Tag Archives | healthy eating

Eat Your Greens to Give Some Green

Providing Healthy Choices

This is one fundraising event I’m very happy to support and promote.  I know so many other mothers, like myself, who are proponents of change and healthier food choices in our schools today, as I write about in Weighing In on Weight of The Nation.

So, I hope each of them- and you- will visit your local Whole Foods Market on Sunday September 9th to eat from their healthy selection of market food.  For every pound of food purchased from the salad bar and hot food bar that day, Whole Foods Market will donate $1 to get salad bars in local schools.


And for all of my Twitter friends- for every “retweet” on Sunday about this fundraising event, Whole Foods Market will donate an addition $1!- tweet!… I mean, sweet!

Be sure to follow your local Whole Foods Market Twitter handle or @ToniSpilsbury, @OrganizedCook, @VegasBloggers and follow the stream #WFMSaladDay which will be tweeting out event details all day.



So, this Sunday you’ll find me and the kids at Whole Foods Market at The District having a healthy and delicious late afternoon lunch… hope to see you all there!



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Greek Yogurt Recipes from The Organized Cook

Healthy Family Dinner Recipes

With a high protein value and creamy-rich taste, Greek yogurt is the perfect snack food to have handy when hunger strikes.  And did you know that you can easily substitute Greek yogurt into many recipes for a healthy alternative to mayonnaise or sour cream?

Here are three of my favorite recipes using Greek Yogurt:


Greek Pita Pockets with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Greek Pita Pocket recipe

Greek Pita & Greek Yogurt Cucumber Sauce


Greek Pita Pocket recipe

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

  1. ground low-fat beef, 1-1 1/2 lbs
  2. whole-grain pita bread pockets
  3. Plain Greek Yogurt- 16 oz.
  4. cucumber- 1, peeled
  5. garlic salt with parsley- 1 tbspn.
  6. cumin- 1 tspn.
  7. dried basil- 1 tspn
  8. lemon pepper- 1 tspn
  9. onion powder- 1 tspn


  1. Brown beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked thoroughly; season with garlic salt and cumin.  Drain any excess fat.
  2. Chop cucumber
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, chopped cucumber, basil, lemon pepper and onion powder; mix well
  4. Serve beef in pita pocket bread and top with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauc


This recipe is best served with Mediterranean Potatoes from The Organized Cook.

Mediterranean Potatoes by The Organized Cook

Mediterranean Potatoes by The Organized Cook


Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos recipe from The Organized Cook

Baja Fish Tacos recipe from The Organized Cook

Baja Fish Tacos with Baja Sauce and Cabbage Salad Recipe


  1. white fish, like Tilapia, 2-3 lbs

    Baja Fish Tacos Recipe by The Organized Cook

    Baja Fish Tacos Recipe by The Organized Cook

  2. flour- 1 cup
  3. chili powder (like Chipotle), paprika and salt- 1 tspn each, or 1 packet of taco seasoning
  4. canola oil
  5. Plain Greek Yogurt- 16 oz.
  6. chipotle sauce- 1/4 cup
  7. limes- 4, sliced in half
  8. cole slaw cabbage mix- 1 pre-cut ready-to-eat bag
  9. cilantro- 1 bundle, chopped
  10. crushed red pepper (optional)
  11. corn tortillas, smals



  1. Pat fish dry
  2. combine flour and seasoning in shallow dish
  3. heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat
  4. coat fish, one at a time, in flour mixture before frying in skillet until golden brown on both sides, approximately 4 minutes each side

Baja Sauce

  1. For sauce, combine yogurt, chipotle sauce and juice from one lime; mix well

Cabbage Salad

  1. Combine cabbage, cilantro and crushed red pepper in salad bowl
  2. Squeeze juice from remaining limes over cabbage; toss

Serve fish in corn tortillas topped with Cabbage Salad and Baja Sauce


Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs recipe from The Organized Cook

Swedish Meatballs recipe from The Organized Cook

Swedish Meatballs with Spinach Pasta and Yogurt Swedish Sauce



  1. ground beef, 1-2 lbs
  2. onion, white- 1, peeled and minced
  3. seasoned bread crumbs- 1 cup
  4. eggs- 2
  5. salt- 1 tspn
  6. nutmeg- 1 tspn
  7. olive or canola oil


  1. spinach pasta- 1 lb

Swedish Sauce

  1. Plain Greek Yogurt- 16 oz.
  2. cream of mushroom soup- 1 can
  3. milk- 1/2 cup
  4. paprika- 1 tbspn
  5. grape tomatoes- 1 pint, sliced in halves


  1. In large mixing bowl combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt and nutmeg; mix well
  2. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat
  3. Hand roll beef mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place in skillet to cook, turning each one gently with a spoon until all brown all over and cooked thoroughly, approximately 15-20 minutes
  4. Boil pasta in salted water until tender
  5. Drain pasta reserving some (about 1/4 cup) of cooking water in the pan; return pasta to warm pan and water, and toss
  6. For sauce, warm soup and milk in saucepan over medium-high heat until hot
  7. Add yogurt and paprika; mix well



Each of these recipes is part of The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System.   Sign up for our newsletter and get your free Weekly Meal Plan here:

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

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Weighing In on “Weight of The Nation”

Have you seen the HBO’s four-part series “Weight of the Nation”?  We all know there’s a national epidemic of obesity, including me. Hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup and fast food are among the many problems. So, why would I need to watch a documentary to tell me that?- you would be surprised.

And, recently, at the BlogHer Food Conference in Seattle, I was shocked at how many of the speakers and attendees had not seen the film either. We listened to a speaker discuss national trends related to the lack of quality food for low-income children. Someone in the audience raised her hand and directly asked him if he had seen Weight of the Nation and what he thought of the film. He answered that he had not. I’m not suggesting our speaker was any less informed or that his presentation was uninteresting; I was just surprised that he was one of the many people who hadn’t taken the time to hear why HBO thought this film needed to be done, and what new perspective they could weigh in on the topic.

Well, I did watch Weight of the Nation. Not intentionally. It just happened to be on one day when I flipped on the television, and I was hooked in the first few minutes. HBO presents many new perspectives that I hadn’t really considered about our obesity epidemic. Of course DNA is a primary factor in how much we weigh; but where we live also determines how we eat and play.

“We are a genetic makeup of the environment we happen to be living in.” My heart ached for a mother living in a low-income area of Santa Ana who waits until after work hours when local business parking lots are empty to take her kids out to play there. With no local parks, there’s no place nearby for her children to play. I look up as I write and see our green grassy backyard, or think back to yesterday when we had a picnic dinner at a park not more than a mile from our home, and realize how fortunate we are. I don’t do a lot of video games in our home, so my kids’ primary form of play is outside where they can get plenty of physical exercise.

In higher-poverty areas one out of every three children is obese. The lack of food options is a major factor with many children getting their daily meals from local convenience stores. One boy mentioned that he had never even seen broccoli.

The bottom line is that there are so many issues that lead to obesity in addition to genetics and environment. In the film we hear from “emotional eaters” who use food as a comfort and escape; or “mindful eaters” who have lost weight through training where they learn to be mindful when eating.

I can sit back and think that the “weight of the nation” doesn’t affect me so long as I keep my children and myself healthy, but that’s complicatedly not true. In the documentary “Waiting For Superman” (another must-see movie), it was delicately suggested that our entire nation’s eminent demise falls on the backs of our teachers unions. And in HBO’s “Weight of the Nation” I can clearly see the same type of connection of the collapse of our society and our nation’s weight epidemic. Obesity leads to chronic heart disease and diabetes among other health issues. With almost a third of our nation ill, one can only imagine the burden that places on our healthcare system and taxes our Medicare and Medicaid assistance programs.

So, what can we as individuals do to help the epidemic?  The first thing I suggest is that every American watch the HBO documentary “Weight of the Nation”; and there’s no need to go renting it, because HBO has posted it via YouTube (below).  You can also visit the HBO’s campaign headquarters “To Win, We Have To Lose” to learn more:

Visit Weight of The Nation campaign to see you how you can make a difference


Eating home cooked meals is something I’ve always felt strongly is a good place to start when it comes to creating a healthy food environment for our children. By planting gardens and teaching our children where food comes from, reading food labels and eating at home we’re setting a really good foundation for a healthy future.

Picky Eaters Weekly Meal Plan


Preparing home cooked meals is not always easy, especially for working parents with busy schedules. The Organized Cook would like to start by helping to make it easier with a free Weekly Meal Plan including menu, grocery shopping list, recipes and cooking instructions to help the task of planning and preparing healthy family dinners easier. To get your free meal plan, click here.


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Tasty Veggies


This post is sponsored by Country Crock. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Healthy Choices

Nutrition is always a key factor in my meal planning and recipe creations, which is why my grocery shopping lists are produce-heavy with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit.  Vegetables are on our table for every family dinner, either cooked or fresh.

Getting kids to eat vegetables is not always easy, especially if you have a “picky eater”- which I do.  I have one daughter who loves vegetables more than any other food, and will choose a fresh salad alongside baked salmon over pizza any day.

And my other daughter- not so much.  I’m always looking for fun, creative and delicious ways to get her to eat more vegetables.

Picky Eaters Meal Planning from The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

Meal Planning for Picky Eaters

I find that having my kids involved in shopping and cooking is a great way to expose them to all the vegetable options out there.  One time, Brooke (my picky eater), grabbed a bundle of radishes in the grocery store and said, “Look how beautiful these radishes are!  Mommy, you need to get these and make a salad.”  “Great,” I said.  “Will you eat them?”  She replied, “no.”  I

still have a ways to go with her, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made.  She enjoys making salads on her own, and loves it when I saute vegetables.

Today, I came across this inventive recipe for Flag Pizza from Clare Crespo’s Cookbook for Country Crock.

Flag Pizza Recipe

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe for Flag Pizza, click here.  Otherwise, enjoy my photo tutorial below for this fun meal that kids can help prepare.

Flag Pizza Ingredients:

Flag Pizza recipe

Flag Pizza Ingredients

  1. 6 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese slices
  2. 1 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread
  3. 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  4. 1 frozen pizza dough, thawed
  5. 1 cup Ragu® Pizza Quick Sauce
  6. 2 plum tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into slices or 1 sliced red bell pepper or a mixture of the two
  7. Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Flag Pizza Directions:

  1. Take two slices of mozzarella cheese and stack together.
  2. Use kitchen scissors or small knife to cut a few star shapes out of the cheese. Slice remaining cheese slices into 1-inch strips.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°.
  4. Melt Country Crock® Spread in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Stretch pizza dough to fit a rectangular pan. Spread Ragu® Pizza Quick Sauce evenly over dough.
  6. Sprinkle spinach over top left corner of dough. Place stars on the spinach. Lay tomatoes (or peppers) and cheese strips in alternating strips on rest of the pizza.
  7. Bake 10 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to turn golden and crust is starting to brown. Remove from oven and serve with crushed red pepper flakes (if using).

star cookie-cutters from Pampered Chef


melt Country Crock in large non-stick skillet


place fresh spinach in pan to saute


spinach is ready when it is completely reduced and tender


arrange spinach, tomatoes and cheese over sauce


Flag Pizza Recipe

the kids are going to love this... even my picky eater!


Simple and Delicious Vegetable Recipes

I find that there’s no need to hide vegetables from my family.  In fact, vegetables can be delicious and fun with a little imagination.  For more healthy and tasty vegetable recipes from The Organized Cook using Country Crock, check out:

carrot recipe

Escalloped Carrots


Are you looking for quick and simple tips and recipes to make serving veggies more fun? Download the free Clare Crespo Cookbook here for fun and whimsical recipes your family is sure to love!

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