Toddler-Friendly Foods: Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

FW is a picky eater. He won’t touch any vegetables or meat*, and there are even just a few fruits he enjoys. His favorite food groups are: bread, bananas, plain Greek yogurt and cheese.

FW does, however, LOVE muffins. And anything remotely sweet. So, I’ve been making a lot of muffins lately, and trying to hide in as many veggies as I can. These muffins are a go-to in our house. You could probably omit some of the honey if you wanted them even lower sugar, but each muffin has about 9 g. of sugar, which is less than is in most non-plain yogurts.

These are easy, a fun color, and I enjoy eating them too! Try them out for yourself. They’re also FW (aka picky eater)-approved ūüôā AND, with their bright green color, they’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins
Makes 18-20 muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 ounces raw spinach
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond milk as well as whole milk, it depends on what I have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten (I’ve also used .25 c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use silicone muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray (I have green and pink ones which FW loves to eat out of, so that’s what I tend to use).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In your blender or food processor (I put mine in my Vitamix), mix first 7 ingredients (spinach through butter) until completely pureed. Add in egg.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough!
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

*Confession – FW did eat some meat somewhat recently – I snuck some ham into (you guessed it) a corn muffin!

Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for picky eaters?
  • Any favorite lower sugar muffin recipe?

WIAW #22: No Groceries.

Happy¬†What I Ate Wednesday! Does anyone else feel like it should be Thursday, or even Friday? I’m still recovering from the Fourth of July and a busy work week.

Anyway, these were my eats from¬†Monday. I got back late Sunday from our trip to Milwaukee and didn’t go to the store. I didn’t meal prep. So here ¬†it is – what you see is when I don’t have groceries (until the end of the day).

The morning started with another smoothie bowl. I know – for a person who doesn’t like smoothies, I’m starting to really enjoy smoothie bowls. They can’t replace my typical eggs, but when you don’t have any groceries but do have some frozen fruit, a Vitamix and protein powder at work, this will do. Again, it doesn’t look that pretty but it tasted pretty good. It was some Hemp vanilla protein powder (free sample I had gotten in the mail), some water, some ice, and some frozen strawberries and blueberries. Topped with some flaxseed and chia seeds for texture. AND eaten with a spoon. Evne though some of it was in a glass (see how much it made?!)

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Lunchtime I headed over to one of my favorite downtown sandwich and salad places, Stone Oven and got my favorite salad. Janea’s salad. Feta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, bread, croutons, tabbouleh and couscous salad. Such a good meal. I was in food heaven.

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Followed by a nectarine and a few nuts (not pictured) AND some white chocolate chips (I had already eaten some when I took the photo).

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I also had some Werther’s and mustard. Yes, I like mustard packets. By themselves.

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For dinner, ¬†I had plans to introduce a friend to some zoodles. She had never had them before, so I headed over to Heinen’s after work to pick up some goodies to cook and we ended up making a dish for Meatless Monday – vegetarian lomein with zoodles instead of pasta.¬†It was pretty good!

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She brought over dessert – some paleo zucchini brownies and cookies she had made. They were both really good! I’m a purist when it comes to dessert, and these didn’t taste like traditional cookies and brownies – but they were still really tasty. I may have taken some for leftovers. Zucchini brownies for breakfast anyone? (It may defeat the purpose, but they’re so delicious with peanut butter too :))

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So there you have it. That was my day without groceries until the evening. Click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What’s your favorite quick and/or on-the-go breakfast?
  2. Have you ever had any paleo desserts? What did you think? Do you recommend any recipes?
  3. Anyone like me? Do you eat mustard plain?

WIAW #19: Zoodles and Birthdays

Guess what day it is … that’s right – it’s¬†What I Ate Wednesday!¬†These were my eats from Monday. It included a new zoodle recipe and a birthday dinner (one of a few) with my friend/running bff¬†Nicole.

The day was also my first day of my training for the August half marathon I signed up for. I know – a half marathon, in August, sounds hot, humid and notsomuch fun. Oh well. I’m doing it! Anyway, day one was 3.5 miles so I tried to run them pretty fast (for me) and then finished with kettle bells and the elliptical. My post-run breakfast¬†was made for me by B! Egg whites with italian hot peppers, mixed veggies and spinach.

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For lunch, I had made myself a salad.¬†I made salads Sunday during some meal prep and also some quinoa salad so I mixed it all together. Topped with a Heinen’s flamegrilled veggie burger. YUM. No dressing this time.

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Snacks the day included a nectarine, strawberries, mixed nuts and carrots.

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For dinner, Nicole came over. It’s the start of her birthday week and she confessed to me that she has NEVER HAD ZOODLES. I know, right?! So in honor of her bday week we had plans to make pad thai zoodles for dinner. I snacked on some of those peanuts in the background before/after cooking too.

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For dessert, I finished a glass of red wine (yes, it’s leaning on B in this picture) and may have also had a peanut butter oatmeal M&M cookie. ¬†These cookies were REALLY good and I’ll definitely be making them again and sharing the recipe soon!

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That was it! That was my day. How did I do? Two questions for you:

  • Do you like oatmeal cookies? What do you put in them?
  • What’s your¬†go-to Thai or Vietnamese order?¬†Pad see mao or pad see ew for Thai, Pho or Bun or cabbage salads for Vietnamese!¬†

WIAW #18: Baseball and Basketball Games

Happy Wednesday Рare you ready for another What I Ate Wednesday? These were my eats from YESTERDAY. I tried to switch things up a little bit in my eats Рstarting with breakfast. For those of you who follow me on a regular basis, you know I typically eat egg whites and veggies in the morning РI started it with a little different food! Here we go:

The day started with a 5-ish mile run with Nicole around downtown! We made sure to run by the Q (Quicken Loans Arena) where the Cavs are playing in the NBA playoffs. There were already news stations parked downtown (ESPN, etc.) and the streets were alive and decorated. Before the run I had a spoonful of honey and some water.

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My post-run breakfast was a homemade yogurt parfait. I had leftover yogurt at work from our last week’s smoothie party – Dannon Light & Fit – which I mixed with some frozen berries, chia seeds and flaxseed. Yum!

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For lunch, I had made myself a salad. I typically have leftovers but I decided to give B the leftover stir fry for today and instead I had a salad with chickpeas, quinoa, a Heinen’s veggie burger, carrots, radishes and black beans. No dressing ¬†– I’m super picky about the dressing and didn’t have any homemade dressing available.

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Snacks the day included a nectarine, lots of herbal tea (my office was freezing!), some radishes, some mints and a handful of nuts. Nuts not pictured.

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B made me dinner Рsome whole wheat pasta with sausage from our CSA and sautéed zucchini and shallots. It was soo good and luckily I got home from work about 6:45 and we had time to eat before heading to the Indians game.

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We ended up spending the evening at the Indians game BEFORE watching the Cavs game so my after-dinner snack was a beer at the ballpark. I didn’t realize it was going to be this big and I admit I didn’t finish it all. I maybe should’ve gone for the ice cream ūüôā We enjoyed spending time in the ballpark watching the Indians (they lost :() but also spent time in the ballpark bar and watched the Cavs game – and watched the Cavs win!! What a perfect ending to a Tuesday … is it Friday yet?

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Hellllo ginormous beer

Me and Nicole at the Indians stadium bar watching the Cavs game

Me and Nicole at the Indians stadium bar watching the Cavs game

That was it! That was my day. How did I do? Two questions for you:

  • Who are you rooting for in the NBA Finals? Cavs? Oakland? Nobody?
  • What’s your favorite ballpark food?¬†If we hadn’t eaten dinner I would’ve gotten a pretzel or veggie burger. Or ice cream ūüôā¬†

Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Zucchini Hash

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted a recent Meatless Monday blog post. I’ve been eating plenty of meatfree meals (I give up meat for Lent every year) but I guess I haven’t been blogging about them! For example, here are some photos of the meals I’ve been enjoying: (these were originally from my Instagram account – feel free to follow me there @koskim for more gratuitous food shots)

Curried lentils with sweet potato and cauliflower

Curried lentils with sweet potato and cauliflower

breakfast for dinner! egg white omelets with potatoes, peppers, onions and avocado

breakfast for dinner! egg white omelets with potatoes, peppers, onions and avocado

veggie burger with a side of  - veggies!

veggie burger with a side of – veggies!

cabbage and papaya salad with peanuts

cabbage and papaya salad with peanuts

spaghetti squash with homemade spicy tomato sauce and tofu

spaghetti squash with homemade spicy tomato sauce and tofu

Anyway, finally, I’m sharing a recipe with you so that you can eat meatless on Monday (or any day!). I LOVE making this recipe and have made it or a variation of it probably too many times in the past month to count – but it’s so simple and so delicious and healthy that you should try it too! Leftovers are great as well – I typically have four 2-cup size servings with this recipe and then have enough leftover for 2 lunches.

sweet potato zucchini hash-icrashedtheweb

Sweet Potato Zucchini Hash

Serves 4

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 TB olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato,¬†diced
  • 2 tsp. cumin, divided
  • 2 tsp. ground paprika, divided
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, divided (or more if you like it spicy! Note – if you have fresh hot pepper – like chili peppers or jalape√Īo, feel free to substitute with this)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, tofu, sunny side up egg (not vegan)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and finely dice all your veggies. If you’re like me, this may take a little while.
  2. Place diced sweet potato on a prepared baking sheet (I spray mine with Pam or olive oil spray). Sprinkle generously with 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Cook in preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Check often so not to burn and toss potatoes halfway through.
  3. While potato is cooking, heat half of olive oil in a large pan. Sautee onion for a few minutes or until translucent. Add in remaining chopped up veggies Рpeppers and zucchini. Add in remaining cumin, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper and cook for about 7-10 minutes  or until veggies are browned and softened.
  4. When potatoes are done, add to pan with rest of veggies. Toss to incorporate. Finish until cooked but not mushy!
  5. Enjoy! I like mine topped with cilantro and tofu. Other fun toppings include avocado, hot sauce and/or a sunny side up egg. I’ve also served it over spinach for an extra nutritional boost. The one pictured (above and below) has tofu crumbles in it.
So many veggies!

So many veggies!

sweet potato zucchini hash-icrashedtheweb

Linking to my first MM linkup!

Question for you:

What meatless meal should I add to my repertoire?

Happiness Is a Warm Loaf of Zucchini Bread

Dessert breads are THE BOMB. Dot Com. Don’t you agree? Pumpkin bread … banana bread … apple bread … and of course, zucchini bread. And because it’s “bread” it’s not dessert, right? And it’s a perfect pre or post-workout snack, right? Of course! (Disclaimer- I am NOT a certified dietitian or physician so please don’t take my medical advice)

So when I got some extra zucchini from our CSA a few weeks ago, right before we went on vacation, I put it in the blender, grated it, and froze it for later use. Later didn’t take long – one night last week I opened the freezer and the container I had frozen the zucchini in fell right out and cracked open. Which was a sign that I had to use it immediately! I called my mom and asked for her to share her favorite zucchini bread recipe. She makes it at Christmas, during other holidays and just for fun – so I of course had to ask her to share.

She texted me pictures of quite a few recipe cards – but told me that the “Betty’s” recipe was the one she uses most often. No, my mom’s name is not Betty. And no, I have no idea who Betty is. But since my mom said it was her favorite (and she had written “v. good” on the card) of course, that was the one I had to use. And I was not disappointed – the bread was delicious! Right out of the oven when it was warm, I couldn’t help but try it. And then again as a snack with peanut butter on it. Don’t judge until you try it!

easy zucchini bread {i crashed the web}

“Betty’s” Zucchini Bread – apparently from a really old (before I was born!) ¬†Bon Appetit (according to my mom’s recipe card)

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 c flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 c zucchini; grated and¬†well drained (since mine was frozen, I defrosted it in the microwave and then removed as much liquid as I could)
  • Original recipe also calls for walnuts and raisins. I’m not a fan of bread with either in them (and I didn’t have either on hand) so I didn’t use them.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift first 5 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl until light. Gradually add sugar and beat until thick and a bright yellow color.
  4. Add oil gradually and beat well. Mix in zucchini.
  5. Add sifted dry ingredients and blend well.
  6. Add batter to a greased and floured¬†12-cup bundt pan or two 8×4 inch loaf pans. My mom typically makes a bundt – I used loaf pans.
  7. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan and slicing.
  8. Enjoy! Serve warm or cold. It tastes delicious by itself, or with peanut butter (trust me). Or with honey. Or with butter. Or with cream cheese frosting!
easy zucchini bread {i crashed the web}

YUM.

bon appetit recipe card for zucchini bread

Check out the recipe card and my mom’s notes – “1980” and “V. Good Bundt”

Some questions for you:

  • Zucchini bread – yay or nay?
  • Favorite dessert bread? This is one of my favorites. I also really liked the Bailey’s bread I made last St. Patrick’s Day!
  • What do you put on your zucchini bread or other dessert breads? As I mentioned, I tried it with peanut butter. It was delicious. I also put peanut butter on banana bread.
  • Do you keep old recipe cards?¬†No! But I do have a big recipe binder that I take out from time to time. I also love looking through my mom’s recipe cards when I’m home.
  • Who do you call/ask for recipe suggestions (outside reading my blog of course…KIDDING)? If it isn’t obvious yet, my mom!¬†
  • Do you like nuts or raisins in your bread?¬†No, no and no. I typically take raisins out of my baked goods if they’re in them. And I could do without nuts. But nut butter? YUM!¬†
  • Have you ever made a recipe from a recipe card that was older than you?
  • What else do you use zucchini for?¬†Lately I have been using zucchini a lot. I searched old posts and found zucchini fries, zucchini and pasta, zucchini stuffed with quinoa and more!

Fresh Fork Week 6 and B Cooks: Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic in a Red Sauce {Recipe}

We missed an entire week of our CSA thanks to our travels to Milwaukee (I’m not that sad because our trip was awesome and everyone needs a week of beer, brats, cheese and jelly beans away from their CSA right?), so no recap for last week’s supplies. We took the week off and instead have a credit to buy more goodies another week. Woohooo!

But wait until you see what we got this week. Oh what’s that? I forgot to take a picture of everything we got because I was out to dinner celebrating a coworker’s birthday and B had to pick up our CSA? Whoops. Well let me tell you instead:

  • 1 lb sweet pea linguine from Ohio City Pasta
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 large candy onion
  • 1 bunch beets
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 quart plain Velvet View ¬†Yogurt
  • 2 cucumbers
  • Approx 1 lb slicing tomatoes
  • 1 pint sweet cherries
  • 1 pint blueberries

Okay, I lied, here are a few photos I took of SOME of the stuff… but no awesome picture of everything laid out on my counter.

Salad for lunch! With Fresh Fork cucumber, lettuce and tomato

Salad for lunch! With Fresh Fork cucumber, lettuce and tomato

fresh veggies

fresh veggies

So what did we do with everything this week?

  • Beets- TBD. After the last beet / dress incident, I’m going to be VERY careful with whatever I decide to do. Most likely roast them again. While wearing a garbage bag. That I will keep on while eating the beets.
  • Lettuce and cucumbers and some tomatoes- perfect for salads! Lunchtime here we come. YUM!
  • Blueberries and cherries- enjoyed as snacks. Both were eaten immediately and I have no regrets. That’s right – I have no regrets. Because B didn’t have any. Whoops! Side note – have you ever had cherries with cottage cheese? Delicious in my opinion – both are slightly tart so I really liked the combo.
  • Yogurt- still TBD. Likely eating it by itself with some fruit, perhaps some homemade granola (remember those oats I got a few weeks ago?), or with my fruit. Or added to make a cream sauce. Or as a topping on a southwestern salad (like sour cream). What do you think?
  • Zucchini and Ohio City Pasta- See the recipe, below. B made me dinner!

That’s right, B made me dinner. Okay, stop sounding so surprised. If you knew anything about us you would know that B is actually an amazing chef and way more creative in the kitchen. So when he proposed making me dinner, of course I said ,”YES PLEASE!!!” (well, I really said, “Are you sure? We can go out and get Vietnamese food if you prefer? Or I can help? Or we can get Chipotle? Or go to $1 dog night at the Indians Game? What do you want to do?” Yes, I am that indecisive.)

Thankfully B said that no, he would cook for me. And I asked if I could blog the recipe. He said no. He said – I’m not making a recipe. I’m just cooking some zucchini and putting it on pasta. That’s when I had to explain to him that I sometimes include non-recipes on my blog because well, everyone likes a non-recipe once in a while. So here we go – allow me to introduce to you, B’s Pasta.

Pasta with Zucchini and Red Sauce |I Crashed the Web.

B’s Pasta & Zucchini (Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic in a Red Sauce)

Makes about 4 large portions

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb. of your favorite pasta. We love making our own but having the sweet pea linguine from Ohio City Pasta was a treat!
  • 2 zucchinis, diced into about 1-inch pieces. Our pieces looked like little wedges.
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 red wine (approximately. B doesn’t measure anything)
  • 1-2 c of your favorite spaghetti sauce. We used our own homemade sauce. Because pasta sauce shouldn’t come in a can – sorry – otherwise it tastes like ketchup. Seriously.
  • Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

Here’s what you do:

      1. In a skillet on medium-low, heat up the olive oil. Add diced zucchini and salt/pepper to taste.
      2. After 3-4 minutes or zucchini has started to soften, add garlic. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
      3. Add red wine and let zucchini and garlic simmer. You may have to turn the heat down low if it starts to look like it’s almost going to boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until zucchini is a deep red (I thought it almost looked like eggplant) and cooked through.
      4. While zucchini and garlic are cooking, prepare pasta according to directions. Homemade and Ohio City Pasta only take a few minutes to cook, but if you buy a box it will likely take 10-12 minutes so you may want to put the on as you add the red wine.
      5. When pasta is cooked, add it, along with red sauce, to the zucchini / garlic / wine mixture. Cook for about another minute or so until all flavors are combined.
      6. Serve with some fresh Parmesan if you like. My dad would skip this step – he’s not a Parmesan cheese fan. (and yes, my mom is Italian. It works somehow)
      7. Enjoy!
sauteed zucchini for Pasta with Zucchini and Red Sauce |I Crashed the Web.

Zucchini is sauteeing

Pasta with Zucchini and Red Sauce |I Crashed the Web.

Zucchini is cooking with the garlic and wine

Pasta with Zucchini and Red Sauce |I Crashed the Web.

Add in tomato sauce and pasta. Serve with or without Parmesan!

For other Fresh Fork Recaps: