Saturday, September 13, 2014

Creamy Chicken and Veggies over Rice

It can be challenging to find recipes that incorporate a lot of vegetables.  It is recommended that adult men and women eat 2.5-3 cups of vegetables per day.  That's a difficult thing to accomplish!  Here's a recipe to help a little bit with that, but its creaminess makes it feel like you're not just choking down a plateful of veggies.  Enjoy!

1.5 Cups Uncooked Basmati Rice (feel free to use a different kind)
3 Cups Vegetable Broth (water will work, but broth makes it taste better)
1 Lb. Chicken Breasts or Tenders (Optional)
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
2 Large Zucchini, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
2-3 Cups of Fresh Steamed Veggies: I used Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Carrots
1 Can White Northern Beans, drained
2 Tbsp. Pesto (I used sun-dried tomato pesto)
1 Cup Milk
1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese

Cook rice according to package instructions, but use 1.5 cups of uncooked rice with the 3 cups of vegetable broth.

Heat olive oil and garlic in skillet and add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Cut chicken into bite-sized chunks and set aside.

In a large pan, saute diced pepper and zucchini in olive oil and garlic for about 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add pesto and stir.  Add white beans.

In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch with milk and add mixture to pan. Bring to a boil and turn to low heat.  Optional: use a potato masher to gently mash beans and veggies or use an immersion blender.  If you prefer it to be chunky, skip this step.

Add fresh steamed veggies, chicken and cheese.

Place basmati rice on plate and top with creamy chicken and vegetables.

Recipe adapted from here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stovetop Pepper Stir Fry

 Fresh Veggies!

I made this today for lunch my husband requested it again for dinner.  If you don't want to take the time to stuff bell peppers and have them cook in the oven, then just cook it on the stovetop.

1 Pound of Ground Turkey or Beef
Fresh or Minced Garlic
3 Bell Peppers, preferable 3 different colors, diced
1 Cup of Shredded Carrots
1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
2 Cups of Broth (vegetable, chicken or beef will work)
1 Cup Tomato Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce
1 Tbsp Italian Seasonings
1 Cup of Uncooked Rice
2 oz Cream Cheese  or Sour Cream (optional)
Shredded Cheese (to taste)

In a large sauce pan, cook ground turkey or meat on medium heat with a tiny bit of olive oil and fresh or minced garlic.
Add diced peppers, shredded carrots, and tomatoes and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes.
Add broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings and bring to a boil.
Add rice and bring back to a boil.  Then cover with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
Optional: Add in 2 oz of cream cheese and stir.  This will make it creamier, but is not necessary.
Top with shredded cheese and enjoy!

Optional: Add chili powder to make it a little spicier.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Supplements for Kindergarten

For kindergarten this year, we have decided to use the curriculum, My Father's World, to homeschool our son.  While this is a complete curriculum, we have decided that he needs a little extra this year.  I have really enjoyed this curriculum, and our son is already starting to read and we are only 7 weeks into the program. That being said, I think each parent has to assess their child and see what needs to be added or taken away from a program to educate their child the best way possible.  This is a great thing about homeschooling: you can taper the program however you want! Each week, I am blogging about any "extras" I find to help make each unit more exciting.  To see a list of each unit, see here.  Below, I have listed below some extra material that we use each week as well.  We owned some of this before we started the school year, and I have added a few others along the way.

Singapore Math:  Essential Math, Book B
Last year, we completed a basic kindergarten math workbook that I picked up at Walmart.  It was helpful in counting to 20, basic addition and subtraction, etc.  I really wanted to find something that would challenge him a bit more, so I looked into the Singapore program.  Workbook A seemed to cover the same things that he already had learned, so I opted to just get Book B.  So far, it has been a good fit. It's a lot more challenging than the workbook he completed last year, but still age appropriate.  The workbooks are very affordable, and I would recommend both books A and B if your child has not completed any sort of math workbook yet.
*This has been one of the most important supplements we have added.

A Reason for Handwriting K
There are so many free print-ables you can find online for helping your child practice the letters of the alphabet, so this book isn't really necessary.  But, if you like to have all of your worksheets in one place, then this is a great book.  The child practices correctly writing his letters and then has a coordinating coloring sheet to go along with it.  The focus of this text is proper formation of letters and beginning sounds.  Hint: Look for a copy at Goodwill to save money!
I Can Draw Animals
We usually use this book once a week.  I let our son pick out an animal that he would like to draw and this book leads the child through a step-by-step instruction.  I don't even have to help him with this and he seems to enjoy it.

Meet the Sight Words
I never would have ordered this if it had not been on sale simply because of the expense.  I found it on Zulily on sale for $30 for Meet the Sight Words 3 DVD set AND Meet the Sight Words Easy Reader Books, which contains twelve books per level, totaling 36 books.  The dvd's seem a bit boring, but our son seems to enjoy them and it really has helped him learn his sight words.  The short books are a great start for teaching beginning reading as well.  Each dvd is divided into chapter selections, and each selection is about 5-6 minutes long, so you can control how many lessons they watch, etc.  We try to watch a few chapter selections each week.

 Bible: Big Truths for Little Kids
We use this book several times each week to add a little extra to our Bible time.  Each lesson in this devotional teaches children about the basic truths of the Christian faith, as it follows the lives of Caleb and Cassie.  I think the book, Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God, looks really good too, and I would like to try it when my children are a little bit older.

Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature
We owned this book before we started kindergarten this year, but it has been a fun book to use with our curriculum.  Our children love The Berenstain Bears, so they enjoy learning from this book.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Unit Six: Turtle

To see a list of posts for all of our units for Kindergarten, see here.  This post contains information about only Unit Six: Turtle.

Unit Six focused on the letter T for Turtle and the coordinating Bible truth was "I don't quit.  I persevere." I enjoyed explaining the word persevere to Him.  He seemed to enjoy this theme and liked learning about turtles.  

Some supplements we used for this unit:

ABC Memory Verse Cards
In addition to the Bible truth, we are also memorizing a Bible verse that begins with the letter of the week. I received some ACB cards as a gift and they are by Dayspring, but I have also seen these online that would work just as well.

This week our T verse was: "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader K
This book is perfect for kindergarten, as it has a well-illusrtated animal lesson for each letter of the alphabet.  This week we learned more about Turtles. 


Draw A Turtle
We used this site that showed step-by-step instructions for drawing a turtle.  After he drew his turtle, he painted it with watercolor paints.

Paper Plate Turtle Craft
This was a cute little craft!

All About Sea Turtles
This was an educational video about sea turtles.

Some great books for this unit include:
Emma's Turtle by Eve Bunting
Sea Turtles by Gail Gibbon
The Rabbit and the Turtle by Eric Carle
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unit Five: Nest

To see a list of posts for all of our units for Kindergarten, see here.  This post contains information about only Unit Five: Nest.

Unit Five focused on the letter N for Nest and the coordinating Bible truth was "God takes good care of me." We talked about how parent birds care for their babies and keep them warm, and how God loves us and wants to teach us and help us grow.

Benjamin really enjoyed the Animal Homes game, where you must match the animal with their nest.  He also enjoyed making an edible nest as well.

Some supplements we used for this unit:

ABC Memory Verse Cards
In addition to the Bible truth, we are also memorizing a Bible verse that begins with the letter of the week. I received some ACB cards as a gift and they are by Dayspring, but I have also seen these online that would work just as well.

This week our N verse was: "…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader K
This book is perfect for kindergarten, as it has a well-illusrtated animal lesson for each letter of the alphabet.  This week we learned about Newts.

Danielle's Place
This is a great site, with TONS of Bible crafts and activities.  They had an entire unit on birds. I found a cute activity where Benjamin glued yarn to make a bird's nest and then colored the birds and their nest. See here.

Nest Craft

The Best Nest Video

Edible Bird Nest Recipe

Big Bird's Nest Sale
Search for this episode online

Some great books for this unit include:
The Scarecrow's Hat by Ken Brown
The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman
The Perfect Nest by Katherine Friend
Our Nest by Reeve  Lindbergh
Magic Schoolbus Flies from the Nest by Joanna Cole
Eggs and Chicks by Fionna Patchett



Noodle-less Vegetable Lasagna

I've seen recipes that use zucchini for noodles, and decided to give it a try the other night.  By slicing the zucchini and squash longways, it is thin like lasagna noodles, but much healthier!  Our young children enjoyed it too, and since we have one child who needs to eat gluten-free, it worked out nicely for our family.  Enjoy!

2 zucchini
2 squash

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh broccoli
1 cup fresh cauliflower
Spices (garlic, basil, oregano)

1 lb. turkey meat (optional)
1 jar tomato sauce

Mozzarella Cheese

Quarter the tomatoes and cook tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli in a pot with olive oil and minced garlic.  If possible, let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Slice the zucchini and squash longwise, about 1/4 inches thick.  Arrange on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 min in a 375 degree oven.

As the squash/zucchini are baking, brown the ground turkey meat.  Add the tomato sauce.
Combine the ground turkey mixture with the cooked vegetables.

Spread a small amount of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Layer the zucchini and squash and top with 1/2 the sauce.  Top that layer with mozzarella cheese.  Repeat.

Bake  covered for 45 minutes in 375 degree oven.  Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sweet Potato Chili

I made Sweet Potato Chili last night, and it was really good!  It's a good way to sneak some healthy veggies in, but it still tastes like chili.

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin

Optional: 1 pound of cooked ground turkey or beef

Toppings: Cheese, sour cream

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on high for 6-8 hours.  When ready to serve, take a potato masher and lightly mash the sweet potatoes so they are not quite so chunky.

You could also cook this on the stove top if you were in a hurry.

Recipe adapted from here.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Crockpot Vegetable Soup

It is so nice to come home to a fully cooked meal.  Last night, I put some food in the crock pot before bed, and we came home to a fresh pot of vegetable soup after church today.

Put some cornbread in the oven, and everyone is happy!


Crockpot Vegetable Soup

  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth (chicken broth would work as well)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots (frozen would work too)
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 3 Red Potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Add 1 lb of cooked ground turkey or beef
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
Place vegetable broth, water, tomato sauce, veggies, beans, and potatoes in crock pot. Cook on low 8-12 hours or high 4-6 hours. The ground beef or turkey can be added at this time too, but I like to add it in during the last hour of cook time if possible.  Scoop into bowls and top with sour cream and cheese.