Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Marin Mama side dishes, Veggies 6 Comments

roasted Brussels sprouts

How are you feeling about Brussels spouts?  Do they bring up childhood memories of being stuck at the dinner table for hours until you finished every last one?  Do you have memories of gagging each time you ate one?  I do!  I use to hate Brussels sprouts, especially ones that were boiled.  They were sodden and vaguely buttered and hard to chew.  Then I tried them roasted, and I was converted.  Roasting them takes away that bitter taste and brings out their nutty flavor.  I’m hoping to convert those of you that are Brussels sprouts haters to Brussels sprouts lovers. OK, let’s get started!  You don’t need much to make these;  just some olive oil, salt & pepper.  First wash …

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bundt Bread

Marin Mama after school snacks, breads and muffins, cakes and cupcakes, Desserts, family favorites, quick bread 21 Comments

chocolate chip pumpkin bundt bread

I don’t know about you, but when my kids come home from school, they are HUNGRY! The first words out of their mouths are, “hi mom, what’s for snack?” I get it, they’re growing fast, had lunch a couple of hours ago and so they need some fuel, and they need it NOW!  When Zoe gets home and smells something baking in the oven, she does her leap of joy and yells a big “Yippee!”  It doesn’t get any better than that. Here’s a great fall afternoon snack, or anytime of the year snack.  It almost qualifies as a dessert, because it’s that yummy.  I serve this up for the kids with a tall glass of milk, and after its …

roasted red pepper and tomato soup

Marin Mama dinner, lunch, meatless meals, Soups 9 Comments

roasted red pepper and tomato soup

OK, I admit, I am on a soup kick lately.  I love that I can make soup ahead of time and then re-heat it later for dinner or for lunch throughout the week.  Soup is just so uncomplicated, pure and so darn easy to make. Once you make a homemade soup, you will never go back to the canned variety. I’ve been trying to eat seasonally and take advantage of all these amazing vegetables that are available right now.  While I was at the market the other day, I noticed these beautiful, enormous, organic red bell peppers.   We love red bell peppers raw, but have never tried them in a soup, so I was ready to experiment.  I’m so …

leaner spaghetti bolognese

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, Pastas 4 Comments


Spaghetti bolognese is such a classic dish and the perfect comfort food.  I have changed up the classic and made it a bit healthier by substituting buffalo meat for the 1/2 pd each of ground beef and pork.  My family uses buffalo meat in place of ground beef in everything from burgers to tacos, you name it. Buffalo has 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef and 50% less cholesterol; it’s also leaner than both pork and chicken and has fewer calories than all three.  On top of that, buffalo is higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids. There are also no growth hormones, steroids, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics used.  You can research more on the health …

Kale, Pear & Orange Smoothie

Marin Mama kale, smoothies & juices 1 Comment


OK, I admit I have been OD’ing it on the spinach lately as I have been having my  kale and spinach smoothie  pretty much every day!  Its hard because its just sooo good, easy to make and transport, and I love the fact that I am getting a boatload of veggies in one serving.  I am not a “sit down” lunch person, so having a lunch that is transportable is key!!  I have heard that having to much spinach is not a “good thing” as it has tons of iron.  With that being said,  I have been researching and trying some other green smoothie recipes that have just kale in it.   Kale, Pear & Orange Smoothie: 1 cup green grapes …

cauliflower soup

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Soups 37 Comments

cauliflower soup

Here’s an easy & simple weeknight winter soup that’s not only kid approved, but vegan and dairy-free, if you omit the parmesan cheese.  This soup only requires 4 simple ingredients; a head of cauliflower, yellow onion, garlic, chicken or veggie stock. I love this soup because it’s a creamy soup without the cream! Yippee! The cauliflower adds a wonderful creamy texture to the soup, so it’s warm, comforting rich and smooth on the taste buds. Whenever I make this soup, people always ask me if there’s milk or cream in it, but there’s not, it’s the pureeing of the cauliflower that makes this soup naturally creamy! I love topping this soup with some oven roasted shiitake mushrooms, as it converts this simple plain-jane soup …

Spinach Smoothie! Kid rated 10!

Marin Mama after school snacks, family favorites, smoothies & juices 18 Comments


Want you kids to get more greens in their diet? Here’s a smoothie recipe that is rated a 10+ in this household, so not only does it taste great, but it’s chock-full of nutrition! I make this smoothie for the kids to have for breakfast, lunch, or just as a healthy after school snack.  No matter when it gets served up, it’s devoured. This smoothie is similar my kale and spinach smoothie, but it doesn’t have the kale or the flax seed in it. I did try to sneak in some flax seed one day, but the kids noticed and didn’t like it.  Oh well, I should be thankful that they love this smoothie though!  BTW, this just isn’t a …

roasted cauliflower

Marin Mama side dishes, Veggies 11 Comments

roasted cauliflower

Want to get your kids to try and love cauliflower?  Then try roasting it. We all want to get more veggies into our family’s diet, right?  Well, a few years back, I tried cooking cauliflower for dinner. I steamed it as you would any vegetable and it tasted OK to John and I, but my kids HATED it!  There was a lot of gagging going on at the dinner table that night.  So I took a break from cauliflower and went back to the old familiars like broccoli and green beans, but I really wanted to get some new veggies into our diet, so I was determined to find other ways to cook them. I heard that roasting cauliflower brought …

quick and easy popovers

Marin Mama family favorites, popovers, side dishes 23 Comments


I just love fall. The air starts to get crisp and the nights get shorter, I crave afternoon chai tea, comfort food, a fire in the fireplace and my big soft blanket to nestle in.  One of my family’s favorite comfort foods is popovers.  When you come by my house and start smelling these in the oven, then you know fall is here. Popovers are a bit funny! I mean look at them, they each have their own unique appearance. It’s like they’re having a competition to see who can rise the highest or popover the most. Get it, popover?  I seriously crack myself up sometimes! Popovers seem like they would be difficut to make, but let me tell you, they’re …

Broccoli Lemon Pasta – Kid rated a 10

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, Pastas, weeknight dinners 36 Comments

broccoli lemon pasta with toasted walnuts

Looking for an easy, weeknight, meatless, family friendly, 30-minute, one-bowl pasta dish?  Look no further because this pasta fits the bill.  This is my weekly go-to pasta because it’s super easy to make, (I could literally make this blindfolded) kid approved and it’s a one-bowl meal. It’s one of those pastas that my kiddos request often (like weekly) and I happily make.  I’ve been making this pasta dish for 10 years and it’s still one of our family faves. This is the pasta that got my kids to first TRY and LOVE broccoli, so there you go… Zoe often brings the leftovers to school for lunch and I now have to pack a huge container, as all her friends want …

Kale & Spinach Smoothie!

Marin Mama after school snacks, kale, smoothies & juices 16 Comments

Kale and spinach smoothie - Marin mama cooks

For those of you that want an on-the-go vitamin packed smoothie, here’s my favorite. This kale & spinach smoothie is my go-to smoothie. I always feel great after drinking this smoothie because I know that I got 2 cups of spinach and 3 kale leaves in one drink.  It’s nice to be able to drink your veggies once in a while, especially when life is busy and you don’t have time to cook them up in the kitchen. Green smoothies are great to have as a mid-morning or post workout snack, or as an on-the-go lunch or breakfast.  I usually need a bit more than a smoothie for lunch, so I usually pair this smoothie with a slice of toast …