Penny Pinching Peach


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Warm Salad

Warm salad

Warm salad

My kiddos and I love our veggies.

Sometimes you don’t really need a recipe to have a quick and healthy meal, and this is one of those times. When I was a little one, I loved veggies, but absolutely hated salads. I think it may’ve been because they were just so much lettuce and so little flavor, so it kinda felt like I was literally eating rabbit food.

My munchkins love Mommy style salads, because there are lots of veggies, but lettuce is never the only star of the show. I have mixed greens growing in my little backyard garden, and prefer spinach or green leaf lettuce to iceberg, for both taste and nutrition. I make sure to use a variety of ingredients like a variety of veggies, shredded or cubed cheese, crushed pecans or croutons, fruit, and at times even proteins like chicken or egg.

Sometimes I even make a warm salad, which is what I want to share with y’all now. For supper the other night I threw together a warm broccoli, carrot and egg salad, which the kiddos and I gobbled right up. Wanna try it?

You’ll need to steamed or boiled  broccoli florets and julienned or thinly sliced carrots. (If you’re in a huge hurry, you can microwave them on high for 4 minutes in a microwave safe container with a moist paper towel over them.) Add chopped boiled eggs, shredded cheese and a small amount of salad dressing. You want enough dressing to lightly coat your veggies, but not enough for them to swim in. 🙂 We used caesar salad dressing this time, because that’s what was in the fridge at the time. Ranch or Italian both work well, also. Stir until everything is well coated, and serve warm.

It’s as simple as that! I had my little ones digging into their vittles less than 10 minutes after I opened the fridge to gather my ingredients together. They thought it was yummy, and I knew it was healthy. That is what I call a win-win! 🙂

Good stuff!

Good stuff!

What is your favorite kind of salad?

We eat lots of different types of salads during the spring and summer. There are just too many delicious fresh fruits and veggies available this time of year for us not to take advantage of them! They make for many healthy, delectable meals, desserts and snacks for this penny pinching peach’s family. 🙂

For another great vegetarian dish, try my Easy Mexican Bean Salad!

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Super Yummy Don’t-Tell-Them-They’re-Healthy Snacks

Veggie snack

Veggie Snack

I decided to come up with healthier versions of premade snacks my kiddos can just open the fridge and get out when I’m in the middle of something.

My kiddos are always munching away, and often get hungry when I really don’t have time to make even a quick snack.  By the way, I actually do tell my kids when their food is healthy, because I want them to know they are eating well and still enjoy what they’re eating instead of thinking junk is better. It sounded cute, though. 😉

Here are a few of my ideas for quick and healthy snacks…

One idea I came up with for inexpensive premade snacks of the healthy variety is to chop up some veggies into little stick shapes, get some ranch dressing or other preferred veggie dip and put it all together in a two sided container. In this case, I used a KFC Go Cup, because it is about the right size and already divided into two sections for the two parts. I have a lot of cucumbers from the garden and carrots are cheap, so that was my choice for this particular cup. Some other suggestions would be celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, sugar pea, broccoli, cauliflower or baby carrots.

*Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Using the same KFC Go Cup, or a similar divided container, such as these awesome Easylunchboxes 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers “Classic” (Set Of 4). Bpa-Free. Easy-Open Lids (Not Leakproof)
, try slicing apples or green grapes and making a dip of peanut butter and honey.

The above suggestions have to be refrigerated if not being used immediately, but the ideas below are good for a snack drawer or shelf the kids can free range graze. 🙂

In small sandwich baggies, put in handfuls of homemade snack mix. One that I tried recently was Taco Seasoned Chex Mix. It could be adapted with your own seasonings you’d normally use in tacos, I was just trying it following their recipe to start. I like that it has very little sugar (a small amount in the cereals) and is fairly filling.

Another sandwich bag filler is GORP: Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. I mix two parts each of raisins and peanuts with one part M&Ms or chocolate chips, and it is soooooo yummy! I wouldn’t call it a health food, but it will fulfill your kiddos’ junk food cravings without allowing them to completely binge on sugar.

You can whip up a batch of my Yummy Oatmeal Banana Healthy Cookies and put a couple in each baggie for a great quick and healthy snackeroo that will satisfy even a hungry hubby. 🙂

This premade healthy thing can be applied to simply putting various fruits, veggies or nuts into serving sized containers for your kids to grab at will. Children tend to eat what is easily accessed, just like adults, and it is up to the grownups in their lives to provide them with solid choices.

What are some of your favorite homemade convenience snacks? Need more snack ideas? Check out After School Snacks!

 


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Freezing Peppers

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Freezing Your Own Cayenne Peppers!

I always I try to stretch a dollar while feeding my family with healthy foods is to keep a garden and put up what we won’t eat while fresh for later.

To be honest, I haven’t progressed to the point of having a humongous garden to provide limitless bounty to can for stocking a huge pantry of shelves I don’t yet have. I was raised doing it, but haven’t been able to do it myself yet as an adult on my own. This year I have a little semi raised bed measuring roughly 16′ by 3′, plus a few potted veggies. It won’t provide enough food to last us year round, but it does provide a large chunk of our produce for the spring and summer, plus a bit to put up for later.

*May contain affiliate links,  which help my little family without costing yours any extra.*

One of my favorite vegetables I put up last year was excess peppers.

Order non GMO seeds and supplies using the coupon code SAVE10NOW for 10% off at SeedsNow!

Since I don’t get enough of anything at once to make a big batch of anything, I tend to freeze things more than canning. I can always can most things later if I get enough of something frozen and want to make a sauce or jelly or some such delicacy out of them. I froze bell peppers and cayenne peppers to use in cooking.

Wanna know how to do it yourself? Here’s how I froze my peppers…

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Preserving Your Own Bell Peppers!

Wash and seed peppers, then slice and lay out on cookie sheets. Pop them in the freezer just like that. This step keeps them from clumping together in a big mess in your freezer bags. I left them in for about an hour, then got them out and tossed them into labeled freezer bags. I squeezed out all the air I could before sealing, then laid them flat to freeze. They should keep like this for at least several months. I still have a couple of bags left from last August, and they are fine & dandy.

Which veggies and fruits do you prefer to freeze to keep them fresh & yummy? Which would you like to try freezing, but haven’t yet? Go see how I made some great diy topsy turvy style tomato planters!


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Ramen Noodle Meals

Ingredients

Ingredients

If you are like me, you make an honest attempt at feeding your family healthy meals, but sometimes…you settle for kinda sorta healthy. One of my “I’m too busy to be truly healthy” meals is to make souped up Ramen noodles.

One beyond easy option? Merely fix a box of the teriyaki flavored noodles in the microwave while sauteeing some fresh spinach and mushrooms in a pan with a bit of butter. When the noodles are finished, just stir it all together and eat. I only use half of the seasoning, because the sodium content is through the roof and it tastes fine without it all.

Fancy Pants Ramen Noodles

Fancy Pants Ramen Noodles

Another way? Get the regular type of ramen you have to boil. The flavor doesn’t matter because you aren’t going to eat it. While the noodles are boiling, shred a carrot, slice a few mushrooms and toss some mushrooms into a pan with a little butter or olive oil. Saute until just tender, then push to the edges of the pan and scramble an egg or two in the middle. Add the noodles. For seasoning, I either saute some minced garlic with the veggies, sprinkle a generous ammount of parmesan with the finished product or spritz it with some soy sauce. Whichever way you choose, it’s yummy and even moderately healthy. 🙂

Yet another yummy Ramen twist? Make it into tuna casserole. Cook the noodles while you mix a dollop of mayo, dollop of sour cream, handful of cheddar cheese, diced celery, and sliced mushrooms (canned or fresh). Stir it all together in a small baking dish and top with either crushed Ritz crackers or cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F until warm through, usually about 20 minutes.

One last version for the day? Boil two packs of the noodles at the same time as microwaving a steam bag of broccoli florets. When they are both ready, throw together in a large pot with a can of cream of chicken soup, half a cup of sour cream, and about a cup of cheddar cheese until warmed through. Supper is served!

What are some of your favorite twists on Ramen noodles?

For some great recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!

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