Dijon-Herb Roasted Potatoes

As you know by now -- quick, easy and delicious recipes are what you will find here on my little blog. Often the tastiest dishes require the least amount of fuss and these potatoes are a perfect example. Of course, try to use the freshest ingredients available, especially the potatoes. Nothing like a tender, sweet, local grown potato... I also used fresh thyme because I had it on hand from my CSA box, but you can always substitute dried herbs if needed.

Dijon-Herb Roasted Potatoes

4-5 cups, fresh potatoes cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Stir all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Place on large baking sheet in a single layer.
4. Roast 40-45 minutes, stirring the potatoes every 10-15 minutes until tender a cooked through.

Cook these up next time you entertain and your guests will be impressed with your "gourmet" side dish. I served them up with some Balsamic Roasted Pork Tenderloin (using my Balsamic Marinated Chicken recipe. Absolutely delicious!

*Original recipe from All Recipes -- Dijon Roasted Potatoes

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Taco Zucchini Boats

Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini! July is almost over and I'm anticipating copious amounts of zucchini in my CSA box in the coming weeks. This week I decided to use the zucchini as the base for a main dish instead of stir-frying or sautéing as a side dish, which is what I usually do. These taco boats are based on my Taco Stuffed Peppers recipe, but I kept it light and healthy, using lean ground turkey, a tiny sprinkle of cheese and yummy salsa verde.

Fresh Mint Tea

One of the simple pleasures of summer in New England... fresh herbs. Mint grows like crazy around here and chances are if you have some growing in your yard you need to whack it back at the end of the summer before it takes over. Well, before you start whacking away, grab a bunch, and make some fresh mint tea. Absolutely delicious and nothing like traditional dried tea. Also, perfect for anyone with an allergy to tea tannins (I just heard of this!), but no tannins here, so enjoy!

Salmon Spring Onion Rolls

In case you haven't noticed, I'm obsessed with food. So, this means I am always thinking of new recipes. One of my favorite foods, sushi, is pretty much impossible to recreate at home and I'm always thinking of ways I can get that experience at home without all the fuss.  I came across a beautiful smoked salmon roll recipe on Pinterest and although it looked amazing, I just knew I would never take the time to go through all the complicated steps to make it (pickling the vegetables, etc.), so I mulled it over and came up with my own version which comes together quickly, incorporates items from my CSA delivery, and has a wonderful variety of textures and flavors. Sooo yummy! Perfect for an appetizer or even a small lunch plate.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Crisp

Today we enjoyed one of summer's greatest gifts -- farm fresh berry picking! We went with my friend (and Fresh Mama), Jen and her kids. Such a blast picking (and eating) our way through the blueberry bushes which were bursting with ripe berries. Sweet, tart, juicy, oh my -- they were amazing and we filled our buckets quickly.


Roasted Summer Vegetables

I almost didn't post this recipe... almost. Why? Because it is sooo easy! I thought, oh, no one will read it, everyone knows how to roast vegetables -- but then I thought how some of my most basic recipes are the most popular and the most pinned on Pinterest! You guys have flocked to the Roasted Butternut Squash and Zucchini Salad which are sooo easy, so I said what the heck, I bet these will be a hit, too... These roasted summer vegetables are so pretty to serve up --  if you can, try to use farm fresh vegetables for optimal flavor. Plus, just use what you have on hand as far as vegetables and herbs. You might never make the same combination twice! If you have never purchased a farm fresh spring onion, I highly recommend you give them a try. The taste is nothing like a regular storage onion and it takes on an amazing sweet flavor during the roasting process.

Weekend Food Prep

If you follow me on Instagram (@freshmamablog), you know I do a lot of food prep, because I share photos of it pretty frequently. Why meal prep? Well, basically the idea is to get the bulk of the week's food prepared one day during the week, so eating healthy is easy the remainder of the week. I usually do the majority of prep on Sundays or Mondays because that is what works for my schedule, but you can choose whatever day works best for your family. As a busy mom, working part-time, blogging, fitness coaching, and trying to have a social life, I would be lost without my weekly meal prep!

This is such big part of how I plan our meals -- especially lunches and snacks throughout the week. If you have been following me, you know I do my best to plan my dinners ahead of time with my Weekly Meal Plans. In a week or so, I will do an additional blog post to share how I prep for my children's school lunches, but this post will focus on how I prep to keep the hub and I eating clean for the week. Here is a sample of a typical day of clean eating:

5 Fresh Mama Dinnertime Family Favorites

Since the most common blog-related question I get asked is : "Do your kids really eat what you make?". I thought I would answer this with a blog post. Generally speaking, the answer is "yes", but of course kids are fickle and some days turn their noses up at the same thing they gobbled up like rabid wild animals the day before. So I decided to compile my family's Top 5 Dinnertime Favorites all in one place and share it with you. These are hands down winners, requested on a regular basis and eaten without whines or complaints. Enjoy!

Chinese Chicken and Zucchini on Noodles

I have to admit things are a bit more relaxed around here in the summertime. It is almost impossible to meal plan. Instead I grill up a bunch of chicken, chop up fruits and veggies, bake up some muffins and granola for the week and just go with the flow. You never know what the nice weather will bring -- a long day out at the pool, a nice bike ride, or a last minute trip to the beach. So flexibility is key for me. After a day at the pool, I asked the boys what they wanted for dinner and they both asked for the "Chinese Noodle Thingys". LOL! I knew what they were talking about and we stopped off for a few ingredients at the store.

Lemon Greek Grilled Chicken

Summertime means giving the oven a bit of a break and lots of grilling! Of course a staple in our house is grilled chicken. I like to grill up a big batch once a week for dinner, then use the leftovers throughout the week for salads, pasta, or sandwiches. I originally found a version of this on The Girl Who Ate Everything as a marinade for chicken gyros. This recipe is soooo easy and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. I have substituted the Greek seasoning with other herbs, and sometimes use sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt. So use what you have and make it your own! I have shared this recipe with countless friends and they absolutely love it. So healthy and tasty!

Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

Hello, my name is Lil and I love tomatoes. Seriously, if there was a Tomatoes Anonymous, I would be President, I love them raw, I love them plain, I love them with a splash of salad dressing, I love them roasted, I love them in sauces, and salads, and... well, you get the picture! I love them -- so expect lots and lots of tomato recipes here this summer. My boys have inherited the tomato-lover gene and this is one of their favorite ways to eat them. Of course, you can do the standard mozzarella caprese salad, which we do plenty often, but using the goat cheese gives it a unique and earthy flavor. Plus it is so easy to find local goat cheese in New England!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. Here in New England we were rained in for the entire 4th, thanks to Hurricane Arthur -- Boooooo! However, it gave my family some nice downtime, plus I was thrilled to have some rain for the garden!

I made these muffins for breakfast on the 4th and they were so delicious. Colin had been begging me to make chocolate chip muffins and I had some extra zucchini on hand, so it was a no-brainer. I'm not huge on "sneaking" veggies into my kids bellies, so they helped me make them. Evan grated the zucchini, did most of the measuring, and Colin did the pouring and mixing. This was my first time using this recipe, so next time I might change it up and substitute applesauce or greek yogurt for the oil, but I was on a time-crunch with some hungry boys, so I followed the recipe pretty closely. Of course I substituted some of the flour with whole-wheat flour and cut back on the sugar, but otherwise I left it alone. These muffins are so, so, so good! So when you have 20 bazillion pounds of zucchini staring you in the face this summer, please use some of it for these.

This recipe makes a huge batch -- 24 muffins to be exact, so we each had one and then I popped them in the freezer. They will be pulled out next time we go hiking, on a picnic, or I will bring them on vacation. Simply remove from the freezer and allow to defrost at room temp for a couple hours. Could not be easier!

Corn, Tomato, and Basil Salad

Hands down, the first question asked regarding the food blog is: "How do you come up with ideas and recipes?".  Honestly, I never even worry about having material to post, in fact, it is more the opposite. I am overflowing with ideas and recipes, but the one thing I lack is the time to 1. take photos and 2. write the blog post. So I try my best to narrow it down and make the time to photograph and write up only the best recipes! Here's the deal, I work part-time (20 hours/week), have 2 boys with busy schedules, and a hub that works loooong hours and travels, plus I set aside time for myself to workout every morning. I don't  want anyone getting the impression I am in my kitchen slaving away for hours every day to cook with these beautiful local ingredients.

I make eating healthy a priority in our house and what you see on here is merely a documentation of what really happens in my kitchen. If you have been following me for a while you realize the majority of my recipes have a short list of common ingredients, take less than 30 minutes to prepare (sometimes an hour), freeze well, and are family friendly. My goal here is to show you guys that it is possible to incorporate local ingredients into your family's meals without spending hours in the kitchen every day. When you cook with the freshest ingredients, the flavors speak for themselves. The simpler, the better. This corn salad recipe is a perfect example of fresh, simple flavors! It will knock your socks off with the sweet corn, zesty dressing, and aromatic basil!

Fresh Mama Greens Round Up: 11 Recipes for Cooking and Storing Fresh Summer Greens

It has been a phenomenal few weeks here for the blog. First I was nominated for the Leibster Award, then I hosted my very first Cooking Demo at my local library, followed up by a photo shoot this week! In addition, my recipes have been featured regularly on Foodies and Wellnez TV and I started the Fresh Mama Fitness Page. Yup, A LOT going on!

So I want to give a huge ******THANK YOU****** to all of  you who stop by regularly, or just  take a peek every now and then. To see where this blog has gone in a few short months is overwhelming, humbling, exciting, and most days I pinch just to make sure this is all real. I started this blog as a place to share my recipes and let you guys know how truly easy it can be to incorporate local ingredients and homemade pantry items/baked goods into your daily lives. It is my hope that more people are out there joining CSA's, shopping at Farmers Markets, cooking and baking from scratch, and getting their kids to work in the kitchen. The most rewarding part of this are the messages from one of you saying "I made your recipe and it was so easy!", or "my kids loved your recipe!" Now I want all of you who have tried something new, give yourself a pat on the back. Every time you buy local, say no to packaged junk food, and eat Real Food you are giving a priceless gift  to yourself, your family, and your community. So stay tuned, because I promise things are only going up from here:)

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