A Warm Breakfast Treat

Did you know January is National
Oatmeal Month? Sources say more
oatmeal is consumed this month...

read more

Drink Your Greens!

With January here, many of
us are looking for ways to
eat a little healthier...

read more

Ditch the Take Out!

After a busy day, it's often easier
to pick up a take out menu
than to whip up a homemade
meal for the family....

read more

A Warm Breakfast Treat

Did you know January is National Oatmeal Month? Sources say more oatmeal is consumed this month than any other time of year. This is probably partly due to oatmeal's warm, comforting appeal, as well as oatmeal's nutritional benefits. After six weeks of holiday indulgences, we can all use some of oatmeal's heart-healthy benefits, right?

Here's a new way to get your family on the oatmeal bandwagon - baked oatmeal! This delicious breakfast treat can be made in advance and warmed up in the microwave. Toppings can be customized - fresh fruit, syrup, warm milk, yogurt... The options are endless!

Baked Oatmeals
(Courtesy, Quaker Oats)

Ingredients:

  • 32 cups Quick Quaker? Oats OR 2 1/4 cups Old Fashioned Quaker? Oats, uncooked
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/3 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute with yolk or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 350? F. Spray 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine oats and granulated sugar. In medium bowl, combine milk, egg substitute and vanilla; mix well. Add to oat mixture; mix well. Pour into baking dish.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until center jiggles slightly. Remove from oven to cooling rack.

Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top of oatmeal. Using back of spoon, gently spread sugar into a thin layer across entire surface of oatmeal. Return to oven; bake just until sugar melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set oven to broil. Broil 3 inches from heat until sugar bubbles and browns slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. (Watch carefully to prevent burning. It may be necessary to turn baking dish.) Spoon into bowls to serve.

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Drink your greens!

With January here, many of us are looking for ways to eat a little healthier. If you're looking for opportunities to improve your kids' diet too, why not consider a daily smoothie? More and more moms are discovering that fruits (and veggies!) seem to go down easier if they are blended into a fun, liquid treat. Why not be really adventurous and try to get some extra veggies in too? Here's a green smoothie that your kids are sure to love.

Super Green Smoothie
(Courtesy of EatingWell.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe medium bananas
  • 1 ripe pear or apple, peeled if desired, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1/2 cup cold orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Directions:

Place bananas, pear (or apple), kale, orange juice, water, ice cubes and flaxseed in a blender. Pulse a few times, then puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

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Ditch the Take Out!

After a busy day, it's often easier to pick up a take out menu than to whip up a homemade meal for the family. Unfortunately, most restaurant meals pack in way too much sodium, fat and calories. Here is a healthy alternative to take-out - a delicious, filling Asian stew that you can get cooking in no time.

Asian Chicken and Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all visible fat discarded, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 14-ounce can fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) fresh snow peas, trimmed
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (lowest sodium available)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped peeled gingerroot
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center, stirring frequently.

Stir in the broth, bamboo shoots, snow peas, 1/3 cup water, green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, gingerroot, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put the cornstarch in a cup. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon water, stirring to dissolve. Stir into the soup. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

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