Nachos for Two — For Lunch, Snack, or a Tailgate Party

We created these easy Nachos for Two topped with guacamole, cilantro, and black beans for a fast and healthy Meal Makeover Mom lunch this week, but you can also serve it as an after-school nosh for the kids or a party snack while you’re watching football (in which case, you may want to double or triple the recipe).

Nachos for Two topped with guacamole via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #tailgate #snack #avocados

 Our favorite food EVER is avocado, and just this week, a new study revealed that eating an avocado a day as part of a healthy diet along with other healthy fats can lower your bad LDL cholesterol. We were hooked well before this latest study, but it’s always nice to know that a luscious, delicious fruit like avocado is so darn healthy. We digress…

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Recipe Inspiration from Yotam Ottolenghi and an Ottolenghi-Themed Dinner Party {Podcast #259}

Are you the kind of home cook who makes meals on the fly, or do you look for inspiration from cookbooks, food bloggers, and celebrity chefs. On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, Liz reveals her favorite chef and cookbook author, Yotam Ottolenghi. With four cookbooks under his apron strings—Plenty, Plenty More, Ottolenghi, and Jerusalem—and restaurants in London, she can’t get enough of his flavor-filled recipes.

Cookbooks by Yotam Ottolenghi via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Liz is obsessed with Ottolenghi whose cookbooks and recipes feature Middle Eastern flavors with a western twist.

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

Cauliflower Cake by #Ottolenghi via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

His Cauliflower Cake from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi is to die for …

Honey-roasted rainbow carrots via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #ottolenghi

And the honey roasted rainbow carrots Liz adapted from the same book are equally scrumptious. Ottolenghi takes vegetables from so-so to sensational.

Cookbooks by Yotam Ottolenghi via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Liz’s friend Suzanne is even more infatuated with Ottolenghi (is that possible?), and she joins us on the show this week to dish about her favorite recipes as well as the Gourmet Group dinner party she and Liz hosted featuring Ottolenghi recipes like Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce and Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash.

Yotam Ottolenghi Dinner Party - how to host via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

For the dinner party, Liz and Suzanne looked through Ottolenghi’s four cookbooks and chose seasonal recipes to assign to themselves and their friends.

Ottolenghi-Inspired Dinner Party Menu:

Butternut Squash & Tahini Spread
Figs with Basil, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette from Plenty
Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash from Ottolenghi
Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce from Jerusalem
Beef and Lamb Meatballs Baked in Tahini from Ottolenghi
Toffee Brownies from Ottolenghi (that’s Nairi and Suzanne at Liz’s house baking the brownies)

Liz hosted the dinner and there were a total of five couples, Everyone showed up with a dish and then shared their experience with the recipe. Favorite recipes from the night were the salmon, couscous, fig salad, and brownies.

Be sure to listen to this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast for more delicious details on Ottolenghi’s recipes.

Corny Bean Bell Pepper Boats are Fun for Kids to Eat

Red, orange, green, and yellow bell peppers remind us of colorful Christmas tree ornaments, so use that to your advantage this holiday season to introduce your family to nutrient-packed peppers.

Colorful bell peppers via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Rich in vitamins C and A, peppers are versatile, crunchy, and filled with big flavors. You can slice them and serve with our Rainbow Veggie Dip, saute and add to pasta dishes, soups, and tacos and wraps …

Corny Bean Bell Pepper Boats via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #bean #vegetarian

… or use them as the foundation for these fun-to-eat Corny Bean Bell Pepper Boats.

Our stuffed pepper recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free, and if you leave out the cheese, it’s also vegan.

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Sausage and Mushroom Breakfast Strata for Your Next Brunch

This lightened-up Overnight Sausage and Mushroom Breakfast Strata will hit the spot for breakfast or brunch. The English muffins add a fun, playful twist for kids. 

Sausage and Mushroom Breakfast Strata

Every month, we participate in the Recipe Redux blogger cooking challenge, and this month’s assignment was to“grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 42 or 142.” Recipe Redux was launched 42 months ago, hence the 42 theme. Clever, no?

For starters, I grabbed my own cookbook, No Whine with Dinner (hey, it was the nearest cookbook), and since all of my recipes have already been “reduxed” (AKA made over), I decided to reach a bit further and go with a classic cookbook that my mom gave me years ago, Joy of Cooking.

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Potato Kale Latkes + KALE, GLORIOUS KALE Cookbook Giveaway {Podcast #258}

These Potato Kale Latkes will hit the spot at Hanukkah, or any time of the year, and they’re more nutritious than traditional latkes thanks to the addition of chopped kale.  (Recipe below.)

Potato Kale Latkes from Kale, Glorious Kale

When cooking instructor and author, Catherine Walthers, sent us a copy of KALE, GLORIOUS KALE for review, we proceeded to add a sticky note to just about every recipe in this gorgeous cookbook. We love kale for its versatility, flavor, and nutrition, and now we have 90 new recipes to make for our families … all featuring KALE.

Yes, dear readers: This book is a dietitian’s dream come true!

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

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

Honey-Roasted Rainbow Carrots via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

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

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

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

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Sweet Potato & Chicken Soup + Healthy Soups to Keep You Warm This Winter {Podcast #257}

Warm up this winter with our fast weeknight Sweet Potato & Chicken Soup. It’s gluten free, bursting with kid-friendly flavors, and it’s packed with  vitamin A, an immune booster.

Tune into episode #257 of COOKING WITH THE MOMS radio as we dish about this Sweet Potato & Chicken Soup as well as recipes for Last-Minute Black Bean Soup and Potato Leek Soup.

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

Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

And read on for links to even more healthy and hearty brews from The Meal Makeover Moms …

They’re MMM good!

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Potato Leek Soup for a Fast Lunch or Dinner

Potato Leek Soup makes a perfect wintertime lunch or dinner. Serve with a side salad, croutons on top, or a crusty loaf of bread and it will warm you right up.

Potato Leek Soup via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

 A kid-size portion of this soup with a glass of milk would make a nice after-school snack!

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A Make-Your-Own Kale Salad Bar + Why Kids Will Love Digging In!

Getting kids to try new foods—even kale—is easy if you (a) involve them in the preparation process and (b) give them lots of choice.

Kids eating kale salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

I work with a program in Lexington, MA called Kids Cooking Green, and last month during this preschool class, the kids made a kale salad, which they happily ate.

Kids making kale salad by massaging in olive oil via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

The trick to our kale salad success?: The kids got to (a) get messy by massaging olive oil into the kale leaves (this makes the fibrous leaves more tender) and (b) choose from a number of toppings including hard-cooked eggs, goat cheese, and sliced veggies. And yes, the kids scrubbed their hands first, and yes, evoo smells great 😉

Make Your Own Kale Salad Bar via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

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