8 Yummy Muffin Recipes

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Personally, I think muffins are one the best “kid foods” there are. My kids will eat almost anything if it’s baked into a little handheld snack. Want them to eat squash? Carrots? Quinoa? Bake it into a muffin!

Muffins can be breakfast, part of a lunchbox, a snack, or alongside soup with dinner. They can be sweet or savory, fluffy or dense, topped or not.

Here are eight of my personal favorite muffin recipes. What are yours?

  1. Old-Fashioned Blueberry Muffins – Citron Limette
  2. Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Roll Muffins – Authentic Simplicity
  3. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins – Once a Month Meals
  4. Apple Cinnamon Muffins – ParentLife Online
  5. Crumby Banana Muffins – Jessie Weaver
  6. Honey-Sweetened Pumpkin Harvest Muffins – The Finer Things in Life
  7. Sweet Carrot Muffins – Spoonful
  8. Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins – Annie’s Eats

Making Meals with 5 Ingredients (or Less!)

5 ingredients or less

One of the easiest ways to cut back on meal costs is to simplify your ingredients. If you can make a tasty recipe with fewer ingredients, you will probably spend less money. Often this involves slow-cooking, which intensifies flavor and tenderizes less costly cuts of meat.

Here are some great recipe links to get you started. All the recipes have 5 ingredients or fewer, not counting salt and pepper. Add an easy side dish, like a frozen vegetable and rice, and you’ll be able to save (or give!) more money and spend less on food.

*If you don’t use alcohol in your cooking, you should skip these recipes.

And here are a few fun recipes from our friends on Facebook.

Cabbage skillet: brown 1lb. hamburger with chopped onion, then add 2 cans drained Rotel and one small green cabbage sliced into ribbons. Add salt & pepper, cover, and cook until cabbage is tender. Serve over rice, with or without a slice of American cheese melted between. – from Nicole H.

Caramel Apple salad: Core and chop 4-5 Granny Smith apples, add 1 medium can of crushed pineapple with the juice & mix together. Sprinkle 1 box of butterscotch instant pudding (regular or sugar free), stir together. Stir in one 8 – 12 oz tub of cool whip. Chill before serving. (I don’t peel the apples but you can if you need to do so.). – from Becky M.

Have a favorite 5-ingredient-or-less recipe? Leave it for us in the comments! I’d love to have a few more in my arsenal for dinners.

Eat for Cheap: Black Bean Nachos

If you have a hungry family (that’s all of us!), you probably spend time searching for low-cost, high-nutrition recipes like I do. Beans are a great cheap protein, but it can be difficult to find new ways to cook them that your family will enjoy. Recently I made these delicious black beans and served them over tortilla chips with toppings – cheese, cilantro, raw onion, guacamole, and sour cream. The meal was absolutely delicious, and it was a great change from our norm.

 

Black Beans in Pot
source: muyyum via Flickr Creative Commons

Smoky Black Beans

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped carrot
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ham hock, ham bone, or 1/2 c. diced ham
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lb. dried black beans, rinsed

In a large skillet with a lid or a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so. Add ham hock, cilantro and beans to the pot. Cover with water (about one inch above beans). Bring to a boil; then cover, turn heat to medium-low, and cook until beans are very tender. This will take about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. Check often after an hour and stir occasionally during cooking time.

To serve, strain beans out with a slotted spoon. Serve over tortilla chips with Mexican toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, more cilantro, and chopped onion. You could also serve beans over steamed rice with cheese.

Freeze leftover beans and use them at another time to make Crunchy Black Bean Tacos.

 

Snack Food Substitutes to the Rescue! by Beth Aldrich

Feeling uninspired this winter when it comes to servings your kids healthful snacks? Here’s an article from Beth Aldrich we originally ran in August 2011 to give you some pointers! Share your favorite snack to serve in the comments!

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You might be needing an old-fashioned after-school snack to satisfy your kids until dinnertime. Here are some healthy snacks that you’ll feel good about putting on the table.

 

Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Muffins

 

Old-Fashioned Rice Krispies Treats redux: Prepare this old time favorite recipe, but substitute high-fiber cereal or MultiGrain Cheerios and add some dried fruit to the mix, such as dried cranberries or raisins.

Anything on a stick. Kids love to eat finger food — and if they get to “create” it, even better. Set out bamboo skewers and several bowls of fruit, diced lean turkey breast, cheese, veggies, etc. and let the kids “make” their own snacks. You can control what foods they’ll use for their creations, and they love the decision-making and activity part of the project!

Anything in a Tortilla! Kids will eat almost anything wrapped in a tortilla, so get creative. Smear some low-fat cream cheese and sliced strawberries or pears and cheddar cheese or even just peanut butter and bananas. The kids can also take over and make their own creation.

Make Your Own “Mix”: When you take your child to the grocery store bulk bins, they love the idea of scooping and weighing the items. Let them select a few of their favorites for a homemade energy trail mix with seeds, nuts, popcorn, dried fruit and coconut, and yes, maybe even a small portion of chocolate nibs or drops! Have your child portion the completed mix into snack-sized plastic bags or mini containers and take them on the go for a quick pick-you-up snack!

Bagels, Baby! Nothing says satisfaction more than a bagel. Make it a nourishing snack by purchasing whole grain bagels and top them with organic jam and low fat cream cheese. To make them even more kid friendly, but them in thin slices and arrange like spokes of a wheel around the plate. What looks different and interesting yet familiar usually attracts kids to the plate!

What are your favorite after-school snacks to serve (or eat!)?

Beth Aldrich is a Certified Health Counselor and author of the book, Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food and Still Look Fabulous (New American Library, January, 2012).Twitter: @RealMomsLuv2Eat

Slow Cooker Stew

 

While this stew may not be the most beautiful dish on the planet (you can blame the photographer), it makes a perfect supper for a chilly night served with biscuits hot from the oven. And since I know you are all very enthusiastic about slow cooking, I hope you’ll try it out!

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. stew beef, cut into small pieces
  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (11 oz.) condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 c. red wine or tomato juice or sauce
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Peel potatoes (if desired) and dice potatoes, carrots, and onions. {You can sear the beef if you wish to add some good flavor.} Mix all ingredients together. Either cook in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours or in a 300 degree oven for 4 hours.

Friday Links 11/16

I’m bypassing good parenting and going straight to Thanksgiving this week for links. So, please share! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.