20 Healthy Lentil Recipes + The International Year of Pulses {Podcast #281}

We love lentils—green, brown, red, Beluga, French green—in soups, stews, and salads, but these little legumes can also star in protein and fiber-filled tacos, “burgers,” and even desserts. These 20 healthy lentil recipes should get you well on your way to loving this petite pulse. 

20 Healthy Lentil Recipes / Year of Pulses via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #LovePulses #IYP2016

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, we celebrate the International Year of Pulses with healthy lentil recipes like our Lentil Alphabet Soup and a roundup of lentil dishes that everyone at your table will love. We chose lentils as our featured pulse because, well, we had to start somewhere!

Click the play button above to tune into this week’s Podcast, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!

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Lentil Alphabet Soup — A Classic Makeover of a Kid Favorite

Vegetarian, vegan, and kid friendly, this Lentil Alphabet Soup is irresistible thanks to the playful pasta, and it’s filled with fiber and protein thanks to the lentils and vegetables. We have no doubt your kids will happily slurp up every last spoonful. 

Lentil Alphabet Soup via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #PulseFeast #LovePulses #IYP2016

This one pot, savory soup is made with carrots, celery, lentils, and adorable alphabet pasta, and the veggies and lentils are so tiny, even the pickiest eaters at your table will love it.

Lentil Alphabet Soup via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #PulseFeast #LovePulses #IYP2016

The UN General Assembly has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Why? Because lentils, dry beans and peas, and chickpeas are a nutritious superfood, and they’re sustainable — they have a low carbon footprint and enrich the soil. Pulses are regarded as a food of the future, poised as a powerful solution for feeding the world’s growing population.

Click the play button above to tune into this week’s Podcast, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!

Lentil Alphabet Soup via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #PulseFeast #LovePulses #IYP2016

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Orange Rosemary Quinoa with Beans and Pecans — A Meatless Meal for the New Year

If you’ve resolved to eat more meatless meals in the New Year, try this easy-to-prepare quinoa bowl flavored with rosemary and orange zest and filled with dried fruit and protein-powered beans and nuts. 

Orange Rosemary Quinoa with Beans and Pecans via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #quinoa #vegan #glutenfree #vegetarian

I’m susceptible to food obsessions. This year alone, I’ve obsessed over overnight oats, smoothie bowlsspaghetti squash, cauliflower hacks, and just about anything from the kitchens of Chef Yotam Ottolenghi. As for quinoa, it’s been an ongoing obsession, and now that Trader Joe’s sells frozen quinoa that’s ready to eat in less than four minutes, I’m mega obsessed right now.

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Pecan-Crusted Fish Sticks: Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks for Kids

Why buy frozen fish sticks when you can make your own healthy homemade fish sticks from scratch. Our recipe for Pecan-Crusted Fish Sticks is easy and kid-friendly, and each serving has an impressive 22 grams of protein.

Healthy Fish Sticks via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #fishsticks #kids #pecans

Give frozen fish sticks a healthy makeover and get more seafood on to your family’s table with our Pecan-Crusted Fish Sticks. They’re made simply with just six ingredients: Tilapia, whole wheat bread crumbs, pecans, butter, extra virgin olive oil, and ground cumin.

Want to hear all about the role seafood plays in pregnancy? Then tune in to Cooking with the Moms, our weekly podcast on iTunes: (Click the PLAY button below to listen.)

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40 Healthy Winter Squash Recipes Your Family Will Love {Podcast Episode #279}

Winter squash is a nutrient-rich fruit (that’s right, a fruit!) that’s harvested in the fall and consumed all winter long. Our favorite varieties are pumpkin, spaghetti squash, acorn, butternut squash, and delicata, and they’re perfect for hearty side dishes, meatless main meals, stews, chili, muffins, and even desserts.

40 Healthy Winter Squash Recipes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, we feature family-pleasing winter squash recipes from nutrition bloggers across the web. And we also share some helpful winter squash cooking tips and nutrition news. Be sure to read on and tune in!

Winter Squash recipes - Cooking w/ the Moms podcast via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Click the play button above to listen to the show, and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE on iTunes

Healthy Winter Squash Recipes:
A Delicous Roundup

Eggplant Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Boats


Eggplant Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Boats from The Foodie Dietitian (photo above)

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls from The Meal Makeover Moms

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto, Peas and Shrimp from Family Food on the Table

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Roasted Garlic from The Nutty Nutritionist

Three Cheese Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna” from Smart Nutrition

Thai Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash from Russell Nutrition

A Southern Take on Spaghetti Squash from Emma Fogt

Pumpkin Turkey Chili via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen


Pumpkin Turkey Chili from The Meal Makeover Moms (photo above)

Cranberry Pumpkin Butter from My Cape Cod Kitchen

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins from Carrots and Cake

Spiced Pumpkin Bread from Healthy Aperture

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies from Simple Swaps

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Stew from Your Choice Nutrition

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie from Better is the New Perfect

Pumpkin Yogurt with Cinnamon Overnight Oats from RDelish

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie from UNL Food

Roasted Edamame Squash and Brussels Sprouts


Roasted Edamame, Squash and Brussels Salad from Nutritious Eats (photo above)

Butternut Squash Lasagna Soup from Healthy Aperture

Butternut and Arugula Salad from The Lean Green Bean

Vegan Stuffed Shells with Butternut Sage Sauce from Delish Knowledge

Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas from Dietitian Debbie Dishes

Butternut Sage Risotto Balls with Lemon Honey Drizzle from Nutritioulicious

Butternut Squash Gnocchi from Teaspoon of Spice

Roasted Butternut Squash with Broccoleaf Greens from Food Confidence

Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar Roasted Pecans from The Cookin’ RD

Three Cheese Butternut Squash Lasagna from Nourished Simply

Butternut Squash Flatbread with Caramelized Leeks from Eat Chic Chicago

Quinoa Gratin with Butternut Squash from Eating with a Purpose

Butternut Squash Muffins from Prep Dish



Roasted Winter Squash Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook (photo above)

Stuffed Delicata Squash Boats from Hungry Hobby

How to Roast Delicata Squash + a Recipe for Cinnamon Roasted Delicata Squash from The Meal Makeover Moms

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash from {Nourish} Healthy Bites

Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash and Wild Blueberries from The Nutrition Twins

Rosemary Roasted Delicata Squash from Marisa Moore Nutrition

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pumpkin Seed and Cherry Quinoa Pilaf from EA Stewart Spicy RD #WinterSquash


Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pumpkin Seed & Cherry Quinoa Pilaf from Spicy RD Nutrition (photo above)

Curry Roasted Acorn Squash from The Lean Green Bean

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Cherries from Happy Healthy RD

Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Za’atar and Tahini from Avocado a Day Nutrition

Curried Quinoa Stuffed Squash from Plant Eaters’ Manifesto

Slow Cooker Rosemary Acorn Squash from Make Healthy Easy

Baked Acorn Squash with Ground Beef Stuffing from Mom to Mom Nutrition

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

How does winter squash differ from summer squash?

Both types of squash are grown in the summer. Summer squash is harvested in the summer (hence the name) and winter squash is harvested in the fall. Winter squash has a longer growing season, and as a result it develops a tough rind, which extends its shelf-life through the winter.

What’s the best way to slice open a winter squash?

Slicing a dense acorn or spaghetti squash in half can be very difficult. To ease your task, we recommend using the microwave to first soften the “fruit.” Our friends over at Teaspoon of Spice have a helpful step-by-step guide that you may want to check out.

What are the star nutrients in winter squash?

Winter squash is low in calories and high in fiber. The inside flesh of squash is packed with vitamins A and C. For example, one cup of butternut squash provides over 400% of your daily vitamin A requirement and 50% of your vitamin C.

Other fun facts: For the most part, the entire winter squash is edible, including the seeds. {Delicata squash skin is edible, but other squash skins are too tough to consume.) Squash seeds are filled with heart-healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats, magnesium for sturdy bones, and zinc for a strong immune system.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash + a Recipe for Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Learn how to roast spaghetti squash and then create these playful, gluten free, and vegetarian Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls for your family.

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

This recipe adds a fun new twist to taco night. And once you learn my easy-does-it technique for roasting spaghetti squash, dinner will be on the family table in no time.

how to roast spaghetti squash via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Don’t be intimidated by spaghetti squash. Follow my step-by-step guide on how to roast spaghetti squash.

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Start with two smallish spaghetti squash, each weighing less than 2 pounds.

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Carefully slice off the stems and then slice the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and save for roasting. For more on what to do with the seeds, check out Ellie Krieger’s recent story in the Washington Post on, Nutritious Foods You Should Stop Throwing Away.

{If your chef knife isn’t sharp enough to slice the squash in half, poke a few holes in each of the squash and microwave for several minutes to soften a bit.}

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Season the inside of each squash bowl with extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt and pepper. Place the squash, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. You can spray the foil with nonstick spray or not. It does not matter.

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Bake in a 400°F oven for 35 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven, carefully flip, and let cool for 10 minutes. Use a fork to shred the cooked squash into spaghetti-like strands. Keep the strands in the squash shell, and use a “bowl.” {The shell is not edible.}

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

For the topping, I sauteed bell pepper, onion, black beans, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. I’ve also made this with meat-free Beyond Beef Crumble. (I love that product)!

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Playful dinner “bowls” are pretty trendy right now (thank you Chipotle), which is why I was inspired to use spaghetti squash as my vessel.

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Topping options include cheese, avocado, cilantro, and just about anything else you like on your tacos.

Click the play button above to hear all about this recipe on Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show on iTunes

Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls
I've been on a spaghetti squash jag this fall, and I'm having quite a bit of fun dreaming up fun toppings. This topping takes just minutes to prepare, and I think your kids will love it since tacos are always a big hit with families.
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • Two 1½ to 1¾ pound spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-natural barbecue sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • Optional toppings: ½ cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced, fresh cilantro, plain Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Carefully trim off the squash stems. Cut squash in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to remove the seeds.
  3. Brush the insides of the hollowed out squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place, hollowed side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. While the squash is in the oven, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as you go; you don't want the onion to burn.
  5. Stir in the beans, cilantro, barbecue sauce, cumin, and chili powder, and stir to combine. Heat for about 1 minute. Set aside.
  6. Remove the cooked squash from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes. Shred the cooked squash into spaghetti-like strands. Top each bowl with the bean mixture and optional toppings as desired.
Bonus Nutrients: 40% vitamin A, 110% vitamin C, 30% calcium
It's not easy to cut squash in half, so take your time. To soften the squash first, poke a few holes into the squash, place on a microwave-safe plate, and heat in the microwave about 3 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1 "bowl" with ½ cup bean mixture), Calories: 340 Fat: 17g, Saturated fat: 3.5g, Carbohydrates: 45g, Sodium: 570mg, Fiber: 11g, Protein: 10g


Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Hot Pot + Tips for Using Maple Syrup in Everyday Cooking + Cookbook GIVEAWAY {Podcast Episode #278}

There are many more to ways to savor sweet maple syrup beyond the traditional topping for pancakes. Try this sweet and spicy chicken soup for your next family dinner featuring vibrant flavors from pure maple syrup, crushed red chili flakes, and five-spice powder.

Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Hot Pot via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #maplesyrup

New England is known for a lot of things: gorgeous fall foliage, winning sports teams, and naturally sweet and impossible-to-resist pure maple syrup.

Maple Cookbook via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

So when Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup (Quirk Books, 2015) by Katie Webster landed in the Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen, we were more excited than two kids in a candy store as we poured through its sweet pages!

Maple cookbook featured on Cooking with the Moms radio podcast via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

You can hear all about Maple, get tips for using maple syrup in everyday cooking, learn the backstory on how maple trees are tapped, and discover Katie’s formula for using maple syrup in place of sweeteners like granulated sugar on this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast. Katie joins us from her Vermont home where she cooks up new dishes each week for her food blog, Healthy Seasonal Recipes.

Click the play button above to listen, and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our show on iTunes

And read on for Katie’s recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Hot Pot and news on how you can enter to WIN a copy of Maple.

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A Hearty Fall Recipe for Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Stay warm and well nourished this fall and winter with Pumpkin Turkey Chili. Packed with great flavors and immune-boosting vitamin A from the pumpkin, this recipe will please even the pickiest eaters at your table. 

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Even though Halloween is over, we’re still totally obsessed with pumpkin. It’s one of our favorite winter squash varieties, and by using canned pumpkin versus fresh, we keep this recipe as easy peasy as possible!

Watch Liz cook up our Pumpkin Turkey Chili in her CNN AccentHealth video!

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A Recipe for Vegetarian Nut Loaf for The Recipe Redux Challenge

This healthy, vegetarian nut loaf made with walnuts, onion, bread crumbs, and eggs is perfect for #MeatlessMonday.

Vegetarian Nut Loaf made with #walnuts via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

Did you know that National Nut Day is October 22nd? To celebrate, The Recipe Redux asked their food blogger community to share a healthy nut-filled recipe. It took me all of one minute to decide what to make.

When I was a dietetic intern in Boston I lived with my grandmother in West Roxbury. She was a great cook, and I have fond memories of a nut loaf she occasionally made for dinner.

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