Celebrate Mom in Small and Special Ways for #MothersDay

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and what better than to celebrate mom with creative ideas to show you care? As a mom of two myself, I love getting taken care of in small and special ways and that’s what I have to share with you, little ideas that say “I love you, mom” and you can involve the kids too.

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Loved working with some of my favorite brands on the Let’s Talk Live D.C. TV segment.

Give Mom a KIND Breakfast in Bed

What a nice treat to serve mom breakfast in bed! And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Simply pair kind breakfastscrambled eggs with fruit and a KIND breakfast bar. KIND breakfast bars are made with 100% whole grains. They have 5 super grain blend of oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa. And they go great with morning coffee or tea, not just on mothers day’s but for the busy mama all year round. I also love these as a pre-fuel before a workout and they are a fun snack for mom to share with her kids too. Try Peanut Butter, Raspberry Chai, Blueberry Almond, and Honey Oat varieties.

Involve The Whole Family in the Meal – Build Your Own Taco Bar

Another fun idea is to do a family lunch or dinner where everyone can get involved. I love to set up a make-your-own taco bar and enlist Dad and the kids to help chop up chicken, shredded cabbage, beans, corn, and any veggies you like, then top them with Sabra Veggie Fusions. This is a new guacamole from Sabra and it’s delicious.

There’s three new varieties of flavor that actually put 3-Up-Fusions-Guacamole-Packsvegetables in the guacamole – I love the Southwestern for tacos, but you can also try Garden Veggie and Mango Lime. It’s also Cinco de Mayo so you can celebrate with this dinner tonight! It’s really easy to bring together. Also, don’t forget Sabra hummus – 2 spoons of hummus a day helps you Smallerget the servings of beans and more vegetables.

A colorful veggie platter is also a great idea for the “unofficial meal” — those things you eat when you’re super busy or just want something easy – we have veggies, cheese, hummus and guac – always on hand and ready to go. Check out #unofficialmeal on Twitter to get recipes and ideas from bloggers who love hummus.

Marinades, Dressings, and Condiments Just Like Mom Would Make

LEMON_GARLIC_Organic_bottleWe know mom loves vegetables – salads are always a great idea, but another way to enjoy vegetables is roasting in the oven, which I love doing with green beans. Mazola marinated veggiesYou can easily enhance the flavor of ANY dish with Tessemae’s organic dressings, marinades, and condiments. I especially love the organic lemon garlic and balsamic dressings – just the right amount of flavor to enhance any roasted vegetables.

There’s over 25 varieties to choose from – just like mom would make from scratch at home, but already done, a nice time saver. Tessemae’s contain no added sugar, thickeners, or additives and are now certified USDA organic. And one more reason to love Tessemae’s, it was launched by three brothers using their Mom’s homemade recipes.

What to Serve Baby’s First Foods

For moms of little ones, a recent survey by Beech-Nut showed parents get confused about what to do when it’s time to start feeding baby. And there’s researchbeechnut to show that by age 1 babies get fewer veggies, and whole grains and more sodium and sugar – similar amount of sugar to about a cup of soda.

Beech-Nut  is a smart choice to get baby in the habit of eating well. They make it easy to know what goes into your baby’s food. Using the freshest vegetables and fruits, gently cooked and just as flavorful as what you would do at home. The label says it all – simply organic with simple ingredients like “just sweet potatoes,” “just carrots,” and “just apples, raspberry and avocado.”

When you eat well, baby eats well. Along with Beech-Nut, give them foods they can scoop up with their hands like tuna, peas, and scrambled eggs when you start introducing foods.

 Celebrate Mom with a Chocolaty Twist on Tofu (Yes, Tofu!)

Let’s not forget dessert! You can enjoy a yummy flavor like chocolate and still get some surprising health benefits. Try whipping up this easy and delicious Chocolate Banana Pudding – made with TOFU! Simply combine banana and tofu in blender or food processor. Add cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon and purée until smooth. r_chocolate_banana_pudding

Tofu offers a variety of health benefits – it’s a complete protein source offering 9 essential amino acids. House Foods Organic tofu is one of my favorites. It’s non-GMO and made with soybeans that are US-grown. It also tastes great! Tofu is extremely versatile because it absorbs other flavors, so it’s a really wonderful healthy food swap. You can pick up House Foods Organic tofu at Walmart.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Sabra Dipping Company, Beech-Nut, House Foods Organic Tofu, KIND Snacks, and Tessemae’s for my work on TV. Thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Celebrate Mom with Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Brunch Bites (Gluten-Free)

Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

This May, celebrate Mom and all she does with a home cooked meal she’ll remember. This recipe was designed with my two little girls and their tiny hands and I hope you’ll try this recipe, one the whole family can help cook.

As both a daughter and a mom, Mother’s Day gives me the opportunity to tell my mom how much I appreciate her. It also reminds me to aspire to do my best for my own kids, and as a mom, my best almost always begins with a hug and a nutritious meal.

The Goodness of The Grain

Ready to eat cereal was one of the first foods I introduced to my girls. It’s a great way to start the day. In fact, people who eat cereal tend to take in more key nutrients that are essential to good health like calcium, vitamin D and fiber1.

Whole grain cereals also combine well with other healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs and dairy products.

Think Outside The Bowl

These savory muffins will hit the spot at your special Mother’s Day brunch or even breakfast in bed. The blend of zucchini, eggs and cheese make a flavorful way to incorporate more veggies into the day. These muffins take less than an hour to make, start to finish. It’s the perfect recipe suited for all moms alike. 

May is also Celiac Awareness Month, a disease we continue to recognize more in the culinary world. This recipe uses whole grain Rice Chexcereal, which are gluten-free. Chex is also free of artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources, and high fructose corn syrup so you can feel good about serving it to your family.

Make Ahead

These muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or individually wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat at 350ºF for about 8-10 minutes, until heated through.

Share Your Mom Memory

Happy Mother’s Day, to our mothers everywhere! Please share your family baking memories in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Bites (Gluten-Free)
 
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Serves: 8 muffins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (or your favorite), shredded
  • 1 cup crushed gluten free Rice Chex Cereal
  • 1 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Cheese cloth
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a muffin tin, and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Shred zucchini into a colander or large bowl. Once shredded, place zucchini onto square of cheesecloth and sprinkle with a pinch of salt to help release excess water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before squeezing out excess liquid. After wringing out, zucchini in large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, onion, garlic, cheese, Rice Chex Cereal, herbs, salt, and pepper to the shredded zucchini. Stir until evenly combined.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the greased muffin tin, filling each well to the top. Bake at 375ºF for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool slightly before removing to a wire rack to cool.

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Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Reference: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2011-12] [http://cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes].

The #UnofficialMeal Makes Me Happy

Disclosure: I was compensated by Sabra for my time to write this post and I was quoted in Sabra’s press release launching #UnofficialMeal. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

I wear many hats when it comes to food: I’m a dietitian (a.k.a. food therapist), author, podcast host, wife, mom, and home cook. If I tallied up the total hours in my week that involved food in some way, I could only get more hours by dreaming about food (which happens from time to time!)

The Ideal Weeknight Meal

Often our family meals are planned out with thought and care to stick to our family budget and minimize food waste at home. My 3-year-old helps me decide what goes on the menu. She even helps me write shopping lists and updates the kitchen chalk board where we post the weeknight meal plan along with various cooking project “inspirations.”

But what about the Unofficial Meal? You know, the one you eat while you’re making the official meal because everyone is hangry, or the one you do instead of dinner because you don’t want to heat up the house or spend an extra 30 minutes on clean up. That’s my reality these days. If Norman Rockwell painted our family, people would be standing up, socializing, cleaning up a spill, and someone would be crying.

It’s Kinda Like This…

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Unofficial Meals are Memorable Meals

When I think of the all the ‘Unofficial Meals’ had in my kitchen, they’re some of the most memorable and happiest moments in life. I think of my girls’ tiny hands learning how to scoop up dip or standing across from my husband in our kitchen, sharing honest conversations or chatting about the news of the day. These meals don’t come with recipes to follow and if I had to recreate them, they’d be different every time. These unofficial meals are created in the moment from love and connection.

Catch Up Time

Hummus is an ideal anytime snack. It’s the go-to staple in my fridge I reach for almost every 7 layer dip #unofficialmealtime my kids bring home an unexpected friend after school, and they’re looking for something to munch on. Many people don’t like veggies plain, but they will eat them when they have great flavor. What an effortless way to get people to eat more vegetables – and actually enjoy them! I have loads of ideas to share in this post. 

With a little creativity you can easily be the host with the most. Serve up a creative spin on a 7-layer dip using hummus (I love the Chipotle Hummus), combined with chopped peppers, tomatoes, avocado, and shredded cheese. Grab inspiration from the ingredients you have on hand, working in different colors and textures to each layer. Serve with veggie sticks, pita chips, or your favorite snack crackers.

And if your hostess platter does not need to look pretty, just keep a weekly stash of chopped and ready to go veggies in a sealable container next to a fresh pack of hummus and guacamole in the refrigerator. This way, when you pull out the tortilla chips, you can reach for the veggies and nutritious dips too.

Reconnect Time

My husband spends a decent amount of time on the road, so when he comes home there’s nothing more I want to do than disconnect from whatever I’m doing and reconnect with him. It’s a time when I can let my hair down and laugh together about the horror stories from a week of solo-parenting.hummus platter #unofficialmeal

I spend the spare few minutes each day cleaning up messes around the house, or paying a quick bill. When it comes to my cooking style I love embracing the “you can’t mess it up” mentality. Just start with something fresh and tasty. Then keep adding more good-for-you ingredients.

Sabra has wonderful flavors to choose from or you can buy the Classic Hummus and use it in creative ways to add your own twist. When I’m prepping for dinner I often put out a bowl of hummus with various family favorite “stir ins” for customized dips.

  • Try adding caramelized onions, chopped olives, or marinated mushrooms for additional savoriness.
  • Combining hummus with chopped figs, dates or other dried fruit makes for a sweet and savory dip.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different oils, seeds and nuts like walnut oil, chili oil and pumpkin seeds for a kick of flavor.
  • Mash it up by combining hummus with mashed avocado for an easy twist on traditional guacamole.

Unwind Time

When the work week is done and you just finished that big project, it’s time to unwind. hummus pizza #unofficialmealYou deserve to take a night off of laborious cooking and dishes. In hardly no time at all you can transform your leftover roasted veggies into a robust and herbalicious flatbread pizza! This Roasted Vegetable Flatbread with Hummus is an effortless way to reduce food waste and ramp up your veggie intake, plus no one has to do dishes!

Heat oven to 350F. Using whatever veggies you have on hand (leftovers, raw, or freshly roasted – anything goes), dice into 1/4 inch pieces. Next, spread a generous amount of Basil Pesto Hummus (Rosemary and Sea Salt Hummus or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus are delicious too!) on the flatbread and top with diced veggies(~1/2 cup veggies per flat bread). Bake your flatbread in the oven for 10 minutes. Finish it off with a pinch of fresh or dried herbs. Pair with a glass of wine, time to unwind. 

What’s Your #UnofficialMeal Story?

I don’t mind #unofficialmeal times. In fact, I quite enjoy the respite from my “ideal world” of family meals that more casual meals provide.

Reflect on those times of getting the most out of the moment and each other.What are some of your most treasured “unofficial meals”? Share your story by leaving a comment below or on social media, using the hashtag #unofficialmeal

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Disclosure: I was compensated by Sabra for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Recipe: Oven Baked Crab Cakes Anyone Can Make

crab horizontak

Have you ever been out to eat and ordered a costly crab cake, only to end up with too much filler?  There’s no need to be crabby with these cakes.  This recipe strikes the perfect balance of the crabmeat’s sweet and mild flavor that is sparked by the blend of tang and heat from Dijon, Old Bay and a kick of jalapeño

You Can Crabcake, It’s Not Too Bad

While I’m a fan of 5 ingredient and 5 minute meals, sometimes you just can’t leave something out. Don’t let the ingredients list get you down. These items are probably in your pantry or at your local store. Wether you’re hosting a cocktail party or looking to jazz up a week night dinner, this no-fuss spin on classic crab cakes will bring a taste of gourmet to your table at a fraction of the cost. They’re great to make ahead and freeze for later and will stay good frozen for up to 4-6 months.

Oven Baked Crab Cakes
 
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Author:
Serves: 6 cakes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1 pound of crab claw meat
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • ½ to 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced and seeded
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup nonfat, plain Greek-style thickened yogurt
  • 1 lemon, quartered, reserve for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients, reserving ½ cup Panko. Mix gently just until combined, avoid over shredding the crab. Place remaining ½ cup panko in a shallow dish. Using wet hands, shape crab mixture into 6 equal balls. Coat balls in panko. Spray the tops of the crab cakes with canola oil cooking spray to coat lightly.
  3. Bake the crab cakes until they are golden brown on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Gently turn them over and cook for 10 minutes on the other side. Serve with lemon wedges and cilantro leaves to garnish.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to cook with crab?   Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

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Easter Fun with Food and Friends

Easter is just around the corner, so let’s hop to it! I have cute, tasty and creative ideas for your celebration to help serve up your best Easter yet. Check out my spread during my appearance on Let’s Talk Live DC.

Serving Up the Incredible Egg

Whether you’re decorating them, eating them, or both, there is no denying it: eggs are a huge part of the Easter season! You might be surprised to hear that American Egg Board, image1has been donating hard-boiled eggs to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll since 1977! This year, they’ll be donating more than 30,000 eggs for South Lawn attendees. Not only are eggs fun to hunt for (especially with cool decorating techniques using glitter or craft tape), but they are a nutritional powerhouse. One large egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein and nine essential amino acids, all for 70 calories.

Eggs are also one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of Vitamin D, with nothing artificial. Try these Bacon and Cheddar Deviled eggs for your Easter brunch. Just 83 calories per serving and 5 grams of protein. And the good news is that hard boiling eggs just got easier! The American Egg Board is introducing a new method to help make eggs easier to peel AND shave 30% of your time hard-boiling them. Check it out here.

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Easter Brunch Crowd Pleasers

We all know hummus makes a great dip, but it’s also a versatile ingredient in your Easter brunch dishes. Two heaping spoons of hummus a day will help you meet the Dietary Guidelines for beans – hummus is made with chickpeas and 2 spoons is about ¼ cup. For Easter Brunch you can go the extra mile – try serving these vegetarian Curry Roasted Eggplant Hummus burgers. Full of flavor, with garlic, curry, parsley and even oats. After roasting they come together in the food processor quickly. You can make them ahead and save some time. Get this recipe and more at Sabra.com.

Healthy Treats for Your Easter Huntimage3

The hunt for healthy Easter treats is over. Wonderful pistachios are a heart smart with nearly 90% of the fats the unsaturated type. There’s 49 nuts in a serving, compared to about 15 chips making them a great option to include as a snack for your guests. Try filling plastic eggs with pistachios for a healthy hunt. You can also serve Wonderful pistachios as a snack before the meal instead of chips.

Get Crafty with Wonderful Halos

For a family friendly craft, Easter basket fun, or even as a image1place setting, these are cute bunnies you can make with Wonderful halos. Wonderful halos are California grown mandarin oranges that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, naturally fat and cholesterol free. Halos are seedless and easy to peel and eat for the entire family. Visit Halosfun.com to learn how to make these adorable Halos bunny pouches.

Better for You Easter Basket Treats

For the Easter Baskets, youimage2 definitely want to toss some KIND in there. With 30 core flavor options KIND has something for everyone, and of course KIND is made with real, wholesome ingredients like premium nuts. KIND “Nuts and Spices” has 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar, mostly from honey or dried fruits. And check out their 5 new flavors like BLACK TRUFFLE
ALMOND SEA SALT, DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND MINT, and my fave DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND COCONUT You can purchase this 30-bar pack, featuring the new flavors at Kind Snacks. Adults and kids would love a gift of KIND this Easter or thinking ahead to Mother’s Day in May.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Easter?   Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

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Disclosure: I was compensated by Wonderful Brands, Kind Snacks, Sabra, and American Egg Board for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.