Sunday, January 31, 2010

Healthy Snack Idea: Funny Honey Bunny Spread

Yesterday’s cooking class on “Healthy Snacks” went so well. The kids (ranging in age from 7-18) were sweet, totally engaged and excited to try all of the recipes. Twenty little and medium hands shot up whenever I asked for a volunteer. I will admit that last week was exhausting, juggling caring for my own family, doing a little volunteer work, prepping for this lesson, teaching it, then coming back and hitting the ground running again back at home. Lucky for me, my parents are in town visiting and between their eager assistance with the kids, and a husband who totally engages with them too when he’s home on the weekends, I was able to relax a bit yesterday…after running three loads of cooking equipment through this dishwasher!

Here is a recipe that I made with the kids yesterday, that was a hit. I whipped up a batch for my own children today. It’s something I’m leaving in the fridge that my dad can spread on a whole wheat bagel, as a quick snack or easy lunch for the kids when I am away (drum roll please) at a spa with my mom this week. Oops, did I just say that? More on that later! Right now I need to fill the fridge with some child-friendly foods to make snack time and meal time simple and healthy while I am away!

Funny Honey Bunny Spread

1 tub of whipped cream cheese (preferably organic)
1-2 cup(s) shredded carrots
¼ - ½ cup raisins or cranberries
Honey (to taste)
Cinnamon (to taste)
Whole Wheat Bagels

In a bowl, mash the cream cheese, carrots, raisins (or cranberries), honey and cinnamon together. Spread on mini whole wheat bagels or on whole grain crackers as a sweet, but healthy, treat. Spread may be kept in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container. Just give it a stir before spreading!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Have equipment, will travel!

On the heels of recent debate over snacking, tomorrow I am teaching a “Healthy Snack” cooking lesson to a whole flock of children/tweens/teens. I may have gotten myself in over my head with so many participants, but I think I’ve picked recipes that’ll work with 18 sets of little hands…and that will excite them: Berry Dip, Funny Bunny Spread, Tzatziki, Edamame Hummus and a Smoothie Bar.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Busy busy time to cook.

I had an absolutely nutty day. No time to cook, but I don't want to arrive to book club empty-handed. So, guess what I am bringing tonight as my app? Hint: it's the same thing my children just had for dinner (1/2 a spinach one and 1/2 a chicken one each). Though my book club friends will be enjoying a glass of wine instead of edamame, dried cranberries and apple slices on the side.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dinner we'll all like (in a hurry!): Lemon Rosemary Chicken Cutlets

This summer, I posted a favorite chicken recipe that my friend Christine turned me on to when she made if for our one our Wednesday Supper Swaps. Normally, when I am making one of my mom’s go-to chicken recipes, like the one below, I use the same pounding technique on the chicken breasts. It makes the chicken tender, and even. But this week I was short on time, so I bought chicken cutlets. The dish has plenty of flavor alone, and even more if you leave some of the fresh rosemary and a bit of the lemon zest on the chicken when serving. But if you’ve got a kid who is a greenophobe or likes their chicken plain, simply scrape off the “offending stuff” after roasting and before serving them. They'll get a little of the flavor, but not too much...

Rosemary & Lemon Roasted Chicken Cutlets

Chicken cutlets (or chicken breasts pounded thin)
Lemons, zested and juiced
Fresh Rosemary
Garlic, chopped or pressed
Olive oil
Veggie – bell peppers, zucchini, etc.

Combine fresh lemon juice, rosemary (pull the leaves off the hard stalk), garlic and olive oil in a large zip-loc bag. Seal(!) and then shake to combine. Taste before adding the chicken and make sure you’ve got a balance of flavors that you like (feel free to add more garlic, lemon juice, olive oil…). Then add the chicken to the zip-loc and marinate it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, or up to a couple of hours.

Grill the chicken or preheat oven to 450. Pop the chicken onto a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with a little of the marinade. I also like to toss a couple of veggies on the baking sheet. This saves me another pan to clean up! Roast the chicken for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. (Keep in mind that the thinner the chicken, the more quickly it will cook...) Hope you enjoy this simple, fresh recipe as much as we do!

Monday, January 25, 2010

(Super Simple) Child & Adult-Pleasing Meal: Gingery Turkey Pitas

Perfect dinner tonight that successfully multi-tasked as both kid-pleasing and something we’ll enjoy too. I always give my kids what we’re eating, but it doesn’t always go over well with both of them (wheat berry salad as a recent case in point). But tonight did, so let me pass along this super simple recipe based upon one found in Real Simple Magazine’s September 2009 issue:

Gingery Asian Turkey Pitas with Pickled Cucumbers

This is a two step recipe, but each step takes mere minutes. Both the turkey and the cucumbers could easily be made ahead and you could just heat the turkey up again before serving.

Pickled Cucumber Salad

¼ cup of rice wine vinegar
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine rice vinegar, cucumbers, red pepper and jalapeno in a bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes, ideally about an hour so the cucumbers get slightly pickled.

Gingery Asian Turkey in Whole Wheat Pita

Olive oil
1 pound ground turkey (or pork or chicken if you prefer)
2-3 teaspoons on fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup Hoisin sauce (found in the Asian aisle of most markets, make sure it is free of MSG)
Splash of soy sauce
Whole Wheat Pita Bread, halved

In a skillet, cook the turkey (or pork or chicken), breaking it up with a spatula or spoonula until no longer pink. I grated the ginger and pressed the garlic into the meat, as it was cooking, so the flavors melded nicely. Once the meat is cooked through, add the Hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Stir until the turkey and sauces are combined in the skillet. Serve in pita bread halves, stuffed alongside the Pickled Cucumbers.

(As you can see above, I “deconstructed” my children’s pitas… but my camera battery died before I took a photo of my plate, so you’ll just have to trust me that it’s a pretty meal with the bright cucumbers and peppers and the gingery pork nestled in the pitas as an adult meal too. On my children's plates above you'll see that I also gave them carrots and a small handful of wheat-free tamari almonds.)

Make Ahead Side Dishes: Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

Having some interesting sides already made, in my fridge, makes putting lunch and dinner together a snap. Here’s the recipe for a wheat berry salad I recently made that was absolutely delicious. You do need some time to make this, since the wheat berries have to cook for 1 hour. So, it’s a good one to make when you’re home for the afternoon, overseeing homework, etc. Admittedly, this was a side I made for us, more than for the kids. The night I made it, I served it with a simple mustard glazed salmon and some edamame. Then during the week, I had it for lunch, and I did put a scoop on my children’s plate a couple different meals. My older child loved it; my younger child picked the carrots, cranberries and pecans out of it. Not bad. You pick your battles, right?

Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

4 cups of water
1 ½ cups of wheat berries

Handful of shredded carrots
Handful of diced celery

Hanful of diced onion or scallion
Splash of olive oil
Handful of cranberries
Handful of pecans
Splash of red wine vinegar (start with just a little, as you can always add more)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil; add wheat berries (shown above, before they've been cooked).

Reduce the heat to low and cook the wheat berries (uncovered) for about 1 hour or until they are tender and moist (as shown above, see how they puff up and turn a pretty, rich brown color?). Drain any extra liquid.

Return the wheat berries to the saucepan and toss in remaining ingredients. Stir so everything is nicely combined. Once it sits for a couple minutes and the flavors meld, feel free to add a bit more vinegar (to make it more zesty/tangy) or you can add another splash of olive oil if you went too heavy handed on the vinegar the first go round!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Re-Post of Citrus-Infused Black Beans

By popular demand, here's a re-post of the citrus-black beans recipe that I served alongside the chicken enchiladas. Make them as spicy or zesty as you like by adding more chili powder/cayenne (spicy) or orange juice/cider vinegar (zesty). I had a couple extra bell peppers on hand when I made a batch this afternoon, so this time they'll have more texture and they're a little more colorful.

New Food Crush: Rico M. Panada's Empanadas

I love stories like this: boy goes from being high school discus thrower to Argentinean land surveyor to clarinet player in the States…and then has an epiphany while riding the subway, watching two other passengers slop through burger and a slice of jiggly pizza while he neatly eats a homemade empanada. Fast forward through business school, a well-crafted business plan and an entrepreneurship award, and now we can all enjoy Rico M. Panada’s delicious empanadas. Bliss, I tell you. Keep these portable half moon shaped turnovers (which are baked, not fried) in your freezer for a super-easy, portable meal or hearty snack.

Again, as long as you know what’s in them, there’s no guilt in letting someone else do the cooking—particularly if it’s something that would far more laborious for me to whip up, and this guy’s already got it mastered.

The crust of the empanadas is made of: organic whole wheat flour, organic wheat flour, water, canola oil and kosher salt. The fillings are varied. Choose from: Beef, Chicken Pot Pie, Black Bean & Beet, Sweet Corn and Cheese, Spinach & Tofu, or Red Beans & Rice. So far we’ve tried the Black Bean & Beet ones, and the Sweet Corn and Cheese ones. Both were totally different and absolutely delicious, and were gobbled up (one-handed, while shoveling mud) by my little one!!

I found them yesterday when we were running errands out yonder at Whole Foods in White Plains, where a big end aisle freezer display that caught my eye. But good news CT readers: Rico M. Panada's Empanadas can be purchased at Whole Foods Westport, Greenwich, Milford (and soon-to-open Darien). Since I often like to shop in town, I'm going to see if we can't get Alex to stock them at Walter Stewart's as well....

P.S. My camera is off on a father-son Y Guide campout this weekend so these two photos were poached off Rico M. Panada’s blog (which is worth reading for both entertainment, and to be transported to Rico’s tasty business journey).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Snack Pupu Platter

Lately, my kids have been into assembling these pupu platters of snacks and munching on them through their afternoon of tormenting each other-- I mean playing together. There's a section of our snack drawer with various nuts and dried fruits, and other with different kinds of crackers, pretzels, and other crunchy things. Here’s one assemblage that I’ve noticed has been a hit a couple of days this week:

Wheat-Free Tamari Almonds (from the bulk section at Whole Foods)
Organic Dried Cranberries
Mrs. May’s Black Sesame Crunch (found by the checkout at Walter Stewart's)
Mrs. May’s White Sesame Crunch
Ak-Mak Crackers

By the way, those things in the background are not edible, but they sure are fun to play with!

Big batch of enchiladas...

On Wednesday, I was an Enchilada Factory. It was my husband’s birthday, and also my night to cook for the Wednesday Supper Swap. We’d already done the pseudo-birthday celebrating over the long weekend. So, I let him pick what I was going to cook on Wednesday. He chose (my amazing, if I might say so myself) Chicken Enchiladas. Every time I make them they’re a little bit different, depending upon what I have on hand (or remembered to buy). Here’s what was in this week’s batch. As you can see in the photo above, I made enough to feed a small army (or us + 3 other families in the Supper Swap, one friend on bedrest's family, and two smaller dishes for the freezer so my dad and husband don’t starve while my mom and I are at a spa in a couple weeks…). I will post a recipe here for 6 servings, but if you find yourself cooking for many, just double or triple it, as I did:

My Go-To Chicken Enchiladas
6-8 servings (you may double/triple it to make the amount pictured above!)

12 Corn tortillas
15 oz can Enchilada Sauce (my favorite is Hatch brand, which I find at Whole Foods, but any brand will work... note that their "mild" still has a kick)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 organic bell peppers
, chopped
2 onions, diced
2 cups organic spinach (I use frozen)
+ any other vegetables you would like to add, chopped (optional)
1 Bell and Evans rotisserie chicken, meat removed/shredded by hand
2 cups salsa
1 brick organic cream cheese
2 15 oz cans organic beans, rinsed and drained (black or pinto)

In a large pan, sauté the bell peppers, onion and spinach (and any other veggies you may be adding) in a bit of olive oil. Add the shredded chicken, salsa, and cream cheese and beans. Stir until blended, and cream cheese melts to create creamy sauce.

Preheat oven to 350.

To assemble the enchiladas, pour a little drizzle (about 1/4 cup) of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Then simply scoop filling into corn tortillas and roll them, placing them seam side down in the baking dish. If they crack or unroll that is ok, since it’s all going to be smothered in sauce and cheese (mmmmm). Once baking dish is full of enchiladas, pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until warmed though and cheese is golden.

Freezes beautifully, so make a big batch. If you made enough to freeze, you can freeze them cooked or uncooked. Either way, package them in an oven-proof dish so you can pop them straight in the oven from frozen. (It will take about 1 hour to cook the enchiladas if you froze them uncooked, and about 45 minutes to warm them up if you cooked them before freezing.)

Comforting (Vegetarian) Barley Stew

I have a cold. And when I have a cold, I want soup. Here’s a simple, delicious, comforting soup recipe I whipped up yesterday. It comes from the December 2009 issue of Bon Appetit in their “Fast Easy Fresh” section. I served it last night with hunks of the most wonderful bread ever. (More on Charlotte's Super Bread later, when I track down some details...)

Barley Stew with Leeks, Mushrooms and Greens
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2009 issue

Olive oil
1 bunch of leeks, white and pale green parts, chopped
2 containers of sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms
6 garlic cloves, pressed
A couple stalks of fresh rosemary, pulled off the stalk and minced
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup of pearl barley (found by the dried beans in any supermarket)
4-6 cups of vegetable broth
2 bunches of kale, trimmed, center stalk removed b/c it’s really tough, leaves torn into smaller pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the leeks until softened. Add mushrooms, garlic, and rosemary, increase heat to medium-high until mushrooms soften and brown a bit. Add tomatoes (and juice) from the can. Then add barley and 4 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes, or until barley is cooked (it will look puffed up and moist). Then you’ll add the kale, (which will fill the pot!) and cover again until the kale is wilted, just a minute or two. You may need to add another cup or two of broth at this point, so the moisture wilts the kale, and the soup is desired consistency.

Here’s the pictorial version for those who want to see the soup made step by step…

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the leeks until softened.

Add mushrooms, garlic, and rosemary. Stir everything, and increase heat to medium-high until mushrooms soften and brown a bit.

Add tomatoes (and juice) from the can. Then add barley...

...and 4 cups of broth.

Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes, or until barley is cooked (it will look puffed up and moist, as in photo above).

Last step, you add the kale (which will fill the pot!). Stir the soup a bit, and then cover the pot again to wilt the kale. It will just take a minute or two. Note that you may need to add another cup or two of broth at this point (especially if, like me, you added a LOT of kale). The warm broth will wilt the kale, and the soup can be made desired consistency by adding more broth.

This soup is delicious with the earthiness of the rosemary and mushrooms. It will keep for a couple of days, covered in the fridge, and you can simply heat up individual portions.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"This is just a moment..."

Yesterday I came across an article I’d torn out. In the article, Julianna Marguilies tells a story about an ‘aha!’ moment in parenting. She’s exhausted from working all day, and her baby is up screaming in the middle of the night. She works herself into a lather wondering how she’s going to get her screaming baby to stop, compounded by the fact that she’ll be exhausted the next day. Then wisdom from her mother is remembered, “Honey, this is only a moment; it’s not the rest of your life.” Realizing this in the heat of the moment, she relaxed, the baby calmed down, and she felt grounded again. She went to work the next day, on three hours sleep, but she made it through the day (albeit with bags under her eyes) just fine. I can relate to her when she says, “I’m a doer, and I’m always thinking about what’s next on my list.” But this simple little phrase makes so much sense in keeping me living in the present too. And so, when I wake up to too many things on my to-do list and one child home from school sick, I ride the day thinking, “this is just a moment; it’s not the rest of my life.” Most things can wait until tomorrow, I can go to yoga next week, and there is a sniffly someone who wants to be read to right now.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My new favorite snack

I have a new favorite snack: KIND’s Apricot-Almond Bar. Seeing as how these KIND bars have won all sorts of awards and gotten lots of press, I may be preaching to the choir. But, I just get so excited when I find something delicious, portable, and good for me too. My children still prefer dried apricots and almonds on their own, but I am totally addicted to this treat.

Speaking of apricots, this morning as I was making a frittata, my little one asked me if “all eggs have an apricot in the middle?”

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A few of my favorites

There are so many phenomenal blogs out there. Some inspire me in the kitchen, some give me bits to think about, others inspire me as a wife and a mom, and some are just eye candy. If you scroll down the right hand side of this blog, you'll see that I have added links to some of my favorites under “sites that inspire me”.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pork Two Simple, Family-Pleasing Ways – Day Two

As mentioned in my last post, my goal last week was to model Health Magazine’s Double Delicious article. In the article, the cooking was primarily done one day, and then meals were enjoyed in two different variations on two different nights. The challenge was to create dinners with half the effort, but that were still varied and delicious…like I pride myself on being about to make from scratch on the busiest of days. This two-night-pork-gig was a winner, one that I'll definitely repeat during a busy week ahead.

I took the remaining pork tenderloin from Day 1, and chopped it up into (about) ½” pieces, then tossed it into a large sauté pan with a little olive oil, some diced onion, a rinsed and drained can of chickpeas (I thought I had black beans in the pantry but didn’t) and Rosa Mexicano’s Granadilla Sauce (which contains: tomato puree, black beans, crushed tomatillos, onion, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, sugar, salt, red wine vinegar, pomegranate juice concentrate, garlic, cilantro, dried guajillo peppers, dried morita peppers, cloves, allspice). I found the sauce at Whole Foods in Westport, where I often find wonderful, slightly unique sauces to keep in my pantry.

Again, it’s all about having a well-stocked pantry if you want to be able to make simple, delicious dinners any night of the week. My rule of thumb is that these short-cuts are totally fine, as long as I recognize all of the ingredients in a product, and those ingredients are something I would cook with too.

I could have followed Health Magazine’s recipe for Pork and Black Bean Tacos…but, aside from the fact that I didn’t have black beans on hand, I was also having too much fun with my kids to slave over the stove. And so, after combining the pre-cooked pork tenderloin, chickpeas and sauce, I simply put a toppings bar together and let each person assemble their own soft tacos. It was delicious, and truly could not have been easier.

Quick note on the tortillas: I found these Sonoma brand Organic Tortillas at Walter Stewart’s in the refrigerated section over by the eggs. They are wonderful. Search them out!

Pork Two Simple, Family-Pleasing Ways – Day One

Before the snow melted into this random patchiness, we were spending our afternoons outside in the yard sledding and scooping snow. This didn’t leave a lot of time to make dinner so I tried out that theory of “cook once for two day’s meals”. One two meal set, involving pork, was fabulous. The one two-night-gig with salmon was excellent the first night, but no matter how you package it, leftover fish is just sort of, um, nasty.

This recipe was inspired by Health Magazine’s January/February 2010 article, Double Delicious. The magazine proposed Horseradish-Crusted Pork Tenderloin on night one, and Pork & Black Bean Tacos on night two. Because I liked the idea, but didn’t have the ingredients for their recipes on hand (nor the time in the case of night one), here is what I whipped up.

Sweet & Spicy Crusted Pork Tenderloin

As I think I have mentioned before, if you keep a packet of Urban Accents Dry Glazes on hand (sold at Walter Stewart's in town as well as many other markets), you will always be able to whip up a gourmet meal in minutes. The one I happened to have in my pantry was “Bombay Blitz” Dryglaze (which contains: granulated honey, sea salt, sugar, cumin, bell pepper, white peppercorn, coriander, onion, turmeric, Cayenne pepper, green peppercorns, black peppercorns, and vanilla bean powder). It’s a shortcut, but I recognize all the ingredients within, so we’re good to go. I simply rubbed a bit of olive oil on the two 1-pound(ish) pork tenderloins, then sprinkled one bag of dryglaze amongst the two tenderloins (each box of dryglaze comes with two bags), and then went out to sled with the kids. When we came back in, I roasted the pork in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Done!

Then alongside the pork tenderloin, I roasted brussel sprouts (drizzled with olive oil and dusted with a little kosher salt and cumin) and red peppers. The veggies were also roasted at 425 degrees, which made the whole thing very easy. For a starch, I always keep a couple of those Seeds of Change Whole Grain Basmati rice packets in the pantry, which rounded out the meal.

The pork was a little too spicy for my children, so I cut the caramelized crust off, and they basically had plain pork tenderloin and roasted veggies. But everyone was happy. As soon as I pop the kiddos into the tub I can quickly type up what we had on night two with the leftover pork tenderloin, as it was equally delicious (and easy)….

This week's "rainbow plates"

For any of you looking for some new ideas on the children's dinner front, here are some of the "rainbow plates" assembled this week. Hopefully they provide a little inspiration for the five o'clock dinner.

Above: cheddar cheese cut into little bite size stars (very Martha, I know), trail mix (raw almonds, tamari almonds, and dried cranberries), sour cream (used as a dip for the burrito), and a rice and bean burrito (whole wheat wrap stuffed with a mixture of brown rice, black beans and cheese).

Poached pear (left over from the prior night's dinner of my children LOVED it, the other spit it out and asked "why I ruined his pear?!"), cucumber cups (again, left over from the dinner party where I served them with a homemade crab salad...for the kids I just filled them with whipped cream cheese), dried cranberries, and a cheese sandwich on high fiber wheat bread.

Ak-Mak crackers (a favorite here, probably because of their slightly sweet/nutty taste), black beans (easy for little fingers to pick up), carrots, and chicken salad (made by Aux Delices, not me...nutty day that day!)

Roasted broccoli, apple slices, dried apricots, and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tea Time

My husband keeps asking if I’ve come up with my resolutions yet. Nope. This year I am taking a pass on writing them down. Instead, I am trying to be more mindful, overall, not only in regards to my body but also with my mind and my—at the risk out sounding too tutti frutti--spirit. Drinking more liquids (achem, other than coffee and wine) was an easy habit to adopt. But there’s only so much water I want to drink. And so, I’ve created a sort of “penny candy shop” for myself. Each of these hermetic jars holds a variety of my favorite teas. The one on the left is full of herb teas, and the one on the right holds a reserve of green and black teas for when I need a pick me up. They’re festive on the counter, they remind me to stay hydrated, and my children have started enjoying picking out a bag for their own a cup of tea in the afternoons. It’s all so civil. Let’s see if we can keep it up!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Rainbow Plate Ideas...

As we head into the new year, most of us have lofty goals for our own health. Many of us are trying to focus on eating healthier foods, so it’s an excellent time to model healthy eating for our children. In the Northeast, it’s a little more challenging to get great fresh fruits and veggies at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t create some fabulous “rainbow plates” for (or with) your children.

As long as you have a nice selection of healthy foods on hand, and you have done some of the legwork in advance (ex: roasting veggies, making an egg/veggie scramble that can become the filling for a quick breakfast burrito, roasting some chicken breasts, etc.) then each of these plates should be made for your children in a matter of minutes. Totally doable, no matter how busy your days may be!

Though it annoys them to no end (because what they really want to do is just dig in and get back to playing), when I think of it, I’ve snapped a photo of some of my children’s recent meals.

Pictured above: corn (frozen, then steamed), freeze-dried strawberries, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and part of a Trader Joe's Pesto Pasta Bowl (found in their freezer section). Here are several other “rainbow plate” ideas:

Protein Pancakes, a berry compote (made with organic frozen berries), sliced bananas and dried cranberries.
Turkey meatballs (which I make a big batch of, then keep in the freezer for busy days), cucumber slices, carrots (yes, I let them pick out the mini ones this week) and blueberries (not organic, not local...again, I pick my battles!)

Grilled cheese on whole wheat, tomato soup, apple slices, and grapes (and whole milk).

Apple slices, onion rings (my craving, not theirs that particular day), an Applegate Farms turkey hot dog, avocado chunks, bell pepper "swords" (don't ask), and a Feta-Fig Tartlet to try.

Annie's Mac & Cheese with chicken apple sausage and broccoli, grapes, bell pepper slices, and a piece of clafouti for a treat.

When I was downloading the photos above I came across a couple late summer ones I don’t think I posted…a little less relevant because of the fruits and veggies that were available then, but still good for some meal-making inspiration:

Roated zucchini, apple slices, cherry tomatoes (look at those neat colors!!), and grilled chicken with a side of homemade (though store bought would be just fine) pesto as a dip.

Watermelon, pear slices, chunks of kiwi, a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, and steamed corn on the cob...if I remember correctly, the request was "we want a dinner we can eat with our hands!"

(Store bought) Brown Rice California Rolls, sugar snap peas, cucumber slices and low-sodium soy sauce.

Yo Kids Yogurt, an apple, Snap Pea Crisps, and 1/2 of a Trader Joe's veggie lasagna (from the freezer section).