Liz is Cooking Up a New Website – Join the Adventure {Survey + $50.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway}

Today is a special day. It’s not my birthday and it’s not my anniversary (though I’ll be celebrating 25 years of marriage in September). Today is special because I’m announcing the end of a journey and the start of something fresh, new, and incredibly exciting.


Back in the early 2000s, hit the world wide web and quickly became a go-to resource for families in search of healthy, kid-friendly recipes and practical mealtime advice. The MMM brand grew to include a blog, a podcast, and cookbooks, and my two boys, Josh and Simon, grew to love the recipe creations that I cooked up for their table … and for yours too.

Liz with Josh and Simon

Josh (right) and Simon sampling Chocolaty Pumpkin Bars, circa 2004.

Well, after years in the mealtime trenches, more dirty dishes than I care to remember, and Janice’s decision to move on to her own exciting adventures, I’m giving Meal Makeover Moms a mega makeover. I’d like to invite youour warm and supportive community of moms, dads, caregivers, and health professionalson this journey with me. I’ll be launching a new website in the next few months, and while I can’t share the new URL with you just yet, I can tell you that the site will be filled with things you love, including recipes for real families, a podcast, and cooking videos. There will always be a special place in my heart for mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, and other simple recipe makeovers, but we’ll be kicking things up a notch on the new site with more playful, bolder, and creative recipe twists.

The new site is still a work in progress, and the only thing that’s missing from my plan right now is YOU. So today I’m inviting you to add your secret sauce to the new website by taking a SURVEY where I’ll ask you what types of recipes you want to see on the blog; which podcast topics you want to hear; a food your family has never tried but is curious to discover; and the cooking techniques you want to learn. (To thank you for your time, you’ll have the chance to win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards that I’m giving away to two lucky survey takers, chosen at random on April 3rd.)

I’m looking to you, my community, to create the website with me! I have a name for the site and a logo, but it’s still a bit too early to share them. You’ll all be the first to know. I promise.

Liz Weiss / cooking a recipe for the new website

The tofu, broccoli, and carrot stir fry I’m making here will be one of the first new recipes on my soon-to-be disclosed site.

Whether you’re just starting out with healthier family cooking or you’ve already reached mealtime bliss and you’re ready for new flavor adventures, the site will be your hub for all things tasty and healthy. Together, we’ll be cooking up something rich, vibrant, and ever-changing.


I don’t know about you, but it’s not every day I get invited to a backstage party.

Today is your lucky day, because this is your invitation to peek behind the scenes as my site takes shape. Access is easy! Just follow me on Instagram (@lizweiss) and the MMM Facebook page to see what it takes to hatch a new website with recipes, cooking videos, a free e-cookbook download for new visitors (that includes you!), a brand-spanking new logo, sparkly new headshots, and so much more. I’ll be posting updates of my adventures daily, so stop by Instagram and/or Facebook to see what’s cooking.

Meal Makeover Moms isn’t signing off just yet, but on May 1st please note that all web pages will redirect to one single home page. Lucky for those who love our recipes, I promise to bring some of the best MMM recipes with me to my new site. Also, all 297 episodes of Cooking with the Moms podcast will remain on iTunes through 2017, and Janice and I will be recording a final episode as a thank you to our listeners, so stay tuned for details.

I’m excited to have you by my side as I leap from Meal Makeover Moms to my new online home. You were the reason I recorded almost 300 podcasts, co-wrote cookbooks, and filled the pages of the MMM blog with well over 800 recipes and posts. I’m thrilled to be on this new creative cooking journey with you, and I can’t wait to dig in to all the fun that lies ahead … and share my URL with you.

We all come to points in our lives when our kids grow up and our family dynamics change. It’s at those points where we recreate ourselves and pivot in new directions. I’m on a new adventure now, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I’m so glad I can bring you along.

From my table to yours,


PS: In case you missed the link above, please click here for my 8-question Survey Monkey survey. Your input is really important to me. I promise it will only take a few minutes to complete, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards.



Feed Your Family a Super Healthy Diet: 5 Simple Mealtime Strategies {Podcast #297}

It’s a new year, which means there are plenty of resolutions being tossed around. From exercising more to eating more fruits and veggies, what’s your goal for 2017? On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we checked in with Amy Roskelley, founder of Super Healthy Kids, for her top 5 ways to achieve success when you resolve to feed your family right.

Improve your family's diet in 2017 via


Click the PLAYER button below to tune in!


(1) Eat More Dinners Together
Make it a part of your family culture. Even when your kids get older and they’re busy with late-afternoon and evening activities, making the time to dine together leads to better nutrition for everyone.

(2) Include More Fruits and Vegetables in the Diet vs. Eliminate Entire Food Groups
From gluten free to dairy free, instead of jumping on a popular diet trend that calls for eliminating entire food groups, Amy recommends shifting your focus to ADDING foods to your family’s diet, especially fruits and vegetables. And she offers this great advice: If your child shuns a particular vegetable—steamed broccoli for example—instead of trying it over and over again, prepare it 10 different ways. If steamed broccoli gets rejected at your table, roasted broccoli might be a big hit.

Fruit and Veggie tracker from Super Healthy Kids

Check out this free Fruit & Veggie Tracker download from SHK.

(3) Weekly Meal Prep
Amy says you’re much more likely to eat vegetables if they’re washed, chopped, and stored in containers (she loves wide-mouth Mason jars) so they’re at the ready when mealtime rolls around. Pick one day each week to organize ingredients for the days ahead.

Turkey Chili Potatoes from Super Healthy Kids

{Turkey Chili Potatoes: Photo courtesy Super Healthy Kids.}

(4) Meal Planning
Are you organized when it comes to making family dinners or do you fly by the seat of your pants!? Plotting out your meals ahead of time means fewer takeout meals or pizza deliveries. Super Healthy Kids offers a meal planning subscription service, and when we asked Amy to share one of the most popular recipes from the plan, she offered up these Turkey Chili Potatoes.

(5) Have Fun with Food
From gardening to growing herbs indoors to TV food shows hosted by kids, Having fun with food is one of the best ways to entice tiny taste buds.

What’s your family’s resolution for 2017?

Entertain on a Budget: 4 Healthy Recipes Made with Pantry Ingredients

When the holidays roll around and you find yourself cooking for family and friends, you may also find that your wallet gets skinnier by the day. From elaborate parties to unexpected guests, the food cost associated with hosting a holiday party can add up quickly. To the rescue, we have 4 healthy holiday appetizer recipes that you can whip up in minutes with the help of inexpensive ingredients sourced right from your pantry.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via #holidays #recipes #healthy

If you’re like us, your pantry is probably overflowing with canned, bottled, and packed ingredients that you may have forgotten about.

It’s time to shop your pantry to save money at the holidays.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via #holidays #recipes #healthy #pantry #budget

Janice has the biggest and most well-organized pantry you’ll ever see! Last week, we invited some friends over to watch us in action as we sourced ingredients from the pantry and created 4 healthy holiday-inspired  appetizer recipes:

Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites
Holiday Rice and Tuna Cakes
Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts
Butternut Squash Soup Shooters

The Boston Globe was there too, and their article on budget-friendly holiday entertaining will be published soon!

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via #holidays #recipes #healthy

{We partnered with Bumble Bee to create some of these recipes and were compensated for our work. All ideas and content is our own.}

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes - Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites via #holidays #recipes #healthy

Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites

Pantry Staples: 
* Two 5-ounce cans Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes & Olive Oil (or any other fun tuna flavor)
* 1 jar light mayonnaise
* 1 box small, round low-sodium whole grain crackers
* 1 small jar roasted red peppers

Easy Assembly:
Drain and flake the tuna. Place in a bowl with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and stir to combine. Top 21 mini whole grain crackers evenly with the tuna mixture. Decorate by arranging thin slices of roasted red pepper strips (1 ounce) over each of the tuna bites.

Nutrition Information per 3 cracker bites: 160 calories, 10g fat (1.5g saturated), 240mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 8g protein


Watch us cook up our Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites. Click the PLAY button below.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we all consume at least two seafood meals a week. For pregnant and nursing women, that recommendation is even higher at two to three seafood meals a week. This “recipe” featuring canned tuna gets you one step closer to the goal of eating 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week.

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Kale Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing + $100 ALDI Gift Card Giveaway

This Kale Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing is now my number one, go-to recipe when I’m craving something healthy, flavorful, and budget friendly for dinner.

Kale salad with Greek yogurt dressing via #aldi #salad #budget

I fell in love with this salad during a recent trip to ALDI headquarters outside Chicago where I had an opportunity to tour one of their flagship grocery stores and learn about their lineup of good-for-you, low-cost offerings.

{My trip to ALDI was paid for. I was compensated for this blog post, but all opinions are my own.}

Kale salad with Greek yogurt dressing via #aldi #salad #budget

As part of the ALDI experience, Chef Brigitte Prather demonstrated how to make this kale salad. I appreciate the simplicity of the dressing—made with  Friendly Farms plain Nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest, Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, and SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey—and the versatility of the salad itself.

And you can’t beat the price at just $1.83 per serving.

Kale salad with Greek yogurt dressing via #aldi #salad #budget

Kale salad with Greek yogurt dressing via #aldi #salad #budget

While the original ALDI recipe (which I’m sharing below!) calls for add-ins like Marcona almonds, avocado, and Southern Grove Dried Cranberries, when I recreated it for my family, I set out a bunch of other ALDI finds: Specially Selected Pitted Kalamata Olives ($2.99), Southern Grove Dried Apricots ($2.79), Specially Selected Smoked Salmon ($3.49), and Specially Selected Blueberry and Vanilla Hand Rolled Goat Cheese Log ($3.99).

Kale salad with Greek yogurt dressing via #aldi #salad #budget

Have you ever tried blueberry goat cheese? It’s creamy with a touch of sweetness and a great addition to this build-your-own dinner salad.

Do you have an ALDI supermarket in your area? ALDI is no frills, which is one way they keep their prices down. It’s easy to navigate, and you’ll be surprised by their line-up of good-for-you food options. Check out my post on 6 Reasons to Shop at ALDI for more information.

4.7 from 30 reviews
Kale Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing
This recipe is from ALDI. I kept the recipe as is, but my photos reflect a few changes. When I assembled the salad, my avocados weren't ripe, so sadly, you won't see any avocados in my pictures. I also subbed raw almonds for the Marcona and added a few additional toppings: smoked salmon, goat cheese, and olives.
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 8
  • ½ cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Table Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Stonemill Essentials Peppercorn Grinder
  • 16 cups SimplyNature Organic Kale
  • ½ cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces, divided
  • ½ cup roughly chopped Marcona almonds, divided
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, lemon zest, salt and pepper until smooth.
  2. Toss dressing with kale and thoroughly mix, massaging into leaves. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Toss in dried cranberries, half of the avocado and ¼ cup almonds. Mound into a large serving bowl and top with remaining avocado and ¼ cup almonds.

Aldi gift card giveaway via

Giveaway News!

Win a $100.00 gift card to ALDI (U.S. only please).

TO ENTER post a comment here and tell me why you shop at ALDI and/or about your favorite ALDI food products. Post a comment here to be eligible to win. I’ll pick one winner at random on December 16, 2016.

I will enter you into the giveaway additional times if you …

> Tweet about the giveaway with a link back to this post.

> Share the giveaway news with your Facebook fans and friends with a link back to the post.

> Follow us on Pinterest.

 Follow The Meal Makeover Moms on Facebook and Twitter (@MealMakeovrMoms)

Post additional comments every time you do something extra 🙂

Good luck!

Other fun ALDI posts to enjoy …

Facebook Live Recipe Demo: Potato Cauliflower Smash
by Teaspoon of Spice

Kale Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressingby Nutritionist Reviews

Quinoa Salad with Spinach & Onions – Gluten Free, Vegan & Paleo FriendlyFacebook Live Recipe Demo: Wild Hunt Quinoa Salad by Shaw’s Simple Swaps

Tropical Superfood Smoothie (Plus Video)by Love & Zest

Kale Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing and ALDI Giveaway!by The Foodie Dietitian

My 4 Favorite Ways ALDI Keeps Prices So Lowby Healthy Aperture

Facebook Live Holiday Solutions: How to Set Up a Dessert Crostini Bar by Holley Grainger

Facebook Live Recipe Demo: No Bake Energy Bitesby Michelle Dudash

My Top 6 Reasons for Shopping at ALDI

When it comes to grocery shopping at ALDI, I’m a newbie. But after traveling to Chicago last week and visiting with the ALDI USA team, I’m inching my way toward becoming a regular.

Top Reasons to Shop at Aldi via #Aldi #discount

{My trip to ALDI headquarters was paid for, and I was joined by a group of fellow food and nutrition bloggers. I was compensated for this blog post, but all opinions are my own.}

Read on for my TOP 6 reasons to shop at ALDI.

1. You can save up to 50% on your groceries*:

If I had to choose two words to describe the ALDI shopping experience, it would be “no frills.” But that’s a good thing, because no frills means things like fewer employees, and fewer employees means savings. As you walk down the aisles, many of the food items are stacked in their original shipping boxes, not on shelves; customers bag their own groceries; and ALDI stores are easier to operate than most supermarkets because they carry far fewer items. Bottom line: Their stores are easy to navigate.
* Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

Top Reasons to Shop at Aldi via #Aldi #discount

2. There’s plenty of produce to choose from:

On our tour of ALDIs Geneva, IL store, I was surprised by the variety of produce, especially the organic offerings. No frills, yes, but still plenty of produce to choose from. And there was no shortage of seasonal fruits and veggies: butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkins, and apples.

Top Reasons to Shop at Aldi via #Aldi #discount

3. In-store brands taste as good if not better than national brands:

After our tour of the market, we went back to ALDI headquarters for a series of interactive (and delicious) activities. For one of them, we were challenged to an ALDI or NOT taste test to compare a handful of national brands with ALDI’s in-store brands. This was tough, and I must admit that I had a hard time telling the difference. My learnings from this experience were that in-store brands are a lot less expensive, and they taste the same, if not better than their national counterparts. $1.99 versus $3.19 for a gallon of almond milk … works for me 🙂

Top Reasons to Shop at Aldi via #Aldi #discount

4. MSG and synthetic food colors have been removed from all in-store brands:

I don’t suffer from any food allergies or intolerances with the exception of MSG. Eating it gives me a migraine. So, when I found out that all of ALDI’s in-store brands are now free from MSG, synthetic food colors, and artificial trans fats, I was pretty excited. And since 90% of the packaged products sold at ALDI are their own in-store brands, I am even happier.

5. Consumer demand for things like organic and gluten free drives new-product innovation:

ALDI’s registered dietitian, Jessica Bringas, spoke to the group about product innovation and the fast rise in organic and gluten-free offerings. In fact, in recent years, ALDI has added 125 GF products to its LiveGfree line that consumers save big on. I’m especially obsessed with their Gluten-Free Olive Oil & Rosemary Multiseed Crackers.

Top Reasons to Shop at Aldi via #Aldi #discount

6. ALDI dietitians and chefs create nutrient-rich recipes for their shoppers.

Talk about the icing on the cake! Providing consumers with easy and nutritious recipes encourages them to grab for everything from spinach and frozen blueberries to almond milk and bananas. Our blogger group had an opportunity to sample these Tropical Superfruit Smoothies as well as Gluten-Free Zucchini Tortillas, Pad Thai Pasta, and a lunch featuring recipes that will be posted to the ALDI site soon including Potato Cauliflower Smash, Butternut Squash & Cranberry Chicken Meatloaf with Mustard Sauce, and Guilt-Free Brownies Truffles, which I’ll be making and posting to the blog soon.

Top Reasons to Shop at Aldi via #Aldi #discount

If you’re an ALDI shopper, tell me about your favorite foods and recipes and why you enjoy shopping there.

And for more insights into ALDI, check out these blog posts from my fellow RDNs who also attended the event:

Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget by Elizabeth at Shaw’s Simple Swaps

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Try ALDI by Kara at The Foodie Dietitian

How to Entertain on a Budget by Regan at Healthy Aperture

10 Reasons Why This Dietitian and Mom Wants You To Visit ALDI by Deanna at Teaspoon of Spice

30 Healthy and Affordable Holiday Foods to Buy at Aldi by Holley at Holley Grainger RD

My ALDI Experience by Kristina at Love and Zest

Healthy Food Trends from the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) 2016 {Podcast Episode #293}

From better-for-you snacks made with less sugar to products brimming with beneficial probiotics to pasta made with pulses, we had an opportunity to sample and sip a smorgasbord of new and nutritious food products at the 2016 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Boston.

Healthy Food Trends via #fnce

FNCE is the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics where registered dietitian nutritionists like us gain access to new food trends and scientific sessions.


As we do every year, we scoured the Expo floor for the latest, greatest family-pleasing food products that may soon be coming to a supermarket near you.

Tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast for all the fun details, and read on for more ….

Read more

Autumn’s Best Butternut Squash, Apple, and Pear Soup

The second it cools off here in New England, I start craving soup, especially when butternut squash is the star. This vegetarian, gluten-free recipe features autumn’s freshest butternut squash along with sweet, crisp apples and juicy pears. For an added pop of protein, you can incorporate cooked quinoa, toasted walnuts, and/or pumpkin seeds.

Autumn's Best Butternut Squash, Apple and Pear Soup via #soup

Last week, I joined Kids Cooking Green (a food literacy and hands-on cooking program based in Lexington, MA) to teach nutrition to an adorable and engaged group of elementary school kids in Boston. The theme of our class was SOUP, and thanks to the kids’ hard work, we created two soups including a warm brew made with butternut squash and pears.

Autumn's Best Butternut Squash, Apple and Pear Soup via #soup

These pint-sized chefs were seriously focused, and I’m happy to report that there was a lot of tasting and devouring going on after our soups were done. (Isn’t that what it’s all about?)

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Sautéed Peaches with Walnuts, Coconut Yogurt, and Basil Za’atar Dust {The Recipe Redux}

This sliced peach dessert is sweet and nutritious, and the flavor combination of peaches, walnuts, coconut Greek yogurt, brown sugar, basil, and za’atar is unexpected yet seriously delightful. I drew inspiration for this summer dessert from Al’s Place, a restaurant in San Francisco where Chef Aaron London puts gorgeous, in-season produce on the pedestal it deserves.

Sautéed Peaches with Walnuts, Coconut Yogurt, and Basil Za'atar Dust via #peach #dessert #TheRecipeRedux

{If you think the basil and za’atar are too out there for your kids, leave ’em out. The dessert will be just as luscious albeit a bit less intriguing.}

Sautéed Peaches with Walnuts, Coconut Yogurt, and Basil Za'atar Dust via #peach #dessert #TheRecipeRedux

Gosh. Where to begin?

I’ve been a road warrior all summer.

Between work trips and fun getaways, I’ve been to Nantucket, New York, New Hampshire, Cleveland, DC, and as far west as Sacramento and San Francisco. Throughout my travels, I ate some terrific meals, but the most memorable by far was at Al’s Place, voted America’s Best New Restaurant last year by Bon Appetite. It was the chef’s dessert of slow roasted peach, basil/corn, candied za’atar, and coconut cream that took my breath away and my taste buds to a whole new level …

Al's Place San Francisco via

… And it just so happens that the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux blogger cooking challenge was to cook up a healthy recipe inspired by an unforgettable meal enjoyed while traveling. There was no doubt in my mind that Chef London’s peach dessert was the perfect recipe for this assignment.

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5 Ways to Eat Well and Save Money on Food While Traveling on Vacation

Summer is here, which means a lot of us will be packing our swim suits and sunscreen and traveling to exciting destinations here at home and abroad. But plane rides, hotel rentals, and tickets to tourist attractions can add up quickly, especially when you add FOOD to the mix. Eating out three times a day can break your budget (and your healthy diet) before you’ve had time to digest dinner.

Check out my 5 tips for eating well and saving money on food when you’re on vacation.

tips for eating well and saving money on food while on vacation via

Quench Your Thirst for Pennies: I never leave home without my re-usable water bottle.  From BPA-free plastic water bottles to the newer stainless steel insulated style bottles that keep liquids cold or hot for 24 hours, you can save big when you take control of your hydration. An empty water bottle is easy to pack in your suitcase, so go for it! When you get to your destination, fill your water bottle from the tap (most local water in the US is AOK to drink). But be sure to check ahead to find out if the local water is safe. If it’s not, buy gallon-size jugs of water when you get to your location, and re-fill your water bottle from that source.

Added bonus: Using your own water bottle cuts back on the 200 billion plastic water bottles dumped into landfills globally each year.

tips for eating well and saving money on food while on vacation via

Pack Lightweight, Nutrient-Dense Foods: When you’re packing your swimsuit, don’t forget to also pack along some inexpensive yet healthy eats for the trip. To save on between-meal snacks, shop at home before you leave for a few bags of fruit and nut trail mix, nut butters, all-natural jerky, or ready-to-eat tuna/cracker kits. Stick to packable protein foods since those are more likely to keep you feeling fuller and more satisfied between meals.

tips for eating well and saving money on food while on vacation via

Pack Lightweight Utensils, Plates/Bowls, and a Cooler: Other things to pack along include disposable plastic or paper bowls (great for in-room breakfasts and picnics), plastic baggies, plastic utensils that you can reuse, a small ice pack or two, and a collapsible cooler. A pocket knife can come in handy too when slicing fruit and cheese, but be sure to pack it in your luggage … and NOT your carry on.

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