Healthy Dinners for Kids

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Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats, recipe provided below (adapted from The Wholesome Dish)

Ingredients

  • 4 small-medium zucchini (about 1¾ pounds)
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • ½ cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (not regular hot sauce)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 7-9 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the buffalo wing sauce.
  • As the chicken cooks, cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and center out of each zucchini half, leaving a ¼ inch thick zucchini boat. Place the zucchini in the baking dish cut-side up.
  • Spoon the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats. Sprinkle the zucchini evenly with the cheese.
  • Cover the baking di sh with foil. Bake for 35 minutes.
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Cauliflower Pizza Crust, recipe provided below (adapted from Our Best Bites)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups grated or ground cauliflower (use a food processor or cheese grater)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • kosher salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Place cauliflower in a heat-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap with a few holes to vent. Microwave for 4 minutes, remove plastic, and stir to cool it off a little. Place cauliflower in a fine mesh strainer and use a rubber spatula to press cauliflower against strainer, pushing out any liquid. Use several paper towels and press down to absorb more liquid. You could also ring it out in a clean, dry tea towel.
  • Place cauliflower in a bowl and fluff with a fork. Add basil, oregano, garlic, Parmesan, and mozzarella. Mix well and taste. Add salt to taste (I find depending on the saltiness of my Parmesan, I need a few pinches of salt). Add egg and stir to blend completely.
  • Press mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that's been sprayed with non-stick spray (I've found parchment produces better results that a silicone baking sheet). Press out to about 1/4 inch or slightly thicker. Keep mixture tight together and in an even layer. You can bake one large pizza or multiple smaller ones.
  • Place pan in oven and bake until golden brown. My pizzas tend to vary in time so sight is the best indicator. Generally 15-20 minutes is a good time frame, and it should be starting to brown on top. Remove from oven, top with desired toppings, and return to oven to melt cheese, etc. Let rest for a couple of minutes and then slice and serve.
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Crock Pot Healthy Nachos, recipe provided below (adapted from Well Plated)

Ingredients:

  • FOR THE CROCK POT CHICKEN:
    • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 3/4 cup salsa verde (choose mild, medium or spicy, depending upon your heat preference—I used medium)
    • 1 small poblano pepper, seeded and diced (optional for extra heat)
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can low sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • FOR THE BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS:
    • 8 yellow corn tortillas
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • FOR TOPPING:
    • 6 ounces Sargento 4 Cheese Mexican Blend
    • Other desired nacho fixin’s: chopped green onions, sliced black olives, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, diced avocados, diced fresh tomatoes, sour cream

Directions:

  • In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place the chicken thighs, then sprinkle with cumin, chipotle chili pepper, oregano, garlic, and salt. Add the poblano (if using), then pour the salsa verde over the top. Coved and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  • Once the chicken is tender, use two forks to shred it in the slow cooker. Stir in the pinto beans. Cover and let cook on high for 30 minutes to warm the beans while you prepare the tortilla chips.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges, then arrange in a single layer on two ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 6 minutes, then with tongs (or quickly and carefully with your fingers), flip and sprinkle with salt. Rotate the pans between the top and bottom racks, then bake the chips an additional 6 to 9 minutes, until they are just beginning to turn golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn the oven to broil.
  • Arrange the cooled tortilla chips on an oven-proof serving platter or pile all of them onto a single baking sheet. Spoon the chicken and bean mixture over the chips. Sprinkle with cheese, then place under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, then sprinkle with any additional desired nacho toppings. Enjoy immediately.