May 18th, 2010 // Dinner, Easy Cheats, Recipes, Sides
My kid really likes the taste of packaged rice pilaf. I prefer to make it from scratch, but I must admit that both Whole Foods and Trader Joes have some pre-packaged rice mixes that are very good and don’t contain a ton of junk. If you’ve been following the blog, you know how I love to take packaged things and turn them into household favorites. This recipe uses packaged rice as a base for a baked spinach and rice recipe. It is incredibly decadent but it did get my little Popeye to eat spinach!
Baked Spinach & Rice Recipe
Prep Time: 25 mins (mostly unattended) Cooking Time: 30 mins
1 package rice pilaf
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup lowfat milk
Defrost spinach and squeeze dry. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cook rice according to package directions and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in chopped spinach, cheese, milk and eggs. Pour into greased square baking dish and cook for 30 minutes or until set. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into squares for serving. Serves 4 to 6.
- Surveying the ingredients.
- Adding cheese.
- Baked rice.
- Baked Spinach & Rice is served.
May 17th, 2010 // Dinner, Recipes, Snacks, Veggie Friendly
Last week our local Whole Foods had the BIGGEST sweet potatoes I’d ever seen. My kid noticed too and asked to buy some. They sat in the fridge for a week because I wasn’t sure what I’d do with such enormous potatoes. Yesterday afternoon I asked if he’d like to try a new sweet potato fries recipe and he said yes. We had a great time making these and an even better time eating them. The key to good sweet potato fries is cooking them long enough – make sure they are brown before taking them out of the oven!
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
Prep Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 20 to 30 mins
2 very large sweet potatoes (peeled and sliced into fry shape)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on the parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss a to coat making sure that the fries aren’t overlapping when they go in the oven. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before using spatula to transfer to dish. Serves 4.
- Carefully arranging the sweet taters.
- Pouring the olive oil.
- Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries!
May 16th, 2010 // Dinner, Healthy, Recipes
Whenever we are at seafood restaurants I try to get my kid to venture beyond fish sticks into “real” fish. This was our first attempt to cook fish together. He was totally into the idea of helping, but I’m not gonna lie – he refused to taste it. I’ll keep telling myself that exposing him to the fish will eventually make him want to try it!
Prep Time: 25 mins (largely unattended) Cooking Time: 10 mins
2 salmon filets (6 to 8 oz each)
1 teaspoon chives (chopped)
fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
Place the salmon fillets in a square baking dish skin side down. Squeeze juice of entire lemon over salmon and add fresh ground pepper and sea salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Heat oil in in a non-stick skillet on medium-high. Cook the salmon, skinside down for 3 or 4 minutes, shaking the pan and carefully lifting the salmon with a spatula to loosen it from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add water and cover the pan and cook until the salmon is cooked through. The skin should be crisp and the flesh medium. Slice remaining lemon and garnish each salmon filet with 2 pieces of lemon and chives.
- Squeezing lemon.
- Sea salting.
- Pan searing.
- Pan seared salmon.
May 15th, 2010 // Dinner, Recipes, Sides, Veggie Friendly
Sugar snap peas are so crunchy delicious but they don’t last that long before starting to look past their prime. I often buy them and let my kid munch on them raw for a day or two and then cook them up for dinner. This super simple sugar snap pea recipe brings out the natural sweetness in the peas and maintains their crispness.
Simple Sugar Snap Peas Recipe
Prep Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 10 mins
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Cut off ends of snap peas and remove strings. Heat butter and olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add snap peas and saute on medium-low until they are heated through and just beginning to soften slightly. Remove from heat and toss with sea salt (to taste). Serve warm or at room temp. Store in fridge for several days!
- Butter and olive oil saute.
- Adding snap peas.
- Simple sugar snap peas!
May 13th, 2010 // Recipes, Snacks
My kid and I both like a perfectly ripened pear, but sometimes we wait too long and we wind up biting into an overly ripe, grainy mess. That’s when it’s time to whip up a batch of fruit strips. We often throw in overly ripe berries, apples, peaches or whatever fruit is lying around. We put it in the oven before bed and wake up to this delicious treat.
Homemade Fruit Strip Recipe
Prep Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 8 to 10 hours (largely unattended)
2 cups ripe fruit
1/2 cup water
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar
Wash, peel and core fruit. Chop them into small chunks. Place the fruit in a saucepan and add water. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add sugar and lemon and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the sugar is dissolved and liquid begins to thicken in the pot. Pour into a blender and let cool for 15 minutes. When cool enough, blend on high for a few minutes until it becomes a smooth puree. Line a rimmed baking sheet with microwave safe plastic wrap. Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet. Be sure to keep plastic wrap from touching the top of the puree. Place the baking sheet in the oven being careful not to let the plastic wrap it touch the oven racks. Heat the oven to a low 175 degrees. Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather. Leaving it in overnight for 8 to 10 hours generally works well. The fruit strip is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface. It peels off ithe plastic n one giant sheet and then we use kitchen scissors to make strips.
- Chopped ripe fruit.
- Adding lemon juice.
- Making the puree.
- Homemade Fruit Strips!