Archive for the ‘Sides’ Category

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup will fulfill all those Panera cravings MINUS the gluten!

One of my absolute favorite soups is Broccoli Cheddar Soup and it is my ultimate Panera weakness. Unfortunately, their version isn’t gluten-free so this week I decided to break out my Instant Pot and do a little recipe-testing.  Broccoli cheddar soup is one of those cheesy comfort foods that a gluten-free girl can REALLY get behind.

Oh, I should say, if you haven’t hopped on the Instant Pot game yet, I encourage you to JUST GO FOR IT.

Seriously.

It is the best gadget ever and is relied heavily on throughout our week to make fast work of soups, sauces, and tender meat.

If soups are going to be in your Instant Pot rotation too, I highly recommend two tools that will REALLY improve your enjoyment HIGHLY of this gadget.

The first is this type of lid that will make it easier to serve and reheat your soups for family meals.

There is nothing more awkward than trying to open and shut the sealing lid, amiright?

The other thing I absolutely love is this gadget that allows you to store your soup right in the pot in your fridge without any messes or spills.

If you can’t wait to get your pot back for the next meal though, many people also purchase additional inserts so that they can store a soup for their week as well as continue keeping the Instant Pot dishes in their rotation.

You can bet that an additional insert is on MY Christmas list this year.

And while we are on the topic of gadgets, if you haven’t bought one of these yet, it is a workhorse in our kitchen.

I, honestly, can’t imagine making soups or sauces without it…not to mention all that frothing of milk for my lattes at home.

I promise, I only recommend what I really love and TRULY use in our kitchen.

Making gluten-free soups that are thick and creamy can be a challenge. If I can offer any advice, adding this flour to our pantry has replaced a lot of my difficulties with modifying recipes to make them gluten-free. It’s an affordable solution that doesn’t require any master mixing or extra effort. Who couldn’t get behind that?

You will want to take your time though, once you add the flour to your pot, and really work hard to keep stirring and adding that liquid gradually to prevent your soup from being riddled with clumps.  It helps to take your time with this element and, remember, you will get that time back thanks to how quickly this cooks in your pressure cooker.

I’m sure it goes without saying that freshly grated cheese will always yield a better dish, but I also live in that whole “ain’t nobody got time for that” mindset on most weeknights.

GUYS.

It’s survival mode over here most days.

Can I get an amen?

I hope you love this recipe as much as our family did! We paired it with my easy make-ahead chicken in bulk recipe in gluten-free wraps with a drizzle of ranch.

If you are trying to do more meat-free nights, it also goes great with a little bread for dipping and some apple slices to round out this satisfying bowl of soup.

Be sure to scroll down for some more of our family favorites after the soup recipe!

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Break out that Instant Pot for this satisfyingly filling Instant Pot Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Not gluten-free? No problem! Replace the gluten-free flour with your gluten-y version.
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup gluten-free flour (this is the brand our family prefers)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • 1½ cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Plug in and turn on your Instant Pot. Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot (you want to make sure it is set to Normal) and give it a few minutes to warm up. Add the butter. Once melted, add diced carrots and cook three minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and flour. Allow the flour to cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Next add a small amount of your vegetable stock, incorporating this in bit by bit while stirring constantly and eliminating any lumps in your soup base.
  3. Hit cancel on your Instant Pot to turn off Sauté function. Add your broccoli in the pot, seal with the lid, and set your Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 8 minutes.
  4. At the end of your cooking time, do a quick release of pressure and open the lid. Add in your paprika, pinch of nutmeg, and salt to taste.
  5. Stir in cheeses and mix well until it has melted. Add in milk and cream. Taste again to double check your final seasonings.
  6. If you have an immersion blender, you can use it to blend the soup or you can carefully pour half of the soup in a blender and blend it well and add it back to the soup pot.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. When reheating, you can add additional vegetable stock or milk to thin the soup back out.

 

Looking for more great dinner recipes? Here are a few others that are a big hit with our family (AND READERS!) You can also visit our RECIPE section of the site!

3-ingredient instant pot ribs

instant pot korean tacos

instant pot indian vegetable rice

asian turkey and green bean saute

gluten-free meatloaf recipe

 

gluten-free chicken noodle soup

shrimp fried rice

baked orange chicken meatballs

balsamic pork loin sheet pan meal 5-ingredient gluten-free pizza dough

one pot gluten-free mac & cheese

What is your favorite way to use your Instant Pot? Have any questions about this gadget? Leave them below and I will answer them in a future post!

this post contains affiliate links

How to Make Pumpkin Hand Pies

Monday, October 8th, 2018

When I was a kid one of my favorite treats in the world was an apple pie that they served at a fast food restaurant in town.

The flaky crust in a pocket filled with the warm apple filling was the perfect comfort food to me and it always seemed to be the perfect amount to satisfy my sweet tooth craving.

Clearly, I am no food snob when it comes to the humble pie whether it is from a box in the grocery store or a local diner.

Just give me ALL THE PIE.

It should come as no surprise that my children adore pie like their mother so I wanted to create a treat for them that would be deemed one of the coolest after school snacks I have made to date.

Of course, we are creating the only pie worth making, at least according to our household.

For us, it is the incredible pumpkin pie that truly brings together the flavors of fall in every delicious bite and makes it feel like Thanksgiving… even if it really is just another boring Monday.

Of course, I have a little secret in the refrigerator now that I am a busy mom.

These little treats couldn’t be easier to prepare thanks to store-bought pie crust that saves me a lot of time on treats (and dishes).

With a little pumpkin shape placed on top of each delicate pie and dusted with cinnamon and sugar, this treat looks impressive, but can be pulled together in a matter of minutes.

These would be just perfect for a fun Halloween lunchbox treat or to celebrate the season any other day of the week! Best of all, since the filling calls for just a cup of pumpkin puree, it is the perfect way to use up a leftover can that might be taking up space in your refrigerator.

If you haven’t made a hand pie before, it couldn’t be easier. You can use a floured cup as a circle cutter or a biscuit cutter to cut out your circles. Add a tablespoon of your filling to the tops of each of your circles and then add an identical circle on top to pull the pie together. To make sure everything is secure, I seal and add pretty scores with a fork.

Want to make it even easier? Can I recommend this handy gadget?

It’s amazing for making lunchbox sandwiches too! I promise, you will get a lot out of it!

shop seasonal pie cutters HERE (SO many fun ones!!)

To add a little decoration, I love to buy seasonal decorative pie cutters that add a little detail to the edge of my pies, decorative edible touches to a dessert table for the holidays, and happen to add the perfect detail to these hand pies.

To secure these adorable pumpkins, I brushed the pies with an egg wash and then rested this on top, brushing again lightly with the egg wash.

It adds a beautiful touch and shine to the crust and makes these pretty pies into a little work of art.

I hope you can share these treats with someone you love this month and I look forward to sharing more fun fall ideas with you on the blog. Looking for a traditional pumpkin pie for the whole gang? I can’t recommend this tried-and-true recipe enough!

Don’t want to make pie at all?

I feel you.

Check out these ideas for decorating those store-bought pies!

Speaking of more fun fall projects, scroll below the recipe for a few of my ABSOLUTE FAVES!!

Pumpkin Hand Pies Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This fun semi-homemade treat has all of your favorite pumpkin pie flavors in a single size version. Be sure to snag some fun pie cutters to really make these festive! Need to make these gluten-free? No problem! Simply switch your prepared pie crust to a gluten-free version!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅜ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 packages prepared pie crust (make sure to bring this to room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon and sugar to garnish
  • Optional: This handy tool and decorative pie cutters
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and heavy cream. Set aside. Unroll your room temperature pie crusts. Using a 2½ inch biscuit cutter or the opening of a drinking glass as your guide, cut out your circles. Remember, however many you can cut out of your first pie crust, you will want to try to do the same amount on the next pie crust to create your toppers. The amount you can get will depend on your circle size that you are punching out.
  3. Place your first half of your circles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  4. Add in about a tablespoon pie filling, then place a dough circle on top. Press together with your fingers to seal them. Then use your fork to seal and create a pretty edge to the pie.
  5. Whisk one egg in a small bowl and then brush on top of the dough.
  6. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a big glass of milk or a dollop of whipped cream for a sweet treat!

here are a few of our most popular fall projects on the site right now!

autumn burlap wreath tutorial

doughnut hole ghost cake (no baking necessary!)

dollar store thumbtack pumpkins

how to make glow in the dark jell-o

19 thrillers to keep you up all night

slow cooker pumpkin spice candles

no-sew blanket scarf tutorial

this post contains affiliate links!

How to Make Pumpkin Hand Pies from MomAdvice.com

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Meal Prep Idea: Shrimp Fried Rice

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Shrimp Fried Rice from MomAdvice.com

Do you love fried rice as much as I do? Shrimp Fried Rice is a fantastically frugal dish that allows you to use up leftover odds and ends in your fridge and transforms them into incredible lunches for your busy week.

Last year was my first time making fried rice, if you can believe it. Somehow I managed to mess up this easy-to-prepare dish with a poorly scrambled egg. Instead of breaking it apart, like you would a scrambled egg, I whipped the eggs into the rice and created a carbonara fried rice. Not terrible, but not awesome either.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com If you haven’t made this dish before, a great way to insure that you don’t end up with the carbonara mess that I created, is to shift your veggies to the side and make space for your eggs to scramble. Once fully scrambled, then you fold them into your rice, yielding a dish that tastes a heck of a lot like one of my favorite takeout classics (minus the heavy grease).

Fried rice is known as a frugal chef’s dream recipe because you can use leftover rice and give it new life with a little sesame oil, soy sauce, veggies, and your favorite protein.  This is a great dish to clear out those odds and ends in your fridge and can even be prepared with alternative rice options, like cauliflower rice, if you are watching your carb intake.

One of my most used appliances is my inexpensive rice cooker because I don’t have to babysit my rice while it cooks. You can learn how to make great brown rice in your rice cooker in this handy tutorial.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

My daughter said that she doesn’t know a kid that doesn’t love fried rice and begged for me to put this on our menu more regularly.  As we make an effort to eat less meat, this is a filling and fun way to enjoy a meat-free night at your house.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com shrimp-fried-rice-recipe-meal-prep (7 of 9) Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

This dish is so perfect for meal prepping for your lunches. I filled these shallow sandwich containers with a bag of green grapes and some prepared edamame for a delicious lunch. I can’t tell you how fast these went in our house and I plan to make this more regularly, now that I have finally mastered the art of the egg scramble.

Shrimp Fried Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
A frugal chef's dream dish made from leftover rice and veggies. Try this shrimp version for a meat-free night at your house!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound medium prepared fresh shrimp
  • 2 cups veggies (I use a frozen mixture of green beans, peas, and carrots)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt to taste (keep in mind the soy sauce is salty so go lightly!)
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat sesame and canola oil. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes or until pink and done (careful not to overcook!!). With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add your choice of veggies and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one more minute.
  3. Scoot your veggies to one side and add your scrambled eggs to the other side (see the picture in this post for guidance). Scramble the eggs well.
  4. Finish by adding the cooked rice, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Add the shrimp and toss well.

 Looking for more meal prep ideas? Here are a couple that might also help!

Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs from MomAdvice.com baked orange chicken meatballs

Back to School Meal Prep Ideas from MomAdvice.com back to school meal prep ideas

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

I hope you loved today’s dish and looking forward to sharing loads more meal prep ideas with you!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce from MomAdvice.com This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

If you want to switch up your burger and fries game, today’s post is one you can’t miss, especially with a weekend of holiday grilling on the horizon.  Today I’m partnering with Honeysuckle White to share their fun new burger combos AND I have a fun baked sweet potato fries recipe with a lemon-filled dipping sauce that I know you will flip for.

Honeysuckle White Turkey Burger Flavors

Honeysuckle White is now offering two fun and flavorful new turkey burger combos that are already prepared and ready to be thrown on your grill.  Our family sampled them both and absolutely fell in love with them.

The first one is a Cranberry & Jalapeño that offers a fun combo of sweet and spicy that seem to really balance each other. They have kick to them, but a kick that was mild enough to be called a favorite by my daughter.  The white cheddar cheese sprinkled throughout add a little bit of unexpected creaminess to the patty and helps cut down on the spicy factor.

Honeysuckle White Turkey Burgers

Here is a close-up shot of all that cheese for you- YUM!

The other combo they offer are their Spinach & Kale turkey patties and these also pack another fun flavorful punch, with the greens folded right into the patty. If you struggle to get your kids to eat their veggies, this is the perfect patty for them. Pairing it with today’s sweet potato fries recipe (see below), you are sure to get a couple of servings in your child without them even noticing just how healthy they are eating.

Definitely, swing by your store and pick some of these delicious patties up for your next grilling weekend! I think they would be a fun surprise for your guests and Honeysuckle White has done all the work for you in the preparation of these delicious ingredient combos.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Meringue Sauce from MomAdvice.com baked-sweet-potato-fries-with-lemon-meringue-dipping-sauce (5 of 7)

Sweet potato fries are my absolute favorite and one of our local burger joints inspired the dipping sauce to accompany them that I decided to recreate in my kitchen. This creamy lemon dipping sauce is tart and a fun match to the sweetness of the potatoes and is one of my favorite ways to indulge in a little fry dipping.

Not a big sweet potato fan?

I think this would be just as delicious with carrots as it is with the potatoes.

To make these fries ahead, before your guests arrive, peel and cut the potatoes into matchsticks and place in a bowl. Once you have cut all your potatoes, cover them with water and store in the fridge. Placed in a water bath, these cut potatoes can be stored up to twenty-four hours in the water. 

This simple dipping sauce is made out of several pantry staples- mayo, garlic, salt, and the juice and zest from a lemon. I guarantee that this unexpected sauce will be a huge hit at your barbecue just because it is such an unexpected flavor pairing.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Meringue Sauce from MomAdvice.com

I can’t wait until our next cookout so we can share these delicious Cranberry & Jalapeño Turkey Burgers and  Spinach & Kale Turkey Burgers with our guests. With all these new flavor combos, you are sure to wow your guests this year!  Best of all? Although the flavor profile is elevated, the price is quite affordable to have a high-end burger night right in your own backyard.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These baked sweet potato fries are served with a lemon dip that brings together the sweetness of the potato with the tartness of the lemon.
Ingredients
  • 3 large sweet potatoes cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and slice into matchsticks, roughly the same size. Place in a large bowl.
  3. If storing for the next day, fill the bowl with water, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate (up to 24-hours).
  4. If preparing immediately, toss with olive oil and salt.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, tossing once halfway through to crisp up both sides.
  6. While they are baking, mix together the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
  7. Once fries are done, garnish with parsley and serve with the lemon meringue dipping sauce.

 

Looking for more ways to enjoy turkey? Here are a few of my favorites!

Caprese Quinoa & Meatball Casserole

Asian Turkey & Green Bean Saute

Ground Turkey Gyro Burgers

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice (served with turkey meatloaf)

Spinach & Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice from MomAdvice.com This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Happy New Year, everyone! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to 2018 and getting a fresh page in our lives. Today I’m partnering with Honeysuckle White to talk about my New Year’s resolutions and share about their fun new line of ready-to-go products to help you with your dinner hour.

In 2018, my resolutions are:

– Read 100 books
– Set business hours so I have more time for my kids in the evenings.
– Be serious about strength training again at the gym
– Get a book proposal done and sold
– Get back to smart budgeting and tracking of our money to save more.
– Eat at home more and dine out less.
– Write & photograph an Instant Pot ebook
– Get back to crafting again (for the pleasure of it, not for work)

I like to think of myself as a bit of a go-getter (just in case that doesn’t always come through) and last year I had to sideline many of these goals to make a commitment to my physical health. Having an unproductive year definitely drives me a lot to do better this year and I’m hopeful that I can tackle everything on this list if I work on being more disciplined with my free time.

I’m giving you the side eye, Facebook & Instagram.

If you are looking for new ways to tackle resolutions too, I loved this piece that offered different strategies for starting the year well.  It doesn’t always need to be a list of goals, it could be as simple as a word commitment or writing a, “Dear Future Me,” letter.

The thing about good intentions is that life gets in the way of all the good that we want to establish, doesn’t it?  For example, I’m escaping for a girl’s trip for my big 4-0 and that means that I’m abandoning my kitchen duties and leaving them to my husband.

Which usually means a lot of eating out for the family and gets us ALL off track from saving and eating at home more.

Lucky for him, Honeysuckle White came out with this awesome line of products that make getting dinner on the table so much easier. This year  they launched a new line of flavored meatballs, burger patties, and cutlets to help make the dinner hour easier and more affordable for busy families. Today I’m showing you how to dress up their DELICIOUS HomeStyle Turkey Meatloaf. YUM!

Honeysuckle Farms Turkey Meatloaf Honeysuckle Farms Turkey Meatloaf

Since we eat gluten-free, I am LOVING that these are gluten-free and a much healthier alternative to ditching it all for a bowl of cereal for dinner. Just like the package states, there are no added hormones, steroids, or growth-promoting antibiotics.

Best of all, they support independent farmers and YOU support independent farmers when you make a purchase.

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice from MomAdvice.com

Top your meatloaf up anyway you like, but today I thought I’d show you the fun spin that we decided to do with this one.  Since we love eating Indian food, I usually have some type of simmering sauce in our pantry to put to work for an easy weeknight meal. Save just a little of those jars in your fridge and use these fun simmering sauce (like Tikka Masala, Butter Masala, or Korma sauce) to dress your turkey meatloaf.

How easy is that?

I wanted to create a delicious side today that would complement these amazing flavors so I’m sharing this OH-SO-EASY Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice that I just can’t get enough of. This rice is FRUGAL (which fits right in line with my resolutions) and DELICIOUS. I guarantee that you won’t make this recipe just once!

instant-pot-indian-vegetable-rice-3

If you got an Instant Pot for Christmas, this is a great beginner recipe to get you started.

Just as a reminder, when making rice, it is a good idea to give the rice a good rinse before placing it in your pressure cooker to get that beautiful fluffy consistency.

I hope you love this recipe as much as our family and can keep these Honeysuckle White products in mind when you are doing your grocery shopping!

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice from MomAdvice.com

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
This gluten-free side is so easy to create and happens to be easy on the wallet too! If you prefer your dish spicier, add an additional teaspoon of curry to bring on the heat!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Turn your Instant Pot on the saute function.
  2. Rinse your basmati rice well in a colander
  3. Once your Instant Pot has warmed up, add the garlic and rice and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the carrots, curry powder, vegetable broth, and salt. Stir well.
  5. Secure the lid to the top of your Instant Pot and cook on HIGH pressure for 22 minutes.
  6. Once the rice is finished cooking, turn off your Instant Pot and wait ten minutes before releasing the pressure.
  7. Release the pressure, open lid, add the frozen peas, and fluff your rice. Add additional salt to taste.

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Gluten-Free No-Bake Granola Bars This post is sponsored by Mirum, but opinions expressed are my own.

This gluten-free mama is excited to share with you a new tool for making sure that you have good meals that your WHOLE family can enjoy!

Not only that, I’m sharing an EASY no-bake granola bar recipe that is our new favorite after school treat!

Good Choices Made Easy Tool at Walmart

Nestlé has launched a new tool, in partnership with Walmart called Good Choices Made Easy.  This tool helps recommend different products for your family’s meals and helps you select these products based on your own dietary needs.

They recognize that every meal can’t be homemade (especially during this busy season), but they want you to know and trust that the products they are sharing are made with quality ingredients and save you time in the aisles reading all those labels.

How cool is that?

Combining this tool with the low prices at Walmart, you can feel confident about the ingredients you choose AND the pricing on these items!

no-bake-gluten-free-granola-bars-recipe-1 No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars from MomAdvice.com

To celebrate the launch of this new tool, I am sharing a recipe for No-Bake Granola Bars using the Nestlé® Toll House® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.

I have incorporated oats, almonds, honey, and peanut butter in these delicious treats that are perfect for serving up as a snack after a long day of school.

You may recall that I had a baked granola bar on our site, from many years ago. My original recipe relied upon flour and baking so this is a spin on my No-Bake Energy Bites recipe, just in bar form. These days, I’m all about easy!

Mix these delicious ingredients up in a large bowl and line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper. Pat these down until you have an even surface across your pan. Place these in your refrigerator for about thirty minutes and then cut them into bars for your week.

No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars from MomAdvice.com

As soon as these were sliced, they were devoured by my kids. I love that these are made from ingredients that we always have in our pantry! I bet if you make them, they will go fast in your house too!

No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
An easy no-bake gluten-free treat that makes the perfect snack.
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 ⅓ cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped (if making nut-free, substitute with 1 ⅓ additional cups of quick-cooking oats)
  • 1 cup Nestlé® Toll House® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (or almond butter or sunbutter)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Using a small handheld chopper (or your chef's knife), give your almonds a coarse chop.
  3. Add the peanut butter and honey to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together your oatmeal, coarsely chopped almonds, chocolate morsels, ground, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
  5. Add the peanut butter & honey mixture (make sure it has cooled so you don't melt your chocolate morsels) and your vanilla extract. Mix well.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the pan and then press these in the pan, until they are pressed evenly throughout. I like to spray a little cooking spray on a little plastic wrap to assist with getting these even.
  7. Place the pan in the refrigerator for a half hour.
  8. Remove and slice into bars. Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap or in baggies for snacks and lunches.

Be sure to check out the Nestlé Good Choices Made Easy Tool at Walmart.com I think you will find it invaluable when doing your grocery shopping!

This post is sponsored by Mirum, but opinions expressed are my own.

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Chicken Pesto Frittata

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Chicken Pesto Frittata from MomAdvice.com

One of my favorite panini flavor combinations happened to be a roasted chicken pesto sandwich that I used to snag at my local supermarket for a special treat. Filled with pesto and rotisserie chicken with a little spinach and tomato, it was one of my favorite supermarket splurges after a day of errand running. I wanted to capture those chicken pesto flavors in a frittata recipe and dreamed up this gluten-free version of my favorite panini that I can enjoy for breakfast or as a filling lunch.

Chicken Pesto Frittata from MomAdvice.com

If you have never made a frittata before, welcome to the world’s easiest breakfast that can serve a crowd.  All you need is an oiled cast iron skillet for this easy one-pot dish. Years ago I got this one for less than $15 and it has served a million frittatas over the years. If you take great care of it, this small investment can last you a lifetime and be handed down to your kiddos. I have so many fond memories of the good things that we ate out of these skillets when I went to my grandma’s house.

To make a frittata in this, you just heat up the toppings and then pour the beaten eggs on top. Using a wooden spoon, I just shift the fillings around until they are covering the entire pan, heat for a few minutes on medium heat to develop the crust on the bottom, and then transfer it into the oven to finish. Within minutes, you have a frittata that can be divvied up into portions for a busy week or an impressive dish to serve a crowd.

How to Roast Chicken in Bulk

Chicken Pesto Frittata from MomAdvice.com

I rely up on my favorite big batch roasted chicken recipe, that I make for our wraps for the week, to add even more protein to this dish. This seasoning mix never fails me for rotisserie flavor on a small budget. Bursts of flavor from sun dried tomatoes really brighten the flavoring in this base. Of course, you can’t add those without a healthy amount of spinach and pesto, in my humble opinion!

Chicken Pesto Frittata from MomAdvice.com Chicken Pesto Frittata from MomAdvice.com

I hope you love this yummy frittata as much as I do! I had a couple of gatherings that I took this to and it was a huge hit with everyone, even the egg haters. The pesto mellows the strong egg flavor in this so it’s a great one to give a spin if people in your family don’t always embrace eggs.

Enjoy!

Chicken Pesto Frittata
Author: 
Recipe type: Brunch
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A chicken pesto frittata that is bursting with flavors from sun dried tomatoes, spinach, pesto, and deliciously seasoned chicken. It's a great dish to share with friends or to package up for a busy week ahead! Did I mention gluten-free? Yay!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1- 8 ounce bag spinach
  • 1½ cups roasted chicken, diced or shredded (see above for my recipe)
  • ½ cup prepared pesto
  • 3-ounce bag julienne-cut sun dried tomatoes
  • 10 eggs, beaten and seasoned
  • ¼ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk and sea salt until fully incorporated.
  2. Heat a large cast-iron to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and spinach and then lower to medium heat and allow spinach to wilt.
  3. When spinach has wilted, add pesto, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted chicken. Stir to incorporate. Add egg mixture and use your spoon to spread the fillings out evenly in the skillet. Heat for a few minutes to create the crust on the bottom of the eggs.
  4. Place skillet in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 25-28 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are golden brown. Remove and allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Finish with a sprinkle of flat-leaf Italian parsley.

 Looking for more fun frittata flavors? Try this easy Dairy-Free Sausage & Vegetable Frittata for another fun spin!

This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

 

 

Brain Food: Trail Mix Energy Bites

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

I’m partnering today with Workman Publishing to chat a little more about our family’s genuine love for the new Big Fat Notebooks series, perfect for your middle school child, and to share a fun brain food snack to pair with these fun books!

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

Last month I shared with you my car organizing strategies (I can’t believe it still looks REALLY good, you guys!! Miracles DO happen!) and how we have incorporated these books into our car time as a great activity to make the most of those moments. Just like I love to take in a good audiobook or a podcast while I am driving, I love that this pocket of time is perfect for some fun learning on the way for my kids. Why not make the most of all those wasted minutes?

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

I know I have said it before, but these books are F-U-N. I am actually going to include these in our holiday gift guide because I think they make an incredible gift for any kid. As you can see, they are adorably illustrated and even the font choice makes it not feel like a textbook, but more like a Diary of a Wimpy Kid escape.

Do you remember that show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Since my daughter has been asking me questions about the things she has been learning from this book and reciting trivia on different subjects, I can tell you that I am, indeed, NOT.

Hey, I can’t be good at everything!

There are five books in this fun series and each is the only book you need for each main subject taught in middle school: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Did I mention that they meet  Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and state history standards?

Yup, pretty awesome stuff.

You can find these fantastic books at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound, or Workman.

Here are 4 fun free Big Fat Notebooks worksheets to get you started! 

Thinking Like a Scientist

How to Take Great Notes

Displaying Data

Ancient Egypt Timeline

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

In honor of fueling our brains, I wanted to create a brain food treat that the whole family will enjoy and requires ZERO baking. Holla!  I am a big fan of energy bites and this little bite is filled with a protein-rich trail mix that is bound together with peanut butter, oatmeal, and quinoa.

I loved these plain, but I thought they could benefit from a little crunch so I toasted up quinoa in a skillet (watch out, it pops!!) and rolled these trail mix bites into the toasty quinoa for a crunchy coating that reminds me of sesame seeds or even rice cereal.

What Makes These Trail Mix Bites Good Fuel for Your Brain?

Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, a major building block of brain cells that are critical for a good memory and stable mood (AKA, they fight the HANGRY!). They are also rich in B complex vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It takes all these important nutrients to help keep your brain functioning well.

Quinoa is our binding agent and our crispy coating and it also contains vital nutrients for your noggin. Quinoa is so easy to prepare in a rice cooker (this tutorial should help!) and happens to be one of my favorite gluten-free indulgences. Quinoa, pronounced (KEEN-wah) is a very nutritious gluten-free seed that originates from the Andean region of South America. It also is a fantastic source of protein, contains all eight amino acids, is a good source of dietary fiber, contains B Vitamins, and iron. All such good stuff to help your brain!

I hope you can share this delicious brain food (both the treat AND the incredible Big Fat Notebooks with your kids. They truly make learning fun and I’m so happy our family got to share about these with you!

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

Trail Mix Energy Bites
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Fuel your brain with these delicious energy bites that provide vital nutrients and vitamins. Packed with quinoa, these gluten-free treats are satisfying and filling!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (check the post above for cooking directions or follow packaging)
  • 1-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pistachios
  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
Instructions
  1. In a dry skillet, heat it to medium heat and toast the uncooked quinoa for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the energy bite to look golden. Be careful, quinoa does pop!
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the other ingredients until they are incorporated well.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then begin scooping & rolling the balls (I like a cookie dough scooper for this).
  4. Roll each ball into the toasted quinoa, coating all sides evenly. Place on the parchment lined cookie sheet and repeat until all of the batter has been used.
  5. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove and then place them in an airtight container for snacking.

 Recipe Adapted from The Baker Mama

 This post was sponsored by Workman Publishing and Big Fat Notebooks. All thoughts and opinions are my own! Be sure to follow the Workman Blog for more great ideas!

How To Make Smoothie Bowls (GIVEAWAY with Mamma Chia!!)

Monday, September 19th, 2016

How to Make Smoothie Bowls Tutorial This post is sponsored by Mamma Chia.  Thank you for supporting the companies that make this site possible! 

I am always on the hunt for great post-workout snacks that can keep me fueled throughout the day.  Today I wanted to share with you how to make two delicious smoothie bowls and I am pairing them with a fun new drink from Mamma Chia, called Chia Energy Beverages,  that you can now find on Walmart shelves.  Doesn’t that sound like a delicious pairing?

Mamma Chia at Walmart

I always struggle with finding new things at the store so, in case you are on the hunt, I wanted to show you where you can find them at Walmart. These drinks can be found in the produce section at the front of the store.  Our drinks were on full display on the top shelves and come in 4 flavors: Grape Power, Cherry Charge, Blackberry Blast, & Raspberry Razz. These drinks are the first beverage that combine chia with the energy of guayusa.

For those of us with a coffee addiction (ahem!), these are a great way to get energy for the day without that caffeine crash.

Caffeine crashes are THE WORST.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com As you know, I have been struggling with my health and I am really committed to eating better so that I can improve how I feel. The founder of Mamma Chia, Janie Hoffman, was also struggling with many debilitating autoimmune disorders and found a great deal of relief from adding chia into her diet. Her mission was to share that gift with others so that they can experience the health benefits too. I also love that the company donates a portion of their proceeds to support farmers, community groups, & organizations that build healthy, local food systems. 

It makes you feel doubly good about your purchase!

Today I thought I would incorporate the power of chia, not only in our drink, but as a topping in a healthy smoothie bowl. Chia is actually considered a superfood because chia seeds are rich in omega-3’s, fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. They also help you to sustain energy levels naturally while helping you stay fuller longer.

Today we are topping our smoothie bowls with chia. If you haven’t had a smoothie bowl before, you are in for a treat.  I understand that many fancy-schmancy breakfast joints serve these now.

How lucky are you that you can save some money and make these at home for a fraction of the cost?

Let me share two recipes for smoothie bowsl with you and don’t forget to stick around to the bottom of this post for our giveaway with Mamma Chia- yay! 

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

The idea is to make the smoothie thicker (make sure you have a powerful blender for this one) by using less liquid to create a thicker consistency. The fun part is the layering of delicious additions on top.

On this Chocolate Cherry Bowl, I have topped it with fresh raspberries, toasted coconut, & more chia. Try any combination of flavors you like though!

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2 bowls
 
Smoothie bowls make the perfect snack or breakfast. Top with your favorite oatmeal toppings or try our suggestions for a healthy start to your day.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup avocado
  • ¼ plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Toppings: toasted coconut, berries, chia
Instructions
  1. Combine all smoothie bowl ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

I love berry anything and I loved pairing a Raspberry Smoothie Bowl with the delicious flavor of the Chia Energy Blackberry Blast drink. I still wanted some of the chocolate flavor in this one so I topped it with a chocolate granola, and chia.  The vibrant hue from the raspberries in this one make such a pretty bowl, don’t they?

This is certainly a powerful motivator to get my workout done so I can enjoy this snack when I get home.

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2 bowls
 
Give me all the berries! This Raspberry Smoothie Bowl is packed with berries and can be topped with crunchy granola, chia, and more berries for a fun post-workout treat.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ¼ of an avocado
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • Toppings: granola, raspberries, blueberries, and chia
Instructions
  1. Place all smoothie ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings.

Mamma Chia Energy Beverages

Today I’m giving away to one lucky winner a $50 prize pack from Mamma Chia that will include one each of the Mamma Chia’s new organic Chia Energy Beverages and some of their other delicious products. Please enter the giveaway in the widget below and I hope this post inspires you to give these new drinks a try!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com This post was sponsored by Mamma Chia.  Thank you for supporting the companies that make this site possible! 

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Picnic in a Jar: Easy Quinoa Salad With Spinach and Tomatoes

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Quinoa-Salad-In-A-Jar

Summertime means a lot of eating on-the-go for our family. It isn’t the running to and from activities like the school year, but the good stuff like picnics with my people, poolside lounging and road trips to the neighboring Michigan beaches.

Thankfully, the fresh produce and deliciously grown convenience food that we all love is in season. A container of cherries shared by the pool, bunches of grapes on our car trips, and strawberries by the fistful in the sunshine until we think we might turn into berries ourselves. It’s all such good stuff, isn’t it?

Salads are my go-to in the summer thanks to their amazing portability factor. Not only do I love fresh green salads made with romaine or spinach, but I adore a healthy topping of quinoa on top for that protein punch.

Quinoa-Salad-In-A-Jar-1

Quinoa is one of my favorite summertime ingredients because it is filling and gluten-free. Have you had quinoa before? It couldn’t be easier to prepare or more delicious!

Quinoa, pronounced (KEEN-wah) is a very nutritious gluten-free seed that originates from the Andean region of South America. It’s a fantastic source of protein, contains all eight amino acids, is a good source of dietary fiber, and it contains B Vitamins and iron.

Though it is smaller than rice, barley, farro and bulgur, quinoa looks like a grain, thanks to its neutral coloring and hard exterior. In reality, it is actually a seed that originates from the cousin of the spinach plant. When cooked, these seeds expand rapidly and significantly, becoming tender but chewy, and expelling spirals that boast the slightest crunch.

To add more flavor to my quinoa I love to cook it in veggie or chicken broth.

Quinoa-Salad-In-A-Jar-7

To make these salads portable, I layer the salads in jars. You want to layer the salads in a way that everything stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

For these salads, I start with a scoop of cooked quinoa and add a drizzle of olive oil and squirt of lemon. I then allow that all to cool completely and then start the layer of veggies. The tomatoes go in first and then I fill the jar up to the tippy top with as much spinach as possible. I learned a lot from all those episodes of Popeye as a kid!

quinoa-salads-in-a-jar-tutorial

Picnic in a Jar: Easy Quinoa Salad With Spinach and Tomatoes
Recipe type: Salads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Take these along on your next family outing for a filling, easy meal!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound spinach
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (follow the instructions for preparation on the packaging)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa as directed on package (it’s just like rice with a 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid ratio- veggie broth, chicken broth, or water all work in this one). Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Halve grape or cherry tomatoes with a paring knife and add them to the mixing bowl.
  3. Once the quinoa is done, scoop it into equal amounts into four jars. Squirt the juice of your lemons on top of the quinoa and add a light drizzle of olive oil to each one. Allow these to cool fully before adding the rest of your ingredients.
  4. Next layer on your tomatoes and then add your layer of spinach.
  5. Lid your jar and store in your fridge for up to five days. Eat directly out of the jar or pour into a bowl for an easy picnic feast!

Quinoa-Salad-In-A-Jar-9

For a sweet little picnic touch, use a little twine to tie on forks or tape a plastic fork with washi tape on your lids. You now have the makings for the perfect summertime lunch wherever your summer adventures might take you!

 

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