It’s a real privilege to share my Recipes for Busy Moms here at More4Kids. My auntie taught me to cook when I was five years old. My uncle built a little red step-stool for me to stand on so I could watch her chop, stir and knead.
Auntie was an inspirational cook she’d add a pinch of this, a dab of that and for good measure, a cup of sugar. All southern recipes called for lard or sugar and often both. Now we know lard and sugar are deadly, so I’ve tweaked them out of our recipes.
To kick-off Recipes for Busy Moms, we’re doing spaghetti! Spaghetti is messy and slurp-worthy; two main kid criteria. I prefer whole grain spaghetti, but the nutritional difference is not worth the battle if your kids don’t like it.
Texas Slow-Fast Spaghetti
Crock pot cooking may be slow, but they help busy moms get dinner on the table fast.
29oz can tomato sauce
28oz can diced tomatoes – drained
28oz can crushed tomatoes with basil and oregano
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped bell pepper
3 cloves garlic – smashed
1 T Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper as preferred
14.5oz can chickpeas – drained
1T fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ lb ground round or turkey
Place all ingredients excepting chickpeas, parmesan cheese and meat in your crock pot. Cover and cook on High.
After about an hour, cook meat in skillet until done. Drain. Pour meat and chickpeas into sauce mixture. Stir. Cook about 4-5 hours. About ½ hour before serving, stir in Parmesan cheese.
Serve with your choice of spaghetti.
The beauty of this recipe is you can prep it the night before and let the sauce simmer while you’re crazy-busy the next day. Since the meat is cooked before adding to sauce, it’s fine to put it in the crock pot an hour or so before serving.
Spotlighting: This week we’re spotlighting chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Chickpeas provide: iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and folate. In addition, they are power-packed with protein. Sprinkle them in salad, add to soups or stews or just serve chickpeas as a side dish.
Now, let’s create fried spaghetti salad. This may just solve challenges of persuading kids to “eat your salad”. My son enjoys it so much he calls the dish “Seconds Please Spaghetti”.
The behind-the-scenes story is that I don’t advocate the Clean Plate Club. We’re raising a nation of obese kids, who will become obese adults. It’s better to get some smaller plates and serve littler portions. If they love it, your kids will ask for seconds please too!
Seconds Please Spaghetti Salad
Cook about 4-6 ounces spaghetti to al dente (firm but not crunchy) stage. Drain.
In a skillet, put about ½ inch of Canola oil. Fry the spaghetti in batches about 2-3 minutes, until golden. Transfer fried spaghetti to a plate, lined with a paper towel.
Chop 1 head of Romaine lettuce and toss with 1 small can of mandarin oranges (drained), 1 avocado (chopped), 2 small carrots (shredded) and 2T dried cranberries.
Toss with raspberry or your favorite vinaigrette. Crumble spaghetti and top the salad. Sprinkle cashews over salad and plate them beautifully on your best dinnerware sets.
I encourage you to become an inspirational cook. Take one or two of the recipes for busy moms and stamp your personal signature on it. Add a pinch of this and a dab of that, just don’t be afraid to “sneak” in a few more healthy ingredients!
Bonnie Doss-Knight is a published author and poet, with article content, web-writing experience. She has a strong interest in alternative/herbal/holistic medicine. Bonnie advocates on behalf of abused children of all ages.
She is an expert food writer, particularly southern country cooking and/or nutritious foods. Various areas of her expertise include: self-empowerment, self-help, personal development, ancient spiritualities, Spiritual Law, Feng Shui, relationships and inspirational.
Her poetry has appeared in “The Spirit” and “Modern Romance”.
While her writing is deep, it is at the same time, clear and comprehensive. A tribute to mature women, she began her writing career at age 50. Her mission is to effectively bridge the gap between the 3-D material world and the highest consciousness of the True Self. You will find her writer’s voice gentle, poignant and transformational.
Bonnie studied under Dr. Bill Vaughan, founder Universal Creators Community Church and Ms. Linda Petty, Psychic who offered real clairvoyant readings, where she attained Master of Life Guidance Counselor.
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