The perfect breakfast Valentines Day food – a HEART-y breakfast made with lots of heart! This Valentines Day breakfast is perfect for showing your Valentine and family how much you care for them without putting in a ton of work to make it. Everything can be made in 20 minutes or less with little to no extra prep work. Don’t worry about waking up early to make the perfect breakfast of Valentines Day food – this hearty breakfast can be totally made in the oven while you brew the coffee.
Show me a parent of a little who doesn’t struggle at least a small amount with getting their small children to eat veggies and I’ll show you a very, very, very lucky parent. Although I feel like my boys are pretty well-rounded (something I thank baby led weaning for every.single.day) I’d be lying if meals weren’t sometimes a struggle. If it were up to Owen, he would eat bananas and cheese sticks all day long, and Ryan is following his momma’s footsteps in becoming a devoted lover of all things pizza and mac and cheese.
While I’m all for balanced eats – I try not to make things ‘off limits’ for my kids as to not create a weird relationship with food – it’s easy for their diets to quickly tilt towards too many carbs and cheese and not enough veggies. On days (okay, weeks) when you’re just trying to keep the kids happy and alive without losing your mind, it’s easy to just give them whatever will keep ’em happy and quiet for as long as humanly possible in order to buy yourself a few minutes of sanity. I’ve been there. It’s not a fun place to be.
Happy Monday, friends! I’m here today with a special treat – a guest post from my friend Tanya of Mom’s Small Victories! She’s a blogger I admire and love to follow (not to mention a fellow planner addict!) and I can’t wait to introduce you to her.
Since I know a lot of you struggle with different food allergies and restrictions – you might remember that I’ve experimented quite a few times myself in an effort to help my eczema or when Ryan was MSPI – I was so excited when she asked to share a collection of delicious dairy, refined sugar and gluten free recipes. Keep reading to find your new favorite allergy friendly dishes!
A twist on a childhood classic, Secretly Veggie Sloppy Joes are packed with veggies but taste like a traditional sloppy joe – the perfect weeknight meal to satisfy the whole family. With extra veggies and no ketchup or added sugar, it’s a meal you can feel great serving.
Who else immediately thinks of the movie Billy Madison every time they think of sloppy joes? That scene where they’re in the school cafeteria and the creepy lunch lady comes over and is like, “I made ’em extra shloppy for you!” kills me. Isn’t it weird how random things make us think about even more random things?
With the new year here, a lot of us are looking to start 2017 on a healthier foot – both for ourselves and our families. While my boys are both great eaters who will try anything at least once, (knock on wood!) at 2.5, Ryan definitely eyes veggies a certain way if you know what I mean. So I’ve had to get a little creative when it comes to packing him with veggies. The kid will literally eat anything in smoothie form, so we’ve got that down but a purely liquid diet is obviously not an ideal situation.
These Secretly Veggie Sloppy Joes taste just like your kids’ favorite sloppy joes, but are secretly packed with veggies, have zero processed ingredients, and use maple syrup as the sweetener rather than a more traditional ketchup and brown sugar combo. Feel free to substitute in honey – since we follow baby led weaning, I used a baby-safe sweetener.
This recipe relies on finely diced zucchini and mushrooms to add in texture and bulk up the meal while also adding in nutrition. Since mushrooms tend to have a ‘meaty’ texture and zucchini absorb flavor very easily, they’re both perfect options for this. If you think your kiddos will notice and object, feel free to peel the zucchini first, but make sure you still chop it into very small cubes so that the texture isn’t noticeable when mixed with the ground meat. I wouldn’t suggest grating it as the texture might get funky.
The sauce comes together easily – add all of the ingredients to the pan, mix and simmer until you’re ready to eat – and doesn’t rely on ketchup or sugar to make it tasty, a total win if you’re looking to cut out processed ingredients and/or white sugar and corn syrup in your house. It’s a win-win : your kids will love this tasty dinner, and you’ll love that they’re eating veggies happily. You can serve this plain, on a soft roll, or even over pasta or zoodles. I always enjoy mine with a slice of American cheese since it’s how I ate them as a kid.
Secretly Veggie Sloppy Joes
1-1.5 lbs ground beef*
.5 medium onion, minced
5-6 mushrooms, minced
.5 large zucchini, minced
1 bell pepper (I used red), minced
3 TBS tomato paste
2 TBS Worchestershire
2 TBS maple syrup
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
Brown the meat and set aside. If there’s more than 2 tablespoons or so of fat in the pan, remove the excess and cook the onion and pepper over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in zucchini and mushrooms, cook another 3-4 minutes before adding in garlic and cooking another minute. Stir in cooked meat and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on medium for at least 15 minutes, or reduce to low and cook until ready to eat.
This mixture freezes very well – I recommend freezing in single portions for quick meals and defrosting!
* You could use another meat, I just prefer beef sloppy joes!
* We use a lot of garlic in our house – here I used 5 or 6 large cloves, but feel free to keep it to 1 or 2
Looking for more easy ways to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? Grab your FREE copy of Eat the Rainbow – 10 fun and easy fruit and vegetable snacks that will take less than 1 minute. Your kids will be begging to eat these fun fruits and vegetables.
Okay, so tell me – what are some of your favorite ways to sneak in veggies? Anyone else love the movie, Billy Madison? Let me know in the comments!
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Well, my friends – it’s November! We are well into fall, the temperatures have finally dropped, leaves have almost all fallen, and all I want to eat is comfort food – like this Easiest Minestrone.
By the way – tomorrow you will, in fact, be overwhelmed with Halloween pictures. Never fear, my friends.