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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    A Look Back.



Blue Apron Cooking For Kids!

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.  Thanks for your continued support of Daily Garnish, and our family. 

Last week was another Blue Apron week in our house, which is always a fun way to mix up mealtimes.  I mean who doesn’t get excited when dinner looks like this?

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So delicious!  We had three yummy meals to look forward to, and it was hard to pick which one to make first. 

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It was a busy week on the business front, and Casey and I had really conflicting calendars between work, kombucha deliveries, and workout schedules.  So I decided to do something different than our usual Blue Apron date nights, and this time I shared them with the kids instead!  I knew the minute I saw the ingredient spotlight that the kids would be sold. 

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Anyone else have kids that are totally addicted to olives?  We have to put ours on the top shelf of the fridge or else they pull the jars out to snack on.

I’ve written about Blue Apron plenty here before, and it’s something we use about once a month to bring variety to our weekly meals.  (And make sure you don’t miss the exclusive offer for three free meals at the end of the post!) Here are a few key points for those who haven’t tried it yet:

  • Blue Apron delivers all the farm-fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. No trips to the grocery store and no waste from unused ingredients.
  • Blue Apron is working to develop a sustainable food system and use high quality ingredients. Check out their mission page here. 
  • They offer two types of plans, the 2-Person Plan and Family Plan (we use the 2-person plan, as it’s the only vegetarian option!)
  • Blue Apron now offers a recycling program! You can learn more about it here
  • There’s no commitment – you can skip or cancel the service at any time!

The first meal I made for the week needed to be made QUICKLY – we had just come home from swimming lessons and the kids were starving and I was on solo bedtime duty.  And so naturally, I gravitated right to the grilled cheese. 

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My kids love grilled cheese so this was an easy sell.  And once they found out there was homemade jam involved, it was a no-brainer.  And of course they were both glued to my side every step of the way. 

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The result was DELICIOUS – homemade plum jam and creamy warm goat cheese.  What’s not to like!?  And the cucumber salad was fresh and bright.  Perfect accompaniment. 

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My plan was to eat one sandwich myself, and let the kids split the other one, but I only ended up getting half of mine while they both fought over the last piece.  Safe to say it was a hit. 

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And much to my surprise, they both actually ate every bit of the cucumber and endive salad.  They aren’t big on greens salads, but this was a great way to get them to try something different. 

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A few days later it was time for a pasta night!  Pasta is one of those things that can be so simple and easy, and pretty much everyone loves it.

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Once I unpacked the ingredients I spent most of the cooking time swiping Graham’s hands away from the giant olives.  I actually had to get out a different jar of smaller olives to appease him until dinner was ready.  Addicted, I tell you!

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I so rarely cook with fresh pasta, but whenever I do I can really taste the difference.  I should pick up some of the locally made stuff at our weekend farmer’s markets more often!

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This came together really quickly, and I served myself a nice hearty bowl of pappardelle with homemade tomato sauce and lots of crumbly delicious cheese.

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I portioned smaller bowls for both kids, and then I cut the pasta into kid-friendly bites just before serving.  They were both really excited to use “grown-up” bowls.  It’s the little things!

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Baby bear and mama bear. 

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No one else was willing to take a break from eating to smile.  Classic mom photo!

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And last but not least, we made every kid’s favorite thing – pizza! 

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Cullen is actually allergic to peppers, so we left those off and I snacked on them on the side.  But we did yummy tomato sauce and fresh garlic and corn, and it was just as good!

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I actually made this one afternoon on a busy day when the kids were napping.  I cut the pizza in half and ate my portion for lunch while I finished up work. 

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The crust was thick and chewy and it was way more exciting than my usual lame lunches.  Such a treat!

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The kids had their pizza for dinner that night, and there wasn’t a single piece left uneaten.  Is there anything better than pizza on the back deck in the summer?

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If you are new to Blue Apron and want to try it yourself, the first 20 readers will get three free meals off their first boxClick here to order!

This was the perfect week to share my Blue Apron meals with the kids, as all of them were super kid-friendly and easy to make.  I won’t be sharing my fancy ramen bowls any time soon, but I think this is a great use of the meals if you look for the more kid-friendly recipes in the weekly emails. 

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.  Thanks for your continued support of Daily Garnish. 



Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Bake

Oh man guys.  It’s been a tough week at our house.  But the good news is that today is Monday and a whole fresh start!  And instead of dragging you down with all those details, I’m going to offer up an apology for being so out of touch.  And nothing says I’m sorry quite like comfort food, right?

I haven’t given you guys a recipe in I don’t know how long, but today I’m changing that.  And it’s not the pizza I promised (that’s coming on Friday – stay tuned!) but instead it’s the other dish we are currently making every week. 

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I started making this a few months ago, while on the quest to develop more make-ahead meals that I could prep in the morning or nap time, and just pop in the oven.  Mexican-inspired food can be tricky for us because Cullen is allergic to peppers, and they are in EVERYTHING.  So I wanted to come up with something that was still full of veggies, but NOT full of peppers. 

And while the intention was to make it super friendly for the kids, the first time I made it Casey and I each ate like three servings because it was so good.  I hope you guys like it as much as we do!

Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Bake

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (6-8 servings)

  • 2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pint mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 16oz jar enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a mesh strainer, start by rinsing the quinoa to remove the outer coating. Cook quinoa until fluffy according to package directions. I cook mine in my rice cooker, which is literally as easy as pushing a button.

While the quinoa cooks, prep and cook the veggies. Start by sautéing the onion over medium-high heat until soft and browning.

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Add the mushrooms and black beans, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

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Add spices and stir to coat, making sure spices don’t burn.

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Wash and tear the leaves off your kale, and then add to the pot with the veggies and stir to combine. It will look like a TON of kale, but it will cook down. Note: I typically chop my kale a bit smaller than this, and next time I’ll do that again — these pieces were a little big for the kids!

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Once the quinoa is cooked, dump it straight on top of the kale — that heat should help wilt it pretty quickly.

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Now let’s talk about the sauce.  I got this enchilada sauce at our local Whole Foods, and it is the BOMB (are we still saying that?).  It has a tiny bit of spice but not so much that it bothers the kids, and it’s just so flavorful and tasty.  SO good.  I keep like three jars on hand on our pantry so I can make this whenever the mood strikes. 

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Add the whole jar of enchilada sauce, and stir to combine the whole mixture. Season with additional salt if needed.

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Pour the mixture into a 9×13 glass baking dish.

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Shred cheese directly on top — freshly grated cheese melts so much better than the pre-shredded stuff! Make sure it is spread evenly. Cover with foil and bake for 18-20 minutes.

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Remove foil and turn oven up to broil on high — cook for a few additional minutes until cheese is browning and bubbling.

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Remove from heat and let cool for a minute or two before serving. Top with fresh tomatoes, avocado, fresh salsa — or just eat it as is like we did!

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I wish I had the right words to tell you guys how tasty this is.  Even the kids (who typically give mixed casserole-type dishes the side eye) will both wolf this down.  And I love that they are eating things like kale and mushrooms that would normally be a battle!

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If you have anything leftover, this is just as good the next day. Sometimes I’ll grate a little more fresh cheese on top before reheating.  Can’t be beat. 

This is also my go-to freezer meal that I make for friends who are having babies, or I’ve even done it for myself one weekend when I was feeling extra ambitious.  You can make the entire recipe including the cheese, and then just cover and freeze until it’s ready to bake – so easy. 

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Promise me you will add this to your monthly menu, and then let me know what you think afterward! 

Another busy week here before we go out of town this weekend, and I’m off to pick up the kids now from school.  Making cauliflower pizza tonight for the family, and back with that recipe on Friday.  Happy Monday!

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