25 Fast and Healthy Family Dinners for Back to School – National Family Meals Month {Podcast #291}

September is National Family Meals Month, an initiative spearheaded by the Food Marketing Institute. It’s designed to encourage families to gather around the table more often and to educate everyone about the many health benefits of breaking bread together.

We’re both on board with #FamilyMealsMonth and hope you are too. To make family mealtime easier (especially now that kids everywhere are back in school) and more nutritious, we collected 25 fast and healthy recipes from our dietitian blogger friends to share with you. We organized the recipes into three categories: seafood, poultry, and vegetarian.

Fast and healthy family dinners via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #FamilyMealsMonth

From cookbooks and blogs to food magazines and family archives, there are literally millions of recipes out there. Yet, when we ask our readers which meal of the day frustrates them the most, the majority say, DINNER.

For family dinner inspiration, tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast. Click the player button below to listen, and head on over to iTunes to subscribe.

If you are new to Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen and Cooking with the Moms radio, we’d like to WELCOME you, and we hope you’ll stop by again 🙂

Family Meals Month

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Crunchy, Juicy Apple, Edamame and Chickpea Salad – An Easy Side Dish to Balance Your Plate

I created this recipe and post in partnership with Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate program. I was compensated for my work, and all opinions are solely my own.

This sweet and savory side salad comes together quickly even on busy school nights by combining canned chickpeas wi Read more

Lentil Enchilada Bake – An Easy Vegetarian Dinner

I was compensated for creating this recipe and blog post by Canadian Lentils. All opinions are my own.

You may have heard by now (especially if you follow our blog) that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses. To continue the celebration, I created a fast and easy meatless Lentil Enchilada Bake made with Canadian lentils, colorful bell peppers, two types of cheese, and corn tortillas.

Lentil Enchilada Bake via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen #lentils #pulses

I’m pleased to announce that I’m joining forces with #TheSimpleLentil campaign, sponsored by Canadian Lentils, to spread the news that lentils are versatile, easy to use, and packed with great nutrition. 

Lentils via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen #lentils #pulses

Honestly, I love all types of pulses, but the pulse that pleases me most is the lovely lentil, or as we dietitians like to say, “the small pulse that packs a punch.”  I love ’em so much that earlier this year, we featured a roundup of 20 Healthy Lentil Recipes on the blog and dedicated a Cooking with the Moms podcast to pulses!

Lentils are easy to cook, and you can easily incorporate them into a variety of dishes. I love that they are nutrient dense and filled with protein, fiber, and other minerals like iron and potassium. Lentils have twice the protein of quinoa and provide 18 grams of fiber in a serving.

For more info on the nutritional content of lentils, check out Canadian Lentils.

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Soba Noodles with Peanuts, Carrots, and Snow Peas – A Fast Dinner or a Playful Lunch

We created this recipe for Planters Peanuts and were compensated for our work. All opinions are our own.

This fast, flavorful, protein meal featuring peanuts, peanut butter, soba noodles, and colorful, crispy vegetables delivers big flavors to the family table, and it’s easy to assemble on busy weeknights.

Serve it warm, and pack leftovers the next day in your lunchbox. 

Soba Noodles with Peanuts, Carrots, and Snow Peas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts

With back-to-school season heating up for kids across the country, we’re all about wholesome dinners (and lunches) to keep both kids and parents well fed and well fueled throughout the day. Protein has staying power, which is one reason we added peanuts to this plant-based meal.

Soba Noodles with Peanuts, Carrots, and Snow Peas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts

Did you know a one-ounce serving of Planters Dry Roasted peanuts provides 7 powerful grams of plant-based protein? Peanuts also contain heart-healthy “good” fats, with more than 80 percent of the fat in peanuts made up of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

{Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of heart disease.}

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Garlic Scape Pesto with Scapes From My CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

Until I was a member of a CSA (community supported agriculture) a decade ago I had never heard of a garlic scape.  I’ve received scapes in my Farm Direct Coop CSA share several times and have always wanted to make garlic scape pesto. 

Garlic Scape Pesto via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

I love walnuts so decided to use them in my pesto along with the usual olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and basil found in traditional pesto.

Garlic Scape Pesto via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

Garlic scapes are the flowering stems or stalks of garlic shoots that poke out of the ground as garlic grows. They’re harvested before the garlic is fully grown, and this allows the garlic bulb to fully mature. They taste like garlic, but with a milder flavor.

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Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad + Tomato Basil Salad with Mango {Garden-Fresh Recipes – Podcast Episode #290}

This fresh and flavorful summer salad is made with juicy peaches, luscious avocado, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and chopped chives. Serve it as a side dish with grilled fish or chicken or just eat it straight up with a spoon!

Tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast to hear all about this salad and many other delicious, garden-inspired recipes!

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

The fresh peaches this summer have been more juicy and sweet than I can remember, so I’ve been adding them to my favorite breakfast combo of Greek yogurt and granola. Today, I decided to change things up by adding diced peaches to a summer salad. And since I also had a gorgeous tomato on my kitchen counter and a perfectly ripe Mexican mango (sent to me compliments of the Mango Board), I created a second salad with some fresh basil from my garden.

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Fresh herbs via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

For garden-fresh recipes including Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad, Tomato Basil Salad with Mango, Beet Green Salad, and Spiralized Summer Squash and Pistachio Salad, tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast.

Fresh herbs via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

I love cutting basil into ribbons (a technique called, chiffonade), because kids get a kick out of the shape. You can also ask your kids to help you rip the basil into small pieces, and add it that way.

Tomato Mango Salad with Basil via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

My toss-together tomato salad is made with 1 diced tomato, a diced mango, basil ribbons, EVOO, lemon juice, and kosher salt and pepper.

My sister Amy is visiting me this week on Nantucket with her friends Miriam, George, and Mike. Mike runs the restaurants at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, so I invited him to join me on a Facebook LIVE demonstration of the salads. The internet connection was so bad that we ended up taping the segment instead. I hope you’ll watch the demo; it was Mike’s first time on TV!

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

As someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for most of his career, Mike has seen a shift in kids’ palates and says they’re definitely becoming more adventurous eaters. And we agree that taking kids out to eat is a great way to introduce them to new tastes and textures.

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad
 
There's nothing better than biting into a fresh peach and having all those luscious, sweet juices drip down your chin! And now, there's nothing better than adding peaches to a fresh summer salad. Here, I combine them with creamy diced avocado, lemon zest and lemon juice, and chopped chives. If you love cilantro, add it too!
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe peaches, cut into ¾-inch dice
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Chopped chives, optional
  • Chopped cilantro, optional
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the peaches, avocado, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl and stir to combine. Add a few chopped chives and a few tablespoons of chopped or torn cilantro as desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

What are your favorite ways to eat peaches and mangos?

I created a third recipe this week using fresh beet greens.

Beets and beet greens via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Beet greens salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

After roasting and devouring a bunch of golden beets, I trimmed the beet greens the next day and sliced them into thin strips. I then used the greens in a salad with diced tomato, basil ribbons, diced avocado, diced mango, and a dressing made with lemon juice, lemon zest, EVOO, kosher salt, and black pepper. I topped the salad with nigella seeds.

Asian Beef Bowls: A Fast and Flavorful Family Dinner

This Asian Beef Bowl is made with lean ground beef and a flavor-filled sauce of reduced-sodium soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, ginger, a bit of brown sugar, and fresh mint and cilantro. Serve over brown rice, and top with sesame seeds, sugar snap peas, and sliced radishes for a fast, easy and nutrient-rich family dinner. 

Asian Beef Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #lean #beef #vegetables #brownrice

When my boys came home from school in late May, the first thing they asked me after lots of hugs and multiple loads of laundry was, “what’s for dinner?” It still blows my mind that my boys are now 21 and 17. Lucky for me, they’ve always been good eaters, and over the years, their appetites have grown to the point where even after dinner, they ask, “what’s for dinner?” I’m not kidding. This is what really happens in my house every night!

Asian Beef Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #lean #beef #vegetables #dinner #rice

I’ve been playing around with this recipe for Asian Beef Bowls since my boys descended on my kitchen last month, and I finally nailed it today. This easy bowl meal satisfies my boys’ hearty appetites, and it provides stellar nutrition.

I use a pound of lean ground beef, so everyone gets a healthy, 4-ounce portion (uncooked) and reaps the health benefits of beef: zinc for a healthy immune system; protein for strong muscles; B vitamins for energy; phosphorous for building bones; and iron, which helps the body use oxygen.

{A 3-ounce portion of lean beef has less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and nearly half of the daily value for protein.}

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Asian Grilled Turkey Tenderloin with Pineapple – Part 2: Grill Something Unexpected {Podcast #288}

In Part 2 of our Grill Something Unexpected series, we feature turkey tenderloin, a moist and tender cut that lends itself to the outdoor grill. 

My Asian-inspired marinade made with soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, garlic, toasted sesame oil, and honey adds a slightly sweet, slightly salty flavor, and the grilled pineapple rounds out the meal.

Asian Grilled Turkey Tenderloin with Pineapple via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen #turkey #grilling

June is National Turkey Lovers’ Month®. While most of us look forward to turkey with all the fixins on Thanksgiving, there’s a wide variety of turkey cuts including the drumstick, thigh, breast, tenderloin, cutlets, ground, and wing/drumette that can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks all year long. Turkey can easily be prepared by grilling, baking, roasting, pan frying or broiling. 

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, I share my recipe for Asian Grilled Turkey Tenderloin with Pineapple and highlights from my Farm to Fork turkey farm tour, which I attended last summer in Ohio.

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25 Ways to Improve Your Family’s Diet {Podcast #287}

Struggling with picky eaters? Looking for new ways to add variety, more nutrition, and kid-friendly flavors to every-day meals? Stuck in a snack rut? Curious how much added sugar is lurking in your family’s favorite foods? Wondering out how much fiber your family needs for optimal health?

25 ways to improve your family's diet via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #picky #kids #nutrition

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, we share highlights from our 5-part blog series on 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Family’s Diet TODAY. We gathered all 25 of our doable, practical, and realistic strategies below and dish about them on the podcast. There’s something for everyone here, and we hope our tips get you closer to boosting the nutritonal GPA of your family’s diet.

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Click the PLAY button above to tune in!

This week’s podcast is sponsored by Chobani Kids® Greek Yogurt Pouches and Tubes. We were compensated for our work, and as always all opinions are our own.

How to market good nutrition to kids via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #nutrition

 HOW TO MARKET GOOD NUTRITION TO KIDS

1. Make healthy foods highly accessible and attractive: Kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables when they’re cut into fun shapes and presented in playful ways. From fresh berries used as a “decoration” for a smoothie bowl topping to a Halloween Skeleton made with vegetables, a dash of creativity can really spark a child’s interest. And if you serve fruits and veggies at the start of the meal when kids are hungry, they’ll be more willing to take a few bites too.

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