Tag Archives: kid friendly

Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs in Red Sauce

Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs in Red Sauce

gluten free protein turkey meatball marinara sauce spinach

These turkey meatballs came out so juicy and tender! Not to get a swelled head or anything but these were gooooood. Kid approved too.

I had never made meatballs this way before.  I usually bake them or use a crock pot which takes time and patience. But these were done in 30 minutes! Both the sauce and the meatballs were easy.

gluten free protein turkey meatball marinara sauce spinach

I even added a secret ingredient. I wanted to incorporate a veggie to bump up the nutritional value but needed it to be stealth since there would be kiddies eating these too. So I pureed a half bag of organic baby spinach and added it to the sauce. You couldn’t tell it was there at all. But I think it really added to the flavor and they never knew – shhhh.

I doubled this recipe but didn’t double all of the ingredients. I only used a half bag of spinach, the 1 bay leaf and the 1/2 onion. The ingredient list below is just for a single batch.

gluten free protein turkey meatball marinara sauce spinach

Bottom line is that I will only make meatballs this way from now as they turned out to be the best I’ve ever made. You can eat these as they are in the red sauce or top some quinoa, brown rice noodles, zucchini pasta or sweet potato pasta. So many ways to enjoy.

Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs in Red Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Gluten Free, Protein
Serves: 4
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 - 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 - 14 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic, fire roasted)
  • 1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ½ small onion, keep whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
  • dash of salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • Optional: ½ bag of fresh baby spinach (you cant tell its there but it thickens up the sauce and ramps up the nutrition factor).
  • Optional: 1 can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen organic fire roasted).
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • ¼ cup gluten free panko crumbs (I used Ian's Gluten Free Original)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 - 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  1. SAUCE:
  2. In a medium size pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, salt, pepper, oregano, basil (if not using the pureed spinach) and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer.
  4. Optional: If using the pureed spinach, put the spinach, can of diced tomatoes and basil in food processor and puree. Stir into tomato mixture, cover and let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, you can make the meatballs.
  7. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic and cheese.
  8. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients well until everything is combined.
  9. Form small meatballs, about the size of a ping ping ball.
  10. Once all are formed, add the meatballs to the sauce. Carefully slightly sink them into the sauce, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Be careful stirring as the meatballs are tender.
  11. Discard the onion and basil leaf before serving.


Real Fruit Gummy Snacks

I, much like little kiddie hands enjoy a good fruity gummy snack but unlike kiddie hands, I care about the food coloring, preservatives, sugar and nutritional value in the foods I put in my body.  Pretty exciting.  I know, I live on the edge.

Real Fruit Gummy Snacks

Lucky for me, I found this great recipe for Real Fruit Gummy Snacks at Don’t Mess with Mama.  I tweaked it a little bit and created my own awesome version.

There are only 4 all natural ingredients: organic pure fruit juice, organic blueberries, organic maple syrup and grass fed gelatin.

What makes me giddy (or kiddie as it were) about these is that there are no preservatives, no food coloring, no high fructose corn syrup, no added sugar, and use grass fed gelatin.  They are also gluten-free and paleo!

I read about the health benefits from grass fed gelatin and was really surprised. According to Thank Your Body, these are just some of the benefits associated with grass fed gelatin.  You can go to their site for more a more in-depth explanation.

  • Gelatin can help with overall joint and bone health (and reduce arthritis pain).
  • Gelatin improves hair quality, growth, and texture. (Want shiny, strong hair naturally? Take your gelatin!)
  • Gelatin can help with the aging process. As we age our bodies make less collagen and gelatin provides more elasticity!
  • Gelatin has been shown to improve nail strength and growth.
  • Gelatin has been shown to help digestion and even heal digestive disorders.
  • Gelatin is a cost-effective and nutritious way to get more protein in your diet. (Note: It is not a complete protein so it shouldn’t be your only source for protein.)
  • Gelatin has also been shown to help you sleep better.
  • It’s also been associated with improved metabolism, reduced cellulite, and as a treatment for non-seasonal allergies.
real fruit gummy snack treat candy organic natural gelatin grass fed berry honey orange juice

Real Fruit Gummy Snack

Real Fruit Gummy Snacks
Prep time
Total time
Real Fruit Chews completely satisfy my need for something sweet, chewy and fruity. These all natural chews are also nutritious.
Recipe type: Snack
  • 1 cup organic pure cranberry or pomegranate juice (I used a mixture of both)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3 tbsp organic pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 4 tbsp grass fed gelatin
  1. In a saucepan combine the berries and a ½ cup of juice.
  2. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until the fruit is tender and softened
  3. Add maple syrup
  4. Use an immersion blender or Nutribullet to puree mixture
  5. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl
  6. Very gradually whisk in the gelatin. I whisked constantly and sprinkled the gelatin in the bowl a little at a time until gone and there were no lumps. (If you do end up with some lumps, use your immersion blender or Nutribullet to puree it smooth)
  7. Add the last ½ cup of juice after everything is smooth and there are no clumps.
  8. Pour into a glass pan (I used a 8.5 x 6.5 pyrex dish) or cute little silicon molds.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  10. Cut into squares and eat.
  11. ***Word of caution if using a Nutribullet - let the mixture cool for a minute or 2 before putting in the Nutribullet. I put the mixture in while it was still hot and when I unscrewed the top after blending, it exploded all over the place. Blueberry juice on the ceiling. So let it cool before using a Nutribullet***


I know there are 2 sides of the coin when it comes to consuming animal proteins.  Having been vegan for years, I recognize the beliefs/benefits of the health and morality of that lifestyle.  For me personally, I was sicker than I ever being vegan and am the healthiest I’ve ever been now consuming animal protein. I am in no way endorsing or condemning the consumption of animal proteins, just sharing a recipe for those that do consume it. 

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Frozen Yogurt Blueberries

Frozen Yogurt Blueberries

With another snowstorm upon us in the Midwest, staying inside and keeping warm sounds just about right.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend it’s hot as blazes outside.  I mean we don’t stop eating ice cream do we?  Warm and cozy inside or hot as blazes outside still calls for a delicious sweet treat.

What do you get when you combine frozen blueberries and Greek yogurt?  A sweet, nutritious, kid friendly snack that everyone will love.  Even non-yogurt lovers!

Until recently I have never ever been a fan of yogurt of any kind.  Trust me, I wanted to love it.  My husband eats it like it was going out of style.  But I recently found a way to love Greek yogurt and I can’t believe how simple it is.


  • Organic blueberries (I used fresh)
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt (or any flavor of your choice)

blueberry greek yogurt organic fiber snack sweet treat dairy fruit frozen


Seriously, these are so easy that you will be like “is that it”?

  • Line a pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil if you have no parchment paper.  I used a glass pan because I like how cold they get.
  • Using a toothpick, dip each blueberry in the yogurt of your choice.  Get it nice and covered.  Place it on the parchment paper.  Try not to let them touch otherwise they will all freeze in one big clump. 

blueberry greek yogurt organic fiber snack sweet treat dairy fruit frozen

  • Place pan in freezer for about an hour.
  • Take pan out, enjoy fruity yogurt treat.
  • IF you have any leftovers just keep them in the freezer covered until the next time.

blueberry greek yogurt organic fiber snack sweet treat dairy fruit frozen

These are a delicious and fun healthy alternative to high sugar popsicles and ice cream.  But I’m not waiting until summer, these are too good to wait for.

You can use this same technique with green grapes or even raspberries using any flavor of Greek yogurt.  Let the kids make up their own flavor combinations.

See, I told you they were easy.    Enjoy.

Cauliflower Cheese Sticks

Cauliflower Cheese Sticks

Low Carb, High Protein, Super Good

Originally I was going to post a recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust as mentioned in my Healthy Portabella Pizza post but then I started craving cheese sticks.  And like I’ve said before, I don’t like to say no to myself very often.

But don’t worry your pretty head, I promise to post a great cauliflower pizza crust recipe very soon.

Let’s get started.  I suggest reading through the few instructions before beginning.  It won’t take long, I promise.

Prep time: 10 min., Cook time: 50 – 60 min. total, Makes 2 servings

Ingredients (use organic when available):

  • 1 hefty cup of cauliflower rice (how-to below)
  • 1 large egg or ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat or vegan mozzarella cheese (separated in ¾ cup and ¼ cup)
  • Italian Seasoning and/or salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cauliflower rice


HOW-TO make cauliflower rice.  This is so easy peazy, it’s ridiculous.  I took my head of cauliflower, trimmed off the big green stem and the leaves and took it to the grater.

I grated it just like cheese and it magically became cauliflower rice.  So genius.  I didn’t grate all the down to the stems, I just did all of the florets.  If you have a food processor you can put the “rice” in it for a few pulses to make it finer.  I didn’t pulse mine and I loved them just the same.

Your head of cauliflower will make way more than the recipe calls for but that’s ok because you can cover it and store it in the fridge.  Trust me, you’ll be making another batch of these really soon.  

Cauliflower rice mixture

Combine your cauliflower rice, your egg and ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella.  If using a large egg, beat it before mixing with the cauliflower.  If you use egg substitute, add away.  Mix until everything is combined well.



Cauliflower rice

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray and transfer mixture to it.  It’s ok that it doesn’t cover the entire cookie sheet, the important part is that it’s about a 1/2 inch thick.  Mine only covered about ½ of the sheet.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until set.

You’ll know it’s set when you can flip it over easily.

Cauliflower rice bakedRemove from oven and flip.  I found it easier to cut into quarters with a pizza cutter then flip the pieces.  Increase oven temperature to 450 and bake for 15 minutes after you’ve flipped them over.



Cauliflower rice bakedAfter the 15 minutes is up, remove from oven and cut into strips.  Separate them slightly on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and salt (a little or a lot depending on your taste).  Top with the remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella.  Put back in oven for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.


Cauliflower Cheese StickLet cool slightly, nothing ruins an evening like a burnt tongue, ouch.  Serve with marinara or pizza sauce.  Pat yourself on the back for making an undercover vegetable dish the family will love.  But don’t blink because these will be gone before you know it.


*Truth be told, I used a 1/2 cup of Mexican shredded cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan because I didn’t have shredded mozzarella in the house.  Fingers crossed.  –Update on using the different cheese:  the Mexican cheese burns faster than mozzarella so I suggest flipping them at 27 minutes then only raising the temperature to 400.  Bake for another 15 minutes like the original recipe then just follow along with the rest of the original steps.

Origin of inspiration for this recipe: http://timelesstreasuretrove.com/cauliflower-cheese-sticks/

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