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Archive for the ‘Ultimate Dinner’ category

UltimateMama finally got her family to eat asparagus. The trick? Wrapping it in prosciutto.  To do:

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

-Line a baking sheet with foil, lightly drizzle olive oil

-Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each spear of asparagus (use 15-25 spears) and place on the baking sheet

-Bake for 5 minutes in the oven

-Turn the spears over

-Bake for another 5 minutes

-Asparagus will be tender and prosciutto will be crisp

*Note:  if you have extra asparagus you can saute it in olive oil on the stovetop with garlic and tomatoes.

Enjoy!

UltimateMama knows her family loves chicken pad thai so she usually uses Annie Chun’s noodles and sauce.  It is quick and easy and all you need to do is add chicken (or shrimp), a scrambled egg, garlic, and some vegetables (thinly sliced carrots, garlic, bean sprouts, etc.).

For the first time ever, UltimateMama made Bok Choy which was well received.  To do:

-Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet

-Add 2-3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)

-Add 1 shallot (or 1 small onion)

-Cook all for 60 seconds

-Add 1 pound baby bok choy (washed and cut into halves)

-Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce

-Add 2 tablespoons water

-Cover and cook for 2 minutes

-Uncover, toss, cover again and cook for 4 minutes

-Serve and enjoy!

UltimateMama likes to have an easy night “off” of cooking every once in a while and has found dinner quesadillas to be a nice “break”. They are simple to make and loved by all. To do:

-Grab 2 or 3 cups of filling from canned or cooked beans or any leftovers you have, including cooked shrimp, grilled chicken, vegetables, or rice

-Get 4 large flour or corn tortillas ready

-Shred 1 cup of cheese (cheddar, fontina, Monterey jack, etc.)

-Place tortillas on a warmed skillet or pan and top with the cheese and filling

-Watch for the cheese to melt and carefully check the underside to make sure no burning occurs

-Fold the quesadilla in half and secure with a toothpick

-Move quesadilla to a cutting board and slice as desired

(NOTE: Keep quesadillas warm on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree F oven if you have many to make)

-Serve with guacamole, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes or onions, and chips/salsa! Lime, lemon, or orange slices also add a nice touch.

-Enjoy!

UltimateMama saw the sun for the first time in a week a few days ago so she started up the grill.  Grilling is a great, easy way to break away from your standard spring dinner routine and get a “taste” of summer. To do:

-Marinate chicken breasts all day in Italian dressing (Ken’s Zesty Italian dressing is a family favorite) and grill them to your liking (1 pound)

-Prepare ground beef (we prefer 80% lean/20% fat) with seasonings such as pepper and garlic (or onion) into mini-hamburgers or sliders and grill to perfection (1 pound)

-Grill 4-6 pieces of corn (serve with butter)

-Grill the slider rolls just a quick bit

-Make a quick romaine salad for a side dish using the extra Italian dressing

-Serve and enjoy

 

 

UltimateMama loves quick and easy dinner choices for kids on busy nights. Rather than ordering take out or grabbing fast food, UltimateMama prefers to do a little pre-planning at the beginning of the week to ensure the appropriate groceries are purchased and ready in a pinch!

UltimateMama’s girls are big fans of grilled sourdough cheese sandwiches with pre-made tomato basil soup.  An ideal meal for any time of year.  For an extra protein kick just add ham or honey turkey to the sandwiches.  Add some carrot sticks, sliced cucumbers or tomatoes, and red grapes to complete your quick and easy meal. All you need is the following:

-Sourdough bread (Bread Alone for example)

-Medium cheddar cheese (buy pre-sliced for convenience)

-Butter (for stovetop grilling)

-Your favorite soup (like Tomato Basil)

 

UltimateMama knows summertime is just as chaotic as the rest of the year so she’s happy when she can involve her kids in creating a meal with “leftovers”.  Soft tacos are an easy, appetizing meal to make with leftover kebobs!  All you need is the following:

– Corn or flour tortillas

– Leftover vegetables, meat, or seafood from kebobs (cut into strips or bite size pieces from the kebobs)

– Cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or monterey jack)

– Olives and/or salsa (if desired)

To do:  Heat up your vegetables, seafood, and meat.  Have your child grab a tortilla and fill it with the heated vegetables, seafood, and meat. Sprinkle some cheese.  Add olives or salsa if desired!  Also, if you want to melt the contents of your tortilla it is easy to do just that on a stovetop, in an oven, or on a grill but be careful it doesn’t  burn!

UltimateMama loves to involve her two kids in making dinner.  Not only is it good for kids to learn the importance of healthy cooking at a young age but also it offers immediate gratification.  Now that we are in the thick of summer, UltimateMama wanted to share her quick, easy kabob creation with you.  Steps are as follows:

– Preheat your grill (UltimateMama uses charcoal as the taste can’t be beat — always remember to be careful with kids around grills)

– Grab a bunch of wooden skewers (Roland Foods Bamboo skewers work well)

– Precut vegetables into cubes (green zucchini, yellow zucchini), square pieces (red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, onions), or remove stems (mushrooms)

– For Chicken Kabobs:  Dice the chicken

– For Shrimp Kabobs:  peel and devein the shrimp

** (always tell your children to be careful with handling uncooked meat and seafood–wash hands thoroughly both before and after)

– Create an assembly line and have each child grab a skewer and assemble it as they wish

– Grill until thoroughly cooked!

– Enjoy!

UltimateMama loves cooking one-pot dishes for her family. She tends to serve the dish then freeze the rest for another day!  UltimateMama’s kids enjoy this easy chicken tagine or chicken stew recipe because it is warm and sweet.  UltimateMama loves the fact that it is packed with nutrients.

UltimateMama’s Easy Chicken Tagine or Easy Chicken Stew recipe as follows:

 

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 medium-sized red onion, finely chopped 

• 1 teaspoon ground ginger

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

• 1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes

• 1 Fuji apple without the skin that is diced 
• 1 cup of carrots, diced (save yourself time and used the baby ones)
• 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
• 1 red pepper, remove seeds and cut into cubes or thin strips
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
• 1 large beefsteak tomato, cubed

• 1 can garbanzo beans, drained (15 oz can)
• 2 cups chicken broth 

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 2 tablespoons orange juice 
• 2 large figs 

1. Get a heavy pot with a lid and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, ginger, and garlic cloves for about 4 minutes.

2. Add the chicken breast and cook all sides, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the apple, carrot, parsnip, red pepper, sweet potato, tomato, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and broth.

4.  With a wooden spoon, stir in the cinnamon, orange juice, and figs. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 35-45 minutes. Make sure chicken and vegetables are tender, especially parsnip and carrot.   

5. Serve some and freeze the rest for another meal! You can serve it with rice, couscous, noodles, or alone!

A little parental advice for you…this is what UltimateMama fed her children (ages 1 and 3) for dinner last night:

3 year old: Pork Chops, applesauce, steamed broccoli, cooked shells (pasta), milk, water

1 year old: Pork Chops, applesauce, steamed zucchini, cooked shells (pasta), milk, water

Quick and Easy Pork Chops

4 garlic cloves (one per pork chop)

3 teaspoons of basil (fresh or dried)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 thin boneless pork chops (about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick)

Turn on broiler. Peel and dice garlic finely. Combine olive oil with basil and garlic and rub on the four pork chops. Broil pork chops in a broiler pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Turn only once. Make sure pork chops are cooked through (use a knife and cut into them to check).  Take them out of oven and cool for 6-7 minutes.

This is what UltimateMama fed her children (ages one and three) for dinner:

Three year old: Lemon Sole, Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Smart Balance spread, Broccoli (she didn't eat much of it tonight), applesauce, breadsticks, milk, water 

One year old: Lemon Sole, Steamed Sweet Potatoes, peas, applesauce, thin slice of whole wheat bread, strawberries, milk, water 

UltimateMama loves to make Lemon Sole. Do not be afraid, it is simple!

 Easy Baked Lemon Sole recipe:

Heat oven to 420-425 degrees. Sprinkle olive oil in a large glass baking dish.  Place Lemon Sole on top of the olive oil, Put 6-12 cherry tomatoes halved on top of the fish.  Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice on top of the fish. Bake Lemon Sole for 20-25 minutes (covered in foil if you wish).