Thanksgiving Giveaway!

We wanted to show our thanks and gratitude to our readers and followers, so this Thanksgiving we are giving away a free copy of Healthy Habits!
(click here for reviews and a look inside)

To enter complete as many of the following tasks as you would like! Contest entries accepted until midnight this Sunday, December 1st – Good Luck to all and wishing you a happy and healthy holiday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Cauliflower "Potato" Latkes

With Hanukkah just under a week away, we wanted to share a recipe that is sure to be a hit at your upcoming holiday party! We’ve swapped the potatoes for cauliflower in this recipe, however, you could easily split the recipe to have half  potatoes and half cauliflowers. The choice is yours!

Cauliflower “Potato” Latkes

Photo Credit: elana’s pantry via Compfight cc

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed and chopped into small pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can also grind matzah to make a matzah meal)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Canola, or oil of choice, for frying
  • Optional: shredded carrots or zucchini for added color and nutrition!

Directions:

  1. Steam cauliflower in a large pot for about 10-15 minutes, or until tender. (Make sure the cauliflower is tender enough to mash) Drain.
  2. Mash the cauliflower with a potato masher, or large fork.
  3. Transfer the mashed cauliflower to a bowl. Add the eggs and flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Heat a saute/frying pan with enough oil to cover the bottom over medium-high heat.
  5. Once the pan is heated thoroughly, take a scoop of cauliflower and form into a latke-like shape. Add the latke to the pan and flatten slightly. Cook for about 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook for a remaining 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and place on a rack or towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Repeat until all cauliflower is used.
  7. Allow to cool and serve.

This recipe makes about 15 latkes and makes a great addition to your favorite Hanukkah meals. We especially love pairing it with this Fennel and Spinach Soup with Roasted Pepper Yogurt from Cooking Light’s Healthy Holiday Menu.

Do you have any recipes for Hanukkah that you’d like to share? Or any modifications to traditional recipes? We’d love to see them!

Children's Multivitamins: How To Choose?

Children’s Multivitamins: How To Choose?
By: Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

As a child, I can remember my mom giving me my children’s multivitamin. I hated them. Their taste was so unpleasant. I would sneak upstairs to my bedroom and hide the uneaten chewables behind my huge 1980’s dresser with towering shelves on top. I put each vitamin there every day for what seemed like years. No one could see them and it was so high, we rarely cleaned behind there. I had to stand on my dresser to throw it over the lip of the top shelf. Well that was until one day when we decided to do spring-cleaning. My mother climbed up there only to find 365 days worth of vitamins. My secret was out.

With not so fond memories of chewable multivitamins, I have taken caution when purchasing my own children’s daily vitamins. Not only do I want to provide a tasty vitamin, I want to be sure it is natural, free of dyes and low in allergenic foods/substances. It had been easy as pie until about one year when Natrol’s Liquid Kid Companion Multivitamin with Vit. D became unavailable. My kids’ had happily drank this liquid vitamin mixed with their omega 3 fatty acid supplement each night at dinner. What was I going to do? Natrol said they would not be making more until the likes of 2014.

 

Well, when Natrol stopped making this vitamin, my boys stopped taking a vitamin. I tried a few brands that I thought were worthy but to no avail. I now have a stockpile of vitamins by different brands as none have passed my boys’ taste tests.

 

However, last week was different. I finally succumbed to buying a gummy version rather than a regular chewable or liquid. I dreaded having to buy a gummy version, as they are basically sugar bears with either not enough vitamins or seemingly like a form of candy. So I rationalized it probably would taste edible and the kids would at least eat them. I could give them with the boys’ lunch, as I didn’t want the boys to get in the habit of always having a sweet something post dinner or even worse, post breakfast.

 

After reading all of the labels I found a vitamin that came in individual packs that was gluten-free, without preservatives and had only natural colors and flavors. The plus was that these three bears met 100% DV for all the vitamins except for B-1 and Niacin. It even had 100% DV for Vitamin D at 400 IU’s. So besides the fact it contains glucose syrup and even beeswax it seemed to be a better product than the other brands out there. Best of all, my boys like them! I can easily send them in their lunch boxes since they are already individually portioned in little packs. So though there is no perfect vitamin, these are the best I can find at this moment and that my kids will eat.

Below are the nutrition facts of three different children’s gummy multivitamins. Read the ingredients and the nutrition facts of all supplements before purchasing. Consider reading the reviews on sites such as www.consumerlabs.com for a third party, objective view. Look for the one that meets 100%DV and is free of artificial colorings and preservatives. While there is no perfect vitamin  – real food is the best source of nutrition, many RD’s and MD’s recommend children, especially picky eaters, take a multivitamin to help ensure micronutrient intake.

Click here for a sample Nutrition Facts comparison of 3 different vitamin brands.


Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Multivitamin for your Child:

Think about your child’s diet? Do they eat a variety of fruits and vegetables? Do they get enough calcium from dairy sources? Are they vegetarian? Do they have food allergies? Are there food allergies in the family? What are your personal thoughts on artificial dyes, or organic ingredients?

If you are struggling to choose the appropriate vitamin, ask your medical doctor, or registered dietitian to help you.

Healthy Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing + Giveaway

With the holidays just around the corner, the MDIO kitchen has been buzzing with festive recipes. A recent idea we’ve been working on is feeding holiday guests who have food allergies, sensitivities or other food aversions. Therefore, we’ve whipped up a vegetarian, nut- and gluten-free dish that is just as delicious as traditional stuffing!

Healthy Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing

Photo Credit: Dot D via Compfight cc

Ingredients:

-1 tbsp EV olive oil
-1-2 large onions, chopped
-3 cups or 1 24oz container of vegetable broth
-2 cups quinoa
-1 cup mushrooms, sliced
-1/2 cup parsley, chopped
-3 stalks of celery, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ground allspice
-1 bay leaf
-salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1) In a medium saucepan, add quinoa and 2 1/2 cups of the broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes (note: time varies by package/brand, so be sure to check the directions!), or until tender and all the broth has absorbed. Set aside.

2) Heat oil in a large saute pan. Add celery, onions, garlic, bay leaf, and seasonings, stirring occasionally. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stir. When the mushrooms begin to brown, add the parsley.

3) Stir in the cooked quinoa with the remaining broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for an additional 5-10 or until all liquid is absorbed.

 

There you have it, an allergy-friendly twist on a traditional holiday dish. This stuffing is great to serve to gluten-free (as long as the quinoa package is labeled gluten-free), nut-free and vegetarian guests. This recipe makes about 4 cups, enough to serve 8 people as a side dish.

Giveaway: black + blum

We are giving away a black + blum water bottle to one lucky subscriber!

To enter you must do at least one of the following:

-Be a Mom Dishes It Out subscriber (you can do so at the top of our homepage)

-Tweet us @MomDishesItOut

-Like this Facebook post

Giveaway ends Monday, November 25th!

An Inconvenient Life

An Inconvenient Life
A guest post written by: Rebecca Weiss

 

Photo Credit: VinothChandar via Compfight cc

After living in New York City for a few years I had a pretty iron-clad approach to walking in the city, I would cross the street at the corners that provided me the most direct path, and I would become really irritated if construction or a bunch of other pedestrians required me to cross at the north corner when I needed to go south. Having to cross back over, or even waiting for the light to get where I needed would drive me crazy. I’m wasting time here! This is so inefficient!

In my career I’ve faced this irritation too. Why don’t we have a separate drawer in the printer for letterhead? Why do I have to hand-feed these sheets of paper? At home, it was: Why not clear the table and start the dishwasher during the dinner party? Why does minute rice take 20 minutes to cook? I have to admit I’m often impatient, and I know it turns some people off.

Aside from the interpersonal issues this might bring up, my impatience has become a big part of my struggles to get fit and make better food choices for myself. Oh, would I complain bitterly when the escalators at Penn Station weren’t working. I could justify having pizza for dinner more than once a week because it’s more easily delivered than, say, a grilled tuna wrap.

Now, I won’t say I’m a Zen master, but by accepting an inconvenient lifestyle, I’ve gotten much healthier.

Photo Credit: Seite-3 via Compfight cc

First of all, I always take the stairs now. If you want a benchmark for your fitness level, forget the scale, or your pants size, and try climbing the same sets of stairs every day. I can see a continued improvement in my ability to climb the stairs in my daily commute, and I have the additional benefit of avoiding those long lines for the escalators. And, I like to think that all that stair climbing helps supplement my workouts on days I don’t get a chance to ride my exercise bike.

We’ve all heard about how fast food is one cause of the obesity epidemic in our country, and the main reason people eat it, I think, is convenience. But, you know what, there are lots of restaurants around that make fresh, healthier food, and if they don’t deliver, or you have to drive or walk to get them, maybe that’s not a bad thing.

Getting out of your car to order, pick up and pay for your coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts may actually save you calories. Waiting in line, thinking about whether you need a box of Munchkins to snack on, might actually change your mind. But, in the car, reading emails and ordering to the voice in the box at the drive thru? Well, why not add some more sweets to the order?

Having kids and commuting to work, I really value having trusted people who help us out around the house. But, you know what some of the best exercise is? Mowing your own lawn. Raking your own leaves. Painting your own walls. Walking your own dog. When I consider that I’m actually accomplishing multiple goals at once: Getting the closet painted, saving money and getting a good arm workout, I realize I am being quite efficient.

I also think about what my impatience teaches my kids. Do I want them to learn to always choose the easiest, fastest option? Isn’t it my job to show them that hard work, patience and follow through are the best ways to accomplish important goals? It’s easy to see how this plays out for them with food, too. Yes, we all love those sweet slices of lemon loaf or pumpkin bread at Starbucks, but how much more satisfying is homemade banana bread? We can take those mushy bananas on the counter at home, add our own ingredients, wait for it to bake, and at the end we have a house filled with a wonderful aroma, the excitement of pulling out the loaf and slicing it, and something equally tasty—without any mystery ingredients. We may have spent an hour on something that would otherwise take two minutes, but I think the end result is sweeter because we made it ourselves.

Zucchini Bread with a Twist

There’s nothing like a warm piece of homemade bread on a cold autumn day. Thanks to our friend Ann Grunberg, for allowing us to share her wonderful homemade Zucchini Bread recipe

Zucchini Bread with a Twist

Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar

Optional:

  • handful of raisins
  • handful of crushed coconut
  • grated carrots

 

Directions:

  1. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
  2. Beat eggs until fluffy.
  3. Add sugar and oil.
  4. Beat until the color turns lemon-yellow.
  5. Add vanilla, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, zucchini, nuts, salt and optional ingredients.
  6. Bake at 350˚F for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Ann Grunberg.

What Kind of Candy Mom Are You?

What Kind of Candy Mom Are You?

Considering that it was Halloween last week, you can just imagine how many people—friends, family members, clients, and colleagues alike—asked me: “Just what are you going to do with all the candy your kids collect?”

     

Click here to see what kind of candy mom Laura is at ModernMom!

Homemade Apple Butter

I don’t know about you, but we have a LOT of apples left from our family apple picking in October. We’ve been racking our brains for ideas on how to use up these fresh and delicious apples. Then we came across this Overnight Apple Butter recipe from Cooking Light. What a perfect way to use up these apples!

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light.

Overnight Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 10 medium apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces


Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours (we suggest starting it before you go to bed or as soon as you wake up if you’re concerned leaving it unattended all night).
  2. Once apples are tender, transfer a spoonful into a fine-meshed colander. Press the mixture using a large spoon until you are left with the apple pulp. You can throw away the pulp.
  3. Repeat until finished with the apples.
  4. Return the apple mixture to the slow cooker and continue to cook for 1.5 more hours. Stir occasionally until the mixture becomes thick.
  5. Store in an air-tight container or jar for one week. Enjoy!

Tip: using multiple varieties of apples can add to the overall texture and taste of the apple butter.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of Cooking Light.

Wild Rice Burgers

We know it isn’t Meatless Monday, but we can pretend it is, right? We were just too excited to wait until next Monday to share this delicious Wild Rice Burger recipe. Laura and her family will definitely be having this for dinner tonight. Do you think Laura’s boys will like them? (We sure hope so!)

photo courtesy of missmeng


Wild Rice
Burgers

Makes 4 patties

 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup small-diced onion
  • 1/3 cup small-diced celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded aged Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Cook wild rice according to package instructions or use the boiling method. Cool completely. (Can make a day ahead and refrigerate.)
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and sauté onions, celery, and garlic until onion is translucent.
  3. In a large bowl, combine onion-celery-garlic mixture with wild rice, breadcrumbs, Asiago cheese, salt, oregano, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Cool completely and then add eggs, stirring to combine.
  4. Divide mixture into 4 and shape into 1/2-inch thick patties.
  5. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry patties 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.
  6. Serve with your favorite burger toppings.

Variation:
For a vegan version, omit the Asiago cheese and replace the eggs with 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds whisked with 6 tablespoons water.


Posted by Emily Ho

Emily Ho is a writer and recipe developer. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. She is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network.

Read more from Emily »

Healthy Halloween Ideas + Wholesome Haunted Halloween Contest Winners!

Happy Almost-Halloween! We are happy to announce the winners of our Wholesome Haunted Halloween Contest with Bitsy’s Brainfood. Our winners were kind enough to share their wonderful ideas for a healthy halloween and we’re very excited to share them with you:

Rachael R:
www.nboysmommy.typepad.com

My BBF (Battle Buddy Forever) Nicky and I met in the Army over a decade ago.  We were literally “Battle Buddies” training to be leaders in the real life transition of adult and womanhood.  We banded together then, to force the change in our lives for better fitness and health. We rendered triumph in our journeys, acknowledging that DIET is an utmost factor.

Today, as mothers, we continue to band together to keep our children enriched with healthy lives.  We value their nutritional foundations. Although we choose health over popularity food with our children, we’re very proud to live our lives in a way where not a single one of them are short on fun or experience just because of a conscious diet.

Our candy-free Halloween celebrations are full of fun, edible indulgences:

  • Bloody Brains (chicken meatloaf and tomato herb sauce)
  • Scrambled Brains (green food colored scrambled eggs)
  • Vampire tongues (crisp bacon) and flying ghouls! Yep, those pancake ghosts fly right into our mouths!
  • Our witch finger breadsticks are LITERALLY finger-licking good
  • WE just forgot to tell the vampires, that their teeth would get stuck!

Happy Healthy Halloween!


Mary-Kate C:
http://www.3boysandagirl2.blogspot.com/

When it comes to picky eaters, you can’t beat an almost 4 year old!  Our son won’t eat or try anything new… unless you somehow put a “cool” spin on it! So as a mom who wants her kids to eat healthy and be exposed to a variety of foods, you have to get creative! Some of my ideas for healthy, creative Halloween snacks are:

  • Fruit Cup Jack-O-Lanterns:  We took orange fruit cups, drew Jack-O-Lantern faces on them, taped a green spoon to the back (for the stem) and Ta-Da!  A cute & spooky spin on a healthy snack!
  • Ghost Bananas: Cut a banana in half cross-wise and then in half length-wise. Put some peanut butter on it, raisins for the eyes and mouth and boom! – A ghostly banana treat!
  • Spiders: Make deviled eggs. Cut a black olive in half and put half on the yolk part of the egg, slice the other half and use it as legs for the spider!  Scary and yummy!
  • Vampire Teeth:  Put peanut butter between 2 apple slices and use almonds as the teeth.  Yumm!
  • Give me a Hand:  Take a rubber glove and fill it with popcorn!  So easy and yummy too!

These are some easy ways that I have found I can get my almost 4 year old and friends to enjoy some healthy treats but also make them fun for them!  🙂

 

And we’ve been getting into the spirit at Mom Dishes It Out. Check out some of our spooky and scary Halloween ideas below (PS they’re great activities for both you and the kids)!

Soup In a Cauldron

We love making and eating soup in the Fall months. The weather gets chillier, plus soups are a great way to pack in some extra nutrition! You can add a can of beans for extra protein and fiber or throw in a cup or two of kale for a boost of vitamins, the options are endless.
One of our favorite things to do around Halloween is to make a big pot of soup and pretend that we’re making a witches’ brew. For a super fun activity with the kids, dress up as witches and warlocks and get to cooking in your cauldron!

 

Frankenstein

We love avocadoes and guacamole, so what better way to dress up this dish for Halloween than labeling it Franken-Food. If you’re having a party you can have the kids make labels for a fun and creative activity. It’s always fun to make Frankenstein footprints out of paper and make a path on the floor to the food table. A great addition is using carrots or cucumber sticks as “fingers” to dip.

 

Mud Yogurt

We love Greek yogurt and our kids love traditional mud cups. So, we thought of a compromise that added some nutrition, but kept the snack fun and festive. We recommend adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder to Greek yogurt and stirring until it reaches a mud-like color. Feel free to add more until you reach the desired coloring. You can throw in some gummy worms or crumble up a chocolate cookie for dirt.

Or if your children prefer smoothies, you can add cocoa powder to your family’s favorite smoothie recipe. This way your kids can drink the “mud” and enjoy a fun Halloween activity.

 

Do you have any festive activities you do with your family to celebrate Halloween?