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4 potato smashers recipe

Easy Baked Potato Smashers

Looking for another way to eat potatoes? These Baked Potato Smashers are a fun twist for a side dish or for lunch the next day!

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

potato smashers recipe

These fun spuds are a marriage of two potato favorites…. mashed and baked potatoes. And the best part…you can season these with ANYTHING! Cheese, your favorite grill spice, dip in sour cream, french onion dip…. the list could go on forever. I made half of the batch tangy, with my favorite potato chip flavor (salt and vinegar) and the other half just with salt.
The kids had a blast making these. After I prepped the potatoes for smashing, my girls would yell, “SMASH” with every potato they pressed. So fun! Experiment with variety of dips!

Potato Smasher Recipe

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Sides


  • 1.5 lbs one-bite round or fingerling potatoes
  • kosher salt to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil (about 2 tbsp)


  1. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot, cook for 20 minutes or until you can easily stick with a fork, but not so long that the potato falls apart when it is stuck.
  2. Lay a clean dish towel on the counter and place potatoes on the towel in small groups. Using your fist smash each potato. The peel will split, but the potato will remain in one smashed piece. Repeat for all potatoes.
  3. Drizzle the first tbsp of oil on the bottom of a baking sheet.
  4. Place smashed potatoes on the sheet, then drizzle remaining oil over the tops of potatoes. Use a brush to spread the oil evenly.
  5. Roast in the oven at 450 degrees for 35 minutes.
  6. I tossed 1/2 with malt vinegar then sprinkled them all with kosher salt to taste. You could season this with anything you love!


  • Serving Size: 4-6
3 easy cheesy tortellini recipe in the crockpot. super delicious and easy to make.

Italian Tortellini in the Crockpot

Need an easy mid-week meal that is both cheesy and satisfying? You know, for nights where you need something ready for you when you walk in the door? If so, you are going to love this Italian Tortellini in the Crockpot!

easy cheesy tortellini recipe in the crockpot. super delicious and easy to make.

The method is simple, and the ingredients are basic. Recipes like this one are the type you’ll find inside our Classic Meal Plan. For a sample, click here.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Of course, the Italian sausage in the recipe is optional. As a matter of fact, this dish is comforting plain! Serve it next to a side salad with homemade Greek yogurt ranch, and you are good to go!

crockpot tortellini recipe with a side salad and homemade greek yogurt ranch dressing

Crockpot Love: Cheesy Italian Tortellini

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Cuisine: Dinner


  • 1 pound mild ground Italian sausage (optional)
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, with liquid
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 9 ounces refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. In a medium skillet, cook the sausage, if using, over medium heat until browned. Drain the excess fat and set aside.
  2. Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the cooked meat, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and diced tomatoes inside the crockpot. Give the mixture a quick stir, and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 7.
  3. In the last half hour (if cooking on high) or the final hour (if cooking on low), check for seasoning, then add in the tortellini and mozzarella. Give everything a quick stir, cover, and continue cooking.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.


This recipe serves 6 with sausage, 4 without.


How to Get Picky Eaters to Eat Broccoli

Who thinks it is possible to get their picky eaters to eat broccoli? We can change that!

Hollis, our contributing mom, writes about how she’s gotten her sons to eat more veggies. If you’ve missed our picky-eater series, check out our texture issue, color issue, picky-eater solutions, and dinnertime action plan posts.

Two kids, two appetites, two meals—TOO much! One has been eating sushi since 3 years of age, and the other won’t touch broccoli. Hmm, the ultimate question: “How to get your kids, whether 2 or 6, to all eat the same meal?” The easy way. To involve them in the process from an early age and to not give up. I don’t recommend making your kids eat everything on their plate. This, in turn, will just make them more opposed to trying new foods and make mealtime full of anxiety.

I think making food fun is one of the easiest ways to get your children involved in trying new foods. The grocery store can be challenging with a toddler, but why not make it an adventure? Ask your little guy or girl to “find something green that looks like a tree” when you’re perusing the produce section. It’s like a scavenger hunt. They’ll have fun picking out the tree. My tip on picking out broccoli is to make sure you choose one that has green florets. If the top of the broccoli has a gray or black appearance, my grandmother always said to keep looking. When you get home, have your child help “give the broccoli a bath.”

Having your child help you in the kitchen is a sure way to perk their interest in the foods they eat. Here’s my hint with making the best broccoli ever. Of course, it’s my Italian grandmother’s recipe, so it’s divine. In a pot, put about an inch of water, add olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic, and a dash of salt. As you steam the broccoli, the flavors will enhance the delicious taste. Steamed broccoli is too plain?  Make broccoli pesto.

When dinner is ready, have your child help you serve the trees (aka broccoli) he or she picked out at the store. It will make your little guy or girl feel important! When serving your child, I recommend not asking what they’d like on their plate. Just serve them! Of course, if your child has been snacking all day, they won’t be very hungry, so getting your children to try new foods is always easier when they’re hungry. If they insist on not trying the broccoli or meal, don’t give up. Eventually, their interest will be piqued, and maybe they’ll take a bite, so keep cooking and keep serving.



26 Easy to make veggie macaroni and cheese made with carrots

Homemade Veggie Mac and Cheese

Do your kids love macaroni and cheese but can’t get enough veggies in their diet? If so, this Homemade Veggie Mac and Cheese recipe is for you.

Easy to make veggie macaroni and cheese made with carrots
I want to share with you how I began adding an extra serving of veggies to my veggie-averse son’s macaroni and cheese. At first, I read about adding the pureed carrots directly into boxed macaroni and cheese. But what about those of us who don’t want to use boxed mixes?

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Eventually, I settled for the ricotta and sharp cheddar combination because it resembled the creaminess texture my son loves.

I love ricotta cheese because it packs on the calcium and protein he needs to grow (he’s not a big milk drinker either). After much experimenting, I began creating larger batches to freeze ahead. I love knowing I can just go to the freezer and pull out a serving to make an entire dinner!

I will tell you that this doesn’t taste like traditional macaroni and cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is essential to creating the sauce because it intensifies the cheesy flavor and tones down the sweetness from the carrots.  Medium cheddar won’t cut it and you’ll have a very sweet tasting sauce.

For more creative ways to feed kids veggies, check out our meal plans.

For a homemade traditional version of stovetop macaroni and cheese, check out this recipe.

Better Than Boxed: MOMables Veggie Macaroni & Cheese

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 1
  • Cuisine: Dinner


  • 1 cup steamed carrots or,
  • 1/2 cup carrot puree
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup cooked pasta


  1. Peel and wash the carrots. Cut into pieces. Steam until tender in the microwave or stovetop.
  2. In a blender/food processor, add steamed carrots, ricotta cheese, sharp Cheddar cheese, and milk.
  3. Pour cheesy veggie sauce over 1 cup cooked pasta.

Meatball Madness: A Healthy Recipe Everyone Will Enjoy

Do you know how to make homemade meatballs?

Let’s face it. Meatballs have kid appeal. We sing songs about them. We see them in movies and on TV. We have pictures of them in storybooks and coloring books. In fact, they are easily identifiable to most of the world. They span the globe from North America to Europe, the Mediterranean to Asia, and they are universal and extremely versatile. Even my pickiest eater  (who has never allowed one to cross his lips) can pick one out of a picture lineup. But how on earth do you make a good one?

Thanks to one of my dearest friends, I learned a simple way to make the lightest, most tender meatballs on the planet. The secret is in the cooking method. Put away your skillets, and no baking pan required. You won’t even need to turn them! Instead of baking or frying the meatballs, we drop them into a pot of simmering broth. 

The best part? When they are cooked through, they float to the surface of the liquid! Simply scoop them out with a slotted spoon and cool. This recipe makes approximately 50 meatballs, but it all depends on the size you like them. The kids love them in miniature, but my husband and I prefer them a little bit bigger.

Meatball Madness! Easy and Delicious

For this recipe, you will require 6 to 8 cups of beef stock (your own or premade) or a 50/50 mix of beef stock and ground tomatoes for cooking. Bring the stock to a simmer in a small stockpot or a deep sauce pan.

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Dinner


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ounces bread crumbs
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Splash of red wine
  • Additional seasoning as you prefer


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Gently squeeze them together until well mixed. The texture should be moist and soft. If it is dry, add another egg. Using a leveled tablespoon or cookie scoop (my personal favorite), shape the mixture into balls.
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer.
  3. Gently place 10 to 12 meatballs in the simmering stock, not too many at a time, because you want to clearly see them float to the top when they are cooked. As they float up, scoop them out with a slotted spoon.
  4. Use immediately in your favorite recipe, or allow them to cool completely if you are freezing them. You can also skim the fat off the stock used to cook the meatballs, and freeze it in ice cube trays to use in other recipes!


The Meatball Madness Sub:
A family favorite at our house on movie night, this is a snap to prepare. Place precooked (thawed) meatballs in the slow cooker with your favorite spaghetti or pizza sauce. Don’t be afraid to add a cup of pureed carrots or squash to this dish—they blend right in and enhance the flavor perfectly. Cook on the lowest setting for 6 to 8 hours. Serve on lightly toasted submarine buns with your favorite cheese melted on top. Who needs fast food when home-cooked is simple and tastes this good?

About Jenn Sprung: A full-time Mom to three wonderful children, with a keen interest in boosting the nutrition in every bite. Because in my world, every bite counts! Visit Jenn’s blog Cleverly Disguised as Cake for additional sneaky resources or learn more about Pediatric Feeding Disorders and how to help your child.