Toddler Approved Smoothies

Smoothies are a daily occurrence in our home. Our three-year-old loves them. He begs us to make him a “see-moo” (smoothie).  Given his enthusiasm for smoothies, you are probably thinking I really mean a milkshake, but I don’t. He has never had a milkshake and has only had gelato a handful of times. When he asks for a smoothie he is asking for fruits and veggies.  We often let him choose the ingredients and today’s concoction was interesting. His goal was to create a red or pink smoothie. Every smoothie we make begins with organic unsweetened original almond milk and an organic fair-trade banana. From there he added fresh organic spinach and fresh pineapple from the fridge. He then moved onto the freezer to dig out more ingredients. He chose organic parsnips, beets, carrots, cranberries, and  strawberries. We tossed his choices in and started up the Blendtec. The result? A red smoothie. Goal 1 achieved – a red or pink smoothie. Now, for the taste. That is always an interesting and slightly nerve-wracking part of the creation process. It was a little different, but it was great. He drank 16 oz. of the smoothie! This smoothie had no added sugar, was created from primarily organic ingredients and there was no “hiding” of fruits and veggies involved.  He chose all of the ingredients. What did this interesting smoothie provide? Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk Vitamin A, Vitamin D2, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Calcium1 Organic, Fair Trade Banana Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phytosterols2 Organic Spinach Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water, Omega-3s3 Pineapple Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water4 Organic Strawberries Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin K, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Omega-3s, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosporus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Phystosterols5 Organic Parsnips Dietary Fiber, Folate, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Anti-oxidants, Iron, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Manganese, Phosporus, Magnesium, Zinc6 Organic Carrots Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Water7 Organic Beets Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water8 Organic Cranberries Dietary Fiber,...
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Cannellini Bean Brownies

If you have spent any time with me at all, you know that I LOVE chocolate.  In particular, I LOVE brownies, they hold a special place in my heart (but that is another story).  I needed a healthier option than the boxed brownies you can pick up at the store – but it still had to be easy.  This recipe actually has some nutrients, can be made with stuff I keep in my pantry, and takes care of my brownie cravings. You may recognize this recipe from the Dessert Competition.  A version of this recipe submitted by Upstate BirthNetwork, from Chocolate Covered Katie, tied for second place.  I found out by necessity (my craving for brownies crept up on me) that you can swap out the black beans for cannellini beans with nearly identical results.  So here, you go brownie lovers! Ingredients: 1 1/2C cannellini beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining) 2T cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired) 1/2C quick oats (40g) 1/4t salt 1/3C pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g) 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup) 1/4C coconut or vegetable oil (40g) 2t pure vanilla extract 1/2t baking powder 1/2C to 2/3C chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.) Optional: more chips, for presentation Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 GLUTEN-FREE brownies. Notes: The original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, and the one that earned second place in the Dessert Competition calls for black beans rather than cannellini beans.  I didn’t have enough black beans to make black bean burgers for dinner AND make the brownies last week so I had to substitute cannellini beans in the brownies.  Terrific results! I have used rolled oats when I didn’t have any quick oats.  You will probably not get as smooth of...
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Eating Well: Southwestern Salmon Cobb Salad

Today I am sharing with you a truly yummy Salmon recipe from the August 2013 edition of Eating Well Magazine.  The Southwestern Cobb Salad is filling, light, contains a variety of textures and colors, and has some kick (which you can adjust to your taste).  You will see two pictures of the dish.  The one on the white plate was published in the magazine, the meal on the brown plate is what I made.  This is one of those meals that you can actually make similar to the picture! Ingredients: 4-6oz servings of Wild Alaskan Salmon skinned (we use King Salmon) 1 tablespoon Adobo sauce from canned chipotles, plus 1 Tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo, divided 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar 2 tablespoons water 10 cups mixed salad greens 1 avocado, diced 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese Instructions: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Brush salmon with adobo sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Oil the grill rack, grill the salmon, turning once, until opaque. About 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness. Combine sour cream, vinegar, water, minced chipotle and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.  Toss the greens in a large bowl with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Divide the greens and salmon among 4 plates.  Top with avocado, tomatoes, and blue cheese.  Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Notes: We like to leave the skin on the salmon until after it has been cooked. You can try swapping out the sour cream with plain greek yogurt. We find the adobo sauce to be a little spicy so we don’t brush it on the salmon.  We use extra virgin olive oil instead.  Additionally, we leave off the salt. If you aren’t sure if everyone will like the same amount of dressing, which has some kick, just serve the dressing on the side so that everyone can add their chosen amount. Feta cheese works nicely in this meal if you don’t like blue...
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Banana-Blueberry-Almond Butter Pancakes

This recipe was adapted from 1,000 Vegan Recipes (1,000 Recipes) and is easy to make.  Be sure to tell me what your favorite toppings for pancakes are in the comment section! Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, mashed 2 Cups soy milk (we use Almond Milk, but dairy would also work) 2 Tablespoons melted butter or vegan margarine (we usually use Earth Balance) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2-3 Tablespoons of fresh ground almond butter (or other nut butter, omit if allergies are a concern) 1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour (we usually do a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat) 1/2 Cup quick-cooking oats 2 Tablespoons sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt (we usually omit this) 1 Cup fresh blueberries Oil for high heat to coat your griddle so the pancakes don’t stick Instructions: In a large bowl, combine the banana, milk, melted butter, almond butter, and vanilla, mixing well.  Set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine remaining ingredients EXCEPT the blueberries. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Gently fold in the blueberries. Heat a griddle or large skillet to medium-high, coat with oil. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 Cup of batter onto hot cooking surface.  Flip the pancakes when small bubbles appear, this usually takes about 3 minutes.  Cook on the second side until browned, about another 2-3 minutes. Top with your favorite maple syrup and enjoy! Notes: The recipe is obviously only vegan if you use a non-dairy milk and a non-dairy margarine.  If you don’t mind including animal products in your foods, by all means use the dairy products you have on hand. We like to double the recipe and freeze the pancakes in sets of two or three.  This is an easy and quick weekday breakfast packed with nutrients. This is a great recipe to let kids help with.  It doesn’t matter if they eat the raw batter – there is nothing in there to potentially make them sick 🙂 My very picky, um I mean discerning toddler LOVES these.  He will even eat them frozen straight out of the freezer! Easy to whip up and doesn’t require any special ingredients.  If you don’t have fresh blueberries on hand, just thaw some frozen ones, drain, and mix the drained blueberries in to the batter. (Link posted...
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Cheddar and Tomato Omelet

Looking for a quick and easy way to use up leftover eggs, cheese, and veggies in your fridge?  Why not make an omelet.  It used to be that eggs were “forbidden” because of the cholesterol.  The newest research is showing that eggs are ok, just not in HUGE quantities.  This makes a nice quick, hot lunch too. This is a particularly nice recipe for pregnant and nursing mamas to get some quality calories, while getting great nutrients. Ingredients: Olive Oil 2 cage-free organic eggs 1oz of shredded organic cheddar cheese (or any cheese that you want to add to your omelet) Sliced organic tomatoes (I like to use grape tomatoes, but any variety or veggie will work) Instructions: Rub some olive oil in a small skillet* to coat the bottom and sides. Heat the skillet over medium heat. While waiting for skillet to warm up, lightly beat your eggs in a small bowl or cup.  Be careful not to over-beat otherwise you will end up with tough eggs. Once the skillet is warm, pour the beaten eggs into the skillet. Now, here is the key…leave them ALONE!  Don’t mix them in the skillet, let the eggs firm up almost completely. Once the eggs are just slightly liquidy on the top, put your cheese and tomatoes on one half. With a spatula, fold over the empty half to cover your cheese and tomatoes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the cheese begins to melt and the eggs are cooked through. Slide on to a plate and enjoy! *I usually use a quality non-stick skillet like this one by All-Clad, but if you don’t have a quality non-stick skillet, just rub some olive oil on your skillet before you start.   Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post from All-Clad and all opinions are 100% my own. I only recommend products that I either have purchased myself and love or products I have been given a chance to review by the company that I believe are products my readers would benefit from. Amazon links are affiliate...
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Whole Foods Rosemary-Lime Wild Alaskan Salmon Kabobs

Taken from the Whole Foods Website Recipe Section, these kabobs look delicious. A definite must try this summer! Ingredients: 1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into chunks 1 zucchini, cut into chunks 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks 1 large red onion, cut into chunks Sea salt and black pepper 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon (about 2 small sprigs) chopped rosemary leaves 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons lime juice Wooden or bamboo skewers, soaked in water 10 minutes Method: Place salmon, zucchini, bell pepper and onion in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk together garlic, rosemary, olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour mixture over salmon and vegetables, toss and marinate 15 to 30 minutes. Preheat the grill or broiler. Skewer the salmon and vegetables, reserving marinade, and grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender. While cooking, boil the marinade in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Drizzle over skewers and serve. Nutritional Info Per Serving: 380 calories (230 from fat), 27g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 70mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 27g protein Special Diets: Dairy Free Gluten Free Sugar Conscious Wheat...
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