Category Archives: dinner tips for kids

Veggie Quinoa Frittata

Frittata is an Italian egg-based dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheese, vegetables or pasta.  It may be flavored with herbs.  They are so versatile that I never make them the same way twice and they are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It is a great way to get more veggies into my family’s diet and everyone in my house is pretty happy when I make them.  The kids especially like a slice with a little ketchup drizzled on top.

Slice of Frittata

Pre-cook 1/3 cup of quinoa in 1/3 cup of water for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Set aside.

This frittata was a veggie version.  But, sometimes I check out my fridge to see if there is any leftover ham, chicken or pork.  Any leftover meat or veggies are perfect for a frittata!!  Cube it and throw that in too.  Otherwise, pick any veggies that you have on hand and chop them.

First Harvest Asparagus

I was pretty excited that I was able to harvest my first batch of asparagus from the garden today.  Since it is a small handful, it will not be enough to serve for dinner, so into my frittata it goes!!

Use a medium-sized fry pan that can be placed in the oven, under a broiler.  Sautee the veggies in a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil until softened.

Sauteed Veggies

Once the veggies are done, spread them out evenly in the fry pan and place the cooked quinoa on top.  Quinoa is perfect because it will settle to the bottom of the dish and give it some crunch, almost like a crust.  This is the perfect time to add leftover meat.

Layer Quinoa

Wisk 5 eggs in a small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Gently pour the eggs over the veggies and quinoa evenly.  I strategically placed a few slices of sweet baby red peppers to fancy it up.  This is the perfect time to sprinkle a little shredded cheese or grated parmesan if you’d like.

Cook over medium heat until the eggs are almost completely set.

Quinoa Egg Frittata

To finish cooking the eggs, I place it under a broiler a few minutes until the top is cooked and golden brown.

Veggie Quinoa Frittata

Slide the frittata out of the pan and cut into wedges to serve.

Healthy Quinoa Frittata

Lunch is served!!

Mini Turkey Meatballs

Here’s another great way to get your kids in the kitchen making a quick and healthy dinner.  My 5 and 3-year-old helped me mix the ingredients and roll them into little balls.  We used a melon baller to get equal amount of mixture to each meatball.  They are cute, kid friendly because of their size and texture and quick to bake.  Of course I added a veggie ingredient for added nutrition.  By using the melon baller, I was able to make 63 mini meatballs out of 1 pound of ground turkey!

Mini Meatballs

Mini Turkey Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey

1/4 C bread crumbs

1 small onion, diced

1/4 C bell pepper

1 egg, beaten

2 TB fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven 350°.  Mix all ingredients until well combined.  Scoop up using a melon baller and roll in between your hand until a round uniform shape is achieved.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flip the meatballs half way through.  Once baked, add the meatballs to pasta sauce and serve over pasta.

Why not make another batch and freeze them?  Layer the meatball on Sweet Stackers – stackable trays which fit many popular brands of plastic food storage containers.  Helps to save space in a packed freezer!  The trays will separate the meatballs to prevent them from sticking together.  Once frozen solid they can be removed and placed in a plastic freezer bag.  Visit sweetstackers.com!

Frozen meatballs can be thawed directly in a pot of pasta sauce on the stove top for a quick dinner.

Carrot Apple Salad

Carrot Salad…yeah, I was never a big fan until I tried this combination and my kids loved it!  Only 4 ingredients, how much easier can you get?

Carrot Salad

I am trying to change things up and find new ways to get more servings of vegetables in our diet.  I thought this was a pretty clever salad that appealed to all of my kids (and Mom & Dad too).   Raw veggies are the best for us.  I have some success with my kids eating raw baby carrots at lunchtime, but they are too difficult to eat for young children.  So my 5-year-old will eat them and my 3-year-old says “it’s too hard”.  So this salad is perfect for even my 1-year-old to eat because the carrots are shredded and the apples are cut into a very small dice.  The combination of flavors are very appealing too.  I like the sweet flavor of the carrot and raisins combined with the crunch of the apple.

Here’s is another tip that I learned recently for getting your youngsters to eat their vegetables at dinnertime and I think it makes perfect sense!  Serve the vegetable as a first course instead of a side.  I watch my kids eat up their dinner and usually leave their veggie for the end.  Sometimes it turns out that they are “full” by the time they get to the most important part of their meal.  So I tried this theory one night and served this Carrot Apple Salad as a first course, in a small individual bowls for my whole family.  My kids at first looked at me funny and said, “hey, where’s my dinner”, but then I explained that it was still coming.  All three kids gobbled up this salad with no complaints.  They were hungry and didn’t fill up on the rest of their dinner yet.

Carrot Apple Salad

note: may be doubled, tripled depending on how many you are serving

1 large organic carrot, shredded with box grater

1 small apple, diced small

1/4 C raisins

1-2 TB mayonnaise

Toss the shredded carrot, apple and raisins together and coat with mayonnaise.