Transform Your Child’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese … Give Them A Meal in a Muffin …
by Cynthia Sommers
Feb 10, 2011 | 543 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
These days, feeding my two children (ages 1-1/2 and 4) feels a lot like playing the lottery – a big game of chance. You know deep down that it’s likely you will not win, but when you do it feels amazing, like a small victory. Consequently, I have learned that all-in-one meals, those that include a majority of the food groups in one easy dish, simplify my life and make for a happy, healthy, full family. Here are a few of our family favorites. Modifying these recipes to suit your family’s taste buds is key, and highly encouraged.

Healthy Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Barely detectable cauliflower and beans add flavor, as well as vitamin C, fiber, folate and iron.

2 cups whole-wheat elbow macaroni (or other pasta of choice)

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup canned white beans, such as cannellini or garbanzo – drained, rinsed and puréed

1/2 cup steamed, puréed cauliflower*

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 ts.p salt

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. pepper (optional)

*For cauliflower puree, wash and cut into small pieces. Steam in a sauce pan, then puree in a blender with a small amount of water, until smooth.

Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package (it should be al denté). Combine the milk, bean purée and cauliflower purée in a large saucepan (oiled to prevent sticking), and heat. Add the cheese, stirring until it’s melted and creamy; then add the spices. Drain the pasta and add it to the cheese mixture. Serve immediately.

(Adapted from Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfeld, Harper Collins, Oct. 2007)

Slow-Cooked Beans with Sausage

A low fat, high-fiber, heart healthy dish. Freeze the leftovers for a later date.

15 oz. can kidney beans

15 oz. can great northern beans

15 oz. can black beans

15 oz. can cannellini beans (or other beans of choice)

1 lb. cooked turkey sausage links (or other sausage of choice), cut in to 1/2 inch slices

1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

1 1/2 cups salsa of choice

1 green pepper, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2- 1-1/2 cups water (enough to fill slow cooker)

Drain and rinse the cans of beans. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, stirring once or twice. To add interest, serve topped with diced avocado and crushed tortilla chips, or with cornbread.

(Adapted from Reader’s Digest, March 2009)

Muffin-Tin Frittatas

An easy, quick meal, great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

8 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

4 ounces cooked, chopped meat of your choice – ham, turkey, bacon (optional)

1-2 cups cooked veggie(s) of choice (broccoli, sweet potato, zucchini)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

2 TB. chopped parsley

Raw veggies of choice, such as avocado, chopped tomato, etc.

Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray or lightly oil muffin tins (decrease cooking time for mini muffin tins). Whisk together the eggs, milk, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the meat, veggies, cheese, parsley and raw veggies (if using). Fill muffin tins to just below the top and bake until the mixture puffs and is set in the center, about 8-10 minutes, depending on size of the muffin tins. Serve immediately.

(Adapted from Episode #: EI0717 / 2003 Television Food Network, G.P.)
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