How to Make Pumpkin Seeds

It’s a delicious and nutritious seasonal snack and it’s easy enough for kids to make almost entirely on their own! My daughter who is a HUGE fan of pumpkin seeds (especially if she made them…) teaches us how kids can whip up a batch in the kitchen. Recipe included in VIDEO (2:31).

Do your kids have a go-to recipe that they love for Halloween or Thanksgiving? Share it with us in the comments below. And give Reilly some props! She’s a natural!

How to Make Nut-free Granola

As part of The Great Purge of 2010, we’re on a Real Food regimen for the next few days. This means vegetarian, no wheat and minimally processed food. Diann, a Master Cleanse veteran has offered some advice:  have everything you need ready in advance. #wise

I’ve made a double batch of granola. It’s a no excuse simple recipe, really. And nut-free since I have a severe peanut and tree nut kid.

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey (I used local organic)

4 cups oats

2 cup raw sunflower seeds

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup diced apricots

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix oats and seeds and oil and honey thoroughly in a big bowl.

Pour into baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.

Cool for 5-10 minutes. Add fruit.

Store in airtight container.

I’ll be sharing any more ingenious quick and healthy recipes we come up with… but we could always use more so if you have any, leave a comment, will ya?

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

How to Make a Tex-Mex Dinner (Accidentally)

This recipe was a total mishap but it turns out to be one of my husband’s favorites!!  A couple of weeks ago we strayed from the menu because we were so wanting Chicken and Noodles.  So I put a split chicken in the crock pot in 2.5 cups of water and cooked it all night on low!!  It smelled so good!!  The next morning I was up shredding and picking the bones out of the chicken!  That is when the phone rang and we received a dinner invitation we could not refuse!  So I put a Ziploc bag of shredded chicken in the frig!!  The next day, I wanted to make sure I used the chicken…

Shel’s Accidental Tex Mex Dinner was born and it is so so EASY!!!

You need:
Spilt Chicken Breast
2 cans of RoTel Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 can Green Enchilada sauce
2 cans refried beans
1 bag of Kraft Mexi Cheese
Sour Cream
Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch
1 Santa Fe Rice

[Read more…]

How to Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

My neighbor thinks I’m crazy for making chicken noodle soup from scratch! Why, she says? You could buy it in a can.

I know. But my kids ordered it at Noodles & Co. last week and said how much they liked it. I tasted it and thought it tasted easy to make. I asked them, “You would eat that if I made it?” Yeah!!!!

My mom would be proud of me for my newfound ability to “wing it” in the kitchen. This is what I did:

I poached a couple of chicken breasts. For those of you who don’t know what that means… that’s okay, I didn’t either until my friend Sharon taught me how to make the now famous Chicken Pot Pie. You put the chicken in a pot of water with a stick of celery, an onion, salt and pepper, a cup of chicken broth (optional), and a couple of dashes of ginger powder (my addition) and bring to a boil. Then simmer on low for awhile (30-45 min).
When the chicken was done, I put them aside and once it cooled, sliced them into thin strips.
I strained out the broth to get all the gunk out.
I cooked the egg noodles.
I put the noodles, chicken, and carrots into a pot and added some of the broth. And added water until it tasted right. Cooked in on medium/low heat covered until the carrots were soft. Voila! [Read more…]

How to Get Your Family to Enjoy Eating Vegetables

kids_eating_veggies.jpgMany parents struggle to get their kids to eat their veggies- it’s a never ending battle in many households in America.  When given a choice, children would much rather eat anything fried or dipped in chocolate!  So, how do we make kids as excited about their veggies as they are about ice cream or cookies?  It is SIMPLE- present vegetables with excitement and enthusiasm! Enthusiasm is contagious and your kids will eventually catch on!

Is it possible to make eating vegetables a fun experience? [Read more…]

How to Make Quick Fried Rice

I really detest cooking in the summer. Did I mention it’s 100 degrees in the shade these days? And frankly, my kids and I have more fun things to do that take too much time in front of the stove. Like last night, we were on a mission to squeeze in a few more episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender. But the mom in me said chips and twizzlers just was not going to cut it for dinner. So while the girl was in the bath, the boy and I whipped this up in 10 minutes!

And the best part was they loooooved it. Both my 8 yo and 6 yo asked for seconds. We finished the whole thing, which meant I didn’t even have leftovers to put away!

So here’s the recipe, which Rachael Ray-style, is not very exact. My 6 yo sous chef and I kinda made it up as we went along.

• aidell’s cooked chicken and apple sausage,chopped

• 1/2 zucchini, chopped

• handful of button mushrooms, chopped

• 2 eggs

• pre-cooked white/brown rice. It’s better if it is made at least 1 day prior. Ours happened to be a week old.

• salt to taste

• 1 tbs of vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil on medium high in frying pan or wok. Add EVERYTHING, one by one in order of how long it takes to cook. I added the chicken sausage first until brown. Then, the mushrooms. Then, the zucchinis. Then cleared a spot in the middle. Dropped in the two eggs. Mixed it all together.

We added the salt in each serving bowl to taste.

By the way, this recipe so in the spirit of traditional fried rice. Really, put anything in there you want. Leftover steak is especially good.

Do you have any go-to quick dinners? I’m always looking for more ideas!

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

How to Get Your Fruit Juices to Multi-Task for You

Thank goodness I got a chance to interview Laurel House because I’ve always wondered about these super fruits, specifically how to say their names! LOL!

In all seriousness Laurel, who is a health and fit lifestyle expert shares some great information about these super fruit juices and how to get the most benefits from incorporating them into your diet. I love the one that boosts immunity, especially as we get ready for back-to-school. I’m stocking up on acerola!

[Read more…]

How to Make Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna

Whether you are making the only spinach version or the spinach with meat version, homeamade lasagna is quite easy. I usually try to make an extra pan as it actully tastes better the second day!

Spinach Filling

2 lbs small curd cottage cheese (may substitute Ricotta cheese if desired)

2 – 10 oz packages frozen chopped spinach – thawed

1 tsp garlic powder

salt to taste

Tomato Sauce

3 jars spaghetti sauce – your choice of spices

**For a meat version – Brown 1 lb ground beef (or more if desired) and add to spaghetti sauce before beginning to assemble.

**may use tomato sauce and add Italian spice (basil, oregano, garlic) to taste

Lasagna Noodles

1 box, I prefer the no-cook variety. Simply assemble dry noodles in the following instructions and bake as directed.


In a 13 x 9 pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray, assemble in layers:

  • lasagna noodles
  • spinach filling – use a spoon to spread a thin layer evenly over noodles
  • mozzarella cheese

End layers with mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350F for 1 hour. Lasagna should be golden and bubbly.

Serve hot and enjoy!

by Expert Mommy, Dina-Marie Oswald

How to organize “What’s for Dinner?”

Oh no! It’s 5:30 you just arrived home from toddler ballet, the baby is crying and her siblings are getting restless. As you toss them a pretzel rod and rummage through your kitchen cabinets, your thinking I have to be more organized, there has to be a better way. There is a better way to feed your starving children, yourself and significant other without, cutting short on nutrition and making 2 meals (one for you and one for the kids. I used to be so guilty of that) Here are a few things to do, which will get you through those time crunch hours.

1) Always keep ingredients of a few favorite meals in your pantry. I love Annie’s organic Mac and Cheese or a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies mixed with chicken. Anything you can think of that takes about 15 minutes to make.

2) Keep a running list of things you run out of on your fridge or somewhere close by. Soon as you see you are out or low on something, jot it down.

3) Have a meal you and your spouse love, but this kids not so much? Make your meal, but omit the sauce for the kids or don’t combine it all together. Whatever their issue is with it, simplify and enjoy the meal the way you want it too.

4) “Don’t knock till you try it, put a little on your plate! Some kids think it’s great!” This was a little jingle sung by some cartoon on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. It has always stuck with me. Remember your kids watch your reactions to food and should be encouraged to try it before making any “Yucky” comments.

5) Slow cookers can be your best friends. Find a few of your favorite crock pot recipes and take the time to do a least one a week. A great meal that you literally just had to throw together.

6) Resort to take out! I know some days we just don’t have it in us. Find the best 3 take out places around you and ask about their most nutritious dishes. Another option is to stick to a main dish and you add the fruit and veggies at home.

This is a good start! Don’t forget that some stores offer personal shopping and all you have to do is pick it up! Not a bad way to go even if you use it only once in a while. Remember to make you plan, have a few things to fall back on, try new things, Betty Crocker knew what she was talking about with the slow cooker and never be afraid to ask for help. That’s what good friends ( and spouses) are for.

How to get your son excited about cooking (and eating) healthy

Did you know that children who learn to eat healthy early in life are more likely to continue good eating habits as they get older?

I’ve had friends who didn’t bother to try and feed their child anything beyond standard kid-fare because to them it was a losing battle they didn’t have the energy to fight. If this is you, you’re not alone.

One way to get your son excited about eating healthy is to involve him in the cooking process. Even at a young age, there are plenty of opportunities to help without making more of work than help for mom. [Read more…]