All home cooks have people who inspire them for their culinary expertise. Meet Zara Wilkerson. She's a major foodie. She climbed to sweetheart status in Little Rock, AR, when she began baking the awesome desserts at some local restaurants. She's also a home baker, and I ordered the most delicious Italian cream cake from her for my last birthday. And to top it all off, she is a lawyer, a wife, and a mom to three adorable children (a couple of them are already following in her cooking footsteps). Oh, did I mention she's beautiful? She's one of those people you WANT to hate but she's so dang lovely that you can't help but like her.
I stalk her Instagram and you should, too. This week she's been posting so many recipes for parents to make for their children to kick off the school year. Because of her hard work, you've got breakfast and lunch covered for most of the week with these recipes. Your kids can eat leftovers. It won't kill them.
-flour tortillas -eggs (1-2 per burrito)
1. Make eggs to your liking either scrambled or an omelette (we usually do omelettes). Set aside.
2. Warm tortilla quickly, add eggs, salsa and cheese to tortilla and roll up. Easy as that.
3. Here are a few other options you can add: bacon, avocados, hash-browns, hot sauce, onions, sour cream, cilantro. These are very versatile and can be customized to your liking.
4. You can make many in advance and freeze for easier mornings later on.
Sweet potato pancakes
Ingredients: -1/4 cup Greek yogurt -1/2 cup instant oats -1/4 cup mashed sweet potato -2 egg whites plus 1 large egg -1-2 Tbsp milk of your choice -1 1/2 tsp maple syrup -1/2 tsp ground cinnamon -pinch of pumpkin pie spice -1/2 tsp vanilla extract -1/2 tsp baking powder -1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and spray thin layer of cooking spray or oil. Make sure that pan is hot before cooking pancakes.
2. Add the ingredients to a blender and blend until batter is smooth.
3. Pour the batter straight from the blender onto skillet. Make them about 5-6 inches across and not very thick.
4. Cook them until the edges have set and bubbles begin to form on the tops, about 2 minutes then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Enjoy with pecans and maple syrup.
-tortilla -onion and chive cream cheese (can use plain or mayo)
-3-4 slices deli turkey -1/4 shredded cheddar
1. Spread cream cheese or mayo on tortilla.
2. Layer with turkey and sprinkle with cheese.
3. Roll up tight and cut into circles
4. Variations: *Nutella and strawberries; *roast beef, horse radish, provolone and arugula; *peanut butter and jelly; *cream cheese, honey and fresh fruit; *shredded chicken, avocado and red peppers but there are a million more!
Ingredients: -Hawaiian Rolls -Frozen angus meatballs or homemade -1 to TB. pasta sauce per slider
-Shredded mozzarella or provolone sliced cut to fit
1. Heat meatballs and pasta sauce for 30 to 60 seconds
2. Place on roll and cover with sauce and cheese.
3. Variations: *mini cheese burgers; smoosh meatballs into mini patties, add American cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard: BBQ meatball sliders: replace pasta sauce with bbq sauce and add coleslaw.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
-1 or 2 sweet potatoes -banana -almond or peanut butter
-granola, nuts or dried fruit of your choice
-shredded coconut (optional)
-drizzle of agave or honey (optional)
1. Night before: Bake potatoes at 375 degrees for 60-75 minutes or until fork tender.
2. In a hurry? Pressure cook or cook in Instant Pot for 20-30 minutes.
3. Even faster, you say? OK, pop them in the microwave for 5-6 minutes. Pierce them first with a fork and wrap in a paper towel. Voila.
4. Let cool and store in fridge for next morning.
5. To prepare: mash sweet potatoes with a little cinnamon.
6. Add all your favorite toppings like berries, bananas, nuts, granola. Add a tablespoon or 2 of almond butter or peanut butter (I love almond) and drizzle with honey or agave and enjoy.
7. Variations: *savory bowl with black beans, avocado, cilantro (great for lunch too!)*another variation: add sliced apples and cooked sausage and drizzle with maple syrup.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
16 oz farfalle pasta (can use different kinds for different dishes)
1 cup basil pesto
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Season the chicken breasts with Greek seasoning.
2. Sauté the chicken over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes per side, or until completely cooked. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice into strips.
3. Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to the package instructions.
4. Rinse and drain pasta and set aside.
5. Using a large bowl, mix together the pesto, pasta and chicken. Stir until well combined and place in the refrigerator until chilled.
6. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and fresh basil before serving.
7. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional). Variations: *Italian pasta salad: with Italian dressing, pepperoni, olives, cucumbers, red onions, roasted red peppers, feta and pepperoncinis *TexMex pasta salad: with ranch dressing, black beans, grilled corn, tomatoes, onions, grilled chicken with taco seasonings, cilantro, lime juice, and avocado *Asian pasta salad: with Asian or ginger dressing, broccoli slaw, matchstick carrots, cilantro, sliced almonds or peanuts, sriracha (optional)