Tag Archives for " family dinners "

Easy Spaghetti Cupcakes

Need a new way to impress your picky eater? Try these Spaghetti “cupcakes”! Even your picky eaters will be impressed!

Spaghetti Cupcakes Presentation, presentation, presentation. MOMables realizes presentation is everything for a picky eater, which is why we tell you how to pack our lunches to make them look appetizing.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

I tell my daughter that we are having spaghetti for dinner, and she makes a face. However, if I tell her we are having spaghetti cupcakes, she is all excited for dinner and can’t wait! Maybe there’s something about having spaghetti just plain on a plate or in a bowl.

Everything seems to mush together, which my daughter doesn’t always like. Put the exact same ingredients in a reusable silicone cup, call them cupcakes, and all of a sudden dinner looks a whole lot better!

Not only do spaghetti cupcakes make dinner fun, you can also allow your kids to choose their own toppings. By having separate bowls filled with favorite spaghetti toppings, your kids can easily “decorate” their own cupcakes.

For example, you could have separate bowls of pasta, marinara sauce, meatballs, vegetables, and parmesan cheese. If any of your kids do not like spaghetti, you can offer two types of pasta. I had spaghetti and corkscrew pasta in our cupcakes.

These cupcakes can also help your kids get more involved in the meal planning. My daughter chose which vegetables from the freezer she wanted to add to the spaghetti cupcakes. Having her involved only made her more interested in actually eating the meal afterward, which always makes me a happy mom.

I used these silicone cups because for one, they are reusable. I use silicone cups all the time, whether to bake muffins, or for yogurt parfaits, or in lunches. I enjoy using silicone cups in lunches to keep food separate and for the added pop of color. You could use any reusable silicone cup, not just the flower ones used above. If you do not have any reusable silicone cups, mini bowls or foil cupcake liners could be used instead.

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17 Gluten- and Grain-Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Need a delicious gluten- and grain-free pizza option? 

Gluten and Grain Free Pizza Dough MOMables

Cauliflower pizza crusts are the perfect way to get your kids to eat an extra serving of veggies or to make one of their favorites grain-free.

My daughter loves our Cauliflower Crust Lunch Box Pizza recipe. It’s one of her favorite things to find in her lunch, and for me, it’s a perfect and delicious way to sneak in veggies for my entire family!

Eat them for dinner, pack them for lunch, or enjoy as an after-school snack.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested


Gluten- and Grain-Free Cauliflower Crust Mini Pizzas

Yields about 5 individual pizzas.

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Lunch


Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cleaned, and chopped into florets
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt with parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Zatarain’s Big & Zesty Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  • 3-4 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Optional toppings: pepperoni, sausage, peppers, etc.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F, and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the cauliflower into a food processor, and process to a flour-like texture.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a large microwavable bowl, and cook on high for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the microwave. Add the egg, seasonings, and cheese. Mix well, until it resembles a batter-like mixture.
  5. Divide the batter into five equal parts.
  6. On the baking sheet, form the mixture into pizza crusts (in this case, heart shapes) (At this step, you can continue or freeze formed pizza crusts for later.)
  7. Lightly coat each crust with cooking spray, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crusts begin to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven, and top with the sauce, cheese, and toppings of choice.
  9. Return to the oven, and broil until the cheese is melted.



Allergy-Friendly Apple Herb Stuffing

Love stuffing but need a gluten-free option? How about a dairy- and egg-free option too? We’ve got you covered. 

When you pack lunches daily, you can accumulate a lot of bread crusts and scraps from sandwiches. I save mine in a storage bag in the freezer so I can make homemade gluten-free croutons, bread crumbs, and stuffing. Here is another great way to repurpose those bread pieces and make something that’s both allergy-friendly and delicious!

I made this recipe with no added eggs or dairy, but I have listed either way so you can make it to fit the needs of your family. By using a type of bread that accomodates your allergies, you can keep it completely egg-free or dairy-free. The bread my family uses is gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and nut-free. Serve it up for the holidays with a giant turkey or for family dinners with marinated pork. The apples give it a sweet bite that will mix deliciously with your meal.

Allergy-Friendly Apple Herb Stuffing

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Dinner


  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons warm water (or 1 egg, if your allergies allow)
  • 8 cups bread cubes and pieces
  • 2 cups diced apples, 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Italian-blend seasoning
  • 1/4 cup vegan buttery spread or stick, softened (or butter, if your allergies allow)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup apple juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. If you’re making a flax egg, in a small bowl, mix the flax and water, and set aside for about 10 minutes until it forms a gel-like paste.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the bread, apples, onion, and celery, and then add the salt and seasoning.
  4. Pour over the buttery spread, egg, broth, and apple juice. Mix well until the bread pieces are coated.
  5. Pour into the baking dish evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.


3 Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - MOMables.com

Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Need an easy dinner that your family will devour? Check out this baked pasta recipe!
Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - MOMables.comAre your calendars filling up with scheduled activities? Ours is. That means I need to be a bit more more organized when it comes to meals.  Not only do I need to have an unending, creative supply of lunches on hand, but also good, filling meals for supper.

This recipe is one of our favorites. It’s easy to make, fills my 3 hungry boys and husband, freezes well and makes great lunch leftovers!

This recipe comes via Jamie Oliver, so you know it’s full of wholesome ingredients.  When I came across it he wrote of how he found inspiration for this dish while visiting a grade school in Italy.

This dish was served to the Italian school children both as a hot and cold lunch.

The day Jamie visited it was served to 1,000 children! Also, did you know that in Italy it is law that the ingredients in school lunches are organic?  Seriously.  I had to look that one up, not believing the first time I read it.

The laws primarily apply to pasta and olive oil, but they also make a point to use mostly local produce, supporting local farmers and agriculture.  How cool is that?  Very cool, in my opinion.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested



Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Dinner


  • 14 oz whole wheat pasta–orcchiette or penne
  • 2-3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder (or 1-2 dried chilies, crumbled)
  • 3 – 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons basil pesto (or 1 large handful fresh basil)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups parmesan, grated
  • 3 – 5 ounce balls of mozzarella, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, garlic and chili. Sauté for about 10 minutes on medium to low heat until onions are translucent. Add in the tomatoes, including juice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Using a food processor or immersion blender, process until sauce is smooth. Add in pesto (or fresh basil), vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the pasta with half the tomato sauce.
  4. Prepare a 9×13 or 8×8 baking dish by rubbing with olive oil. Layer a little pasta in the bottom of the baking dish, followed by a layer of tomato sauce, a handful of parmesan and layer of sliced mozzarella. Continue layering until you’ve used all the ingredients, ending with a layer of cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbling.


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


  • 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)


  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.