Recipe by Sara Schmidt
Fit Mama; wife and mom of 2 boys. Fitness and Nutrition Enthusiast and Professional
Oooh! Mac n Cheese, stick to your ribs and purely satisfied. But trying to find a healthier version can be tricky.
As a kid all that my brother and I wanted was Kraft, or Velveeta mac'n cheese, even though my mom loved making homemade. It’s funny how our taste buds change as we get older. Don’t get me wrong, both are still loved in this house today but everything in moderation. Sometimes the moderation part can be hard. This lead me wanting to find a somewhat healthier recipe that still had the stick to your ribs and purely satisfied feeling. So, my solution... I simply swapped the
noodles for nutrient rich cauliflower!
1 medium sized head cauliflower, chopped in chunks (frozen can be used as well)
2 Tbs real unsalted butter (let’s skip margarine friends)
1.5 Tbs flour (you can try substituting with a healthier flour like quinoa flour or spelt flour)
2 cups shredded cheddar (I shred my own, some pre shredded cheeses can have an additive synthetically made to keep it from clumping)
1.5 cups of some milk base (I have used 1%, 2% and heavy, it’s your preference. They all worked the same for me, tasted the same. You may need a tad less or more depending on how much cheese sauce you need.)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1) Boil water and cauliflower in larger pot. Once tender, drain cauliflower in a strainer.
2) In the same pan while cauliflower drains, put burner on low heat and add butter. Stir. Be careful to not let it burn.
3) Once melted, add flour until your mixture becomes a paste like consistency, while still constantly stirring.
4) Add your cheese and your milk base while stirring slowly. Do this until it becomes a cheese sauce. You may not need all milk or you may choose to add more, depending on size of cauliflower head you use.
5) Stir in salt and pepper and remove from heat.
6) Quickly chop up cooked cauliflower that has now been drained and pour into cheese sauce over a low heat, stirring to coat the cauliflower. I promise you, it will be WAAAYYY quicker the 2nd time around, once you have the routine down!
7) Toss a little shredded cheese on top and then pour the entire dish into a crock pot on warm. Works great for a large gathering!
OPTIONAL: Add a few bread crumb sprinkles and toss in the oven on 350 for 15minutes until bread crumbs are golden brown.
My kids highly approve of this recipe and it’s a great “treat” side dish. Check out the recipes tab on the right for more healthy and delicious recipes!
Today was the kick off to my ELEVENTH year teaching preschool cooking classes. My classes consists of children ranging from 3 to 4 years old and are focused on much more than just cooking. I believe in teaching children from an early age the importance of making positive eating choices. Hearing the vocabulary of a healthy diet and understanding the power they have in making positive food decisions will ultimately lead them into a healthful adulthood.
Over the past 11 years I've been able to culminate my experience as a preschool teacher, my own "mom" knowledge and my experience as a fitness professional that is certified in fitness nutrition to develop recipes and lessons that motivate these little students.
During our first month of cooking class this year we will be talking about our 5 senses; sight, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. We will use these 5 things to explore a variety of foods and learning how our bodies need many different kind of foods to keep our energy high and to help us be strong. This is an important catch phrase to repeat to your child as you try to get them to try new foods.
Today at cooking class we discussed the 5 senses and then tried a variety of foods. We talked about seeing our food. Providing your child with a colorful plate will not only provide them with lots of important vitamins and minerals but it will give you an easy way to spark up conversation about the colors they see on their plate.
When trying new foods have your kids touch and smell the new food. Ask them how they think it smells. Do they think it will taste the same way? How does it feel? Is it sticky, hot, cold?
Next, ask them to try something. Ask them to be really quiet. Can they hear their food? This can be really fun and different for them because they don't usually think of food making noise but today we tried crunchy pretzels, which they liked. We, also, had cucumbers and sweet peppers which kids were more hesitant to try but after trying crunchy pretzels they were more eager to try another crunchy food like a cucumber. Remember to praise them for trying the new thing! Let them know how awesome they are for eating healthy foods that will make them strong!
Lastly, tasting! Discuss flavors. Is their food salty? How about sweet? Avoid questions about them liking it. Focus on the positive of them trying something new that is good for them.
The most important thing I've learned from teaching preschool cooking class is that kids will surprise you! There are things you are sure they would never try let alone like. But kids are constantly changing and so many of the decisions they make are based on the way that an idea is presented to them. If you stay positive and keep introducing new foods on a regular basis this will become the new normal to them. According to the USDA, it can take kids 8 to 15 tries before they start to like new foods. So don't give up. Offering a variety of foods will help them learn to accept new foods regularly and will lead them to healthier habits as they grow.
Start by grabbing a timer. Time how long it takes you to perform;
10 push ups
30 jump squats
Remember that time!!
Now here are your stations: You will be on for 45 seconds with a 15 second break before moving to the next one.
SWIMMING: Swimmers (on your stomach like superman but you will lift opposite arm, opposite leg)
LONG JUMP: Jump and shuffle (jump forward and shuffle back to start)
BOXING: Lateral steps while punching
HURDLES: high knees side to side over something for example a book
GYMNASTICS: Glute bridge (lay on back with feet on the floor, lift hips toward the ceiling and hold)
Repeat this circuit 2-3 times
NOW GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING. GRAB YOUE TIMER AND REPEAT THE BEGINNING PUSH UPS, BURPEES, JUMP SQUATS, and LUNGES. SEE IF YOU CAN BEAT YOUR TIME!!
For those who know me know it’s my most fave meal ever! Especially when it comes with a margarita! Tacos, taquitos, chips and guacamole…YUMMM! However, we all know once we add the sides, such as refried beans and rice, the carb and calorie amount can be less than ideal... Since I love my Spanish rice so much and wasn't quite ready to give it up, I decided to try making it with something a little healthier than rice…enter Quinoa!
Quinoa is a great way to add extra health benefits to a meal. Not only does it contain twice as much fiber as most other grains, it also is one of the most protein rich foods you can eat.
Check out the recipe to try your own superfood Spanish Quinoa!
2 cups rinsed quinoa
4 cups water
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chili powder
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper-optional for a spicy kick
1tsp sea salt
Half small fine chopped red bell pepper
Half small onion fine chopped
-Throw l it all in a sauce pan at the same time. Stir it up, cover with a lid and let it boil for 20 min or until liquid is gone.
-Fluff with a fork and WALA!!!!! So easy!
-You can substitute the powders for a taco seasoning mix to make it even easier and if you like more spice chop up your favorite spicy pepper, like a habanero.
-Eat it as is or cook up with some ground turkey for extra protein.
I had some left overs the next day and topped lettuce with the cold leftover Spanish quinoa , then I drizzled it with a super easy, less than 5 minute recipe… drum roll….cilantro lime avocado dressing. YUM!!!
Be sure to visit Fit Mama for more delish recipes.
Here's a workout that you can do at home with just a dice!
Each number on the dice represents an exercise. Roll the dice and perform the corresponding exercise for 45 seconds Then you have 15 seconds to roll for the next one. Roll 10 times and then wait 90 seconds and start round 2. Go through all 3 rounds and then for extra credit, repeat the first round of. Cardio! Good luck!
4-plank walk ups
5-squat and hold
4-plank and hold
5-forearm plank and hold
6-opposite arm/leg crunch