Toddler Approved: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

Toddler Approved: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

My mom made a version of this when I was a kid and my sister and I recently reminisced about it. I requested the recipe from mom and was surprised at how easy it was to make. I was less surprised at how much Miss A loved it. She loves just about anything with rice.

Toddler Approved: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby cheese use more if you like it cheesy
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup cut broccoli
  • 2 pre-cooked chicken breasts cubed or shredded
  • Additional shredded Colby on top
  • cup *1chicken broth
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

My opinion:
Next time I’ll add onions and garlic and use two blocks of cheese, one mixed in and one to make a bechamel sauce (similar to this one). I’m just not a fan of cheddar cheese soup and broccoli cheese soup.

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice
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Toddler approved: Stuffed shells

Toddler Approved Meals

Miss A has an affinity for all things Italian, like last week’s chicken “parm.” When I was little, my mom used to make these stuffed shells. My sister and I remember them fondly* and I thought Miss A would like them as well. We were right. She loved the stuffed shells. They’re easy enough for a weeknight dinner and perfect for a Friday during Lent.

Toddler approved: Stuffed shells

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Mozzarella block shredded
  • 1 Colby block shredded
  • 1 small container cottage cheese /Ricotta cheese large or small curd doesn't matter, I prefer the cottage cheese but to each their own!
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Box Jumbo shells
  • 1 jar Your favorite marinara sauce you might need a jar and a half, we usually use Bertolli Marinara and Burgundy wine or Lucky’s Market Roasted Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese*

Instructions
 

  • Get the water boiling and follow the directions on the box.
  • Our box said boil for 9 minutes if baking.
  • Shred the blocks of cheese. Mix together the cottage cheese and two eggs, then add the shredded cheese and mix.
  • You can add seasoning like salt and pepper or this delicious Penzy's frozen pizza blend we received as a gift. When we made this for Miss A the first time, we left out the spices and just sprinkled them on before we ate.
  • Pour about 1/3 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of your favorite baking dish.
  • Drain the pasta and shock with cold water.
  • Drain again.
  • Using a soup spoon (or your favorite spoon) stuff the shells and line the baking dish.
  • Pour remaining sauce (you might need another half a jar to get all of the pasta covered). Bake at 350 degrees for at least a half an hour or until all the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
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Toddler Approved: Stuffed SHellsMy Opinion:
For at least the last 10 years, I’ve been making this dish wrong. I *remembered (incorrectly it seems) my mom using cheddar cheese and I couldn’t figure out why it never tasted exactly right. When shopping for the ingredients for this dish with my sister, she said she remembered our mom using colby cheese. Upon my first taste with J and Miss A I remarked that my sister had been right and the missing ingredient was colby cheese! That’s when we Facetimed my mom from the dinner table with the intention of showing her how excited Miss A was to eat one of her recipes. That’s when my mom asked about the ingredients. Turns out she sprinkled Parmesan cheese* on top! I feel like the kid in Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (one of Miss A’s current favorites) when Alexander exclaims, “I HATE Limas” after having to eat lima beans for dinner because I very much dislike Parmesan cheese and absolutely do not remember that being part of this recipe. Isn’t it funny how something as simple as a childhood dish can be interpreted so differently?

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Toddler approved: Roast Pork Chops With Apples

Roast Pork Chops With Apples
Now that Miss A has started eating more and more table food and declared her toddler independence, we have started looking for recipes that will feed her and us for dinner. Many are just misses, but this one from the Baby Center was a hit with everyone. That said, being a “hit” with a one-year-old A means most of it didn’t get thrown to the floor.

Toddler approved: Roast Pork Chops With Apples

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2-3 apples such as Granny Smith, McIntosh, or your favorite variety, peeled, cored and thickly (the key word is thick!) sliced
  • 4 pork chops about 1/2-inch thick, boneless or bone-in
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider without preservative

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I boiled the apple cider to reduce it a bit. Grease the bottom of a medium-size roasting pan or an ovenproof skillet (like our favorite cast iron skillet!) with the olive oil.
  • Arrange the apples on the bottom of the pan, layered as needed.
  • Place the pork chops on top.
  • Then sprinkle with the sage, salt and pepper and pour the cider on top.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

My opinion:
We didn’t actually baste the meat once or twice as the directions indicate and it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Since we were eating this as a family, I didn’t “season with authority” (as J is so fond of saying!), but we were able to add seasoning at the table for our liking. All in all we would eat this again.
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