Braces Friendly Summer Recipes

Braces Friendly Summer Recipes
Posted on 06/14/2016

Favorite Braces-Friendly Summer Recipes

Summertime is fun time for families and friends everywhere. At Willowbrook Orthodontics, we know you’re busy with outdoor activities like hitting the pool, the park, or perusing your favorite tourist attractions in and around Willowbrook. The last thing you want to do is make time to prepare family meals in a hot kitchen. So, our orthodontic staff has put together a few of our favorite recipes that are easy on your time and great for your family members who wear braces or Invisalign.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

This dish is a super-easy main dish from Betty Crocker and is perfect for a quick summer make-ahead dinner after a day at the Willowbrook Aquatic Park of neighborhood swimming pool.

●    1 lb extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef
●    ½ cup diced yellow onion
●    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
●    2 cups diced bell peppers
●    ½ teaspoon salt
●    ¼ teaspoon pepper
●    1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ diced tomatoes, undrained
●    2 cups Progresso™ beef flavored broth (from 32-oz carton)
●    1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
●    1 tablespoon soy sauce
●    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
●    1 cup uncooked white basmati rice
●    1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese, or Cheddar blend (6 oz)

1.    In 4-quart saucepan, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, breaking into small pieces as beef browns.
2.    Add bell peppers, salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 7 minutes longer or until peppers have started to soften. (If you didn't use extra-lean beef, drain off some of the fat at this point.)
3.    Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, soy sauce and Italian seasoning. Stir until well combined. Heat to boiling.
4.    Add uncooked rice. Return to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
5.    Remove from heat; sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Patriotic Trifle

Summer celebrations must include at least one salute to America. Here’s a perfect Fourth of July dish to share from Kraft Foods. All ages love this and it’s easy on the braces or Invisalign aligners.

●    1 pkg. (1 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Sugar Free Fat Free Instant Pudding
●    1-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk
●    1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
●    1 pkg. (13 oz.) angel food cake, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6-1/2 cups)
●    2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
●    1 cup blueberries

1.    Beat pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP.
2.    Layer half each of the cake and berries in large serving bowl; cover with pudding mixture.
3.    Top with layers of remaining cake, berries and COOL WHIP.

Slow Cooker Creamy Salsa Chicken

Slow cooker cooking isn’t just for cold winters! Pull that Crock-Pot out and use it to have dinner ready and waiting when you return from your day’s summer activities! This recipe has many variations, but this is the one we use here at Willowbrook Orthodontics. Not only is it great for people with braces, it’s one that can be used in a variety of different dishes - by itself, on top of lettuce to make a Mexican salad, and wrapped up in a tortilla with lettuce and sour cream for a tasty burrito, to name a few.

●    1-2 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
●    2 T. of taco seasoning
●    1 16 oz jar of salsa (We like Taco Bell’s Medium Thick and Chunky Salsa; Use mild if you want it less spicy)
●    1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
●    1 can golden hominy, drained
●    8 oz. block of cream cheese (Low-fat works great, too)
1.    Add everything but the cream cheese to the slow cooker. Cook for 6 hours on low.
2.    About 30 minutes before serving, add cream cheese. Stir until melted.
3.    Serve as you like (see suggestions above.)

Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding

This recipe from Food Network, courtesy of Paula Deen, is one of our orthodontic family favorite desserts. Our Willowbrook teens have loved it since they were small, it was easy to eat with their braces, and they still request it now when they come back to visit.

●    2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
●    6 to 8 bananas, sliced
●    2 cups milk
●    1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
●    1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
●    1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
●    1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

1.    Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
2.    In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
3.    Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
4.    Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.
5.    Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.
6.    Refrigerate until ready to serve.

We hope you enjoy these summer recipes as much as we do at Willowbrook Orthodontics. Next time you’re in for a braces or Invisalign appointment, let us know your favorite! To schedule or change your next appointment call us at or reach out to us at one of our convenient Illinois office locations listed below. Have a great summer!

●    Willowbrook: (630) 323-7906
●    Morton Grove: (847) 967-0400
●    Buffalo Grove: (847) 537-3285
●    Oak Park: (773) 889-9100