Carrot Cake Re-Mix with Greek Yogurt Frosting

Want to cut 500 calories per serving and lots of sugar from classic carrot cake? Give our healthy Carrot Cake Re-Mix a try. It’s made with wholesome ingredients like whole wheat flour, walnuts, carrots (of course!), and canned pumpkin with a vanilla Greek (or Skyr) yogurt frosting versus the usual sugar/cream cheese combo. And the portion is reasonable, so it’s satisfying but doesn’t leave you feeling ridiculously stuffed.

This is one of our most extreme makeovers ever!

Carrot Cake Re-Mix with Greek Yogurt Frosting via MealMakeoverMoms.com #healthy #dessert

We love nothing more than the challenge of taking a buttery, sugary, all-white-flour dessert and “fixing” it with slimmed down, flavor-filled, and nutrient-rich ingredients. That’s exactly what we just did with a classic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe sent to us by podcast fan (and now, friend!), Patty F., a mom of two.

Carrot Cake Re-Mix with Greek Yogurt Frosting via MealMakeoverMoms.com #healthy #dessert

Patty got the recipe from a friend and had a few ideas for how she could give it a makeover starting with swapping half the white flour for whole wheat. We hit the ground running, and after two tries and lots of healthy carrot cake later, came up with the following makeover strategy:

For the Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour => 1 cup AP flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour
Regular eggs => Omega-3 eggs
2 cups sugar => 1 cup sugar
1½ cups oil => 1/2 cup oil + 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Add ins => Ground flaxseed + walnuts

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A Roundup of 18 Grilled Fruit and Vegetable Recipes – Part 1: Grill Something Unexpected

Looking for new ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your family’s diet? Grill them! Grilling brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables and makes fruit even sweeter.

My roundup of 18 grilled produce recipes below and my family-pleasing Grilled Broccoli with Garlic highlight why grilling fruits and veggies is easy and unexpected. And if you want even more grilling inspiration, be sure to check out part 2 in our series and podcast, featuring our Asian Grilled Turkey Tenderloin with Pineapple.

produce on the grill via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

When most people think of grilling, burgers and chicken may come to mind, but vegetables and fruits can be cooked on the grill just as easily and with amazing results.

Grilled Broccoli with Garlic via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

 

My new recipe for Grilled Broccoli with Garlic (courtesy of my sister, Diane) is a winner because it’s easy, delicious, and nutritious. Scroll down for the recipe.

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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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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Family’s Diet Today! – Part 5: Add 5 Extra Grams of Fiber to Your Diet Every Day

Do you and your kids consume the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber each day (19 grams for children 1 to 3 years old)? Fiber is good for digestion, lowers blood cholesterol, keeps blood sugar in check, plays a role in maintaining a healthy body weight, and is the “food” of choice for the trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Despite all the positive health benefits of fiber, on average, most people consume just 15 grams a day.

5 Ways to Add 5 Extra Grams of Fiber to Your Diet via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #fiber

We’re all about baby steps, so if your diet falls short on fiber, boost your intake by adding just 5 extra grams a day.

In Part #5 of our 5-part series on Easy Ways to Improve Your Family’s Diet, we have 5 surprisingly easy ways to eat those 5 extra grams.

PART: Add 5 Extra Grams of Fiber to Your Diet

5 Ways to Add 5 Extra Grams of Fiber to Your Diet via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #fiber

Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Black Beans: Your gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria, and they thrive on a fiber-rich diet. So turn to beans for an excellent source. Incorporating just a third of a cup of black beans (or any bean variety for that matter!) into your meals and snacks brings you 5 grams closer to meeting your daily fiber goals. Toss beans into your family’s favorite soup, use as a filling in our black bean enchiladas, add to an omelet, or incorporate into a favorite salad.

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Lemony Asparagus and Peas + A Dinner Hack for Surviving Spring Sports

Balance your favorite frozen entrée with this side dish of Lemony Asparagus and Peas for a simple spring meal you can serve on the busiest nights of the week!

Lemony Asparagus with Peas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #vegetables #BalanceYourPlate

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

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America’s favorite pastime is in full swing, which means your kids are probably playing Little League games under the lights and rushing to team practices that last well past dusk. It’s a magical time for kids, but all that running around and coming home late can interfere in a big way with America’s other favorite pastime: DINNER.

Family Dinner via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #vegetables #BalanceYourPlate

What’s a frazzled parent to do? Well, having ‘been there, done that’ with Josh and Simon for more spring times than I can remember, I’ve cooked up a winning strategy for getting fast, convenient, and nutritious meals on your family’s dinner table, even when you walk in the door well past the dinner hour. The secret to fueling your family, especially your pint-size athletes, is to ‘balance your plate.’

Balance Your Plate via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #BYP

 Balance Your Plate is an educational program that helps consumers with simple meal planning by pairing frozen meals and pizzas with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. The recipes and tips on their site (like my Lemony Asparagus and Peas!) are designed to help everyone meet the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
{For more information and resources from Balance Your Plate, visit nestleusa.com/balance.}

 Lemony Asparagus with Peas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #vegetables #BalanceYourPlate

For my spring-time sports dinner hack, I cooked up a Balanced Plate using Grandma’s Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake (Stouffer’s Family-Size meal), my Lemony Asparagus and Peas, fresh berries, and low-fat milk. 

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Arugula, Farro and Pistachio Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Add a healthy, flavorful spin to homemade vinaigrette with convenient frozen raspberries, and then toss the dressing into this nutrient-packed salad made with arugula, pistachios, farro, goat cheese, chickpeas, avocado, carrots… and raspberries! 

Arugula, Farro and Pistachio Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #salad #RedRazz

In case you don’t have a ‘favorite’ go-to salad, we’re here to fill your salad void with a new recipe made with greens, grains, and a dressing featuring frozen red raspberries. It’s as flavorful as it is gorgeous! {We created this recipe in partnership with the National Processed Raspberry Council. We were compensated for our work, and all ideas are our own.}

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Gluten-Free Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar {Podcast #284}

This gluten-free, salad-to-go is filled with fiber, flavor, and heart-healthy omega-3 fat, and whether you’re a busy mom or a school-age kid, we’re pretty sure you’ll look forward to eating it for lunch! 

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

Our new recipe and this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast is sponsored by the California Walnut Commission.

Did you know that walnuts are the only nut—and one of the few foods—significantly high in omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid? One ounce (about a handful) has 2.5 grams of ALA, which is more than the recommended daily amount of 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women.

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

A few months ago, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released. The new recommendations from the USDA encourage all of us to reduce saturated fat intake and shift to foods high in the healthy polyunsaturated fats. Choosing plant-based foods like walnuts is a great way to help you meet that goal.

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

Walnuts are versatile. We love to grab a handful for a snack, add them to breakfast favorites like fruit & yogurt parfaits and overnight oats, and incorporate them into pancakes, cookies and quick breads. They also provide an easy way to add more plant-based protein to things like salads and pasta dinners.

Tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast by clicking on the PLAY button above for our easy Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar as well as two other recipes your family will love: Grab-and-Go Granola Bars and Rosemary and Sea Salt Walnuts.

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

This recipe is super easy. Start with two wide mouth, pint-size Mason jars, and fill each with light Italian salad dressing, quinoa, and white beans (AKA cannellini beans). Mix together and then keep building …

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

… with diced red bell peppers, feta cheese (that’s optional), and quartered kalamata olives …

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

… and then add the final touches with fresh basil and toasted, chopped walnuts. Yes please!

Each serving has over a day’s worth of good-for-you ALA omega-3 fat, 11 grams of filling fiber, and 14 grams of protein.

4.5 from 8 reviews
Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar
 
This gluten-free salad is seriously yummy, and it's super flexible. You can use any bean of your liking or add any veggie you love. Hmmm: Roasted beets sound good right now! And for even more flavor, go ahead and add some lemon zest to the quinoa/bean mixture or just before serving.
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch or Dinner
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons light Italian salad dressing
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • ½ cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper (cut into ½-inch dice)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives, quartered (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ to ½ cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces lightly toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (about ½ cup)
Instructions
  1. Divide the salad dressing evenly between two wide mouth, pint-size Mason jars and top each evenly with the quinoa and white beans. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together until the quinoa and beans are well coated with the dressing.
  2. Continue layering each with the bell peppers, feta cheese as desired, olives, basil leaves, and the walnuts.
  3. Secure the lid and refrigerate. To serve, shake until the ingredients are combined, and then pour into individual bowls, or eat directly from the jar with a spoon or fork.
Notes
One salad has 25% vitamin A, 80% vitamin C, 20% iron, 10% calcium, and 2.7 grams ALA.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1 jar) Calories: 460, Fat: 29g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 40g, Sodium: 590mg, Fiber: 11g, Protein: 14g

GIVEAWAY NEWS – {Giveaway is CLOSED}

Walnut Giveaway

Thanks to our friends with California Walnuts, look what we’re Giving Away:

– Walnut tote bag, which folds into a walnut shell
– Walnut spatula
– Walnut apron
– Walnut Pear Chardonnay Handmade Soap made with walnut shells
– 1 Mason jar filled with walnuts
– One-ounce walnut sample packs
– Recipe cards

TO ENTER add a comment right here on this blog post and tell us about your favorite way to incorporate walnuts into your family’s diet. Or simply tell us why you’d like to win the giveaway! (U.S. and Canada only please)

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 Facebook and Twitter (@MealMakeovrMoms).

Giveaway ends at noon on April 7th, so hurry up and enter! – Giveaway is CLOSED.

Ever wonder how walnuts are harvested? Check out this fun video!

Chilaquiles with Leftover Nachos for Breakfast {The Recipe Redux}

Saving leftover nachos to make chilaquiles (a traditional Mexican egg and tortilla chip breakfast) the next morning is a great way to decrease food waste and shake things up at breakfast.

Chilaquiles via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

This month, our Recipe Redux healthy blogger recipe challenge was to serve up a seven-ingredient-or-less recipe. We were asked to share a healthy, no-brainer dish that we fix for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Since Liz and I had just recorded a podcast on decreasing food waste I was inspired to repurpose some black bean and Cheddar cheese nachos that were left over from the night before.

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Healthy Zucchini Quiche + Finding Common Ground on Diet Advice {Podcast #282}

Eating more plant-based foods and the green light that it’s AOK to include eggs in a healthy, well-balanced diet are two tenants of the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and this healthy Zucchini Quiche fits right in with those diet “dos.”

Quick Zucchini Quiche via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #vegetarian

Here at Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen we embrace eating a variety of foods with an emphasis on consuming plenty of plants and good-for-you fats, keeping saturated fats and nutrient-devoid, heavily processed foods in check, and choosing foods with a healthy and sustainable environment in mind. Easy, right?

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we welcome Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways, to the show to dish about finding common ground among the dueling diets and scientific advice that consumers see every day in the media.

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