Veggie Cheese Poppers

Fried foods are always a craving at my house. But we all know how unhealthy it is for you.As usual, I came up with a way to make a family favorite a little healthier. These veggie cheese poppers  are packed with vegetables and is a better alternative to your restaurant bought mozzarella stick. It’s an easy way to get veggies in!

It’s not deep fried, and you can also bake them at 375F for about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure you grease your muffin tin and spray olive oil over them before baking. I personally prefer browning in  a pan with a little olive oil. The texture is great for younger kids too!

And when you bite into it, you get a pleasant surprise. The kids at them all!

Veggie Cheese Poppers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sweet potato (peeled and steamed)
  • 1/2 c. broccoli (measured raw, steamed)
  • 1/4 c. baby carrots (measured raw, steamed)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • String cheese
  • 2 tbs. Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Steam all vegetables
  2. Using a blender, blend vegetables, egg, and seasonings until smooth
  3. Mix in bread crumbs. Note: depending on breadcrumbs used, you may have to add a little more until pasty consistency
  4. Cut string cheeses into one inch pieces
  5. Using a cooking scooper, place sweet potato mixture onto palm of hand
  6. Add cut string cheese in the middle and form into a ball
  7. In a pan, add about 2 tbs. of olive oil
  8. Brown on all sides, on LOW heat
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/07/veggie-cheese-poppers/

Cream Cheese Veggie Shrimp Baked Wontons

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I came across wonton wrappers. The flour wrapping paper may be foreign to you, but  it’s very similar to an egg roll.  I mean even my spell checker is seeing it as a typo. ;).

Most Asian restaurants like Panda Express or others use it to make crab rangoons.  The best way to describe it is a crispy stuffed ravioli. Since most kids love anything crunchy. I  wanted to make a healthier version and as always I try to add all the food groups in one bite.

Give this recipe a try it only takes about 15 minutes. The video includes several ways to shape and fill your wonton. The easiest way is to just fill it and form a triangle. Use water or egg to seal the ends.

Take a closer look at the inside.. there’s vegetables in there, but you can’t hardly taste it or even see it.

This recipe makes about 10, depending on how much you fill it. Don’t overfill you may not be able to close it.  Double it for a larger batch!

Cream Cheese Veggie Shrimp Baked Wontons

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Grated Zucchini
  • 1 Tbs. Mayonaisse
  • 1 C. Cooked wild caught shrimp
  • 2 Oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder (To Taste)
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Peel, grate, and drain zucchini using a paper towel to squeeze excess liquid
  3. In a bowl mix all ingredients
  4. Peel Individual wonton and place on a clean surface
  5. Add combined filling on the middle of the wrapper
  6. Fill and shape to desired wonton shape (see video)
  7. Grease a baking sheet or muffin tin
  8. Place prepared wontons on sheet and spray cooking spray over the wontons
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown) I'd check it around 12 min since ovens vary
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/07/cream-cheese-veggie-shrimp-baked-wontons/

 

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Veggie Apple Chicken Meatballs

This is a complete meal in one bite! As many of you have noticed, I love meals that incorporate almost all the food groups. This has carbs, protein, fruit, and veggies too. Best of all, it’s moist and tastes great.

Give it a try. I’ve also included an optional sweet and sour sauce below.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs

The meatballs by itself is great to eat too. It also might be a great option for younger babies. Plus, it’s a great hide the veggies dish!


Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 grated sweet apple
  • 1/2 grated pear (optional)
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs / quinoa if you want to go #glutenfree
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (if you like less onion then reduce)

Instructions

  1. 1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  2. 2. Shape and mold. I use an ice cream scooper and placed it in a greased muffin tin for convinience
  3. 3. Bake at 350F until 165F, about 20-25 minutes, but it really depends on the oven so I use a leave-in thermometer.
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/04/veggie-apple-chicken-meatballs/

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 2 tbs water
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar, add more if you like it more sour

Sweet and Sour Sauce Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except for the corn starch and water into a pot, wait for a boil
  2. Mix water and cornstarch in a bowl
  3. Add into bowling mixture and whisk

Asian Glazed Salmon

Frozen to the dinner table in less than 30 minutes! That’s my kind of dinner. This Asian glazed salmon is perfect for busy days and last minute meals. Pair it with some steamed veggies and brown rice and it’s a perfect meal. The slightly sweet and salty flavor makes it also appealing for kids. If your family likes the teriyaki,  you must give this dish a try. Put it this way, if you can mix a cup of coffee, you can definitely mix this easy marinade!

P.S. For the perfect salmon, I would highly suggest buying a meat thermometer. The recipe says 15-20 minutes, but the best gauge is its internal temperature, since ovens vary.

Asian Glazed Salmon

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 2 tbs. butter, melted
  • 4 frozen salmon filets, wildcaught

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 400F
  2. In a bowl, mix soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, maple syrup, and butter
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil and place frozen salmon filets
  4. Brush each filet with olive oil on both sides, place back skin side down on prepared sheet
  5. Pour soy sauce mixture over salmon
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature is 145F
  7. Pair with steamed vegetables and brown rice for a perfect meal
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/02/asian-glazed-salmon/

 

**If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Stuffing Muffins

At our home, Thanksgiving means lots and lots of leftover food. Either we cook too much or we eat too little. I like to believe we eat too little, but that’s not likely the case. So what to do with all that stuffing and turkey? It’s always nice to have turkey and all the fixings for another day, but I can’t eat three times in a row.  That said, if I change-up how it’s served, a few more days of turkey and stuffing is a-ok in my book. This stuffing muffins recipe is perfect for leftovers and is a big hit with the kids.

Stuffing Muffins

It’s like Thanksgiving all in one bite and is perfect for little fingers. These are also great for snacks on the go especially for those kiddos who love muffins. The cranberry adds the perfect sweetness to every bite and it’s simply delicious.

It’s easy.  First you mix the egg and a little milk in a bowl.

mixing

In another bowl, mix your left over stuffing, cooked turkey, and spinach. We had creamed corn on our menu, and we ate it all. Since I always like to serve veggies whenever I can, I decided to add some chopped spinach.  We love spinach because it’s relatively tasteless and isn’t bitter. You can add leftover chopped green beans or Brussels sprouts too.

stuffing-mix

Next it’s time to bring out your handy-dandy muffin tin. We use our muffin tin a lot around here. Don’t forget to grease it with cooking spray before filling  I repeat, don’t forget to grease it. Or you will have to scrub and soak the tin for days. Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson. One time I had to throw the tin away!

Fill each circle with the stuffing mixture to about 3/4 full. You don’t want to fill it all the way because you need to leave a little room for the egg. You also want to loosely fill the tin.  Don’t smash the filling in because you want the egg to get in between the stuffing.

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Next comes the best part. Sprinkle some dried cranberries over the top to add a little sweetness.

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Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tin leaving some room for it to expand.
Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or so and enjoy!

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PRESS PLAY!

This is my contribution to Tori Spelling’s website. I recently met her and she’s the sweetest gal! She has a lot of great recipes there.

Avocado Pasta

Is red pasta sauce getting old? I’m always trying to find other sauces for my pasta monsters, aka my two boys. Now that my second son is eating quite a bit, I try to make homemade as much as I can. This avocado pasta sauce is easy and tasty, with just a few ingredients. It doesn’t require cooking either so it’s perfect for leftover pasta.  I don’t know about you, but I make enough pasta for an army. It never fails, I always have leftover.

kiddo-avocado-pasta-2

 

 

 

Tip: if your avocado isn’t really ripe try adding some olive oil. Also, my video says 2 garlic cloves, but half of one or one small one should be plenty.

Avocado Pasta Su

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 garlic clove (small, or half)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. basil leaves
  • 1/2 c. spinach leaves
  • 2 tbs. lemon (or less depending on taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Blend everything!
  2. Top on cooked pasta
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/11/avocado-pasta-sauce/

Recipe adapted from Jo Cooks

Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

When I talk to moms about food and picky eating, veggies are always a struggle. There’s no surprise there! Halloween is fast approaching. This holiday is a great time to introduce green foods.Many kids won’t touch anything green let alone eat it. Sometimes it’s a little more convincing to call things green monsters, incredible hulk juice, etc.  If you make your meals a little fun and festive, they may just give it a try. Once they’ve tasted it they just might realize it’s not that bad. These zucchini broccoli tater tots recipe is super tasty, even my husband and I enjoyed them.

I made these tots just a little more fun by putting candy eyes on them. I called them little green monsters. Fortunately, my son eats broccoli on its own, but no more than three or four stalks. He gobbled up about 10 of these. Dipped it in some “blood” (ketchup) and he thought it was so cool. Kinda gross to me, but hey.. we aim to please.

I packed it in a  Yumbox for a quick lunch while we went to an indoor playground. It was a perfect complete healthy meal. Also a quick tip: coat your avocado slices in olive oil and it will stay nice and green, no browning.

broccoli-tot-box-final-photo

zucchini-broccoli-tots-1

Give this a whirl, it has protein, grains, and veggies all in one.

 

Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

Ingredients

  • 1.5 C. steamed broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. cheddar cheese/Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 tsp. 21 seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Steam broccoli
  2. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until pasty
  3. Form tater tot shapes
  4. In a pan, cook in a little olive oil, flip so all sides are brown
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/zucchini-broccoli-tater-tots/

*Thank you Yumbox for sponsoring this post. If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Veggie Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti

Rumor has it growing up I was a bit of a picky eater. Put spaghetti in front of me though, and I could eat a plateful. I still love spaghetti today as an adult and my kids love it too. In fact, I don’t know one kid who doesn’t like it.  Okay, I know one of you begs to differ and says, mine doesn’t! Okay, I digress.

My goal to make foods as healthy as I possible continues with this recipe. I have a secret ingredient though that makes my meatballs super moist and not dry. I mean if I don’t like a dry meatball, my kids probably won’t either. Best of all, this recipe is loaded with veggies and fruit! Yes, you heard me right, fruit.

veggie-meatballs-final

Also, I wanted to share these super cute, but practical utensils. I always try to reduce my transitioning when introducing anything to my kids. For example, I use this spoon and fork, because it is the closest thing to ones they would use as an adult. That said, it’s the perfect size for little fingers. There are two types, one for older kiddos that includes a fork, spoon and a butter knife.  It’s also available in a slightly smaller version, that’s perfect for early toddlers and babies. In fact my little seven month old has started using it. We do baby led weaning, and you can load a spoon up and let them have at it.  It comes in a fire truck, little princess, and robot pattern. Just subtle enough for little kiddos to enjoy and see.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE FOR MY FOLLOWERS: ETMEAL20 for  20% off discount on the robot set until October 9, 2016.

kiddo-bloom-set-toddlerkiddo-bloom-baby

Without further ado here’s the recipe! P.S. feel free to add more salt, I just made this super baby friendly so my 7 month old can try. In fact, I separated his sauce before creating the seasoned sauce. Nothing wrong with salt, I just try to reduce it greatly with babies.

Veggie Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey/chicken
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 1/4 c. green onion, chopped
  • 3/4 c. spinach, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • Homemade sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. For meatballs -Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Prepare all ingredients. Grate and chop.
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, set aside (internal temperature 165F)
  5. For sauce - In a small sauce pan, mix in all ingredients
  6. For pasta - Cook pasta according to box instructions
  7. Top pasta with sauce and meatballs and enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/veggie-meatballs-homemade-spaghetti/

Tip: We used two different kinds of pasta here, because kids love it!

Thank you for sponsoring this post Kiddo Bloom. Ps: I bought this and used this with my first 3 years ago!

 

Chicken Veggie Patties

I’ve tried several times to make chicken nuggets taste like the nuggets most kids associate with.  This comes pretty close!  I’m well aware store-bought nuggets definitely have its time in place, but I wanted to give you a homemade option to try!   Best of all, it’s all great ingredients and not processed! Furthermore, I know many of you have children who are really picky about texture. This chicken veggie patties recipe is soft and juicy and super tasty.

Chicken Veggie Patties (3)

Chicken Veggie Patties

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. green zucchini (one small zucchini), grated
  • 3 broccoli florets, grated (optional)
  • 2 extra small bell peppers, chopped finely
  • 1/4 c. cooked chicken, chopped finely (I use rotiserrie chicken)
  • 1/4 c. green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Wash and grate zucchini and dry with paper towel
  2. Chop all vegetables and set aside
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well incorporated
  4. In a pan add 1 tbs of olive oil on medium high heat
  5. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, scoop about a tablespoon of batter onto the pan for each pattie. Use a spoon to flatten the scoop into a patty form. Cook until golden brown and flip on the other side for a few minutes.
  6. Serve with chives and sour cream if desired
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/09/chicken-veggie-patties/

Chicken Veggie Patty How To

Delicious One Pan Apple Chicken

My oldest son’s two favorite foods are chicken and apples. So I thought to myself, why not cook them together?! I was pleasantly surprised with this delicious one pan apple chicken recipe and this is now in our weekly rotation.

The apples add a light sweetness to the dish and it this takes less than half an hour to make. This time I didn’t use any butter like I normally would to cut back on fat for my husband and I. It still tasted great!

Note: You’ll see that I wrote “to taste” on the herbs. My husband and I like a lighter flavor, but if you prefer you can always add a little more! Remember, if you use fresh herbs its a lot less potent than dried.

Delicious Apple Chicken

Delicious Apple Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano dried, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary dried, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 apples, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red onion , sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs. olive oil
  2. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the chicken
  3. Add chicken to skillet and brown, about 5 minutes each side or until brown
  4. Set aside
  5. In a bowl, whisk broth and mustard
  6. Add remaining oil to pan and all ingredients (broth and mustard mixture, remaining salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano, apple, and onion)
  7. Cook for another 4 minutes or until cooked
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/one-pan-apple-chicken/