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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Spiralized Summer Squash and Pistachio Salad {The RecipeRedux – Podcast Episode #290}

Summer squash is abundant this time of year at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and in CSA baskets, and it’s the star ingredient in this recipe for Spiralized Summer Squash and Pistachio Salad. It’s easy to make and filled with flavor thanks to a lemony dressing with basil and mint.

Spiral Summer Squash and Pistachio Salad via Mealmkakeovermoms.com/kitchen

 

True confession: I do not like summer squash. I find it bland, watery, and, as my daughter would say, “meh!” However, I LOVE this salad. And I am not alone. I had two friends over for dinner the day I made this and they told me they also do not like summer squash. But, all they could do during dinner was go on and on about how much they loved this salad! The crunch and fresh flavors, not to mention the spaghetti-like shape, makes it fun for kids (even picky kids and adults) of all ages.

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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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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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Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad {Recipe Redux} – Inspired by Teaspoon of Spice Blog

Classic panzanella salad is made with tomatoes and chunks of stale (or toasted) bread. Other components include onion and fresh basil. I gave this  tasty Tuscan salad a new and even more nutritious fix by adding some extras including mozzarella cheese, paper-thin slices of English cucumber and radishes, juicy diced watermelon, and mint. I left the onions out since my kids don’t love ’em!

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #salad #watermelon

Every month, we join other like-minded healthy food bloggers for The Recipe Redux cooking challenge. This month, we’re all celebrating ReDux’s 5th birthday by celebrating each other. For the challenge, were were asked to pick a fellow ReDuxer by going to their blog and either making one of their recipes or creating a recipe inspired by theirs.

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

I chose a recipe for Portable Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad, created by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD. Deanna is a Philadelphia-based registered dietitian, food blogger, and co-founder of The Recipe Redux. She blogs with her dietitian partner, Serena Ball over at Teaspoon of Spice where you’ll find fast, healthy, family-pleasing recipes — the kind of food I like to make too. I discovered Deanna’s Portable Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad when she featured it on one of her Facebook LIVE broadcasts. (If you haven’t seen any of Deanna’s Facebook LIVE broadcasts yet or her Healthy Kitchen Hacks, be sure to check them out.) I loved the panzanella-with-fruit idea so much that I decided to give classic panzanella salad my own unique spin by adding watermelon, cucumber, radishes, mint, and mozzarella. I’ve made this recipe two times in the past week, fed it to family and my interns (we have three nutrition students working with us right now!), and I plan to make it over the July 4th weekend as well.

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #salad #watermelon

This salad says summer to me. It’s juicy, crunchy, creamy, sweet, light, and refreshing. I served it as a main dish, but this salad could easily do double duty as a side dish.

For me, the watermelon and mint really make this salad special. You could also add blackberries or raspberries. Red onion or thin slices of green onions would also work really well in the mix.

Thanks for the inspiration Deanna!

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad
 
I don't like to heat up my kitchen in the summer, which is why I turn to salads like this one. Plus, salads can be super nutritious. For my panzanella salad makeover, I use whole wheat bread versus white, add fresh mozzarella cheese for satisfying protein, and load up on the produce by going above and beyond the tomatoes, which you'd expect in a panzanella salad: English cucumber, radishes, watermelon, and mint.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 (Yield = 6½ cups)
Ingredients
  • 3 slices whole grain bread, cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 3 to 4 radishes, cut into thin rounds or half moons (3/4 cup)
  • ½ of an English cucumber, cut into thin half moons (1-1/3 cups)
  • ¾ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1½ cups cubed watermelon, (about ½-inch cubes)
  • 12 mint leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 12 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Place the bread cubes in a bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and stir until the bread is evenly coated with the oil. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, until toasted and crispy. Stir every 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Place the cooled bread cubes on a large platter or in a large bowl. Add the cheese, radishes, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, mint, and basil and stir gently to combine. Drizzle with the remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil and the balsamic vinegar to taste. Stir gently to combine. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Check out all the other Recipe Redux creations this month!

Freekeh Lentil Salad with Chickpeas and California Avocado – A Pulse Pairing Recipe!

– 2016 is the International Year of Pulses and what better way to celebrate than with a pulse-pairing recipe featuring nutrient dense California Avocados, lentils, and chickpeas. This recipe is vegetarian and perfect as a main dish or side salad. 

Freekeh Lentil Salad with Chickpeas and California Avocado via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen #vegetarian #vegan

Lentils, chickpeas, dry beans, and dry peas are pulses. They are high in protein and fiber, inexpensive, and they contain important nutrients like iron, potassium and folate. The United Nations declared 2016 the “International Year of Pulses” (IYP) to raise awareness about the health, nutrition and sustainability of this humble plant-based food group and to celebrate the role of beans, chickpeas, lentils and other pulses in feeding the world.

Avocados pair perfectly with pulses, because together, they provide a mouth-watering symphony of flavors, textures, and nutrients. In this vegetarian recipe for Freekeh Lentil Salad with Chickpeas and California Avocado, the hearty, earthy pulses compliment the creamy, indulgent flavor of the avocados. Together in this scrumptious salad, they provide an impressive 9 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and 20% iron per serving.

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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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