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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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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Tabbouleh with the Works + a Recap of the Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers Conference {Podcast #256}

This simple tabbouleh side dish is made with bulgur wheat, parsley, chickpeas, dried cranberries, and juicy tomatoes, and it’s bursting with fresh flavors and filling fiber.

Tabbouleh with the Works made with bulgur wheat, parsley, and tomatoes #WholeGrain

When you hear the words, “whole grains,” what foods come to mind? Whole wheat bread? Whole wheat pasta? Brown rice?

Tabbouleh with the Works made with bulgur wheat, parsley, and tomatoes #WholeGrain

Nutritious whole grains do, in fact, include wheat, but there are many, many more options out there to choose from including:

Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Rice, Rye, Sorghum, Teff, Triticale, and Wild Rice.

As for “wheat,” the varieties you’ll find at the market include: Spelt, Emmer, Farro, Einkorn, Kamut, and the star of this blog post: Bulgur.

Tabbouleh with the Works made with bulgur wheat, parsley, and tomatoes #WholeGrain

 Tabbouleh is usually made with bulgur, but you can sub out the bulgur for other grains like barley, rice, or quinoa.

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Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes for Thanksgiving: A Recipe Roundup

If you asked a group of registered dietitians (especially dietitians who also write food blogs) what they’re making for Thanksgiving dinner, chances are, they’d all say …

The vegetable side dish.

Thats’s what we’d say!

Healthy Thanksgiving side dishes from registered dietitians #RDN

Dietitians love vegetables—that’s pretty obvious!—and Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to show off the freshest produce of the season. We asked Blog Brûlée alumni to share their favorite holiday side dishes, and here’s what we got … and we also tossed in one of our own Meal Makeover Mom veggie creations.

Read on for over a dozen healthy vegetable (and one fruit) side dishes that are light, nutritious, and won’t leave you feeling like a stuffed bird.

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How to Make Cauliflower Steak + Cauliflower Steaks with White Beans

Have you ever wondered how restaurant chefs take cauliflower and turn it into “steaks?” It’s easy, and in this post I’ll show you how!

I’ll also serve up a protein-rich, vegetarian recipe for Cauliflower Steaks with White Beans that you and your kids will LOVE. 

How to Make Cauliflower Steak #vegetarian

It may seem complicated, but with a cutting board, a sharp knife, and a little bit of patience, you can easily transform a head of cauliflower into hearty slices or “steaks.”

How to Make Cauliflower Steak #vegetarian

As a mom and a dietitian obsessed with getting my family to eat lots of veggies, I’m always on the lookout for fun new ways to serve them up.

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How to Make a Halloween Vegetable Skeleton + a Recipe for Rainbow Vegetable Dip

For a healthy classroom or party treat, create a Halloween skeleton made with crunchy vegetables, and serve it with our Rainbow Vegetable Dip.

And then watch the kids eat lots and lots of vegetables! 

Make-Your-Own Halloween Vegetable Skeleton Classroom Activity

Why serve Halloween candy in the classroom or at a pre trick-or-treat party when the kids can munch and crunch their way through a make-your-own vegetable skeleton instead.

Our skeleton started out as a boy, but then he became a she with all that spinach and bell pepper hair!

Make-Your-Own Halloween Vegetable Skeleton Classroom Activity

This week, I taught a nutrition class to a group of preschoolers through a program in Lexington, MA called Kids Cooking Green. Since Halloween is just a few days away and I knew the kids were super excited about dressing up (and eating candy), I searched Pinterest for some fun and healthy Halloween ideas and came up with this make-your-own vegetable skeleton activity.

For your DIY vegetable skeleton, here’s what you’ll need:

1. A small glass bowl filled with your favorite dip. (Read on for our Greek- yogurt-based Rainbow Vegetable Dip recipe.)

2. Sliced olives for the eyes and baby spinach or kale leaves for the hair.

3. Sliced cucumbers or zucchini for the spine and sliced bell peppers for the ribs.

4. Carrot and celery sticks for the arms and legs; also, edamame and sliced bell peppers.

5. Sliced mushrooms for the pelvis.

6. Halved grape or cherry tomatoes for the feet.

7. Cooked bowtie pasta for the bowtie!

8. Patience, good humor, and a fun attitude! 😉

Make-Your-Own Halloween Vegetable Skeleton Classroom Activity

“Hmmm. Let me think about this. What should I eat next? A cucumber or a carrot?”

Rainbow Vegetable Dip


Makes 6 Servings

This dip will serve more than six kids if you’re serving it to preschoolers. For this activity I had nine kids in the class, and we had plenty to go around. Traditional dips are often made with sour cream and salty seasoning packets, and they have double the calories of this better-for-you dip, which is filled with natural flavors from fresh herbs.

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (plus more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard
  • Fresh, chopped and sliced vegetables of your choice

1. Place the yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, and honey mustard in a medium-size bowl and stir well to combine.

2. Let everyone at the table help themselves to the dip and a variety of colorful veggies.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 3 tablespoons): 50 calories, 3g fat (0.5g saturated), 95mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 3g protein

Print Recipe

Felt board with vegetable cut outs

To start off the activity, I sat around with the kids and we talked about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Then I asked them, “if you had to dress up as a fruit or vegetable for Halloween, what would you be?” The kids then placed their “costume” on the felt board.

Of course, my answer was, “an avocado!!”

What would you be?

Make-Your-Own Halloween Vegetable Skeleton Classroom Activity

Hanging out with my Skeleton Crew…

Make-Your-Own Halloween Vegetable Skeleton Classroom Activity

Scary skeleton faces.

Happy Halloween!!!

Tortellini Lunchbox Salad for National Pasta Month

Add excitement to your child’s lunchbox with this Tortellini Lunchbox Salad. It’s filled with color, flavor, fun, and great nutrition … and it’s easy to make too!

A nutritious lunchbox salad made with tortellini, edamame, chickpeas, almonds, and dried cranberries #vegetarian

October is National Pasta Month.

In my house, every month is pasta month!

I have two teenage boys. Need I say more?

{By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. The contest is part of The Recipe Redux}

A nutritious lunchbox salad made with tortellini, edamame, chickpeas, almonds, and dried cranberries #vegetarian

My youngest son is in high school, and right now he’s playing JV soccer.

With all that exercise, he’s hungry 24/7.

Lunch is typically a rush at school, and I don’t think he’s eating enough, so I decided to create a lunchbox salad that would satisfy his hunger, please his palate, and fill his belly with high-quality calories. I think I met those goals with this vegetarian pasta salad made with pesto-filled tortellini, edamame, almonds, protein-rich chickpeas, and dried cranberries. The sweet and savory flavor combination rocks, and he LOVES it!

dried pasta shapes

The great thing about cooking with pasta is that it provides the foundation for a healthy meal. It boosts energy and pairs well with just about anything: vegetables, beans, lean protein, cheese, and even dried fruit. 

Dried tortellini boiling

I usually buy cheese-filled fresh or frozen tortellini, but I found a package of dried, pesto-filled tortellini at Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a try. One cup of the dried yielded 2 cups cooked, so if you opt for frozen or fresh in this recipe, adjust accordingly.

Lunchbox Tortellini Salad

Makes 4 Servings

This recipe is versatile. You can use any bean or nut that your kids like, add just about any vegetable, add cubes of Cheddar cheese or crumbled feta, or toss in some cooked chicken, shrimp, or beef.

  • 1 cup pesto-filled dried tortellini *
  • 3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons Italian salad dressing

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Five minutes before it’s done, stir in the edamame. Drain in a colander, place in a bowl, and cool (on the counter or in the fridge).

2. When the pasta comes to room temperature or cooler, add the chickpeas, cranberries, almonds, and salad dressing. Stir to combine. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

3. Before packing into a lunchbox, you may want to add an additional teaspoon of the dressing.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cup): 330 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated, 0.2g omega-3), 530mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 12g protein, 15% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 10% iron

* I used small, dried, pesto-filled tortellini for this recipe. If you use fresh or frozen tortellini, use enough so your cooked yield is 2 cups. From there, mix in the remaining ingredients.

Print Recipe

For more amazing pasta recipes, check out all the healthy recipes below, created by healthy food bloggers for The Recipe Redux.


A Healthy Pin It Party: Blue Plate Special

Finding healthy recipes on Pinterest is getting a whole lot easier these days thanks to Pin It Parties like the one being hosted by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean.

Healthy Eating Pin It Party at The Lean Green Bean

To participate in the party, we were asked to write a post featuring five of our favorite recipes that we wanted to see on Pinterest, so we chose some of our healthiest and prettiest creations, all photographed on beautiful blue dishes. (If you follow our blog, you probably know by now that Liz is obsessed with blue dishware!)

Why pretty plates and bowls? Well, if you have picky eaters at home, something as simple as presenting your food on an eye-catching dish can convince them to take that first important bite.

Welcome to our Blue Plate Special … and please PIN away!! 

A gluten-free side dish or main meal -- Quinoa with Almonds & Apricots

Quinoa with Almonds & Apricots is gluten free, vegetarian and vegan, filled with flavor, and can be served as a side dish or main meal.

A wild blueberry oat cake with a healthy frosting made with low-fat Greek yogurt

Wild Blueberry Oat Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting is a treat you can serve at breakfast, snack, or dessert. You’ll never make cream cheese frosting again after you try our healthier Greek yogurt version.

Canned Beefaroni gets a healthy makeover

Is it humanly possible to give canned macaroni and beef dinners (AKA Beefaroni) a healthy makeover? Heck yes! Our Homemade Healthy Beefaroni is hearty, delicious, and features lean ground beef and three vegetables.

A healthy and hearty winter soup with a Tex-Mex flavor

South-of-the-Border Tortilla Soup is one of those quick weeknight recipes you’ll want to make again and again for your family. It’s healthy and hearty and hits the spot when the weather turns cool.

Morning oats topped with Concord grapes, dried fruit, and walnuts

Why eat plain old oatmeal when you can easily cook up our Morning Oats with Concord Grapes, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts. And don’t forget the Vermont maple syrup!

Do you have a similar obsession with dishes? Do you have a favorite plate or bowl you find yourself turning to again and again? Let us know … and have fun pinning :)

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