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A Veggie Muffin Recipe that Got Even Barb to Eat Beets

If I hide, you can't make me eat it.

 

Just. Can't. Eat. It.

Just. Can’t. Eat. It.

I am not at all someone who needs to be coaxed to eat vegetables. I might even be considered a FOV (Friend of Vegetables).

Asparagus? Awesome.

Sugar snap peas? So delicious.

Fresh tomatoes from the garden? Swoon.

But then there are beets. Just. Can’t. Eat. Them.

Hey, beets, what’s not to love about you? You are highly nutritious. You are a member of the chenopod family, which also includes chard, spinach, and quinoa. I love all of those foods. But not you.

And did I tell you are gorgeous, beets? With your ridiculously vibrant color. I want to love you. I do. I try from time to time, always hoping against hope that you will live up to your promise.

Ummm, no.

Ummm, no.

The best I could ever say is that you taste like sweet dirt. I’m sorry, that’s probably mean. But it’s true.

And yet, I kept trying to love you. Because you are good for me, and you are beautiful. And because you show up on the menus of restaurants I love. (Besides the recipe below, I have only ever been able to eat beets in the delicious salad called The Bizness – David’s Special at The Bronze Café.)

So it was a great and welcome surprise that beets can work very well in muffins. I have been a fan of hiding incorporating veggies for my kids, but this time, I did it for me. And…these muffins taste great. Both of my kids really liked them, as well.

The batter is a shocking pink, but the finished product is not. (Science-geek-moms, why is that?)

I did not use whole wheat flour, but I have had good luck with substituting half whole wheat flour for half white flour. So it’s worth a try, if you’d like to increase the fiber in these muffins.

Enjoy!

If I hide, you can't make me eat it.

If I hide, you can’t make me eat it.


 

Mmmmmmm.

Mmmmmmm.

Beet-Carrot-Zucchini Muffins (adapted from The Kitchn)

Makes 10-12 muffins

1¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup grated carrots
½ cup grated zucchini
½ cup finely grated beets
¼ cup raisins
⅔ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup cooking oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease muffin tins, or line with paper liners.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix the grated vegetables.

In a large mixing bowl, beat maple syrup and oil until emulsified. Add eggs one at a time, beating until batter is smooth. Add flour mixture in three or four batches, mixing gently. Stir in the vegetables.

Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before removing

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What No One Tells You About Being a New Mom

Hey ladies! So as you all know, I am a brand new mommy. I love everyday of it and all of the adventures it throws my way. Heck, as I sit here writing this and trying to breastfeed at the same time, all I can think about is all the things no one tells you about being a new mommy.

For example, no one ever told me that I would have my Mamaroo set up next to my toilet just so I can go to the bathroom without the baby crying! I have learned to even breastfeed while doing my business in the bathroom! (You all know you have too!!!)

Also, I have learned that dropping food on my child’s head while cooking or eating is totally normal. Thank goodness for wraps and baby wearing or my family would starve, My child has had more veggies dropped on his poor head then I can count.

Let’s talk about eating those amazing meals I have prepared while balancing a baby. I never knew I could eat so fast. Once little man smells food, he is awake and wants to eat. I have tried feeding him right before and to no avail, it never works. Which in turn leads to more food on his poor head.

Another really good one is how the first time you accidentally hurt your child, you will freak out! I was home alone and walking through a door and hit my child’s head on the door jam! I called my mother crying and saying I was the worst mother alive. I was picturing CPS showing up at my door any minute and cried harder than my little guy did! Oh the drama!

image3

The sleep thing is obvious and no one was kidding, but the first time you wake up mid-breastfeeding and don’t even remember starting to breastfeed is a little startling! The first time it happened, I sat there, looked around and wondered how the heck I even got the Boppy, latched him on and fed without waking up. So bizarre. All in all, this is the most amazing thing I have done with my life and I am sure there are so many more adventures to come! Can’t wait to share more!  Comment below and let me know some things that surprised you when learning to adapt to motherhood!

I also wanted to share this amazing recipe I discovered and made the other day! It was a huge hit and I am all about the healthy dishes! Please enjoy!

IMG_0244

 

 

AVOCADO MAC N’ CHEESE

 

Ingredients

10 oz of veggie pasta
1 clove of garlic
2-3 avocados peeled and pitted
2 tsp of fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp. wheat flour
1 cup almond milk
2 cups of shredded lowfat cheddar cheese

Instructions

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook and drain pasta.  Set aside.

2. Combine garlic, avocados, lime juice in a food processor or blender and pulse until creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir into the butter until it forms a paste. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Stir until it starts to thicken and then add the cheese slowly. Stir until melted and creamy.

4. Place the noodles in a large bowl. Add in avocado sauce and cheese sauce and stir to combine. Serve warm.

FullSizeRender

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Chuck E. Cheese’s New Menu Review & ***GIVEAWAY***

Hey mamas! This past week, the fambam and I got invited to Chuck E. Cheese’s to test out their new menu, which included: new pizzas, appetizers, healthier options and dessert. But of course we went, who doesn’t like playing at Chuck E. Cheese and eating pizza!

 

Check out their new menu:

New Pizzas:

* Thin & Crispy crust – you can make any pizza in the menu thin & crispy

* Cali Alfredo – newest specialty pizza made with Alfredo sauce, fresh spinach, shredded mozzarella, chicken breast, sliced mushrooms, and sausage

* BBQ chicken pizza- features crispy onions and a new BBQ drizzle

Sandwiches and Wraps:

* Caesar and Club Wraps made with whole wheat tortillas

* Oven Roasted BBQ chicken ciabatta sandwich

Chicken Wings and Breadsticks:

* BBQ and Sweet Chili Boneless and Bone-In chicken wings

* Soft Parmesan Breadsticks

* Buffalo chicken cheesy bread

Dessert:

* Dessert Churros served with salted caramel and white chocolate icing

* Cinnamon Sticks- new and improved stuffed with more cinnamon crunch and topped with white chocolate icing

So my foodie review is an A+ for the new thin and crispy pizza options that they offer for any pizza on the menu, I loved their thin and crispy pizza! I also enjoyed the Chicken Alfredo pizza because all the ingredients were fresh (no canned mushrooms, thank goodness)! The BBQ chicken pizza was quite delicious as well, the crispy onions just give it a wonderful texture and had a delicious BBQ flavor. As for the two new wrap offerings, it was OK because of the overwhelming amount of dressing for my taste, however my father-in-law enjoyed both of them and would order them again. The sweet chili wings reminded me of the Thai chicken wings I make with Mae Ploy sauce, but a little spicier. The kiddos’ favorites were the pizza, BBQ wings, BBQ sandwich, Parmesan breadsticks and the Churros with the salted caramel sauce. Overall, the menu had something for everyone to enjoy.

 

After eating, we had to get our game on to burn off all the yummy food. It’s imperative for me to hit the arcade basketball, it’s my favorite game of all time (yes, I get competitive) so I couldn’t pass it up! My kiddos love playing all the ticket games and of course, cashing in their tickets.

Here’s a tip: Prior to going to Chuck E. Cheese, download their free game app on Apple Store or Android, so that you can redeem real tickets to use (my 8 year old son managed to get 540 tickets!) FYI: You need to redeem the tickets, which then get emailed to you, and then you need to print it out to bring and give to the ticket attendant (Lol, I didn’t so that’s why I’m forewarning you, but hey, we’ll use it next time). So 4,000 + tickets later we got some nice prizes and it was time to go.

Until next time Chuck E. Cheese’s…We’ll be back!

Contest Alert:

We are giving one lucky winner a Chuck E. Cheese’s Guest pass that gives you 1 large pizza, 4 soft drinks, and 30 game tokens!

Make sure to like Las Vegas Moms Blog on Facebook and comment below with your favorite Chuck E Cheese memories new and old! Contest ends Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 8pm PST. Good luck, mamas!

I would recommend checking out the new menu available in Las Vegas at: www.chuckecheese.com/newmenu

You can also visit and like Chuck E. Cheese’s Facebook page

They’re also on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and you can use hashtag #CECLasVegas

****Did you know you don’t have to spend all your tickets in one day, the ticket attendant will print out a new ticket of your remaining tickets, so no need to rush the kiddos to pick out prizes they don’t care for because they think they have to spend all their tickets in one day.
(Disclaimer: I feed my family less processed foods for the most part but I believe that you can eat other foods in moderation). Click HERE or at the end of my bio below to read other posts by me!

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Healthy Habits For Picky Eaters

Being a mama of three small children can be a challenge, especially when it comes to eating. I noticed each one of my children goes through different eating phases as far as pickiness goes. I went through dessert negotiations when they were all toddlers. Like if you eat three more bites I’ll give you dessert. Then I realized that I was doing more harm by doing that. Usually this leads to negotiating other things, i.e. my son/daughters say if I do something, what will I get for doing that. For me, I want them to do something because they want to do it, not because they are expecting something in return. So I felt like I had to make a change and hopefully these tips will help your picky eater so they can have more of a diverse palate then just eating chicken tenders, pizza, or mac & cheese.

1. Take them with you when you go shopping for groceries so they can pick out some fruits and vegetables. I like taking my kiddos to the local farmer’s markets because it allows them to take some control of what they want to eat plus they get excited about what new fruit and vegetable they picked out. Another plus is they understand where their local food comes from and they get to know their local farmers and artisans.

2. Involve your kids in the cooking process. It’s so much more fun for them to be a part of cooking, let them be your taste testers. They’ll be proud that they helped out, hence they will more than likely eat the food you put on the table.

3. Educate them during dinner time. I tell them that its important to eat healthy and that they are fortunate to be able to eat different varieties of food. I want them to understand that food is fuel for the body and there are essential vitamins and minerals we need to eat for us to have a healthy body. I also tell them that there a lot of children all over the world that don’t have a choice or sometimes go without a food, it might sound cruel to some mamas but I’m just being real.

4. Be consistent with what you serve, they might eat a bite or two but eventually they’ll eat it. I always serve some sort of greens with our meal. My two older kiddos likes their greens plain but my toddler likes her w/ a little homemade salad dressing (balsamic vinegar and evoo/Avocado oil w/ sea salt).

5. Encourage and praise them when they try something new, especially when they are toddlers. I always clap my hands and tell my toddler I’m proud of her when she tries a different vegetable. It makes her feel so happy and she tends to eat more so she can hear me clap.

Hopefully some of my tips will help you mamas out there because we are in this together and healthy children are a good investment in our future and theirs.

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Clean 15 & The Dirty Dozen || Produce Cheat Sheet

PRODUCE CHEAT SHEET

PRODUCE CHEAT SHEETOrganic vs Conventional? Why is it important to choose organic anyway?! Organic options of a lot of our favorite fruits and vegetables are available. Some folks buy only organic, others say it’s too much of a hassle to go organic since there is a difference in cost and availability. Use this cheat sheet to help you decide what is acceptable to buy conventionally grown and what produce should be only bought as organic. Some argue that they cannot afford to buy organic, but I am here to say, you cannot afford to ingest foods that may put our family at risk of unnecessary exposure to pesticides (poison!) I can happily share that it is not necessary to buy all organic produce. It is ideal to buy local and buy organic as this supports the practice and encourages smaller scale farmers to continue to offer their harvest at local farmers markets. This plan also inspires larger brands to take notice of the trend and move toward more organic ways to farm. Since our family budgets are also important, it is nice to know there are options for what you can buy.

The Clean 15 lists fifteen fruits and vegetables that are less susceptible to pesticides and thus, acceptable as conventional. The Dirty Dozen lists a dozen fruits and vegetable that should always only be bought organic. These fruits are more easily susceptible to pesticides so it is unsafe and not recommended that you consume these if conventionally grown.

What you put into your body is important and knowing you are keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy by consuming the best products for our money is a concern to every mom. Having this handy cheat sheet will take some guess work out of the grocery shopping chore!

Printer friendly cheat sheet available here! (You can also Pin to Pinterest!)

Keep in mind too that supporting locally grown fruits and vegetables helps fund more locally grown, organic operations. Stimulating your local economy only helps businesses and schools to benefit as well. There are a lot of options when we shop, but making efforts to move towards a more conscious way of life is a step in the right direction! Happy harvesting!

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Strawberry, Blueberry, & Banana Smoothie Recipe

red white blue smoothie strawberry banana blueberryHey Mamas hope you and your fambam are keeping cool this summer especially with this extreme summer heat. My family and I like to keep cool with delicious smoothies from green to fruity to get our daily dose of natural vitamins and hydration besides our water. Here’s a simple delicious 4th of July smoothie for any smoothie beginner, for smoothie novices you could also add 2 handfuls of greens of your choice of spinach/ kale to maximize more health benefits. Hope you and enjoy and I wish you all a safe and Happy 4th of July!

 

Strawberry, Blueberry, & Banana Smoothie Recipe

2 cups of milk of your choice: regular, almond, soy, coconut, etc.
1/4 cup of greek or regular yogurt
1/2 tsp of organic vanilla extract
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh/frozen strawberries
1 cup of ice or more as needed

In a blender, add whatever liquid you are using, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, banana chunks, blueberries, strawberries. Blend until combined, about 30 seconds. Then add ice and blend another 30 seconds. Enjoy. Makes about 4-5 servings *You could also put this smoothie (without ice) in popsicle molds and add fresh berries in the mold too for another delicious treat.

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A Drink to Your Health

Temps should get into the 110s this week in Las Vegas!Ah, Summertime…the living is easy (and if you live in Vegas, sweaty). With temperatures expected to hit 110◦ later this week staying hydrated is a priority. Most of our body is made up of water and the heat can quickly become overwhelming, especially for infants and children. Studies show that by the time you sense thirst you have lost 3-7% of your body’s water volume. Symptoms of dehydration include: thirst, dry or sticky mouth, lethargy, and low urine output. Sunken fontanelles (the soft spot on top of the head) are another symptom in infants. Although urine color can be affected by diet, medications, and vitamins it is still a good way to determine hydration status. Ideally it should look like lemonade. Lighter or clear urine suggests overhydration while darker color urine can indicate dehydration.

Woman Drinking Glass of WaterWe get water from the foods and beverages we consume. Choosing a beverage is almost as important as making sure you are drinking enough liquids. Many sugar sweetened beverages, such as soda, lemonade, or iced tea, have excess calories and can contribute to weight gain. Diet soda is no better as new research shows it can actually lead to weight gain! Juice has a little more nutrition but is still comparable in calories to other sugar sweetened drinks. Crystal Light and other similar products are okay in moderation but probably shouldn’t be consumed frequently due to the artificial sweeteners and colorings they contain. Gatorade is only recommended if you are doing hard physical labor or exercise and have been sweating excessively. Water really is the best drink in the house. But it can get boring. A great alternative is fruit infused water (or as I call it frusion water). A quick internet search reveals thousands of recipes some including herbs. These waters are not meant to be sweet but to have a light fruity flavor, think cucumber water you get at the spa. Below is a simple and tangy recipe to get you started.

Raspberry Lime Infused Water
Berries1. Slice two limes and squeeze juice into a mason jar or pitcher.
2. Add a handful of raspberries and with a muddler or wooden spoon lightly press the berries to release some of their juice (but don’t crush them).
3. Fill the jar or pitcher with ice and add water to the top.
4. Stir and cover with mason jar lid or saran wrap.
5. Refrigerate. Allow water to infuse for about an hour and then enjoy!

Be sure to remove the fruit with a strainer after three to four hours to keep the flavor from getting too intense. The water will have a light pink color and subtle Limes and Lemonsraspberry lime flavor. You can use any fruit combination you like. I don’t recommend bananas as they get very mushy and hard to strain out. Fresh or frozen work equally well. Frozen will be the better choice when the fruit is not in season. Since frozen fruit is picked at the height of its ripeness you may find that it offers a sweeter flavor. Vary the quantity based on the size of the jar or pitcher you use and the intensity of the flavor you want.

Fruit infused water is quick and simple to make with limitless combinations and something the whole family can participate in making. And it’s a much healthier beverage choice.

Assorted fruit

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Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Wow! I can’t believe how easy, tasty, and economical it is to make your own yogurt! Having a family of five makes you find ways to stretch your dollar. So it makes sense to save in the kitchen, eat healthy, and it is especially satisfying to control the quality of ingredients that ultimately make up my delicious yogurt. Hope you enjoy mamas!

 

 

YOGURT RECIPE

Ingredients:
1 quart whole milk, nonfat, lowfat or unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt, has to have the live and active cultures

  1. Warm up your oven til it reaches 145 degrees, then turn it off
  2. In a large pot heat the milk until it reaches 180 degrees, I used a stable read thermometer, like the polder. Remove from heat so it can cool, keeping the thermometer in the pot.
  3. Once the temperature drops to 115 degrees, stir in the yogurt until it’s thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Cover the pot and place it in the oven and leave it undisturbed for 10 to 12 hours. I put a towel over it and closed the oven. (I like a thicker and tangier yogurt so I let the yogurt sit an additional 3 to 5 hours)
  5. Refrigerate yogurt for at least 3 hours before eating.

 If you want, you can make it into greek yogurt by straining it with a cheesecloth, bouillon strainer, or a yogurt cheese strainer for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator or how thick you want it to be (I spooned the yogurt into the yogurt cheese strainer because it’s easy, less messy and I like to use the other homemade yogurt to put in my green smoothies, homemade frozen yogurt, or put in my mashed potatoes). Then you can use the excess liquid (whey) to put in your smoothies or fermented vegetables.   You can reserve 1/4 cup of your homemade yogurt to start a new batch.

CREDIT: Thanks to one of my favorite fitness healthy real foods advocate instagrammers @fitalicious_me for sharing this recipe!

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