Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cooking With Country Crock

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This post is sponsored by Country Crock. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

My daughter has always been a picky eater.
So I had to become one of those sneaky moms when it came to cooking.
Ground flax seed in the pancake batter.
Mashed black beans in the brownies.
Pureed spinach mixed with spaghetti sauce.
Yep - I tried it all.
It was my duty as her mom to make sure healthy foods got into her little body right?

Well she is a teenager now, so I don't have to be quite as sneaky, but I still enjoy making healthy meals that look nice.  After downloading my free copy of the  Clair Crespo Cookbook, I found lots of creative ways to serve more veggies to my family.  Each recipe uses a little Country Crock Spread to make the veggies extra tasty too.  Did you know that Country Crock has 70% less fat and 30% fewer calories than butter? It also has zero transfats.  Got to love that!

After browsing through the recipes in Clair Crespo's Cookbook, I decided to make Pasta Full of Posies (page 29) and Beautiful Butterflys (page 27) for dinner.  Such a spring like meal :)

Pasta Full of Posies

2 yellow and/or orange bell peppers
1 (16 oz) pkg. whole wheat penne pasta (I used Rotini)
3 T Country Crock Spread
1 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
5 cherry tomatoes
7 basil or spinach leaves

Chop off top and bottom of peppers. Slice them down the side, remove the seeds and lay pepper flat.
Cut into petal shapes.  Boil pasta according to package directions; drain.
Melt Country Crock Spread and heat olive oil on the stove over medium heat in a pan big enough to hold pasta.  Cook garlic and peppers together for about 5 minutes.  With tongs, remove pepper petals and set aside.

Add pasta and cheese to garlic and toss together.  Put the pasta in a shallow serving dish.  Arrange tomato halves on top and surround them with pepper petals to make "flowers". Add a basil or baby spinach leaf to each flower.

Beautiful Butterflies

6 small or medium crookneck squash
3 T Country Crock Spread
2 T finely chopped garlic
12 baby carrots
4 chives, cut into 24 1/2 pieces (I used rosemary)
2 T finely chopped assorted fresh herbs
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Slive fat part of squash into 24 slices.  Melt Country Crock Spread in large skillet.  Add garlic and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add squash nd carrots, saute until tender, about 7 minutes.

Arrange carrots on serving dish or individual plates.  Place 2 squash rounds on either side of carrots.  Using a toothpick, poke two holes in the tops of each carrot and insert chive pieces as "antennae".

Sprinkle remaining herbs on squash "wings".  Add salt and pepper.

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Are you looking for quick and simple tips and recipes to make serving veggies more fun? Download the free Clare Crespo Cookbook here for fun and whimsical recipes your family is sure to love!

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