Dessert

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Five Back to School Recipes with Healthy Family Project!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

For many parts of the country, school is back in session! Healthy lunches and dinners can sometimes be challenging as we are learning to balance schedules, extra-curricular activities and more. I am here to help make your life easier! While this post is sponsored by Healthy Family Project, all opinions and the recipes are my own.

Is school back in session yet for your kiddos? We went back around 2 weeks ago, and I can’t believe how quickly that time is already flying by. My oldest son Drew is a junior in high school, and Brady, our 10-year-old is in fifth grade. Since I have 2 very active boys, you can imagine that they are always hungry!

 

I teach part-time at Brady’s school, so meal planning and preparation are very important to me! The last thing that I want to think about each night is what to make for dinner, or what to pack in the boy’s school lunches for the next day. The meals and snacks that I prepare for my family, must not only be quick and easy, but they must also be healthy. I love to add lots of fresh fruits and veggies to every meal or snack to ensure that our family is getting the nutrients that we need.

With the kids heading back to school, life is about to get a lot busier for all of us! Whether you are taking the kids back and forth to school, or all the extra-curricular activities that they have, here are 4 easy and healthy dinner and lunch recipes to help your school year get off on the right track. I am also including an extra bonus dessert recipe because some days you need dessert!

Sausage and Avocado Cream Cheese Zucchini Boats

Quick and easy dinner ideas are a must for our busy family! These Sausage and Avocado Cream Cheese Zucchini Boats are sure to be a new fave that your family will ask for again and again!

Ingredients:

4-6 zucchini washed and halved

1 tub of ¡Yo Quiero! Brands Avocado Cream Cheese (you can use any variety, but I used the Spinach Bacon)

16oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1lb. Italian roll sausage

salt/pepper for taste

1 small RealSweet Onion, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop out the center of each of the halved zucchinis to make a “boat”.

Place in a greased baking pan.

In the meantime, cook the Italian roll sausage on medium heat and add the RealSweet Onions. Cook until done. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Combine cooked sausage and onions with the tub of ¡Yo Quiero! Brands Avocado Cream Cheese

Spread sausage mixture into each zucchini boat and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until zucchini are tender and the cheese is bubbly.

Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Guacamole and Caramelized Onion Patty Melts

Some evenings call for a quick, yet comforting meal! These Guacamole and Caramelized Onion Patty Melts are sure to give you the comfort factor that you crave yet are very easy to prepare and oh-so delicious! Add other veggies or toppings as your family prefers. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:

16 oz. Ground Turkey or Ground Beef (I used half of each to cut down on the fat content)

Slices of Monterrey Jack Cheese

3-4 RealSweet Vidalia Onions sliced

salt/pepper to taste

8-10 slices of your favorite bread

Butter spread

¡Yo Quiero! Brands Guacamole

Instructions:

Place sliced RealSweet Vidalia Onions in a skillet to caramelize. Cook until golden brown.

While onions are cooking, form the Ground Beef/Turkey mixture into patties.

Place Hamburger/Turkey Patties on a griddle or in a skillet to cook. Cook each patty through.

Place caramelized onions in a bowl to cool down.

In the meantime, butter one side of each bread slice then place the buttered side down of the bread on the skillet to get golden brown.

Add cooked hamburger patties to bread slices and top with caramelized onions, cheese and ¡Yo Quiero! Brands Guacamole. Turn sandwich over to continue cooking and to become golden brown.

Serve with your favorite veggies and enjoy!

 

Chicken Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

One of my favorite time-savers for getting dinner on the table during a busy week is by utilizing my slow cooker. I can throw something in before I leave for school in the morning, and we will have delicious and easy dinner later that evening! I particularly love the pre-cooked chicken meatballs from Costco. I throw them in the slow cooker with a jar of our favorite marinara sauce, and voila dinner is almost ready! I serve them over Pero Family Zucchini Noodles that you cook in the microwave for just a few minutes. This meal is a family favorite and filled with veggies and protein!

Ingredients:

1 package of pre-cooked chicken meatballs (I buy the Amylu brand from Costco, but you can use whatever meatballs that you prefer or have on hand)

1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

2 containers of Pero Family Zucchini Noodles

 

Instructions:

Place the package of chicken meatballs in the slow cooker.

Pour the jar of marinara sauce over the meatballs,

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Before you are ready to serve cook the zucchini noodles in the microwave until done.

Serve the chicken meatballs over the zucchini noodles and add extra sauce and grated parmesan cheese.

This meal couldn’t be easier to prepare and is so delicious! I can almost guarantee that there will be no leftovers!

Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad

I don’t know about you, but Chicken Salad is one of our family’s favorite go-to lunches. There are so many different varieties of fruits or veggies that can be added to make it your own. This Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad is sweet yet savory, and every bite is a pop in your mouth that keeps you coming back for more. This is the perfect lunch idea for every member of your family!

Ingredients:

3-4 cups of cooked chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken for the convenience factor)

3 celery stalks, diced

5-6 Bee Sweet Citrus Mandarins, peeled and segmented

3-4 green onions, diced

Celery salt for taste

Pepper for taste

1/3 cup stone ground Dijon mustard

½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise

Instructions:

Combine chicken breast, diced celery, green onions, mayonnaise, and mustard in a large bowl.

Add celery salt and pepper for taste.

Gently fold in the mandarin oranges.

Serve with your favorite bread as a sandwich or topped high on your favorite crackers! This is such a refreshing and healthy lunch for yourself or the kiddos!

Caramel Apple Galette

Had a rough week? Sometimes a special dessert for the family is in order! This Caramel Apple Galette couldn’t be easier to prepare, and every bite is packed full of delicious Jazz Apples! The sweet apples with the caramel drizzle are the perfect pairing. Add some vanilla ice cream for an even more decadent dessert!

Ingredients:

1 premade pie crust (the roll out variety)

3-4 Jazz Apples, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch pieces

Jar of your favorite caramel sauce

1-2 Tbsp. of sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of salt

Egg Wash: 1 large egg

Dusting Sugar for crust

Optional: Vanilla Ice Cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the pie crust into a pie pan or glass baking dish

In a bowl, mix the apples, cinnamon, and salt

Place apples into the rolled-out pie crust.

Gently fold the edge of the dough over the apples.

Brush the crust with the egg wash.

Sprinkle dusting sugar on the crust to give it a nice sheen as it bakes.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Drizzle with your favorite caramel sauce

Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

 

 

Are you familiar with the Power Your Lunchbox program? If not, I highly suggest that you check it out! I am honored to be a part of a campaign that helps empower families as they get ready for the back-to-school season. The Power Your Lunchbox program, in partnership with Healthy Family Project has so many tips and recipes to offer as they help to support accessibility to fresh produce in schools through the Foundation for Fresh Produce. The back-to-school campaign has raised over $180,000 for charitable organizations that promote health over the years. Isn’t that amazing?

A big THANK YOU to the sponsors who have helped to make this campaign a huge success! Jazz Apple, Bee Sweet Citrus, Pero Family Farms, Nature Fresh Farms, RealSweet Onions, Crispy Green, ¡Yo Quiero!

 

 

Patriotic Cookie Cake

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Are you planning a barbecue or get-together for the 4th of July? This Patriotic Cookie Cake couldn’t be easier to prepare, and is so delicious! You are sure to wow your guests with this fun dessert!

Patriotic Cookie Cake

Ingredients 

  • 16.5oz Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 8oz Whipped Topping 
  • 1lb Strawberries 
  • 1 Pint Blueberries 

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a non-stick round pan, lay out the sugar cookie dough.
  3. Bake the cookie as directed on the packaging.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  5. Let the cookie cool before smothering in whipped topping.
  6. Slice the strawberries in half and create a red and blue design on top of the cookie using the strawberries & blueberries. 
  7. Enjoy!

Christmas M&M Bark

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If you need an easy and yummy dessert to bring to your next holiday party, be sure to check out this Christmas M&M Bark. It only requires THREE ingredients!

CHRISTMAS M&M BARK

Ingredients 

  • 10oz Bag Chocolate Chips
  • Christmas M&M’s 
  • Cooking Spray 
  • Parchment Paper
  1. Turn stove onto medium heat. 
  2. Place chocolate chips into a pan. 
  3. Spray with cooking spray & stir the chocolate chips until they fully melt. 
  4. Pour the melted chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper.
  5. Place the Christmas M&Ms onto the chocolate.
  6. Place in the refrigerator to harden.
  7. Once the chocolate has fully hardened, break into pieces and enjoy! 

 

 

Pumpkin Patch Brownies

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If you are looking for an easy yet delicious fall dessert to bring for Thanksgiving Dinner or an upcoming potluck, these Pumpkin Patch Brownies couldn’t be easier! They are put together with pre-made brownies so anyone can do it!

Pumpkin Patch Brownies 

Ingredients:

Pre-made brownies from the grocery store

Green Icing

Cany Pumpkins

 

Instructions:

  1. Take the green icing and swirl it around your brownie to create pumpkin vines.
  2. Place the candy pumpkins on the brownie using the green icing as a glue to create a pumpkin patch.
  3. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Pink Heart Hot Chocolate Bombs

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Have you tried a Hot Chocolate Bomb yet? They are all the rage these days, and I am excited to share these Pink Heart Hot Chocolate Bombs with you! They are actually pretty easy to make, and you can get the kids involved too! If you don’t yet have a Chocolate Bomb mold, this set on Amazon is a super deal! These pretty Hot Chocolate Bombs will be perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Pink Heart Hot Chocolate Bombs 

Ingredients:

  • 12oz Bag Pink Candy Melts
  • Pearl Sprinkles (Walmart) 
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Chocolate Per Bomb (use whatever instant brand that you prefer) 
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • 6 Sphere Silicon Mold (you can purchase HERE

Instructions: 

  • Pour candy melts in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds or until melts have fully melted.
  • Spread the candy melts up the sides of the mold until every bit of the mold is covered.
  • Let the molds sit about 5 minutes & re-spread any of the candy melts that sank to the bottom of the molds.
  • Place the molds in the refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes.
  • Once set, carefully remove the candy melt spheres from the mold. 
  • Fill half of the spheres with the hot cocoa powder & marshmallows.
  • Place a glass plate in the microwave for one minute. 
  • Remove the plate and immediately place each empty sphere on the hot place to heat the chocolate edges.
  • Place each heated sphere on each filled sphere. You can use the tip of your finger to smooth the melted candy around the seam.
  • While your cocoa bombs set, re-heat the left over candy melts.
  • Use the icing to draw lines back and forth on top of the bomb. 
  • Sprinkle the pearls onto the bomb. The candy melts will act as a glue.
  • Enjoy!

Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

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If you still have some last-minute holiday baking to do, these Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies are always a winner in our house! I love these cookies because the base dough is only three ingredients and is gluten-free. Feel free to add in whatever else that your family likes. I made two batches this week and added in holiday M&M’s to one, and then used Hershey’s Kisses for a Hershey’s Kiss Blossom Cookie.

Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

One Egg

One Cup of Sugar (I prefer the Domino Golden Sugar as it is less processed and gives the cookies a nice golden color)

One Cup of Peanut Butter

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer until a soft dough forms.

With a cookie scoop, place on a non-stick baking pan.

Cook until browned but the cookies still have a soft texture. Do not overbake or they will be hard. You will want to check the time on these but it should be around 8-10 minutes.

Tip: If you are making the Hershey’s Kisses Blossom cookies,  you will need to wait just a few minutes before you place the Hershey’s Kiss in the cookie or it will melt.

Serve and enjoy!

Rudolph Brownies

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If you need a quick yet fun dessert idea for the holidays, these Rudolph Brownies couldn’t be easier to put together. Just grab a tray of brownies from your favorite store, and add a few other quick ingredients! These are so cute and would be great for a child’s Christmas school party!

Ingredients 

  • 1 Sheet Brownies (Walmart Bakery pictured)
  • Large Candy Eyes
  • Pretzels
  • Red M&M

Instructions

  1. Cut the brownie into squares.
  2. Place two pretzels at each top corner for reindeer antlers.
  3. Take two eyes and place them on the brownies.
  4. Add a red M&M for a nose.
  5. Serve & enjoy! 

Oreo Thanksgiving Turkeys

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Are you looking for a fun and easy dessert idea to prepare for the kiddos this Thanksgiving? These Oreo Thanksgiving Turkeys are so cute and easy to prepare! You can even use the Gluten Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies to make them Gluten Free!

Ingredients 

  • Oreo Cookies
  • Candy Corn
  • Candy Eyes
  • Frosting

Instructions

  1. Take an Oreo and carefully stick 5 candy corns in between the cookies. 
  2. Using frosting as glue, stick a candy corn on the Oreo as a nose.
  3. Place two candy eyes on the Oreo using frosting as glue.
  4. Serve & enjoy!

 

Fall Dessert Cobbler Recipes

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I don’t know about you, but I absolutey love cobblers! Cobbler is related to crumbling and crisp desserts. It is a deep-dish fruit dessert with a thick biscuit topping, or in some cases, a loose crumb topping. Cobbler is typically made using fruits such as apples, peaches, blueberries, and raspberries. The following are some fruit cobbler recipes that use less common fruits. I hope that you will enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Blackberry Cobbler

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup biscuit mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

Spray the slow-cooker with a non-stick spray.
Mix the blackberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in the slow-cookerócook on low for 3 to 4 hours, or until boiling.
Combine the biscuit mix with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl.
Stir in the milk and butter until the dry ingredients are moist.
Drop 6 to 8 dollops of batter onto the hot fruit mixture in the slow-cooker. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the top.
Cover and cook on high for approximately 25 minutes. Serve warm, topped with ice cream or whipped topping.

Pear Cobbler

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh pears, peeled and sliced
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Directions:

Mix the pear slices with 1 cup of sugar and set aside.
Put the butter into a casserole dish and melt in the oven at 325 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients, including the remaining sugar, until well-combined.
Beat the egg and mix it with the milk. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients.
Pour the mixture over the butter, and do not stir it.
Place the pears on top of the batter without stirring and bake for about 1 hour at 325 degrees.
Cool before serving and top with a sprinkle of brown sugar and pecan pieces, along with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Nectarine Cobbler

Ingredients:

5 to 6 nectarines, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons salted butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the butter chunks into a casserole dish and put them into the oven until the butter is melted.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, milk, cream, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the nutmeg, pouring into the casserole dish.
Mix the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Place the nectarines on top of the batter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake for approximately 55 minutes and cool before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. Or, if preferred, use low-fat frozen yogurt in place of ice cream.

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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As a lover of all things Pumpkin, I am excited to share this super easy recipe for 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins! I love that you can make these and store the rest in the refrigerator or freezer when you need a Pumpkin Spice pick-me-up! These would be great served during the holidays as well for a brunch or breakfast! The vanlla yogurt in these makes them super moist and adds a ton of flavor!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 16-18 minutes

Total Time: 19-21 minutes

Makes: 18 muffins

Ingredients:

● 1 box of Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist Spice Cake (or any other boxed spice cake)

● 1 15oz can of pumpkin

● ⅓ cup vanilla yogurt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line two cupcake baking pans with cupcake liners. (18 for larger muffins, or 24 for smaller muffins)

2. In a large bowl add the box of spice cake mix, can of pumpkin, and vanilla yogurt. Mix lightly with a spoon, then blend with a hand mixer to remove all lumps.

3. Using a spoon or small measuring cup, fill the cupcake liners ¾ full with the prepared batter. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and let cool slightly. The muffins are best served slightly warm. Muffins will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

4. I hope that you will enjoy!