similar to stews (just add a little more liquid). Experiment and create your own casserole any way you want — whether you choose to bake, grill or slow cook on a stove.

Easy Fundraising Idea for Your School, Church or Community Group

Easy Fundraising Idea For Your Group

 

Easy Fundraising?

If you have raised a family or been part of a local community for any length of time, you have probably been involved in fundraising in one way or another – with school, church, or a local service or community group.

Quite often it seems that the fundraising effort is arduous, a burden to almost everyone involved, and difficult to administrate or costly to meet minimum requirements, as well as sometimes taking a long time for the group to actually receive the funds they’ve raised.

If your church, school, or group is looking for an easy fundraising idea, we are excited to announce two options for Dish Dish fundraising for your group! We want to help you make money.

Easy Fundraising Idea - Your Group Digital Cookbook

Your Group’s Digital Cookbook

Many church groups, civic groups, community and social clubs have raised money over the years by printing up a cookbook with a collection of members’ favorite recipes, and then selling the cookbooks as a fundraiser.

We would like to welcome you to the digital age and help you create a recipe collection online, easy to update, edit, and add to, with no printing, designing or inventory necessary!

If you have done a cookbook fundraiser before (or been voluntold to start one for your organization), you will be so glad to avoid the layout design process, pre-purchase requirements, lead time for printing, minimum inventory requirements, overages, and storage hassles with this simple fundraiser option.

Raise unlimited funds in 3 simple steps:

1. Your group purchases the fundraising package — below –(only $149 for up to 200 recipes), gathers the recipes and we enter them into your online collection.

2. Raise funds by selling access to this online collection (charge whatever price you choose – $10, $15, $20 – we only keep $2 per sale); we’ll set up your own web page for sales.

3. Digitally deliver to the buyers their instructions (we’ll provide the details for you to send) for accessing the recipe collection online (from any computer or mobile device).

Voila! The sky is the limit on how much money you can raise, with minimal up-front cost and a huge profit margin for your group on each sale.  The person you choose as the administrator of your recipe collection will have access to edit, add, or delete recipes at any time, as well as complete control over granting access to the online cookbook of recipes. Contact us (see below email) with any questions or to get started today!

 

Fundraising Idea for School, Church, Community Group

Product Sales Fundraising

If your group (limited to the Dallas / Fort Worth local area for now) would prefer to sell products, we will help you raise funds, giving your organization 50% of the sales of 3 of our best products. The great thing about these products is that just about everyone can use them – no worries about allergies, diets, size or color preferences, storage, etc., and they make wonderful gifts! We do not require any minimum purchases for your group – so you don’t have to worry about committing to more than you can chew, so to speak. We’re happy to come set up a table at your location, as well, donating 50% of the sales to your group.

Earn 50% with these product sales:

Our eco-friendly bamboo cutting board is a handy size for any kitchen, easy to clean, and makes a great cheese board, too – in case you don’t actually like to cook.

This adorable kitchen apron — “Gather Here with Grateful Hearts” — comes in black, durable smooth fabric (machine washable) with adjustable neck strap, 2 front pockets, and comfortable waist ties.

Lastly, we offer our Digital Recipe Album package for families who would love to put together a digital collection of their family’s favorite recipes to share, create menus and grocery lists, and have fun passing along to the next generation digitally.

We provide the detailed description flyer, order form, and a dedicated web page (if needed) for your customers to place their orders, and deliver the products and funds to you within 3 weeks of end of fundraiser.

With no minimums, this is a fantastic fundraising opportunity for your local Dallas / Fort Worth area group!

For questions or more details, please contact us at support@dishdish.us.

 

Yes, my group would like to purchase the Online Cookbook Fundraising package and get started today!

Price: $149.00

How to Cook Corn on the Cob {+ Recipes} by Stove, Microwave, or Grill

How to Cook Corn on the Cob with Recipes

If you didn’t grow up on a farm or in a family that cooked fresh food on a regular basis, perhaps looking at an ear of corn on the cob and wondering what in the world to do with it is quite perplexing.

While I had the opportunity to grow up intermittently living in a place where we grew some of our own food (including corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, green beans, peppers, and squash), my mom also could creatively make a meal out of just about anything; so I was able to learn early on about cooking fresh food in a variety of ways.

Cooking corn on the cob doesn’t have to be scary or complicated, though, and we’re going to break it down for you into simple steps – regardless of whether you prefer using the stove top, oven, microwave, or grill for getting the job done. (See nutrition facts, food safety, and storage tips for fresh corn.)

Picking the Best Corn on the Cob

First steps first. When buying the corn at the farmers market or your local grocery store (assuming you didn’t pluck it right out of your own garden), be sure to look for these signs that you’re getting a good ear of corn.

1. Carefully check over the ear of corn to see if it feels plump and even all around (not squishy or too bumpy in areas).

2. The best ears of corn will have silks that are golden, a bit moist, or possibly just starting to turn brown (be sure not to pick any with blackening silks).

3. Lastly, the husk should still fit tightly around the ear of corn and not be pulling away from it.

Hands shucking corn on the cob | How to cook corn on the cob

 

How to Cook Corn on the Cob on the Stove

When I was growing up, this was the way we cooked our corn most of the time. Just keep in mind that leaving the corn in the water for too long can make it end up kind of tough and chewy, so be sure to set a timer and remove from heat before too long.

1. Shuck the corn ears, removing the husks and silks (just pull down from the top and strip them away all around the ear).

2. Rinse the ears and rub around the ear in a circular motion to finish removing as much of the silks as possible.

3. If desired, trim just a bit off the ends of the ear for easy areas in which to stick the corn cob holders. (BTW, having fun, colorful holders can be a great conversation starter or way to jazz up the conversation with family or dinner guests!)

4. Heat a large pot of water to boiling (depending on the sizes of the pot, this can take up to 10 minutes, so .. plan accordingly). Gently drop in the ears of corn and set a timer for 7 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from heat and allow the corn to sit in the hot water if you’re planning to serve soon; if you’ll be waiting a while, remove the corn from the water and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm until ready to serve.

I love jazzing up simple corn on the cob with a seasoned butter, which always seems more festive than simple butter and salt (though that is delicious, too!). Try one of these seasoned butter recipes – Street Corn with 3 Flavored Butters or some Roasted Jalapeno Butter or Chipotle Butter.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

While this would not be my preferred way to cook corn on the cob, it is super easy and quick as well as virtually mess-free. (And if you only have a microwave, such as in a college dorm room, you could still enjoy some fresh corn on the cob!)

Leave the fresh ears of corn inside the husks and cook them on full heat for three minutes. Carefully (they will be hot) remove them from the microwave; gently remove the husks and silks and discard. Slather with some butter and sprinkle with salt to enjoy (with or without corn holders).

How to Cook Corn on the Cob on the Grill

I have to be honest, while I do enjoy the smoky grilled flavor of corn cooked on the grill, usually I’m not willing to plan for the invested extra time and energy it takes to pull that off. However, if you plan ahead and allow enough time to cook it this way, it’s a real treat! Basically, you can choose to cook the corn on the grill either with or without the husks (cooking without the husks will give your corn that charred look and flavor that’s especially nice for particular meals and recipes).

With Husks

Start by soaking the corn (in its husk) in water for 30 minutes (or more, if you prefer).

Place the soaked ears on the grill over medium heat and close the lid. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning once or twice throughout.

Without Husks

Charred option – Shuck the corn ears; spray or brush them with a little vegetable oil and place directly on grill grates, cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Be sure to turn them every few minutes for even cooking.

If you don’t want the charred version – Shuck the ears and wrap them in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place them on the grill over medium heat, closing the lid, and allow to cook for about 20 minutes, being sure to turn them once or twice during this time.

Grilled, charred corn with butter | How to Cook Corn on the Cob

Eating Corn on the Cob (Recipes)

In case you’re in doubt about how to “properly” eat your corn on the cob once it’s cooked, we have some suggestions – though we don’t at all guarantee these to be “proper”!

1. With holders or without holders? Slather the corn on the cob with your favorite plain or seasoned butter, sprinkle with some salt and have fun eating it just like that.

2. Get fancy with toppings for your corn – after spreading on the butter, top it with some crumbled cojita or feta cheese, a sprinkle of chili powder or red pepper flakes, or some chopped cilantro or green onions. Lots of fabulous options for going a little crazy with your corn. Happy experimenting!

3. Slice the corn kernels off of the cobs and throw them into your favorite salad, dip, soup or casserole, such as these fantastic recipes:

Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn and Crab Dip

Tilapia with Black Beans and Corn

Black Beans and Corn Salsa

Chicken, Green Bean, Corn and Farro Salad

What are your favorite ways to cook up corn on the cob?

Do you have fun family memories around grilling or roasting ears of corn? We love hearing your stories in the comments below!

3 Vegan Recipes Perfect for Vegan Newbies

3 Vegan Recipes Perfect for Vegan Newbies

guest sponsored post

A study by the research firm GlobalData shows a whopping 600 percent increase in the number of people who identify as vegans over the last three years. A big reason for the increase is it has never been easier to go vegan. There are countless vegan recipe sites and cooking videos all over the Internet, as well as vegan meal prep delivery services that bring fully prepared plant-based meals straight to your doorstep.

Below are three vegan recipes perfect for those just making the transition to veganism.

Vegan Walnut Taco Meat

One fear many people have about going vegan is giving up meat-based foods that they love. They fail to realize vegan cuisine has evolved tremendously over the last five years, and there are now vegan substitutes to many of these meals. Tacos are one example. Here is a recipe for vegan walnut taco meat:

vegan taco meat from Food52

 

Tools: Food processor
Prep Time: 20 minutes            Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients:

• ½ cup of walnuts
• 1 cup of dry almonds
• 6 oil-free sun dried tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon of chickpea miso
• ½ teaspoon paprika
• ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
• ¼ teaspoon onion powder
• Dash of salt
• Dash of black pepper
• Dash of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Step 1: Start by soaking the sun dried tomatoes and walnuts for at least 20 minutes.

Step 2: While your tomatoes and walnuts soak, add the rest of your ingredients to the food processor.

Step 3: Once 20 minutes have passed, add the tomatoes and walnuts to the food processor. Your goal is to have a ‘meaty’ consistency rather than a creamy paste.

Step 4: Dump the mixture on a baking pan and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. You can also skip this step and eat your walnut taco meat ‘raw’.

Vegan Burrito Bowl

A burrito bowl is a simple and tasty meal that many vegans use as a lunchtime staple when they first make the transition.

Tools: Mixing bowl
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (burrito bowl):

• 8 oz frozen corn kernels
• 1 (15 oz) can of black beans
• 12 oz jar of salsa
• 2 cups of instant rice
• 1 red bell pepper
• A handful of chopped cilantro

Ingredients (avocado dressing):

• 1 ripe avocado
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• ⅓ cup vegan sour cream
• ½ teaspoon chili powder
• 2 or 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk for thinning


Preparation (burrito bowl):

Step 1: Cook the instant rice for 5-10 minutes. Follow package instructions for accuracy.

Step 2: Mix black beans, corn, and salsa together.

Step 3: Add the rice to your mixture and stir.

Step 4: Cook mixture on stove for 5 minutes at a medium heat. Make sure to stir every minute.

Step 5: Add cilantro and bell pepper after cooking.

Step 6: Mix in avocado dressing.

Preparation (avocado dressing):

Step 1: Smash avocado thoroughly.

Step 2: Add smashed avocado into mixture of all other ingredients except the non-dairy milk.

Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk and stir. Repeat until you achieve the desired consistency.


Vegan Banana Coconut Cookies

Another worry potential vegans have is they will have to give up their favorite baked goods. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a vegan alternative to virtually every baked good you can think of. These vegan banana coconut cookies only have 2 ingredients, which make them perfect for vegan newbies.

vegan banana coconut cookies recipe

 

Tools: Baking sheet
Prep Time: 10 minutes        Bake Time: 30 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 and ½ cups of shredded coconut
• 1 cup of mashed bananas

Preparation:

Step 1: Warm up oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: Toast the shredded coconut for 5 to 8 minutes. Make sure to watch it closely, as there is a fine line between toasted and burnt.

Step 3: Combine the toasted coconut with the mashed banana and stir extensively.

Step 4: Measure out 2 tablespoons of mixture and place globs onto baking sheet until mixture is gone.

Step 5: Bake for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Allow cookies to cool for at least 30 minutes. This is important for consistency.

Vegan Meal Delivery Services Make Going Vegan Even Easier

While the vegan recipes in this article are super simple, there is nothing easier than having an already-prepared meals delivered to your home. Two big reasons people don’t go vegan is time and money. They assume the meals take too long to prepare and the ingredients are too expensive. The right vegan meal prep delivery service eliminates prep time completely and provides quality ingredients at an affordable price. Consider trying one in your area today.

 

Swipe Sources:

50 Easy Vegan Recipes for Beginners

Good Housekeeping Vegan Recipes

The Stingy Vegan – Simple Vegan Recipes 

Diabetic Recipes and Tips for Creating Healthy Balanced Meals

Diabetic Friendly Recipes and Tips for Healthy Balanced Meals

Are you pre-diabetic, diabetic, or know someone who is struggling with Type 2 diabetes? Wondering what type of food you should or could eat and how to best manage or improve your condition?

For those who are pre-diabetic or know they have a diabetic family history and are looking for ways to make changes that are manageable, sustainable, and will help them create a healthy lifestyle to prevent or overcome diabetic health issues, we wanted to share some recipes and suggestions for building daily balanced meals.

There can be so much information that’s overwhelming, so we’ll try to keep this simple and make things easy.

The American Diabetes Association (see their Create Your Plate guide) suggests creating a plate guide where half the plate is made up of vegetables (ones that are not starchy) – such as spinach, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, celery, cauliflower, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, and kale.

Create your Plate - American Diabetic Association

Next divide the other half of the plate in half again, and in one section put protein (fish, chicken, eggs, turkey, tuna, cheese, tofu, etc). And in the last small section place a helping of some grains or starchy foods — such as rice, potatoes, pasta, peas, beans, corn, quinoa, or tortillas.

In addition to this, one small serving of fruit or dairy is suggested to round out the meal, along with a low-calorie beverage like iced tea, coffee, or water. Healthy fats can also be added in small amounts (i.e. avocado, nuts, or seeds added to a salad).

If you are wanting to track carbs and calories for your chosen foods with each meal, check out the Carb Counting and Meal Planning booklet from Novo Nordisk.

Lisa Statzer of Prediabetic Support has a fabulous program that helps individuals who are pre-diabetic make the needed changes to their diet and lifestyle to avoid the many health issues of the full-blown diabetic condition. She is so encouraging, helpful, and knowledgeable on the topic, and you can download her free Eat This, Not That guide on her website.

Eat This Not That - Prediabetic Support

We have lots of diabetic friendly recipes right here on Dish Dish – which you can save to your own free recipe box account and use to create your grocery list each week – saving you time and sanity when planning meals.

Here are a few diabetic friendly breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, and even dessert recipes. Please be sure to comment below with which ones you’ve tried and let us know if you have other ideas and suggestions.

Arugula and Feta Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette Recipe

A simple salad made with arugula leaves, fresh strawberries and crumbled feta cheese; topped with a homemade strawberry vinaigrette (or use your favorite one from the store).

arugula and feta salad with strawberry vinaigrette recipe

 

Vegetable Frittata Recipe

Sauteed onion and garlic are mixed with chopped broccoli, bell peppers, and seasonings with beaten eggs. Pour into a dish and bake for about 30 minutes for a nice, healthy brunch, lunch or dinner. Serve with some salsa and avocado for even more flavor.

vegetable frittata, vegetarian recipe, breakfast

 

Skinny Turkey and Vegetable Soup Recipe

Dish up this delicious soup with diced turkey, a little bit of whole wheat orzo (optional), carrots, onion, celery, sweet pepper, peas, broth and lots of seasoning. Though it will take a few minutes to do the prep (chopping and dicing ingredients), cooking time is only about 30 minutes, making it a relatively quick meal to get on the table.

And it’s freezer friendly – so make a large batch and freeze the extra for pulling out on a day when cooking sounds too onerous or time-consuming.

Skinny Turkey and Vegetable Soup Recipe

 

Tart Individual Blueberry Crisp Recipe

Fresh blueberries baked for about 20 minutes with a crumbled oat topping for a quick and easy dessert that’s already in small portions so you won’t be tempted to over-indulge. Enjoy!

Tart Blueberry Crisp Recipe

 

Herb Dip Recipe

This yogurt-based dip with green onions, mint, red chili, and a dash of lemon is a refreshing dip with your favorite veggies – celery, cucumber, broccoli, grape tomatoes or asparagus. It also makes a nice “sauce” with your favorite grilled meat.

greek yogurt dip, appetizer recipe

Additional resources:

Mayo Clinic Diabetic Recipes
Low Carb Maven
Ten Diabetic Diet, Recipe and Lifestyle Ideas Worth Sharing

 

Things to Do with the Kids on Summer Break (Beating Boredom)

 

Things to do with Kids on Summer Break - Beating Summer Boredom

School supplies are going on sale and we just about have reached the half-way point of summer break for this year.

Parents in every home are scrounging around for new ideas to keep the kids busy, productive, or entertained – without blowing up the budget or the house!

So we decided to come up with our own short list of suggestions and projects to do with the kids, keeping them busy (and somewhat productive) as we count down the days to the school bell ringing once again (whether your kids are homeschooled or attend school – it’s always nice to get back to a routine).

Playing Indoors Together

When our boys were younger, one of the big deals around our house was that indoor play could not be noisy (for the most part – they are boys!); noisy play time belonged outdoors (regardless of the temperature in the Texas heat).

Besides the obvious attraction these days of video and computer games, here are a few fun (inexpensive) ideas for indoor play:

1. Set up a tabletop tennis set and play rounds of games (in the dining room, living room or game room – wherever you have a decent sized table).

2. Make your own play-doh and have each person make a dough animal for a zoo set or recreate their favorite vacation spot.

3. Build a fort (or castle) out of sheets, blankets, and furniture with pillows; add plenty of entrances and exits for fun playtime.

4. Define a time for Nerf gun battles and let the fun begin! (Of course, I always dreaded picking up all the darts afterwards, finding them in every nook and cranny of the house for months – so this year we traded Nerf guns in for simple laser guns that didn’t require extra accessories such as vests, battery packs, and glasses – and it was fabulous!)

 

5. It’s always fun to pull out a favorite card game, board game, or jigsaw puzzle – depending on the likes and interests of your crew!

Doing Projects Together

Since my husband and I are both generally project-oriented, any time off of regular responsibilities sparks a desire to be productive with a project – whether in the house, the yard, or the garage.

While it’s great to have the kids help us with projects we are trying to get done (and this teaches them good team-building, responsibility lessons), summer time is a great time to let them come up with some desired projects of their own or casually suggest ones they could both learn and enjoy.

Feel free to keep these simple since you probably don’t want to add to your “to-do” list any more than necessary.

1. Paint new flower pots for the front or back porch.

2. Plant a few garden plants that they can help cultivate, watch grow, and eat after harvesting.

3. Organize their playroom or closets (this also helps them learn to organize, prioritize, and value their belongings); keep it fun with great music, some small colorful baskets or containers for organizing smaller items, and maybe even a treat when they’re finished. (Strawberry lemonade, anyone?)

4. Make a meal – let each child pick a meal they would like to make and help them run through the process of planning ingredients, prepping, and making the meal for the rest of the family (letting them pick the meal they want to make keeps it from feeling like a chore – and you can make it fun with favorite music while you plan and cook, and teach them some great life skills).

5. Create a family cookbook (either for your immediate family or for extended family in preparation for a family reunion or the holidays) – let the kids help gather up and pick out favorite recipes, scan them or take pics of them to upload and save to your own digital cookbook so you can share them, find them when you want them, and let the whole family enjoy wherever they are.

Playing Outdoors Together

Okay, seriously, in the dead of summer in the Texas heat – there isn’t much fun to be had outdoors it seems (unless you can spend your time in the water). However, we do have a few ideas that won’t break the bank or your spirit!

1. Corn hole game

2. Water gun fun – get some healthy running around in while staying cool with the water stream (from your gun or your opponent’s)

3. Kiddie pool – if you don’t have a large one; recycle water afterwards and have kids use buckets to water the garden or landscape bed plants

4. Late night flashlight game of tag or firefly catching contest

Do you have other ideas to add to the list? We love to hear your suggestion and comments!

How to Learn to Cook for Yourself when You’re Single

How to Cook for Yourself when Single
Kevin McCutcheonThis is a Guest Post

People have lots of thoughts about being single; some think it’s amazing that they’re by themselves and independent, while others might think it’s a nightmare. Either way, a person needs to eat, and preferably healthy.

Many single adults will choose a delivery app for ordering food, rather than cooking for themselves. And it’s understandable – it’s definitely easier. And it takes you no time to prepare the meal; you’re just going to get to eat it. Though this route usually means you’ll be eating pasta and fast food. People tend to forget the healthy options of take-out food. Additionally, it will cost you lots of money to always eat this way. (You know it does.)

But it’s so easy to cook at home when you have somewhere to start.  Perhaps this article will give you a push from behind. You’ll learn how to cook for yourself! Anything other than omelettes and fries (though there isn’t anything wrong with a really good omelette, for sure).

Never Overshop

If you make a list before going to the store, you’ll know what to buy from the very start. Put on the list things that you usually eat.

Don’t forget to take a look at your schedule and see how many nights you’re going to spend at home. Then buy according to that. Never more, as it will go to waste.

Store your Items Smartly

Let’s say you have a bag full of groceries. Try to arrange them so that they’ll be easier to get to in the fridge. Put the most often used items together in one part of the fridge, such as milk and chicken. Then put all of the fruits together in one compartment, and the vegetables in another one. Make sure you always know what you’re going to prepare and which ingredients you need – you can also stock the items together by the recipe you’re planning to make.

Prepare What You Like to Eat

You don’t have to eat something you don’t like. If you love pizza, make your fridge full of pre-made dough, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, pepperoni, chicken and anything else you want on your pizza.

Learn how to take advantage of the fact that you’re single; now you don’t have to consider what someone else would like to eat, but can make what you want and have as much as you’d like.

Also, take advantage of the opportunity to make portions for two or four, even if it’s just you. Make a dish on Sunday or Monday, then use the leftovers to do other dishes for the rest of the week. Don’t let leftovers go to waste.

Don’t be Afraid to Eat Healthily

Especially when you’re single, the tendency is to simply eat what you have in the fridge. So fill it with healthy food. Make a salad or roast some vegetables and have them with pasta or brown rice. Eat chopped greens with your usual sandwiches. Add some fish to your meals for the week, as it is one of the advisable things to eat when you want to eat healthily. At Mercato, you’ll get the best grocery delivery service for fresh and healthy food.

 

11 Crock Pot Recipes You Need for Easy Summer Dinners

 

11 Crockpot Recipes for Easy Summer Dinners

It’s always nice to have some easy dinner recipes on hand for those days when you end up with less time at the end of the day and don’t want to spend the majority of it getting dinner on the table (and cleaning up afterwards).

Especially in the summer time — the kids are out of school, we’re trying to enjoy some slow summer days with fun activities together with friends or family — and we don’t want to stress about how everyone will get fed at dinner.

Additionally, who wants to heat up the kitchen (especially here in Texas) when it’s already difficult to keep the house cool enough to be comfortable?

Those long, refreshing summer days are perfect for planning ahead just a little and throwing ingredients in the crock pot for an easy dinner any day of the week. These recipes are also great ideas for taking to a potluck or your family reunion or to throw together at the lake for the day.

1. Crockpot Roast

Crockpot Roast with onions

A keto and paleo friendly recipe, dish up a savory roast with celery, onion and seasonings like Worcestershire sauce and garlic. (photo by PaleoTable)

 

2. Beef Stroganoff

beef and mushroom stroganoff, easy beef recipes, quick dinner recipe

Beef tenderloin strips cooked up with mushrooms and seasonings, with a little sour cream stirred in towards the end for a creamy delicious meal perfect for serving over brown rice or your favorite cooked pasta.

 

3. Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Crockpot Recipe

With all the flavor of cabbage rolls and none of the rolling-up mess, browned ground beef is cooked up with cabbage, Ro-Tel, onion, garlic, and tomato sauce for a comfort food dish full of flavor.

 

4. Moroccan Chicken with Chopped Almonds and Apricots

Moroccan Chicken with Almonds and Apricots in Crockpot

Braised chicken thighs are simmered in the crock pot with apricots, baby carrots and seasonings, topped off with almonds before serving; wonderful at the end of a long day with family and friends.

5. Crockpot Pepper Steak

Crockpot Pepper Steak recipe

Dish up this tasty meal of round steak, cut into strips, simmered with bell peppers, beef broth, onions, and seasonings; great for serving over mashed potatoes or brown rice for a yummy meal.

6. Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches recipe

The whole crew will enjoy these easy pulled chicken sandwiches; cook up the chicken breast pieces in the crockpot with buffalo wing sauce, ranch salad dressing mix, adding a little butter and cream cheese at the end for a rich delicious chicken filling for your favorite hoagie rolls.

7. Beef Tortilla Casserole

Crockpot Beef Tortilla Casserole recipe

This dish turns out best if you only cook it on low for about 3 hours (not a dish you can let sit all day or it gets too soggy). But when cooked just right, it’s a fabulous blend of flavors with enchilada sauce, ground beef, onion, poblano chilies, taco seasoning, corn tortillas, black beans and corn. Top off with a dollop of sour cream, chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

 

8. Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole - Crockpot Recipe

Make this dish either for breakfast (set it up the night before to cook overnight) or have breakfast for dinner, if you prefer. With sliced chuck steak, turkey bacon, diced ham and potatoes, bell pepper and onion, along with the eggs and cheese, this hearty breakfast casserole has ingredients everyone will enjoy. Serve it up with a bowl of fresh fruit for a complete meal.

9. Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie Stew

Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie Stew recipe

Chicken breast pieces cooked up with potatoes, carrots, celery, frozen mixed vegetables and cream of chicken soup; a creamy, hearty mixture that is delicious served over your favorite buttermilk biscuits or bread.

10. Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow Cooker Lasagna crockpot recipe

Don’t let the idea of layering lasagna stress you out! With this easy crockpot version, you can enjoy lasagna for dinner without all the intensive labor.

11. Peking Pork Chops

Peking Pork Chops Slow Cooker Recipe

Cook these delicious pork chops up nice and slow in the crock pot with brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic; serve over rice or Chinese noodles. (photo by Salu Salo)

 

What are your favorite summer-time dinners or crockpot meals? Leave us a comment below and share your ideas with us!