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2018 Jun

Cooking with Love

Feeding our families healthy food is a top priority. After all, our children need proper nutrients in order to develop healthy bodies and minds. Sure, it’s easy to pull in the fast-food joint on the way home from work, but with a little planning, you can make easy meals at home your kids will love.

In fact, your kids can help. These meal ideas are not only kid-friendly. They all involve tasks your kids can help with. Make dinner a family affair and prepare these tasty recipes together. Your kids will learn two important lessons: cooking is not hard and food tastes better when you make it with love. 

Ambrosia
This dessert features fresh fruit, yogurt, and coconut, with a dash of marshmallows for fun. No cooking is required.

1 20-oz. can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
1 1/3 cups mandarin orange, drained
1 banana, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups seedless grapes
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup vanilla yogurt

1. Drain pineapple and oranges. Use juice as beverage.
2. Combine fruit with marshmallows and coconut.
3. Fold in yogurt.
4. Chill and serve.

Eagle Pizza
Enjoy this easy, healthy and yummy combination of pizza and taco goodness.
Makes six pizzas

1/2 cup fresh spinach, julienne cut “shoestring strips”
1/2 cup fresh romaine lettuce, julienne cut “shoestring strips”
2 1/4 tsp. salt-free chili-lime seasoning blend
1 3/4 cups canned low-sodium refried beans, fat-free
3/4 cup fresh green bell pepper, seeded, diced
3/4 cup fresh onions, peeled, diced
1 1/4 cups canned low-sodium corn, drained, rinsed
6 whole-grain tostada shells

6 Tbsp. reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, shredded (1 1/2 oz.)
1 cup fresh carrots, peeled, shredded
1/2 cup low-sodium salsa, mild
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
2. Combine spinach and lettuce in bowl and set aside.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine salt-free seasoning blend and refried beans. Set aside.
4. In a small skillet, coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook green peppers, onions, and corn for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
5. For each pizza, place 1/4 cup of bean filling on tostada shell. Spread mixture evenly using the back of a spoon. Top with 1/3 cup sautéed vegetable mixture. Lightly sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of cheese on top.
6. Place tostadas on a large baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.
7. Remove tostadas from oven. Top each tostada with 1 Tbsp. spinach/lettuce mixture, 2 1/2 Tbsp. carrots, 1 Tbsp. salsa, 1 Tbsp. sour cream. Serve immediately

Tasty Tots
Healthy and full of flavor, these tots will become a family favorite.
Makes 36 tots

5 cups fresh sweet potatoes, peeled, coarsely shredded
2 1/2 cups canned low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), with liquid
1/2 cup fresh green onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
2. Place shredded potatoes on a large baking pan sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 °F for 20 minutes or until slightly tender. Do not overcook.
3. Increase oven temperature to 400 °F.
4. In a food processor or blender, purée garbanzo beans, including the liquid, until smooth.
5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine shredded sweet potatoes, puréed garbanzo beans, green onions, vegetable oil, salt, garlic, pepper, onion powder, and cinnamon. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 40-45 minutes to make tots easier to form.
6. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, roll 36 tots. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Lightly flatten the tops of the tots with a spoon or a fork. Bake at 400 °F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown. Serve hot.

Apple Cinnamon Bars
This dessert satisfies your kids’ cravings for something sweet. But (shhh!) it’s healthy and only costs pennies per serving.
Makes 24 servings

4 medium apples
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats (uncooked)
1/2 cup shortening, butter, or margarine

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats in the mixing bowl. Stir together.
3. Add the shortening to the bowl. Use the 2 table knives to mix the ingredients and cut them into crumbs.
4. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the baking dish with a little bit of shortening.
5. Spread half of the crumb mixture in the greased baking dish.
6. Remove the core from the apples and slice them. Put the apple slices into the baking dish.
7. Top the apples with the rest of the crumb mixture.
8. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
9. Cut into squares and serve.

Source: www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov

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