I recently got a job as a nanny to two ADORABLE two-year-olds. They are just about the cutest twins you’ll ever see and sometimes I can’t believe I get to play with them all day. It’s pretty much the best job ever. But every job has its challenges. Mine is vegetables. Getting toddlers to eat good stuff isn’t easy.
I’ve noticed that when I give them options, they eat all of the things they like, then leave the other stuff on the plate. To fix this, I decided to start making food that is all mixed together so they can’t separate it.
I was telling my sister, Beth, about my dilemma over the phone and she mentioned broccoli bites! I looked them up on Pinterest and google but didn’t find a recipe I liked. So I came up with my own. The concept is simple. Take all the things you want a kid to eat, bind it together with eggs, make it taste yummy with cheese, then bake it like cookies!
I decided to use chicken, broccoli, carrots, and rice. Next time I might try something like corn, chicken, mushrooms, and peppers. Whatever direction you decide to go, your kids (and YOU) will love these easy-to-eat, hand-held, no-mess bites!
The process goes like this: First, cook everything to mush. Mash it up with an egg or two. Then add breadcrumbs and cheese till it’s the right consistency. Scoop. Bake at 400. EAT!
These fun-to-eat bites will be sure to dazzle your kids while giving them the nutrition they need!
Author: Abby Hughes
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4 servings
1 Head Broccoli (cooked soft, drained)
2 Medium Carrots (cooked soft)
1 Large Chicken Breast (cooked and shredded)
½ Medium Onion, chopped (can be cooked with carrots or broccoli)
1½ C. Cooked Rice
1½ C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine all ingredients except eggs in a large bowl.
Smash with a fork to mix, then add salt and pepper to taste (garlic powder and herbs may be added as well).
Stir in the eggs.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or bakers parchment.
Using a cookie scoop, spoon the mixture onto the tray, being sure they don't touch. (they can be placed closely because they don't spread).
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the tops are golden brown.
Depending on the size of your eggs, chicken breast, head of broccoli, etc. You may find that the "dough" is too wet or too dry. If it's too wet and doesn't hold together, add a little whole wheat flour or bread crumbs to the mixture. If too dry, and an extra egg. 🙂
Am I the only cook on the planet who hasn’t heard of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole? Apparently, when it comes to church food Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole has been a hit for a long, long time! My friend, Lila, made this casserole for a Community Bible Study fellowship lunch this spring. At first, I thought I must have just been really, really, hungry because I couldn’t get enough of this creamy, crunchy, tasty casserole. Other members of our class seemed equally hungry, because I noticed most of us had second helpings!
I couldn’t figure out all the ingredients my first time around, but by the second helping, I discovered a layer of Rice A Roni that seemed a lot more flavorful than I ever remembered for Rice A Roni.
If you are not familiar with Rice A Roni it is a pilaf-like boxed food mix that consists of rice, vermicelli pasta, and seasonings. To prepare, the rice and pasta are browned in butter, then water and seasonings are added and simmered until the water is absorbed.
“I’ve had this recipe for years,” Lila told our group as we ooh’d and aah’d quite appropriately!
Although lately, she has had trouble finding the exact rice called for in the recipe which is Rice-A-Roni Fried Rice with Almonds. I couldn’t find that exact flavor and so I used a mixture of one box chicken and garlic and one box chicken and broccoli. Whew! I highly recommend the chicken and garlic. The garlic creates a flavor layer that really adds to the overall taste of the casserole. The broccoli gave me that false sense that I was eating healthy! 😜
The Rice A Roni is made according to box directions and then becomes the bottom layer in a 9″x13″ baking dish.
I always start any chicken casserole with gently boiled chicken breast, trimmed to remove any fat or stringy pieces. Then I shred it and the resulting chicken is so white, fresh, and ready for my casserole. (For speed and ease, canned chicken breast will work well in this recipe also.)
Mix the cooked chicken with soup and sour cream for the next layer. Crushed Ritz crackers and poppy seeds top the chicken layer. Lila’s recipe calls for a cup of melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers. I omitted the butter and sprinkled the top with slivered almonds. Oh my goodness! Can you just taste it now?
I know our vegetable should be about twice the amount of the main dish, but I promise, you can start with a smaller amount of casserole but you will be back for more before the broccoli cools off!
Thank you, Lila, for the outstanding recipe! Keep ’em coming!
Blessings and Happy Cooking! ~Catherine
P.S. Can you taste poppy seeds? My Chief Casserole Eater husband says he couldn’t taste the poppy seeds. I don’t think they are meant to be tasted as much as they add texture and color. What do you think?
Love it! Packed with flavor, very versatile and especially easy to make.
Author: Adapted by Catherine Daugherty
Recipe type: Main Dish, Casserole
Serves: 12 servings
1 to 2 lb. chicken breast, cooked, chopped or shredded
16 oz. light sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled
1 cup butter, melted *Optional
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
2 boxes Rice-A-Roni (Fried Rice with Almonds or any favorite flavor)
Slivered Almonds *Optional
Cook rice according to the package directions.
Heat oven to 350⁰. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
Spread rice in bottom of 9"x13" baking dish.
Combine chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spread on top of rice mixture.
Mix melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers. Layer over chicken.
Top with poppy seeds and slivered almonds.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, uncovered.
1 lb. of chicken works fine, originally recipe calls for 2 lbs. Any flavor of Rice A Roni will work well. May use canned or fresh chicken breast. Poppy seeds and almonds optional. Melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers optional.
Two Glazed Chicken Quarter On The Hot BBQ Charcoal Flaming Grill Close-up.
Today we are happy to have Monica Henin from Addonkitchen as our guest blogger.
Thank you, Monica!
Having an in-house grill is always great because it allows a person to cook scrumptious food at will. Moreover, grilling is fun, especially for those who have an immense love for cooking. Placing a juicy piece of meat on the grill and brushing some oil all over the meat gives the feeling that something nice is going to get ready in a few minutes. But, grilling is not that easy, so one shouldn’t just start grilling game meats because a small mistake made while cooking the food can ruin it all. A person who is just making his/her way into the world of grilling should begin with chicken or shrimps, as these are easy to grill and will help build the confidence for the future.
Today we will be discussing two grilling recipes, which are quite easy to prepare and doesn’t take much time as well. Let us start with the first one.
The first recipe that I’ve selected is ‘Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken’. If you love the taste of mustard, then this recipe will definitely make your mouth filled with water.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tsp steak sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Total Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Preheat the grill on medium heat. I hope you have bought a branded grill such as Traeger Renegade, as it ensures uniform and safe cooking. You can check more about this brand by going through Traeger Renegade Elite reviews.
Take a large bowl now and add mayonnaise, honey, steak sauce and mustard. Mix all the ingredients well, and you will get the honey mustard sauce. Save some sauce for basting and use the remaining for marinating the chicken.
Dip chicken pieces into the honey mustard sauce. Make sure that each and every corner of the chicken is coated in the sauce.
Brush some oil on the grill grate followed by placing the chicken pieces on the grill, but make sure that no direct heat is given to the chicken. Cook the chicken in the indirect heat for 18-20 minutes and keep flipping the sides occasionally. Use the reserved sauce to baste the chicken in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Keep a close eye on the grill because you don’t want chicken getting burnt.
That was all about ‘Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken’, so let’s discuss the second recipe, which involves shrimp!
The name of the recipe is ‘Grilled Shrimp Scampi’ and it is great for those who love the flavors of garlic, lemon, and parsley. You can use this dish as an appetizer or main dish. This dish is light on the stomach, but will definitely excite your taste buds. You can replace shrimps with scallops if you want, but let’s just discuss the one with shrimps.
1 ½ lbs. medium shrimp, deveined and peeled
1 tbsp. minced garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tbsps. parsley, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper
Total Cooking Time: 36 minutes
Take a large bowl and add garlic, lemon juice, black pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Mix all the ingredients well and then, add crushed red pepper on top of the mix.
Add shrimps to the mixture and make sure that the shrimps are properly immersed in the mixture. Marinate the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Now, it’s time to preheat grill on high heat. Take skewers and thread shrimp onto those. You will have to pierce each shrimp once near the head and once near the tail.
Brush the grill grate with some oil and place the skewers on the grill. Grill each side for 2-3 minutes and then, flip the side over. The shrimp will become opaque when fully cooked.
You can now enjoy grilled shrimp with mayonnaise. The taste will be simply amazing, plus it is not bad for your health, so you don’t have to restrain yourself from eating this super-delicious dish.
Author Bio: Monica Henin is the author of this blog post. She is an expert in the field of cooking, especially when it comes to providing cooking tips. She also writes on healthy recipes because she wants her readers not to eat just delicious food, but healthy food as well.
I was never big on New Year’s resolutions until about two years ago.
Gross as it may be, I used to only floss my teeth right before going to the dentist for a cleaning. I would inevitably get the speech of “you should floss regularly for healthy blah blah blah.” But one day I actually listened and decided to make a New Year’s resolution to floss my teeth every night for a whole year. It took a lot of hard work and determination, but I did it! Now I’m an avid flosser and I’ve kept that resolution (with the exception of a few days) ever since.
Most people make resolutions to be more active and to eat better. I was one of them. I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t concerned about my weight.
I ran a lot and tried really hard, but I still wasn’t happy with how I looked. I would cut calories, but always got discouraged by the lack of results.
One day, I was so upset that I didn’t eat the entire day. That night I looked in the mirror only to see that my pooch and love handles were still there. I just felt squishy and hungry all the time.
Thankfully, I found a better way. My definition of eating healthy has changed a lot over the past year because I changed the misconception that was hard-wired into my brain by magazines and media.
I used to eat salads for two meals a day, and try to avoid sweets. I was always hungry and craving something I couldn’t have. I love salads, but it’s very hard to get enough calories eating ONLY veggies. I thought I was being healthy, but nothing could be further from the truth. I was starving myself, and that isn’t mentally or physically healthy.
I was under the impression that the less I ate, the more I would lose.
This method for losing weight is widely preached among women, but it doesn’t bring long-term results. It’s a myth. You may lose a few pounds but you will inevitably hit a plateau. That’s because you are in a habitual caloric deficit. Your body realizes that it isn’t getting enough food to continue burning calories efficiently, so it learns how to burn fewer calories to complete the same tasks. Your metabolism drastically slows down, and you gain weight — even though you’re always hungry.
Thankfully, it’s very simple to reset your metabolism. It only takes one or two weeks. Ever since making this one simple change in my diet, I started seeing results. I’m full. I’m happy. And I’m still skinny! I don’t count calories, I eat as much as I want, and I have actually lost inches.
I discovered it’s more about WHAT you eat than how much. I started cooking for myself every day. I eat fish, a LOT of chicken breast, veggies, sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, avocados, almonds, some fruit, some red meat, protein shakes, and eggs. I make sure to eat a good amount of protein at each meal so I’m FULL when I finish eating. I usually don’t even want dessert. I used to eat 1500 calories a day. Now my diet is closer to this.
It’s taken most of 2017 to adjust my taste buds, but now I actually prefer healthy food. Sweets don’t seem as appealing, and when I do indulge, a small amount will usually satisfy me. Veggies don’t need salt, and sweet potatoes don’t need butter because I’ve gotten used to enjoying their natural flavors.
It took almost a year to get to this point, but I promise you, it’s worth it. I’m so much happier now that I’m not hangry (hungry/angry) all the time and I’m fueling my body with nutrition. I encourage you to give it a chance in 2018.
Now I make resolutions like “get a six pack by 2018.” I never would have dreamed that was even possible a year ago. But now it’s a realistic goal.
This is just a quick summary, but I wanted to share it with you because of how it’s helped me! I didn’t know it was possible to eat so much food (I eat all the time) and be happy with how I look. If you want to learn more about tips for eating right, please leave a comment so I’ll know how to post more of what you want to hear!
Here’s one of my favorite recipes for chicken breast to help you get started! The pineapple juice tenderizes and caramelizes. It’s great with white rice and roasted asparagus. Be sure to read the notes and give it a try!
¼ cup Hot Sauce (optional) (I like Valentina hot sauce)
If you are using large chicken breasts, cut it in half horizontally through the thickness of the breast. This is called butterflying.
Set the chicken aside, and whisk together all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
Toss chicken in marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 days.
Preheat a pan by putting it on high heat for about 2 minutes. This will help sear the chicken and get good caramelization.
Meanwhile, drain the chicken.
Once the pan is hot, drizzle some olive oil and add the drained chicken (it should sizzle).
Saute for about 2 minutes on each side (or till browned), then reduce heat to medium.
Cook just until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Be sure not to overcook so the chicken will be tender and juicy.
Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
A food thermometer can keep you from overcooking chicken. Even lean chicken breast is moist and tender when only cooked to 165 degrees. But you should also avoid undercooking chicken so you won't get sick. Preheating the pan is important. The sugars in the pineapple juice should caramelize and create a nice brown crust on the chicken. Don't miss that step. This is great for making ahead and leaving in the fridge until ready to cook. This marinade also works well on pork and steak.