Chef Mom

Hamburger Helper

Recipe from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body
Prep Time: 10 minutes/Total time: 30 minutes. Serves 4-6.


Hamburger Helper:
•3 cups (24 oz) marinara sauce (storebought or homemade)
•1 batch easy alfredo sauce (recipe below)
•1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•2 lbs ground beef (I used extra lean)
•1 1/2 lbs penne noodles (I used whole wheat)
•pinch of salt and pepper
•Garnish: parmesan cheese and julienned basil

Easy Alfredo Sauce:
•4 tbsp unsalted butter
•3/4 cup heavy cream
•1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
•pinch of nutmeg
•Black pepper and salt to taste


To make the alfredo:

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over low heat. Add the cream to the butter as it melts. Stir occasionally (keeping the heat on low). Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When it’s reduced slightly, add the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir. Set aside while you make the rest of the sauce. Stir the alfredo occasionally. Note: if the alfredo is WAY too thick for your liking, add some extra milk or cream (1 tbsp at a time) after it’s simmered and reduced.
To make the hamburger helper:

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet then drain the fat.

Add the garlic to the drained beef and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the marinara and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the alfredo sauce a few minutes before you add the noodles.
While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta noodles.

Using a slotted spoon (or pasta scoop) spoon the noodles into the sauce pan.

On a low heat, mix the noddles and sauce for about 3 minutes. Note: if you sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time.
Serve immediately with parmesan cheese and julienned basil on the top.

 Strawberry bars

Recipe from A Pastry Affair

Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total time: 40 minutes. Makes 12-16 bars..
Yields 1 8x8-inch pan

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup strawberry jam

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8-inch pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and honey, mixing until blended. Stir in the oats, flours, baking soda, and salt. Batter will be slightly sticky. Using floured hands, press 3/4 of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread strawberry jam evenly over the top. Crumble the remaining 1/4 of the batter on top.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly in pan before serving.
Recipe from Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker
Prep Time: 15 min/Total Time: 45 min.
Makes an 8x8 pan of bars.

Can I Get the Recipe Tip: Easy and quick to put together, these bars are an excellent lunch or after school snack. Change the kind of fruit spread you use each time you make these so they are a different flavour each time.


½ cup unsalted butter
 ½ cup palm sugar (or regular sugar)
 ¼ teaspoon salt
 1 cup unbleached white flour (or any other flour)
 1 cup whole old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
 1 (9oz) jar fruit spread, any flavour


Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.

Cream butter with sugar and salt. Add flour and mix until just combined. Stir in oats. It is okay if the mixture is crumbly.

Press about 2/3 of mixture into prepared pan, firmly and evenly. Place jam in small saucepan and cook over lowest heat until it becomes pourable.

Pour jam over dough layer in pan. Sprinkle remaining dough over jam. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then lift out by edges of parchment and cool completely on rack before cutting.

 Kale Chips

Excerpted from The Cleaner Plate Club by Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin © 2010 used with permission from Storey Publishing. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Prep Time: minutes/Total time: minutes. Serves 4

Can I Get the Recipe Tip: Try this recipe with a little vinegar, tahini paste, or any other flavour you find appealing.




large bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into chip sized pieces

olive oil




Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place kale pieces on a tray that’s been lightly coated with olive oil. 

Sprinkle with salt (if you sprinkle with salt while the leaves are still wet, the salt just melts right into the leaves.) Place in oven until crispy, about 10 minutes.


Recipe from Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod

Prep Time: 5 min/Total Time: 10 min.

Makes 1 large smoothie.


1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use our homemade yogurt)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 frozen banana
5 frozen strawberries
Splash of skim or soy milk


1. Add the yogurt, blueberries, banana, and strawberries into the blender. If you aren't using frozen fruit, throw in a couple of ice cubes.

2. Add in a splash of skim or soy milk. Place the blender lid on tightly. Puree smoothie until it is smooth and creamy. I like my smoothies thick, if you prefer a thinner smoothie, add more milk and puree for a little longer. Enjoy!

 Healthy Potato Skins

Recipe from Recipe Diaries
Prep Time: 10 minutes/Total time: 60 minutes. Serves 8.

servings: 8

Points Plus: 4


4 medium sized russet potatoes
 4 slices of bacon
 8 tablespoons of fat free sour cream
 4 oz of light cheddar cheese
 2 green onions
 Cooking Spray


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray potatoes with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
 Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Take the potatoes out of the oven. Cut them in half. Scoop out the insides so that there’s just enough potato
 around the skin. Use the leftovers for soup or something else.
3. Spray the potatoes again with cooking spray or butter spray to give them more flavor. Lay them on their flat side
 on the baking sheet and bake again for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Take them out oven and sprinkle with cheese. Place back in the oven until the cheese is melted.
5. top with your favorite potato ingredients such as bacon, green onions, and sour cream.

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken 

Recipe from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total time: 4 hours. Serves 4-6.
Head to the site here for the recipe.


12 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 1/2 teaspoons cold water
Hot cooked long grain rice


Place chicken in a 4 qt. slow cooker.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken to a serving platter; keep warm.  Skim fat from cooking liquid.  Place liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth.  Gradually stir into liquid and stir until sauce is thickend.  Serve with chicken and rice.

Note:  I halved the recipe and it still worked fine in my crock pot.  It might not need the full 4 hours time.

Beet Chips 

Recipe from Organic Authority
Prep Time: 20 minutes/Total time: 25-45 minutes. Makes as much as you make.
Head to the site here for the recipe.


Potato Chips
Vegetable Oil
Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes

Beat Chips
Two Large Beets
Olive Oil

Green Bean Chips
Green Beans
Oilive Oil

Carrot Chips
2 large Carrots
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Kale Chips
Batch of Kale
3 cloves of minced garlic
Oilve Oil


Make your own veggie chips and you can control the salt, oil and method of cooking. Try the following recipes for crispy, crunchy baked vegetable treats that the whole family will love.
Potato Chips
The standard vegetable chips, potato chips have a long and beloved history on the American table, next to hamburgers, onion dip and deli sandwiches. Make your own by starting with any variety of potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or Red Fingerling. Scrub them clean, leaving the peeling on, and then slice them as thin as possible – making sure all the slices are about the same thickness. Rinse and soak the slices in water for one hour, then dry thoroughly. Traditionally, potato chips are fried in vegetable oil, but you can bake them for a healthier version. Simply toss the slices in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil per potato, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes. This recipe also works well with sweet potatoes; try them with a mix of chili powder and cumin for a spicy treat.
Beet Chips
The pretty fuchsia pink of fresh beets turns a rich purple when they are baked into crispy chips. Cut two large beats into slices that are 1/8” thick, then place on a greased baking sheet. Brush the beets with a light coating of olive oil, and then bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Carrot Chips
Crunchy carrots get their flavors popped when baked into crispy orange treats. Slice two large carrots as thinly as possible, then place into a bag or bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a good sprinkle of sea salt. Arrange slices in one layer on a greased baking sheet and cook for about 35 minutes at 275 degrees, checking often towards the end to make sure that nothing burns!
Kale Chips
Haven’t you heard? Kale is the new beef. Try yours in crispy chip form and discover a whole new world. First, find a nice fresh batch of kale, and then wash and dry it thoroughly. Remove the leaves from the tough steams, tearing them into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, add the kale leaves plus 3 cloves of finely minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat all the leaves thoroughly, and then place the kale in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 275 degrees, until the leaves are brittle and crispy to the touch. Add salt and pepper to taste if you would like.
Green Bean Chips
Green beans make long, crispy treats when you bake them – so much fun to eat! First wash and prepare your green beans by snapping off both ends, then dry them all well. Spread them on a greased baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for each cup of beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring every ten minutes until crispy.

Simple Meatloaf

Recipe from Cully's Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total time: 45 minutes.

Serves 4-6. Head to the site here for the recipe.


From the Cully's Kitchen

"This is the best. If you like sweet and sour you will love this Simple Meatloaf Recipe. It is one of the best. And not much prep time. This is not your ordinary meatloaf. The flavor is outstanding. The one person in our family that doesn’t like Meatloaf changed his mind after I made this recipe. Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Enjoy!"


1 1/2 lbs ground beef (ground shoulder roast is good)
1 slice bread (broken or chopped finely)
1 egg
1 small onion , finely chopped
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed firm (to taste)
1/2 cup ketchup


1. Combine meat loaf ingredients and place into a loaf baking dish.
2. Smooth out top.
3. Sauce: Combine sauce ingredients and pour on top and sides of meatloaf.
4. Bake at 350°F about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until done. 170F with a meat thermometer.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Recipe from Yammie's Noshery
Prep Time: 5 minutes/Total time: 10 minutes. Makes 1.
See recipe here.


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons chocolate chips

  1. Melt the butter in a small dish. Add the peanut butter and mix well.
  2. In the mug, mix together the vanilla, egg, and sugar until well combined. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder and add to the mug. Pour in the peanut butter/butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until desired doneness is reached (all microwaves are different so you might have to experiment a little. I only do it for about 1 minute). Top with peanut butter pie mousse and hot fudge.

Peanut Butter Pie Mousse

  1. 1 tablespoon softened cream cheese
  2. 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  3. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 2 tablespoons whipped cream or cool whip
  5. 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  6. Mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla. Fold in the whipped cream. Sift in the powdered sugar (I just used a fork) and fold that in too, trying not to over stir.
  7. Also, I used dark cocoa powder because it happened to be on a lower, more easy to reach shelf at the time. I actually like the regular kind better, but whatever floats your boat.


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