Food Fun Archives | Stephanie Dreyer

Food Fun

February 5, 2019
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I was having a DAY last week. You know the ones when you’re running from one thing to the next? I finished work only to rush to pick up the kids from school and then run home to host two back to back meetings. The second meeting was a philanthropy work session with a few girls and their moms. (My daughters and I are in a mother-daughter philanthropy organization called National Charity League). We were writing letters to heroes stationed away from their families. As we wrote, girls and moms popped in and out as they flitted to and from their next commitment on the schedule for the evening.

Half the girls arrived straight from school, attended the meeting, then stayed to write letters and were then off to dance and tutoring. As I watched everyone come and go, I became unsettled. I completely get all the hustle and bustle, and unfortunately have come to accept it as a way of life as a mom of three kids! In fact, my own Gaby would be rushing in late to letter writing because she had theater rehearsal after school.

But something else was bothering me. As I observed these girls going about and doing their thing, I kept thinking: “When are these girls going to eat dinner?” And with that question, followed: “When are these moms going to have time to make dinner in between rushing them to their activities?” What was everyone doing about dinner?

I wrestle with those same questions every week as I map out my meal plan and prep strategy for the week. It’s the only way I know I’m able to get dinner on the table (along with a dinner hack or two!). But beyond meal planning, I worried that the girls wouldn’t actually have time to eat and worse, it looked like dinner would be in the drive-thru on the way to the next thing.

It got me thinking about meal solutions, as I tend to do (!) and I rounded up a few easily portable meals that the kids can eat on the go without having to go through the drive-thru. All of these dinners can be prepped in advance and assembled in minutes before it’s time to head out the door. They’re also easily consumed in the back seat of a car in transit! (A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!) None of them require reheating so no need to worry about keeping the food warm.

Check out the portable meals to feed the kids below. I’ve included suggestions for meal prep to make assembly even quicker, as well as ideas for store-bought ingredients that can save time. Now go feed those kids before the next activity!

Easy Portable Meals to Feed The Kids On The Go

1. Hummus Bowl

My name is Stephanie and I’m addicted to hummus! Seriously, I could live on just that and avocado. One of my favorite easy meals is a hummus bowl. Pack a container of hummus (which is completely shelf stable without refrigeration for hours!) along with a colorful assortment of carrot sticks, cucumber, bell pepper strips and pita chips. For added protein, stir in some chickpeas or steamed lentils (Trader Joe’s sells some in the refrigerated section) into the hummus.

Prep in advance: Hummus (if making your own) and vegetables (store in jars with water)

Store-bought help: Hummus if not making your own

2. Vegetable Sushi Rolls

These not only can be made and stored in advance, but they also travel really well! Make them the night before to save even more time the next day. Spread sushi rice across a nori sheet, leaving a 1/4-inch border all around. Lay tofu and veggies on top. Using a sushi mat, roll the nori as you squeeze the mat. Slice!

Prep in advance: Sushi rice

Store-bought help: Baked tofu, pre-shredded cabbage, carrots, and other julienned veggies

Finger Foods

3. Pasta Salad

Mix it with any pasta and veggie combo for a variety of easy portable meals at your disposal. Some of my favorites are this Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad and Kale Harvest Grains Salad.

All you need is your kids’ favorite pasta (macaroni, bow tie, penne), some chopped raw or blanched veggies, some cubed dairy-free cheese, white beans or garbanzos and salad dressing. Toss it all together in a mason jar and watch them eat it on the go!

Prep in advance: You could prep the whole salad ahead of time, or just cook the pasta and veggies and then assemble it all the day of or minutes before you need to go.

Store-bought help: Salad dressing

Who’s ready for carpool?!

4. Hummus Tabbouleh Wraps

These are super simple but full of flavor with the layers of hummus and tabbouleh. Just use a regular flour tortilla and spread generously with your kids’ favorite hummus. Add a few romaine or spinach leaves on top and add a scoop of tabbouli. Roll and slice in half!

Prep in advance: Tabbouleh (if making your own)

Store-bought help: Trader Joe’s has a vast variety of hummus options as well as a tasty tabbouleh if you’re too busy to make it homemade.

If you're shuttling kids from one activity to the next and worried about when and how to feed them, try one of these easy and delicious portable meals that they can eat on the go and you can prep in no time!

5. Mason Jar Italian Chopped Salads

These are just as fun to make as they are to eat! Start by pouring your salad dressing on the bottom of the jar (any Italian, balsamic or lemon vinaigrette will do!). Then layer chickpeas, and chopped vegetables one at a time (cucumber, kalamata olives, tomato, pepperoncinis and / or capers, or any other assortment of your choice). End with chopped lettuce on top. Seal with a lid and store until ready to eat. I recommend assembling these the morning of the same day your kids plan to eat them.

Prep in advance: Salad dressing (if making your own)

Store-bought help: Salad dressing (if not making your own) and pre-chopped lettuce

If you're shuttling kids from one activity to the next and worried about when and how to feed them, try one of these easy and delicious portable meals that they can eat on the go and you can prep in no time!

 


January 17, 2019
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Last week was a busy one. After picking up the kids from school and shuttling them to activities and appointments, I raced off to my own appointments and conference calls. Then, I picked up the kids and raced home to make dinner, with any other spare minute in between used to finalize preparations for Alex’s bat mitzvah in 3 weeks. Every moment seemed to have a task to complete!

The last thing I wanted to do at the end of the day was cook dinner or think about meal prep for the next day. Still, I managed to get a home cooked meal on the table every night (and lunch made for me and the kids). Thank goodness for batch cooking on the weekend! My other saving grace was the sheet pan dinner. I’m kinda new to the sheet pan dinner party. In case you are too, let me explain.

Sheet pan dinners are where you place some combo of veggies and protein on a sheet pan and let the oven do all the work for you. When the sheet pan is ready, dinner is served. It’s easy and convenient (You only have to wash one pan!). It’s also a great way to clean out your fridge and use up whatever produce is lying around.

As I prepped the Italian Roasted Veggie Bowls below, I started thinking about all of the other fun ways you could mix up sheet pan dinners. I challenged myself to come up with four more. Check them out below!

It takes about 20-30ish minutes to roast the contents on your sheet pan. If you batch cook your grains and prep your dressings or sauces on the weekend, you can get your meal on the table in less than 40 minutes. Healthy, homemade and fun. Dinner is served!

Change up what's for dinner with one of these plant-based sheet pan dinners. Your family will love these roasted veggie bowls, pita pockets, nachos (and more!) and you'll love the easy prep and clean up.

5 Quick & Easy Sheet Pan Dinners

1. Italian Roasted Veggies + Tofu Orzo Bowls

On the sheet pan:

Cherry tomatoes

Cubed tofu

Broccoli

Cremini mushrooms

Whole garlic cloves

Toss all of the above with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, an Italian herbs seasoning blend, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve over cooked orzo and top with one or more of the dressing and toss-in options below.

Dressing and sauce options:

Italian dressing

Caesar

Lemon-garlic tahini sauce

Tasty toss-ins:

Kite Hill Ricotta

Pine nuts

Freshly, chopped basil

 

2. Greek Quinoa “Tabbouleh” Pita Pockets

On the sheet pan:

Cauliflower florets

Chickpeas (drained, rinsed and patted dry)

Kalamata olives (pitted)

Artichoke hearts

Pita bread

Toss all of the veggies and chickpeas with olive oil, dill and oregano (or Greek seasoning blend), garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Place pita on the sheet pan about 5 minutes before the veggies are done. Toss the veggies and chickpeas with the quinoa and serve inside sliced pita halves with one or more of the dressing or toss-in options below.

Dressing and sauce options:

Red wine vinaigrette

Tahini sauce

Hummus

Tasty toss-ins:

Chopped cucumber

Fresh dill

Sun-dried tomatoes

 

3. Southwestern Tempeh & Corn Burritos

On the sheet pan:

Cubed tempeh

Corn (cut off the cob or canned, drained and rinsed)

Red bell pepper, chopped

Red onion, sliced

Toss all of the veggies and tempeh with olive oil and your favorite taco seasoning. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. About 5 minutes before the veggies and tempeh are done, place the flour tortillas on the sheet pan. When done cooking, scoop the tempeh and vegetable filling into the tortillas and top with one or more of the dressing and toss-in options below.

Dressing and sauce options:

Salsa

Taco sauce

Dairy-free sour cream

Tasty toss-ins:

Black beans (drained and rinsed) or refried beans

Sliced black olives

Sliced avocado

 

4. Black Bean & Vegan Beef Nachos

On the sheet pan:

Tortilla chips

Black beans (canned, drained and rinsed)

Veggie ground “beef”

Dairy-free cheddar cheese

Spread the tortilla chips out across the sheet pan. Srinkle the remaining ingredients on top, with the cheese last. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. When done cooking, top with one or more of the sauce and toss-in options below.

Sauce options:

Taco sauce

Guacamole

Dairy-free sour cream

Tasty toss-ins:

Cilantro

Chopped tomato

Chopped red onion

Chopped avocado

What do you think of this fun and easy meal idea for the family?

5. Cauliflower, Potato + Chickpea Curry Bowls

On the sheet pan:

Cauliflower florets

Chickpeas (canned, drained and rinsed)

Potatoes (scrubbed and cubed)

Toss all of the above with olive oil, curry powder and garam masala. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve over cooked jasmine rice and top with one or more of the dressing and toss-in options below.

Sauce options:

Bottled curry sauce (My family loves Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry)

Lime juice

Dairy-free Greek-style yogurt

Tasty toss-ins:

Cilantro

Peas

Peanuts

What do you think of this fun and easy meal idea for the family?


January 14, 2019
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My family went crazy for this easy pasta bar that I put together last week! I received countless “Mom, this is really good!” enthusiastic compliments from the kids about how much they loved dinner…and all I did was heat up a few sauces from Trader Joe’s, boil some pasta, and chop up some veggies. That’s it! Easy, healthy, and kid approved. That’s what I call dinner success!

This easy pasta bar is one of my weeknight solutions to serving a healthy, homemade dinner five nights a week. Over the years, I’ve introduced several changes to my family’s meal plans, but food bars are one my favorites. They are fun, interactive, and customizable for picky eaters and family members with different likes and dislikes.

This meal idea came together even easier with store-bought sauces from Trader Joe’s. My daughter, Alex, loves pesto while my son Jake prefers Miyoko’s butter and my eldest, Gaby loves bruschetta. This pasta bar made it possible to please all 3 of them with one meal. Score 1 for me!

When it comes to putting together your own pasta bar, keep the following tips in mind.

DIY Pasta Bar Tips

  1. Presentation is everything: Kids eat with their eyes so lay everything out on a pretty platter. Make a spread that is inviting and fun. Since you’re using store-bought ingredients, you can spend a few extra minutes on setting up your spread!
  2. Variety is the spice of life: Include lots of color and variety in your pasta and toppings options.
  3. Less is more: Variety is great but you don’t have to go crazy. Too many options can overwhelm kids so stick to no more than 3 sauces and 5 add-ins for your pasta bar.
  4. Round out the menu: A simple salad and sliced ciabatta are winning sides to accompany your meal.

The key to this pasta bar is incorporating your family’s favorites. Create your own with these three simple steps.

Easy Pasta Bar in 1-2-3!

1. Select your sauces.

I mentioned above that I catered to my kids’ faves. I used the following Trader Joe’s sauces:

Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto (in the refrigerated section)

Trader Giotto’s Fresh Bruschetta Sauce (in the refrigerated section)

Trader Giotto’s Genova Pesto (in the refrigerated section)

(Although Jake loves plain butter on his noodles, he tried the bruschetta and loved it. I reinforced how great it was that he tried something new and discovered he liked it.)

When it comes to making healthy changes to your family's meal plan, do it with ease. Try one or more of these suggestions to clean up your family's diet this year.

2. Prep your noodles.

I did a combo of zoodles (zucchini noodles) and traditional pasta. Although Dave and I were the only ones who ate the zucchini, I always offer and keep reintroducing it (the key to winning over picky palates).

My kids’ favorite noodles are penne and farfalle (aka bowties in our house). I also love all the fun twists and spirals that Trader Joe’s offers in their pasta aisle. I could have included 5 different kinds of pasta in our bar!

Get a homemade meal on the table that your whole family will love with this easy pasta bar using Trader Joe's sauces and your favorite toppings.

3. Choose your toppings.

I kept it simple with sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, and Gardein meatless meatballs. I also included turkey meatballs for Alex, Jake and Dave.

This is where you can have a lot of fun with your pasta bar: sun-dried tomatoes, capers, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, marinated artichoke hearts, hearts of palm…go to town!

And don’t forget the Parm! Violife is my favorite dairy-free brand. I love that you can grate it like traditional Parmesan cheese. You can find it at Whole Foods. Follow Your Heart also makes a great grated product.

With all the options to choose from, you can change up this pasta bar a dozen different ways to refresh this meal idea again and again. It’s definitely going into the my meal plan rotation!

I’d love to hear what you think of this meal idea. Tell me in the comments below and for more plant-based meal ideas, check out my 21-day online course for meal plan ideas and recipes.

Get a homemade meal on the table that your whole family will love with this easy pasta bar using Trader Joe's sauces and your favorite toppings.

 


January 4, 2019
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It’s the beginning of a new year and I’m uber focused on my health and nutrition. (My youngest daughter has a bat mitzvah next month so I admit, I have some dress motivators too…as in “I want to look good in the pictures.”) LOL! Seriously, healthy changes are on my mind after falling short of my weight loss goal last year and then happily indulging over the holidays. I’m taking it all in stride though and know that a few small tweaks go a long way.

The adjustments I make to my family’s meal plan are never just about me. As the meal planner, shopper and cook in the family, I feel a huge responsibility to make sure I’m planning nutritious recipes each week. And let’s be honest, it’s not always easy to please when you’re being healthy.

I put a lot of effort into making sure my family’s meals are not only nutritious, but also delicious. There’s no use cooking if no one is going to eat it, right? So when it comes to healthy changes, I suggest easing into it (my word of the year).  If you’re looking revamp your family’s meal plan, take note of these other tips for success.

  1. Just do it: Don’t spend too much time (if any at all!) telling your kids about the healthy changes you’re making to the family’s meals. Dive in and get it done. Chances are they won’t even notice, and if they do, you can talk about it organically at the table around good food. Ask them what they think (instead of lecturing about how and why). My kids usually surprise me with all they know and their outlook on healthy habits.

  2. Take it easy: Rome wasn’t built in a day! Don’t go overhauling your meal plan in one fell swoop. Not only will you be overwhelmed and exhausted, but your family will be wondering what happened to their favorite foods. Instead, incorporate 1 or 2 new healthy changes a month and see how it goes. From there, keep going at a pace that works for your family.

  3. Keep it simple: Small adjustments add up to big healthy habits over the long run. Don’t feel like you have to make huge changes. The suggestions below are all manageable, baby steps towards a cleaner diet.

The following healthy changes are where I have seen the biggest impact on my family’s diet and nutrition.

Healthy Changes for Your Family’s Meal Plan

1. Add juices and smoothies to your breakfast meal plan.

Jumpstart your family’s day with vibrant and colorful juices and smoothies packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. A smoothie can be positioned as a fruity shake to picky eaters and it’s even easier to get kids to try it if you set up a smoothie “bar” with a few ingredients to choose from. (I try to give my kids some bit of control in their meals when I can.)

Don’t knock the green juice until you try it! I wouldn’t think of starting my day without my green juice but I’ve never forced it on my kids. I’ve offered and offered time and again, but it’s been over 5 years into my juicing routine and my kids still aren’t joining me…But, wait! After watching me make my daily blend a couple of months ago, my son asked me for a glass. To my surprise, he loved it!

When it comes to making healthy changes to your family's meal plan, do it with ease. Try one or more of these suggestions to clean up your family's diet this year.

2. Set up DIY food “bars” for meals.

I’m a huge fan of DIY meals and incorporate them often into my weekly meal plans: tacos, veggie sushi bowls, avo toast…If there’s a way for me to create a DIY station out of a meal, I’ll do it!

I find that it gets the kids more excited about their meal while introducing them to cooking and food basics. Another benefit is that it teaches kids portion control. Instead of serving my kids an amount that I think they should eat, they fill their plates with an amount that matches their hunger level.

3. Break out the spiralizer.

I love this kitchen tool! For those of you new to a spiralizer, it’s a lightweight countertop tool for turning your vegetables into noodles. I use it for zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots and more!

Instead of serving straight-up pasta noodles, mix in a few zoodles (zucchini noodles) for some veggie power. It’s a fabulous way to add more vegetables to your family’s meals.

When it comes to making healthy changes to your family's meal plan, do it with ease. Try one or more of these suggestions to clean up your family's diet this year.

4. Have your kids pack their lunch.

This has been a hard change for me to make, but if you’ve got older kids (8 and older), having them pack their own lunch offers so many wonderful things:

  • Teaches them how to prepare a balanced meal
  • Makes them responsible for taking care of their body’s needs
  • Shows them how to prioritize healthy eating habits
  • Introduces them to cooking

As I mentioned, I’m still struggling with this one. My kids have been making their lunches once a week for a couple of months now and I know it’s time to have my teen girls take over completely.

It’s a control issue for me. I want to make sure they pack nutritious foods and are getting a balanced meal. My husband keeps reminding me that I do the shopping so they only have healthy options to choose from. He’s right…and they have to check their lunch with me after they pack it so I always get veto power. It’s time!

When it comes to making healthy changes to your family's meal plan, do it with ease. Try one or more of these suggestions to clean up your family's diet this year.

5. Add more plant-based foods to your meal plan.

Research shows that adding more vegetables, fruits, and plant-based protein to your diet can reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and reverse chronic diseases (such as diabetes). Not to mention, those on plant-based diets weigh less and have more energy. (I lost 6 pounds in the first week I went vegan.)

You don’t have to go 100% vegan though to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet. Go meatless 1 or 2 meals a week or add more vegetables and plant-based foods to your family’s plate while reducing the amount of meat.

For more help and resources to add more plant-based foods to your diet, check out my 21-day online course.

What healthy changes are you making this year?


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It’s the perfect time of year for a spring picnic. Basking in the sun with some delicious food is my kind of weekend afternoon. Although any standard basket would do, I am currently working on my new picture book, NOT A PURSE,  (the sequel to NOT A NUGGET), and have handbags on my mind!! So, today, I am breaking out my GUNAS Kangaroo Saffiano in earthy dark green and filling it with all the yummies for my Spring picnic menu below.

This bag works nicely as a “picnic basket,” with an internal zipper pocket, as well as a zipper divider pocket, (great for storing utensils and napkins.) I was able to fit a picnic blanket and all the food in the bag nicely. It looked so cute packed up that I almost didn’t want to lay out the spread! I have to admit, I felt very chic and stylish with my fashion-forward picnic tote. It definitely won’t be the last time I break it out for a feast in the park. If you love the idea, get one for yourself here.

It's the perfect time of year for a spring picnic. Although any standard basket would do, I'm working on my new picture book, NOT A PURSE, and have handbags on my mind!! So I'm breaking out my GUNAS Kangaroo Saffiano in earthy dark green and filling it with all the yummies for a Spring picnic menu.

As for the menu, I love lots of finger foods and appetizers for a Spring picnic to create a whole experience that can sustain appetites for several hours. One of my dream days is to get lost in a book under a tree on a picnic blanket. I can’t remember the last time I did that. This menu includes several munchies and easy-to-eat food that can sit out at room temperature for a bit and still taste delicious.

Stephanie’s Spring Picnic Menu

Baguette and Miyoko’s Cheese

Chopped Vegetable Salad

Slice 2 Persian cucumbers into rounds, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes in half, and 1 watermelon radish into semi-circles (or use a regular radish). Chop 1 head of romaine and toss with the rest of the veggies. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on top along with Chile Lime Salt (I get mine at Trader Joe’s) to taste. Top with chopped avocado.

Tempeh “Chicken” Salad

I love this tempeh “chicken” salad filling! It’s great on sandwiches, on top of a bed of greens or scooped up in endive!

Beanfields White Bean Chips and Roasted Garlic Lemon Hummus

Combine 1 can chickpeas, 1 head roasted garlic, 1/4 cup vegetable broth and the juice of 1 lemon in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love Uncle Eddies or any of the vegan ones from Trader Joe’s.

What do you think of my Spring picnic menu and basket? What do you love to pack for a picnic?

It's the perfect time of year for a spring picnic. Although any standard basket would do, I'm working on my new picture book, NOT A PURSE, and have handbags on my mind!! So I'm breaking out my GUNAS Kangaroo Saffiano in earthy dark green and filling it with all the yummies for a Spring picnic menu.

I received a discount to purchase a GUNAS handbag for this post, but all opinions are my own. 


April 15, 2018
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If you’ve been following my Instagram lately, you’ve noticed that I am obsessed with snack platters! They are my favorite way to feed the kids after school or entertain guests before dinner is served. I have even brought them to theater rehearsals and school when it’s my turn to bring snack. Whether I need an appetizer to accompany cocktails, snacks for book club, or eats for a party, snack platters are a beautiful way to feed people.

They offer variety so there is something for everyone, and it allows you to pull lots of snacks together in one place for easy serving and eating. They wow guests with their presentation and can be thrown together with whatever you have in the fridge or pantry. Below are some simple tips that I follow when putting together my snack platters.

1. Incorporate lots of crunch.

People love crunch! Crackers and crunchy eats must be part of the platter. Beyond crackers, think pretzels, popcorn, vegetable chips, nuts, and whatever else you and your family likes crunch on!

2. Add color and variety with vegetables.

Balance out the crunchies with fresh vegetables that also offer the crunch factor, but also color and variety. Serve them plain or drizzle them with fresh lemon or lime juice and your favorite seasoning for something a little fancier. Don’t forget marinated or pickled vegetables and yummies like olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and cornichons.

3. Give people something to dip into.

With all of the crackers and veggies, every snack platter needs spreads and dips. My favorites are hummus, salsa, and dairy-free cheeses from Kite Hill and Miyoko’s kitchen. Olive tapenades and pestos are also a tasty option on snack platters.

4. Add something sweet with fruit.

Whether you go with fresh or dried, fruit is a sweet addition to any snack platter.

I have two snack platters that I purchased at Target. One is a large, oval wood rimmed platter that I stack with ramekins and small bowls for dips. I have another white ceramic rectangular platter that I also purchased at Target. This one is a bit more elegant and also works well for placing bowls on top of it for spreads.

I find my snack platters to be a creative way for me to have fun in the kitchen. I truly see it as an outlet for my creativity. Have fun and get inspired with one of these snack platters below.

Welcome the kids home from school with this fun platter full of popcorn, Beanfields chips and some other faves like olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

Feed hungry kids and impress guests with these tips and ideas for snack platters. From after school snacks and pre-party appetizers, to cocktail bites and even dessert, get inspired with this fun and delicious way to feed a crowd.

Go beyond cheese and crackers for happy hour with this snack platter that pairs nicely with wine. I also added Crunchsters protein snack, root vegetable chips, and seasoned nuts.

Feed hungry kids and impress guests with these tips and ideas for snack platters. From after school snacks and pre-party appetizers, to cocktail bites and even dessert, get inspired with this fun and delicious way to feed a crowd.

I served this appetizer platter last weekend before a Latin themed dinner that I made. In addition to tortilla chips and salsa, I also added homemade pico de gallo and guacamole, along with store bought dips like avocado hummus. Jicama, cucumbers and radishes round out the platter.

Feed hungry kids and impress guests with these tips and ideas for snack platters. From after school snacks and pre-party appetizers, to cocktail bites and even dessert, get inspired with this fun and delicious way to feed a crowd.

This dessert platter from Fork & Beans gets me so excited! A chocolate log, bark, fruit and cookies are such an inspired way to serve dessert to a crowd.

Short on time, but need to feed the fam? Heat up a panini press and set out sandwich fixings. Everyone can make their own as they like it with minimal prep and clean up for mom!Short on time, but need to feed the fam? Heat up a panini press and set out sandwich fixings. Everyone can make their own as they like it with minimal prep and clean up for mom!

What are some of your favorite snack platters to serve your family and friends?


March 25, 2018
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Passover is just one week away!  It’s my favorite Jewish holiday.  I look forward to planning my Seder menu each year with great anticipation, and equally enjoy preparing my family’s meal plan with a week of matzah filled meals!  If you don’t know, matzah is the flat, thin cracker that gets stacked, layered, and ground into every possible recipe for the week because Jews can’t eat leavened bread during Passover.

Matzah pizzas are my ridiculously simple, but delicious way to serve up matzah in a myriad of ways during Passover.  Try one of these 10 ridiculously easy matzah pizzas to jazz up your regular cheese creation.

My family loves to eat matzah plain with vegan butter or cream cheese spread across it, but I also try to fancy it up by adding it into recipes for pancakes, rolls, and even casseroles.  Because we eat matzah all week, it can become challenging to come up with different ways to serve it.  Matzah pizzas are my ridiculously simple, but delicious way to serve up matzah in a myriad of ways.  Browse the 10 matzah pizza recipes below to see what I mean.

This recipe is so interactive that it’s perfect for busy weeknights.  All you have to do is line up the matzahs on cookie sheets, lay out your toppings, and the family can go to town making their own creations.  Below is a basic recipe, but I love a good theme and these matzah pizzas are the perfect excuse to experiment and have fun in the kitchen. Try one of these 10 ridiculously easy matzah pizzas to jazz up your regular cheese creation.

Matzah pizzas are my ridiculously simple, but delicious way to serve up matzah in a myriad of ways during Passover.  Try one of these 10 ridiculously easy matzah pizzas to jazz up your regular cheese creation.

Basic Matzah Pizza Recipe

Makes 4 pizzas

Ingredients:

4 matzah crackers

4 tablespoons sauce

½ cup shredded vegan cheese

Toppings of choice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place each matzah cracker on a baking sheet and top with 1 tablespoon of sauce, your selected toppings and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese.

3. Bake about 5 minutes.

10 Easy Matzah Pizza Recipes

1. Mexican Matzah Pizza

Spread 2 tablespoons of refried beans on a matzah cracker.  Top with 1-2 tablespoons Soyrizo, sliced jalapeño, and 2 tablespoons vegan cheddar shreds.  Bake for 5 minutes and top with freshly chopped cilantro and sliced avocado.

2. My Big Fat Greek Matzah Pizza

Spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce on a matzah cracker.  Top with 2 tablespoons of vegan mozzarella cheese, 1 tablespoon of chopped chickpeas, Kalamata olives, sliced red onion, 1 tablespoon of chopped artichoke hearts, and sliced roasted red peppers.  Bake for 5 minutes.

3. Italian Matzah Pizza

Spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce on a matzah cracker.  Top with 2 tablespoons of vegan mozzarella cheese and sliced vegan Italian sausage.  Top with 2 tablespoons of vegan Parmesan cheese. Bake for 5 minutes and top with 1 tablespoon of basil sliced in a chiffonade, and 2 tablespoons of sliced black olives.

4. Falafel Matzah Pizza

Spread 2 tablespoons of tahini sauce on a matzah cracker.  Top with sliced falafel and bake for 5 minutes. Top with Kalamata olives and sliced Greek pickles.

Matzah pizzas are my ridiculously simple, but delicious way to serve up matzah in a myriad of ways during Passover.  Try one of these 10 ridiculously easy matzah pizzas to jazz up your regular cheese creation.

5. BBQ “Chicken” Pizza

Chop 4 pieces of Beyond Chicken strips into small squares.  Toss in 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce and set aside.  Spread 2 tablepoons of vegan ranch dressing on a matzah cracker.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce over the ranch dressing.  Top with the Beyond Chicken, 2 tablespoons of vegan cheddar shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon of canned corn kernels, and 2 cherry tomatoes,sliced in half.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Top with chopped avocado.

6. Mediterranean Hummus Pizza

Spread 1 tablespoon of hummus on a matzah cracker.  Top with 1 tablespoon of artichoke pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives.  Bake for 5 minutes.

7. Basil Pesto Pizza

Spread 1 tablespoon of vegan pesto on a matzah cracker.  Top with with sliced heirloom tomatoes and Kite Hill Ricotta cheese.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Top with 1 tablespoon of basil, sliced in a chiffonade.

8. Margarita Pizza

Spread 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce on a matzah cracker.  Top with vegan Parmesan cheese and sliced tomatoes.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Top with 1 tablespoon of basil, sliced in a chiffonade.

9. Taco Matzah Pizza

Spread 2 tablespoons of taco sauce on a matzah cracker.  Top with 2 tablespoons of your favorite dairy-free cheese shreds, my Beyond Meat and black bean taco filling, 2 sliced cherry tomatoes, and 1 tablespoon of corn kernels.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Top with sliced avocado and black olives.

Matzah pizzas are my ridiculously simple, but delicious way to serve up matzah in a myriad of ways during Passover.  Try one of these 10 ridiculously easy matzah pizzas to jazz up your regular cheese creation.

10. Teriyaki Tofu and Pineapple Matzah

Spread 2 tablespoons of hoisin or teriyaki sauce on a matzah cracker.  Top with sliced or chopped baked tofu (marinated in teriyaki sauce), 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese, and 1 tablespoon of chopped pineapple.  Bake for 5 minutes.


September 4, 2017
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As a multi-tasking mom with a never-ending to do list, I appreciate some help from the store whenever I can get it! Before kids, my husband used to make us the most decadent pizzas with homemade dough from scratch. Three kids later, we don’t have time for that! Refrigerated pizza dough is a time saver and super versatile gift from the grocery store gods. I use it to make a variety of family-friendly meals. My local Trader Joe’s offers three types – whole wheat, white, and herb. The opportunities for playing with pizza dough are limitless!

Pizza dough is for so much more than pizzas. Don’t get me wrong. I have major pizza love and my family eats it more than I’d like. However, with a little creativity, you can break out of the pizza rut and create a bunch of new recipes for family meals. I recently made the trio below and served them with a DIY salad bar. It was one of my kids’ and husband’s favorite weeknight meals to date.

The list below is some pizza dough inspo for getting you started on your own creations. Use the recipes as templates and add or substitute your favorite ingredients. Have fun and get your family in on the pizza dough action!

Pizza Dough

3 Things to Make with Pizza Dough Besides Pizza

1. Dairy-Free Parmesan & Herb Breadsticks

Homemade breadsticks are scrumptious straight from the oven, still warm and plump with doughy deliciousness! These breadsticks take me back to my high school days when my friends and I would cruise around Friday nights and order the highly addicting breadsticks from Little Caesar’s. They always came with a side of marinara. I highly recommend serving these with some for dipping too!

Pizza Dough

 

Ingredients:

1 package of herb pizza dough

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup Follow Your Heart shredded Parmesan

Sprinkling of Penzey’s Spices Pizza Seasoning (or any Italian Herb seasoning and garlic powder)

1 teaspoon sea salt

Marinara sauce, for serving

Directions:

1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour to allow to rise.

2. Divide dough into four even sized balls. Roll each ball into 4 sticks. Twist each stick and place on a greased baking sheet.

3. Brush the sticks with the olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning and sea salt.

4. Sprinkle cheese on each stick. Lightly press the Parmesan shreds into the pizza dough.

5. Bake at 475 degrees for 8 minutes.

6. Serve with marina sauce for dipping.

 

2. Vegan Ham and Olive Stromboli

If you’ve never had this Italian stuffed bread, you must try this recipe! It’s a family favorite in my house. Olives and pepperoncinis are a wonderful complement to the vegan ham, (which I purchased from The Herbivorous Butcher.) The mildness of the Chao regular slices worked really well for this recipe. My kids are not a fan of dairy-free cheese but this one melts really well without a strong flavor, which they enjoyed in this dish. A dairy-free mozzarella would be delicious too.

pizza dough

Ingredients:

1 package of whole wheat pizza dough

3 Chao Creamy Slices (Field Roast), sliced in half

1/2 cup olive tapenade

1/4 cup sliced pepperoncinis

3 slices vegan ham (or other plant-based “meat”)

Sprinkling of Penzey’s Spices Pizza Seasoning (or any Italian Herb seasoning and garlic powder)

1 1/2 tablespoons Go Veggie! grated Parmesan Cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Marinara sauce, for serving

Directions:

1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let sit 30 minutes to an hour to allow to rise.

2. Roll out dough on a floured service into a large oval.

3. Brush the dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons olives oil and sprinkle with the seasoning.

4. Layer the cheese slices down the length of the pizza dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the entire oval.

5. Add the vegan ham on top.

6. Spread the olive tapenade over the cheese and ham. Sprinkle the pepperoncinis on top.

7. Bring both sides of the dough together and fold over each other to make a seam. Tuck and seal each end.

8. Turn the roll over and place on a greased baking pan. Brush with remaining olive oil and dust with the Parmesan cheese.

9. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes.

10. Allow to sit 5 minutes and slice. Serve with marina sauce for dipping.

 

3. Vegan Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Turnovers

This is my bite-sized take on the calzone. I love to make those too! This smaller version is perfect for little hands and a lot more fun to eat. Why do finger foods bring so much joy to meal time?!!

Pizza dough

Ingredients:

1 package of whole wheat pizza dough

1/2 cup pizza sauce

1/4 cup dairy-free mozzarella shreds (such as So Delicious, Parmela, or Daiya)

Vegan pepperoni slices

Directions:

1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour to allow to rise.

2. Roll out dough onto a floured service. Using a 2″ cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough. Continue rolling and cutting out circles until all of the dough has been used.

3. One at a time, hold each circle at the edges and “toss” around to allow the dough to stretch a bit.

4. Spread a tablespoon (or less) of sauce in the middle of each pizza dough circle, topped with 2 pepperoni slices and 1 teaspoon of cheese.

5. Fold the circle in half (forming a half moon), and seal the edges.

6. Place the pizza turnovers on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes.

What pizza dough creations have you made?

 

These fun and delicious pizza dough recipes show off how versatile this ready-made, store-bought ingredient can be to make way more than pizza.

 


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