A Festive Recipe for Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce from PLENTY by Yotam Ottolenghi … and a Creative BFF Holiday Gift Swap

Many of us have annual holiday traditions, and this year, I started a new one with my four best girlfriends. Instead of the usual Yankee Swap or gift-giving grab bag, we each purchased “our favorite thing” and gave it to everyone.

Five friends + four gifts each = 20 gifts under my friend Meg’s Christmas tree …

I put a lot of thought into my gift and ultimately decided to give everyone a copy of the gorgeous vegetable cookbook, PLENTY: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi. To add a special zing to the gift, I offered to prepare a side dish for our holiday dinner. Hmmmm. What to make? Well, that was easy. I chose the Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce featured on the cover of the cookbook.

Thankfully, everyone raved about this recipe. It was festive and beautiful — perfect for a holiday table with those pomegranate seeds — and the flavors were super interesting: creamy eggplant, earthy thyme, zesty buttermilk sauce, and sweet/tart pomegranate seeds.

Surprise! Everyone was blown away with their copy of PLENTY. It made it even more fun since Wendy, Meg, Marcia, and Michele had just devoured the eggplant dish shown on the book’s cover.  And yes, it tasted as good as it looked.

Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce
Makes 4 Servings

I served the eggplant as a side dish with baked salmon (compliments of our host, Meg), and I made a few tweaks to the dish. Instead of two large eggplants, I used four small ones. I couldn’t find lemon thyme at the market so I used regular thyme, and instead of buttermilk, I used 1% milk and added a few squeezes of lemon juice. This recipe definitely benefits from more than just a pinch of salt; I used kosher salt and seasoned generously. {Recipe sourced from Plenty}

  • 2 large and long eggplants
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish (I used regular thyme)
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper (I used kosher salt)
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar

Sauce:

  • 9 tablespoons buttermilk (I used 8 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk and about 2 teaspoons lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2% fat plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, cutting straight through the green stalk (the stalk is for the look; don’t eat it). Use a small sharp knife to make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin. Repeat at a 45-degree angle to get a diamond-shaped pattern.

2. Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with olive oil—keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft, flavorful and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.

3. While the eggplants are in the oven, cut the pomegranate into two horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl, with the cut side against your palm, and use the back of a wooden spoon or a rolling pin to gently knock on the pomegranate skin. Continue beating with increasing power until the seeds start coming out naturally and falling through your fingers into the bowl. Once all are there, sift through the seeds to remove any bits of white skin or membrane.

4. To make the sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.

5. To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves without covering the stalks. Sprinkle za’atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with lemon thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

My friend, Meg, sets THE most amazing holiday table. Every year, she comes up with a theme and then outdoes herself. This year she created this peacock with materials she found at Michaels Arts and Crafts store.

My BFFs went all out at our holiday dinner. Wendy treated us to a cool and hip Jonathan Adler serving platter, Michele spoiled us with Dior mascara, Marcia gave us all happy feet with these playful Boot Standz, and Meg came up with PowerLine so we could all decorate the insides of our cars with Christmas lights (no kidding).

Feel free to weigh in with your holiday food, party and gift highlights so far this season.

Recipe Redux “Vintage Side Dish” Challenge: Green Bean & Wild Mushroom Casserole … Plus, How We Managed to Test This Recipe Without a Working Oven

It’s Recipe Redux time again, and for this month’s Vintage Side Dish challenge, we updated a time-honored holiday classic: Green Bean Casserole. Traditionally made with frozen green beans, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and topped with French’s French Fried Onions, we felt a made-from-scratch makeover was in order. Deciding not to be too Scrooge or extreme with our recipe renovation, we kept the creamy base with a saucy mix of mushrooms, shallots, a roux of evoo and flour, and low-fat milk, and we played around with two different topping options. And somehow we managed to do it all without a working oven between us. Read on for a tale of two ovens and the recipe.

Green Bean Casserole via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

We couldn’t decide which topping to go with so on one side, we added Trader Joe’s Fried Onion Pieces (not the healthiest topping in the world but an element some folks love too much to give up) and on the other, we used a mix of crushed Corn Flakes, chopped pistachios, and grated Parmesan.

Green Bean & Wild Mushroom Casserole

Makes 6 to 8 Servings

Vegetable side dishes are our favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. But with cans of creamy soups, gobs of butter, and handfuls of full-fat cheese, classic veggie recipes can lose their healthy halo! For our recipe redux, we lightened things up and added big-time umami with the button and shiitake mushrooms.

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Topping / Choice 1:

  • 1 cup fried onion pieces (we used Trader Joe’s brand)

Topping / Choice 2:

  • 1 cup corn flake cereal, coarsely crushed
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the green beans and blanch for 5 minutes. The water will come back up to a boil after about 2 minutes, but your total blanch time should be from the time the beans hit the water until the 5-minute kitchen timer rings. Drain the beans in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven or medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallot, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off most of their liquid, about 7 minutes.

3. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the flour into the mushroom mixture and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the milk and soy sauce slowly into the flour mixture. Raise the heat and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

4. Stir the beans into the sauce until combined. Transfer to a casserole dish and top evenly with either the onion pieces or with a mixture of the corn flake cereal, pistachios, and Parmesan cheese.  Bake until the topping turns golden and the sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information per Serving (with onion topping): 170 calories,10 g fat (3g saturated), 230mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 15% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 15% calcium
Nutrition Information per Serving (with corn flake topping): 160 calories, 9g fat (1.5g saturated), 230mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 6g protein, 15% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 15% calcium, 15% iron

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Our updated green bean casserole with a savory mushroom sauce and some retro Thanksgiving-themed tableware and decorations purchased by Liz at a local tag sale.

So are you ready for the tale of our two ovens? For starters, Janice has no oven. In fact, she has no kitchen. That’s because she’s in the middle of a giant kitchen renovation. For the past few months, we’ve been testing recipes at Liz’s house. As for Liz’s Jenn-Air oven, the other night as she was testing a new recipe for corn flake coated, oven-roasted chicken thighs, her oven became possessed, switched itself onto broil, and proceeded to burn the chicken to smithereens. Thankfully, Liz heard the oven alarm go off before the chicken caught on fire, but the oven was kaput. Needless to say, it’s tough to test recipes when you have no oven.

Here is a photo to prove that Liz is NOT making up this story …

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving everyone. Now feast your eyes and appetites on the dozens of other better-for-you holiday recipes created by Recipe Redux registered dietitians from across the worldwide web :)
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Greek Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill and a Guide for Cooking Quinoa So It Turns Out Fluffy Every Time!

What do you prefer? Mushy quinoa or fluffy quinoa? If you’re like us, fluffy wins every time! But achieving fluffy vs. mushy quinoa can be a challenge, especially if you follow the manufacturers directions stated on most packages. After chatting online with our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, we merged a myriad of suggestions and came up with the ultimate, bottom-line, best-ever technique for cooking quinoa … not that we’re bragging or anything. What follows is our step-by-step Quinoa Cooking Guide and a recipe for Greek Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill.

We’re all about veggie-filled meals and fun, fresh flavors, and that’s exactly what you get with this easy-to-make salad. Serve it as a side dish or a main meal.

Looking for fluff versus mush? Check out our guide for turning out airy quinoa every time:

> Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse very well several times under cold running water. Drain well.

> Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the quinoa in the skillet and “toast,” stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry and gives off a nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes.

> Meanwhile, place desired amount of liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil. We recommend a ratio of 1 cup quinoa to 1½ cups liquid — water, vegetable or chicken broth, apple juice.
*
Please note that our ratio is different from what you typically see on package instructions, but trust us, it works. Also, most recipes suggest mixing the liquid with the quinoa and then bringing the mixture to a boil.  With our technique, we recommend boiling the liquid first before adding the quinoa.

> Add the “toasted” quinoa to the boiling liquid and stir well. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Makes 4 Servings

We love this salad as a side dish for grilled fish or chicken or on its own as a satisfying lunch. As for kids … they LOVE it too!

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1½ cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 medium orange bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • A quarter of an English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse very well several times under cold running water. Drain well. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the quinoa in the skillet and “toast,” stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry and gives off a nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place the water or broth in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the “toasted” quinoa and stir well. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

3. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and fluff gently with a fork every few minutes until the grains cool.

4. Stir in the bell pepper, chickpeas, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, dill, and lemon zest until well combined. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir into the quinoa mixture until the salad is well coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 generous cup): 360 calories, 17g fat (3.5g saturated), 460mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 10g protein, 15% vitamin A, 50% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 20% iron

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Coming soon to the blog …. Almond Cranberry Quinoa Bowl!

What are some of your favorite quinoa recipes? What do you think of our cooking technique? Do tell!!

Orange Foods for Fall … And a Recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Lentils and Walnuts (Podcast #203)

Every autumn, farmers’ markets and local farm stands display their finest seasonal vegetables: winter squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Over the weekend, dietitians from across the web had a chance to show off their best “orange” recipes as part of the monthly Recipe Redux blogger cooking challenge, and over 60 dietitians did just that. We joined the fun with a recipe for Orange Cauliflower Tex Mex Casserole. One dish that caught our eye (and our stomachs) came from Food Confidence, a blog written by fellow dietitian, Danielle Omar. So on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we serve up Danielle’s hearty autumn recipe and offer umpteen reasons why it’s a good idea to add nutrient-rich, orange foods to your family’s diet. We hope you’ll tune in … and we hope you’ll eat more orange!

Butternut squash and other orange-colored foods are packed with beta-carotene, a phytonutrient that gets converted in the body to vitamin A. As for its health benefits, this awesome antioxidant helps to boosts the immune system and protects against conditions like cancer and heart disease.

Danielle’s recipe calls for one to two cups of cooked lentils. Lentils are easy to prepare, but if you don’t have time, you can always let someone else do the work for you. Trader Joe’s has a steamed lentil product that’s pretty darn good!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lentils and Walnuts

Makes 6 Side Dish Servings

We made one small change to this recipe. Instead of buying the whole butternut squash, we took a shortcut and used the peeled, pre-cut squash instead. That affected our cooking time, and we ended up using a bit less evoo. The flavors of this recipe can best be described as sweet and tart with a tiny hint of salty.

  • One 20-ounce package peeled, cubed butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots (about 1 small shallot)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

2. Cut the butternut squash pieces into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the maple syrup, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Place the squash evenly on the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and tender, about 25 minutes. Toss once or twice during cooking to ensure even baking.

4. While the squash is roasting, Combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat a bit, and maintain at a low boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and the mustard.

5. Place the cooked lentils in a serving bowl. Add the roasted squash and the walnuts. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad and stir gently until well coated. (*When Liz made this, she added half the vinaigrette and reserved the rest for a last-minute drizzle at the table.)

Nutrition Information per Serving (a generous 1/2 cup):   260 calories, 16g fat (2g saturated, 1g omega-3), 85mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g protein, 200% vitamin A, 35% vitamin C, 10% iron

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In case you haven’t had a chance to check out our Orange Cauliflower Tex Mex Casserole recipe yet, here it is!

Recipe Redux October Cooking Challenge: Orange Cauliflower Tex-Mex Casserole

Every month (well, almost every month), we participate in the Recipe Redux dietitian blogger cooking challenge. This month’s assignment: A recipe featuring orange food. We have two fabulous nutrition students from Boston University who are interning with us for the semester, so we asked them to create an orange recipe and write a guest post.

Sophie and Annette were like kids in a  candy store when we dropped them off for a scouting mission at Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA. They grabbed a bunch of orange foods including Rugosa Squash (we blogged about this heirloom variety last week) and these gorgeous heads of orange cauliflower.

Read on for the guest post and the recipe! (And while you’re at it, be sure to check out Annette’s blog, Food Science Nerd!)

Hi Everyone. We’re Sophie and Annette, and we’re seniors at Boston University. Sophie is originally from England and Annette grew up in Durham, NC. Coming out to Liz’s house in Lexington for the past few weeks has been a nice break from our fast-paced, always-studying lives in Boston. And since both of us love to cook, we’ve enjoyed our time in the temporary MMM Kitchen (The Moms usually cook at Janice’s house but her kitchen is getting a makeover)! We had a blast cooking this casserole for the Recipe Redux, and we can’t’ wait to read all of the other posts.

Some of our favorite finds at the farm (from top left) were the Cinderella pumpkins (shout-out to Annette’s Disney obsession), the golden beets, sugar pumpkins, and small “fancy” gourds, but we decided the best option for this challenge was the orange cauliflower.

Sophie had a flashback to a childhood favorite called Cauliflower Cheese. Her mum (that’s what they call “moms” in the UK) made this recipe all the time using a lot of butter and Cheddar cheese, so we decided to use it as the starting point for our recipe redux.

The original Cauliflower Cheese recipe was handed down to Sophie’s mum from her grandma. Now, we’re turing it into a lighter but equally flavorful Meal-Makeover-Mom-approved version. To do that, we replaced the butter with olive oil to increase the amount of heart-healthy fats and replaced the whole-fat cheese with reduced fat.  We also reduced the amounts of both ingredients to lower the overall calories and fat.  We spiced up the recipe with green onion, cumin, and chili powder and added extra crunch with a sprinkle of Panko bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.

This is what it looks like, all bubbly and crunchy straight out of the oven!

Orange Cauliflower Tex-Mex Casserole

Makes 6 to 8 Servings (7 cup yield)

Who could turn down cauliflower with a recipe like this one? It’s so comforting! By the way, if you can’t find orange cauliflower, use the regular white. It’s still packed with great nutrition.

  • 1 large head of orange cauliflower cut into 1-inch, bite-size florets (about 9 cups)
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced, white and light green parts
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (1 cup)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour 1/2-inch of water into the bottom of a medium-size saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Place the cauliflower in a steamer basket and lower into the pot. Reduce the heat to a low boil, replace the lid, and steam the cauliflower until crisp tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a 7 x 11-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Carefully empty the water from the saucepan and wipe away excess moisture with a paper towel. Place the oil in the saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and whisk constantly until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Whisk the milk, cumin, and chili powder slowly into the flour mixture. Raise the heat and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce evenly over the cauliflower. Stir together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese bubbles, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Reposition rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. Place casserole back in oven and broil until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 1 cup):  170 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated), 230mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 11g protein, 190% vitamin A, 110% vitamin C, 25% calcium

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Don’t be fooled by how indulgent this dish tastes! One cup of raw cauliflower has only 25 calories, and orange cauliflower has the added benefit of higher amounts of carotenoids, the antioxidants that give this veggie its orange color.  One 1-cup serving of this casserole provides 25 percent calcium, thanks to the low-fat milk and Cheddar cheese, a dash of phytochemicals from the cumin, and a whole serving of veggies.

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An Autumn Recipe for Roasted Rugosa Squash

We’ve just returned from the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Philadelphia, PA and we’re crazy busy organizing our thoughts for a Cooking with the Moms podcast episode dedicated to the 2012 conference. We plan to publish it to iTunes this Friday, so bear with us. While you’re waiting for the show to hit the airwaves, we thought you’d enjoy our latest recipe for a super-duper nutritious side dish featuring Rugosa Squash.

Rugosa is an heirloom squash that originated in Italy. It’s also referred to as wrinkled butternut and violin squash. We found this weird-on-the-outside, gorgeous-on-the-inside vegetable at Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA.

Since neither of us owns a machete, we bought the squash cut and seeded :)

Squash is rich in immune-boosting vitamins A and C and brings a boatload of fiber (and great flavor) to the diet. Roasted or steamed and then mashed, it’s a great first food for babies and toddlers.

Roasted Rugosa Squash

Makes 5 to 6 Servings

Rugosa is similar to butternut squash, but it’s definitely bolder in flavor and the texture is denser and almost creamy.

  • 2 to 3 pounds Rugosa Squash, cut lengthwise and seeded (we used two, 1.5 pound halves)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • A few pinches each of ground cinnamon, kosher salt, and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Place half a tablespoon of butter in each squash cavity. Sprinkle cinnamon, salt, and pepper over the squash.

2. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake until the squash is fork tender, an additional 30 to 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the squash. Slice into 2-inch pieces and serve family style on a platter.

You can even eat the skin once it’s baked!

A Mediterranean Small Bites Cooking Class and a Recipe for Green Pea Hummus

Every summer I host a team-building cooking party for a group of “Future Leaders” from the National Fisheries Institute. This is the second year the cooking class was held at Create a Cook in Newton, Massachusetts, a place where kids and adults can sign up for hands-on cooking classes. The menu featured Mediterranean small bites — everything from our Grilled Salmon with Avocado Tarragon Sauce to Green Pea Hummus to Lobster Mango Salad with Sweet Vanilla Dressing — and all the leaders, whether seasoned cooks or novices in the kitchen, had a chance to prepare and share a recipe.

Made with everyday ingredients, this Green Pea Hummus with toasted focaccia bread, was easy to make, and I’m sure it’s something my family would love.

Through hands-on learning and networking with industry peers, NFI’s “Future Leaders” program nurtures the next generation of leadership within the seafood industry. Each year, the group has an opportunity to travel to Boston for an array of activities including the cooking party. Read on for the hummus recipe and highlights from the night.

Green Pea Hummus
Makes 30 Servings

This recipe is adapted from The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian by Sally Butcher. It’s an interesting change from traditional chickpea hummus, and I think it would be great as a sandwich spread as well as a dip. Peas are a good source of vitamin A, bone-building vitamin K, and a host of antioxidants. I hope you like garlic!

  • 2 pounds frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • Juice of 3 to 4 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime
  • 4 loaves of Focaccia Bread

1. Bring the peas to a boil in a pan of water and cook for around 5 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold running water.

2. Pop them in the blender along with the tahini, lemon, garlic, oil, cumin, and parsley. Blend well. If too stiff, add some cold water to loosen it up.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice, and serve with toasted focaccia bread.

 Future Leaders at work making one of my favorite dishes of the night … Thai Shrimp Tacos with Slaw.

Homemade pasta being expertly prepared for the Manti Turkish Ravioli with Spiced Lamb and Yogurt.

Under the watchful eye of Chef Sam, everyone was intent on chopping and measuring their ingredients just right.

In keeping with the small bites theme, our Grilled Salmon with Avocado Tarragon Sauce from page 84 of No Whine with Dinner was turned into pop-in-your-mouth pieces. You can also make the sauce with cilantro instead of the tarragon.

 Before everyone headed into the kitchen, I showcased a few unusual ingredients including kaffir lime leaves, daikon radish, and tamarind paste, and I demo’d how to “hedgehog” a mango and slice and peel an avocado.

 I gave away two copies of No Whine with Dinner. Alex,a leader from New York, won a copy for knowing that in addition to seafood, Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a mineral that may lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.

 Nick from Seattle, my other lucky winner, has four kids under the age of seven, so I just had to give him a book!!

NFI’s website, AboutSeafood.com, is a great resource with recipes as well as useful information about buying and cooking seafood and health and nutrition. Check it out …

Summer Burgers Get a Healthy and Flavorful Makeover with a Recipe for Minty Lamb Burgers with Walnuts and Feta (Podcast #196) PLUS a Giveaway for Williams-Sonoma Melamine Dinnerware

Lights, camera, action! Last week, Janice appeared on Boston’s FOX 25 Morning Show to dish about summer burger makeovers. The three recipes she showcased on the segment were our Mushroom Burgers with the Works with a Basil Cannellini Spread, Minty Lamb Burgers with Walnuts and Feta, and Berry Biscuit Burgers. We chat about our favorite burger makeovers, alfresco dining, and share the latest nutrition news on lamb on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast. Tune in and read on for the scoop on our latest giveaway for a set of four Williams-Sonoma durable plastic Bastille melamine dinner plates, a gorgeous serving platter, and a grilling thermometer (value $100).

Traditional beef burgers get a makeover with our new recipe for Minty Lamb Burgers with Walnuts and Feta. Ground lamb is a nice change of pace from the usual ground beef and turkey. Three ounces has about 200 calories and 12 grams of fat and the taste of the meat can best be described as rich and slightly stronger in flavor than beef. Serve our burger makeover on whole grain buns and top with lettuce, tomato, and our Cucumber Mint Topping, and you’ve got a burger makeover worth bragging about!

Don’t eat that burger! Janice gets a little silly before the segment goes “live.”

Every time you fire up the backyard grill, cook up a bunch of vegetables … or fruit. On the set, Janice showed off these beautiful kebabs made with chunks of pineapple, mushrooms, and diced red and orange bell peppers. Brush with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper before placing on the grill.

Minty Lamb Burgers with Walnuts and Feta

Makes 6 Servings

Ground lamb is one of those foods that you try and say sheepishly, “Wow, where has this been all my life?!”  Janice’s 12-year-old daughter, Leah, asks for lamb burgers every time she lays eyes on the outdoor grill! To put the nutritional benefits of lamb in perspective, one of our burgers provides about half of Leah’s protein requirement for the day along with a host of other nutrients including selenium and zinc, minerals important for a healthy immune system.

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A few cranks of freshly ground black pepper
  • Six whole wheat hamburger rolls
  • Lettuce leaves, tomato slices, Cucumber Mint Topping, optional

1. Preheat the grill to medium.

2. Gently combine the lamb, walnuts, feta, mint, salt, cinnamon, and pepper in a large bowl. Divide the mixture and shape into 6 patties, each about 4 inches in diameter.

3. Place the patties on the grill and cook until no longer pink inside and an instant-read thermometer registers at least 160 degrees, about  5 minutes per side.

4. Serve on the burger buns with lettuce, tomato, and Cucumber Mint Topping as desired.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 burger): 390 calories, 21g fat (7g saturated, 1.2g omega-3), 420mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 25g protein, 10% calcium, 25% iron

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Cucumber Mint Topping

Makes 4 Servings

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 cup plain 0%-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise, and remove seeds with a spoon. Cut into thin half-moon slices.

2. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.

For more lamb recipes, visit LeanOnLamb.com.

Our Mushroom Burgers with the Works get topped off with grilled red onions, slices of fresh mozzarella, lettuce, and tomato. And the basil bean dip on the side makes a creamy yet nutrient-rich and low-fat topping.

Food stylist, Ginna from Kitchen Consultants, helped Janice with the food prep and presentation. What a pro!

GIVEAWAY NEWS:  Thanks to our friends at the Tri-Lamb Group, we’re giving away some terrific essentials for an alfresco dinner.  One lucky blog reader, podcast listener, or Facebook fan will win a set of four Williams-Sonoma durable plastic Bastille melamine dinner plates, a serving platter, and a grilling thermometer (value $100).

TO ENTER: Leave a comment here or on Facebook and tell us about your favorite cut of lamb and how you like to prepare it. We will enter you into the giveaway additional times if you …

> Subscribe to our RSS feed.
> 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 August 17th at noon, and as always we’ll use Random.org to pick our winner.

Disclosure:  Janice is working with The Tri-Lamb Group this summer to create recipes and to help spread the word that lamb is a delicious and nutrient-rich food for families.

French Kids Eat Everything Giveaway and a Recipe for Five-Minute Fish en Papillote (Podcast #195)

Getting kids to eat and LOVE a healthy, veggie-filled diet can be a challenge for some families. Here to the rescue is Karen Le Billon, mother of two and author of the new book, French Kids Eat Everything: How our family moved to France, cured picky eating, banned snacking, and discovered 10 simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters. Wow, that’s a mouthful! Karen joins us on this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio show to chat about her secrets for getting children everywhere to adopt a healthier way of eating and to share two of her recipes: Cauliflower Casserole (also known as Gratin de Chou-Fleur) and Five-Minute Fish en Papillote. We’re also giving away a copy of Karen’s book, so read on for the details.

 Janice made Karen’s five-Minute fish and used two 12-ounce fillets of barramundi.  The flavor of the dish was very lemon-y thanks to the juice of an entire lemon.

Sometimes you just have to improvise. Janice didn’t have any plain yogurt on hand, so she used a combo of light mayonnaise and low-fat sour cream instead.

If you don’t have parchment paper, use aluminum foil. We use it for our Teriyaki Salmon in Foil recipe and it works wonders.

Five-Minute Fish en Papillote

Makes 2 adult Servings

Here’s what Karen has to say about this recipe: “Cooking en papillote means tightly wrapping something (usually fish) in parchment paper and baking it in the oven. The dish steams in its own juices, and the flavors are wonderfully concentrated. Bring the baking dish to the table, and watch everyone’s faces as you unfold the wrapping to release the savory steam.” From French Kids Eat Everything.

  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 fillet of fish per person (salmon, sole, and halibut are our favorites)
  • 1 medium zucchini (for every 2 fillets), sliced thin (but not peeled)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or mayonnaise or creme fraiche, if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup fresh minced chives
  • Optional: salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Choose a baking dish that’s just big enough to hold the fish in a single layer. On a work surface, spread out a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil that’s twice as big as the dish. Spread the oil over half of the sheet and lay the fish on the oil (skin-side down, if appropriate).

3. Layer the zucchini slices on top of the fish.

4. Mix the lemon juice, yogurt, chives, and salt and pepper, if desired, and pour the mixture on top of the fish.

5. Fold and close the paper tightly so that no steam can escape (I usually make two or three folds with the two edges, then tuck the ends under). Bake for 10 minutes per inch measured at the thickest part of the fish (no peeking!). You’ll know it’s done when it flakes easily when a fork is inserted gently.

Tip: Kids love helping to prepare this meal: wrapping the fish in it’s “cocoon” before it heads into the oven feels festive, like preparing a lovely present.

We adore the French Food Rules outlined in the book. They can all be easily adapted to North American kids: Slow food is happy food (as in eat slow); Remember, eating is joyful; Eat your veggies … think variety; Kids eat what adults eat … no short-order cooking! Karen is a mom after our own hearts :)

GIVEAWAY NEWS: One lucky blog reader, podcast listener, or Facebook fan will win a copy of Karen’s new cookbook, French Kids Eat Everything.

TO ENTERLeave a comment here or on Facebook and give us your BEST tip for getting your kids to eat a healthy diet, packed with nutrient-rich foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, seafood, and beans!  We will enter you into the giveaway additional times if you …

> Subscribe to our RSS feed.
> 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 August 9th at noon, and as always we’ll use Random.org to pick our winner.

The Recipe Redux: Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad with Feta and Basil from Michael Natkin’s New Cookbook, Herbivoracious

For this month’s Recipe Redux blogger cooking challenge, we were charged with creating a no-cook, beat-the-heat recipe for summer. We decided to take the lazy route (hey, after all it’s summer!), and plucked a recipe for Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad with Feta and Basil from the stunning new cookbook, Herbivoracious (Harvard Common Press, 2012). Written by blogger, Michael Natkin, the book features 150 vibrant and original vegetarian recipes … everything from Caramel-Cooked Tofu and Swiss Chard and Tomatillo Enchiladas to Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding.

We had the pleasure of meeting Michael in person back in May at a book launch event in Boston. Michael is a talented cook and food photographer, and he uses big, bold flavors from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Asia for his meat-free recipes.

We were drooling over Michael’s book when we got word about the Recipe Redux July assignment, so it made sense to see if Herbivoracious had a recipe that fit the bill.  … And it did.

We adapted this recipe a bit based the ingredients in our gardens, from our CSAs, and our kids’ palates. Instead of roasted red or yellow peppers, we used a diced bell pepper. We added some fresh shucked peas and used the zest of the lemon as well as the juice.

Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad with Feta and Basil

Makes 8 Side Dish Servings

Michael, blogger extraordinaire at Herbivoracious, suggests a variation of this recipe with the addition of a few cups of prepared Israeli (AKA pearled) couscous. We love that idea but didn’t do it this time around since our challenge was a no-cook recipe!

  • Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Half a red onion, finely diced
  • Half an English cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 jar roasted red or yellow peppers, coarsely chopped (we used a small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 handful fresh peas (about 1/3 cup)
  • 8 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (we also added the zest)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the chickpeas, onion, cucumber, roasted peppers or fresh bell pepper, fresh peas, feta, garlic, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil in a salad bowl. Toss well.

2. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Depending on how salty your feta is, you might not need any salt.

3. Serve right way, or refrigerate for up to a few hours.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 220 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated), 330mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 8g protein, 80% vitamin C, 15% calcium, 10% iron

Print Recipe

We’d love to have Michael join us as a guest on our Cooking with the Moms radio podcast. Now that his book tour schedule is winding down, maybe we can pin him down. Stay tuned :)

Let’s see what our fellow Reduxers “cooked up” this month!

get the InLinkz code


A Recipe for Cauliflower Casserole and a Sneak Peak at “French Kids Eat Everything” by Karen Le Billon

We spend a lot of time chatting with fellow moms about strategies for getting their picky eaters to try new foods and to become more adventurous at the dinner table. Now, to the rescue with her own set of strategies is Karen Le Billon, author of the new book, French Kids Eat Everything. Karen will be a guest on our Cooking with the Moms radio podcast in a few weeks, but we in the meantime, we couldn’t resist sharing a few tips from the book and Karen’s simple recipe for Cauliflower Casserole (or as they say in France, Gratin de Chou-Fleur).

We don’t know about you, but we’re always on the lookout for new veggie recipes everyone will devour. This vegetable side dish hits the spot.

The subtitle of Karen’s book is: How our family moved to France, cured picky eating, banned snacking, and discovered 10 simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters. The “eaters” she’s referring to are her two daughters whose eating habits improved dramatically after a few months living in France, and Karen’s French Food Rules make a lot of sense. We’ll tell you more about them when the podcast goes “live,” but here are a few to whet your appetite:

> Parents: You are in charge of food education.
> Kids eat what adults eat … no short-order cooking.
> Eat your veggies: Key … think variety.
> You don’t have to like it but you do have to taste it.
> No snacking: It’s OK to feel hungry between meals.

Karen’s recipe calls for milk in the béchamel (white) sauce. We went with 1% low-fat milk because that’s what we always have on hand. It was perfect. We also added a tablespoon of chopped, fresh tarragon from Liz’s garden because this herb is often used in French cuisine so it made sense to add it (and it turned out to be an awesome addition).

Cauliflower Casserole

Makes 6 Servings

This recipe is adapted from French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon (Morrow, 2012). We changed it up a bit by using 1% low-fat milk (gotta love all the calcium) and 3 tablespoons of butter versus 4 and by adding fresh tarragon.

  • 1 medium-size head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon (we added 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh tarragon)

1. Put a pot of water to boil on the stove, preheat your oven to 350°F, and butter a medium casserole dish.

2. Meanwhile, add the cauliflower to the pot when the water is at a rolling boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes while making the white sauce.

3. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, stir well (until the flour is absorbed), raise the heat to high, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the milk and stir constantly until the mixture has thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and other optional seasonings.

4. To make the topping, mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl.

5. To make the gratin, drain the cauliflower (which will be soft but not flopping) and place it in the dish. Pour the white sauce on top, sprinkle with bread-crumb mixture, and bake for 10 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and crunchy.

Nutrition Information per Serving:   190 calories, 9g fat (g saturated), 280mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 9g protein, 100% vitamin C, 20% calcium

Print Recipe

Karen Le Billon is an inspiration, and her ideas for transforming kids’ diets from ho-hum to spectacular are right in line with our Meal Makeover Mom food philosophy. We hope you’ll check out her site and tune into Cooking with the Moms when the show goes “live.” Stay tuned :)

We hope you enjoy this cauliflower casserole as much as our families did.

Roadside Treasures and a Recipe for Waldorf Salad from the Comfort Food Fix Cookbook

If you listen to our podcast, you probably know by now that I’m just a tad bit obsessed with pretty plates, platters, silverware, and glassware. My cabinets are bursting at the seams, and my husband can’t understand why I still go to Home Goods and can’t resist a local tag sale! Last weekend, one of my neighbors put out a For Sale sign along with dozens of boxes and bags destined for the trash. Yours truly could not resist taking a peek, and before you know it, I had happily relocated a few roadside treasures from the curb to my kitchen.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I especially love the funky floral serving dish — made in Italy — which I used for serving the Waldorf Salad from Ellie Krieger’s latest cookbook, Comfort Food Fix.

Janice and I each just received a copy of Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger. Ellie will be on our Cooking with the Moms podcast in a few weeks to talk about healthy summer snacking ideas for families, so we thought it would be fun to cook up a few of her recipes first. Over the weekend (after my little “shopping” spree), I assembled her Waldorf Salad. Josh, my 17-year old son, ate a giant portion. He loves the earthy flavor of celery, so I knew he’d like this recipe. He also said it reminded him of the food at the Mohonk Mountain House, an old-time hotel we stay at with my family every summer. Waldorf Salad is an old-fashioned recipe, so I was not surprised it tasted like the food at Mohonk.

Ellie gives Waldorf Salad a “fix” by creating a light and flavorful dressing with nonfat Greek yogurt, and she amps up the good nutrition by adding grapes, walnuts, and celery to the apple mixture.

Waldorf Salad

Makes 4 Servings

I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe based on what I had on hand. I used low-fat mayonnaise, a bit less celery (I was running low), and a few extra grapes. I could not stop eating this salad! Simon wasn’t crazy about it but then again, he dislikes celery, so his reaction was no surprise. The next time I made it, I’ll pull some out for Simon before I add the celery.

  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek-style nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red apple, cored and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 ribs celery, diced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup halved seedless grapes

1. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until fragrant and golden. Set aside and allow to cool, then chop coarsely. (I toasted mine in the toaster oven.)

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and black pepper. Fold in the walnuts, apple, celery and grapes.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cup): 150 calories, 1.0g saturated fat, 290mg sodium, 3g fiber

Print Recipe

I used my Instagram app for this photo. Don’t you just love it?!

Stay tuned for our Summer Snacking podcast … coming your way soon :)

Eat Whole Grains … and a Recipe for Over-the-Rainbow Brown Rice (Podcast Episode #184)

It’s not every day you get to ride around Boston in a Duck Boat (unless you’re a tourist), but last Wednesday during National Whole Grain Sampling Day, we joined our friends from Oldways and the Whole Grains Council to spread the word that oats, wild rice, quinoa, farro, popcorn and other whole grains are a healthy, delicious, and convenient addition to anyone’s diet. We serve up a whole lot of info about whole grains on this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, feature an interview with Cynthia Harriman from the Whole Grains Council, and share a recipe for Over-the-Rainbow Brown Rice.

Have Duck Boat, will travel. We drove around Boston all day handing out samples of whole grain food products.

Just a few of the food products sampled around Boston.

Cynthia is one smart cookie, and we’re so happy she joined us on the show. She explained how whole grains have three edible parts — the outer bran layers which are rich in fiber and B vitamins … the germ, which is rich in antioxidants … and the starchy endosperm. When the healthy bran and germ are removed, the grain becomes refined and a lot less nutritious. She also shared a long list of whole grain meal and snack options — everything from a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast to crunchy corn tortilla tacos for dinner.

This recipe is in our cookbook, No Whine with Dinner!

Over-the-Rainbow Brown Rice

Makes 6 Servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, optional
  • 2 cups all-natural vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes.

2. Stir in the rice and thyme as desired, and cook, stirring a few times, for 1 minutes. Stir in the broth, raise the heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed, 40 to 45 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the corn and peas, replace the lid, and let stand an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information per Serving (generous 1/2 cup): 160 calories, 3.5g fat (0.5g saturated), 160mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 45% vitamin A

Print Recipe

For more whole grain recipe ideas, cooking tips, and resources, visit the Oldways website.

A Visit from a Super Fan, Vacation Memories, and Two New Recipes: Salmon BLTs with Avocado and Parsnip Fries with Rosemary (Podcast #182)

Spring has arrived early here in New England, but that hasn’t stopped us from savoring the memories from our winter vacations last month. Janice traveled to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico where she enjoyed lots of sunshine and Liz and her family hit the slopes of Park City. We chat about out food and fitness adventures on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast. We’re also joined by Patricia, a mom of two girls from Rhode Island, an avid podcast listener, and a wonderful Meal Makeover Mom fan who popped in to say hi and cook two recipes with us: Salmon BLTs with Avocado (inspired by one of Liz’s Park City meals) and Baked Parsnip Fries with Rosemary from the March issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

Our Salmon BLT with Avocado is more of a concept than an actual recipe. We used salmon burgers but you could use grilled salmon filets instead. You could also use any kind of bacon — turkey, applewood smoked, or vegetarian, any kind of lettuce, the bread or rolls of your dreams, and so on and so on and so on …

Salmon BLT with Avocado

Makes as many servings as you want!

  • Salmon burgers (we used Trader Joe’s frozen salmon burgers)
  • Canola mayonnaise
  • Whole wheat burger buns
  • Lettuce leaves (we used Romaine lettuce)
  • nitrite-free bacon, cooked and drained (we used 2 slices per burger)
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced avocado

1. Cook the salmon burgers according to package directions.

2. Build the burgers by spreading mayonnaise on one side of each burger bun (the amount of mayo can vary depending on personal taste). Layer with the lettuce, salmon burger, bacon, tomato, and avocado. Place the remaining burger buns on top.

Print Recipe

Liz and Patricia peel and slice lots and lots of parsnips and carrots!

One tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary adds a huge kick of flavor to the “fries.”

Baked Parsnip Fries with Rosemary

Makes 6 Servings

When Liz and Simon split a Salmon BLT sandwich at a restaurant called Easy Street Brasserie in Park City, there were rosemary fries on the side. Coincidentally, the March issue of Bon Appetit featured a recipe for parsnip/rosemary fries, perfect as a side dish for our BLTs!

  • 2½ pounds parsnips or carrots, peeled, cut into about 3 x 1/2-inch strips (we used a combo of two, 1-pound bags of parsnips and 1/2 pound carrots)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix parsnips, chopped rosemary, garlic, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer. Scatter rosemary sprigs over.

2. Roast for 10 minutes; turn parsnips and roast until parsnips are tender and browned in spots, 10–15 minutes longer. Crumble leaves from rosemary sprigs over; discard stems and toss to coat. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cumin over. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cumin, if desired.

Print Recipe

We can’t thank Patricia enough for cooking with us and for joining us on the podcast. We invite all of our fans to come visit The Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen (not all at once, it’s not that big a kitchen)! It’s a blast to meet our fans face to face, and we hope more of you stop by for a visit soon.  :)

Creamed Spinach Gets a Healthy Makeover with our New Recipe for Crazy-Good Cream-less Creamed Spinach, and our Holiday Food Recap (Podcast #172)

When we think of creamed spinach, our minds wander back to the 1950s and 60s. We’re not sure why, but creamed spinach has a certain, shall we say, retro feel about it. It’s also loaded — and we mean loaded — with more saturated fat and calories than a nutrient-rich vegetable like spinach deserves!

A few weeks ago, Facebook fan, Cindi, sent us her family’s favorite creamed spinach recipe and asked us to give it a makeover, so we did what we usually do and got cooking. Cindi’s recipe, made with half & half, full-fat cream cheese, and lots of butter, needed a slim down (and a bit of a flavor boost). To that end, we created a cream-less base for the spinach using 1% low-fat milk, a roux made with olive oil versus butter, and a bit of light cream cheese. For added flavor, we turned to sauteed onion, nutmeg, and grated Parmesan cheese. We share the recipe on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast and chat about our favorite holiday recipes and food adventures from the 2011 season.

Crazy-Good Cream-less Creamed Spinach

Makes 6 to 8 Servings

Liz’s 13-year old son, Simon, has declared this recipe his hands-down new favorite. His exact words … “it’s mad good.” That’s pretty high praise from a young teenager, don’t you think? We sure hope your kids love it as much as Simon does!

  • Two 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • A few generous pinches ground nutmeg (use fresh if you have it)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese

1. Cook the spinach according to package directions. Once cooked, drain in a colander, and press with the back of a large spoon to remove excess moisture. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth and golden, about 2 minutes.

3. Whisk the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg slowly into the flour mixture. Raise the heat and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat and whisk in the Parmesan cheese and cream cheese until the cream cheese melts. Stir in the cooked spinach, and season with additional salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Place over low heat and reheat if necessary.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 1/3 cup): 150 calories, 9g fat (2.5g saturated, 0.5g omega-3), 300mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 7g protein, 190% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 25% calcium, 10% iron

Print Recipe

For comparison sake, Cindi’s creamed spinach is a lot higher in the numbers: 210 calories, 17 grams fat, and 10 grams saturated fat (that’s about half a day’s worth).

Our healthy “creamed” spinach recipe is a keeper for sure. Perfect for the holidays … or any time of the year as far as we’re concerned. As for the holidays, we ate a lot! What follows are just a few of the culinary highlights:

Before: Janice’s daughters, Carolyn and Leah, decorate gingerbread houses with their neighborhood gal pals.

After: Call the dentist, because one very silly 12-year old (the girl in the Santa hat) is about to devour A LOT of candy!

Christmas Eve appetizers at Janice and Don’s house: Smoked salmon with capers and light cream cheese, grape tomatoes stuffed with smoked oysters, olives, cheeses, and skinny string beans with dip.

Right before the holidays, Liz attended a dinner at Forum restaurant in Boston sponsored by Bard Valley Medjool Dates. To read more about the evening and to savor every delicious bite of the meal, head on over to fellow food blogger Janel’s blog post at Eat Well with Janel. In the New year, we hope to create a few new recipes featuring dates.

Liz’s mom makes the best matzo ball soup on the planet. The matzo balls float versus sink, which is just how the whole family likes them.

Blooper photo of the week and reminder to selves: Always keep a damp cloth on hand when shooting food photos especially as the sun starts to set and you’re racing against the clock so you can use natural light for your photo shoot!

Tell us about your most delicious food adventure this holiday season. And if you try our Crazy-Good Cream-less Creamed Spinach, let us know what you and your family think of it.

 

A Hanukkah Recipe for Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes

Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 20th. To celebrate the festival of lights, we created a recipe for latkes, a traditional Hanukkah potato pancake side dish cooked in oil. Latkes are a definite Hanukkah favorite, and they are typically made with white potatoes, onion, salt, pepper, and eggs … and then cooked in oil. For our recipe, we took a twist on the traditional by using sweet potatoes, and we kept the amount of oil in check by using just two and a half tablespoons for the entire recipe. No worries: Our latkes are still crisp and crunchy.

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

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 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 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

Print Recipe

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…

Recipe Redux Challenge for Whole Grains: A Recipe for Carrot & Zucchini Farro Risotto

We’re constantly on the lookout for nutritious whole grains to add to our families diets, and over the past few years, have turned to interesting grains like quinoa, wheat berries, and bulgur. When we heard that this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was whole grains, we had a tough time deciding which grain to cook with. We finally narrowed it down to farro, an ancient whole grain grown and used in Italy since Roman times. Farro is light brown in color and looks a bit like brown rice, but its hearty nutty flavor and chewy texture add more of a “wow” factor to savory soups, colorful salads, and sides.

For our recipe, we were inspired by a side dish for Farro Risotto from America’s Test Kitchen. Apparently, Italian cooks prepare farro in the same way they prepare Arborio rice for a creamy dish called farrotto. We tweaked the Test Kitchen recipe a bit by adding zucchini (the original recipe only called for carrots) and switching from chicken broth to vegetable.

The brand of farro that we found at the market was Earthly Choice Italian Pearled Farro. Pearled farro has the hull removed which still keeps plenty of the fiber intact but shortens the cooking time to 20 to 25 minutes. A quarter cup uncooked farro has an impressive 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams protein. Not bad!

Carrot & Zucchini Farro Risotto

Makes 6 Servings 

We need to thank America’s Test Kitchen for this recipe. We made a few changes, but by and large, the recipe is the same one featured in their Best Recipes and Reviews 2011 magazine.

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1½ cups pearled farro
  • 2 cups all-natural vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. Combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large Dutch oven or saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in the farro and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and water, raise the heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer, stirring often, until the farro softens but is still a bit chewy, about 25 minutes.

3. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

* Unlike traditional risotto, with this recipe, you don’t have to heat the liquid first and you can add it all at once. Be sure to stir often and keep the lid off to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 2/3 cup):   230 calories, 5g fat (0.5g saturated), 170mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 8g protein, 80% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 15% iron

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The carrots and zucchini add a slight sweetness to this side dish. Every spoonful is a real treat!

The best part about this recipe is that our kids really enjoyed it. What a nice change of pace from pasta and rice!

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes Featuring Brussels Sprouts: A Recipe for Better-for-You Brussels Spouts Gratin and a Recipe for Roasted Sesame Brussels Spouts (Podcast #167)

Turkeys don’t fly (or at least not the ones you cook for Thanksgiving) but time sure does. It seems like just yesterday we were whipping up sweet potato casseroles and cranberry sauce for our Turkey-Day dinners. This year, we’ve turned our culinary attention to Brussels sprouts. This cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetable is the perfect holiday side dish; it’s nutritious and versatile, and well, perfect for any day of the year.

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we feature two new Brussels sprouts creations. First up is our Better-for-You Brussels Spouts Gratin, a makeover of a cream-laden recipe that one of our Facebook fans asked us to make over. Next up is a recipe for Roasted Sesame Brussels Spouts, which was sent to us by Mindy from The World in My Kitchen. On the show, we also kvell (hey, it’s better than kvetch) over a few other delicious-looking dishes: Brussels Spouts Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts from Alison Lewis at Ingredients Inc., Balsamic Roasted Brussels Spouts with Apples from Regan at The Professional Palate, and Brussels Sprouts Salad from Gluten-Free Girl.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #makeover #holiday #casserole #sidedish

Janice’s friends own a farm in western, MA and they gave us two lovely stalks of Brussels sprouts for our week of recipe testing. To see photos from the farm, check out our Fickr page.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Our Facebook fan, Danica, asked us to give a recipe for Brussels Sprouts Gratin from AllRecipes.com a makeover. In Danica’s words, “Please, oh please, make it over!” The original recipe called for 2½ cups of heavy cream and half-and-half combined as well as 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese and a teaspoon of salt. When we crunched the nutrition numbers, we were not surprised that each serving had 400 calories, 18 grams of saturated fat (that’s nearly a day’s worth), and over 800 milligrams of sodium.

Better-for-You Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Makes 8 Servings

The secret to our healthy makeover is the roux made with EVOO, just 1 tablespoon of butter, flour, and 1% low-fat milk. We kept the original 4 ounces of lean prosciutto for flavor and depth. The Brussels sprouts come out soft and tender … they literally melt in your mouth.

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel off any damaged outer layers of Brussels sprouts. Trim the stem to make it flush. Cut small sprouts in half and larger ones into quarters lengthwise. Keep a bit of the core attached.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the prosciutto and sauté , stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and stir continuously for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add the flour and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk and sherry, raise the heat, and bring to low boil (keep stirring). Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid thickens and reduces by about a third, 7 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Transfer to an oven-proof casserole dish. Cover with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the Brussels spouts are tender and the top turns golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 200 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated, 0.3g omega-3), 620mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 13g protein, 25% vitamin A, 130% vitamin C, 25% calcium, 10% iron

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Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin K is important for healthy bones as well as normal blood clotting.

The ingredients for Roasted Sesame Brussels sprouts are pretty basic: Brussels sprouts, toasted sesame oil, kosher salt, and pepper. So easy!

Roasted Sesame Brussels Sprouts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #makeover #holiday #casserole #sidedish

We love this recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts. If you prefer your sprouts very tender, we suggest you place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 2 minutes in the microwave before placing in the oven.

Roasted Sesame Brussels Spouts

Makes 3 Servings (total yield 1 1/3 cups)

We sent out a tweet on Twitter asking our followers to share their favorite Brussels sprouts recipes. Here’s a recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts that got tweeted back. We cooked it up today and made a few minor tweaks (that’s tweaks not tweets). Adapted from the blog, The World in My Kitchen

  • 1/2 pound large Brussels sprouts (about 11 sprouts)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove any wilted or loose leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Rinse and dry them. Quarter them so that each piece still has a bit of the core attached. Place in a bowl and toss with the sesame oil. If there’s not enough oil to coat them lightly but evenly, add a little more. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. When the Brussels sprouts are done marinating, sprinkle with the salt and a few cranks of pepper. Spread the the sprouts in one layer on a baking sheet or in a stoneware baking dish. Place in the oven until the sprouts start to brown and caramelize a bit, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn them over about half-way through. Drizzle with a tiny bit of sesame oil and serve hot.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 1/2 cup): 70 calories, 5g fat (0.5g saturated), 110mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 10% vitamin A, 80% vitamin C

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Brussels spouts stalks … minus the sprouts! Thank goodness our intern, Sara, was here today to help us harvest our crop :)

Do you have a favorite Brussels sprouts recipe? We’d love to hear about it, so feel free to share a link or description on this post.

Ginger & Spice Chicken Kebabs with Minty Cucumber Salad — George Foreman Friday (Part 2)

Our indoor grills have officially been dusted off, and in Part 2 of our George Foreman Friday recipe series, we turn ho-hum chicken into something fabulous. The secret to our kebab success is the marinade: a mixture of yogurt, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and cinnamon. The sauce tenderizes the chicken while imparting an exotic, slightly spicy flavor. We add meaty mushrooms to the skewers, but the sky is the limit when it comes to veggie options. You could also add chunks of zucchini, onion, or colorful bell peppers.

Ginger & Spice Chicken Kebabs with Minty Cucumber Salad

Makes 4 Servings

For the Chicken

  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of fat and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed
  • Four 8-inch wooden skewers

For the Minty Cucumber Salad

  • 1 large cucumber (about 13 ounces), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 plum tomato, sliced into quarters, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1.    Place the yogurt, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the chicken and stir until well coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

2.    To make the cucumber salad, place the cucumber in a mesh sieve and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Place over a bowl and let stand about 30 minutes to allow the cucumber to release some of its liquid. Use 1 or 2 pieces of paper towel to squeeze out any excess liquid.

3.    Meanwhile, for the salad dressing, place the yogurt, mint, red onion, lemon zest, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium-size bowl and stir to combine. Add the tomato, feta cheese, and drained cucumber and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

4.    Attach the grill plates to the grill. Adjust the angle of the grill to the flat, level position. Close the grill cover and preheat to medium-high. Place the drip tray in front of the grill.

5.    Thread 4 pieces of chicken and 3 mushrooms onto each skewer (in any order you like). Spray both sides with nonstick cooking spray. Working 2 at a time, place the kebabs on the grill. Close the cover and cook for 3 minutes. Open the grill, flip the kebabs, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 2 more minutes. Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil while the remaining kebabs are cooked.

6.    Serve with whole wheat naan bread and the Minty Cucumber Salad.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 180 calories, 4.5g fat (2g saturated), 490mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 28g protein, 10% vitamin C, 15% calcium

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What’s your favorite indoor grill recipe? Do tell!!

Disclosure: We have been working with the George Foreman company this year and our four-part series is a component of our consulting project.

Ghoulishly-Good Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin – Recipe Redux

Every month we join fellow food and nutrition bloggers for the Recipe Redux challenge. Our assignment this month: Cook with fresh pumpkin. If you read our blog or listen to our weekly radio show, you probably know that we’re big fans of canned pumpkin. It’s nutritious, convenient, and versatile, and we use it all the time in some of our families’ favorite recipes: Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes, and Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake. But fresh pumpkin?

Talk about motivation: Janice’s friends own a farm in Western Massachusetts, and they brought back some sugar pumpkins for us to cook with. We are so jealous of their pumpkin patch!

For the challenge, we drew inspiration from a recipe for Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good from cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan. We tweaked it quite a bit and came up with this Ghoulishly-Good Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin. It’s downright cute, and with a mixture of savory and sweet ingredients — things like apple chicken sausage, whole grain bread, walnuts, and dried cranberries, it says “try me” the second you look at it.

 

Add whimsy and good nutrition to your pre-Halloween dinner with our stuffed pumpkin. If you don’t have dried cranberries on hand (or they’re not a family favorite) use 1/2 cup of peeled, diced apple.

Ghoulishly-Good Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

Makes 4 Servings

Serve as a main meal and you’ll get about four portions. As a playful side dish, you’ll probably get up to six.

  • 1 medium-size sugar pumpkin, about 3½ pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups whole grain ciabatta bread (or any whole grain bread), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 or 2 fully cooked apple chicken sausages, casings removed and meat cut into 1/4-inch pieces (1/2 to 1 cup)
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons dried cranberries (or ½ cup peeled, chopped apple)
  • 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Pure maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment and set aside.

2. Use a sharp, sturdy knife to cut the cap out of the top of the pumpkin. Cut off enough of the top so you can get your hand into the pumpkin and clear away the seeds and strings. Cut the seeds and strings away from the cap as well. (Save the seeds and roast them after the pumpkin comes out of the oven!) Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Place on the baking sheet.

3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the bread, sausage, cheese, walnuts, cranberries (or apples, if you choose to use them instead), and milk. Season with a few pinches of salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

4. Pack the mixture into the pumpkin. Put the cap in place and bake until the flesh of the pumpkin is tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 90 minutes. Remove the cap and bake until the top of the stuffing is golden, an additional 20 minutes.

5. Carefully transfer the pumpkin to a plate or platter and serve. Dorie Greenspan suggests the following technique for serving (and we agree): Spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful.

6. Serve with maple syrup for drizzling.

Nutrition Information per Main Dish Serving:   310 calories, 13g fat (4.5g saturated), 480mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 19g protein, 340% vitamin A, 35% vitamin C, 30% calcium, 15% iron

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Don’t waste those pumpkin seeds. We’ll be sharing a recipe for nutrient-rich roasted pumpkin seeds this weekend, so stay tuned!

 

Drizzling with pure maple syrup at the table adds a delicious blast of autumn flavor!

The best part about participating in the Recipe Redux monthly challenge is getting to see what our fellow Reduxers come up with. Here’s a list of all the other healthy and delicious fresh pumpkin recipes:

Cherie Schetselaar – Grain Crazy
Fresh Pumpkin Risotto

Alexandra Caspero – Delicious Knowledge
Pumpkin Enchiladas

Katie Hamm – Healthy & Happy Hour
Pumpkin-Bacon Penne

Alysa Bajenaru – Inspired RD
Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Fries

Everyday Tastiness
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Dr Barb – Nutriton Budgeteer
Pumpkin Chili Chicken Pizza

Elizabeth Jarrard – Don’t (White) Sugar Coat It
Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Kristen Bourque – Swanky Dietitian
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Marie Spano – Performance Nutrition
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

Regan – The Professional Palate
Pumpkin Ravioli in a Walnut-Sage Cider Sauce

Danielle Omar – Food Confidence RD
Pumpkin Goulash

Emma – The Hearty Heart
(Vegan) Cocoa Pumpkin (Whiskey) Mousse

Gretchen – kumquat
Baked Mini Pumpkins

Emma Stirling – The Scoop on Nutrition
Chermoula Chickpea & Pumpkin Sliders

Janel Funk – Eat Well with Janel
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Nicole – Whole Health RD
Kaddo Bourani – Candied Pumpkin with Yogurt and Meat Sauce

Yuri – Chef Pandita
Pumpkin Apple Soup

Lisa – Healthful Sense
Pumpkin Cream Pie Filling & Pudding

Jessica Fishman Levinson – Nutritioulicious
Pumpkin Pancakes

Jane Schwartz, RD
Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Kat Lynch – Eating The Week
Pumpkin yogurt dip for waffle sticks

Katie Caputo – East Meats West
Pumpkin Stuffing

Serena – Teaspoon of Spice
Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin

Kristina – Love and Zest
Pumpkin Mash

Carrie Miller – Nutrition Know How
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin & Pumpkin Orange Muffins

Ann Dunaway Teh – Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish
Pumpkin, Squash and Apple Soup

Kara Lydon – Peace, Love, and Food
Pumpkin Yogurt Dip

Stephanie Howard – Give Them Something Better
Fall Harvest Chili

Karman Meyer – Nutrition Adventures
Pumpkin-Potato Breakfast Hash

Ayla Withee – Eat Simply
Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds

Heather Calcote – Dietitian on the Run
Pumpkin Rosemary & Mushroom Quinoa

Jill Melton – The Relish Dish
Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin

EA – The Spicy RD
Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta

Diane Welland – Eat Well, Eat Clean
Pumpkin Cranberry Scones

Rebecca Noseworthy – It’s a Savoury Life
Fall Pumpkin Chili

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe :)

This recipe is featured in the I’m Lovin It Tidy Mom Fridays party post.

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