Peas and Thank You, the book, is available now. (Photo courtesy of Harlequin)
Sarah Matheny would often tote a can of soup and a carton of yogurt for lunch during her busy day as an attorney. "I wasn't eating terribly, but I did rely on a lot of processed foods," Sarah admits. When she decided to become a stay-at-home mom after having her first daughter, Sarah opted to revamp her diet as well—turning vegetarian and focusing on preparing whole foods-based meals. "I am a role model for my daughters and they pick up my behavior. I wanted to clean up my act," she says.
Her meatless quest turned into a blog, Peas and Thank You, and the popularity of her recipes and stories on the blog offered her the opportunity to write a book. Peas and Thank You: Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love was released yesterday, sharing "healthier twists on foods we all enjoy."
Since Sarah is a pro at creating produce-filled recipes her (adorable!) daughters devour, we asked for three tips for getting kids to eat their veggies:
- Don't play hide and seek. "I want my kids to know that they're eating vegetables so they realize at a young age that they're delicious! Rather than disguising them, I incorporate them into meals they love the taste of, like enchiladas, pizza or pasta."
- Make it visible. "We always have fresh produce in our crisper drawers, and tell our daughters that they can always grab something from there for a snack."
- Let them help. "Bring your kids along to the grocery store and let them pick out a new vegetable that everyone in the family has to try that week. Then have the kids join you in the kitchen for meal preparation! They'll have a sense of control."
Click below for Sarah's recipes for a simple morning smoothie and a mouthwatering dessert reminiscent of a brown bag lunch staple!
Mama Pea's Margarita Smoothie
Tastes like a cocktail, but packs a produce punch! (Photo courtesy of Harlequin)
- 2 cups lime seltzer
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 cups frozen pineapple
- 1 cup ice
- stevia to taste
- sea salt to rim glass
- Combine all ingredients except salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Wet the rim of your serving glass and dip in coarsely ground sea salt. Pour and enjoy.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 195 calories, 12 g fat (11 g saturated)
PB and J-Filled Cupcakes
The six grams of protein in these cupcakes will help keep you full long after dessert. (Photo courtesy of Harlequin)
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup organic sugar
- 2/3 cup non-dairy or organic milk
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup 100 percent fruit preserves (raspberry and strawberry are best)
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers or spray with cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a smaller bowl, mix vanilla, sugar, milk and 1/4 cup peanut butter.
- Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Place a large spoonful of batter in the bottom of each muffin well. Add approximately 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of preserves and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of peanut butter on top of batter, and then an additional teaspoon of cupcake batter on top of the peanut butter and preserves.
- Bake cupcake for 20 to 25 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 194 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat)