Home-Grown Habaneros and my Recipe for Fiery Tomatillo Salsa

What do you get when you open the fridge and see two week’s worth of tomatillos from your CSA and a dozen ripe habanero peppers that your husband picked from the backyard garden? Answer: A lesson in Scoville Units and a tomatillo salsa that is fiery hot!

Fiery Tomatillo Salsa via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

This tomatillo salsa, or salsa verde, was simple to make and the addition of habanero pepper added quite a kick!

Tomatillo Salsa 11

This innocent-looking habanero pepper is one of the hottest peppers on earth. The Scoville scale is a measurement of the spicy heat (capsaicin concentration) of chili peppers or other spicy foods. Most habaneros rate between 200,000 and 300,000 on the Scoville scale. To put that into perspective, a jalapeno pepper rates 1,000 to 4,000. My husband didn’t know this when he planted “some hot peppers” in our garden this year!

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Broccoli Crunch Salad + Pizza = A Family-Pleasing Pairing on Busy School Nights

If back-to-school season means you’re back to running in a million different directions, try this easy and nutritious recipe for Broccoli Crunch Salad. Paired with thin-crust cheese pizza and a glass of low-fat milk, your kids (and you!) will love every bite.

Broccoli Crunch Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

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

Balance Your Plate

The goal of the campaign is to help consumers create nutritious, flavorful, and convenient meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To learn more about Balance Your Plate, visit www.nestleusa.com/balance.

Broccoli Crunch Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Now that my oldest son is at college, life in the kitchen has gotten a little bit easier, but my 16-year old is clearly going through a growth spurt, because he’s currently eating me out of house and home! As my official taste tester for this salad, he practically ate the entire bowl, which of course, made me very happy!

I’m all about balanced meals, so on busy nights when I turn to the convenience of a frozen entree or frozen pizza, while dinner is in the oven, I spend 15 to 20 minutes cooking up veggie side dishes like this healthy broccoli salad.

Broccoli Crunch Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

My recipe is a makeover of mayonnaise-laden broccoli salad. I start with 6 cups of lightly steamed broccoli florets and then toss with a mixture of low-fat mayo, plain Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and pure maple syrup. Dried cranberries and sliced almonds get sprinkled on top.

Broccoli Crunch Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

For this pizza night pairing, I serve a Balanced Plate using  DIGIORNO® pizzeria!™ THIN Margherita, Broccoli Crunch Salad, and low-fat milk.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Broccoli Crunch Salad
Steamed broccoli can get boring after a while, which is why I created this crunchy, flavor-filled salad. Lightly steamed broccoli and a slightly sweet dressing made with wholesome ingredients like Greek yogurt and maple syrup, make this simple side dish impossible to resist.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 6 cups bite-size broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons 0%-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  1. Steam the broccoli florets for 3 minutes. Once steamed, immediately remove to a bowl and place in the refrigerator, uncovered, to cool, about 20 minutes.
  2. While the broccoli is cooling, place the yogurt, mayonnaise, maple syrup, and vinegar in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Top the broccoli with the dressing and stir until the florets are evenly coated. Top with the cranberries and almonds, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1 generous cup) Calories: 100, Fat: 4.5g, Saturated fat: 0g, Carbohydrates: 13g, Sodium: 165mg, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 4.5g

Pizza Pointers

Read the Nutrient Facts panel on your pizza package for portion size suggestions or use this rule of “hand” guideline: Use your hand as a general guide for portion size. Picture your hand as a pizza slice and plan to eat only one hand’s worth for a regular meal. Remember that a child or small woman’s hand is smaller … and, so are their portions.

Hack your pizza by adding nutrient-rich toppings. My favorite pizza hacks on family pizza night include sauteed vegetables: baby spinach, diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and sliced green onions. For more of an adult pizza, I sometimes top with thin slices of tomato.

Balance your plate - Pizza Hacks

For more ideas on how to create delicious, nutritious meals, visit Nestlé’s BYP website at nestleusa.com/balance for meal plans and a Pizza Portion Guide.

Raspberry Farm Tour + A Recipe for Spicy Raspberry Salsa

Imagine spending two days walking through fields of perfectly ripe, ruby-red raspberries (munching all the way!) and then driving a mile down the road to see those same raspberries cleaned, flash frozen, and placed gently into boxes or bags for shipment to grocery stores and foodservice providers nationwide.

Fresh Ripe Raspberries via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Along with six other foodies, I was recently invited to attend an educational raspberry harvest event in Lynden, WA, sponsored by the National Processed Raspberry Council (NPRC). (Did you know that nearly 90% of the frozen raspberries produced in the U.S. come from this area of the country?)

I was compensated for travel and lodging; all comments and opinions are my own.

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Pickled Beet and Veggie Salad with Feta and Pecans {Recipe Redux}

Backyard gardens are brimming with vegetables this time of year, and it’s fun to create recipes based on what’s fresh and ready to pick. Beets, cucumbers, onions, Romaine lettuce and fresh herbs were at their peak in my sister’s Olympia, WA garden during my recent visit, so we decided to create this pickled salad together.

Pickled Beet Cucumber Salad with Feta and Pecans via Mealmakeovermoms.com

For me, the addition of cheese and nuts to a salad really makes it special, so we opted to add feta and toasted pecans to our salad. Another thing that’s special about this salad is the view of Puget Sound … and Mount Rainier when it’s clear.

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Jump on the Spiralized Vegetable Bandwagon with a Recipe for Cucumber and Carrot “Noodle” Salad

From the moment our kids decided it was AOK to eat salad, Caesar was always their favorite. And now, thanks to our intern, Katy, Caesar salad is getting a playful new twist with this spiralized Cucumber and Carrot “Noodle” Salad.

Cucumber and Carrot Noodle Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #spiralizer

Guest Post

Hi everyone! I am Katy Patton, a graduate student at Boston University. This past semester I had the opportunity to take a break from my academic studies to join Liz and Janice in The Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen. As you know, The Moms are always brainstorming new ways to make healthy foods fun for kids, so I knew they would love my go-to kitchen gadget: THE SPIRALIZER 🙂

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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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Grilled Salmon and Veggies with California Avocado Cilantro Sauce, Summer Entertaining with Healthy Fats + CA Avocado Giveaway {Podcast #269}

Fire up your backyard grill and give our new recipe for Grilled Salmon and Veggies with California Avocado Cilantro Sauce a try. This dish is easy to make, celebrates the brightest, freshest flavors of summer, and brings a plateful of good-for-you fats to the table.

Grilled Salmon and Veggies with California Avocado Cilantro Sauce via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Disclosure: We created this recipe for the California Avocado Commission. We were compensated for our work, and all opinions are solely our own. For the full recipe and a primer on dietary fats and why it’s important to eat the right kinds, stop by The Scoop over at CaliforniaAvocado.com

You can also tune into this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast for this recipe and more ideas for boosting the flavor and good nutrition of summer cookouts and gatherings.

 To hear all about summer entertaining with avocados, tune in to COOKING WITH THE MOMS by clicking the play button above. And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our show on iTunes.

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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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Honey-Roasted Rainbow Carrots + Why I’m Obsessed with Yotam Ottolenghi

These colorful, flavorful, gluten-free Honey-Roasted Rainbow Carrots turn plain ol’ baby carrots from so-so to sensational. Your kids will eat them happily! 

Honey-Roasted Rainbow Carrots via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

If your family is bored with raw carrots and dip or steamed carrots with a drizzle of melted butter, shake things up by tossing baby carrots—use the new rainbow variety if you can find them—with honey, extra virgin olive oil, coriander, cumin, and kosher salt and then pop ’em in the oven to roast.

I dished all about this recipe on our Cooking with the Moms radio podcast.

 LISTEN TO COOKING WITH THE MOMS HERE! And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our show on iTunes.

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