Broccoli Cheeseburger Noodles

Tonight I threw together a relatively quick and easy dinner. Actually I was surprised at how quickly it came together! You could call this Hamburger Helper as well

Beef & Broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
1 head of broccoli – chopped
1 small onion -chopped
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 lb ground beef
Seasoning: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic

2 cups brown rice pasta

Cheese Sauce
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour (brown rice for a child under 1 yr)
1 cup of milk
1 cup grated cheese

On your stove set up one pot for pasta, a small saucepan for the cheese sauce and a frying pan for the beef.

Pasta – get the pasta going: boil the water and add the noodles

Beef & Broccoli
Sauté the onions in the oil, until soft (3 min)
Add the beef and cook for 5 mins over medium heat until mostly brown
Add the broccoli, peas and seasoning
Place the lid on the pan and lower the heat
Occasionally stir the beef & broccoli

Cheese Sauce
Combine the butter and flour to make a paste
Put on stove over medium heat and add approx. 1/4 c of milk
Stirring frequently, when it starts to thicken add a bit more milk
Continue to slowly adding milk, giving time to thicken
When all of the milk has been added, add the cheese and stir until you get a lovely cheese sauce, then immediately remove from heat

Putting It All Together
When the pasta is done, drain the noodles and portion the noodles into bowls
Add the beef & broccoli to the noodles
Spoon cheese sauce over top

Enjoy! This should be pretty kid friendly!

p.s. I did this on my iPhone – what do you think? Is it easy to read?


November 26, 2010 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

Crunch on Some Green Chips

I know what you are thinking... but honest, kale chips are good!

It’s true.  I love Kale!

It is dark green and full of nutrition.  However, there is only so much kale that you can add to recipes. Whenever I have leftover kale I make up Kale Chips.  They are easy and tasty and a great way to add vegetables to your diet.  You can make fancy kale chips with a nut-based coating, but I am usually too lazy for those.  The simplest way to make kale chips is to do the following:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 deg. and cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper
  • Cut the rib out of the kale and dispose, keep the leaves
  • Soak the leaves in cold water for a few minutes and make sure to clean off all of the dirt
  • Shake off the water, but do not dry
  • Sprinkle your favourite seasonings on the leaves, tossing to coat
  • This could include: salt, smoked paprika, parmesan cheese, garlic powder… any ideas?
  • Spread the leaves on the baking sheet and put in the oven
  • Check the leaves after 5 minutes and every 5 minutes after.  At first the leaves will wilt, but then they will crisp up
  • Crispy, yummy & nutritious!

Kale Facts:

  • Kale have the highest nutritional value for the lowest calories of all whole food
  • A cousin of cabbage, collard greens & brussel sprouts
  • Top 3 Vitamins: A, C & K
  • Minerals: Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium
  • Cancer-fighting & Arthritis-preventing
  • Detoxifying
  • You can introduce kale to your baby at 8 months, but they may find the taste rather strong – however, you’ll never know until you try it!  Maybe you have a baby kale lover?!

September 30, 2010 at 7:26 am Leave a comment

Hazelnut Chocolate Oat Bars

These are pretty yummy!

I go to Starbucks probably more than I should.  I highly recommend the Iced Passion Tea (unsweetened) for a hot summer day, if you are tired of your iced latte.  The Passion Tea Lemonade is really good too, but I try to watch my sugar intake, so unsweetened it is.   One thing I find a little disappointing about Starbucks are the treats.  First they are really too expensive, but you don’t go to Starbucks to save money, and second they tend to be really, really sweet and full of wheat.  One thing I do like is the Oat Bar.    Not the fudgy chocolate one, although I am sure it is good, but the plain one that is a cross between a cookie and a granola bar.  I try to convince myself it is the healthier choice.  Anyways that is what inspired this recipe.  Of course, I did add a little chocolate 😉

Hazelnut Chocolate Oat Bars

I added ground nuts to these because I like to increase the protein content.  With the protein + carb (nuts + oats), this is a complete and filling snack, not to mention whole grain.  Learn more about Brown Rice Syrup on the ingredients page (in the header).  These are good for a child one-year or older because of the nuts.

  • 1/3 C brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 1/4 C milk (cow, soy, rice or almond)
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 C quick cook oats (separated)
  • 2/3 C hazelnuts
  • 1/3 C flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

In a large bowl combine together brown rice syrup, maple syrup, milk and sunflower oil.  Mix it until it is well combined.

In a food processor put one cup of oats, hazelnuts and flax seeds.  Process until ground.  The flax seeds may not all be ground, but the nuts and oats should form a powder.  Add sea salt and cinnamon and give a couple of pulses to combine.  Add the remainder of the oats and the chocolate chips, and pour all of the ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until the dry ingredients are well absorbed.  put into an 8 x 8 pan, lined with parchment paper or greased with sunflower oil.

Place in a 350 deg oven for 25 minutes.  They are done when the edges are brown and the middle is not wet.  Cut into pieces and enjoy!

September 23, 2010 at 8:20 am Leave a comment

PB & J Muffins!

A follow-up to my PB& J Cookies, this is a delicious protein packed whole-grain muffin.

I use Natural Peanut Butter – you know, the unsweetened kind.  These still taste sweet though, I just use my own sweeteners and then I know how sweet it is and that healthier sweeteners are used.   If you don’t like peanuts, try almond butter!

Remember to check out my Alternative Ingredients list (look above) if you are unfamiliar with some of the ingredients I have listed below.  For information on when to serve nuts to your baby go here

Peanut Butter & Jam Muffins

  • 1/2 C natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/4 C butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 2 T agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C milk (cow’s, soy, rice or almond)
  • 1 C whole spelt flour
  • 3/4 C light spelt flour
  • 1/4 C ground flax
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • jam
In a large bowl combine together peanut butter and butter and combine until they are smooth.  Add the salt, sucanat, agave nectar, egg and milk.  Combine well.
In a small bowl mix together flours, baking powder and ground flax.
Add the dry to the wet and combine until the flour has all been absorbed.
Grease a muffin tin or use paper liners.  Fill the cups half full of muffin mix.  Add a teaspoon of jam and then fill the rest of the muffin cup with muffin mix.  On top of each muffin put a teaspoon-sized dollop of jam.
Bake in a 375 deg. oven for 20 minutes.  You will know when they are done when the sides have browned and a knife inserted along the side of the muffin (not near the jam) comes out clean.  Don’t eat these too fast because the jam will be really hot!
About nuts: Please remember that peanut allergies are very serious. These muffins should only be served at home, where you know that no one has a peanut allergy.  Your child should not eat them before going to school or to the local playground as peanut oil can remain on hands for a long time and some individuals can experience an allergic reaction by touching a child with peanut residue.

September 16, 2010 at 7:57 am Leave a comment

Laurie’s Lunch Tips

It’s newsletter time again!  I took a bit of a break this summer, I hope that absence made you miss me a little!

It’s back to school time, so it is time to get life back on track.

Pack a good lunch this fall!

Even if you don’t have kids, or have kids who don’t go to school, doesn’t September always feel like more of a New Year than January? There have been a lot of articles lately on how to make a lunch that is interesting and nutritious for kids. I would like you to think about your lunch as well. What have you been having for lunch lately? If you go to work every day are you making good choices? If you are at home, are you actually eating lunch?

I find that most people want to buy processed foods for lunch. It seems a bit easier to cook up some chicken, veggies and grains for dinner, but if you don’t want leftovers what do you grab for lunch and snacks?

Click here to see  my top 5 processed food choices to have in your lunch bag this fall.

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter in your e-mail, send a note to and I will be sure to add you!

September 13, 2010 at 7:41 am Leave a comment

A Little Devil never hurt…

A Classic!

The favourite of dinner parties, the classic Deviled Egg is a snack that many people overlook.

Also called Eggs Mimosa, salad eggs or dressed eggs for those who do not like to dignify the word devil at a church function, these eggs are delicious!  I have yet to go to a party where these are not the first item to disappear from the appetizer plate!

There are lots of ways to make them, so I am not going to write a recipe.  Basically, hard boil some eggs, cut them carefully in half, scoop out the yolk and mix it with mayonnaise and seasonings of your choice (paprika, pickle juice, mustard powder, to name a few).  If you make them with a real mayonnaise, I would not worry about the nutrition impact, however if you are concerned you can try yogurt instead. Do a quick google search if you are looking to spruce up your recipe.  Just remember to sprinkle a little paprika on them!

Martha Stewart Tip: The day before you are making your eggs, lay your eggs on their side, rather than sitting upright.  Overnight, the yolk will settle exactly in the middle of the egg, boil your eggs the next day and you will have perfectly shaped deviled eggs!

Whole Eggs should not be served to children under 1 year of age as they may develop an allergy to albumin, which is found in the whites of eggs.

My devilled egg - I forgot the paprika!

The message here is that they are a great snack, a fun way to dress up boring boiled eggs and guaranteed delicious!  Eggs pack a punch nutritionally.  I wrote about eggs in a previous post.  You can also visit The World’s Healthiest Foods for a nutritional breakdown on Eggs (and any other whole food).

From The World's Healthiest Foods

September 9, 2010 at 7:30 am Leave a comment

A Little Swiss

Swiss Chard and Apple Salad

I love this weather, the fruit and vegetables are in their prime and I like finding creative ways to make vegetables appealing!  I found this recipe at the Ontario Board of Education Healthy Schools website.  Everyone ate this salad, and my husband said ‘I would eat that again!’, I don’t often hear that when I serve up a dark green vegetable!

Swiss Chard is a beautiful vegetable.  It’s dark green leaves are offset by the red, orange, white and pink stalks.  It can all be eaten, and I recommend it is served, because it is high in Vitamin K – important for bone health, provides high levels of Vitamin A (beta carotene), great for fighting cancer and contains a large amount of magnesium, also important for bone health.

You can find this recipe here, but below is my version.

Swiss Chard and Apple Salad

  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped very fine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 Tbsp)
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems & leaves chopped finely
  • 1 Ontario apple, diced (your choice of apple)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds or roasted sunflower seeds (optional)

In a large bowl mix together chopped onion, lemon juice, olive oil, coriander seeds, parsley, salt and pepper.  Add the swiss chard and toss to coat in the dressing.  Add the apples and add the roasted pumpkin seeds.  Let sit for minimum 5 minutes before serving.  This salad holds well, so you can pack it in a lunch the next day & it will still taste yummy!

August 27, 2010 at 7:18 am Leave a comment

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