This time of year I have many visitors and they often include my grandchildren. It is easy enough to plan meals that appeal to the grown-ups but not always so easy to prepare foods the children like to eat. Of course pizza is the number one favorite.
Here are some recipes that I have found that the young ones like and ask for again and again. These are delicious recipes with fats kept low and healthy ingredients added where they will be accepted.
Cheese Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus extra if needed
In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, lemon juice and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and syrupy, about 5 to 6 minutes; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar and a pinch of salt.
In a second bowl, whisk together the cottage cheese, milk and eggs. Add the cottage cheese mixture to the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. In batches, drop large spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup each) of the batter into the skillet and cook until bubbles begin to appear in the center.
Turn the pancakes and cook 1 minute more; repeat with the remaining batter and add additional oil if needed.
Serve with the blueberry sauce.
Cinnamon French Toast
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 slices hearty sandwich bread
- Vegetable oil
- 1 cup vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine sauce ingredients and refrigerate until serving time.
Beat eggs, yogurt and cinnamon in a wide shallow dish until blended.
Cut each slice of bread into 3 sections. Soak the bread pieces in the egg mixture, turning once.
Coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with vegetable oil; heat over medium heat until hot.
Place as many bread pieces as will fit in the skillet or on the griddle and cook over medium to medium-low heat until golden brown and no visible liquid remains, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Repeat with any remaining bread pieces. Serve toast with dipping sauce.
Spinach Mac & Cheese
Serve with fresh fruit.
Makes 8 servings.
- 8 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low fat milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 oz. shredded cheddar
- 3 oz. Velveeta Light cheese, cut into thin strips
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Boil macaroni two minutes less than the package directions.
While pasta cooks, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl. Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups milk into a large saucepan and heat over low. Once milk is slightly warmed, turn heat to medium-low and add flour and milk mixture, stirring constantly until thick. Reduce heat slightly and add butter, cheeses and salt. Cook until smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach.
Drain macaroni, then combine with the cheese mixture, stirring thoroughly.
Divide macaroni mixture among eight small ovenproof dishes. Place baking dishes on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs lightly and evenly on the top and bake 25 to 30 minutes.
Ham and Cheese Calzones
Serve with vegetable sticks.
- 1 pound package refrigerated pizza dough (for 1 crust)
- 1/4 cup mild mustard
- 8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
- 8 ounces sliced deli ham
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Line a baking sheet with foil; lightly grease the foil.
On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat the dough into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Cut dough in half crosswise and lengthwise to make 4 rectangles.
Spread mustard over each rectangle. Divide half of the cheese among the rectangles, placing cheese on one half of each rectangle.
Top with ham and then the remaining cheese. Brush the edges of the dough with water.
For each calzone, fold dough over filling to the opposite edge, stretching slightly if necessary. Seal edges with the tines of a fork.
Place calzones on the prepared baking sheet. Prick tops to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- 1/2 pound chicken breast tenders (fingers), about 8
- 1/4 cup refrigerated egg substitute
- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Olive oil cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat a 9”x13” glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place chicken fingers in a shallow dish and pour the egg substitute over them. Rotate and coat all the fingers.
Place bread crumbs in another shallow dish and dredge fingers in the crumbs.
Place coated chicken in the prepared baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle fingers with the olive oil.
Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. Turn fingers over and bake 15 minutes more.
Serve with the ranch dip, if desired.
Healthy Ranch Dip
- 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Whisk together all the ingredients and chill.
Spaghetti with Basil Pesto
This dish is second to pizza in our house.
- 2 cups of basil leaves packed tightly in a measuring cup
- 2 peeled garlic cloves, cut in pieces
- 1/4 cup pignoli or walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup of very good extra virgin olive oil
Place the garlic, nuts, salt and pepper in the processor and pulse a few times. Add the basil leaves and with the processor running, add the olive oil slowly.
Process until the mixture becomes a paste. Pour the sauce into a pasta serving bowl and set aside.
Cook 1 lb. of spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Just before you drain the pasta, remove 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and set it aside.
Add the drained pasta to the serving bowl with the pesto and add 2 tablespoons of butter, the pasta water and 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
Garnish with freshly grated black pepper. Serve.
- 1 pound of your favorite pizza dough
- 1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
- Pizza sauce, recipe below
- Dried oregano and fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Spread the dough to the edges of an oiled pizza pan.
Layer the sliced cheese on top of the dough.
Spread some pizza sauce on top.
Sprinkle with oregano.
Bake the pizza for about 20 minutes until lightly brown and crispy. Garnish with fresh basil.
5 Minute Pizza Sauce
- One 28 oz. container diced Italian tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- Dash of red pepper flakes
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and add the garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, but before it takes on color, add the tomatoes. Turn the heat to high, and as soon as the sauce begins to bubble, turn the heat back down to medium low.
Season with salt and pepper. Add the red pepper flakes and the basil. Cook for another minute of two and remove from the heat.
Want your children to be healthy – start with healthier food.
Providing healthy food in school and at home and educating children, parents and school staff about the importance of good nutrition and exercise definitely leads to improved the health.
At home, try to serve healthy meals and have healthy snacks available, such as apples, yogurt, whole grain cereals and cut-up fresh veggies in the refrigerator.
If your child’s school does not offer physical activity and nutrition education programs, contact the principal or the school board to find out if changes can be made to these programs. Check the lunch program for healthy options for your child and if, you are not satisfied with what they offer, give your child a lunch to take to school. At the same time, try to get the school to offer healthy options for those who want them.
The good news is that as long as you provide a wide variety of nourishing foods, your child’s diet will balance out over time. Here are some healthy foods that are as good for you and your children as they taste.
A perfect finger food for tiny eaters, blueberries usually go on to become life-long favorites. They are packed with vitamin C for immune health and fiber that can help keep kids regular. Berries of all kinds may help combat allergies, as well
Fresh blueberries are always a favorite with children. Add them to smoothies, pancakes, muffins, desserts and even salads.
The darker the bean, the more nutritious it is, elevating black beans to the top of the superfood list. Their protein and fiber content help balance blood sugar and provide growing bodies with long-lasting energy. One cup of black beans also supplies about 20% of your child’s iron needs for the day.
Black beans can be added to chili, pureed into a dip with garlic, tomatoes and herbs or mixed with scrambled eggs.
Eggs provide high-quality nutrition at an affordable price and are a great source of choline, an often overlooked but essential nutrient for brain and nervous system development. They’re also high in protein and are a good dietary source of vitamin D.
Since eggs can be added to virtually any baked good, chances are your kids are already enjoying them. Look for muffin and pancake recipes using several eggs, and experiment with omelets and frittatas. Popular combinations include: zucchini and basil, onions and potatoes, and tomato, mozzarella and ham.
Spinach is another highly nutritious food and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K for optimal immunity and bone health. It’s also high in iron, several B vitamins and boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it a winner for heart and eye health.
If your child likes the flavor of pesto, replace half of the basil in the recipe with fresh spinach. Use as a sandwich spread, pizza topping or pasta sauce. Frozen chopped spinach is perfect for adding to meatballs or meatloaf.
Keep on trying different foods Don’t assume that your kids will never like something, if they’ve tried it once and dismissed it. Tastes change over time.
After School Snacks
Apple Snack Wedges
- 2 medium apples
1 cup Rice Chex (or other healthy crispy cereal), crushed
1-1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Core apples; cut each into six wedges. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a small shallow bowl, combine the cereal and brown sugar. Spread cut sides of the apples with peanut butter; roll in cereal mixture. Serve immediately.
Strawberry Mango Smoothie
- 1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1-1/2 cups halved fresh strawberries
1 medium mango, peeled and chopped
4 to 6 ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process for 30-45 seconds or until smooth. Stir if necessary. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
Peanut Butter Granola Mini Bars
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil and vanilla until blended. Combine the oats, brown sugar and salt; add to the peanut butter mixture and mix well.
Stir in the dried fruit and chips. (Batter will be sticky.)
Press into a 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 24 bars.
Lunch Box Ideas
- 1/4 cup hummus
1 whole wheat tortilla (8 inches), at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 carrot, cut into thin strips
- 1/4 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
Spread hummus over the tortilla; top with spinach. Place chicken, carrot and red pepper strips in a row near the center of the tortilla; roll up tightly. If desired, cut crosswise into slices. Wrap securely or pack in an airtight container; and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 1 serving.
Lunch on a Stick
- Cheddar or Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Whole wheat bread slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
Sliced deli ham and/or turkey, cut into 1-inch strips
Seedless red or green grapes
- Wooden skewers (5 to 6 inches
Cut cheese into 1/4-inch slices. Thread a skewer with 1 piece of cheese, bread, ham or turkey, tomato, lettuce and grape. Repeat the order again on the skewer. Make 3 more skewers.
Let children be creative and place their favorite healthy ingredients on a skewer. Yield: 4 servings.
Bean Dip & Chips
- 1/4 cup fat-free canned refried beans
1 tablespoon salsa
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 minced scallion
- 1 ounceh ealthy tortilla chips, (about 10)
Combine refried beans, salsa, cilantro and scallion (if using) in a bowl. Serve with tortilla chips.
Healthy Dinner Options
Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup Italian seasoned panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Marinara sauce
Place butter in a shallow bowl.
Combine the panko crumbs, cheese, garlic powder and salt in another shallow bowl.
Dip chicken in butter, then roll in crumbs.
Place in a single layer on two 15-inch x 10-inch x 1-inch baking pans.
Bake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Serve with marinara sauce, if desired.
Pizza Meatloaf Cups
These are great to reheat for a quick dinner on soccer night.
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces each) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Additional pizza sauce
In a large bowl, combine the egg, pizza sauce, bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
Divide among 12 greased muffin cups; press onto the bottom and up the sides. Fill the center with cheese.
Bake at 375° F for 15-18 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
Serve with additional pizza sauce, if desired. Or cool, place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
To use frozen pizza cups: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Heat on a microwave-safe plate on high for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 1 dozen.
- 2 medium carrots
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups marinara sauce
2 cups part skim milk ricotta cheese,
2 cups (16 oz) shredded part skim milk mozzarella cheese, divided
3 oz grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
- 8 oz lasagna noodles, no boil
Chop carrots, green pepper and onion.
In a skillet, saute the vegetables in oil. Stir in the 2 cups of marinara sauce to heat it through.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt and egg.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread 1 cup sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish coated with olive oil cooking spray.
Layer 1/2 each, uncooked lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, sauce,. Repeat layering, and top with remaining cheese.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
- 88 Unexpected Snacks Under 100 Calories (greatist.com)
Benefits of Buying Seasonal Produce
Cost: Seasonal food is often cheaper than out of season produce because it doesn’t require anywhere near as much effort to produce. If it’s the right season, food can be pretty much left to grow on it’s own, meaning it’s far less labor intensive and time-consuming. As consumers, we have gotten used to seeing strawberries in our stores all year round and many of us don’t realise the hidden costs of having out of season produce available. We may, also, forget what the taste of real, seasonal strawberries are like.
Flavour/taste: Blueberries and cherries taste great in the summer but buy them in the winter and you will be disappointed with the taste, texture and flavor. Food that’s allowed to grow and ripen properly is far tastier than artificially produced food that’s travelled thousands of miles to reach the supermarket shelves. On a positive note, some supermarkets are starting to stock produce from local suppliers and you often find the number of air miles (or the country of origin) printed on the packaging which allows us to make a more informed choice.
New experiences with food: If you follow the seasons (as opposed to a shopping list) you’ll also find a more rich and varied collection of fruit and vegetables, which will entice little ones to experience lots of interesting tastes and textures.
Seasonal Ingredient Map
Use Epicurious’ interactive map to see what’s fresh in your area, plus find ingredient descriptions, shopping guides, recipes, and tips.
Summer Vegetable Pizzas
Most fresh seasonal vegetables are delicious on pizza — thinly sliced red or green tomatoes, sweet peppers (red, green, yellow or orange), red onions, scallions, finely chopped broccoli, sliced mushrooms and asparagus tips. Fresh herbs will give intense flavor and fragrance — oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, arugula, dill and plenty of fresh minced garlic. Keep the combinations simple and light without adding too much cheese. Thinly sliced green tomatoes with basil leaves, oregano, scallions and garlic are colorful and inviting choices.
Use a mixture of Italian (parmigiano reggiano, asiago, pecorino romano, fontina) and other imported cheeses, such as Irish cheddar, French gruyere or English cheddar. Look for flavorful American artisanal cheeses or sharp white Vermont cheddar (Cabot). Grate and mix two or three cheeses together. Keep the cheeses in the refrigerator until ready to use.
All-purpose unbleached flour makes an excellent crust, with a deep golden color and a rich baked taste. Add whole-wheat flour for a more nutritious, nutty taste.
2 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour and 2 cups King Arthur white whole-wheat flour
2 packages dry rapid rise yeast
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ cups warm water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the flour, salt and yeast in an electric mixer (such as a KitchenAid) using the dough hook, Mix very warm water and the olive oil together. Pour the liquids into the flour mixture. Knead with mixer for about 10 minutes, until the dough comes together. It will form a ball and should be firm and not sticky. Place the dough in a deep oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place. It will double in size in about one hour. While the dough is rising, prepare the toppings.
Putting It Together
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You will need two large pizza baking pans, greased and very lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.
Shape the dough to fit the pizza pan using oiled fingers. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Sprinkle the dough with a small amount of the grated mixed cheeses. This will help to seal the dough and keep it crisp. Top with sliced tomatoes, other vegetables, garlic and herbs. Season the pizza with freshly ground white pepper. Lightly sprinkle more grated mixed cheese or crumbled feta or shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
Don’t use too many ingredients and leave space between the toppings, so that the pizza will turn out crisp. The preheated oven should have racks on the bottom and the middle. Place one pizza on the bottom rack and one on the middle rack for about 10 minutes. Switch positions and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted, but not brown. Pizzas can be baked separately on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
Some Ideas To Get You Started
Summer Vegetable Pizza
When peppers, sweet corn, and cherry tomatoes are at their peak, there’s nothing like enjoying them on pizza.
- 1 large pizza crust, recipe above
- 1 cup homemade marinara sauce
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels
- 2 bell peppers, sliced thin
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Stretch or roll pizza dough out to cover a 16 inch pizza pan.
In a small bowl mix marinara sauce, garlic, olive oil, and oregano. Spread evenly over the dough. Top with corn, peppers, and tomatoes. Season vegetables with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Top with basil, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes at or until the top is golden, and bubbly – and the crust is browned and cooked underneath. Let cool before slicing.
Herbs and Tomato, Kalamata Olive Pizza with Peppers, Arugula, Onions, Basil, Olives, and Cheese
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
2 oz. Italian fontina, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup of fresh arugula, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaf (julienne)
1 cup plum tomatoes, sliced
1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
½ medium sweet onion, sliced into strips
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 small hot chile, chopped (crushed red pepper may substitute)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Arrange topping ingredients on pizza dough and bake as directed above.
Now create some summer pizzas of your own based on what is in season in your area.
- It’s Friday Let’s Have Pizza! (jovinacooksitalian.com)
- Make a pizza at home (dpatlarge.wordpress.com)
- Pizza in the garden (freshlyseasoned.wordpress.com)
- Homemade Pizza (cutoutandkeep.net)
- Naples chefs take sides in the ‘ultra pizza’ wars (guardian.co.uk)
- Salad Pizza (spicesandspackle.com)
Children can be picky about their food choices. Today they might like a particular food and tomorrow, they hate it! Sometimes a new presentation or a new ingredient can spark their interest. While french fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner might be what they want, getting children to select healthy options might not be that difficult. Kids are very proud of their accomplishments, so if they’ve helped make the dinner, they are more likely to eat it. Hopefully some of these recipes will work in your house.
Chicken Pasta Primavera
If broccoli isn’t a family favorite, you can substitute a 10 oz. package of defrosted frozen peas.
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or turkey breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, 1/4 inch slices
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 3 small cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (Wondra works well for sauces)
- 2 2/3 cups nonfat milk
- 1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 package ( 12-14 oz.) cooked whole grain rotini or penne pasta
In a large, deep skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add chicken breast cubes. Saute until cooked through and lightly browned. Move chicken to pasta serving bowl; set aside. In the same skillet, heat remaining olive oil and add garlic, Italian seasoning and vegetables. Saute until cooked, but not limp. Add vegetables to bowl with chicken. Stir milk and Wondra flour together and pour into skillet. Cook 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Stir in cream cheese, cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until it melts.
Add hot cooked pasta, chicken and vegetables and toss well to coat. Pour into pasta serving bowl and top with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
Serve with a green salad.
Parmesan Zucchini Cakes
- ¼ cup egg substitute
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (2-3 medium, about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cups Progresso Italian bread crumbs, divided
- Marinara Sauce, warmed, see post for recipe, https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2012/04/19/hello-world/
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
- Use the large-holed side of a box grater to shred the zucchini. Place shredded squash in the center of a clean kitchen towel; gather up the ends and twist to squeeze out any liquid
- Mix together the egg substitute, onion, parsley, zucchini, cheese, ¼ cup bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl..
- With floured hands, shape zucchini mixture into smallish balls (about two tablespoons each) and roll in remaining bread crumbs and flatten slightly on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn each cake over and bake for another 10-15 minutes until browned.
Serve with warm marinara sauce.
For Snack Time
Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip
- 1 -15-ounce can cannellini beans (no salt added), drained or 2 cups cooked dried beans
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper
- Carrot and Celery Sticks
Puree first 5 ingredients in processor until almost smooth. Add salt and pepper. Transfer dip to serving bowl with carrot and celery sticks.
(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Turkey Pizza Burger Sliders
Makes 8 sliders
- 1 1/4 pound lean ground turkey breast
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Olive oil, for brushing sliders
- 8 small slices fresh mozzarella
- Marinara Sauce
- Whole Wheat Potato Rolls
Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, basil 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without over mixing, until evenly incorporated.
Mix all the burger ingredients well and form into 2.5 ounce balls. Flatten into patties, about 3 inches in diameter. Brush with olive oil.
To grill the turkey burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack. Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
Place burgers on a whole wheat potato roll. Top sliders with a tablespoon of marinara sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
Codfish cakes are made in many countries throughout the world. In Italy the recipe calls for dried salt cod, Baccala, but you can use any leftover (or even fresh) white-fleshed fish. Salt cod is often found in stores around the winter holidays because it’s almost a sacred food in many cultures — definitely so in Italian and Portuguese cuisines, for example.
My mother made these fish cakes when she had leftover baccala during the Christmas season but you have to soak the baccala overnight and it is still salty. Here’s a variation using fresh cod instead and children love them (its the mashed potatoes part that does that).
- 1 pound of cod fillets
- 2 medium-sized baking potatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 3 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed and processed into crumbs (about 1 cup)
Boil and mash the potatoes, set them aside.
Poach the codfish until it flakes easily. Drain and add the fish to the potatoes. Mash together. Mix the fish, the potatoes and the next 7 ingredients together.
Form the mixture into 3 inch patties and lightly dredge in bread crumbs.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet well with olive oil cooking spray.
Place patties on prepared baking pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then flip patties, carefully, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.
Makes 12 fish cakes. Serves 4-6.
Crispy Sweet Potato Fries
Oven baked sweet potatoes are a healthy choice, but there is a problem, they don’t get crispy. They get brown, but not crisp.
I have found a method that really works.
Cut 2 large sweet potatoes into finger size thicknesses.
Let potatoes soak in cold water for an hour. Drain but don’t dry on towels.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place two tablespoons of cornstarch into a plastic bag.
Add sweet potatoes to the bag with the cornstarch. Twist the top of the bag so it forms a balloon with some air inside and shake the fries around until they’re lightly coated with the cornstarch.
Put the coated fries on a non stick baking sheet. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the fries.
Using your hands, toss the potatoes to make sure the fries are well coated. Rearrange them on the sheet again, so that they have space between each fry.
The less fries on the pan the better because, if the potatoes are crowded, they will not get crispy. They’ll just steam. You might want to use 2 baking sheets. if you do not have a large enough pan.
Bake the fries in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- The Grand Kids Are Coming! (jovinacooksitalian.com)