Both my kids like hard boiled eggs, but it never fails—they just won’t eat the yolk (and it’s kind of hard to blame them). That is, unless I make egg salad or deviled eggs with them. Then magically, nothing goes to waste! Here’s a real food version of deviled eggs (i.e. sans highly processed store bought mayo) that would be perfect for school lunches or Easter brunch this weekend. And I must know, does anyone else’s kids call these “Doubled Eggs?” Enjoy!
Oh, how I love hearty real food slow cooker recipes that don’t require any advance cooking! So here’s another one to add to your repertoire. And my kids especially loved it when I packed this chicken and wild rice soup in their school lunch, so be sure to freeze the leftovers in individual portions, making it easy for you to do the same.
Also, this recipe is one of those that is rather flexible, so here are some variations to meet your needs:
Don’t like celery? Substitute carrots.
Don’t like mushrooms? Omit them from the recipe.
On a tight budget? Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts.
Short on time? Buy pre-sliced mushrooms.
Like being thrifty? Make and use homemade stock.
Too busy to cook during the week? Make this over the weekend and you can count on leftovers.
I’ve tried making chicken salad all different ways (even using the dreaded processed store bought mayo), and my older daughter has always claimed that she “doesn’t like chicken salad.” Well, that girl changed her mind super fast when one day I introduced this combination: Sour Cream and Onion Chicken Salad! This stuff is good with crackers, veggies, pretzels, and even just by itself. Trust me. Give it a go and you’ll see what all the fuss is about!
How about warming yourself up on this cold winter day with some hearty, rich mushroom vegetable soup? There are three reasons I love this recipe. (1) If you buy fresh mushrooms already sliced, it’s as “easy as pie” to make. (2) The pearl barley that’s added turns this soup into a filling, one dish meal that you can eat for dinner without having to make anything else. (3) It’s just plain delicious!
If you are looking for creative ways to serve up vegetables, then this right here is your answer! Please do me a favor though and don’t lie to your reluctant eaters about the veggies in this dish. If you want to wait until after they gobble it up, that is fine, but please make it known that the deliciousness in this soup is broccoli (and cheese and bacon or course!). And when cheese and bacon are involved, it’s hard to go wrong. :) Enjoy!
Let’s face it – even if your kids don’t mind the “crust” of the bread…eating a sandwich without the crust is sometimes just a little more fun. My kids do currently eat the crust at our house so homemade “Uncrustables” are not something I plan on doing every day, but will I do it on occasion just to switch things up? Absolutely. One complaint from blog readers about making these sandwiches without the crust though is that they hate to waste food. So in addition to showing you how to make [and freeze] your own homemade “Uncrustables” I’ve got some solutions for those bread ends as well.
First of all, why make your own “Uncrustables?” Three main reasons…
1) You can control the ingredients (see “Exhibit A” below).
2) It (can be) cheaper
3) I am not going to lie…they are NICE to have on hand on those nights (or mornings) when you have no clue what to pack for school lunch! Or for when you just don’t have any fresh bread in the house. It happens to the best of us.
This dish is super easy to throw together, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love Mexican food? I don’t think it’s a secret that our family is a BIG fan and almost once a week we are sure to enjoy some south of the border fare like homemade refried beans, taco salad, pork carnitas, flank steak fajitas, vegetable quesadillas, homemade tortillas, or the like. And now we can add these “tostadas” to our repertoire…
Making macaroni and cheese from scratch is almost as easy as the boxed stuff. In fact, I had a reader tell me that she and her husband decided to race against each other – one making homemade mac and cheese and the other making it out of a box – and it took them the same amount of time! And as an added bonus the homemade version tastes SO MUCH better (at least in my opinion). To be honest, I can’t even hardly eat the boxed stuff anymore because the taste of the powdered cheese just doesn’t cut it for me like it did in the old days.
I’ve shared a mac and cheese recipe on the blog before, but recently discovered a different way to make it (below). One night I was actually making Fettuccine Alfredo as a side dish, but I didn’t have any fettuccine on hand so I used macaroni noodles instead. My younger daughter said “Oh mommy, thank you for making macaroni and cheese.” (one of her favorites), and I said “Well, this isn’t exactly ‘macaroni’ babe.” But that gave me an idea. Instead of starting with a roux (butter and flour) to make macaroni maybe I could alter my Alfredo recipe and use less cream and lots more cheese for a new, creamy version of macaroni and cheese. And voila! Here you have it below…
Inspired by my friend Amy Bishop with Greenbrier Farms (an organically run farm in S.C.), I am excited to share this tasty curry chicken salad recipe with you today. Chicken salad is traditionally made with mayo and unfortunately mayonnaise isn’t exactly a real food. The store bought versions are typically made with refined oils and also contain more than 5 ingredients. The homemade versions are more “real food approved” but oftentimes call for raw eggs, which I am on the fence about, plus we eat mayo so infrequently I don’t feel (for me personally) it’s worth the time to make it from scratch. So I’ve tried substituting plain yogurt in dishes like chicken salad, egg salad, and deviled eggs without much success because, frankly, I think plain yogurt is rather plain tasting and the flavor – or lack thereof – was a little too overwhelming in these dishes. So I was thrilled to be introduced to the idea of adding curry to chicken salad, because curry has such a wonderful flavor it totally makes up for what the yogurt is missing.
Gone are the days of iceberg lettuce topped with limp veggies and bottled, processed dressings. No wonder I didn’t really enjoy salads until recently…I thought that’s what they were all about! It’s amazing how incorporating fresh greens, roasted nuts or seeds, distinctive cheeses, fresh fruit, and homemade dressings can change everything. And I know I am late getting on this bandwagon, but I’ve recently discovered what a real gem dried fruit is as a salad topping as well. I wish I would’ve figured that one out much sooner!
So today I am taking the idea of a fresh, tasty salad a step further…
It’s no secret that we absolutely LOVE cheese in our house. And we don’t discriminate either. Whether it’s sharp cheese, soft cheese, or even “stinky” cheese…there’s always a place for it in our kitchen. That’s why I was so excited when La Bonne Vie asked if they could send me some cheese to develop a recipe with (um, ya!). La Bonne Vie, which translates into “The Good Life,” offers a variety of both Brie and goat cheeses…two of our favorites. To find out where you can purchase their products in your area just enter your zip code on their “store locator” page. Then after you get a hold of their cheese we’d love for you to try out some of the “real food” recipes below. And in my opinion the “Grilled Brie and Apple Sandwich” would be fabulous with the addition of some leftover turkey on it (hint, hint). A big thank you to La Bonne Vie for sponsoring this post today!