Crispy Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

The lemon tree in my back yard is overflowing with lemons. Problems is, a girl can only make so much lemonade right?  This is how this recipe came about, coupled with the rarity of being able to go out with toddlers.

Before kids, trying new restaurants was my hobby. It’s probably because I loved it when other people cooked for me. Of course it’s the best thing when someone else cleaned up too! Not to  Yes, we could have gone out for dinner and ordered this somewhere, but that would have taken more than the 30 minutes it takes to whip this up. The husband offered to clean after so it was a win win for everyone.

Furthermore, my boys have an appetite of teenagers and it gets pricey. I remember enjoying this dish at a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, and I was craving it. Crispy Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

On any given day I’ll have chicken in the refrigerator.  I almost always have some form of pasta in my pantry.  Crispy Parmesan Chicken is always an easy fix.  It’s hands down one of my favorite 30 minute recipes for white sauce pasta. It’s incredibly delicious and my whole family enjoyed it. My toddler enjoyed the chicken more than the noodles, however.  I mean it’s pretty much a chicken nugget right? On some occasions,  I’ve also added spiralized zucchini to the noodles to add some veggies to the dish. I have also paired it with some steam veggies on the side to make it a complete meal.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

Tastes like a gourmet chicken nugget! Makes everyone in the family happy!

Try this Crispy Parmesan Chicken with creamy lemon sauce recipe on a weeknight or weekend and enjoy.

Parmesan Chicken in Creamy Lemon Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 small chicken thighs
  • 6 tbs. butter, divided
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of italian seasoning
  • 1 c. grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz thin spaghetti noodles
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook noodles per box instructions, set aside
  2. In a bowl, melt 4 tbs of butter in the microwave
  3. In another bowl, mix bread crumbs, dash of onion, garlic, and italian seasoning, 1/2 c. parmesan cheese, and flour
  4. Dip chicken in the melted butter then bread crumb mixture
  5. Melt 2 tbs of butter in a large skillet and cook chicken on medium heat and 165f internal temperature
  6. In a medium skillet, add cream, cheese, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk until it starts to thicken
  7. Add cooked pasta to cream sauce, top with chicken
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/05/crispy-parmesan-chicken-with-creamy-lemon-sauce/

 

For a lower carb option try this Baked Parmesan Chicken “Pasta” recipe.   It’s a similar recipe where I combined zucchini noodles to the dish, just a different sauce.

This recipe was adapted from The Recipe Critic

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

I’m always looking for fast protein rich breakfast options.  When I start my day with a protein filled breakfast I feel full longer.  Plus, I don’t know about you, but my kids will eat carbs all day if I let them. It’s important for me to try to keep their meals balanced.  I came up with this quinoa breakfast bowl recipe because both my sons are currently on an oatmeal strike. No matter what I put in their oatmeal they reject it. I wanted to change it up their breakfast options.

This adds a different texture to the mix and since my kids love granola and nutty, this was worth a try!

Quinoa Bowls

This is also great for oatmeal lovers. It looks very similar to  oatmeal right? It does however have a slightly different texture.  If your child is extremely picky you can always mix in some cooked quinoa first into their oatmeal to ease them into it.

If you’ve been following me a while, you know I’m big on introduction and exposure of foods and textures. From the beginning, I tried to expose my kids to different textures. It creates a diverse palate and it’s great to introduce a variety before they form opinions. It’s great to introduce different textures to younger children early. We followed baby led weaning, and in my opinion it’s paid off.

Quinoa is also a great alternative to rice cereal. The super food has a ton of nutrients.  t has twice the protein content content of rice or barley. It’s also a great source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamins and fiber.

You can also make this the night before, warm it up when needed and add a little more almond milk if your kids it less thick.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Quinoa Breakfast bowl recipe

Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Quinoa
  • 2 c. Almond milk
  • 1 tbs. peanut butter (optional)
  • 1 tbs. maple syrup, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium size sauce pan, add quinoa, almond milk, peanut butter, and maple syrup
  2. Simmer in medium heat for 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked
  3. Add more almond milk if you'd like a thinner consistency
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/04/quinoa-breakfast-bowl/

Looking for more breakfast options? Try this  No cook Overnight Chia Oatmeal recipe

Thank you Califia Farms for sponsoring this post.

Sunshine Egg Pies

Keeping an egg on a piece of toast is never easy with toddlers. One part falls to the ground, the other lands on their head.  You feel me? After months of getting my youngest to eat a breakfast sandwich, I threw in the towel. At least for now anyway.

No toddlers? Not to worry – both my husband and I devoured these! These sunshine egg pies are perfect for breakfast. If you cook it long enough it would work for on the go car rides too! You can even scramble the egg if you choose prior to filling the rectangle.

Trying to get your family to eat more veggies? Rest assured, there’s a one in these. I  get comments all the time about how their kids would pick out vegetables off anything and everything.  This one is nearly invisible and is also hidden under an egg. I mean peel a  zucchini and it’s pretty much white.  Just saying.   The entire dish  takes less than 10 minutes to make so it’s definitely doable on weekday mornings! You can even cook the night before and throw it in a convection oven for fast heating.

Sunshine Egg Pies

These egg pies are customizable too! Add any seasoning you like. You can go bland, salt and pepper, or our favorite is  Everything but the Bagel Seasoning . If you’re adventurous you can try other seasonings as well. If you’re looking for a no-salt seasoning we often use 21 Seasoning Salute as well!

I’m huge on offering foods in its natural state and colors. You can leave a little peel on the zucchini and then grate it.  It will look like something below. Showing the green vegetable helps kids’ become more adventurous when it comes to eating.  Have them take a bite of the hidden kind and a bite of the other. They’ll soon realize it tastes no different.  I know, i know It’s hard to convince a toddler sometimes, but it’s always good to try.  It takes some effort, but in the long run it’s paid off for us.

P.S. I  completely understand it may be impossible for some of your eaters, but  it’s just a suggestion! I personally, do lots of hidden veggie recipes for my readers, but I always try to always serve the hidden foods in its natural state.

Sunshine Egg Pies

recipe

Sunshine Egg Pies

Ingredients

  • Crescent rolls, store bought in the tube - we love the organic ones, but any will do
  • Zucchini, peeled and grated
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Eggs
  • Seasoning of choice - we used Everything but the Bagel Sesame Blend

Instructions

  1. Preheat at 400F
  2. Roll out the dough on parchment paper. Depending on what brand you use you may or may not need paper
  3. Pinch perforations together in each square to seal the dough
  4. Form rectangles and fold up edges about 1/2 inch around each rectangle
  5. Sprinkle grated zucchini
  6. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese
  7. Crack an egg in each rectangle
  8. Top with seasoning of choice (we used Everything but the Bagel Sesame Bland)
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on how cooked you'd like your egg yolk
  10. Note: Depending on the size of the egg and rectangle, you may have to reduce the egg white to prevent spillage
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/04/sunshine-egg-pies/

Note: To be safe, cook the eggs well done for kids. The shot below was my portion, lol.

Save it for later and pin it!

Looking for more breakfast ideas? Try these Mummy Egg Boats 

** 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!

Chicken Afritada – Chicken Tomato Stew

I always make it a point to introduce cultural foods to my children.  I want them to try different kinds of foods from all over the world and enjoy it.  It also gives them a diverse palate so they are more open to eating other food than what we normally eat. This chicken afritada recipe is my twist to a classic dish from the Philippines.

Lets keep it real though, depending on which one of my sons you ask, they don’t always love it. But, they will always try it. Fortunately, they love anything and everything with rice!  Naturally, this dish was a hit because I paired it with it. By the way, I have always offered my children the same food the family is eating. It just makes life easier and more convenient to cook one meal for everyone. I did this from the start and it’s all they know. That said, it’s never to late to slowly ease into it. It might be challenging and frustrating, but if it works it will be worth it!

My chicken afritada includes bell peppers and sweet potato which gives it delicious flavors. By the way, this was one of the hardest recipes for me to jot down. Traditionally, my family passes down recipes by word of mouth. That means, having whoever wants to learn look over their shoulder, see the estimates and taste as you go. Call my family odd, but for reals, they just say, “add a little of this and a little of that.”  Now it’s my turn to tell you please do the same and add seasonings to taste. This however, should come pretty close.

I used my new Lodge Dutch Oven shown above for this recipe. It’s perfect for cooking roasts and stews like this, but also very versatile. You can cook almost anything in it and it regulates temperature well. I have yet to try it, but you can even fry food and cook bread in it!

 

 

Chicken Afritada Recipe

Chicken Afritada

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1lb chicken thighs
  • 2 tbs of Tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp of fish sauce (optional)
  • 1.5 tbs of minced garlic
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 cut sweet potatoes, or white
  • 1-2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbs brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat a dutch oven pot or deep pot with oil and garlic.
  2. Brown chicken, add soysauce, black pepper, and onion
  3. Add tomato paste, then cook for 2 min, add water, add fish sauce, bay leaves and sugar
  4. Add half bell pepper, potatoes, and carrots then cook for 25 min on low. For a speedier steam carrots and sweet potatoes separately and add into cooked mixture
  5. Add remaining bell pepper and cook for 5 min
  6. Add salt to taste
  7. Serve over rice
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/04/chicken-afritada-chicken-tomato-stew/

**I received this product for a review, but all opinions are my own. 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!

Hidden Veggie Bunny Popsicles

Tis the season for all things spring. Days are gorgeous and flowers are blooming. It’s also getting warm enough for some cold treats, at least in southern California anyway.  This hidden veggie strawberry bunny popsicles recipe is a fun and cute way to get vegetables in.

How do I get my kids to eat vegetables? That’s the number one question I get as a kids’ food blogger. Sometimes I even get asked about how to get veggies into husband’s meals! Since I  know some of you have children who won’t eat anything green. I created this recipe. Give these strawberry bunny popsicles a try.  There are no green veggies in sight, but not to worry it’s still packed with cauliflower!  That said, I’m huge on getting kids to eat vegetables that are not hidden also, so I serve whatever vegetable I’m hiding along with their meal.

Yes, you heard me right. I put frozen cauliflower in it! The fiber rich vegetable makes smoothies creamy and gives this cold delight an extra boost in nutrition. Best of all, the fruits in it overpower the cauliflower’s flavor, so you can’t taste  it. I’ve also made this dairy free, with a fantastic creamer I recently discovered.

If you prefer to serve it as smoothie you can, although I would probably do half almond milk half creamer. You can use regular popsicle molds or use this bunny popsicle mold. If you want to freeze three at a time you can use these bunny molds, it’ slightly different but close!

Furthermore, if you  desire a much sweeter popsicle, you can add a pitted date or more honey and blend it in. You can also make it vegan by using maple syrup.

Note: When first blended it is much sweeter to taste than when frozen, so you might want to overcompensate.

Looking for more cold healthy treats? Try this Healthy Drumstick Ice Cream Recipe

recipe

Strawberry Bunny Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Califia almond milk creamer, vanilla
  • 1/2 c. frozen cauliflower florets, or frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 pitted date, or honey for sweetener if desired

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients into blender
  2. Pour into mold
  3. Freeze for 3 hours or longer
  4. Serve and enjoy!
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/03/hidden-veggie-bunny-popsicles/

*Thank you Califia Farms 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!

5 Minute Apple Crisp

Breakfast is the most challenging meal to fix because I’m always running out the door.  This 5 minute apple crisp recipe definitely saves the day. It’s so delicious and is our family’s favorite. The tasty delight is fiber rich with fruit and tasty butter. If you didn’t know, butter is  great for brain development!

Often times I’m so slammed in the mornings trying to get my oldest off to school on time. Sound familiar?  Even though I’m busy, I always strive to provide a healthy breakfast to start out our day. I tried this on a whim on one busy morning. It’s super easy to make, just pop it in the microwave and voilà. It was a hit!

If you don’t want to use a microwave I’m sure you can cook it over stove top as well. You can check out my buttered bananas recipe for something similar.

Apple Crisp

Also, if you’re an apple pie lover, this is really a yummy alternative. I use maple syrup instead of traditional brown sugar. Syrup gives it a wonderful aroma and is also much healthier than its cousin sugar. It’s an unrefined sweetener, which contain higher levels of beneficial nutrients, antioxidants than white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. There are so many sweet options these days that I really try to start our day with a healthy punch.Best of all my kids think they’re having dessert for breakfast. because it’s just that good.

If you’d like to make it a dessert, you can always add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or for a healthier treat, freeze banana and blend it in a blender. It makes for a great ice cream alternative.

recipe

5 Minute Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 5 tbs. quick oats
  • 3 tbs. pecans, chopped
  • 3 tbs. Horizon salted butter, melted
  • 1-2 tbs. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • Dash of cinammon
  • 2 tbs. Horizon Organic Whole Milk

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix oats, pecan, butter, cinnamon and butter, set aside
  2. Chop apples in small pieces, sprinkle cinnamon on top and mix
  3. In a microwavable mug, add apples, then oats mixture
  4. Add milk
  5. Place in microwave and heat for 2:30 minutes
  6. Eat immediately or top with banana ice cream or regular ice cream
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/03/5-minute-apple-crisp/

Thank you Horizon Organic for sponsoring this post.

 

Spinach Egg Sandwich

We add spinach to everything. From smoothies, dinner dishes, and sandwiches it’s one of my favorite veggies to sneak in. My son recently participated in some fun activities involving leprechauns for St. Patrick’s Day at school. My old spinach egg sandwich trick came to mind. This is a super easy way to include vegetables in their meals.

This time of year is a perfect excuse to try green things because kids are a little more open to eating it. Most kids anyway. It’s worth a try because spinach is relatively tasteless.  You can make regular sandwiches or  use some fun cookie cutters to make it even more festive.

Most of know how healthy spinach is already, but if you’re wondering. It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, A, B2, B6, C, and E. It also has fiber, folate, and protein.

You literally just have to add some spinach to some eggs, blend and season if desired. It’s incredibly versatile. You can make egg “rolls”, an omelet, or eat it over rice with some sausage or bacon.

Spinach Egg Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs
  • Handful of spinach
  • Seasoning if desired, we use a dash of onion powder
  • Shredded cheese (optional if making omelet instead of sandwich)
  • Slices of cheese
  • Cookie Cutter

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add eggs, spinach, seasoning
  2. In a pan, add spray olive oil.
  3. Add egg mixture and cook eggs
  4. Use cookie cutters to make shape eggs and cheese
  5. Assemble sandwiches
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/03/spinach-egg-sandwich/

Looking for more green foods? Try my super popular Green Monster Muffins recipe!

 

Chicken Potato Bake

A hearty  meal is sometimes all you really need after a long day. This chicken potato bake recipe is easy to prepare and is pretty much a one pan meal. Just a few ingredients and you have dinner on the table. I’ve also tried cooking it the night before to make meal time easier the next day. It still tasted great the next morning.

At first ,I wanted to use sweet potato instead white potato, but sometimes you just need the real thing. Even though white potatoes get a bad rap, it actually still has a lot of nutritional benefits. You might not believe it but it actually has nearly half your daily value of vitamin c. It also has more potassium than a banana, vitamin b6 and even antioxidants and fiber! So don’t knock it down when you see it in a recipe.

chicken potato bake

My son loves all things bacon so we added some turkey bacon to it and of course cheeseChicken Potato Bake

And of course.. there are veggies in there! When in doubt add spinach. It’s relatively tasteless. I always try to incorporate some type of vegetable in all of our meals. It’s not a deal breaker if you don’t add it, but you can hardly see it if you put a small amount. As always, green stuff optional, but give it a try you never know. Worse comes to worse, your kiddo can pick it out.

Also, the baking time may vary depending on how large your baking dish is. These small mini loaf dishes cooked up the chicken potato bake in about 30 minutes or so. Furthermore, don’t forget to mix it up every 15 minutes for even cooking. A 9×13″ baking dish will take about 50-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes to give you some reference.

Chicken Potato Bake

Ingredients

  • 6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins, cubed
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (this is to taste, add more if desired)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 1/4 c. spinach, chopped
  • 3-4 strips of cooked turkey bacon, chopped
  • Mexican cheese
  • Green onion for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Peel and cut potatoes in small cubes, set aside
  3. Cut and cube chicken, set aside
  4. In a large bowl, mix olive oil, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika
  5. Add spinach and chicken into bowl
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked and potato is soft. Mix once or twice halfway. May take longer if your baking dish is larger.
  7. While chicken is cooking, cook bacon or use cooked bacon
  8. Remove from oven, add chopped bacon and sprinkle cheese over top
  9. Return to oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  10. Garnish with chopped green onions
  11. Enjoy!
  12. Recipe adapted from Stock Piling Moms
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/03/chicken-potato-bake/

You can also try these other dinner choices! Creamy Tomato Pasta 

Or you can try my 4 Ingredient Mini Chicken Pot Pies

3 Ingredient Veggie Cheese Crisps

My kids love anything savory. Crackers, chips you name it, it’s their favorite snack. They probably get it from me because it’s my weakness too. I mean who can resist a bag of chips right?  I decided to create my version and came up with this 3 Ingredient veggie cheese crisps recipe! You surely can’t just have one of these savory treats.

So here’s how this recipe was born.  I came up with this idea while walking through the aisles of a grocery store. Just as I was about to grab some veggie chips, this recipe idea came to mind.  Don’t get me wrong there’s definitely a time and place for chips, but I wanted to challenge myself and recipe test. And of course I had you in mind of course. As usual, I had to think of an easy way to make it since my time is limited these days. Let’s just say my pint size dictator two-year old wants all my attention.

Furthermore, since I’m trying to cut my carbohydrates,  I thought of using cheese for my base. It’s a great source of protein. I  added a vegetable to it to make it a little more nutritious for the kids too.

All you need is three ingredients for this recipe but you can always omit the chives if your kids don’t eat anything green. It’s an easy addition for lunch.

Cheesy Crisps

It’s also perfect for salad.

These were delicious!

 

Recipe

Veggie Cheese Crisps

Ingredients

  • Horizon Organic Mexican Shredded Cheese
  • Carrots, grated
  • Chives, dried

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. First add some Horizon Organic mexican cheese shaped in circles on paper
  4. Top it off with shredded carrots and chives
  5. Bake for 7-10 minutes until it starts to turn golden (depending on how thin your circles are, time may vary)
  6. For crispier cheese crisps make your circles thinner
  7. Transfer to a paper towel and allow to cool
  8. Serve immediately
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/02/3ingredient-veggie-cheese-crisps/

Thank you Horizon Organic for sponsoring this post

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

Grain free and refined sugar free. This paleo banana nut muffins recipe  is sure to become a favorite in your household.  While I’m not one to put my kids on any specific diet,  I always try to find healthier choices especially in muffins! That’s because my boys can eat two or three muffins in one sitting. No joke, my four year old eats like a teenager. Add chocolate to the mix and I have to stop him from eating them all.

It’s not your typical muffin texture because of the almond flour, but it’s a healthier alternative!

Banana Nut Muffins

It definitely satiates the sweet tooth. The recipe calls for agave nectar which is much lower in glycemic index than it’s cousin sugar.  You can also use honey.

This paleo banana nut muffins recipe is from Tamera Mowry.   I met her at an event a while back and we collaborated to bring her recipe to you in video form. She’s the sweetest person!

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. agave or honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. almond flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. vegan chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. walnuts, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and set aside
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients (banana, oil, eggs, agave, and vanilla)
  4. In another mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda and salt)
  5. Slowly blend wet ingredients by hand
  6. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts
  7. Pour batter into your muffin tin
  8. Bake for 25-30 minjutes, oruntil a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean
  9. Recipe Credit: Tamera Mowry
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/02/paleo-banana-nut-muffins/