All Posts by Alison Bickel

6 grilled pizza

How to Make Grilled Pizza

grilled pizzaDoes your family love pizza but your house heats up when you turn on the oven during the hot summer months?  We have a solution for you.  Grilled pizza.  Yes, as in grilled in the bbq pizza.
Mmm…pizza.  A favorite for many,  it can be counted on to satisfy each time you bring it to the table, especially kids.  Pizza offers the opportunity to be adventurous with a mix of seasonal veggies, or to keep it simple with a single topping.  It’s the easiest way to sneak in extra nutrition for the picky eaters in the house.

If you are thinking: I just can’t make my own dough. Or, it’s too complicated!  We’ve got you covered. Seriously.

Part of our school lunch menus is to help you plan ahead what you are going to feed your family for the week.  We make suggestions and provide a simple recipes everyone will love.  Of course, leftovers are repackaged in a lunch container and taken to school.  Viola! Cook once, eat twice.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

This quick pizza dough is basically a foolproof way of making dough. The way it should be: real ingredients and real simple. A full tablespoon of yeast takes out the wait usually involved with making pizza dough.  Bonus: kids won’t notice it’s whole wheat.

Quick Pizza Dough

grilled pizza

Quick Pizza Dough

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil

In a pyrex measuring cup measure water and warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds (about 130 degrees).  Make sure the water isn’t too hot or it will destroy the yeast.  Add in honey, yeast and stir.  Let yeast mixture sit for 10 minutes until yeast is activated (you’ll see a “froth” begin to form, about 1 inch in height).

Using a large bowl, measure out dry ingredients and mix well. Pour yeast mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.  Knead in mixer using dough hook for 2-3 minutes, or by hand until well combined.

Place dough on floured surface and divide into 4 equal sections.  Roll each into individual pizzas, to about 1/4 inch thickness. Lightly brush top side of each pizza with olive oil and place on a sheet of foil, oiled side down.  Then brush top side with oil.  Repeat for each piece of dough.

Set grill on medium-high heat.  Gently flip each piece of dough onto the grill from the foil.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Dough will puff up to almost twice it’s original size.  Using tongs, flip dough so that grilled side is up.  Add toppings and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Again using tongs, move to baking sheet when pizza is finished grilling.

Save leftovers in the refrigerator and pack for lunch!

Easy Grilled Pizza Dough Recipe

  • Author: MOMables - Laura
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Instructions

  1. In a pyrex measuring cup measure water and warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds (about 130 degrees).  Make sure the water isn’t too hot or it will destroy the yeast.  Add in honey, yeast and stir.  Let yeast mixture sit for 10 minutes until yeast is activated (you’ll see a “froth” begin to form, about 1 inch in height).
  2. Using a large bowl, measure out dry ingredients and mix well. Pour yeast mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.  Knead in mixer using dough hook for 2-3 minutes, or by hand until well combined.
  3. Place dough on floured surface and divide into 4 equal sections.  Roll each into individual pizzas, to about 1/4 inch thickness. Lightly brush top side of each pizza with olive oil and place on a sheet of foil, oiled side down.  Then brush top side with oil.  Repeat for each piece of dough.
  4. Set grill on medium-high heat.  Gently flip each piece of dough onto the grill from the foil.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Dough will puff up to almost twice it’s original size.  Using tongs, flip dough so that grilled side is up.  Add toppings and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Again using tongs, move to baking sheet when pizza is finished grilling.
2

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt Recipe

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This vanilla bean frozen yogurt recipe is delicious without the added store bought junk. 

vanilla bean frozen yogurt with raspberries

My three boys are spending their summer running around the house, playing in the back yard and taking small trips to our local farm.  It’s so hot, that we’ve been looking to cool off any way we can.  For the most part this has meant drinking lots of water, eating popsicles and making frozen yogurt.

A little over a year ago, I was gifted with an ice cream maker.  At the time, I wasn’t sure it would get used very often, but I was wrong.  It has been one of the most used appliances in my cupboards this summer.  Making frozen treats, doesn’t have to be a time consuming production that has you searching for fancy ingredients.

Making a healthy, high protein treat can be simple and easy to include your children in the process.  This recipe, has 3 wholesome ingredients. I use real maple syrup when making this yogurt.  Yes, it costs a bit more, but trust me, the flavor is so much better.

Those sugary frozen yogurt pints at the store? You won’t buy them again, I promise.

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

yields 1 quart

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Treats
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla bean paste. Stir until mixed well.
  2. Pour into freezer bowl of ice cream maker. Churn for 25-30 minutes (or according to your machines instructions) until yogurt is consistency of thick, soft serve yogurt.
  3. Serve immediately, top with fresh fruit if desired.

 

 

2 raw oatmeal

No-Cook Oatmeal with Berries

No-cook oatmeal? Yes! Check out this delicious way to eat a filling breakfast with fresh fruit.

raw oatmealWe all know the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?  Well, I never put a lot of stock into that phrase until I became a mother.

Feeding my kids a filling, wholesome breakfast makes all the difference in how they start their day. It needs to be filling and have enough protein to keep them from getting hungry halfway through the morning.

Packing fresh lunches is no longer an issue since we began using the MOMables menus, but getting my boys to eat breakfast when we are in a hurry can be challenging.  My 3 boys have differing tastes, so it’s not always easy to make everyone happy.

Having a variety of choices on hand seems to keep them a little more interested and our mornings complaint free.

With warmer days upon us, our focus has turned from hot oatmeal to a cooler, summer version.  Raw oats topped with milk, fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Easy, delicious and nutritious… the MOMables way.

Raw Oatmeal with Berries

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • Raw Oatmeal
  • Old Fashion or thick rolled oats
  • Milk, dairy or nondairy
  • Fresh fruit
  • Maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • Other optional toppings: shredded coconut, almonds, pecans, dried fruits, sprinkle of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Scoop a small amount of oats into a bowl and cover with milk. Allow to sit for a minute or two as the oats soak up the milk and get softer. Top with fresh fruit and other toppings of your choice and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, if desired. Enjoy!

 

raw oatmeal

 

1

Fresh Berries and Vanilla Bean Syrup

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 Whew!  The heat is on, isn’t it?  If it didn’t feel like summer before, mother nature has certainly given us a hefty does of hot days to make sure we knew summer was really upon us.

When the temperatures climb, the last thing I feel like doing is heating up the house to cook.  Our meals become simple sandwiches, salads and one bowl pasta dishes that require very little preparation.

Still, I love a good dessert as much as the next person and sometimes you just need a little something sweet.

Seasonal berries and stone fruits are just the solution.  Add a drizzle of golden syrup, flecked with vanilla beans, and you have just the thing to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

 

 

This vanilla bean syrup comes together quickly with only 3 ingredients, but needs time to cool before pouring over the berries.  The red of the raspberries and strawberries, along with gorgeous blueberries make this a festive treat to take along for your Fourth of July celebrations.

Fresh Berries and Vanilla Bean Syrup

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Condiments
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue simmering until sugar is dissolved, creating a simple syrup.
  2. Take the vanilla bean and slice it down the middle. Scrape out the vanilla beans inside. Stirring, add them to the simple syrup.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a separate container to cool. Cool completely. Pour over berries and serve.

 

2

5 Summertime snacks your kids will love

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After being a mama for a few years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that, just like the grass, weeds and garden, my kids grow in the summer. This means that they are almost always hungry.

When I see them standing in front of the pantry door, or “snack closet” (as they call it) they aren’t always hungry.  Sometimes they are just bored but other times they are hungry.  This means I need to have snacks on hand.  I try to keep our choices somewhat healthy, with a sweet treat or two mixed in.

I like to keep things simple.  Baking is done maybe once a week, depending on the temperature and if I feel like heating up the house by using the oven.  Popsicles are probably the most requested snack, but it’s also good to have portable goodies on hand as well to take along on trips to the park, ball games, road trips and play dates with friends.

Our top 5 Summertime Snacks – Healthy, fun & nutritious!

Frozen Fruit Kabobs–just as easy as they sound.  Fresh fruit, kabob sticks, mix & match, freeze and eat! So easy and delicious!

Fruit with Nut butters–this is an easy simple snack with ingredients that I always have on hand. Nut-free zone? Check out our Sunflower Nutella recipe.

sunflower nutella

Popsicle–there is really nothing like a good, cold Popsicle after an afternoon of playing out in the summer sun.  Whether they’re store bought, or homemade, popsicle are always a hit with the kids!

No Bake Cookies–often in the summer, the last thing I feel like doing is firing up the oven to bake.  These no bake cookies are the perfect solution to any sweet tooth craving you or your kids might be having.  Substitute sunflower butter for the peanut butter if needed for an equally delicious treat.

Smoothies–they are what I call “insta-snack” because gratification is nearly instant.  Don’t these peanut butter smoothies look amazing?

chocolate peanut butter smoothieWhat kind of snacks do you keep on hand for your family?  Feel free to share!

 

14 chocolate peanut butter smoothie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Recipe

How about a Chocolate Peanut Butter smoothie recipe to keep bellies full and the kids happy?

chocolate peanut butter smoothie kids will love!In the summer time, my boys have been play from sun up to sun down, stirring up adventures in the neighborhood, playing lots of baseball and riding bikes with their friends.  All this activity makes them hungry.

When they finally find their way inside for a snack I want it to be something filling and nutritious, but fun too.  We’ve made breakfast smoothies for quite a while using fresh fruit and yogurt, but who wouldn’t love a chocolate smoothie?  A scoop of peanut butter and Greek yogurt provide added protein to get them back out the door with more energy for their adventures.

Like most smoothie recipes, this one can be customized to the liking or needs of your family.  Use nondairy milk and yogurt, or change the peanut butter to another nut butter.  It’s completely up to you!

Any leftover smoothie can be frozen in ice cube trays to use another time.  Just pop a few in the blender for a quick afternoon snack or on the go breakfast.  We also like to use smoothie molds for freezing any leftovers to send in lunch boxes.  By lunch time it will be thawed and ready to eat!

Doesn’t it look delicious? Someone is HAPPY.

chocolate peanut butter smoothie Kids will absolutely LOVE

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

chocolate peanut butter smoothie

yields 3-4 cups

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Drinks
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 cup chocolate milk, dairy or nondairy (we use chocolate almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup creamy, natural peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Add more milk for a thinner consistency if desired.

 

17 Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispy Treats

Do your kids ask for the familiar rice krispy treats but you want a little more fiber and nutrition? How about a recipe without corn syrup?

I try to keep a well stocked pantry of snacks. Having a variety of them on hand allows my family to enjoy the convenience without sacrificing nutrition.  By making my own, I know exactly what ingredients go in my food.  Finally, these snacks need to come together quickly, because like yourself, I am a busy mom.

Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispy TreatsI make these whole grain rice krispy treat recipe so often, I actually had to look up the recipe to share it with you! It’s measurements have become engrained in my memory and now I make it on my own.

Not only are these gluten-free treats great for packing in lunches,  they also work well individually wrapped to take along on summer road trips and picnics.  They are the perfect portable snack.

These definitely aren’t the rice krispy treats I grew up with–super sweet and marshmallowy.  Instead, these are peanut buttery and not too sweet, almost a bit salty.  The perfect balance of sweet and salty if you ask me!

The brown rice syrup has a lower glycemic index than its high fructose corn syrup marshmallow counterparts.  What’s not to love about that?

Dark chocolate sweetness and brown rice krispy crunch… yumm.

brown rice crispy treats

 Melt, mix and pour. So easy the kids will love to help!

brown rice crispy treats

Brown Rice Krispy Treats

brown rice crispy treats
  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Treats
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 10 ounce box brown rice krispies
  • 1 3/4 cups brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (almond butter or non nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or non-dairy chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pour the rice cereal in a large bowl. Heat the syrup with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat. When the rice syrup liquifies, add the peanut butter and stir well until combined. Pour over the rice cereal. Mix well.
  2. Once thoroughly cooled , stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish. Let cool for 1 hour before cutting into bars.

 

I found this recipe in the Kind Diet.

 

38 Homemade Granola Bars - MOMables.com

Simple & Nutritious: Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars - MOMables.comI love a good granola bar.  My kids love them too.  They make for an easy breakfast on the run, snack or filling addition to the lunchbox.

While store-bought granola bars might be convenient, paying nearly $4 for 6 individually wrapped organic bars can get quite expensive!  Unlike the packaged kind, these are fresh, healthy and made with the wholesome ingredients you choose.

These granola bars are soft, without being cookie like and don’t crumble like so many homemade bars do.  The ingredient list allows for flexibility (don’t we all love that) and they can truly be customized to you and your child’s preferences.

 

Dried fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, even the peanut butter can be swapped for sunflower butter.  I especially love that many of these ingredients are pantry staples, so it’s quick to throw them together in a pinch.

homemade granola bars

Homemade Granola Bars

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Snacks
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup rice crispies
  • 1/2 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats processed til finely ground in a food processor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cups dried fruit, nuts or chocolate chips (mix it up, but total should be roughly 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 pan lining with parchment paper or using a nonstick spray.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients, including fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together vanilla, melted butter, liquid sweetener and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, including peanut butter (if using), combine until crumbly.
  3. Spread into the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown along the edges. These will still be soft when they come out of the oven, almost like they are under baked. Keep the bars in pan until completely cool (this will help them mold, to avoid crumbling). Once cool, cut with serrated knife. If bars still seem crumbly, even after fully cooling, place them in fridge for 30 minutes to help them set.
  4. Wrap individually and store in air tight container.

 

One of our favorite combinations are dried cranberries and apricots, with dark chocolate chips and maple syrup for sweetener.  Just remember to keep measurements the same when swapping out some of the ‘add-ins’ and you have a never-ending variation of the beloved granola bar!

 

adapted from King Arthur Flour
6

Homemade whole wheat waffles

Do you have a weekend tradition? Around our house, Saturday mornings are typically for pancakes.  We’ve had this tradition a few years now, even when vacationing in the mountains.  There is something special about coming together, sitting down and making our weekend plans.

I’d always shield away from making waffles because, to be honest, I associated waffles with the flat and flavorless of the frozen variety.  It wasn’t until recently that I borrowed a friend’s waffle maker to give a new recipe a try.  If the sweet aroma of these waffles baking wasn’t enough to sell me, the slight hint of sweetness did the job.

Whole Wheat Waffles

With a tablespoon of baking powder these waffles are light and fluffy.  You won’t believe they are whole wheat and egg free.  Don’t let the thick batter worry you, they are anything but dense.  You might want to double up this recipe because they will be gone before you get to eat one!

And the best part?  Any leftovers make a great lunch for the kids.  Send with a small container of maple syrup for dipping, or spread a little nut butter on the slices for a waffle sandwich.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

whole wheat waffles

Whole Wheat Waffles

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Cuisine: Breakfast
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed + ½ cup warm water (OR 3 eggs beaten)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your waffle maker.
  2. If using the ground flaxseed egg replacer: mix the flaxseed with the warm water in a large bowl and wait 5 minutes, until a gel forms.
  3. To the eggs, add the melted butter and milk, and whisk for another minute.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Create a well in the center and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir until combined and you have a smooth batter. A few lumps are okay, over stirred batter can make for tough, rubbery waffles.
  5. Spoon a ½ cup batter onto the hot waffle maker. Close the lid and bake as per waffle instructions, or until the waffle is golden brown.

Notes

Learn how to freeze your waffles here.
For gluten free version click here.

 

 

 Recipe slightly adapted from ‘The Joy of Vegan Baking’ to fit my family’s taste.

whole wheat waffles

 

 

66 sunflower nutella

Sunflower Nutella – Nut-free Recipe

Growing up in Spain I sometimes had Nutella sandwiches.  Ok, maybe not the healthiest of snacks but my grandmother served it as a treat.  Sometime in the 90s, she bought her first food processor; and she experimented like no one else to re-create a nut free version for my cousin.  After a while, sunflower chocolate spread is all she served.  Not too long ago, I stumbled upon Chocolate Covered Katie’s better than Nutella recipe and I adapted it to make a nut free and affordable version of the original.  –Laura

sunflower nutellaSunflower Chocolate Spread.  When Laura sent me this recipe I instantly knew it would be a hit with my kids. Who knew that just a few ingredients could result in such a delicious treat.

Nut Free Chocolate Spread

Similar to the chocolate spread we all know and love, but made instead with sunflower seeds instead of hazelnuts and no refined sugar.  It can be used in so many ways, but is especially good spread on a slice of toasted whole wheat bread and topped with fresh fruit.

You will need a food processor to to cream the sunflower seeds into a buttery texture.  If you don’t have one, this recipe alone will be the excuse you’ll need to buy yourself one!

The only reason Laura asked me to write this post is because the one in the test kitchen broke and her neighbor needed hers back! My kids were really happy I might add.

After a few minutes of processing the sunflower seeds they will turn into a thick creamy nut butter. 
sunflower nutella

Doesn’t it look AMAZING with fresh strawberries?
Please, refrain from biting your screen and drooling over your keyboard.

 

Of course, we have to show you how delicious it can be as an after school snack! Full of protein, vitamin E, selenium, and magnesium these seeds sure know how to pack in the nutrition and health benefits! Oh, I am sure I don’t need to go into the health beneifts of chocolate… right?

sunflower nutella

 

Sunflower Nutella

sunflower nutella

This nut-free nutella recipe is quick and delicious. By using sunflower seeds it’s nut-free!

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: about 2 cups 1x
  • Cuisine: Snacks
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract* use less if you want
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons maple syrup (may sub agave or honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 23 teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable oil, optional (for extra smoothness)
  • 1/2 cup milk, dairy or nondairy

Instructions

  1. In a medium non-stick pan, toast sunflower seeds over medium-high heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, process toasted sunflower seeds, stopping intermittently to scrape down the sides of bowl. Continue 2-3 minutes until seeds have turned to thick, creamy butter.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and blend for an additional 4-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  4. Store in airtight container up to 30 days in the fridge –if it lasts that long.

 

32

Lunch Box Quinoa Salad

Qui-no-what? Yes! Kids can love other things besides pasta! This delicious Quinoa salad is perfect to fill any lunchbox quickly!
easy and delicious quinoa salad recipe made from leftover quinoa! perfect lunch idea

My daughter loves it when I send her something other than a sandwich in her lunch box…like a lettuce-free “salad”. This quinoa salad idea is a fun change from our usual rice or pasta salad.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

It’s true. Haven’t you heard? Quinoa isn’t just for dinner…it’s also great inside the lunch box! To make this easier, use leftover quinoa from dinner. The recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Utilizing leftovers in a delicious lunch like this will save you time in the kitchen and money on wasted food. It’s a win-win! Easy recipes like this one fill our weekly meal plans. If you are struggling for affordable lunch ideas that beat the sandwich rut, you can grab a free copy of our sample meal plan here. 

Doesn’t this recipe look delicious? Now, if our kids could only see how much love went into their lunchbox we’d be set!

easy and delicious quinoa salad recipe made from leftover quinoa! perfect lunch idea

Lunch Box Quinoa Salad with Veggies

  • Author: MOMables
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 Lunchbox servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Lunch
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup minced carrots
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa: bring water to a boil, pour quinoa. Reduce heat to a low/simmer until water has been absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  2. Pour cooked quinoa into a mixing bowl, and chill in refrigerator until cold (about 30 minutes).
  3. Remove quinoa from fridge and stir in the red bell pepper, red onion, curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, carrots, and peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

 

*Also featuring this post over at the Queen of Quinoa link party.

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