Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

We all know that when it comes to accomplishing certain tasks, if you throw a few children in the mix things can tend to get…tricky.

For example, walking out the door. What should be a simple thing which requires little to no brain activity can turn into one of the biggest trials of November. One lost shoe, 15 minutes late, someone has a dirty diaper, you just noticed you aren’t wearing a bra…and then FUDGE! Where are your keys?

Every parent says FUDGE when they want to swear but can’t. Unless your me, then you say shit. Then your baby says shit. That your 6 your old says, “Mom! The baby said shit!”

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

Let me talk about this morning for example. We’ve all been so lucky to get that extra hour of sleep this weekend, unless you have children. Because now they wake up at 5:45 instead of 6:45, and you went to bed at 10:45…(technically 11:45, but you figured you would get that extra hour in the morning.) Think.Again.

We just happened to have an extra hour this morning before we had to leave for school! An extra hour never happens, and then your mind starts to wonder about all of the marvelous things you could accomplish if you had time like this EVERY DAY!

You could shower, curl your hair, wear matching clothes, find your kids shoes in time…

cute baby messy kitchennaughty baby

I decided to do a yoga video. I’m trying to embrace Yoga as of lately because of stress. I’m hoping it will calm me, as well as get me toned in all the areas that seem to have just given up.

So I popped in a TWENTY minute yoga video. To some, this seems so insignificant, but to a busy mom, twenty minutes is basically like asking for Milo Ventimiglia from ‘This Is Us’ to show up at your door unannounced with chocolate. (P.S. why do I want to say his last name all the time?)

5 minutes in, things got dark. The baby was SCREAMING. I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure it was for no reason at all. She climbed all over me yelling in my ear as I tried my best to twist side to side and feel that deep stretch. In between screams I could hear, “Ahhhh. Just breath…”

And then, just like that, with FOUR minutes to spare I hear a cry up stairs, “MMOOOOM! COME WIPE ME!” For real.

“Honey, I can’t! I’m “exercising!” Give me 4 minutes!”

“But it’s DIARRHEA!!”

Baby screaming. Lady breathing. Kid yelling.

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

This is why I make soup. Why, you ask? Because soup is something I love, something that comes together SO quickly. I can make a big pot with whatever vegetables I want and can store it in the fridge for a few days of lunch. Then I can store the other half in the freezer for my lunches next week.

Because sometimes as a mom, you don’t have time to think about yourself. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a meal ready for you in the fridge when you need it. So, hence this soup. It’s warm, comforting, and has vegetables in it! Just make sure everyone is wiped and the baby is napping before you sit down to eat…because we all know what happens when moms try to sit down…

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Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • ½ large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ c. chopped carrots
  • 3 c. diced butternut squash
  • ½ c. milk of choice
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 boullion cubes
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 7-14 oz pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent.
  3. Add carrots and butternut. Continue to toss and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in milk, pumpkin puree, water, and boullion cubes.
  5. Stir and come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Next add in pasta and chicken, along with spices. Cook until pasta is slightly undercooked/al dente. (The pasta will continue to retain water as it sits.)
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!
  7. (The pasta I used was rather large and took about a lot of the soup, that's why I say 7 oz-14 oz, depending on pasta size and shape.)

pasta

The pasta I used was this CUTE pasta I purchased from Trader Joes! Those little pumpkins were the perfect match for this soup. But If you do use this pasta, be careful because it get’s rather large. I think next time I might only use 3/4 of the bag. To find the pasta, you can purchase it here: (affiliate link)

 

So tell me busy moms/dads/persons, what do you do to find time for YOU? I specifically struggling when it comes to exercise, so let me know when and how you fit it in! Have a great week!!

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash+ Spaghetti Squash Pesto Dish

I know everyone is getting so excited for Fall! I’m there with you friends, I promise. I walked into Hobby Lobby and almost maxed out a credit card just so I could decorate my house like Halloween at Disneyland. I want my house so badly to look like a Pinterest inspired Fall Board, but frankly it’s more of a ‘did someone ransack and rob this house?’ vibe…

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash via The Diva Dish

With Fall, comes squash. Mainly pumpkin if we are being honest. I’m definitely not the type of person who refuses to go there, but for today’s recipe it’s all about the Spaghetti Squash. I think this is a year round kind of veggie thank goodness because I just figured out THE BEST WAY to cook spaghetti squash!

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash via The Diva Dish

If you have ever tried to roast spaghetti squash, it takes like an hour. I know this because I’ve been there done that multiple times. And honestly, every time I’ve made the squash, the spaghetti comes out a tad crunchy. So I’ve avoided making it for a while because my mom energy levels at this time in my life requires no longer than 20-30 minute recipes.

Thank goodness for my pressure cooker. I’ve fallen so hard in love with this thing! Just yesterday I made a bag of dry beans cooked and ready to go in 25 minutes. (No soaking!) I’ve also cooked sweet potatoes, frozen chicken, bean soups…etc. It’s amazing!

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash via The Diva Dish

So when my lunch time rolled around, and the kids leftover sandwiches weren’t looking the best, I decided to treat myself to a yummy quick lunch! I cooked the squash while I got the kids lunch ready, and when they were done I was able to fix mine up and enjoy lunch all by myself…

That’s right.

Alone.

No Kids.

Just me and Instagram/Facebook/Youtube and back again.

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash via The Diva Dish

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash + Pesto Spaghetti Squash Dish
 
It can take an hour to roast a spaghetti squash, but using a pressure cooker it can take 10-15 minutes in one pot!
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups water
  • (For the Pesto Dish)
  • 6 oz jar of pesto-Use as much as preferred
  • 1 c. chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 2-4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • 2-4 TB. roasted pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Add your water to your pressure cooker.
  2. Cut the ends off the squash, and then cut it in half. Remove the seeds.
  3. Add the squash by placing it on the metal stand, or just place it on the bottom of the pot.
  4. Set the manual timer to 10 minutes.
  5. Allow it to cook.
  6. Once it is done, let out the steam and remove the squash. (Careful, it's hot!)
  7. Using two forks, scrape the squash so the strings come about and add them to a bowl.
  8. You can add salt, pepper, and a little butter and eat as is. OR....
  9. You can make this pesto dish:
  10. Strain the spaghetti in a strainer to drain some of the liquid.
  11. Add your pesto, sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and seeds. Mix and eat immediately.
  12. If you want to make this later, add toppings in right before serving.

This is the exact pressure cooker I use, and I love it! Click the picture below to find it on Amazon! (Affiliate link)

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash via The Diva Dish

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash via The Diva Dish

What is your favorite fall recipe?!

And what other recipes would you like to see cooked in a pressure cooker?

A Day In The Life-Saturday

 6:20 a.m.

Find a little person cuddled next to me.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

6:30 a.m.

Little girl #2 climbs on the bed.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

6:35 a.m.

3 littles in the bed watching Mickey Mouse.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

6:45 a.m.

Make Breakfast with lots of little helpers and 1 hungry baby lacking patience…

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

Kodiak Cakes + 1 Egg + Milk + Blueberries.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

7:15 a.m. 

Sneak a few bites, or more, of waffles off the kids plates. Fill a water bottle up, start Shayloss workout #7.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

8:00 a.m.

Get the girls ready for soccer, plus baby ready. Hair spray + tight pony’s + some tears.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

8:30 a.m. (Not Pictured)

10 minutes to rinse off, shave legs, look presentable. Use 1/3 bottle of dry shampoo.

8:40 (ish)

Grab some toast and a banana for a quick mama breakfast, add lots of peanut butter. Drive to soccer kind of late

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

9:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Soccer games.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

All of those ballet lessons came in handy when kicking the ball!

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

11:00 a.m.

Our turn to help clean our church building :).

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

12:00 p.m.

STARVING. Run home and make lunches for everyone. Shove random food and tortilla chips in my mouth while making lunch because I could die of starvation.

Kids Lunches:

Grapes, Raw Broccoli + Ranch (yum), Monkey Sandwiches.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

Mama Lunch:

Chipotle Black Bean Veggie Burger (Costco), Roasted Broccoli, Spinach, Tomatoes, Lots of ketchup, Dijon. And more tortilla chips.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

12:30 p.m.

Baby Nap Time.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

Sometime after 12…

Dishes, sweeping, checking Instagram, (3 times), cleaning, trash TV. (In no particular order.)

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

Girls Playing ‘Mom’.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

2:45 p.m.

Baby wakey wakey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efEoiZ2erD0

3:00

Tell the girls to get their swimsuits on for the splash pad at the park.

3:10

Remind the girls again to grab their bathing suits.

3:15

Repeat what I said 5 minutes ok.

3:20

Find one child getting ready for an evening on the town instead of water splashing at the park.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

3:30-3:45 ish p.m…

Finally get all the kids suited up, hats on, sunscreen applied and ready to go!

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

4:00 p.m.

95 degrees out and water feels nice, except the baby isn’t too sure ;).

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

5:00 p.m.

Come home, make a quick dinner.

For my husband and kids:

Grilled turkey, avocado, and turkey sandwich + Roasted Broccoli  (The kids said, “WE HAD BROCCOLI FOR LUNCH THOUGH?!) Bribed the kids with dessert.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

For my grilled cheese, which fell on the floor…

Avocado, tomatoes, goat cheese, balsamic drizzle. Yum! Minus the floor taste…

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

5:30-6:00 p.m.

Clean up dishes from dinner, dreaming of dessert to come later.

6:00 p.m.

Dessert.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

Shari’s Berries!

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

A little fighting over the striped strawberry, even though there was more than one…?

Husband chose pink + White chocolate. I bet you can’t guess which on I choose?!

Thank you to Shari’s Berries for sending us a delicious box of chocolate covered strawberries! After a long day of running around, it was nice to come together and enjoy dessert!

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

6:30 p.m.

Tire the kids and my husband out by doing tricks and silly things.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

Playing with water bottles…?

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

7:00 p.m.

Quick bubble bath! Easy on the bubbles…

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

7:30

Delaying bed time.

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

7:35

Prayers

A Day in The Life, Saturday, via The Diva Dish

7:45

All 3 kids asleep, mommy and daddy are ready to party!!

Except.

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

 

*I was not paid to write this post. Shari’s Berries sent me a box to sample :).

 

Spring Citrus Kale Salad

The other day as I was making a kale salad, my cousin looked at me and said, “Isn’t it funny how now you are eating that, but back then it was a decoration on your steak plate!”

Citrus Spring Kale Salad

Years ago, the thought of eating kale would have been a laughing matter to me. If kale was in fact that veggie on the plate, I gladly scooted it over and face planted right into some creamy mashed potatoes.

(I think I might still do that?)

Luckily for me, my family have taken that spot and forcefully push their veggies to the side along with an exaggerated, “OMG THAT LOOKS LIKE POOP!” Husband, please don’t say poop at the dinner table…

That’s right, you heard me. My family doesn’t love veggies. I know you probably assumed the first thing my kids ask for in the morning is a carrot, but no my friends. Wrong.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

They ask for Lucky Charms…Every day. And every day I say No. Then they cry, tell me I’m a mean mom and how we aren’t best friends. My husband is so dramatic.

ALL before 7 a.m.

So imagine my reaction when I placed this kale salad on their dinner plate the other night and everyone started gobbling it up. Excited? Shocked? Happy?

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Is there a feeling that describes Booya? I could picture it so clearly…

Kale salads being requested every night. Kids screaming for veggies and hummus as a snack. Fighting for the last scoop of vegetables at dinner…

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

None of that happened and they still asked for marshmallows for breakfast this morning…

But they ate a kale salad for dinner last night, so I guess you could call that a win in my eyes.

Boo-ya.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Spring Citrus Salad
 
Family Friendly
Ingredients
  • 1 head curly kale
  • 1 c. strawberries
  • 1 c. clementines cut in half
  • 2-3 ounces of goat cheese
  • 3 TB. slivered almonds
  • Dressing:
  • Zest of 1 large orange (1/4 c.)
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 1 garlic clove smashed or grated
  • 1 TB. greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. using a cutting board, remove the leaves from the stems of the kale.
  2. Roll the leaves up and slice them. Place them in a bowl.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking everything together in a small bowl. Pour it over the kale salad and toss to coat.
  4. Next add strawberries, oranges, and almonds. Toss to coat.
  5. Top with Goat cheese.
  6. Allow to sit for a few minutes for the dressing to marinade.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Salad adapted from HERE

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish 

I think the reason why this Kale salad was so family friendly were for the following reasons:

I used fruit in the salad, which is one of their favorite foods. The bright strawberries and clementines automatically drew them in.

The salad was frilly like a tutu. This really drew my husband in ;). Before I served it, I told my girls that the salad was frilly like a tutu and it got them excited. I know it sounds crazy, but when you have a 2 and 4 year old daughter, you will understand.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

I’m hoping I can pull another fast one on them again for dinner this week, but we shall see. I think my husband is on to something.

Preschool Lunch Ideas

When my oldest started going to preschool, one of the things I was most excited about was packing her lunch.

And maybe the break too.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

I loved the idea of packing her food that she would be excited about and all the other kids would be…I don’t want to say jealous, but I kind of want to say jealous.

Her first year of preschool when she initially started I remember going ALL out. Like cutting things in shapes, making themed lunches, and putting a lot of effort into her lunch.

But then my youngest at the time was becoming more needy, life became more busy, and I just became too tired.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

(Sidenote: Isn’t she the most beautiful think ever? We are in trouble.)

After that I had to have a realization with myself that her lunches didn’t have to be fancy/time consuming (or PIN worthy), but they could still be quick, simple, healthy, and toddler approved.

Fast forward to now I’m a busy mom of two with one on the way, which technically makes me a lot slower. I have a hard working husband and bags under my eyes.

Most likely I haven’t prepared anything the night before, and we are running late because a certain someone refuses to change out of the Elsa pajamas.

So lunch prep has to be quick.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

Here is my lunch DISCLAIMER 🙂 :

My oldest is SUPER picky, so I try to appeal to her taste/preferences when she has lunch at school because I’m not there to monitor how much/what she eats.

I try to add one new thing a week, just letting her slowly try different foods.

Her lunches don’t always have vegetables. It all depends on what I have on hand, and if I don’t pack a veggie she likes, then I will make sure to incorporate veggies later on that day. (Snack/dinner time.)

I pack sweets. Some are homemade, and some aren’t. She LOVES chocolate/which chocolate chips, so that’s usually her ‘treat’.

 

Here are 12 lunches that I prepared at the start of this school year. Again, nothing fancy. Just simple/quick/healthy/toddler approved.

1- Grapes, Carrots + Dip, White Chocolate Chips, Nut mix, PB + J Sandwiches

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

2-Sunflower seeds, Hummus Sandwich, Grapes, Raspberries, Fig Bar, Blueberry Greek Yogurt

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

3- Turkey, Mozzarella Cheese, Baby Tomatoes, Crackers, Berries, White Chocolate Chips

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

4- Grapes, PB+Honey+Banana+Cinnamon Sandwich, Shredded Mozz. Cheese, Carrots + Dip

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

5- Dehydrated Snap Peas, Shredded Chicken, Salad w/ tomatoes and croutons, Blueberries, White Chocolate Chips. (My daughter LOVES salad!)

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

6-Apples, Blueberries, Sun Chips, Bagel w/ PB +Honey+ Cream Cheese + Cinnamon, Tomato slices, White Chocolate Chips

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

7- (Halloween Theme), Peanut Butter Spider Crackers, Tortilla chips, Bat cheese, Blueberries, Candy Corn, White Chocolate Chips, Carrots + Dip. (I wanted to use guacamole but my avocados were bad when I opened them!)

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

8- Cute Oranges, Homemade Biscuit Turkey + Cheese Sandwich, Carrots, Dehydrated Snap Peas, Craisins, Sugar Cookie

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

9- Dehydrated Snap Peas, Hazelnut Butter, White Chocolate Chips, Cutie Oranges, Turkey

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

10- Blueberries, Plain Greek Yogurt + Honey, Chocolate Chips, Dehydrated Snap Peas, Pretzel Sticks, Cucumbers +Dip

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

11- Blueberries, Shredded Chicken, Chocolate Chips, Ants on A Log, Pretzels

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

12- Berries, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Cream Cheese + Crackers, Applesauce

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

Like I said, nothing fancy :)!

What do you pack your kids for lunch? This coming fall I’ll be making two lunches, I’ll definitely have to post more of those experiences because my girls have WAY different food preferences :)!

Simple Top Ramen

Today I held a (rather large) clump of thin dirty blond hair in my hand.

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One child screaming with her hands on her head, and the other child grinning from ear to ear, doing some sort of twirl victory dance.

As I bent down to scold said dancing child, her little two year old mouth looked at me and said, “Yeave me ayone!”

What?!

ramen5

Then my 4 year old removed her hands from her poor scalp that was probably burning, and screamed, “MY SECOND NAME IS ELSA, QUEEN OF THE QUEEN!”…Followed by a twirl of her gown and loud stomps down the hallway.

“YEAVE ME AYONE.”

“NO! MY NAME IS ELSA”

“GO AYAY!”

“YOU CAN’T TELL ELSA WHAT TO DO!”

“AYAYALDLF LSKDJFY!!!!”

Push, Shove, Twirl, Stomp, and Victory Dance…In that order.

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I couldn’t figure out whether to talk to Elsa or Gia, and quite frankly I was worried the two year old will pull my hair. So I did what any desperate mom would do…

I drank.

Ice water. It calms me guys. Then I said a prayer.

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For sanity, for comfort, and for strength.

And then in that moment, both my girls came and sat on my lap and as clear as day I heard, “They love you so much.”

ramen2

Did they stop fighting after that? No. I swear my oldest was running around saying “Son of a Fish!”

Did I feel like a complete failure? No. Despite the chaos and drama, I felt loved,  I knew they felt loved and loved each other as well.

I also knew that someone had taught my daughter to say, “Son of a fish!”…

Next step:

Comfort Food.

ramen4

Top Ramen
 
I will be completely honest and say as a child I LOVED opening a package of top ramen, sprinkling the 'seasoning' packet on top of the dried pasta, and eating as is. I can still taste it! This is a spin off of that ever so popular childhood favorite. This is a vegetarian version, but you can definitely add in your favorite ingredients. Switch up the broths, sautee some diced veggies with the onions, etc.
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. sesame oil, or olive oil
  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • (Opt: Minced carrots)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 oz. Chinese Noodles
  • 4 tsp. ground celery seed
  • 4-5 TB. fresh chopped chives
  • salt/pepper
  • optional: red pepper flakes, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc.)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, add oil and heat up. Then add minced onion, garlic, and ginger. (If you add other raw veggies add in here as well.)
  2. Continually toss and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Next add in broth and water.
  4. Stir and add in chinese noodles.
  5. Sprinkle in spices and let cook for a few minutes until the noodles are soft.
  6. Add in your additional seasonings and toppings. Serve hot!

 

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I enjoyed this comfort food all by myself…Imagine that. One child asleep, and the other staring/glaring at me from time out.

g1

You can thank that son of a fish.

Pesto Zucchini Pasta

Say What?!?

A Post!!!

zucchini pasta-eleven

That’s right! I’m sure there are pigs flying somewhere right?

Well today’s post is featured on Venus Williams Eleven By Venus Blog!

Zucchini Pest Pasta! I am LOVING my julienne peeler! I have so many ideas in my head on how I can play around with it!

To check out the recipe, GO HERE!

ALSO…

We are back home as of yesterday, and we aren’t leaving town for another week and a half so I have PLENTY of time to share things with you! Be looking out for new recipes and etc.!

Thanks again for all of your support! Much love!!

Kids Macaroni & Cheese

Since the beginning, I’ve always been a ‘food based blog’. I started out as cupcakes, next was just desserts, and then I went healthy. All.Over.The.Place. Right?

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

I love blogging about food and healthy meal ideas, but recently I’ve been thinking of ideas of how I want to do more than just blog about food. Obviously food is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle, but I also believe so many other aspects go into health, and happiness. I want to stretch this blog a little more and focus on the idea of ‘health & happiness’ as a whole…and not just food.

(Did I repeat myself?)

I haven’t fully decided what that means, but I am hoping that over the summer The Diva Dish will be able to find it’s voice. Whether that means more of this or that I don’t know…But food will always be a big part of this, so don’t worry. 🙂

How many times can I say the word food in this post?

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

A small part of that change will be sharing more of a reality as to what my kids really do eat. Pretty recipes and “true stories” can only convince you guys so much right?! I mean…Do my kids REALLY eat healthy? Have they ever even had boxed Mac n Cheese?!

Yes and Yes.

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

Sometimes I get worried to post a recipe that has cheese or a high amount of calories because it may not be considered “completely healthy” and then the world will think I’m a FRAUD!! But here right now, I will tell you my kids eat cheese. And some of their meals are probably high in calories…

One important thing I’ve learned with my kids is that they are growing and their body needs food and it’s nutrients to grow. Their body doesn’t need fat free, calorie-less foods. They need the fats, proteins, carbs, etc. to help their brains and bones!

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

Mac N’Cheese is always a kid favorite, and I’m not going to lie, making it from a box can save a lot of time. But on the days where I have a little more time, I love to make homemade mac! It last us for the next couple of lunches, which is one of the things I love about it!

Switching up the pasta shapes is always fun for kids, but I love adding in orange-colored pureed veggies to really up the nutrients! This dish has carrot puree, which brings out a subtle sweetness to it! And, carrots are orange, fake cheese is kind of orange…soooo….

Win Win!

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

Kids Macaroni & Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • salt
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 12 ounces pasta of choice
  • 1 TB. butter or coconut oil
  • 1½ TB. flour (can use whole wheat, spelt, all purpose, etc.)
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard powder
  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • For the Topping (optional)
  • 1 TB. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. tumeric
  • ¼ c. bread crumbs (fresh)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the carrots until tender.
  2. While the carrots are cooking you can make your topping.
  3. Melt the oil in a pan, then add the rest of the ingredients for the topping. Whisk together for a minute or so then remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Remove the carrots when they are done with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender.
  5. Add the pasta to that same pot/water. Cook pasta until tender. Reserve 1¼ cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta. Add the water to the carrots in the blender.
  6. Puree the carrots until smooth.
  7. In a sauce pan melt your butter/oil on medium heat. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
  8. Then whisk in the evaporated milk and carrot puree until smooth.
  9. Simmer the mixture until it has slightly thickened.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until it has melted. Fold in the pasta!
  11. Serve into individual bowls and top with crunchy topping!

 

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

As for us parents, don’t be ashamed to eat a little mac n’ cheese! Serve this along side fresh veggies and a large salad and you are great!

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

For the record, Carrots > Fake Cheese.

 

What would you like to see more of on The Diva Dish?! I Would LOVE your input!!

 

Mexican Style Salad Naan Pizza

Often times I try and make dinners that can please the whole family, and everyone will enjoy.

That’s in a perfect world though…In reality, my husband wants Del Taco, one daughter is screaming for a popsicle, and the other is eating crumbs off the kitchen floor…And I just want to make peanut butter and honey sandwiches for everyone and tell them to suck it up. (And then I’ll go out and have myself a nice dinner.)

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Nothing’s worse than making this huge dinner to have one person try it, and the rest of the family dabble at it. So glad I spent 45 minutes making dinner for everyone to not eat it.

AM I RIGHT MOMS?!?!

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I’ve learned that effort is good when making dinner, but going all out crazy just isn’t worth it. No matter how many sauces, dips, spreads, spices, and methods I used making that dinner, there is a chance that 50% will eat only a few bites. And then I feel bummed because all the work I put into dinner, so I finish off everyones plate to make up for it.

It’s not pretty.

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So when it comes to dinner, I try and think simple. I remember that I have two kids under 3, and a husband that has the flavor palate of a 15 year old. I also usually try to stick with dishes that can easily be adapted for my kiddos. That means that I can take different parts of that dish and serve them separately to my one year old. For example, this pizza.

I made it so I can serve her the chicken separately, along with the corn, and I can make a quesadilla out of the rest of the ingredients.

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The sauce is so easy that it took 2 minutes to make, just the way I like it! It’s vibrant and green due to the cilantro and avocado, which goes perfectly for a mexican style pizza! I also added this in my girls quesadillas!

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Let’s not forget about the “crust” in this pizza. It’s garlic naan bread, which just took a few hours off my dinner prep. On days where I don’t have the will or time to make homemade dough, naan bread is the perfect sub. It’s fluffy and flavorful, and when you broil it in the oven it has a nice little crunch just like pizza dough would!

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Then there is my husband and I who have completely two different food preferences. So for my pizza, I opted for no cheese to keep it a little lighter.

But for my husbands pizza, I added a little bit more chicken, lots or cheese, and a few dashes of hot sauce!

After the pizzas are baked, I drizzled cold plain greek yogurt on top, which brings it all together!

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Mexican Salad Naan Pizza
 
Ingredients
  • For the Pizza
  • Garlic Naan Bread
  • Avocado Cilantro Sauce(Recipe to follow)
  • romain lettuce
  • Cooked chicken
  • corn
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • cheese
  • plain greek yogurt
  • hot sauce
  • (For the Avocado Cilantro Sauce)
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2 small limes (juice)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • ¼ c. chopped white onion
  • 1-2 gloves garlic chopped
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • salt/pepper
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients into a blender, and blending until creamy. Adjust salt/pepper to preferred taste.
  2. To make the pizza, get the naan bread. Spread the sauce on top of the bread.
  3. Then top with chopped romain, corn, diced tomatoes, diced peppers, cooked chicken, and if desired, cheese.
  4. Turn the oven on HI broil, and cook pizza for about 5 or so minutes, until the naan bread is a little crisp and the cheese is melted.
  5. Drizzle with greek yogurt.
  6. Enjoy!

 

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My husband said this was his favorite dish from me. But he totally says that all the time because I’m such an amazing cook so…

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This is what the girls dinner looked like. It wasn’t as colorful, but they enjoyed it! Their quesadillas had cheese and the avocado sauce.

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Don’t worry, tomorrow night I WILL serve peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

 

Easter Recipe Roundup!

Easter is just around the corner, roughly two days away, and I’ve yet to plan our Easter Meal. This growing up thing sometimes is hard. Usually we visit family and they do all the cooking…But this year it’s just my cute little family, aka me and three picky eaters, so…I’m at a loss as of what to make right now!

I’ve scrolled through some of my recipes, and decided I’d share some Easter Worthy Recipes from The Diva Dish! Maybe we can discuss in the comments what everyone is making? Or maybe someone could come cook Easter Dinner for my family and then clean the dishes after? Or maybe we could go to Del Taco…

Either way…Discuss amongst yourselves.

 Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pancakes

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Tomato Basil Quiche

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White Bean Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

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Strawberry Broccoli Salad

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Maple Sage Glazed Carrots with Maple Toasted Pistachios

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Veggie Gravy

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Cilantro Lime Corn on The Cob 

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Lemon Parsley Spinach Pasta

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Guacamole Kale Salad

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Layered Cous Cous, Egg Plant, and Zucchini Casserole

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Chicken Spring Rolls w/ Crunchy Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

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Crock Pot Indian Spiced Lentils

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How To: Roast Chicken

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Hearty Whole Grain Basil Bread

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Banana Cake w/ Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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Rich Chocolate Banana Bread w/ Strawberries

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Chocolate Sun Butter Pretzel Cups

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Chewy Easter Egg Truffles

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Cinnamon Sugar Cups

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Chocolate Beet Cake

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Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

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Orange Carrot Juice

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