1. Rinse beans in cold water and discard any broken pieces.
2. In a large pot add your beans and cover with water. At least 2 inches above the beans.
3. Bring the pot of water with beans to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
4. Once the two minutes are complete, cover beans with a lid immediately, remove from stove, and allow to sit for 1 hour uninterrupted.
5. After the 1 hour, drain the beans. Refill pot with water covering the beans completely.
6. Bring pot of beans to boil and then lower to a 1 or 2 on stove and allow to simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (Mix often and add 1/4 cup water at a time if necessary. You want to make sure it’s constantly at a soft, low simmer.)
7. Add the salt 30 minutes before beans are done and add the fresh cilantro. Mix well.
*you can add bacon to the beans, or onion, peppers, etc, all optional*
Mash or serve as is with eggs, tacos, enchiladas, carnitas, anything!
Try Bean And Cheese Tacos
Place corn tortillas on some foil, add a little bit of olive oil to each tortilla and rub it all over, turn over the tortillas and place your beans and cheese, fold over, and bake at 350. 10 minutes on each side.
Had one of those nights where I really just needed to use what I had. Threw all of this together and it was so flavorful and delicious!
When it comes to the ingredients you can always had less or more. You want more Parmesan cheese, add more! More garlic? Garlic it up! This is just the gist! Get creative and have fun!
What You Need:
1 family size bag of spinach and cheese tortelloni (20 oz found in the frozen food aisle)
2 heads of broccoli chopped and broken into smaller pieces
A handful of salami cut into strips (snack size work just fine)
1 tomato diced or a handful of cherry tomatoes (whatever you have)
Jarred minced garlic (3-4 tablespoons)
Parmesan cheese (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
Salt, pepper, chili flakes, fresh rosemary (fresh is best)
1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1. Place chopped broccoli on a pan sheet with foil. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red chili flakes. Add 2 tablespoons of garlic. Mix well until all combined. Add more olive oil if necessary. Bake at 400 for 15 mins.
2. Cook the tortelloni as directed.
3. Once the broccoli is done, add the salami strips and tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 mins. Just so it’s warm and a little soft.
4. Place the tortelloni in a large bowl and add the butter. Once melted add the roasted broccoli mixture. Next add Parmesan cheese, fresh rosemary, and drizzle some more olive oil. (I also added just a bit of sea salt.)
Enjoy with a glass of red wine! Some crusty bread with butter would be so good with this too!
2 generous handfuls of grape tomatoes cut into halves
A bouquet of fresh spinach chopped lightly (the Spinach will shrink)
About 8oz (half of a 16oz packet) of thin Spaghetti (I used ‘American Beauty’)
Salt, pepper, and rosemary for taste
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (give or take)
Note: use my measurements as a guide. If you want less, do less. If you want more, do more. Cooking is about experimenting and getting creative!
1. Fill a pot with water and turn on to a high-medium heat. In the meantime add 2 tablespoons (two times around the pan) of olive oil with minced garlic and grape tomatoes in a skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until tomatoes are soft and garlic becomes caramelized on a medium high setting. Add tomatoes and garlic to 2 1/2 qt dish. Keep stove on.
2. When water begins to boil, add a few good shakes salt into the water (at least 1 tablespoon. It is possible to over salt pasta water) break pasta noodles in half and add to simmering pot.
3. Add spinach to skillet with leftover garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until just a little wilted. Will begin to shrink fast, watch closely. Add spinach into dish with tomatoes.
4. While pasta is still cooking, shred the rotisserie chicken and add to dish with tomatoes, garlic, and spinach.
5. Once pasta is complete (no white in the middle of the noodle) drain, and add noodles to dish.
6. Add remaining olive oil, add Parmesan cheese and mix well. Top with Rosemary.
Suggested Sides: Caesar salad and toasted French bread with olive oil and garlic.
Here is a list of healthier snack options for whatever the need be. Whether it’s for you or your children you’ll be sure to find some good snack choices!
1. Sliced Apples With Peanut Butter Or Almond Butter
Apples are rich in fiber which means they are filling! Also a great snack for a child who may have a little constipation. When it comes to peanut butter stick with natural (check the ingrediants) some peanut butters have added sugars which is what you want to avoid. The apple has enough good sugar in it. If you’re not much of a peanut butter person almond butter is another great option that taste great on apple slices.
2. Multigrain Toast With Nutella, sliced strawberries and chia seeds
This is one of our favorites in our home. This makes for a great snack or hearty breakfast. The chia seeds is an added dose of fiber for your little to keep them full longer.
4. Sliced cucumbers; lightly salted
A little salt brings out the flavor. You can also take the cucumbers and serve it with a dip. Or on some avocado toast like the picture above! My kiddos love ranch. Some like to peel the skin I prefer to give them a good scrub and just slice them with the skin on. Most of the nutrients are found in, you guessed it, the skin.
Some kids like them, some kids don’t. Try it out and see how they react! I forgot all about raisins until my kids came home with them from school. Obviously they weren’t too interested since they came home with them.
Yum. A snack I often forget about, but what a great snack! And if you ask me, highly addicting! Refrain from eating strait out of the bag and just put a handful in a bowl or small jar.
7. Beef Jerky
A great school snack for lunch time. Full of protein and something that keep you full until your next meal. There are so many different kinds and types. Beef jerky can be expensive, but if you ask me you get what you pay for when it comes to jerky. If you can afford to pay a little extra for the good stuff it’s worth it.
8. Dates or Prunes
Believe it or not one of my daughters LOVES prunes and dates. I tell her though she can’t too much though, otherwise she’ll have diarrhea. Am I lying?
9. Crackers (look for wheat or multigrain)
There are so many crackers to choose from. Specifically look for multigrain or wheat. Eat them plain or load them up with meat and cheese, peanut butter, hummus, tuna, whatever your little heart desires!
10. String cheese
String cheese is a child favorite. It’s delicious and it’s just fun! Who doesn’t enjoy pulling it apart and dangling it in your mouth like it’s spaghetti. I’m not the only one, right?
This is great snack for on the go or lunches. Protein and fiber in a little nut. Eat them plain or flavor it up! Have you tried the wasabi and soy sauce ones!? So good!
12. Popcorn (lightly salted or buttered)
People forget about popcorn. As long as it is not saturated in butter and salt then it’s not that bad of a snack. We enjoy the smart food popcorn or just the lightly salted pop secret.
13. Trail mix
This was one of my favorite snacks back in the day. I actually don’t buy this too often because my kids right now will just pick out the m&m’s and leave the rest. Those little stinkers.
14. Yogurt/yogurt parfaits
Eat it plain, make a smoothie, make a parfait, mix it with fruit, granola, we love yogurt!
Perfect snack for school lunches. Opt for sugar free if you can. Add a little cinnamon, that’s our favorite.
15. Carrot sticks
Love me some carrot sticks! My kids enjoy dipping them in ranch! I’m always telling them it’s good for your eyes! Which they are! Carrots sticks are a great school lunch snack.
16. Celery sticks
I’m not going to lie, I’ve never really enjoyed celery sticks. But my husband likes them and so does one of my daughters. I know eating them with peanut butter is popular among the cool kids.
17. Chopped up fruit like strawberries, canalope, watermelon
Spice it up a little and add some tajin! If you’ve never tried tajin seasoning you need to try it. Or put a little whip cream on the fruit. Another thing to try is a yogurt dip. Of course eating them plain is good too.
“They help you poop.” I’m constantly saying this to convince them to eat their blueberries. My girls usually eat them as it but they are also yummy mixed with chopped strawberries. What a fun idea too to put them in an ice cream cone!
19. Sweet potato chips
When you’re craving something salty and crunch these make a great snack to curve that craving. And I believe this is something your child can get away with taking to school for sure! Store bought or try making them yourself!
20. Veggies straws
Another salt and crunchy snack to satisfy the craving. Light and airy. My kids love these. Preferably the ranch flavor. Usually found in the chip aisle at the grocery store.
Such a yummy salty snack. I like to put Nutella on the side for my girls or peanut butter. We also love DOTS highly addicting pretzels or the cheddar flavored ones. So good.
I like to make homemade granola. And my kids typically eat granola like they do cereal. They love when I make granola. I like that I get to control the content. Incredibly filling and great for constipation.
23. Chex Mix
Try making a Chex mix yourself! Get the kids involved! Homemade muddie buddies are so good!
24. Wasabi peas (if you can handle them)
These are so good! Might be more of a snack for you than your kids though. They have kick!
25. Ritz crackers with peanut butter
Another fan favorite. Perfect for on the go and I can count on it to fill my kids stomach. Make them yourself or let your child do it. Make it into a fun activity.
Red or green. Which do you prefer? I know some parents like to put the grapes in the freezer. They say it taste like candy. You be the judge!
27. Avocados slices with everything bagel seasoning or soy sauce
So simple. So delicious. You don’t even need bread. Soy sauce also taste great. My two year old loves avocado slices with a little bit of soy sauce. Try it out !
28. Dried fruit such as mangos
Yum! Can’t get enough of dried mango! Perfect for snack time, lunches, or even car rides!
My go-to when I want to get some veggies in my kids. I also tend to sneak spinach in their somewhere and they don’t even notice. Or what I also love to throw in is avocado. It’s creates such a creamy texture. It’s delicious.
30. Banana chips
Buy them or make them yourself! I’ve never made them, but they can’t be that hard right? Right????
31. Peanut butter on a spoon
Sometimes you just gotta keep it simple. My kids love peanut butter on a spoon and I did as well when I was a kid.
32. Frozen banana pops
Break a banana in half, insert popsicle sticks, and freeze! If you really want to get creative you can dip in peanut butter or chocolate.
I never considered oatmeal a snack but I guess it could be! My girls love strawberry and banana flavored oatmeal.
34. Hard boiled eggs
Have you ever had a hard boiled egg with everything bagel seasoning! This snack is full of protein and fun for the kids. What I mean by fun is kids enjoy picking the hard shell off. Snack time meet sensory activity. Win win lol!
Lunch meat once was one of my favorite snacks. I use to love bologna. Although being older I don’t eat it now I do enjoy turkey or ham and my kids do too. I’ll cut it in strips and let them eat it as is. They seem to enjoy it.
What’s funny about pickles is I couldn’t stand them before but once I became pregnant I grew a love for them. I love pickles now. Strange right? Pickles don’t have to be just a snack you get at Disneyland!
There are so many different types of hummus dips you’ll be sure to find one your kiddo likes. Serve it them with some grainy crackers and fresh veggies.
39. Peanut butter and banana quesadillas
You know, I’ve never tried this. But I keep hearing good things. I need to make this!
40. Half of a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Make your child a full sandwich. Cut in half. Pack one for school and the other half can be eaten after school. No food wasted.
My husband loves to snack on olives. I personally can’t eat them plain. On pizza, sure! A pasta? Yum!
42.Frozen fruit pops (check the sugar content)
So many different types of fruit pops. I think this would be a great after school treat. Save it for Friday’s!
Typically we only eat these when we go out for sushi. But this is a great healthy snack to eat after school or whenever!
44. Baby Bell peppers with dip
45. Multi grain bread toasted with some unsalted butter (a little sugar and cinnamon – optional) and some sliced bananas
46. Cottage cheese
Honestly, I don’t eat cottage cheese. It’s the smell or texture….I just can’t. However my husband enjoys this and I know many others do as well which is why it’s on the list. I think many people eat it with fruit preserves.
47. Tuna Melts
This was my ultimate favorite childhood snack. Tuna, cheddar cheese, and tomato! So good!
48. Fig bars
Filling, delicious, full of fiber, a great snack that doesn’t make much of a mess either. Score!
When I was in grade school there was a girl who alway brought kiwi to school. I thought it was so pretty, the vibrant green. But my mom never got kiwi I have no idea why. Kiwi is so delicious! My girl love them! Eat them with a spoon, squeeze the fruit out, or slice it up.
50. Pretzel nuggets filled with peanut butter
I forgot about these! The little pretzel nuggets are a fan favorite! These are great for the lunch boxes or a snack after school.
If you have another healthy snack in mind please comment and let us know!
Makes: 4-6 servings Time: 25 mins in oven (oven time can vary)
What You Need:
1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs of thin chicken breasts cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 lb of baby bell peppers cut in half and seeded
1 large yellow onion sliced
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 large lime
8 to 10 warmed tortillas
1. In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
2. Line a sheet pan with foil. Arrange baby bell peppers on the sheet pan. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil onto the peppers and apply half of the seasoning from the bowl to the peppers.
3. Place the sheet of peppers under the broiler for about 15 to 20 mins until peppers begin to blacken a little and char. (If your broiler has a setting for low or high, set it to high)
4. In a medium bowl combine the chicken strips, tablespoon of olive oil, and the rest of the seasoning.
5. Pull out sheet pan and place chicken strips onto the peppers. Broil for an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
6. Squeeze lime over entire sheet of peppers and chicken.
Serve with warmed tortillas, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, or salsa! So easy and delish!
Note: This is all made with the broiler setting on your oven. You are NOT baking these. Broilers can be tricky, it’s okay to keep opening your oven to check with the peppers. With the chicken though, 5 mins is the magic number! Don’t open the oven!
This is the perfect lunch or dinner when you need something quick and super easy!
When the husband approves, it’s a win and worth sharing.
Although, I can’t really take full credit for this. I was inspired by this salad I get every so often at this restaurant in town. Unfortunately I don’t get to eat out often and enjoy it as much as I’d love to because I have 3 little ones that take up a lot of time and energy!
Sometimes you have to improvise when you can’t get your hands on the real deal. But sometimes you come up with something even better! And easier!
Honestly, it’s just buying stuff at the grocery store and combing it all to get this delicious salad full of flavor.
I’m sharing with you all this easy recipe you can make at home that everyone will love.
You won’t feel guilty after eating, perfect for enjoying outside in some nice weather, and pairs well with sangria!
Ultimate Rotisserie Chicken Caesar Salad
Serves 4-6 people
(Takes less then 30 mins to prepare)
What you need:
One rotisserie chicken
1 box of suddenly pasta – Caesar flavor
1/2 can of black olives chopped finely
1/2 can of pinto beans
1 bag of Caesar salad kit
1/2 to 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 large ripe avocado chopped
1 bottle of your favorite Caesar dressing (you will not use the whole bottle)
Dried cherries or sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
(What to look for)
(You only need one large bowl)
Prepare pasta as it says on the box (include the seasonings)
Add the chopped olives and pinto beans to the tricolor pasta and add the Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add more Parmesan cheese if desired.
Add the lettuce from the salad and the other ingredients included such as the seasoning, croutons, cheese. Mix with the pasta salad
Add the Caesar dressing from the salad packet (add additional Caesar salad dressing till you get your desired flavor- careful not to add too much dressing)
Top with cracked pepper, chopped avocado, and sundried cherries or tomatoes.
(I don’t have dried cherries or sun-dried tomatoes on this salad below only because I didn’t have any on hand)