Just about every mom has one or two signature dishes that are special to her family — a favorite that’s frequently requested by her children. And just about every mom struggles with finding new dishes to break up their mealtime monotony. Seeing as it’s Mother’s Day this month, we’ve gathered the favorite family recipes from a handful of Disney Channel stars to help spice up your menu.
It’s hard to believe, but the Jonas Brothers, stars of the new JONAS series, do spend some time at home, where their mom, Denise Jonas, prepares one of their favorite dishes — Filet Mignon With Chinese Coleslaw. “When I serve this salad to guests, I always have a recipe card on hand because I am usually asked for it.” She credits a family friend for the recipe and says, “It has been a great way to teach the boys how to use the grill.”
Filet Mignon With Chinese Coleslaw
From Denise Jonas
6 filet mignon steaks (lean cut)
2 packages of ramen noodles (no seasoning)
½ cup sliced almonds
2 tsp. sesame seeds
3 tsp. margarine
1 head of Napa cabbage, shredded
2 bunches of green onions, chopped
¼ cup white vinegar
½ cup oil
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
For the steak:
Purchase good cuts of lean filet mignon that are cut into 1½-inch thick steaks. Season the filets with kosher salt and grill for 7 minutes on each side.
For the coleslaw:
Sauté the ramen noodles, sliced almonds and sesame seeds in the margarine until brown. Set aside and let cool. Mix the vinegar, oil, sugar and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. After it has cooled, combine the rest of the ingredients with the noodles and, just before serving, pour the vinegar mixture over the slaw and mix
Mandy Teefey, mom to Selena Gomez of Wizards of Waverly Place, says her Lettuce Wrap recipe was actually the first meal she cooked in their new house. “We had always lived in apartments so when we finally got settled into our very first home, it was the first thing we made. We always cook with Frank Sinatra or Judy Garland playing.” She claims this recipe is good, easy and “it takes no time and [there’s] very little cleanup.”
By Mandy Teefey
2 tbs. Olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup shredded carrots
1 can chopped water chestnuts
½ cup chopped peanuts
1 head of lettuce
1 lb uncooked shrimp
Heat the olive oil in a pan and brown the minced garlic. Throw in the shrimp, carrots, chopped peanuts and water chestnuts. Stir fry slightly over medium heat. Mix in the hoisin sauce to your liking.
Rip lettuce apart and spoon shrimp filling into each individual lettuce leaf and roll up.
Things get loud in the kitchen when Moises Arias, who stars as Miley Cyrus’ little brother Rico in Hannah Montana, and his mom cook up their favorite family recipe. “Every time I prepare this dish my pet bird immediately recognizes the smell,” says Monica Arias, about her Arroz Con Pollo recipe. “Even though she is a ‘pollo’ she eats the pollo off the ‘arroz con pollo’ so my family always says, ‘this dish is so good that even the bird loves it!”
Arias says her family asks her to make the recipe at least once a week. “It is their favorite Colombian recipe and once they start eating they say “Is there more in the pan?” There is never one grain of rice left on the plate.”
Arroz Con Pollo
From Monica Arias
1 whole boneless chicken
1 medium white onion
2 small tomatoes (diced)
1 cube of chicken flavor bouillon (reduced sodium)
2 cups rice (For a healthier alternative, consider using brown rice)
4 cups water
Salt to taste
1 cup of your favorite mixed vegetables (steamed)
3 tbsp. oil
Cook the chicken in boiling water flavored with a cube of chicken flavor bouillon until tender (approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes). While the chicken cooks, prepare some of your favorite steamed vegetables and set aside. Dice the white onion into very small pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the diced onions. Sauté. the onions with a little of the bouillon cube–stir well and then add the diced tomatoes. Let simmer. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the pot, but keep the water to cook the rice in. Shred the chicken into small pieces and add to the mixture of onions and tomatoes. Keep cooking the mixture over low heat for about 5 minutes. Mix the cooked rice, chicken and the steamed vegetables together. If you want to add color, you may add the ketchup when mixing everything.
Demi Lovato, star of Camp Rock, Sonny With a Chance and the new Disney original movie Princess Protection Program (debuting this summer), enjoys Mexican food and meatloaf. Her mom, Dianna De La Garza, claims Meatloaf Wednesday as a special mealtime for her family.
“One evening, Demi asked for meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and it quickly became a weekly tradition where we would invite all of our friends who don’t always have time for a home-cooked meal,” De La Garza says. But, it’s her Tex Mex Chicken Fajitas with Lime Cabbage Slaw and Jicama Salad that’s the favorite she’s sharing.
“Mexican food is popular in Texas and our family loves fajitas in particular. Since Tex-Mex food is typically very heavy with lots of cheese and sauces, we add the jicama salad to our fajitas to make it fresher and has a healthy twist.”
Tex Mex Chicken Fajitas with Lime Cabbage Slaw and Jicama Salad with Watermelon and Cucumber
By Dianna De La Garza
Tex Mex Chicken Fajitas with Lime Cabbage Slaw
3 tsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves (minced)
3 tsp. chili powder
3 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into ¾” strips
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. pepper
1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green bell pepper, cut into ¾” inch strips
2 red onions, cut into ¾” thick slices
2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced crosswise
1 avocado, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
3 tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
2 tsp. fresh chopped cilantro
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. lime zest
Flour tortillas (For a healthier alternative, consider using Whole Wheat tortillas)
Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Separate into 2 smaller bowls. In one bowl, add chicken and toss to coat. In the other bowl, add bell peppers and onions and toss to coat. Set aside and let stand 1 hour at room temperature or chill up to 4 hours.
Toss the red cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and tomatillos in a medium bowl.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven until heated
through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place large griddle over 2 burners and heat over medium-high heat. Brush griddle with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Working in batches if needed, place chicken on griddle and cook until cooked through (about 7 minutes), turning halfway. Transfer to platter and cover with foil. Working in batches, cook vegetables until browned, turning frequently with tongs (about 7 minutes more). Add to chicken.
Divide chicken and vegetables among warm tortillas; top with cabbage mixture and garnish with avocado slices. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Jicama Salad with Watermelon and Cucumber
4 cups seeded watermelon, cut into ½ inch cubes (rind discarded)
2 cups cubed (½ inch) peeled jicama (about 1 lb)
2 cups cubed (1½ inch) Persian/Japanese/hot house cucumber (about 1 ½ lbs.)
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh mint
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. salt
¾ cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
Cut the watermelon and vegetables into cubes. Note: This can be done up to 6 hours in advance and chilled, covered. Combine the lime juice, herbs and salt and just before serving, drizzle this mixture over the watermelon and vegetables. Toss to coat. Add pepitas and serve.
Wizards of Waverely Place star David Henrie and his mom Linda share a love for Italian food. “We’re Italian and we love spaghetti and spaghetti sauce! The touch of added sugar to the sauce makes it a tad bit sweet and kids just love that,” Linda says. “Tomato sauce is special to our family since it is the traditional food of our heritage. I love to cook this recipe.”
From Linda Henrie
3 tsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1 (29 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
4 eggs (beaten)
8 oz. package of breadcrumbs
½ cup of grated skim or reduced fat parmesan cheese
2 packets of 2% skim mozzarella cheese (sliced)
Slice the eggplants into ¼” slices and lightly salt each side. Set on paper towel and allow at least a few hours for the water to drain out, and then pat dry. In a heated pan, sauté. the crushed garlic clove slightly in the olive oil. Pour in the can of tomato sauce and add the salt, pepper, sugar, basil, garlic powder and the Italian Seasoning. Cover the pan for 20 minutes on low simmer. Finally, turn off the heat and add a big handful of fresh basil and top with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Close cover for another 10 minutes, then remove pan from the stove and set aside — you will use this later as the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and set aside. In a shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and the grated parmesan cheese.
Thinly line a skillet with a layer of olive oil over medium heat. Dip one slice of eggplant at a time, into the beaten eggs then the breadcrumbs. Cook until golden brown on both sides on the heated skillet. Place aside for layering.
In a 10×15 glass baking dish, layer the following ingredients in order as listed: sauce, fried sliced eggplants, sprinkle parmesan cheese and lastly, the mozzarella slices. Keep continuing this layering process until you are at the top of the baking dish. Bake this for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.