Food!!

Back to School Healthy Lunches

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Classes are back in session. Now it’s time to get the lunch situation back on track. Packing healthy lunches is key. I want to make sure my kids are getting healthy options, but I also want to make lunch fun for them so they don’t get bored of the sandwich in the plastic baggie. I think this helps the kids eat their lunches at school.

I was excited to partner up with one of my favorite food stores WHOLE FOODS MARKET. They offer so many amazing back to school options. Some of you may not know but WHOLE FOODS has their own brand called 365 Everyday.

The 365 Everyday Value products can fill your pantry without emptying your wallet. With value prices every day of the year, the products are formulated to meet all of their quality standards, come in both natural and organic selections, and will change the way you shop at WHOLE FOODS MARKET. That’s because they have it all — from whole grain flours and shade-grown coffee to organic milk and frozen veggies. They make it easy to stock up on the best products for the best price.

My kids love lunch meat roll ups. I added a little pretzel stick to keep the roll up together. WHOLE FOODS lunch meats are now 25% off Sliced In-house Deli Meat Sale from 9/7 until 9/13.

365 Everyday Value® Organic Sliced Cheese has the benefits of organic including that it’s made from the milk of cows not given synthetic hormones (rBST) and Lunchmeat that doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives such as added synthetic nitrates or nitrites.

Below you will find 3 fun ideas to pack for the kids. I hope everyone has a fun and safe school year.

Here we have Peanut butter & Jelly rolls, pretzel stick, carrots and water 

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Quaker crackers, Ham & Cheese kabobs, water and some mandarin oranges 

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Peanut butter apple sandwiches, carrots, quacker crackers and water

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Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

Devour: Embrace Your Inner Kid with 5 Fun Flips on Pizza
The Lemon Bowl: Skillet Mexican Street Corn
Homemade Delish: Healthy Back-to-School Lunches
Creative Culinary: Peanut Butter and Apple Oatmeal Cookies
The Fed Up Foodie: Spiced Pumpkin Donuts
A Mind “Full” Mom: 2-Ingredient Homemade Gogurts
The Mom 100: Tomato-Orzo Dill Soup
Healthy Eats: 7 Back-to-School Dishes That Kids Can Help Make
Taste with the Eyes: Black Bean Spaghetti Caterpillar For Kids
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Kale Sushi Rice Bowls
Swing Eats: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies (Gluten-Free & Flourless)
FN Dish: Our Favorite A+ Afterschool Snacks

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Food!!

Saffron Risotto with Shrimp

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Some people hear the word risotto and they think that’s it’s just too complicated to cook. Well it really isn’t that complicated, but time consuming maybe. In the end you will not be disappointed. Risotto pairs beautifully with shrimp, fresh herbs and seasonal veggies. This dish will be perfect for your next gathering.

Ingredients:
1 small shallot, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups arborio
1 cup white wine, (Preferably Sauvignon Blanc)
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons evoo
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb large to extra shrimp, peeled and deveined
Pinch of saffron
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation:

In a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shrimp seasoned with, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from pan and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan. Add shallots. Cook until translucent about 3 minutes. Next add the garlic cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice. Stir until well coated and translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the wine. Cook and stir often, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 15 minutes until creamy.

Finally add the peas cook for 1 minute next add the shrimp back to the pan. Stir and add fresh parsley. Serve.

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Food!!

Kerrygold Cheesy Gnocchi

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Weekdays can be pretty crazy with kids in school or with work schedules.  This is a simple dish for those hectic nights.  My kids love this dish.  They say it reminds them of Mac and cheese but with gnocchi. Traditionally people make this dish with peas and bacon. But I wanted to switch it up a bit.  Instead of using the peas I went ahead and chopped up some Brussel sprouts. I also used some delicious Kerrygold aged cheddar and Kerrygold blarney castle a mild Gouda. The combinations will make your head turn. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
16oz gnocchi, frozen package
Salt & pepper, to taste
2/4 cups pancetta, diced
2 cups Brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kerrygold aged cheddar
1/2 cup kerrygold blarney castle Gouda
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On medium heat in a large skillet add pancetta cook for about 3 minutes next add the leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Now add the Brussel sprouts and thyme and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Next add the cheese cook until melted and add the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Follow instructions on gnocchi package stir well, cover and cook until the gnocchi is slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes or they start to rise to the top of the water. Remove from the heat. Add the gnocchi cheese leek and pancetta mix. Ross everything together until well incorporated. Serve.

Food!!

Red Lentil Pasta Salad

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Memorial Day is just a couple of weeks away, which means BBQ season is in full swing.  One of the most popular sides at a BBQ are those delicious pasta salads.  The ideas of what to create for a pasta salad are endless.  I personally love adding fresh herbs to mine.  It makes for added freshness and taste.  To this salad I wanted to have a healthier choice on the pasta, so I found a red lentil gluten free penne pasta.  The combination of this salad is one that will make your guests keep coming back for more.  Make it in the spur of the moment or ahead of time.

Ingredients salad;

12 oz red lentil penne
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup pearl mozzarella balls
Salt & pepper, to taste
12 slices salami, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
14 oz can hearts of palm, chopped

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make sure to season the water with plenty of salt.  Follow the cooking instructions on the packaging.  Cook until AL DENTE about 10 minutes with this pasta.  Drain and cool off.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Ingredients dressing:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt & pepper, to taste
8 pieces basil
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preparation:

In a food processor add all of the ingredients.  Process until well combined.  Pour over salad.  Toss everything together and serve.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SensationalSides below

Feed Me Phoebe: Spicy Shrimp Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Sundried Tomatoes
The Lemon Bowl: Roasted Garlic Vegetable Pasta
TasteBook: Quick & Easy BLT Pasta Salad
Dishin & Dishes: Asian Noodle Salad
Weelicious: Summer Succotash Pasta Salad
Homemade Delish: Red Lentil Pasta Salad
The Mom 100: Pasta Salad and Salmon with Ramp Dressing
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spring Pasta Salad With Sundried Tomatoes, Broccoli & Spinach
Taste with the Eyes: Lemon Ricotta Pasta Salad with Figs and Mint
FN Dish: Picnic Pasta Salad Season Is Here

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Philly Farm and Food Festival

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On Sunday April 14th, I had the pleasure of taking my family to Philly Farm and Food Festival.  This festival you have the opportunity to speak with farmers, food artisans and sustainable business owners.  There were over 100 vendors sampling their delicious organic farm and locally grown cheeses, baked goods, ice cream, veggies, fruits and so much more.  The amount of different cheeses that you could sample was amazing.  I am a big fan of cheese and I tried some of the best cheeses that day.  Nothing like fresh cheese.  The cheese was so delicious that my little ones were all over it from sharp, aged to mild.  Also there was an area where they were doing tastings on certain spirits and an area for the little to play.

I will definitely be attending this event next year.  Here are some of the vendors that stood out to me.  They were all amazing but something about what these vendors had to offer was enticing.

 Chicks Dig Cage Free eggs -This was the first thing that I tasted and there was something so delicious about these eggs.  They gave us little scrambled egg sliders.  They also offered these amazing sauces to add to your slider.

Amazing Acres Goat Dairy– I have to say this was the best goat cheese I tried that day.  It was so  fresh.  It melted in your mouth and wasn’t dry at all.  I found that Will Reid and his wife actually milk the goats themselves.

Farm Fromage -Works with local cheese makers to provide world-class cheese. Such a wide selection of great cheeses.

Naughty Nutty Love – Love the name to begin with.  I have always loved but butters, but these were some of the best tasting nut butters I ever had.  Denise really knows her stuff.  Cant wait to try some of this stuff in a shake or maybe a filling.

High View Farm – This vendor was offering some mouth-watering pulled pork and it was amazing.  The meat literally just fell apart in your mouth. My mouth is actually watering now talking about it.

Good Spoon– Offered Soups and Stews from Scratch.  These soups are packed with flavor. They use Local, and Organic Vegetables, Grass-fed Beef and Dairy and Pasture Raised Poultry.  Who wouldn’t want all this freshness in a soup.

Wyebrook Farm Market – Is hand butchered meats. The most beautiful colored meats I have seen. All packed and ready for you to take home. No growth hormones, Antibiotics, Chemical Fertilizers and Herbicides or pesticides.  Cant wait to take my family to this market.

Last but not least

Altantic Capes Fisheries–  These guys were sampling Oysters.  I seriously think these were some of the best Oysters I have ever tasted.  They were so fresh and the taste was amazing.

This was such a great event to be a part of. Seeing all the passion that each and every vendor had for their product is amazing. It makes you enjoy their products even more knowing its made with love.

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