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!

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!

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!

 

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/

Cheesy Potato Balls

Potatoes and crunch. That’s what this cheesy potato balls recipe is all about.  Every so often, I get cravings.  Who am I kidding, I would say I crave something daily. Being that my favorite Cuban bakery is way to far to visit, I created the closest thing to Cuban potato balls I could with the amount of time and ingredients I had on hand.  The combination of flavors is amazing!

There are only a few better combinations than potatoes and cheese. Add a hint of chicken and barbecue sauce and you have the perfect bite! My kids devoured these, because well, they’re the best things ever. Thank goodness I made extra because my sons couldn’t stop eating them.  He could hardly wait to eat them before I snapped the photo below. Don’t tell anyone but there may or may not be a half bitten potato ball in his basket below.

Cheesy Chicken Potato Balls

You can also bake them if you prefer, but it’s hard to get the same crunch you would get compared to frying. Vegetarian? No problem, just omit the chicken.

Cheesy Potato Balls

Recipe

Cheesy Chicken Potato Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 c. mashed potatoes, cold
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. chicken, chopped
  • 2-3 tbs. barbecue sauce (to taste)
  • 1-2 Horizon Organic Mozzarella string cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut string cheese in 1 inch pieces
  2. Bowl #1 - mix barbecue sauce with chicken, set aside
  3. Bowl #2 l- lightly beat egg.
  4. IBowl #3 - add bread crumbs
  5. Using a cookie scooper or ice cream scooper, place one scoop of mashed potato onto your hand
  6. Add indentation using the back of the scooper
  7. Add prepared chicken and one piece of cheese, form into a ball, create several balls and place on a plate
  8. Dip prepared potato balls into egg then bread crumbs
  9. Fill a medium sized saucepan with 1.5 inches of oil. On medium high heat, gently drop a few potato balls
  10. Drain in a metal strainer if desired.
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/02/cheesy-potato-balls/

video

Thank you Horizon Organic for sponsoring this post.

 

Creamy Tomato Pasta

I came up with this creamy tomato pasta recipe because we were a little bored of plain red sauce and plain Alfredo sauce. I looked in my refrigerator and put stuff together. That said, I’m not always successful, but sometimes I hit the foodie jackpot! This was the outcome, such deliciousness.

In case you were wondering, I have no culinary background just a home cook eager to feed my hungry family! A huge plus, the toddler didn’t pick out his spinach. That in my book is kind of a big deal these days. My oldest now has an opinion on which green stuff he will eat. Unfortunately,  large pieces of spinach is not part of his desired food options. Where’s my rolling eyes emoji when I need one. This time however, he gobbled it up!

Creamy Tomato Pasta

A beautiful marriage between red and white sauce makes for a tasty dish!

Tomato Creamy Pasta

 

Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

  • For Chicken:
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (optional, to taste)
  • For Sauce:
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 3 1/2 c. spinach, raw
  • 1/4 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 c. half and half
  • 1 c. parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Slice chicken breast and season with Italian seasoning, paprika, salt
  2. In a large pot cook penne per box instructions, drain and set aside
  3. In a large pan, add olive oil
  4. On medium-high heat cook chicken until it's not pink
  5. Set aside and keep warm
  6. In the same pan or another, add garlic, chopped tomato, tomato sauce, spinach, then half and half
  7. Once half and half mixture is boiling, bring down heat to low and add parmesan cheese
  8. Cook until cheese is melted
  9. Add salt if desired, to taste
  10. Mix in chicken and pasta and serve hot
  11. Garnish with chopped chives and/or parmesan cheese
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/01/creamy-tomato-pasta/

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Blooming Spinach

We love to host get togethers at our house and enjoy feeding a pack.  This always makes the cut when I choose my appetizers. It’s fast easy and delicious. I’m sure this Blooming Spinach will be a hit for the upcoming Superbowl Sunday .  It takes just 15 minutes to make. If entertaining isn’t your thing, this also makes for a great side dish for any meal. We have it with spaghetti and tomato chicken.

Blooming Spinach

You can reduce the garlic or spinach if you’d like.

Make sure you bake it uncovered after the first round of baking to get it extra cheesy!

Picky eater tip: If you have a child who likes bread and/or cheese. This may be a good option to try. Yes, they may pick off the spinach, but they may not and hopefully they will realize it’s not that bad. If you’re shaking your head right now, you can always leave the green stuff out.

blooming spinach Recipe

Blooming Spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 Unsliced Sourdough Bread Round
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 8 tbs-10 tbs. melted butter
  • 10 oz sliced cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 3705F
  2. Using a knife, cut sourdough bread in squares (see video). Start cutting lines lengthwise, then width wise through the crust, but not all the way through.
  3. In a bowl, mix melted butter, garlic, and chopped spinach. Set aside
  4. Fill each cut with cheese.
  5. Pour butter mixture on top of the bread.
  6. Place foil on baking sheet. Use another piece of foil to cover bread. Bake covered at  350F for 15 minutes.
  7. Uncover, and bake again for about 6-7 minutes or until cheese melts.
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2018/01/blooming-spinach/

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Savory Veggie Waffles

Coming up with breakfast ideas is one of the most difficult in my house.  It takes me some time to wake up from my 6:30 am wake up call, aka my toddler smiling at my face and saying mommy mommy mommy? Most days I’m dragging my feet to the kitchen trying to scramble and fix something to eat. I actually came up with this at night! I’ve been trying to think ahead or make things the night before in preparation for the back to school rush.   These savory veggie waffles are so tasty.  It brings a different dynamic to the traditional waffle.

I was pleasantly surprised how wonderful these turned out.  My plan was to make our go to patties, but  I didn’t want to wake up the kiddos one late evening with noise in the kitchen. I made these in my office with a waffle maker instead of a pan and it turned out wonderful, the night before. The things we do right? I heated them the next day and breakfast was served.

This savory veggie waffle recipe is packed with fiber from cauliflower , protein from the milk, eggs, and cheese and more vitamins from the sweet potato. You can easily find riced veggies in your frozen aisle at most grocery stores. I’ve also made these with just riced cauliflower and it tastes great too! The sweet potato however, adds a bit of sweetness to it that makes it so delicious.

Tip of the year for this recipe: BE PATIENT and make sure you grease both sides of the waffle maker, each time you put batter in.

You can also make this dairy free by using almond milk and dairy free cheese.

Savory vEggie waffle Recipe

Savory Veggie Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen riced sweet potato/cauliflower
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine frozen riced sweet potato/cauliflower, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper, and milk
  2. Heat a waffle maker
  3. Grease waffle maker and add mixture
  4. Cook until browned, depends on waffle maker but between 5-8 minutes. Don't open too early, it won't stick together
  5. Serve with ketchup or sour cream
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/08/savory-veggie-waffles/

P.S. I have a few in the freezer, I’ll update this if they keep well in the freezer!