Sweet Potato and Cauliflower ‘Rice’ Tabbouleh

This gluten-free, vegan tabbouleh is made with cauliflower “rice” instead of the usual bulgur wheat and luscious cubes of roasted sweet potatoes. It’s perfect for lunch boxes taken to work or school.

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Tabbouleh via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #GlutenFree #Vegan

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Favorite Foods of Spain

Spain is known for many things including flamenco dancers, paella, tapas, seafood, and wine. I was lucky enough to attend a conference in Madrid recently and even luckier to have my daughter, Carolyn, fly over at the end of the conference to travel with me for several days. Here are some of the highlights from the trip.

Slicing jamon in Madrid

I arrived in Madrid the day before the conference to explore the city with Kate Geagan and Chris Mohr, two fellow registered dietitian nutritionists. Our first stop was to a tapas bar called El Miajón de los Castúos where we enjoyed the first of many nibbles of fresh-sliced jamón and Manchego cheese. Amazing!

Spanish lunch

Next, we feasted on a six-course lunch, courtesy of Chris’ colleague, Luis, who lives in Madrid. I won’t even attempt to describe all these dishes, but the clams were the best I’d ever eaten. The octopus was, um, interesting!

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Potato Kale Latkes + KALE, GLORIOUS KALE Cookbook Giveaway {Podcast #258}

These Potato Kale Latkes will hit the spot at Hanukkah, or any time of the year, and they’re more nutritious than traditional latkes thanks to the addition of chopped kale.  (Recipe below.)

Potato Kale Latkes from Kale, Glorious Kale

When cooking instructor and author, Catherine Walthers, sent us a copy of KALE, GLORIOUS KALE for review, we proceeded to add a sticky note to just about every recipe in this gorgeous cookbook. We love kale for its versatility, flavor, and nutrition, and now we have 90 new recipes to make for our families … all featuring KALE.

Yes, dear readers: This book is a dietitian’s dream come true!

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Potato Leek Soup for a Fast Lunch or Dinner

Potato Leek Soup makes a perfect wintertime lunch or dinner. Serve with a side salad, croutons on top, or a crusty loaf of bread and it will warm you right up.

Potato Leek Soup via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

 A kid-size portion of this soup with a glass of milk would make a nice after-school snack!

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How to Roast Sweet Potatoes … and a Recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil

If one of your mealtime goals is to get your family to eat more vegetables, this is the time of year to put that goal into action. From Brussels sprouts and butternut squash to pumpkin and sweet potatoes, autumn’s bounty of veggies is a mom’s best friend. One of the secrets to getting kids to try a variety of vegetables and to love them is roasting, a preparation that brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables.

How to Roast Sweet Potatoes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Roasted sweet potatoes are a simple side dish for any weeknight family dinner. They’re rich in immune-boosting vitamin A and are a good source of many nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Once roasted, slice each one open and top with a pat of butter and a pinch of cinnamon, or if you’ve been assigned a Thanksgiving side dish, use them in a luscious sweet potato casserole. (For casseroles, we prefer roasting to boiling or steaming since the latter yields soggy sweet potatoes.) Read on for our tried-and-true sweet potato roasting technique:

How to roast sweet potatoes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Start with three pounds of sweet potatoes. We chose medium-size potatoes for a total of five.

How to roast sweet potatoes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Place one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in a small bowl and melt in the microwave.

How to roast sweet potatoes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Place potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pierce each potato multiple times with a sharp knife. Use a pastry brush to brush the coconut oil over each sweet potato. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

As the sweet potatoes roast, the aroma of the coconut oil and sweet potatoes will make your house smell like candy. Amazing!!

How to roast sweet potatoes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Roast the potatoes at 400°F for 45 to an hour, until soft and easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Dig in!!

French Fries and Fried Chicken Made with Less Fat … and a Giveaway for a T-fal ActiFry!

This month, we’re giving away a kitchen gadget that’s sure to please every French fry lover and fried chicken fan out there! We were recently given the opportunity to try out an ActiFry appliance from T-fal, and we were super pleased with the results. And now, one lucky blog reader or Facebook fan will have a chance to win one.

We made two recipes in the Acti-Fry. The first was these French fries which called for just one tablespoon of oil. They disappeared quickly.

We made the Real Crispy Fries from the ActiFry cookbook using 1¾ pounds of Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch by 3-inch pieces. We placed them in the unit, drizzled 1 tablespoon of canola oil on top, and then set the time for 30 minutes. Voila. Crispy fries!

We also made fried chicken, inspired by a blog post for Korean Fried Chicken from Pig Pig’s Corner. We used 1½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cutting each thigh into thirds). We then created a coating with 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons 1% low-fat milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. We coated the chicken with the batter, placed it into the ActiFry with 1 tablespoon of canola oil, and then “fried” the chicken for 35 minutes. Dip in ketchup, or create your own sauce with your favorite seasonings.

GIVEAWAY NEWS: We’re all for eating a moderate amount of healthy fats, but adding to much fat to the diet — shortening, butter, and other oils high in saturated fat — can raise cholesterol levels and pack on the calories. This handy kitchen appliance cooks up a wide variety of dishes using just one tablespoon of oil. It works by distributing hot air, which circulates and evenly cooks the food. And now, we’re pleased to be giving one away ($250.00 value).

TO ENTER: Leave a comment here or on Facebook and tell us why you’d love to win an ActiFry and/or why you’re trying to cut back on the fat in your everyday cooking.

We 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 Twitter (@MealMakeovrMoms)

Please be sure to leave us a new comment every time you do something extra, and GOOD LUCK. The giveaway ends on February 8th at noon, and as always we’ll use Random.org to pick our winner. Good luck!

A Hanukkah Recipe for Potato Carrot Latkes and Why I Make Them Just Once a Year

Once a year, I put on my game face, don my apron, tell my manicure “bye bye,” shred potatoes, and make a Hanukkah favorite, latkes (AKA potato pancakes).

Latkes are messy and fussy (AKA potchke) and they smell up the house … but they are worth every miserable minute! Yesterday, my son, Simon, walked in the house after I made this batch of Potato Carrot Latkes and declared, “It smells like latkes … gimme some!”

My latkes are pretty traditional, but for this recipe, I added some shredded carrot (golly gee, I just couldn’t resist), and I try not to go overboard on the oil. I use 2 to 3 teaspoons for every 6 latkes.

When I was a kid, my mom made the best latkes in the world … and she still does. She also makes the best applesauce in the world. My kids call it “Bubby’s Applesauce.” I’ll be replicating her applesauce recipe over the holidays and promise to blog about it then. 🙂

Potato Carrot Latkes
Makes 16 – 20 Latkes

  • One 1 pound baking potato
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Canola oil

1. Peel the potato and shred by hand using the large holes of a box grater. For ease, I lay several layers of paper towel on a cutting board and shred the potato directly on the towels. The goal is to shred a third of the potato at a time. I spread the shredded potato over the towels and roll up jelly-roll style. I twist the towel to wring out as much of the liquid as possible. I like to change out the towels once per batch.

2. Once the potatoes are dry, transfer to a large bowl and stir in the carrot, onion, egg, dill, flour, salt, and pepper until well combined.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. (If you want to make that a generous teaspoon, go for it.) Working in batches of 6 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture per latke into the skillet, spreading into flat rounds using the back of a fork. Reduce the heat slightly and cook until the bottoms are browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the latkes, add 1 more teaspoon of oil, and cook until the other sides are browned, 5 more minutes. Adjust heat accordingly. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil and latkes.

4. To keep the latkes warm, place them on a baking sheet and pop it into a warm oven.

I told you making latkes is messy work!

If you’re a fan of latkes or just want to give them a try (misery loves company), check out our Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes.

The New African Heritage Diet Pyramid and a Recipe for Hearty Pumpkin Soup (Podcast 178)

Last May, we featured a blog post and podcast on the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Today, we’re baaaack with the African Heritage Diet Pyramid compliments of our friends at Oldways.  This pyramid celebrates the foods and traditional healthy eating pattern of African heritage with roots in America, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. Many of our favorite foods are featured on the new food-guidance icon: nutrient-rich greens, whole grains, beans, fresh fruits, tubers like sweet potatoes, herbs and spices, and seafood. On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we had an opportunity to chat about the pyramid with registered dietitian, Constance Brown-Riggs, author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes and consultant with Oldways. Read on for delicious highlights from the show and a Caribbean-inspired recipe for Hearty Pumpkin Soup.

According to the Oldways website and our conversation with Constance, African Americans and black populations in the United Kingdom suffer the worst from the consequences of caloric excess and diets high in fat and animal products: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers. The African Heritage Pyramid aims to reverse that trend with a plant-based diet, steeped in tradition and flavor.

Notice how just above the base of the pyramid which stresses physical activity, home cooking, and family meals, are greens — spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, kale, you name it. During the show we shared our favorite ways to prepare these nutritional superstars and promised to share a link to a recipe Liz made recently for Greens with Raisins and Pine Nuts. Enjoy!

The majority of traditional African American foods came straight from the garden with vegetables like asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, garlic, green beans, lettuce, okra, onions, peppers, and pumpkin.

Hearty Pumpkin Soup

Makes 6 Servings

We adapted this recipe from the Plates of Expression shared on the Oldways site. We really love the addition of light coconut milk to this recipe. Along with the honey, it compliments the natural sweetness of the vegetables and makes this soup a favorite with our kids. And as dietitians, we can’t help but smile when our kids slurp their veggies!

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 4 cups all-natural vegetable broth
  • One 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 large potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (canned) or 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted walnuts, chopped, optional

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes.

2. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and curry and cook an additional 1 minute. Stir in the broth, pumpkin, potato, and carrot. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.

3. Cool slightly and puree with an immersion blender until creamy and smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer to a blender and puree in batches.

4. Stir in the coconut milk (or 1% milk) and honey and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional honey and chopped walnuts as desired.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 1 cup):  160 calories, 3.5g fat (0g saturated), 330mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 230% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C

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The pyramid recommends minimal consumption of meats and sweets. In fact, when we asked Constance for a food tip anyone could incorporate today, right now into their usual mealtime routine, she suggested going meatless at least once a week.

For more information on claiming your health through heritage, check out the Oldways brochure, Welcome to the African Heritage Diet. It’s available either as a downloadable PDF or in hard copy and provides 10 simple steps to get you started eating the African Heritage Way!

Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes for a Healthy Hanukkah

Celebrate the festival of lights with crisp and crunchy, healthy Hanukkah latkes made with sweet potatoes, ginger, whole wheat flour, and just a few tablespoons of oil.

Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Our Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes are a flavorful and healthy twist to traditional latke recipes made with LOTS of oil.

The ginger adds a fresh flavor to this simple yet satisfying side dish, and the sweet potatoes bring a big burst of immune-boosting vitamin A to the table.

Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #Hanukkah

Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes

Makes 5 Servings

  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • One 1-pound sweet potato, peeled and shredded (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 cup minced onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2½ tablespoons expeller pressed canola oil, divided

1. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sweet potato, whole wheat flour, onion, salt, ginger, and pepper until well combined.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Working in batches of 4, place 1/4 cup loosely packed potato mixture per latke into the skillet and flatten to 4-inch diameter. Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with another tablespoon of oil and 4 more latkes, and finish with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and 2 latkes. Adjust heat as needed.

Note: To keep the latkes warm, we placed a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet, popped it in a 200 degree oven, and then placed the finished latkes on top.

Nutrition Information per Serving (2 latkes):  170 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated, 0.7g omega-3), 210mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 220% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C

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Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #Hanukkah

What are some of your favorite holiday food traditions? Are you a white potato latke fan or a sweet potato latke fan? Or, have you made latkes with other interesting ingredients? Do tell…

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