Homemade BBQ Sauce

Much like it's friend ketchup, BBQ sauce is a pretty unhealthy condiment. Since kids eat this sauce like it's a side, we went ahead and made a healthy version. For grownups, we like to add some hot sauce and red chili flakes. Your kids may even like a bit of a kick, so go ahead and add some heat. They might surprise you!

3 tablespoons homemade ketchup
2 teaspoons vegan Worchester sauce
1 teaspoon prune baby food (or homemade prune puree)
1 teaspoon orange juice
Dash of cinnamon
Salt and Pepper

1. Mix all of the ingredients together. Keeps well in the refrigerator.

Cauliflower and Potato Mash

If your child is a fan of mashed potatoes then this is the recipe for you. Some kids don't care for the texture of cauliflower so we've mashed it and combined it with a traditional favorite, the mashed potato. Did you know that cauliflower is a great source for protein? And if your kids are anything like most, it's hard to get that protein in. Your child will not taste the cauliflower in this dish but that doesn't mean we think that you should keep them in the dark. Tell them all about it! (For some folks, they prefer to tell them AFTER their kids taste it, whatever works) If you kids dig this dish, start adding more cauliflower than potato.

Cauliflower and Potato Mash

(Makes about 4 large servings)
25 mins

1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 pound cauliflower florets
5-6 tablespoons low sodium vegetable stock
salt & pepper
onion powder
garlic powder
Suggested seasonings and extras: olive oil, dried dill, hot sauce, hot sauce

1. Boil the potatoes and cauliflower until tender, drain and mash by hand.

2. Slowly add stock, 2 tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached.

3. Season to taste with some of our suggested seasonings and extras.
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Monster Muffins

Baking with kids is one of the best activities in the kitchen. Lots of pouring, measuring and stirring. These muffins are hearty, healthy and sweet. We love piping on cool designs with greek yogurt, like this scull and crossbones for halloween. 

(Serves 6 kiddos)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed in 3 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup zucchini, grated coarsely
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flax seed, agave, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, stir just to combine.

3. Mix in the zucchini, banana, and walnuts. Pour evenly six ways into a muffin tin lined with paper cupcake holders.

4. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes. Let cool before eating.

Black Bean Dip

Ok, so by now you've realized that we love black beans! And what's not to love? It's super healthy, packed full of protein, vitamins and fiber. Plus it keeps bellies full longer. Now we've done black beans and rice, black bean soup, and here's the dip. Kids love dip. Let's face it, dips make life just a little bit better. This dip is really simple and super easy. Encourage your kids to create a design on top with chips. Plating is everything. You eat with your eyes first! This is a great dish for kids in the kitchen who can help add spices and seasonings.

(Serves two kiddos)

1 can of black beans
4 tbsp soy yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp salsa
Garlic powder to taste
Salt to taste

1. In a small blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth or until desired consistency.

Superhero Shake

Ok, this recipe is a winner. It is super successful in the kid crowd. First off, the color is gorgeous and this shake has spinach which you can't even taste! We're betting that you are going to love this shake just as much as your kids. It's packed with protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins. It can be hard to get those fresh leafy greens into your little one's diet, and yet the nutrients carried by leafy greens are vital to your child's health. Unless your kid is down for a salad (and YAY if they are!) then shakes are the way to go. Give this shake a rocking name and you will get far.

But if your kid doesn't like anything green, we recommend making this shake when they aren't looking. Every mom and dad has got to have their secret weapon, the opaque cup. After they drink it up, tell them what's in it! Tell them how strong their body is going to be with all that spinach!

(Serves 2-3 kiddos)

3/4 cup nonfat plain almond yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
5 ice cubes
2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup (or to taste)
1 cup fresh spinach
2 ripe bananas

1. In a blender, combine the yogurt, milk, ice, and agave until smooth.

2. Add in the spinach and banana.

3. Puree until completely smooth.

Cucumber Sandwiches

This recipe is just delightful. DELIGHTFUL. 1. Because it's fast and simple 2. Because it just tastes awesome. Whether it's tea time or a lunchbox sandwich, this is a winner! Use cookie cutters and have your kids help!  

Peeled cucumber slices
100% whole wheat bread
Soy yogurt
Dried dill
Pepper to taste

1. Peel and thinly slice cucumbers.

2. Mix yogurt with seasonings, have the kids help!

3. Spread yogurt on bread, place slices on top add bread and serve.

Cheese and Bean Quesadilla

You want your kids to eat healthy food? This recipe is a winner because it's simple, healthy and so familiar. Subbing with whole wheat tortillas adds protein. This is one of those quick throw together comfort foods that packs in the protein and fiber.
(Makes about one large serving)

2 whole wheat tortillas
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Salt to taste
Barbecue sauce for dipping (recipe follows)

For the barbecue sauce:

3 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons vegan Worchester sauce
1/2 teaspoon prune baby food (or homemade prune puree)
1/2 teaspoon orange juice
Dash of cinnamon 

1. Mix all of the ingredients together. Keeps well in the refrigerator.

For the quesadilla: 

1. Place one of the tortillas on a work surface and cover with the beans. 

2. Lightly mash the beans and spread them to the edges of the tortilla. 

3. Sprinkle with salt (if desired) and cheese.  

4. Heat a large frying pan to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and place the tortilla in the skillet (tortilla side down). Top with remaining tortilla. 

5. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes (spraying the second side with cooking spray before you flip it).  

6. Slice into wedges and serve with barbecue sauce as a dip.

Spooky Squash Soup

We love a hearty fall soup, don't you? Butternut squash is one of those versatile veggies that bring so much richness to a dish. This soup is perfect for kids, it's packed full of flavor with a thick and creamy consistency. Make your own topping design with toothpicks or squeeze bottles. We spooned coconut cream on top of the soup and used a toothpick to fill in the jack-o-lantern with orange eyes, nose and mouth. Pretty spooky, right? Wonder what kind of cool designs your kids come up with-let us know!

Tips on getting your kids to actually EAT this:
Try putting this delicious, thick soup in a cute tea cup or other special cup. Maybe even an espresso cup and then fill it up repeatedly. Make a game of the refills, "Please Sir, may I have some more?" "MOOOORE????????" You get the idea.

(Serves two kids)

12 ounces butternut squash (bought peeled and diced)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a small pot on medium heat.

2. Add the garlic and brown for 1-2 minutes.

3. Once the garlic is slightly starting to brown add the butternut squash.

4. Stir and gently cook for three to four minutes.

5. Add the stock.

6. Season and cover. Turn the heat down and let simmer until the squash is fork tender (about 15 minutes).

7. Puree in a blender or in the pot with a stick blender until completely smooth.

Healthy 'Baked' Beans

Do your kiddos love baked beans? Canned baked beans are notoriously unhealthy, with loads of sugar and fat, no wonder they taste amazing. This recipe is packed full of flavor, simple to make, and above all, healthy. Beans are packed full of fiber and protein. This is a dish that you will want to make again and again. (Or just make a big 'ol batch and freeze and reheat). Comforting and delicious!

(Serves 2 kids)

1 can of Cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste

1. In a small saucepan heat the onion until it begins to sweat.

2. Add the orange juice, tomato paste and brown sugar, stir until smooth. 

3. Once the mixture is smooth, add the beans. Heat until cooked through and serve.

Veggie Burger

In our house, veggie burgers are a pantry staple. Sometimes you just need to eat something healthy, easy and pre made. Throw together one of these babies with some coconut yogurt spread and your kids will be happily eating away. Little ones will love mixing the yogurt spread together while you slice the cucumbers.

One word on veggie burgers, they are not all made equal. In fact MANY of them are not so good for you. Read the ingredients list carefully.

(Makes one large serving)

1 whole wheat English muffin
1 tofu veggie burger
Sliced cucumbers or radishes (optional)
Coconut yogurt spread (recipe below)

For the Greek yogurt Spread:

1 cup nonfat plain coconut yogurt
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 teaspoon of lemon pepper
Dash of salt
Sprinkle of lemon juice (optional)

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.

For the burger:

1. Toast the English muffin.

2. Meanwhile, bring a small frying pan to medium heat. Pan sauté the burger patty.

3. Spread the yogurt mixture onto the English muffin, add the patty and sliced cucumber.

Goldilocks Grits

Putting a new and delicious twist on an old classic. Grits are a great meal for kids, heck, for the whole family! Add some pureed butternut squash and now we're talking. Maybe add a bit of cheeze? Mmmhmmm. Pair with roasted vegetables and you've got dinner made. This also makes for a great breakfast!

(Makes about two small servings)

1/2 cup corn grits (regular, not instant)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup squash baby food (about 2.5 ounces) or freshly roasted and pureed *
1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste 

1. Bring water to a boil.

2. Slowly stir in the grits and turn the heat down. 

3. Cook, stirring continuously for at least 5 minutes. 

4. Stir in the cheese, squash, salt and pepper to taste.

* Want to make your own puree? It's easy. Cut butternut squash into cubes and put on a pan in a 350°degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender. Add to a food processor using a tablespoon of water. Add salt and pepper.