Monday, April 27, 2015

25 Dinner Rotation Planner - Toddler Friendly!

In an effort to become more organized and because baby number two is just days away (eeeeek!), I have decided to put together a 25 dinner rotation plan. As much as I love Pinterest and searching for new recipes, I find myself myself stuck in a rut as far as dinner goes and often cook the same meals, not to mention scrambling last minute to try to put together a suitable meal for my family. I am going to print out these recipes and just keep them in a binder to have them easily accessible
Lasagna Soup
I went with 25 because my husband works overnight at least one evening a week and I just make something simple for my daughter and I. This also takes into account having leftovers since some of these recipes make large portions. I figure that if I plan to prepare 5 home cooked dinners a week with 25 different choices we won't repeat the same meals for five weeks! 
Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
I chose meals that I know my toddler daughter will eat and are fairly quick and easy to prepare. I am hoping that this post will help other busy families out there and will give you some new dinner time inspiration! You'll notice we don't eat a ton of red meat. We mostly go with chicken, turkey or meatless meals. I threw in a couple beef and pork meals for my husband! Also when the meals are more "light" like soup or meatless meals, I will also add in freshly baked bread or warmed up pita.

I would love to hear what your   favorite "go to" kid friendly dinners are too!
Thanks for stopping by!

25 Toddler Friendly Dinners 
1. Mediterranean Pumpkin Soup 
2. Kickin' Black Bean Soup
3. Lasagna Soup
4. My Mom's Turkey Chili (serve with baked potatoes!)
5. Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
6. Mozzarella, Tomato and Avocado Salad (serve with crusty bread)

7.  BBQ Turkey Meatballs with brown rice
8. BLT Pizza
9. Chicken Pot Pie
10. Turkey or Beef Burgers on the grill similar to this recipe
11. Cornbread Taco Bake
12. Creamy, Cheesy Tuna Pasta
13. Chicken or shrimp shish kebobs on the grill with grilled veggies with cous cous
14. Skinny Baked Mac n Cheese - there is spinach in here and the kids won't even notice!
15. Sesame Noodles - add in chicken or shrimp if desired

16. Turkey Meatloaf
17. Beef Pot Roast
18. Breakfast for dinner - pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon
19. Peanut Crusted Pork Satay
20. Crockpot Pulled Pork - this recipe takes all day in the crock pot so start early!
21. Orzo Alfredo with Bacon and Peas
22. 15 Minute Avocado Pasta
23. Yakisoba
24. Pumpkin Cashew Chicken Curry
25. Creamed Green Beans. Red Potatoes and Sausage 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Want a yummy way to use up those fresh summer zucchinis? I've got the answer for you in these tasty Zucchini Parmesan Crisps. They are a cinch to make and with the golden crispy flavor of parmesan cheese, they are a perfect compliment to any dinner. 
Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
From Food
Printable Version

Ingredients (I doubled this recipe) 
Cooking Spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 3/4 ounce)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch thick rounds. In a medium  bowl combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and a few turns of pepper. Dip each zucchini slice individually into the olive oil and then into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides. Place in a single layer on the prepared basking sheets. 
I also sprinkled on a little more salt at this point before putting in the oven. Bake until browned and crisp, about 25-30 minutes. Remove with a spatula and serve immediately. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa

I have made lots of different dishes with quinoa but this recipe is one of my favorites. It really incorporates all the yummy flavors you expect of buffalo chicken - the heat from hot sauce, nice chunks of chicken and to cool things off some goat cheese. Blue cheese would also be a great substitute if you don't like goat cheese and my friend Julie, who came over and ate this dinner with us said that slices of celery in it would also be a yummy addition and I agree. I am not sure it's the healthiest of quinoa recipes (loads of cheddar cheese) but it sure is delicious. 
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa
From Iowa Girl Eats 
Printable Version
Serves 4-6
1 1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 chicken breasts 
garlic powder
onion power
salt and pepper
smoked paprika
2 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 cups of milk, dived
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chevre (goat cheese) crumbled
Preheat broiler. Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside. SEason chicken breasts on both sides with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Cook in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking oil over medium heat until cooked all the way through. Chop into bite sized pieces. 
Whisk together flour and 1/2 cup of milk in a separate large pan over medium heat. Pour in the remaining milk and green onions. Using a spatula bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for one minute while boiling. 
Remove from the heat and add in the hot sauce and cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted. Add in the quinoa and chicken and stir to combine. 
Pour into a non stick spayed casserole dish and top with the chevre. Broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbly. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cinnamon Chip Cookies

These cookies are some serious yumminess. They reminded me of a cinnamon roll in cookie form (without the frosting) and they take the normal snickerdoodle cookie to a whole new level with the addition of cinnamon chips. Aren't cinnamon chips a beautiful thing?
Cinnamon Chip Cookies
Adapted from Averie Cooks
Printable Version
Makes 22 cookies
1 egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt (optional)
1 10 ounce bag of cinnamon chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg, butter and sugars beat on medium high speed until well creamed about five minutes. If using a hand mixer beat for at least 7 minutes. Add the yogurt and vanilla and incorporate until fluffy again, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the flour, cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and optional salt. Beat until just combined, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to over mix. 
Stir in the cinnamon chips. Place dough in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, until it is hard to the touch. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a Silpat liner or parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to brown. Allow cookies to cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

I made this yummy salad full of fresh veggies and tossed with a unique vinaigrette for our Fourth of July get together with friends. It made a huge portion, perfect for potlucks. It can be made ahead of time and chilled - a bonus for this busy Mommy who's one year old is constantly keeping me on my toes!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
From Family Circle Magazine 
Makes 12 servings (more if using potluck sized portions)
Printable Version

1 box of your favorite pasta
8 ounces snow peas (I used regular frozen peas that I thawed)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 sweet orange pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1 ¼ inch strips
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

For the Vinaigrette
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions Cook noodles according to directions. Add snow peas during the last minute. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again. Meanwhile place tomatoes, pepper strips, feta and onion in a large bowl. Whisk together all ingredients for the Vinaigrette and whisk. Place pasta and snow peas in a large bowl with the other ingredients with Vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine. Scatter sliced basil on top and gently stir. Refrigerate until serving.


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