Snackster Sam Blog
Our recipes are always Snackster Sam approved, peanut-free, and safe for schools.
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On a cold day, I love any excuse to heat the oven... and this recipe is one of our favorite excuses! Do not expect to have leftovers, although it's a perfect way to use leftover ground beef or leftover beef roast. This is my go-to recipe the day after I make A Perfect Roast. Because I make this recipe so often, I always make sure I have the ingredients on hand., which is easy because most of the ingredients are canned or frozen. Plus, like most of our recipes, there are so many variations so you can make it your own.
I love sweet potatoes... they are nutritious, affordable, filling, and can spice (or sweeten) any meal.
One day, I thought it might be fun to add sweet potatoes to a Mexican dish, and now it's a must-have ingredient!
What I love about this meal is it's so versatile. I call it a taco, but you can serve it in a variety of ways!
I find that it makes enough for a couple of meals, and you can change the recipe every time you eat it! You can wrap it into a tortilla, leave it plain on the plate (as shown), add different ingredients, and my personal favorite is to add egg and have it for lunch the next day!
Try experimenting with sweet potatoes! What culinary creations will you create? I hope you share!
As you may know, I rarely go to the grocery store with a plan. I'm looking for good deals, in-season produce, and inspiration. This week, there was one eggplant left (and on sale), and I just had to do make a meal with it! I grabbed that, along with a few other winter vegetables on sale, and I had a meal plan.
I whipped up this very simple pasta, and oh-m-gee was it ever delicious. It's packed with flavor (oh, and nutrients), and it was so good, you forgot it was actually meat-less. Say what?! No complaints from the hubby, because it is still full of meaty-like vegetables that make you feel full (without the guilt).
The best part is the kids loved picking out each vegetable and talking about what it was, where it grows, and how it tastes. This is a part of the dinner-table-talk that needs to happen with every family. Discussing how your food grows can fill a conversation and spark so many other interesting learning opportunities (like different states, countries, climates, culture, and so much more)! And it's a conversation that is engaging for a wide range of ages.
Ok back to the recipe.
There are so many variations to this, but I hope you try new vegetables and give it a try!
Easy Vegetable Pasta
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
Fresh diced tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes
1 pint fresh mushrooms (any kind)
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced and chopped
1 can tomato sauce
Penne noodles (or your preference or none! Make it your own!)
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent (a few minutes). Add mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Add diced eggplant and zucchini. Stir frequently and let cook for about 5 minutes or until zucchini starts to soften (it shouldn't be wilted, but you'll notice the seeds start to loosen). Add diced tomatoes, garlic, seasoning, and sauce. Stir and cover pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
While your vegetable mixture is cooking, cook your noodles according to the directions. You do not need to use a noodle, and you could certainly use a spaghetti squash or other vegetable instead. I like to keep my sauce to noodle ratio 3:1. You don't need a lot of noodles... the sauce is the main part of the meal! ;)
When noodles are finished, add the noodles to the sauce. And serve!
p.s. This is possibly even better the second day!
Please share your comments below! Did you try it? Tell us!
Danielle S is the mother of two and creator of Snackster Sam. She has been concerned about healthy habits and nutrition for over a decade, and conducted an award-winning scientific study on portion control. She created Snackster Sam to make eating healthy more fun for parents and children. Learn more about the mission here.
One great way to get picky eaters to try new foods is to let them create works of edible art!
First, go to the grocery store with children in tow. Let them pick out some fruits and vegetables, and encourage them to try something new. (What's an ugli fruit? What about a pomegranate? Is Jicama a fruit or a vegetable and does it taste good?! -- There are so many fun things to try!)
Try to choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. (TIP: Usually what's in season is also on sale)
Items you'll need:
Various fruits and/or vegetables
Peanut butter or SunButter (if you have a peanut allergy)
Raisins, googly eyes (get this at the craft store), blueberries, cranberries, or any small fruit, berry, or vegetable
Cut up the fruits and vegetables you are using. Keep some items large. Spread out the food on the table with the other ingredients and invite the children to the table. Explain to the children that they can actually PLAY with their food! Using the toothpicks and adhesive (peanut butter or SunButter), create monsters, sculptures, and whatever they can imagine with the food. While they are working, talk about where and how each food grows. (This is especially fun if you purchased tropical fruits! Do you know how pineapples grow, for instance? Have Google nearby!) Use the small fruit or googly eyes to make the creature really come to life! When they are satisfied with their work of art, they can eat it! Picky eaters will be more excited to try their creation!
Leftover creatures and structures can be placed in an airtight container and enjoyed the next day.
p.s. Check out these snack creations from our recent party!
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