Whole-Wheat Orzo with Mushrooms and Onions



1 box of whole-wheat orzo

1 lb mushrooms, slices

Lipton onion soup mix

1 medium Vidalia onion

1/3 of olive oil

Fresh ground Pepper


Cook orzo as per directions on box.  Chop Vidalia onion and slice mushrooms.  Sautee chopped onions and slice mushrooms with 1 tsp of olive oil.  Meanwhile, drain orzo and add the 1/3 cup of olive oil.  Mix everything together in a bowl.  In the bowl, add the Lipton onion soup mix.  Mix thoroughly.  Add fresh ground pepper to taste.



Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue Pie


Meringue Pie Crust  (one 9-inch crust)

2 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 tsp teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger and see if the mixture feels gritty, if so continue to beat until smooth, this will mean the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and mix in well.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan forming a shell by spreading the mixture up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue crust in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.


Lemon Filling

1 ¼ cup sugar

1/3 cup corn starch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cup water

½ cup lemon juice, fresh

zest of 4 lemons

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp butter

4 egg whites, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk the sugar, corn starch, and salt together.  Whisk in the water, lemon juice, and zest.  Whisk the egg yolks until no streaks remain and then add to the lemon mixture.  Place the filling mixture in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the butter.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Let cook for an additional minute.  Filling should be very thick.  Pour the filling into the warm crust and lay plastic wrap down onto the filling.  Beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar very gradually, then beat on high until the peaks are stiff and glossy, but not dry.  Add the vanilla extract and beat for another few seconds.

Pour the thickened lemon mixture onto the meringue crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool to cut.

Eating Un-favorite Foods

Dedicated to the moms who attended the “Citibabes Nutrition Lunch and Learn” with Laura Cipullo on Wednesday, April 19th

So the fish sticks are still a “stinking” issue at our house! As I have shared in previous blog posts—especially “Something More than Fish” and “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake”—on many days, food is something more than just food. And just like I tell my clients, particularly those attending meal support therapy sessions: “Meals are rarely perfect! What’s more, they don’t really need to be perfect, nor do they need to be the best meals you’ve ever eaten. What’s most important about meals is the nourishment and fuel they provide. Taste is certainly part of the experience, but it doesn’t have to be the entire experience.” 

Meanwhile, during the past year, I have been thumbing through Karen Le Billon’s French Kids Eat Everything. One of the messages I really like is found in chapter 6, “The Kohlrabi Experiment: Learning to Love New Foods.” The author shares her new “smart things to say” such as: “You don’t like it? That’s because you haven’t tasted it enough times yet. Maybe next time!” and “You don’t like it? That’s okay, you’ll like it when you are more grown up.”

So keeping all of the above in mind, I kept my cool when once again my youngest son Billy told me precisely how he felt about fish sticks. Here’s what happened. This past Saturday—after a busy afternoon of playing baseball and riding scooters—I served Billy his fish sticks and his older brother chicken with gnocchi (a newer food for Bobby). Well, Billy performed his usual song and dance routine about the fish sticks, clearly and repeatedly stating: “I don’t like fish sticks!” I reminded him that he has not tried the food enough times to really enjoy it. And besides that, meals are not always made up of our favorite foods. Instead, we need to eat certain foods that may taste just “okay” to us because they give our bodies protein and help to make us grow tall.

Well, as you might imagine, Billy cried and blatantly expressed his anger and frustration. And then, he quietly sat down at the table. He ate his un-favorite food with a smile: four fish sticks! I do think he threw half of one away when he ran to the bathroom with a fish stick in his hand. But here’s the significant take-away from this story: In addition to exposing our children to new foods on a regular basis, we moms must also put our own emotions and agendas aside and then assess our children. Are our own kids pushing the grocery cart or are we? If your kids are doing the pushing, try using the “Eating Your Un-Favorite Foods” approach and see what happens.



Chopped Salmon over Shaved Brussel Sprouts

Chopped salmon may not be a traditional dish but it’s perfect for make-ahead meals! It can be a delicious meal served over grains like brown rice, rice pilaf or quinoa. Cool it down and you can toss it on a bed of greens. For a refreshing summer salad, skip the soy sauce and hot sauce–season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2-4)

2 (5 oz.) boneless salmon fillets, cut into cubes

1/2 cup white onions, chopped

1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp Siracha hot sauce

olive oil spray

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste


1/2 lb Brussel Sprouts, shaved

1 tbsp honey


In a large bowl, combine the chopped salmon, green onions, soy sauce, hot sauce and salt. Set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over high heat with olive oil. Add the brussels and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add honey and allow it to cook for 2 more minutes, or until tender.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil spray. Add the white onions and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the salmon mixture in a single layer  and cook until caramelized or opaque.

Adjust seasonings. Serve immediately over bed of shaved brussel sprouts.


Healthy Habits Giveaway

The creator of MomDishesItOut — savvy city mom and registered dietitian Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD,  has developed The Mommy Manual’s Healthy Habits. This healthy-eating and physical activity workbook can be used by coaches, school teachers or even parents teaching nutrition.  Through this approach, you will understand the difference between an “everyday” food vs. a “sometimes” food. With a mission to help children develop a positive relationship with eating and a neutral relationship with food, the  Healthy Habits approach provides honest, credible, and fun health education. This week, one lucky winner will receive a free copy of  Healthy Habits!


One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Mommy Manual’s Healthy Habits!

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet @MomDishesItOut is having a #MDIO #Giveaway.
    We’d love to hear what your thoughts! Giveaway ends on Sunday, April 28th at 5:00 PM EST.


Beet Hash with Eggs

Photo courtesy of  allthegoodblognamesaretaken.com
A recipe from our friend Carol Murray, and adapted from Whole Living magazine, October 2012.

1/2 lb beets, peeled and diced
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped and extra for garnish
1.5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 large eggs, organic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste


In a medium skillet, add beets and potatoes to boiling water. After 5 minutes, drain vegetables into a strainer. Heat oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add beets and potatoes and stir occasionally for about 4 minutes. Add parsley, garlic powder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Push the hash aside, forming two spaces to cook the eggs. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and allow eggs to cook until egg whites are firm and yolks are tender but runny. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.


Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad made with fresh herbs like parsley, mint & tomatoes. Serve this tart salad with a scoop of hummus and warm pita!

 INGREDIENTS ( Makes 8 servings)

1 cup bulghur wheat

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, finely chopped

2 cups cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


Bring water to a boil. Add bulgur  lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a large bowl.  Pour boiling water over bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, vinegar, and  2 teaspoons salt. Cover and refrigerate. When bulgur has absorbed all of the liquid, add it to the bowl. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately or chilled. with whole wheat pita bread.

Quinoa with Sautéed Mushrooms and Kale


1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup Baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 bunch (about 8 leaves) kale, washed and cut into 2-in pieces
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
red pepper flakes 


Rinse the quinoa under cold water (This will help remove any bitterness and is easier if you use a sieve) In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil, add the quinoa and salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. A helpful hint is that the quinoa is done when the white ring pops off the kernel. If there is extra liquid that the quinoa hasn’t absorbed, simply pour out some of the liquid to prevent overcooking.

Meanwhile, use a large sauté pan and heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and saute until  translucent. Add the mushrooms and season with a dash of salt, sauté for 1 minute or until slightly brown.  Add the kale and cherry tomatoes and cover for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until wilted. Add the vegetable mixture to the quinoa in the pot. Adjust seasonings; for a little kick, add red pepper flakes. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan.

SoL Sunflower Beverage Giveaway

Have you ever heard of sunflower milk? With almond milk, hemp milk, and rice milk on the market…it seems as if there couldn’t possibly be another milk beverage to hit the grocery aisles.

SōL is actually made from sunflower kernels and can be enjoyed just as you would drink regular milk. It goes with cereal, by itself or you can use it to make a classic chia pudding. One serving of SōL provides 50% RDA of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights free radicals and can promote healthy heart and brain function. It’s also dairy and gluten free. It’s creamy and has a distinct sunflower flavor (we like it paired with cereal!) If you’re a fan of sunflower seeds though, you might find that this is the perfect beverage for you. 

Four lucky readers will receive a box of SoL Sunflower Milk. To enter, comment below and tweet about SoL to @MomDishesItOut by Friday, March 8th, 2013!

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

Just like the series of books by Laura Numeroff , if you give a kid a cupcake, there’s more meaning in that one cupcake than just the fact of being a cupcake! In our “Something More Than Fish” blog post, we discussed a similar concept. Today, however, we’re using “cupcakes” to help parents determine when and where certain kinds of foods should be eaten. Think back for a moment. Did you label a cupcake as “good” or “bad” or perhaps just a “treat” the last time you served one? Was it a “reward” for finishing dinner or simply a nighttime “snack”? Moral judgments—good or bad, food rewards, and dieting/restricting specific foods—are not recommended for children or even for adults. All of these judgments lead to adopting the moral label of the food eaten, eating for external reasons (not hunger/fullness), binge eating, and food sneaking. But don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed by these concepts. What I find works best with my kids and my clients—whether 10- or 40-years old—is to encourage that all foods be eaten some of the time. It’s a powerful tool for everyone! When your children are at a birthday party or grandma’s house—or adults are out with friends—they can self-regulate portions and eat to feel energized rather than deal with food, eating or weight issues. Not only will this free your children, but it will also free you from worrying about what happens when they go to their best friends’ houses and are served chips and even perhaps sodas! 

I’m not saying all foods are equal; there are foods higher in nutrition and others lower in nutrition. Please keep in mind, however, even “foods” like sugar candy or table sugar or soda (though I hate to admit it!) still provide nutrition in the form of energy—otherwise known as calories. To keep things simple in our home, we have identified foods as “everyday” foods and “sometimes” foods. Everyday foods are those that are nutrient dense, essential for growth and help to promote health and prevent disease. Whole-grain pumpkin pancakes with dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, chicken, whole-wheat pasta, 2% and non-fat Greek yogurt, dried mango, hummus, spinach and apples fall under the “everyday” foods category. I mention these foods since my boys eat them almost daily.

The “sometimes” foods are lower in nutrition; they include cookies, puffs, booty, chips, candy, jello, cheese slices (processed cheese products—not 100% cheese), fake butter and such. You get the idea. These foods lack vitamins and minerals, are highly processed so you can’t actually call them “foods,” or are highly saturated in fat and promote heart disease.


Mind you, my kids and even I myself will eat “sometimes” foods…well, sometimes every day! The menu may look like sweet potato, kamut pancakes with dark chocolate chips and milk for breakfast; Annie’s whole-wheat mac & cheese mixed with spinach and two sides including apple slices and two cookies in their lunch box—followed by cupcakes with water or milk after school while on their way to sports class; and then real fish sticks, fruit, cheese, whole grain or white pasta (or spelt pretzels for my little one) for dinner; and a Greek yogurt for nighttime snack. And by the way, many times the cookies or muffins (pumpkin or corn) I send come back home with them. One may be eaten and the rest saved for later. This is one of the ways I know that food is neutral in my boys’ minds. They know “Hey, I don’t need to scarf it down!” because they can have it later. My daily intake would include the same pancakes for breakfast, lunch with my clients or a whole-grain wrap with cheese, avocado and tuna followed by a KIND bar and an apple. Dinner may be salmon, a whole grain and veggies made with olive oil plus a nighttime snack of a cupcake.

Every day is different for me as it is with my kids as well. The goal I keep in mind is wholesome, nutrient dense, and less processed foods 75% of the time, and the rest, well, I just enjoy! But I do make sure to use portion control via internal regulation—mindful or intuitive eating. I stock my house with “everyday” foods such as fruits, veggies, eggs, whole grains, olive oil, cheese, fish, and hummus. We do keep “sometimes” foods in the house…but just enough to last one week. I let the kids pick out their snacks at Whole Foods—perhaps puffs, cookies, or mini cupcakes. Too many choices mean too many decisions for little kids. Try to keep snack options and/or packaged foods to less than five in your cupboard. 

The concept here is to provide wholesome nutrition the majority of the time…and don’t worry the rest of the time. As a parent, it’s your job to keep the kitchen stocked with nutrient dense choices and give your children the tools and the options to eat “sometimes” foods. You’ll be helping your children create positive relationships with eating and neutral relationships with the foods they eat. So go ahead. Stock your home with wholesome foods and produce. Serve balanced meals…and be worry free when feeding your children cupcakes and or apples for snacks this week!