No matter what the age of your child, you want them to be well nourished. We send them out the door to school hoping they will eat a healthy lunch, whether packed by us found on the school lunch line. They may not eat everything (or anything) that we pack, the older ones perhaps dashing off to market for a cup of ramen noodles, a Mountain Dew and a candy bar. But at least with breakfast and dinner still under our control, we can rest assured that two out of the three meals can be healthy and delicious.
I recently served “Not-So-Sloppy Joes” to my daughter and her friend and I was met with rave reviews and lots of enthusiastic comments including, ”I love all of these ingredients in this sandwich!” Coming from an ever-so-polite 4-year-old, my work here was complete!
Serves 4-8, depending on size of hamburger buns.
1 TB. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1½ pounds ground beef, turkey or veggie “meat” crumbles
1 six-ounce can tomato paste
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Optional toppings: Grated cheddar cheese; Greek yogurt; shredded green and/or red cabbage; sliced red onion; Siracha (for those who love spice).
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook until softened (approx. 3-5 minutes). Add the meat, crumbling as it cooks until fully browned. Drain mixture of any excess fat and return to pan. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 12 minutes.
Slice and lightly toast hamburger buns, top with filling and garnish with toppings of choice.
Adapted from Real Simple’s “Meals Made Easy”
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
2-4 sweet potatoes, washed
2 TB. extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp. salt, plus to taste
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
A few dashes of garlic powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven until hot (approx. 15 minutes).
Cut potatoes lengthwise into thin, uniform pieces. Place in a medium-size bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Remove hot baking sheet from oven and arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer. Bake approximately 30 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue cooking approximately 15 more minutes.
Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
Waffle Sticks with Strawberry Yogurt Breakfast Dip
(Makes 2 servings)
1/4 cup organic strawberry or vanilla yogurt
2TB. plain cream cheese
1 TB. strawberry all-fruit spread
4 fresh or frozen organic strawberries (hulled)
4 whole-grain frozen waffles
Combine yogurt, cream cheese, all-fruit spread and strawberries in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Toast waffles, cut into sticks and serve with dip.
Adapted from The Kansas City Star