Tag Archives: cooking with your children

Day 2 of 21 Day Challenge to Cook 4 Kids: OY! Not Looking Good…

Video from last night. I’m beginning Day Three of this 21 day fat loss challenge (a cook for my children every night challenge) with a more positive mindset, especially on International Women’s Day. I will alter this challenge to fit my needs, empowering myself to focus on time management, goals, sanity. If it takes three to 3.5 hours to shop, chop, prepare, cook, clean-up, then it is NOT worth it to prepare home-cooked meals every night…not for single moms who also work within their careers and strive to have any sort of personal life or balance. What I seek is 30 minutes to sit down with my boys at the family table every night. But if we’re going in different directions all the time, I do not need to be working so hard…This challenge, just on day 3, is confirming this for me. More later.

Peace, love and support—especially to those special women and mothers across America who do far too much every day. Give back to yourself today and always. Lets make that commitment.

Love,

Laura

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Stuffed Shells: What’s NOT to Love?

This week my son and I made stuffed shells together. (Don’t you love the picture taken by my son?! One might get the idea that I’m June Cleaver … Ha! We all knowbetter!) While my two-year-old was in school, my oldest and I set up an assembly line in the kitchen and stuffed shells, shredded Parm and made a bloody mess. This is such an old-school, yummy recipe, and you can make enough for two dinners and freeze some for another time. (Which should be some consolation for all the clean up involved!) I served mine with a mixed salad, but you could add sauteed spinach to your sauce to make a complete meal. Sorry, this isn’t fat, gluten or dairy free, but so good for a special treat!

Prep: 50 min. Bake: 30 min. Oven: 350 F

Ingredients:

12 oz dried jumbo pasta shells

3 – 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, organic preferred

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped, or two teaspoons pre-chopped lazy garlic

2 28-oz cans peeled and diced tomatoes, or whole and squeeze and chop yourself. (Doctor this with Italian spices, basil, pepper.)

2 handfuls of garlic-marinated mini button mushrooms (found at Trader Joes or other stores in section with olives)

1/3 medium red onion chopped.

1 15 oz carton ricotta cheese (low fat if preferred)

1 1/3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a baking pan or two, as you may want to freeze a batch.

2. Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to boiling. Add shells and cook until slightly tender, 5 minutes. Drain and arrange a single layer in baking pans.

3. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and salt and pepper to your liking. Stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef and continue to stir 5 minutes or until no longer pink.

4. For tomato sauce, in a second skillet over low heat, combine remaining olive oil, garlic and undrained tomatoes and mushrooms. Season with Italian spices: a dash or oregano, pepper and basil. Simmer and cook 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the tomato mixture into ground beef, add ricotta and 2/3 cup of the Parmigiano cheese; combine well.

6. Fill each pasta shell with approximately 1 tablespoon meat and cheese combo. Arrange shells into prepared baking dishes and spoon sauce ontop and around. Sprinkle remaining shredded Parmigiano cheese on top.

7. Bake 30 minutes. Enjoy!