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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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


Vegetarian Cheesy Chard & Leek Quiche for Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner + #QuicheFeast

This vegetarian Cheesy Chard & Leek Quiche is made with late autumn Swiss chard picked fresh from my garden and leeks from my CSA. Serve it for brunch, lunch, or dinner!

Cheesy Chard & Leek Quiche via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

I received free samples of Cheddar cheese from Cabot and a bag of all-purpose flour from King Arthur Flour as part of a #QuicheFeast food blogger cooking challenge. I was not compensated for this post.

The Rainbow Swiss chard gave the quiche a strange yet pleasing pink color, and the leeks provided a subtle onion flavor.

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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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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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Egg Salad Gets a Makeover with a Recipe for Healthy Autumn Egg Salad

This healthy Autumn Egg Salad is made with diced apples, celery and shredded carrot, so it’s slightly sweet and oh-so crunchy. And it’s made with plain Greek yogurt and low-fat mayonnaise, which means my recipe makeover is lighter than classic egg salad.

Autumn Egg Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #glutenfree

I was invited to a break-fast dinner on Yom Kippur and asked to bring egg salad. I decided to shake things up by adding chopped apple and a mix of light mayo, Greek yogurt and honey mustard.

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Pizza Pinwheels with Hummus and Veggies for Back-to-School Lunchboxes

Add a fun twist to your child’s lunchbox with this easy-to-assemble recipe for Pizza Pinwheels with Hummus and Veggies. Pack mushrooms and black olives on the side to round out this pizza-licious power lunch.

Pizza Pinwheels with Hummus and Veggies via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Pizza Pinwheels with Hummus and VeggiesDisclosure: I created this recipe for Sabra’s new Pizza Hummus Singles. I was compensated for the recipe development and social media outreach. All opinions are solely my own.

New England Sunset

As the sun sets on our glorious New England summer and my kids head back to school, thoughts of satisfying sandwiches that nourish my boys and keep them feeling comfortably full all afternoon are on my mind.

Pizza Pinwheels with Hummus and Veggies via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

My latest creation for Pizza Pinwheels with Hummus and Veggies hits the spot on so many levels. Full of flavor and health-enhancing ingredients like hummus, carrots, spinach, and low-fat cheese, I know I’ll be turning to this recipe all year long.

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An After-School Snack: Peanut Butter Yogurt Banana Dip

Say it ain’t so! Summer is coming to an end, and it’s back-to-school time … already!

As kids across the country head back to school, parents are scrambling to get back into a healthy mealtime and snack routine. To make that daunting task a tad bit easier, try our easy and nutritious Peanut Butter Yogurt Banana Dip. Got picky eaters? No worries: They’ll love it.

Peanut Butter Yogurt Banana Dip via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack #yogurt #peanutbutter

Look at all those fun, kid-friendly dippers!

Apple Wedges
Graham Crackers
Whole Grain Pretzels
Celery Sticks

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