Category Archives for "Laura Fuentes"

Spinach & Bacon Mini Quiches

these mini quiches are perfect for breakfast too! grain free and gluten free. can be made ahead of time too!

These Spinach and Bacon Mini Quiches are a great way to help our kids get more leafy greens in their diet. I too have green averse kids. So when I find a way to make a green food appetizing, I share it with you.

Perhaps you are thinking that a few quiches are not going to provide all the “green” nutrition a child needs in their diet. Sure, a single serving of these quiches might not be an entire day’s requirement, but they are a great start.

With an all-or-nothing mentality, one will not go far when it comes to making “yucky” foods edible. Food, like other things in life, is a choice. All we can do as parents is find ways to make things that are nutritious more appealing to our kids.

I had the opportunity to shoot a video for this recipe with my 3 year old. He called the finely shredded spinach “confetti” and the word stuck with us. When his siblings came back, he explained to them that he had made confetti eggs with bacon and cheese.

I’d like to eat him for breakfast he is so cute. He glows every time he is around food. He really surprised me and showed me that he could stand still in front of the camera and was able to follow the (easy) steps for this recipe. To see him in action, click on the video below.

Since leafy and crunchy greens are some of the most difficult foods to get our kids to eat, I often try to find alternative uses in some of our favorite recipes. I’ve shared my green smoothie recipe that doesn’t taste green, a blueberry muffin smoothie made with spinach, my broccoli nuggets recipe, and I’m currently developing a few others that will blow your kids’ palate away.

Why do I try so hard? Because I believe our children deserve it. We live in a world where food marketing campaigns have larger budgets than our children’s education and competing with foods presented in bright packaging can be a challenge.

These quiches are made in a single bowl and kids can help with the process (just watch the video). Something else I love is that they can be customized with different veggies. If you need them to be vegetarian, omit the bacon. Need to make them dairy free? Skip the cheese. I’ve even made a zesty version and they are delish!

You probably saw it in the video but I’ll tell you again. Leftovers make a great lunch! All you have to do is heat them up and send them inside a thermos or at room temperature in any lunch container. The lunch container shown with multiple compartments is a Yumbox. You can use momables15 for 15% off your purchase. 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Spinach & Bacon Mini Quiches
Author: Laura Fuentes
Serves: 24 mini quiches
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ¾ cup finely chopped spinach
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • Dash of pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and grease a 24 mini muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add in chopped spinach, shredded cheddar, chopped bacon, and pepper. Give it a quick mix to combine all ingredients.
  3. Distribute egg mixture evenly into muffin pan cups.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.
  5. Once cooked, allow mini quiches to cool in the pan before carefully removing with a small knife or spatula.

 

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Laura Fuentes

7 Layer Mexican Dip Cups

fresh and healthy 7 layer mexican dip cups easy snack and school lunch idea!

Today I’m going to share my “super secret” way I indulge when snacking. These 7 Layer Mexican Dip Cups are my favorite way of enjoying “just enough” so that I don’t inhale an entire dip platter and half a bag of chips.

What I love about these is that they are easy to put together with leftovers from our Taco Night or Burrito Bowls Dinner. What it’s not to love from a recipe that can easily use up whatever leftovers you have in the fridge and turn itself into a delicious mini meal or lunch item? Seriously.

I know that most seven layer party dips are made with refried beans, but I personally love the texture of black beans. One of my pet-peeves when I go to a party is when the dip seems to look like a rainbow of mush after a couple of people dip their chip in the platter. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. At the same time when you almost wonder if it tastes better than it looks!

This wont’ happen with my individual Mexican cups. The walls hold the ingredients so dip after dip it holds it’s texture. I will admit, I don’t always have avocados around to make my Easy Guacamole recipe, so sometimes I buy it pre-made. It’s fresh, there are no artificial ingredients in Sabra’s guacamole, and I love that it’s not an avocado puree. Sabra’s guacamole actually leaves avocado pieces intact so I feel like I am eating my homemade guacamole.

Honestly, it’s also not out of laziness that I buy the guacamole. Have you ever gone to the store, felt the avocados, and wondered if they are overly ripe or they were dropped somewhere? Man, I can’t stand when I can’t find a decent avocado in a pile of mushy ones. Hard avocados I will buy, but mushy ones I can’t.

Ok, so back to these Mexican cups. While I don’t eat corn chips often, I also like to dip celery or carrot coins in my dip. The other people in my house, however, can’t get enough of the crunchy chip and dip combo. Overall, it’s a win-win mini meal idea. Protein, fiber, healthy fats, and veggies? This is definitely a winner.

7 Layer Mexican Dip Cups
Author: Laura Fuentes
Serves: 6-8 dip cups
Ingredients
  • 1 8 ounce package Sabra guacamole or
  • 1 cup Easy Guacamole Recipe
  • 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup fresh salsa
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 8 ounce can sliced black olives
  • minced green onion, topping
Instructions
  1. Line up all your ingredients and 6 small lidded jars plastic cups.
  2. Layer about 2 tablespoons of each ingredient: guacamole, black beans, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and black olives inside every cup. Top with green onions and refrigerate.

Check out the Easy Guacamole Recipe and video.

Need a dinner idea that will yield leftovers for these awesome Mexican cups? Check out my Easy Taco Night Recipe!

From time to time, I work with awesome companies to develop recipes for this website.  Today’s post was brought to you by Sabra Dipping Co.  All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that encourage my creativity.

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Laura Fuentes

Hummus Veggie Cups, Pesto Pita Pizzas & New York

Hummus Veggie Cups, Pesto Pita Pizzas & New York

A little over a week ago, I traveled to New York City with my friends from Sabra and Toufayan Bakeries to do a live demo at the New York Kids’ Food Festival.

I’m lucky to have been invited back a second year. The only downside of an outdoor event in the middle of Bryant Park in New York City in February is the cold. At a whopping 26 degrees Fahrenheit, outdoor cooking isn’t easy. Fine motor skills were the first to go.

I’m glad I thought of making a hot meal for the food demo. As yo can see from the picture, it was quite a chilly day. I’m not sure if the crowd was smiling because I was cute, funny, or their anticipation of a warm bowl of soup.

The hummus snack cups were instant crowd pleasers. One thing everyone seemed to love about the recipe is that the hummus veggie cups could be made ahead of time. All you have to do is fill a reusable lidded jar with hummus, fresh veggies, and store then in the refrigerator. I make these often with one of the many Sabra hummus varieties, the olive tapanade being my personal favorite.

After everyone got their snack on, I made Pesto Pita Pizzas. I often use pitas in my husband’s office lunches. He loves the little pockets stuffed with tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, or pulled pork.

Pita Pizzas, however, are one of my go-to meals on days when my kids have friends over. The pitas serve as the base for the plethora of toppings that come out of my refrigerator or freezer. At the Kid’s Festival, I simply layered pesto, a little mozzarella, and parmesan cheese on top of the pitas. Using a toaster oven, I toasted the pitas and cut them into strips to make instant pesto cheese sticks!

My goal was to show festival attendees how easy it can be to make food from ingredients that are likely to be in our refrigerators and pantries. Soup leftovers can be heated up and sent to school (or the office) in a thermos along with a few crispy pesto pizza wedges.

As you can see, the Tomato & Tortellini Soup was a hit! You can watch how the recipe is made here. It’s simple, delicious, and very filling.

When I was handing out samples, I learned that there are a lot of kids that love eating hummus. Many parents were surprised at the versatility and how it helped their kids eat more veggies. In the end, if it helps our kids eat more veggies, it’s something I am happy to support.

A huge thank you goes out to my friends at Sabra and Toufayan for supporting my work. Without their support, attending events like this one would not always be possible.

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Laura Fuentes

 

 

Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe

broccoli nuggets make an awesome school or office lunch! gluten free, dairy free versions too.

Nuggets just got better. Broccoli now has a new fun way of appearing in your dinner plates and lunchboxes other than steamed. This Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets Recipe will revolutionize the way you serve broccoli at your house.

When in doubt, make nuggets” was my friend Anne’s advice when I asked her how else I could make veggies appealing to my kids.  It seemed easy enough, right? But how exactly do you turn things like broccoli into a nugget?

I’ve seen veggie nuggets in the freezer isle at Whole Foods but at $ 6 for a small bag it seemed expensive. Plus, one of the brands had soy (an ingredient I avoid in our home) and most had gluten as well. For a few weeks, I tinkered with the broccoli mixture until it held together well. The result was a kid approved recipe made with easy to find ingredients.

In the dozens of emails I receive daily, many parents ask for help to feed their kids more veggies. I always say that you have to try the same vegetable in many different ways. Vegetables have a crunchy texture that changes greatly depending on how you cook them. Some even smell different, like broccoli and cauliflower.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the broccoli by hand, in a blender, or in one of those mini choppers. I’m a one-bowl-and-done kind of gal so I opted for the food processor.

While my daughter now loves steamed broccoli, that wasn’t always the case. My boys still refuse to eat broccoli, but one of them will eat these nuggets without a fuss. Maybe it’s because I call them Shrek Nuggets, but either way, he tolerates them.

Sure, 4-6 nuggets might not be as much broccoli as we’d like our kids to eat; but the reality is that it’s better than no broccoli and every little bit of veggies count towards a serving.

If you can roll out meatballs, you can make these nuggets. Check out how easy they are to make in this video.

If you think that nuggets are just for kids, you are mistaken. I’ve eaten my share of nuggets in the office packed for lunch. You can either pack them at room temperature in a lunchbox or heated inside a thermos.

You’ll find the recipe for the classic version, a gluten free, and a dairy free version. It’s crucial that you season these nuggets because without seasoning, they are pretty bland.

What are some interesting ways you serve up vegetables at your house?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe
Author: Laura Fuentes
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounce bag of broccoli florets, thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons favorite seasoning mix (Italian or Creole)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place broccoli florets inside a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until every combined.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press them down so all nuggets are the same height.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly prior to serving.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe
Author: Laura Fuentes
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounce bag of broccoli florets, thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons favorite seasoning mix (Italian or Creole)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place broccoli florets inside a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until every combined.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press them down so all nuggets are the same height.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly prior to serving.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dairy Free Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe
Author: Laura Fuentes
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounce bag of broccoli florets, thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons favorite seasoning mix (Italian or Creole)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place broccoli florets inside a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, yellow mustard, and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until every combined.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press them down so all nuggets are the same height.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly prior to serving.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

 

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Laura Fuentes

The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet

The Best Homemade Snacks on the Planet Cookbook 200+ real food ideas for kids and adults!

How many times have you heard “can I have a snaaaaaaaaaack????” As a mom to 3 young kids, I hear this a lot. The fact is, my little people love to snack and having real food ideas on hand is a necessity.

Surely, I’m not the only one who suffers from the daily (hourly) snack request and a desire to feed my kids nutritious foods. Luckily, I’ve been working on a solution for all of us for over a year. Today, I want to introduce to you my newest cookbook The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet.

 

In this cookbook you will find over 200 kid approved recipes that do not require advanced kitchen skills. They are basic, fun, and full of real ingredients. It’s also filled with kitchen tips, prep notes, and answers to the question: how do I make this snack portable?

Check out this quick video for a sneak peek:

Inside The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet you will find:

Chapter 1: For the Love of Snacks. Introduction to snacking, setting up snacking rules, shopping for real food pantry ingredients and buying in bulk, making snacks portable, how to master the kitchen when it comes to preparation, freezing and storage tips, how to handle dietary restrictions, substitutions, and more.


Chapter 2:
Fruit & Veggie Snacks. Recipes that make fruits and veggies the main focus of snack time. Some are fun treats, while other recipes are delicious ways of getting more colorful foods into our family’s diet.


Chapter 3:
No-Bake Bites & Dips. Easy-peasy ideas that come together quickly and effortlessly. With more than a dozen different dips, fruit and veggies just became a lot more fun to eat.


Chapter 4: Baked Bites.
 This section will bring out the inner baker in all of us. Many of these recipes are perfect for breakfast and many include a fruit or a vegetable baked right in.

Chapter 5: Reimagined Classics. This section includes nearly every recipe you’d need to ditch the boxed snacks from the store. This is what my friend called “the holy grail of homemade classics.” Every recipe is made with real and easy to find ingredients.

From Girl Scout cookies, Poptarts, Puddings, jiggly gelatin, gummy snacks, fruit roll-ups, Hostess Cupcakes, tortilla chips, baked potato chips & veggie chips, fruit chips, trail mixes, granola, Gold Fish, cheese crackers, wheat thins, graham crackers, and even homemade Velveeta. It’s all in there.

Chapter 6: Mini Meals. Not quite snack time not quite meal time. What to do? This section includes awesome recipes that are portable and delicious; many of which include a fruit or vegetable in the recipe.

Chapter 7: Super Smoothies & Drinks. Add more fresh foods into any part of the day with the recipes in this section. Guilt-free, dessert-tasting smoothies are many of the recipes in this section. And drinks? Well, because “fruit juice drinks” at the store often contain no fruit -enough said.

Chapter 8: Frozen Delights & Special Treats. Freeze it, and they shall eat it! Is my summertime motto. In this section you’ll find lots of delicious recipes where your freezer does all the work. Fresh ingredients and no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Bonus Sections: 100-Calorie Real Food Snacks and a Feedback chart to note substitutions and make recipe notes.

I really believe this snack book is one of a kind. It’s centered around making fresh foods more appealing to kids during snack time with recipes will appeal to everyone.

Gone will be the days where you are out of real-food snack ideas, this is one cookbook that will sit on your kitchen counter for many years to come!

For my food-allergy/dietary restriction friends: I’ve done my best to include substitutions and kitchen notes throughout the book. Nearly all recipes have been tested with a popular All Purpose Gluten Free flour successfully and if it didn’t pass the test, it didn’t make it in the book.

The cookbook will arrive just in time for summer break! Can you imagine how much fun (and fresh!) snack time will be this summer? The official release date is June 1st 2015.

Beginning today, you can take advantage of purchasing the The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet at a pre-sale 25% discount!  Patience pays, right?

For a limited time, I will be signing a personalized bookplate to the first 100 pre-orders. All you have to do is send me a receipt of purchase (that shows a mailing address where I can ship it) to info@momables.com. Book plates will arrive separately from the book beginning mid-May. 

You can pre-order your copy from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

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Laura Fuentes