Chicken Sausage Pasta with Roasted Veggies Recipe

With the Polar Vortex hitting Chicago (WINTER HAS ARRIVED WAY TOO EARLY), here is a warm dinner recipe for the whole family to enjoy!  You can select the roasted veggies your kids prefer and add chicken sausage for some protein.

This recipe requires simple ingredients and is quick to prepare! Let your kids get their hands messy by coating and tossing the mixed vegetables with the olive oil. Teach them fine motor skills by allowing them to carefully shred the cheese and sprinkle it on themselves. Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Chicken Sausage Pasta with Roasted Veggies Recipe

1 head cauliflower- chopped into bite size pieces
1 zucchini- chopped or 1 head broccoli- chopped into pieces (you know what your kids like to eat best!)
2 shallots- chopped
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp
1 tsp both salt and pepper
4 servings whole grain pasta
4 links chicken sausage, sliced
1/2 cup your favorite marinara sauce
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese- freshly grated


1.)  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix cauliflower, zucchini/broccoli, and shallots with oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast until tender- about 20 minutes.
2.)  While veggies are roasting, cook pasta according to directions. When pasta is done, drain and reserve 1 cup cooking water.
3.)  Return pasta to pot, stir in veggies, marinara sauce, reserved cooking water, 2 tbsp olive oil and chicken sausage. Serve topped with Parmesan.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

For the Halloween party we are attending, my daughter suggested baking and bringing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (since the load of candy she will be getting is not enough sugar).

These cookies provide the perfect seasonal twist. I used pumpkin for one stick of butter and whole wheat flour instead of white flour for healthy swaps. These heavenly cookies turned out moist and delicious! Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe:
1 stick unsalted butter
½ 15oz can of pure pumpkin
2 eggs
½ cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
2 cups chocolate chips
baking spray


1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.)  Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth.
3.)  Bake for 12-14 minutes.


Cornflake Crusted Chicken Strips

Ingredients- serves 4

1 ½ lbs chicken breast- cut into strips (cooking scissors work easiest)
1 egg- beaten
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cups corn flakes- crushed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
olive oil spray


1.)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2.)  In a small bowl, combine egg, honey, and mustard. 
3.)  In another bowl, add crushed cornflakes. 
4.)  Salt and pepper one side of chicken.
5.)  Dip seasoned chicken into egg mixture and then cornflake mixture. 
6.)  Place coated chicken on sprayed baking sheet. 
7.)  Bake 25-30 minutes or until cornflakes are golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

            This easy chicken dinner was a hit. My son had so much fun putting the cornflakes in a plastic bag and mashing them with his fist. My children love hammering their food! Besides its entertaining factor, this recipe tastes delicious and way healthier than fried chicken strips! Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!


Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Looking for a healthy and fun recipe to stir up this weekend? These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins make a great nutritious breakfast, snack or dessert!

My daughter couldn’t wait to make these. She utilized her math skills by counting the mini chocolate chips on top of each muffin and her tiny muscles by having her stir all the ingredients until smooth. Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins Recipe


            3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
            1/2 cup light brown sugar
            1/4 cup white sugar
            2 large egg whites
            2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
            2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
            1 teaspoons vanilla extract
            1/2 cup all-purpose flour
            1/2 cup whole wheat flour
            1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
            1/2 teaspoon salt
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            1 teaspoon baking powder
            1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
            1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg
            1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus ¼ cup for sprinkling on top


1.) Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. If using cupcake liners, spray those lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2.) In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugars, egg whites, Greek yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk them all together until smooth.
3.) Next add flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Blend in mini chocolate chips. The batter will be a little chunky and thick.
4.) Pour batter into the muffin cups to the top. If desired, sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of each muffin before baking.
5.) Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375 and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for 2 more minutes.
* These muffins are amazing warmed up with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt for a heavenly dessert or snack!