One place where we all may keep a few mom secrets: the kitchen. From "being out of" that really-not-good-for-them snack to telling them that their favorite superhero eats zucchini all of the time, we have fibbed for the sake of health.
Now, I'm not a huge fan of sneaking in veggies where they don't know it's there. I think kids should learn to love veggies in a full-on, they are on the plate way. But, that doesn't mean I'm averse to making some fave meals a little healthier, substituting some lighter and low-sodium fixings in place of the usual, not-as-healthy items.
What am I eyeing as a new secret recipe or two? Well, we've got a few healthier versions of condiments and sauces, some good-for-you meatballs that include some veggies as well as a smoothie that has fabulous vitamins disguised as a yummy drink snack.
Homemade Healthy Ketchup from Skinnyms.com
1 (6-ounce) can or jar tomato paste, (recipe for Homemade "Canned" Tomato Paste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher or sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons mild molasses, (honey is optional), more or less to taste
1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup water
In a medium bowl, add all ingredients, and stir until combined; refrigerate in a glass jar with lid. Ketchup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Light Cheese Sauce from EatingWell.com
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups nonfat milk, divided
2/3 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk flour with 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl until smooth. Heat the remaining milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. Add the flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in Cheddar, dry mustard, paprika, cayenne (if using) and salt.
Healthy Meatballs from ThrivingHomeBlog.com
1 medium carrot, minced in food processor
1/2 small onion, minced in food processor (saute these in a little olive oil if you want a milder onion taste)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh loosely packed parsley, finely chopped in food processor
1/2 cup fresh, finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
3 tablespoons organic ketchup
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet that has sides or a 9x13 casserole dish with parchment paper or foil (for easy clean-up). In a large bowl, add the carrot, onion, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt and pepper to a large bowl and combine. Mix in the ground beef. Use your hands to combine well. Using about 2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball, roll out 15 meatballs. They will be about 1 or 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place these on the cookie sheet, leaving a little room between each one. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. I cut one open and make sure there is no pink in the middle.
Pasta Bake from Parents.com
1 1/3 cups dried elbow macaroni
2 cups pasta sauce
2/3 cup pureed cooked cauliflower
2/3 cup pureed cooked broccoli
1/2 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream (optional)
1 1/3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Stir in pasta sauce, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato sauce, Parmesan, whipping cream, and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Transfer to a 2-quart square or rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until heated through.
Sunshine Smoothie from SheKnows.com
1/2 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 tablespoon honey
If you do not have frozen fruit to use for the smoothies, fresh fruit will work just fine. If using fresh fruit, make sure to add 1-2 cups of ice to the other ingredients before blending. Add all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. If you find the consistency of your smoothies to be too thick, add small amounts of water or milk until desired consistency is achieved.
Share your best recipes or kitchen hints that may have a little secret something to them!