Kid-Approved Crispy Kale Chips

Summer’s on its way, which means my annual diet is too. I’m always looking for healthy recipes that don’t taste like “diet food”, and this one for Crispy Kale Chips is definitely a keeper!

Jess and Sonia, head foodies over at Damn Delish, shared this recipe with me. I had some kale sitting in the fridge that I needed to use, so I thought I’d try the recipe out myself! It literally takes a minute to throw together and in ten minutes you have a yummy snack that will make you forget about potato chips and french fries…well, almost make you forget about them.

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Crispy Kale Chips

 

Crispy Kale Chips
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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of fresh kale (remove leaves from the stalk and cut in to bit sized pieces)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss kale in olive oil until fully covered, and spread out on a cookie sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt and garlic.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until edges of the leaves are brown.

Notes

Other add on ideas: lemon (freshly squeezed or maybe lemon powder), red pepper flakes, and salt and vinegar.

http://mommyofamonster.com/crispy-kale-chips/

  This recipe for Crispy Kale Chips is kid approved! Ethan actually suggested adding lemon to it, so next time we make Crispy Kale Chips (tomorrow), we’ll be adding some lemon salt, too!

Looking for a healthy snack that the kids will love and ask for more of? This crispy kale chips recipe definitely fits the bill, and only takes 10 minutes or so to make!
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For more healthy recipes that taste good, visit my Healthy Eats and Drinks Pinterest board.

Now head over and visit Jess and Sonia at Damn Delish and make sure to follow them on Pinterest, too!

Trying to get ready for summer and bathing suits? These crispy kale chips will satisfy your craving for potato chips (or other salty snacks) and makes a great snack. It only takes three ingredients and 10 minutes to make! Bonus: It's kid-approved!


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Pesto Salad Dressing (Copycat Recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Dressing)

Not gonna lie…this salad dressing is A-MAZ-ING. Once again, I’m sharing one of my sister Angie’s recipes. What can I say? The girl can cook. This recipe is for pesto salad dressing, and it’s a copycat recipe of Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Dressing. I think this recipe actually is better than the original!

If you are looking for an amazing pesto salad dressing recipe, you've just found it! This recipe is a copycat recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Dressing. It's easy to make, versatile, and delicious!

This pesto salad dressing is simple to make, can be made far in advance, and will stay good in the fridge for more than a week. Not that you’ll have any of this pesto salad dressing left, but if you did, it would keep.

Pesto Salad Dressing

(Copycat Recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Dressing)

Foodie Friday: Pesto Salad Dressing (Copycat Recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Dressing)
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons crushed dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 clove garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Whisk together oil and mayonnaise. Add buttermilk, cheese, basil, salt & garlic. Mix thoroughly. Cover and let flavors combine overnight in refrigerator.
http://mommyofamonster.com/pesto-salad-dressing/

Almost too easy to make right?! And this pesto salad dressing can be served with more than just a salad. Use it as a sandwich spread (I’ve got some more yummy sandwich spreads here). Use it as a dip for chips or nuggets. Mix it in to chicken or egg salad in place of the mayo. Spread it on a hamburger bun. It’s super versatile and it’s so good that you’ll want to eat it with everything!

If you are looking for an amazing pesto salad dressing recipe, you've just found it! This recipe is a copycat recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Dressing. It's easy to make, versatile, and delicious!

If this pesto salad dressing sounds yummy, you should see some of Angie’s other recipes! You can find more of Angie’s recipes here and more sandwich, soup, and salad recipes here. Want even more salad recipes? Check out my board Salads on Pinterest.

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Would you like to get a recipe featured at Mommy of a Monster? Find how how to do it here.

2 Minute Guacamole Recipe

I think it’s safe to say that if you’ve been reading Mommy of a Monster for any length of time that you know I’m a sucker for appetizer and dip recipes. They are kinda my thing, and I’m always looking for new ones or spins on classics. And that’s just what Amy from Beloved Atmosphere is sharing today. She’s taking the classic guacamole recipe and making it quick and easy – she’s sharing her 2 minute guacamole recipe.

Want to make guacamole in a flash? Check out this 2 minute guacamole recipe and a video for her to properly pit an avocado. Includes links to other appetizer and dip recipes.

After several years of travelling the world, stumbling through parenthood and being a teacher & personal tutor, Amy’s charitable gift to those wiser than she is saving them from repeating her family’s slip-ups in World Travel, Parenting, Education, Cooking, DIY+more. Her fun-loving, humorous style shines in her stories of adventure and mishaps. Come on over to Beloved Atmosphere and hang awhile. You’re guaranteed a laugh. Hey, you may even learn something new! So I’m going to let Amy tell you how to prepare her 2 minute guacamole recipe.

2 Minute Guacamole Recipe

2 Minute Guacamole Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado (hass, bacon or fuerte varieties work well)
  • 2 tablespoons medium chunky salsa (Chi-Chiâ??s, Trader Joeâ??s Autentica or Old El Paso are best)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Goya Adobo spice, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice and pit the avocado (see my instructional video below for simple instructions).
  2. Using a spoon, scoop out both halves of the avocado and place the â??meatâ? into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Using a fork, mash the avocado to the desired consistency for your guacamole.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoons of chunky salsa. Gently incorporate into avocado mixture.
  5. Sprinkle in and incorporate the salt, pepper and Adobo spice (if desired), to taste.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh cut-up vegetables or anything you love to pair with guacamole!
http://mommyofamonster.com/2-minute-guacamole-recipe/

Want to make guacamole in a flash? Check out this 2 minute guacamole recipe and a video for her to properly pit an avocado. Includes links to other appetizer and dip recipes.

Yum! Amy’s 2 minute guacamole recipe sounds so good and quick and easy to make…just my style! If you are looking for more appetizer and dip recipes, make sure to check out my board Appetizers & Dips on Pinterest.

Want to make guacamole in a flash? Check out this 2 minute guacamole recipe and a video for her to properly pit an avocado. Includes links to other appetizer and dip recipes.

And Amy’s also included a bonus with her recipe. She shows us how simple it is to properly pit an avocado – watch Amy’s YouTube Video of How to Pit an Avocado.

Now head over and visit Amy at Beloved Atmosphere and make sure to like her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter, too!

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Homemade Baby Food

Today I have another friend sharing a recipe that I think is fantastic! It’s for the littles in your life…homemade baby food.

Amanda from Much Ado About Mommy has an easy recipe for homemade baby food that is healthier (and cheaper) than the stuff you can buy at the store. It’s an easy recipe…right up my alley! Amanda is a writer, blogger, Fantasy Football enthusiast, coupon lover, a total book nerd and movie fanatic. She’s also a self proclaimed Shakespeare geek. She also dreams of becoming a fiction writer (me too!)

So I’ll hand it over to Amanda now.

Homemade Baby Food

Baby food can get pretty expensive after a while, and homemade baby food is inexpensive and easy to make. This recipe makes lots of it - freeze for later!

Hello! I’m Amanda and I’m very excited to have my family’s recipe for homemade baby food featured on Mommy of a Monster and Twins! A little bit about me, I’m originally from Miami and have lived in big cities my whole life up until this past June. Now I am the proud resident of a small town in the Midwest and a stay-at-home mom to an adorable little boy. One of my favorite things to do lately is to find new and exciting recipes for me and my family and I’m happy to be sharing this recipe– taught to me by my mother– which may help other moms save a little money and give their baby a great start on solid foods.

Baby food can get pretty expensive after a while, and while the prepackaged foods are a great way to start off your baby on solids, natural is always better. Always consult with your pediatrician before you give your baby homemade food. Chances are they’ll say it’s okay, but it’s always good to check first.

Making your own baby food will not only be better for your child, but it’ll also save you some money! And it’s easy as pie! Here are the veggies I use in my family’s recipe for homemade baby food.

1 Baked Potato
1 Sweet Potato
1 Squash
1 Bag of Baby Carrots
1 Bag of Green Beans

The first thing you want to do is peel and cut both potatoes. I usually cut slices and then cut the slices in half. You’ll need a big pot to put them in. Then slice up the squash. The slices don’t have to be any particular size, but you don’t want them to be too big because you’re going to blend everything after it’s done cooking.

The baby carrots can go in as is and for the green beans, you’ll want to cut the ends off and break them in half. Put everything into the pot and fill it with water until the veggies are submerged. You don’t have to use a whole lot of water for this, just enough to cover the vegetables.

Boil on Medium high, stirring occasionally until the veggies are tender. You should be able to cut them without much effort with your stirring spoon. Once they’re done, let them cool for a little while. The whole process should take about an hour or so, depending on how big the potato pieces are.

After the pot is cool, get out your blender and pour a little bit of the water in and then add veggies. You want the consistency to be a little thick, so make sure to use more vegetables than water. I usually do two scoops of water and two big scoops of veggies. Pour it into a Tupperware for storage or you can even use an ice tray to make portions easier! Continue until all the veggies are blended. You may have more water than veggies left in the pot. That’s okay. Just drain the water and use the last of the veggies. Also, make sure that all the veggies have been blended completely; be sure that there are no chunks of anything.

From start to finish, this takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and it makes a ton! I made some for my son just last night and we filled up four containers! Three of those went into the freezer for later use and the other is in the refrigerator for the next couple of weeks. Another great way to store the food and keep it in portions is to use ice trays! After the food freezes, you can take the cubes out of the trays and put them into a freezer bag. This allows you to use as much as you need at a time, while having to worry about needing to use it before it goes bad.

If you’re just using tupperware to store it, that’s fine. It’s what I use, just make sure to keep an eye on it! Typically, the food in tupperware will stay fresh in the fridge for about a week or two.

Paying a couple of bucks for these vegetables is so much cheaper than buying the pre packaged baby food and it’s better for your sweet baby because it’s natural. If you bought as many packaged foods as this recipe makes, you would likely spend over thirty dollars, maybe more!

All moms like to save money! Thanks for sharing this homemade baby food recipe with us, Amanda!

Head over and visit Amanda at Much Ado About Mommy and make sure to like her Facebook page, too!

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Nut Free Chocolate Power Balls

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve had a chance to sit down and write! Between the kids’ schedule, trying to move my office to another room, family stuff, and work, it’s been crazy here. Luckily, I have friends who have offered to share favorite recipes here on Mommy of a Monster, and I have a really yummy one for you today that Deb from Raising Healthy Kids offered to share for her Nut Free Chocolate Power Balls!

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.  Find more inspiring tips on her website http://www.raisinghealthkids.co and follow her on both Twitter @Deb_Lowther and Pinterest.

Nut Free Chocolate Power Balls

With only 5 ingredients, these Nut Free Chocolate Power Balls are easy to make and require NO BAKING! They are sweet, a little crunchy, chocolaty & healthy! They make a perfect on-the-go snack!
With only 5 ingredients, these Nut Free Chocolate Power Balls are easy to make and require NO BAKING!

They are sweet, a little crunchy, chocolaty and healthy!  Yup. Good for you.  They are made from dates which is a fruit high in fibre, potassium, copper and magnesium. Add the oats and seed ( or natural peanut) butter and you just added a ton of protein, more fibre and B vitamins. All rolled up in a easy to make, convenient on the go snack, energy packed chocolate power ball!

Perfect for kids in between activities, healthy school lunches and even for parents who are heading off to the gym and need a snack.  Give these a try and let me know what you think.

Nut Free Chocolate Power Balls
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Ingredients

  • 25 pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup WOW butter or other seed butter (or natural peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup rolled oats plain or toasted*
  • handful of chocolate chips (optional)
  • *To toast the rolled oats, spread 1 cup of oats onto a cookie sheet covered in foil, spray the rolled oats with extra virgin olive oil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until oats are toasted brown â?? stirring every 10 minutes. When cooled, add to food processor. I find this give the power balls a nice flavour, but toasting the rolled oats is not necessary â?? my kids loved them either way.

Instructions

  1. Measure all ingredients into a Cuisinart or similar food processor. Pulse until well mixed. Scoop by spoonfuls into your hand and squish together, roll into balls or flatten into bars.
  2. If they are too crumbly add a few more dates or a bit more WOW butter. This recipe yielded 25 mini balls for us but you can roll the balls as big or small as you like.
  3. They store perfectly in the freezer but donâ??t require refrigeration.
http://mommyofamonster.com/nut-free-chocolate-power-balls/

Thanks for sharing this recipe for chocolate power balls Deb…I can’t wait to make these for my kids! Now head over to Raising Healthy Kids for even more great recipes and more from Deb. And if you are looking for more healthy recipes, my kids love this Layered Hummus recipe and regularly ask for  this yummy after school snack. You can also check out my Healthy Eats and Drinks board on Pinterest for even more recipes!

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