Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup

A perfect protein packed soup for back to school, my Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup will keep your kids full and focused throughout the day. Thank you to the Ohio Beef Council for sponsoring this post.

Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup by Foodtastic Mom

I created this recipe for both of my kids. Caleb and Hannah’s favorite soup for me to pack in their lunches is Italian Wedding Soup.  They go crazy for it. But I knew I could do a lot better than the canned variety. I’ll tell you, even in the throes of back to school craziness this soup is a cinch to make. Once the beef meatballs are made it is just a matter of throwing some ingredients into a soup pot and letting it simmer. 

Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup by Foodtastic Mom

My kids are both on our local swim team and Caleb especially is quite the budding athlete, entering his fourth season and practicing for a minimum of 4 days per week from October through March. Having just finished watching the Olympics, I think we can all agree that swimmers are seriously in shape. The protein in beef helps a student athlete build muscle and a strong body. Not only that but beef provides the B vitamins that gives students the energy to do their best during the school day. A 3-ounce serving of beef (about the size of an iPhone) provides more than 10 essential nutrients and half the daily recommended value of protein for less than 150 calories. I wonder if Michael Phelps’s mom knew this when he was growing up?

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My kids are both big meat eaters. Hannah’s favorite food is steak and Caleb loves a good hamburger. I personally feel incredibly satisfied after having beef as part of a meal. I definitely consider it one of my comfort foods. And so what better way to celebrate back to school than with a soup filled with homemade beef meatballs simmered in a flavorful broth with baby kale and alphabet-shaped pasta for an extra fun factor? It made my family happy that’s for sure and I think it will make your family happy too!

Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup by Foodtastic Mom

My kids love getting a thermos packed in their lunch boxes. Hannah loves a salad too. And I love that I’m not packing the same old boring sandwich each and every day. There’s a whole lot of lunches to pack over the course of a school year so having a variety of options is essential. This soup most definitely should be added to your school lunch packing list of choices for this next school year.

Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup by Foodtastic Mom

There are 17,000 beef farming families in Ohio, who are committed to providing excellent care of their animals, protecting the environment for future generations and to producing safe, healthy beef. Meet Ohio beef farmers who may live near you at www.OhioBeef.org. Visit www.OhioBeef.org, and follow the Ohio Beef Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for beef nutrition facts, cooking tips recipes and to meet Ohio’s beef farmers.

Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup by Foodtastic Mom

Beefy Alphabet Italian Wedding Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground chuck or sirloin
  2. 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
  3. 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  4. 1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  7. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  8. 1 t. dried Italian seasoning
  9. 1 t. salt
  10. 1 T. olive oil
  11. 4 c. chicken broth
  12. 1 can (10 oz.) beef consomme
  13. 4 c. baby kale
  14. 1 c. alphabet shaped pasta
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together the beef and next 8 ingredients (Panko bread crumbs through salt). Shape into small meatballs. I made about 24.
  2. In a large soup pot over medium add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs and begin to brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Add the beef consomme and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  3. Add baby kale and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the alphabet shaped pasta and allow to simmer until the pasta is just cooked, 7 - 10 minutes.
  5. Serve the soup topped with additional shredded parmesan cheese if desired.
Foodtastic Mom http://www.foodtasticmom.com/

Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

I love how really bright and colorful the pics are in our weekly meal plan this week! Lots of green makes me happy. On deck for you we have fish taco burgers, chicken enchiladas, one of my all time favorite salads, skillet lasagna, a shrimp and broccoli sheet pan meal and chipotle mustard pork chops. Yum! I am getting hungry looking at all the photos, aren’t you? As always, make it a great week…

Monday

Tuesday

enchilada7

Wednesday

poppyseeds6

Thursday

Skillet Lasagna

Friday

  • DAY OFF – Go out to eat or order in!

Saturday

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Sunday

chipotle-mustard-pork-chops

Breakfast

Dessert

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This week’s meal plan was brought you to by:

Pies and Plots | The Cooking Actress | Foodtastic Mom | The Spiffy Cookie | Big Bear’s Wife | The Pajama Chef

Pin this to your meal planning board for easy access all week long!

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Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich Review

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sweet Earth Natural Foods in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own. 

Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich Review by Foodtastic Mom #SweetEarth #BetterBreakfast

I am so excited about my Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich review! I’d discovered their breakfast burritos a few months back and have been indulging in them once or twice a week ever since. It seems surprising sometimes to use the word indulge in the same sentence as the word healthy so when offered the chance to officially review their breakfast sandwiches for the blog I jumped at the chance. 

Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich Review by Foodtastic Mom #SweetEarth #BetterBreakfast

I am not vegan or vegetarian by any means (and you know this if you are a regular reader of my blog). However I am a big believer in balance and moderation and vegan and vegetarian meals definitely have their place in my diet. So finding convenient foods that are plant-packed and downright delicious makes me happy. If I can quickly microwave something that is going to balance my diet I am much more likely to actually stay balanced.

Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich Review by Foodtastic Mom #SweetEarth #BetterBreakfast

I was able to find two varieties of the Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwiches at my local grocery store. Both my husband and I tried them and the verdict is that they both tasted better than we possibly could have expected. Out of the package they looked tasty and inviting (just like their picture). They heated up just like the package instructions said they would (just a minute and a half per sandwich). These sandwiches will most definitely get you out the door in a flash!

Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich Review by Foodtastic Mom #SweetEarth #BetterBreakfast

For overall tastiness, the meatless sausage, egg, gouda and kale pesto edged out the benevolent bacon variety. The garlicy flavor of the pesto was particularly enjoyable. I did not miss the sausage not being a meat-based sausage at all! However for neatness (like if you are planning to take a sandwich with you on your morning commute) the benevolent bacon edges out the sausage and kale pesto. And I think it’s worth noting that I’m generally not a fan of meatless bacon but Sweet Earth does a really nice job with theirs. So the benevolent bacon came in a close second for us in terms of likability.

Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich Review by Foodtastic Mom #SweetEarth #BetterBreakfast

If you are looking for breakfasts that are fast and convenient plus packed with plant nutrition, fiber and protein, Sweet Earth is most definitely the brand for you. They have created exceptional food items that deserve to be shared. Be sure and click >>>HERE<<< to check for current offers on all Sweet Earth products in your area! 

Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich Review by Foodtastic Mom #SweetEarth #BetterBreakfast

 

Buckeye Brownies

Buckeye Brownies by Foodtastic Mom

Make these buckeye brownies when you don’t feel like rolling a bunch of little peanut butter balls but still want that classic flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. These brownies need to be at all your tailgating festivities this football season!

Buckeye Brownies by Foodtastic Mom

Living in Ohio it seems a requirement to be an Ohio State Buckeye fan. I get excited when they do well. But I have a confession to make. I am raising a son who bleeds blue and gold (and green)… GASP! Actually he’s a Notre Dame fan. Like he’s seriously obsessed with the Irish. And so because they lost to Ohio State in a bowl game recently the Buckeyes are now blackballed in his little world. So much so that he supports both those teams up north (Michigan – which is a dirty word to many Ohio State fans). But guess what? He had no problem eating these buckeye brownies. More than one actually. So I’ll cut him slack. 

Buckeye Brownies by Foodtastic Mom

Seriously though football season around here is a big deal but it’s all in good fun. I’m just happy to watch a good game and for an excuse to plop down in front of the big screen with some tasty tailgating grub. I like making the traditional buckeye candies but they are a little labor intensive. So when I found THIS recipe for these buckeye brownies I knew I had to try them. Seriously these are SO good and so simple.

Buckeye Brownies by Foodtastic Mom

Buckeye Brownies
Yields 16
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Ingredients
  1. 1 box of brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli brand)
  2. 4 T. unsalted butter, softened
  3. 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
  4. 1 c. powdered sugar
  5. 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 1 c. chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet)
  8. 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Prepare and bake the box of brownies according to package directions and allow to cool in the pan.
  2. With a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Add the vanilla extract, powdered sugar and pinch of salt. Beat on high until fluffy, scraping down the bowl with a spatula halfway through.
  3. Spread the peanut butter buttercream evenly on top of the pan of cooled brownies.
  4. In a clean bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter until melted. Start with one minute and heat in 30 second increments after until melted (to prevent burning). Stir until smooth.
  5. Pour the chocolate and peanut butter ganache on top of the peanut butter buttercream frosting. Smooth evenly over the top.
  6. Refrigerate the brownies for one hour before slicing and serving.
Adapted from This Grandma is Fun
Foodtastic Mom http://www.foodtasticmom.com/

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Pasta

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Pasta by Foodtastic Mom

I needed a transition recipe for a slow cooker meal from summer to fall and this Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Pasta is it. Bright and citrusy Meyer lemon zest and thyme flavor the chicken browned in a little bit of butter and slow cooked to juicy tenderness. Cream cheese, fresh lemon juice and artichoke hearts are mixed in at the end for a light but satisfying topping for pasta. 

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Pasta by Foodtastic Mom

It’s still hot outside but I’m in that nesting mode of getting ready for fall and back to school time. We’re spending more time in our finished (and cold) basement glued to the Olympics on TV so it seemed like it was time to create a new recipe for the slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Pasta by Foodtastic Mom

My recipes for the slow cooker seem to be pretty popular and are getting shared HERE, HERE and HERE on a regular basis. So jump on the bandwagon and pin and or print this recipe too. You’ll be glad to have it in your collection on the many busy school nights yet to come!

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Pasta by Foodtastic Mom

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Pasta
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Ingredients
  1. 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 2 T. unsalted butter
  3. 1 Meyer (or regular) lemon
  4. 1 1/2 t. salt
  5. 1 t. dried thyme
  6. 1/2 t. black pepper
  7. 2 c. chicken stock
  8. 3/4 c. whipped cream cheese
  9. 1 (15 oz.) can artichoke hearts, quartered
  10. 12 oz. pasta, cooked to al dente
Instructions
  1. Pour the chicken stock in a slow cooker set to low.
  2. Heat butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle one side of each chicken breast evenly with the salt, thyme and pepper. Zest the lemon evenly over the chicken.
  3. Brown the seasoned side of the chicken breasts in the buttered skillet, about 5 - 7 minutes until well browned.
  4. Place the chicken (browned-side up) in the slow cooker with the chicken stock. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken and slice. Add the cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to the chicken stock. Whisk to combine.
  6. Stir in the cooked chicken, artichoke hearts and cooked pasta. Allow to warm back up for about 20 minutes before serving.
Foodtastic Mom http://www.foodtasticmom.com/

Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

Our weekly meal plan looks tasty as always. Tuna Stir Fry, Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Glazed Salmon with Strawberry Salsa (!!!), Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Rigatoni, Pizza for a party (it’s a family favorite here) and Mexican Stuffed Zucchini Boats. Such a nice variety of meals! Who’s watching the Olympics? The four of us have been glued to the TV every night around here. So many epic moments to watch, I love it! Enjoy your week.

Monday

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Tuesday

buffalo-chicken-lettuce-wraps3

Wednesday

Thursday

CA6

Friday

  • DAY OFF – Go out to eat or order in!

Saturday

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Sunday

Mexican Stuffed Zucchini Boats 1

Side Dish

Grilled-Corn-with-Chili-Lime-Buttery-Spread-12-683x1024

Dessert

oatmeal-fudge-bars

This week’s meal plan was brought you to by:

Big Bear’s Wife | The Pajama Chef | Pies and Plots | The Cooking Actress | Foodtastic Mom | The Spiffy Cookie

Pin this to your meal planning board for easy access all week long!

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