Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Cool spring days are perfect for baking up a special afterschool treat for my kiddos. I like to add fruit and fiber to their snacks, so these Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins are a perfect fit, with honey, cinnamon and whole wheat flour. They’re hearty with just a touch of crispy sweetness on the top because of the cinnamon sugar sprinkle topping. Yum!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins | Simple #recipe with honey, cinnamon and whole wheat #realfood | MoneywiseMoms

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp + 1 tsp ground cinnamon (separated)
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, do not thaw
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray, or place paper baking cup in each muffin cup.
  2. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In large bowl, beat milk, oil, honey and egg with spoon. Stir in flours, baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and salt just until flours are moistened (batter will be lumpy).
  4. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (cups will be full). Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.

 

For even more fiber, add a tablespoon of ground flax seed to the batter. These didn’t last long at my house as afterschool snacks! Looking for more snack and lunchbox ideas? Follow my Back to School & Lunch Packing board on Pinterest.

 

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins | Simple #recipe with honey, cinnamon and whole wheat flour #realfood | MoneywiseMoms

 

This Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins recipe is shared at Real Food Recipe Roundup at Sassy Moms in the City, Fluster’s Creative Muster at Fluster Buster, Pinterest Foodie at Real the Kitchen and Beyond, How To Tuesdays at Bombshell Wife Life and Manic Monday Linky Party at Serendipity and Spice.

Turkey Parmesan Pasta {Easy Stovetop Meal}

Looking for a quick, healthy dinner recipe? Look no further! This Turkey Parmesan Pasta recipe is very similar to my Chicken & Tomato Pasta recipe, but it doesn’t require a Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. It cooks right on the stovetop, in just one pan. Gotta love that!

Turkey Parmesan Pasta | Easy stovetop #recipe for family dinner | MoneywiseMoms

4.0 from 2 reviews
Turkey Parmesan Pasta
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with Italian spices (or add your own)
  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth (I use jarred Better Than Bouillon)
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium/high heat, saute the onion and green pepper until soft.
  2. Add the ground turkey, breaking up into small pieces. Once cooked, remove from pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings/juice. Set the meat mixture aside.
  3. Return the skillet to the heat and add the beef broth, tomatoes, and pasta. Stir to coat all of the pasta. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  4. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  5. Return turkey vegetable mixture to the skillet and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Heat through.
  6. Serve with remaining Parmesan sprinkled on top.

This recipe can include any vegetables your family likes. I use zucchini rather than pepper in the summertime when we have garden zucchini.

Linked up to Real Food Recipe Roundup at Musings of a Housewife and Pinterest Foodie Linkup at Real the Kitchen & Beyond.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots

Looking for a simple recipe that will look and taste outstanding on your holiday table? Whenever I make Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots, it gets rave reviews (even from the kids!), and it’s so easy to pull together. This would make a great accompaniment to your Easter ham this year.

Brussels Sprouts with bacon and shallots #recipe | MoneywiseMoms

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium bouillon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Chop the bacon into small pieces, add to skillet and saute for 5 minutes or until bacon begins to brown.
  2. Remove skillet from heat. Remove the bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan (discard the remaining drippings).
  3. Return skillet to medium-high heat, and stir in bacon, shallots, and Brussels sprouts. Stir frequently to saute for 4 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, and saute for 4 more minutes or until garlic begins to brown (stir frequently so that garlic does not burn).
  5. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until the broth mostly evaporates and the sprouts are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper.

This recipe is a wonderful change from the usual broccoli or green beans side dish. I wasn’t familiar with shallots until a few years ago, when a recipe introduced me to them, and now I just love them! They have such a deep, rich flavor that makes everything taste better. In your grocery store’s produce section, look for bags of 1 1/2 – 2 lbs brussels sprouts. They’re usually near the bagged salads.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots is linked up to Healthy Eating Recipes at Blogging Mamas, Gluten-Free Recipe Roundup at Musings of a Housewife, Recipes and Crafts Party at Close to Home, Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster and The SITS Girls Linky.

Macaroni & Cheese in the Deep Covered Baker

I know I’m not the only one out there who purchased a Deep Covered Baker from a Pampered Chef party with the idea of making lots of quick microwave meals. And I’m probably not the only one who then let this expensive wonder sit in the cabinet for months and months because you weren’t sure what meals to make. I’ve made Chicken Fajitas in the DCB for a few years now, but most of the recipes in the Pampered Chef cookbook are just not my thing–too many ingredients, or foods my kids won’t eat.

That’s why I set a goal for myself in 2014 to get a repertoire of 10 DCB (deep covered baker) microwave meals in my recipe book. And that’s why you’ll see the occasional DCB recipe, like last month’s Chicken Tomato Pasta, on the blog. This Macaroni & Cheese in the Deep Covered Baker has been thoroughly enjoyed by my family the five times I’ve made it, testing out the cooking time and making sure it was delish enough to share with you.

Macaroni & Cheese in the Deep Covered Baker | Great way to use your Pampered Chef DCB in the microwave | MoneywiseMoms

Macaroni & Cheese in the Deep Covered Baker
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (half of a regular box)
  • I can or 14 oz chicken broth (I use low sodium)
  • 2 cups Half & Half
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 10oz chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
Instructions
  1. Add the macaroni, broth, Half & Half, garlic powder and mustard to the deep covered baker.
  2. Stir to combine, then cover with the lid.
  3. Microwave on high for 16 minutes. Remove lid and stir. Pasta will not be completely cooked (it will complete in the next step).
  4. Add shredded cheese and stir. Place lid back on baker and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. If adding broccoli, add at this time.

 

Since you’re cooking in a microwave, and all microwaves vary, you may need to tweak the recipe a bit by cooking a little longer to make sure your pasta is done. This also needs to be done if you use a whole wheat pasta (which needs more cooking time than traditional). Just add a few minutes at step 3 after you stir, if you feel you need the pasta to be softer.

If you don’t own a Deep Covered Baker or prefer a more traditional Macaroni & Cheese recipe with a sauce you make on the stovetop, try “Real” Macaroni and Cheese. We also love this Baked Mac & Cheese Casserole, which you can make with gluten-free pasta or regular. Clearly, we’re big fans of Mac & Cheese however we can get it.

 

Find more microwave DCB recipes on my Deep Covered Baker Recipes Pinterest Board.

 

Macaroni & Cheese in the Deep Covered Baker is linked up to Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster and Talk of the Parent Blogosphere at Type A Parent.

5 Beginner Crockpot Meals {that anyone can make}

You have heard it before–one way to get dinner on the table with no fuss is to use a crockpot. If you’re not sure where to start, or your crockpot still sitting in the cabinet unused, now is your chance! Learn these five beginner crockpot meals and gain the confidence to feed your family easily and frugally. All of the recipes below can be cooked in either a 4-quart or 6-quart slow cooker.

5 Beginner Crockpot Meals | Easy #recipes to get dinner on the table, most with only two ingredients! | MoneywiseMoms

Shredded Tacos

It doesn’t get any easier than this! Combine 2 lbs of boneless chicken or pork with a jar of salsa (or a jar of enchilada sauce or a can of tomatoes w/green chiles), and cook on low all day for 8-10 hours. Turn off the heat and use two forks to shred the tender meat. Serve with tortillas or over rice along with your favorite taco toppings: tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and black beans.

 

BBQ Sandwiches

Again, choose from 2 lbs of boneless chicken or pork, and combine with a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. If you prefer to avoid processed foods, you can make your own (rather than simmer as in that recipe, just mix in the crockpot before adding your meat). Cook on low for 8-10 hours, then use two forks to shred the meat. Add extra sauce if desired, then serve on hamburger buns alongside a salad or your family’s favorite veggie.

 

Baked Potato Bar

Not just for parties, my family loves this meal, too. Wash as many baking potatoes (we like Russets) as you need, and prick each with a fork. Wrap individually in foil, then place in crockpot and cook for 8-10 hours on low. Serve with an assortment of baked potato toppings: cooked broccoli, shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, chives, or even chili.

 

Chicken or Pork Teriyaki

This time, combine chicken or pork with a bottle of teriyaki sauce or teriyaki marinade (if you prefer homemade or need gluten-free, make your own). Cook on low 8-10 hours, and use two forks to shred. Serve over rice with a side veggie. Another option is to toss a bag of broccoli slaw in for the last 30 minutes of cook time.

 

Pepperoncini Beef

Just two ingredients again–a 3 lb beef roast (such as chuck or bottom round) and a 16oz jar of pepperoncini peppers. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, then shred. Serve over mashed potatoes, in a sub roll, or even on top of a salad. Delish!

 

Whether you’re a beginner crockpot cook or a veteran like me, easy time-saving recipes are key to getting a healthy meal on the table on busy nights. For more simple recipes, follow my Slow Cooker & Crockpot board on Pinterest.

 

5 Beginner Crockpot Meals is linked up to Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster and Inspire Me Wednesday at MamaBuzz.

Original image from e.t. on Flickr

Dairy-Free Egg-Free Cake and Cupcakes Recipe

As the mom of a child with a food allergy, we’ve had our share of disappointments like the classroom party where my son is the only one who can’t have the treat. If you have friends or family with a severe allergy, it can be hard to know how to celebrate with them. This Dairy-Free Egg-Free Cake and Cupcakes Recipe is a great one to keep on hand for special events. It makes the allergic child feel so special to be included in the festivities, and there’s no harm in the other kids eating non-dairy, non-egg cake or cupcakes. It’s great for adults, too, if you are hosting a baby shower or need a few cupcakes set aside at a wedding or other event. Add this recipe to your repertoire!

  Dairy-Free Egg-Free Cake and Cupcake #Recipe | MoneywiseMoms

Be sure and use cupcake liners if you’re making cupcakes, since this batter is stickier than typical cake batter. And, if you’re using cake pans, I suggest spraying them and coating with flour to avoid sticking. The original recipe came from Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Kid-Pleasing Recipes & Tips, which is no longer in print.

4.8 from 5 reviews
Allergy-Safe Cake and Cupcakes
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and flour or cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla and water. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until well-blended.
  4. Add vinegar and stir quickly to thoroughly incorporate into batter.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pans or cupcake tins.
  6. For cake--bake for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. For cupcakes--bake for 15-18 minutes.
  7. Cool before removing from pans.

As for decorating, be very careful to use allergy-safe frosting or decorations. There are some prepared frostings that many dairy-free kids can eat, or you can search online for a homemade soy version. Colored sugar is a safer bet than sprinkles, or you could sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar on top. If you’re a dairy-free egg-free mom, we’d love to hear other suggestions for decorations in the comments below!

 

Dairy Free, Egg Free Cake and Cupcakes Recipe is linked up to Pinterest Foodie Link-Up at Real the Kitchen and Beyond, Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie, the SITS Girls Craft & Recipe LinkupFluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster and Manic Monday Linky Party at Serendipity and Spice.

Chicken Tomato Pasta in the DCB

Yes, I know not everyone has a Deep Covered Baker from Pampered Chef, but those of us who do are always looking for more easy microwave recipes. I use mine all the time to make Chicken Fajitas, but another go-to meal for us is this Chicken Tomato Pasta. It’s a revision of a Pampered Chef recipe, made simpler by using pantry ingredients. I usually cook some extra chicken breasts when we have them for another meal, or I can pull some pre-cooked chicken from the freezer and have it thawed out by dinnertime. And I always have canned tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on hand, so it comes together quickly.

Chicken Tomato Pasta | A quick and easy 20-minute meal microwaved in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker | MoneywiseMoms

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Tomato Pasta in the DCB
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp diced garlic
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 cups uncooked pasta (penne, rotini, etc.)
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp basil
Instructions
  1. Spray Deep Covered Baker with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Add garlic, crushed tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper to the Baker. Stir in dry pasta.
  3. Cover baker and microwave on high for 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender (I usually stop at 10 min and stir).
  4. When pasta is fully cooked, carefully remove Baker from microwave and add basil, cheese and chicken; mix well.

This is such an easy recipe to pull together for busy weeknights, and it can be made gluten-free by substituting the pasta with your favorite GF brand. Just keep an eye on the cooking time–I’ve found that quinoa pasta takes less time to cook.

If you have a Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, I’d love to know what microwave recipes your family enjoys–leave a comment below.


Chicken Tomato Pasta is linked up to Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie, Inspire Me Wednesday at Mama Buzz, What’s Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back, Gluten-Free Recipe Linkup at Musings of a Housewife and Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster.

Most Popular Recipes of 2013

Happy New Year! It’s a great time to share of the most popular recipes from 2013. Not surprisingly, they’re mostly slow cooker meals and casseroles–those are my favorite time-savers, too! As we head into the new year, I’d love your feedback about food and recipe posts. Is there anything particular you’d like to see or learn about? I’m always on the lookout for new, family-approved recipes and love hearing from you about what’s working and what’s needed.

Most Popular Recipes of 2013 | MoneywiseMoms

Brown Sugar Maple Muffins: These simple muffins have a slightly crunchy crust from the brown sugar in the batter. They’re perfect for fall or to enjoy with a cup of tea.

Green Chile Chicken Casserole: This is one of my go-to meals, since it’s easy to make with leftover pulled chicken or pork from slow cooker tacos and rice I’ve prepared for another meal during the week. It’s naturally gluten-free.

Taco Cornbread Casserole: This is a remake of a popular casserole, but using all real/whole foods. We love it as an alternative to taco night.

Slow Cooker Moo Shu: Another easy, throw it in and enjoy it later crockpot meal, this works with both chicken or pork.

Most Popular Recipes of 2013 | MoneywiseMoms

Slow Cooker Beef Stew: This is such comfort food during the fall and winter season. I look for beef on sale in the meat section and either cook it or freeze it right away.

Whole Wheat Pancakes: We make a double batch of these every weekend, and then reheat them in the toaster on busy school mornings. Easy peasy!

Chocolate Banana Mini Muffins: Every few weeks, I make a big batch of mini muffins and store them in the freezer. They go into the kids’ lunches or are eaten as afterschool snacks. These cocoa muffins have both fruit and fiber.

Slow Cooker Pork Ragu & Fettuccine: This recipe became our family’s favorite of the year. It’s easy to make, tastes fantastic, and was requested every other week by my husband and kids. They just love it.
For more family-favorite recipes, see last year’s Favorite Recipes of 2012 and my Recipe Index. Enjoy!

Spinach Stuffed Shells

This Spinach Stuffed Shells recipe is one of my favorite vegetarian meals. Even though it’s messy to stuff the shells, they’re worth the time! It’s a very easy meal to freeze, too, so consider making a second pan (or splitting this huge 9×13 pan into two smaller square pans). It’s great to pull out of the freezer on a busy night. That makes the extra work worth it!

Spinach Stuffed Shells | MoneywiseMoms

Spinach Stuffed Shells
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 20 jumbo pasta shells (about 1/2 of a 12 oz. box)
  • 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta shells according to package directions; drain and separate.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 9x13 baking dish by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl, combine cottage cheese, egg and parsley. Mix well. Fold in spinach.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in baking dish.
  5. Fill pasta shells with cottage cheese and spinach mixture (I just use a spoon). Arrange shells in baking dish, and pour remaining sauce over shells.
  6. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
  7. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

If you end up freezing this meal, plan to cook it for an hour at 350 degrees and be sure that the shells are cooked through.

10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews | MoneywiseMoms For more easy, family-friendly casserole recipes, follow my Captivating Casseroles board on Pinterest.

 

Spinach Stuffed Shells is linked up to What’s Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back, Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster and Inspire Me Wednesday at MamaBuzz.