All Posts by MOMables - Laura

2 Vegetable Tian Recipe

What if I told you that this delicious lunch is made from dinner left overs?

Welcome to our new series: Dinners Transformed.  Because part of eating healthy is having good-for-you food ready, we are going to show you how you can take dinner left overs and create amazing lunches!


I know I can be a regular offender of wasting food because I don’t know how to re-purpose it!  Then MOMables™ asked me to begin this fresh-food series called Dinners Transformed. In this series, I’m going to show you lunch ideas of what you can do with those little leftovers -don’t worry, I will share the recipes too!

This is a Vegetable Tian I made this weekend. One little, lonely scoop of this yummy Tian was left in fridge. I actually have no idea how this scoop survived dinner, because this recipe was soooooooo delicious! It is a must try recipe, trust me, you will thank me later.

If you’ve ever wondered “what am I going to do with one miserable scoop of left overs” then you are in the right place.

I placed the leftover serving of vegetable Tian on a slice of  bread with a little mayo or avocado and now I have lunch made the next day!

Pictured above is a vegetable tian sandwich, cherry tomatoes, watermelon and trail mix.

Vegetable Tian

  • Author:
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1-2 russet potatoes
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning salute (or any salt free multipurpose seasoning, like Mrs. Dash)
  • 1/4 cup Italian blend cheese (mozzarella & parmesan)

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice potatoes, plum tomatoes, yellow squash, and zucchini. Set aside. To give the tomatoes a little extra kick, I placed the thin slices on a paper towel to absorb some liquid and sprinkled 1 tsp or the multipurpose seasoning.
  2. Saute your chopped onions and minced garlic in 1 tbsp of butter until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).
  3. Spray a pie pan with non-stick spray and layer onions on the bottom of the pan. If you do not have a pie pan, an 8×8 pan will also work.
  4. Create a spiral layer (or rows if you are using a square dish) of potato, zucchini, squash, potato, tomato, potato, zucchini, squash, potato, tomato, potato, etc…
  5. Drizzle with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp of seasoning and salt. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees, covered for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes.

 

Easy Summer Snack: Frozen Fruit Kabobs

Want an easy summer snack?

This snack is so easy, it’s almost too good to be true. It only takes a few minutes to assemble and freeze, and they are ready to go!

You’ll need:

  • fresh fruit
  • kabobs

To Assemble: Take kabob sticks and your choice of fruit. Slide the fruit onto the kabob, and place it in the freezer for a few hours until frozen. Some of our favorite combinations were grapes, strawberries, and blueberries, but any fruit will work. Have your kids help in choosing the fruit and loading the kabobs to make it even more fun!

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Special Delivery: Healthy Snacks at you Doorstep

Have you heard about NatureBoxNatureBox is a subscription service that allows you to test out different, healthy snacks on a monthly basis. Each month, there is a new box, full of goodies sent to your door. Does it get much better than that?! The people over at NatureBox use only the best when creating these delicious snacks…..No High Fructose Corn Syrup, No Partially Hydrogenated Oils, No Trans Fats, and No Artificial Sweeteners, Flavors, or Colors


Here is the March box I had the honor of trying out. The snacks included this month were:
  • Firecrakers 
  • Nuts For Granola 
  • Dried Cherries 
  • Figgy Bars with Honey  
  • Sunshine Chips. 
All of the snacks were a HUGE hit with my family. In less than a week, the entire contents of the box was GONE! Not one morsel went to waste over at the Family Fresh Meals household.

It was so easy to incorporate the NatureBox snacks in to a healthy, fun lunch for my girls. Here is a quick and fun lunch I made for the them. There are 2 mini ham & cheese sandwiches, sliced kiwi, NatureBox  Dried Cherries & NatureBox Figgy Bars with Honey, strawberry Greek yogurt topped with NatureBox Nuts For Granola and NatureBox Sunshine Chips. 

In addition to the snacks themselves, you will also find a great fact sheet, filled with nutritional information about the snacks, including ways to use them in meals! March included a Chocolate Cherry No-Bake Cookie recipe. I know I’ll  be giving those a try.
Do you want to know what else I LOVE about this company?! For every NatureBox sent out, NatureBox donates one meal to feed the over 14 million children in America who go hungry. How cool is that!
NatureBox is offering a special coupon for anyone who is interested in signing up for a subscription.The promo code HEALTHY may be used for 25% off your first month of subscription. Just enter it in the promo code box at checkout(* NOTE: The 25% discount is only applicable to the month-to-month subscription. 6 month subscriptions receive 1 month free and 12 month subscriptions receive 3 months free.)
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French Kids Eat Everything, Do Yours?

Have you ever wondered how other people’s kids seem to eat a more varied diet than yours?

And at dinnertime, is it a constant struggle to get your kids to try anything new?  You are not alone. I’ve gone through periods where I became a short-order cook and felt a pang of jealousy toward people like Karen Le Billion because her kids will try everything. In my house, I battle with my kids to try new foods.

Good thing Karen has a new book out called 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. Long title, I know, but the book is short and is well worth the read.

One of the things I noticed immediately is that the French have rules about food. They might not be written down on a board for their children to see, but there are things that they teach their children from the time they are young, and they grow up understanding what’s expected of them.

Here are some of the rules that resonated with me most:

  • You are in charge! If you visit my house at dinnertime, it’s pretty obvious who runs the show; I do. This is even a source of minimal debate between my husband and I because he says I am too bossy. Well, guess what: It’s okay to be on top of your children, teaching them things such as how to sit correctly, how to behave, how to hold their silverware, and educating them on proper table manners. I was happy to see this as rule #1 in the book.

When my kids don’t like something—usually a vegetable—my husband will say “they are just like me; I didn’t like vegetables when I was a kid.” The French approach: nonsense. They have just not tried them enough times!

  • Parents schedule meals and menus. This one I loved because in my attempt to be more organized with our lunch and dinner menus, I have a weekly plan for our family. This has helped tremendously in cutting down grocery costs, wasted food, and minimized options. Karen points out that kids should eat what adults eat: no substitutes and no short-order cooking. Well, I’m still working on the short-order cooking thing at least once a week. But the meal planning I have down, thanks to our menus.
  • Limit snacks, ideally one per day. Implementing this rule is not much of an issue for us. My kids (like the French kids) get an afternoon snack after school. Now, why would you want to limit snacking? Because if the children don’t anticipate a meal (read: aren’t hungry), they are not likely to try new foods. Most people think that kids should never be hungry; quite the opposite, it’s okay to feel hunger so food is more exciting.

I simply loved Karen’s book. I secretly wished our family could be shipped off to France (or anywhere else with diverse food, really) to be immersed in their food culture. If you need a little culinary help, Karen even includes recipes to help you get started.

If you have picky eaters, I highly recommend reading this book. If nothing else, you will find yourself relating to Karen, wishing you had a husband like hers who completely supported the new food approach (versus having one like mine who excuses everything with when I was a kid…) and planning a way to simply get started.

Snackle Mouth: The Adult Cracker-Jack

I am always on the look out for fun new snacks for the entire family to enjoy. Have you ever heard of Snackle Mouth? If  not, listen up, because you’re definitely going to want to try some out.

Snackle Mouth is a fun new natural snack food that combines all natural and organic ingredients into a bundle of goodness that is impossible to put down.  There are no refined sugars, no trans-fats and has a low glycemic index. Do I have your attention now?!

When I asked my friend if she had heard of Snackle Mouth, she said: O.M.G. It’s “Adult Cracker-Jack.” That would would sum this product up perfectly. I threw some in my girls’ lunches, and headed to the park.  Of course, I also brought some for me and… YUM! Unreal.  The Almond Berry was like a really crunchy blueberry muffin! Oh.So.Good.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Next thing I knew, the whole family was fighting over who got the last morsel of Snackle Mouth goodness. No joke! If my youngest daughter wasn’t so cute, I would have stolen it right out of her lunch.

Snackle Mouth currently comes in 3 flavors: Almond Berry, Almond Pecan Maple, and Peanut Cranberry. I had the opportunity to try the Almond Berry & Pecan Maple. Both were hard to stop eating and have that great protein I am always looking for in a snack.  What I also love about this product is that I can easily put it in my kid’s lunches.  Now I don’t have to rely on deli meat or almond butter sandwiches for protein!

The combo of organic blue agave and the sweetness of brown rice syrup create a candy-like coating on the Almond Berry, while the Almond Pecan flavor had more of a granola feel to it. Both were kid approved, husband approved, and Family Fresh Meals approved.

Now that I have you drooling all over your keyboard, I bet you all want to get your hands on some. You can find Snackle Mouth online at Abe’s Market and many Whole Foods.

Have you tried Snackle Mouth? What are some of your favorite ways to eat it?

 

Editors note: we aren’t kidding when we say that these clusters are delicious! We had to postpone this post because we needed to order more so we could take photos for the post! The first shipment was gone before all the boxes were out of the UPS box.

Disclosure:  We were not compensated for this post.  We did receive the first shipment of samples that were devoured by our staff and their kids.  From time to time, we find products worth writing about; especially if they offer a healthy alternative for the lunch box.  All opinions in this post are our own.

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