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    • Scary mask bean dip with veggies

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    •  11/1/2011 8:05:48 AM
    • I saw this cute idea on Rachel Ray today and I thought I just had to try it out for our Halloween party

      The first thing you will need is any kids mask like this one (I bought it at Hobby Lobby):



      Here is what I put in the dip:

      15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained

      juice from a small lemon

      1 tbs of tahini

      3 cloves of garlic

      1/2 tsp of salt

      2 tsp of pesto (optional, but I loved the flavor this added)

      1/2 bunch of cilantro

      1 avocado

      4 oz of cream cheese, softened

      4 oz of goat cheese (I rarely use cheese, but thought it would help hold the "mask" together)

      Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it reaches the desired consistency.

      Keep in mind that hummus is pretty hard to screw up.  Just add or omit ingredients at your discretion.




      Line the mask with plastic wrap and fill it with the bean dip.  Place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

      Once the dip has hardened up a little, gently turn it over onto a tray and peel away the plastic.  Brush half of the mask with pesto and the other half with pureed sun-dried tomatoes.  For the eye socket I used a fresh sage leaf and an olive with pimento.  The mouth is sun-dried tomatoes with sliced almonds.  The eyebrows are cucumbers.  Then simply surround the mask with veggies and crackers.  Get creative and let the kiddos help out!


      As a side note, I thought I would share a little something that I did with my kids last Halloween.  Before the big day I went out and got them each a gift that I knew they would love.  For example, littlest pet shops for my girls, a football for my oldest and stuff like that.  We all went trick-or-treating and had a blast. Of course the kids ate some of their candy as we were out.  When we got home they each dumped their candy out on the floor and then I brought out each of their very tempting gifts.  I told them that they could choose 3 of their favorite candies and their gift (and then give me the rest of the cnady) OR they could simply keep all their candy.  I was shocked at how quickly they each chose their gift (I think it helped that they still got to keep 3). Anyway, it was a big success and we all went to bed happy that night!

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    • Zucchini Bean Fritter

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    •  10/27/2011 6:06:18 AM


      Sometimes it is tricky to think outside of the "lunchbox".  We are so trained that a typical lunchbox should include a sandwich, that sometimes all we need to do is open our minds to the many other possibilities.  I got this great recipe from the September issue of Whole Living and made some minor 'tweaks' to it.  This is great snack, side dish, and even lunchbox feature.  I have found that with some of my pickier eaters, finding the right dipping sauce is the kids.  BBQ sauce, ketchup, ranch or even honey could be used with these fritters.  For those gourmet eaters in your life you may want to try my favorite dipping sauce (pictured above) found here.


      Zucchini Bean Fritters


      1 can of garbonzo beans (also known as chickpeas), rinsed and drained

      1 small zucchini, grated

      1 small onion, grated

      1 tsp Kosher salt

      2 cloves of garlic,

      1 egg, slightly whisked

      1 cup bread crumbs (preferably whole wheat)

      oil for frying


      1) Puree the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth.  Stir in the zucchini, onion, garlic, egg, salt and breadcrumbs.  Form the "dough" into patties (about the size of a small burger).  

      2) Saute the patties in a good quality oil (to read more about oils click here

      In the magazine, they suggested putting half a fritter into a pita pocket with a few toppings like lettuce and mint leaves.


      Don't forget to enter our October giveaway found here!

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    • More lunchbox ideas

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    •  10/19/2011 12:55:43 PM

      We were in a HUGE rush the other day and I only had a few minutes to help my 7 year old fix his lunch.  Together this is what we came up with.  It's nothing fancy, but it did the trick!


      Unsweetened applesauce

      Cauliflower - we forgot to put in a little ranch dressing for dipping and he was not happy :(

      Kidney beans - he LOVES kidney beans.  If you haven't tried them out on your kids yet, leave a bowl (rinsed and drained) in the middle of the kitch table and watch how quickly they'll disappear - especially while the kids are working on homework!

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein Bar - the recipe for this is going to be featured on next week.  As soon as it is released I will share it here.  I make these in batches and store them in the freezer.  Then I can easily just grab one and throw it in the kids lunchboxes.

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    • Lunch box Idea - Broccoli Salad and Applesauce Muffins

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    •  10/12/2011 10:02:40 AM

      Did you know that this week is National School Lunch week?


      Unfortunately the school lunch program is still not yet up to par, which is why we encourage our children to take lunches from home. 

      In our house we've made a compromise.

      I am fully aware of the "happy-meal" culture that we live in and school lunch is a part of that culture.  And because of this, my kids are allowed to have school lunch once a week (or 4 times a month if they choose to allocate it that way).  This helps them from feeling totally deprived and we've talk extensively about the choices I hope they are making when they have hot lunch. 


      For the rest of the week it's home-packed cold lunch! Having something "trade-worthy" is not only exciting for kids, but also contributes to their social atmosphere at school.  This does not mean that I want or expect them to trade anything, but rather about getting them excited about lunch instead of dreading it. The older my kids get the trickier this is to balance. For my kids it's all about the "treat".  They want something tasty and I want to make it as healthy as I can (for a treat that is).

      I am also not so naive as to believe that my kids eat everything that I send with them (especially the older ones) and so I have had to learn to WORK WITH them when it comes to school lunch.  There is no point filling there lunchboxes with items that they simply won't eat.


      So today I share with you a lunch that my 7 year old chose.  He happens to love this broccoli salad, which is great for both of us!  And his treat was a homemade muffin.  This is not always what his lunches look like, but it will give you another idea for a great lunch.



      Broccoli Salad (Vegan)

      6 cups broccoli florets (bite size)
      1 cup of seedless grapes
      ¼ cup of  sliced almonds
      3 green onions, chopped
      ½ cup Vegenaise
      2 TBS white vinegar
      1 TBS agave nectar
      ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
      Salt and pepper to taste
      Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a large's that simple :)
      This can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days.



      This next recipe comes from The Cancer Survivor's Guide book which can be downloaded for FREE here!


      Applesauce Muffins


      21⁄2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
      1⁄4 cup sugar ( I used honey)
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
      1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      1⁄4 teaspoon salt
      1 cup unsweetened applesauce
      1⁄2 cup fortified soymilk or other nondairy milk
      1 tablespoon vegetable oil
      1 tablespoon light molasses
      1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
      1⁄2 cup raisins


      1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly mist 10 muffin cups with
      vegetable oil spray.
      2. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt
      in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.
      3. Combine the applesauce, soymilk, oil, molasses, and vinegar in a
      large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and stir until
      just combined. Stir in the raisins.
      4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about
      three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick
      inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
      5. Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, Applesauce Muffins
      will keep for up to 3 days. If longer storage is needed, freeze the
      cooled muffins in heavy-duty zipper-lock bags for up to 1 month.
      Defrost at room temperature or in a microwave.

      Variation: Add 1⁄4 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter and/or replace
      the raisins with 1⁄2 cup of dried cranberries.

      PER SERVING: 178 calories; 2.2 g fat; 0.3 g saturated fat; 11.1% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol;
      4.8 g protein; 37.7 g carbohydrate; 12.5 g sugar; 4.5 g fiber; 134 mg sodium; 41 mg calcium;
      1.7 mg iron; 0.6 mg vitamin C; 5 mcg beta-carotene; 0.6 mg vitamin E



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    • "FOOD MATTERS" - Free Preview 1 more day

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    •  10/7/2011 5:28:03 PM
    • I



      Important! The producers of this powerful film are allowing a full and
      FREE preview through October 8th! Please tell everyone you know to watch this film in its entirety through October 8th, 2011.  Here is thelink

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    • Lunch Box Idea Month

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    •  10/7/2011 7:05:07 AM

      As Whole Food Mommies we know how important it is to feed our kids healthy lunches.  We also know how HARD this can be sometimes!!!  We're not perfect and neither are our lunchboxes...but we try!  So we wanted to dedicate October to Lunchbox Ideas!  We'll share with you some of the things we send our kiddos off to school with, and some things we feed the little ones at home.  We'd also love to see some of your lunches too, so if you have any pics you'd like us to share, please send them to


      I thought I'd start with a little twist on an old classic.  Years ago, B.E.C  (before eating changes) I would typically choose between a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a turkey and cheese sandwich.  Well it been a VERY long time since my kids have had a turkey and cheese sandwich, and one of my children was asking when they would get that again. So I worked my magic (which means a trip to Sunflower Market - or your local health food store) and this is what I bought:


      Oven roasted vegan deli slices made with wheat gluten and tofu,

      Dairy-free "cheese" slices

      and my favorite mayo alternative!

      I made some bread (recipe found here), put a little mustard, mayo, lettuce and pickles and we VOILA, a turkey cheese classic!  My daughter was thrilled and said it tasted perfect.  Hooray!


      Here was a picture of lunch that day:


      The zucchini chocolate chip muffin recipe can be found here.


      Good luck with all your healthy lunches this month.  We'll help you out with a few ideas.  We also have a great giveaway that will be announced soon!  And don't forget that tomorrow (Oct. 7th) is the last day to enter our Grand Prize Giveaway!



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    • Cauli-Bean Tacos

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    •  9/30/2011 9:37:04 AM
    • Today's post comes from a fabulous whole food blogger, Health Seeker's Kitchen.  She's got fantastic recipes and has shared one of her favorites here:


      The health benefits of cauliflower are huge!! Even though this white delight looks like a vegetable, you're really eating the flower of the plant, hence the name. Cauliflower is a member of the 'white' family in terms of fruits and vegetables. Included in this group are other natural foods such as bananas, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Cauliflower contains allicin, which can improve heart health and reduce the risk of strokes, and selenium, a chemical that works well with Vitamin C to strengthen the immune system. Cauliflower can also help to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

      Folate is also found in cauliflower, which is a B vitamin that is needed for cell growth and replication. For this reason, it is often recommended that women who are pregnant or
      may become pregnant eat significant amounts of cauliflower in order to help their unborn children develop properly.

      Of course, cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber, which helps to improve colon health and can even help prevent cancer. And, most recently, it has been discovered that cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, such as brussel sprouts and cabbage, contain indole-3-carbinol, a substance that can affect the metabolism of estrogen in the body, and prevent breast and other female cancers.
























      1 tbsp. olive oil
      1 large bunch cauliflower (processed until small ground pieces)
      1/2 yellow onion (sliced)
      1 Serrano pepper (sliced)
      1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
      1 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
      2 tbsp. tomato ketchup
      1/2 tsp. sea salt
      1 15 oz. low sodium black beans (drained & processed until smooth)

      Garnish with:
      Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, lime & vegan cheese

      1.  Cut up cauliflower and put in food processor until ground into small pieces.
      Add cauliflower, onion and pepper to olive oil and cook on medium high for about 5 minutes. Add seasonings and continue to cook on low for a few minutes. 

      2.  Process beans until smooth.  Add to cauliflower mixture and salt & pepper to taste. Use 1/4 cup mixture for each tortilla. Garnish with items of your choice.













      Homemade Wheat Tortillas

      1 cup white whole-wheat flour
      1/4 tsp. sea salt
      1/2 cup lukewarm water

      You will also need 2 tsp.
      Earth Balance Butter (melted) and 1/4 cup additional flour.

      1. Mix flour, salt and water together to make a soft dough.
      2. Spray ball of dough and surface with olive oil and knead until smooth. You want to have dough a little sticky, but not too sticy.
      3.  Set the dough aside and cover with a warm damp cloth.  Let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes or more.
      4.  Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
      5.  Make smooth balls and press flat.  Roll balls in flour and roll out until you have a 6 inch circle.  If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or surface, dust very lightly with flour.  (use just enough to help you roll out circle~too much flour will make your tortilla dry.
      6.  Heat griddle while rolling out first two balls.
      7.  Brush tortilla lightly with Earth Balance Butter on side that will touch griddle.
      8.  When tortilla starts changing color and start puffing, flip over. 
      9.  Flip again after a few seconds. Take a flat spatula and press lightly on the puffed parts of the tortilla.  This will help the tortilla to puff more.
      10. Flip again.  The tortilla should have light golden-brown spots on both sides.  Do not cook very long because it will become hard.  You need it to be soft and pliable.
      11. Keep tortillas stacked together on and under a cloth to keep from drying out.
      12. Tortillas can be kept in container on counter for 2 days or refrigerated for 5-6 days.
      13. ENJOY!!

















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