All Posts by MOMables - Laura

5 Summer Pasta Salad -

Greek Yogurt Pasta Salad Recipe

Are you looking for the best side to pair with grilled food? It’s hot out, and you want a refreshing cold dish. MOMables never runs out of great ideas for any occasion! Whether it be for a kid’s lunch or to bring to a BBQ.

Summer Pasta Salad -

During the summer months, I try to have a cold salad dish made up and in the refrigerator at all times. Some of my personal favorites are coleslaw, potato, caprese, berry, seafood or pasta salads. Something about these types of sides just screams summertime to me.

For one, they complement grilled food very well. In the summertime, we grill out quite frequently at our house. Sometimes just the thought of turning on the oven when it is 90 degrees out seems unfathomable. So instead we opt to grill out on our deck, while we watch our boys play in the backyard. We’ll come inside and dish up everyone’s plates. That is when having a cold salad all ready to go in the fridge comes in quite handy! A cold salad balances the hot food that has just come off a hot grill.

Not only that, most of these types of sides are quick and easy to prepare, require either minimal or no cooking at all, and they are also a great way to enjoy all of the wonderful produce that is in season.

The summer pasta salad I’m sharing with you today is the epitome of all I just described above. It’s a light side, but also filling and chock-full of fresh summertime veggies such as; carrots, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers & celery. You can totally make this salad your own and add whatever mix-in’s suit your family’s palates.

There were many times last summer where I would whip this salad up and have it for lunch for several days. You could do the same for your child’s lunch as well- it is a very versatile recipe!

So, do you have a summer BBQ coming up? Make this pasta salad and you’re sure to have at least 5 requests for the recipe!

What are some of your favorite summertime sides?

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad -
  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: Family Sized- Serves 6
  • Cuisine: Lunch


  • 1 package (1lb) macaroni or shells
  • 1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2-3 carrots, shredded

Optional Mix-Ins:

  • Cucumber, peeled and diced
  • Dill pickles, chopped
  • Tomato, diced
  • Red bell pepper, diced
  • Celery, chopped


  1. Prepare macaroni to al dente according to package directions. After macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl toss macaroni with ham, cheese, peas, carrots, and other mix-ins.
  4. Fold in mayonnaise mixture until pasta is well coated.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight.
  6. If the salad seems a little dry after setting up overnight, add some milk a little bit at a time until salad becomes nice and creamy again.



Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

Are you looking for different ways to help incorporate fresh fruit into you or your child’s lunch?
Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

These strawberry shortcake kabobs, like many recipes from MOMables school lunch menus, includes fresh fruit and tastes delicious!

One of my favorite things about summer is the gorgeous looking produce that accompanies it. During the winter months, fresh produce doesn’t always look so “fresh”.

Fortunately, by summertime the produce aisles at grocery stores are popping with bright colors of luscious looking produce. One of my personal favorite summertime fruits- strawberries!

What I like even better than getting them at the grocery store is finding a strawberry farm and picking my own with my family. Each year we make a family affair out of it and the outing always promises a good time for all.

Strawberry Cake Kabobs-9

I love picking our own strawberries for several reasons:

1) The freshness, juiciness and flavor of the strawberries cannot be beat!

2) It shows my kids the origin of one of their favorite foods. So often these days, I feel it’s easy for kids to think that food just magically appears on grocery shelves. Strawberry picking gets them out in a field and teaches them about food and gives them more of an appreciation for the people that work hard to bring such food items to our tabletop.

So whether you pick your own strawberries or get them from the grocery store, embrace the season and make as many recipes using strawberries as possible…like these strawberry cake kabobs for example. Don’t forget to check out the healthier pound cake recipe below!


They are super easy to whip up and are the perfect thing to bring to a summer BBQ or Fourth of July celebration. Bonus: your kids can skewer them!

If you’re making them for adults, make larger portions and thread the ingredients onto a skewer. If you’re making them for kids, put them on a popsicle stick to ensure they won’t poke themselves. These kabobs will go great as a treat with one of our lunches.


Healthier Pound Cake

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Baking


  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 vanilla bean or,
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounces cake flour (about 3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray with flour

For Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

  • Pound cake (homemade or store-bought), sliced into cubes
  • Fresh strawberries, whole or halved
  • Melted milk chocolate
  • Melted white chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare cake, combine oil and vanilla in a small skillet over medium-high heat, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes or until mixture cools to room temperature. Scrape seeds from bean, and stir into oil; discard bean. If you use vanilla extract, skip this step and add it to the next step.
  3. Combine the oil mixture, 1 3/4 cups sugar, and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. Spoon batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray, and spread evenly. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan.

For Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

  1. Alternate putting pound cake cubes and strawberries onto skewer or popsicle stick.
  2. Drizzle with melted white chocolate and/or milk chocolate.



Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Bites Recipe

This easy strawberry cheesecake bites recipe is satisfying without the guilt!


These happen to be delicious, the perfect portion size and a great after school treat!

Of course, you sent a great school lunch today with your little one; but I am sure you might be looking for ways to get them to eat more fruit. Easy-to-put-together that is!

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Don’t you love when you make a recipe that tastes like you had to have spent hours preparing it, when in reality it’s a snap to put together? That is exactly what you get with these strawberry cheesecake bites.

They are absolutely divine! Picture a rich and thick slice of strawberry cheesecake without all the work, half the mess, and in bite-size form. As a matter of fact, because of their size you’ll find it all too tempting to just pop the whole thing in your mouth.

Of course, this is just speculation- I’m not speaking from experience.


They make a great addition to your child’s lunchbox! It is even a treat that I will include in my son’s (who has type 1 diabetes) lunchbox without guilt. With roughly 9 carbohydrates per “bite”, two of these will give him a treat fix and half of a serving of fruit. I like to add additional strawberry slices (that haven’t been made into “bites”) to his lunch so that it seems like he is getting more.

Wouldn’t these be perfect to serve hungry kids this summer, especially once strawberries are in season?  Or do you have any graduation parties coming up that you’ll be helping with? If so, these would be a great appetizer!

Not to mention, they are seriously so easy to make! Maybe even a little too easy…you’ll want to be making them every day. Plus, they are made with staple ingredients, so chances are you will already have most of the needed ingredients on hand.


This would be a good recipe to enlist the help of your kids with. They’ll love dunking fresh strawberries in the cream mixture and seeing how the crushed graham cracker crumbs sticks to the strawberries, when you roll it around.

I’m confident this dip would work well with a variety of other fruits as well, as the dip on its own is absolutely heavenly. The possibilities are endless!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 16
  • Cuisine: Treats


  • 8oz tub whipped cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
  • 16 medium-large strawberries


  1. In a food processor, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  2. Put the combined cream cheese and powdered sugar mixture in a bowl.
  3. Put the graham cracker crumbs into another bowl.
  4. Dip the widened end of the strawberry in the cream cheese mixture, then roll it around in the graham cracker crumbs.

Carbohydrate Breakdown:

1 strawberry cheesecake bite (using medium-large sized strawberry) = 9 carbohydrates

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Low Carbohydrate & Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

Do you or a family member need to watch carbohydrates, or follow a gluten free diet? If so, I have a delicious recipe for snickerdoodle cookies to share with you.

Snikerdoodle Cookies {low sugar} & gluten free2

 Even if you don’t have diet restrictions, you are sure to love these! They have the same, sweet and buttery flavors, with a cinnamon and sugar coating that you’ll find in any snickerdoodle cookie, they’re just low carbohydrate and gluten free.

You may recall a story I shared about my son awhile back, who was inquiring why I didn’t pack dessert in his lunches. The reason I hadn’t ever packed a dessert in his lunch is because he is a type-1 diabetic, and I was too nervous about how a treat would affect his blood sugar while at school. Just as I’ve had to do many times while navigating through new phases of life, having a child with diabetes, I decided I had to start letting go a bit. As silly as it may sound, packing dessert in his lunch was one of those “letting go” lessons.

I found so many healthy, low carbohydrate options for desserts and immediately began experimenting. However, I did find that some desserts, specifically baked goods, were a little trickier to make low carbohydrate. Fortunately there are many substitutions that you can use to make many desserts lower in carbohydrates.

Of course the biggest issue is with sugar. Fortunately there are substitutions you can use for a sweetener. Once you have found an alternative sweetener, you can really reduce the amount of carbohydrates by making a substitution for flour. I have experimented with several different flour replacements, but my favorite one thus far has been almond flour. Not only is it low carbohydrate, it is high in protein, gluten free, and also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.


Now the list of low carbohydrate desserts I’ve found that my son enjoys is growing rapidly. These snickerdoodle cookies are high in the rankings.

Below are more tried and true MOMable treats that all contain carbohydrate calculations:

Low Carbohydrate Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: Makes 24 cookies.
  • Cuisine: Treats


  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour or almond meal
  • ¾ cup granular Stevia-in-the-Raw (or regular sugar if you don’t need them to be low carbohydrate)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Ingredients for Rolling Cookies:

  • 2 Tablespoons granular Stevia-in-the-Raw
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, sugar or substitute of choice, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and cream of tartar and blend with a mixer until well combined (the mixture will be stiff).
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and chill one hour or longer.
  3. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small dish.
  5. Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough, and roll dough into balls about 1 inch across.
  6. Roll each ball in the wet mixture and put on cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until they start to brown.
  8. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and let cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.
  9. Store in a plastic container for several days.


Egg Free Option: substitute 1 large egg for 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons warm water).

Snickerdoodle Carbohydrate Breakdown:

*Recipe makes approximately 24 cookies.

1 cookie= 4 carbohydrates


6 Homemade Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Are you looking for a healthier ranch dressing your kids will love? 

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing - 2

Unfortunately, the stuff at the store has a mile-long ingredients list with unidentifiable ingredients; and the powdered stuff has MSG!

My kids love to dip fruits and veggies in ranch dressing, and I love its creaminess on my grilled chicken salad.

Most homemade recipes either call for mayonnaise, buttermilk, or both, and because I’m not keen on the powdered stuff, I’ve been spending nearly $6 on the freshly made organic stuff.

While searching for a healthier recipe for homemade ranch dressing, I met mom blogger, Laura Cipullo of Mom Dishes It Out.

She has a delicious recipe that uses Greek yogurt instead of the traditional mayonnaise ingredient. I was immediately attracted to this recipe not only for its simplicity but also because it uses real ingredients.

If you are a first-time visitor or have been loving our recipes for a while, you should know that here at MOMables, we promote recipes that use real ingredients. For this reason, all of our school lunch menus cut out the boxed “stuff” and keep it real.

I am glad Laura has this quick recipe because my kid’s intake of raw veggies has now increased. The fact that it’s made with Greek yogurt is a bonus—lots of protein and calcium for their little growing bodies. For me, it’s a lot more “waistline” friendly than the organic stuff I was buying.

This dressing works well as a lunch box dip too! If you omit the buttermilk, it’s thick enough to dip away!

Greek-Yogurt-Ranch-Dressing Recipe

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Makes about 1/2 cup ranch dressing.

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Lunch


  • ⅓ cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon dill, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk


  1. Place the yogurt in a sieve, and allow the excess liquid to drain.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the strained yogurt, parsley, garlic powder, garlic paste, vinegar, and dill. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
  3. Add the buttermilk. If the mixture is too thick, add more buttermilk for desired consistency.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to come together.


Laura’s nutrition blog has nutrition tips and encourages readers to adopt a wholesome way of eating that incorporates all foods in moderation. Laura resides in New York City with her husband and children and you can also read her advice on navigating nutrition for a family on her blog Mom Dishes It Out.

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