Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ms Cool Talks About Going to the Doctor

Our daughter is VERY afraid of going to the doctor.  I often write "social stories" for her when we are expecting a stressful situation.  The story helps her to know what to expect in the situation.  Sometimes we also use these stories so she'll understand what is expected from her.  For this doctor story, I used her Jump Rope For Heart characters (they encourage children to make regular doctors' visits to be sure they are healthy) and I also built a doctor's office using her Lego bricks. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Oriental Chicken Salad

Here's a super easy twist on a chicken-finger salad.  The best thing about this dish is the "OrganicVille" sesame teriyaki sauce.  I get it at Costco & I'm finding more & more uses for it!  I probably use 2 tbsp of sauce for the salad, which is 2g fat, 4g sugar, and 40 calories.  So I don't feel guilty about this *I know the oranges are loaded with sugar...
INGREDIENTS, all amounts to personal taste:
Shredded coleslaw with carrot
OrganicVille Sesame Teriyaki sauce
Canned mandarin oranges
1-2 tbsp Greek Yogurt, if desired
2 chicken fingers, cooked & cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp sunflower seeds

There really isn't any explanation to this, other than you can mix the Teriyaki sauce with a bit of yogurt if you want.  But the lone sauce is a yummy salad dressing, too.  Here is the chicken I like to use:
So far, I've only found this chicken at Publix.  But my little girl prefers this kind I think it's pretty good too!  This dish is fast & it's nice if you only need one or two servings for a meal.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Spaghetti Squash Sausage & Veggies

Spaghetti squash is yummy, but I don't like to pretend that it's pasta (i.e., I don't like it with spaghetti sauce.)  But I've really enjoyed this combo of the squash, veggies & sausage.  You can cook on the stovetop or the grill -- 
AND it's super easy...
Spaghetti Squash
1 lb Andouille chicken sausage (I like this one from Costco)
2 bell peppers (yellow & orange are pretty)
1 medium zucchini
1 medium onion
16 oz sugar snap peas
1/2 pint grape tomatoes 
1/2 cup Basil Pesto (also from Costco)


1.  Wash spaghetti squash & pierce several times with a knife.  Microwave on high in 3 minute increments, until somewhat soft.  *A medium/large squash took me about 6 minutes, then I allowed it to sit before scooping out the insides.  Use that cooking/sitting time to complete other steps.

2.  Cut each sausage into 2 pieces, as in picture.  Cook for 8 minutes or so, just to warm.  (It's already cooked.)

3.  At the same time, cut peppers & onion into chunks.  Slice zucchini into 1/4inch thick slices.  Remove meat from pan/grill & cover with foil to keep warm.  Cook peppers, onion, zucchini, & snap peas for about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes & cook additional 3-4 minutes. 

4.  Slice spaghetti squash & scoop out the seeds.  Use a fork to remove squash & place in a bowl.  Remove veggies from heat & toss around in the pesto.

5.  Serve veggies on a bed of spaghetti squash, with sausage on the side.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sausage & Green Bean Skillet

This is definitely a FAST recipe!  We had no leftovers to take to work today, so I cooked this before Joey left (and also got breakfast ready for our daughter at the same time!)  I just threw together some stuff I had in the fridge & pantry!  I like this sausage that I've pictured -- it does not have any "mechanically separated" meat.  It's not organic, but I think it's a decent choice & Publix often puts it on sale as BOGO.
12oz or 16 oz chicken sausage links
2 cups green beans, fresh or frozen
Grape tomatoes, amount can vary (I used about 1/2 pint)
1 cup frozen cheese-filled tortellini
1 can Great Northern Beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup Costo (Kirkland) Basil Pesto 


1.  Trim green beans, if needed.  Cook in boiling water for 10 minutes.  While those are cooking, slice the chicken sausage & heat in a 10 inch skillet, about 8-10 minutes.

2.  Add pasta & tomatoes to the sausage, continue cooking another 8-10 minutes. 

3.  Add the drained Great Northern beans, peas & green beans to sausage mixture & cook 3-4 minutes more.

4.  Add pesto sauce, heat & stir thoroughly.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Blackberry Oatmeal

Tonight I waited TOO late for dinner, but I was super hungry (and also super tired!)  So what to eat...Blackberry Oatmeal!  I often eat this for breakfast, but it's good anytime, even as a snack.  The ingredients are simple & healthly (I *think* it's pretty healthy -- surely it's better than the half-batch of cookie dough that I wanted to make!
1/3 cup quick oats
2/3 cup milk (maybe a little less)
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup blackberries (OOPS! forgot them in the pic!)
~1 Tbsp Honey

Put the oatmeal & milk in a bowl & microwave for one minute.  Then throw on the other ingredients.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pepper-Potato Soup

I like this soup because it makes use of things that I can keep in my freezer & pantry.  The ingredients are versatile or have a good shelf-life.  But it's also fairly low on preservatives and fake-food. 

The peppers, potatoes, onions & corn can all be either fresh or frozen, depending on what you have on hand.  I often buy my peppers at Costco & chop/freeze my extra ones.
3 cups chopped sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange)
2 cups chopped yellow onions
10 oz potatoes, frozen OR fresh diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 heaping cup frozen white corn
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 or 2 tbsp. butter

Shredded cheddar
Sour cream or Greek Yogurt
Bacon crumbles
Hot sauce of choice (We like Cholula Chipotle!)

Cook peppers & onions in 1 tbsp. olive oil or butter over medium-high heat.  Cook about 15 minutes or until charred, stirring frequently.  Stir in potatoes & broth.  Add one cup of milk & heat to boiling.  Reduce heat & simmer, covered, 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Coarsely mash the mixture & add remaining milk, corn & cayenne.  Heat thoroughly and stir in butter.  Serve with garnishes.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

White Chili

I don't have a photo of this, but people frequently request the recipe, so it needs to posted!

5 cups chopped cooked chicken (rotisserie works well)
3 cans Great Northern Beans, drained & rinsed
32 oz chicken broth
16 oz jar mild salsa (more if desired)
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, cut into cubes
2 tsp ground cumin

Garnishes:  cheddar cheese, sour cream & jalapenos.

In a 6-quart slow-cooker, combine all ingredients except garnish items.  Cover & cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.  Reduce to low & simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Garnish as desired & may serve with tortilla chips.

To make chili dip, combine all ingredients except chicken broth.  Cook as directed.