Category Archives: Meals

Back to School with Tuna Veggie Rolls #BumbleBee101

Tuna Veggie Rolls

I can’t believe my kids will be back in school in less than one week. It’s been a glorious and fun summer and even though I’m not looking forward to pulling them out of bed in the mornings, I am looking forward to getting back into a regular schedule. Hooray!

Back to school. Getting the kids ready and excited and packing school lunches. Do you pack one everyday? Now, I don’t pack lunch for my kids everyday. Sometimes, my kids actually prefer the hot lunches at school, but at the same time, they are also somewhat picky eaters so when the cafeteria is serving something that my oldest daughter doesn’t like, I whip up the packed lunch. Phoebe is only going into 2nd grade so I haven’t been packing lunches for that long but even in this last year, I’ve become more creative and have expanded the packed lunch repertoire to go beyond her favorite pasta, fish sticks and apple slices.

Tuna Veggie Rolls by Hip Foodie Mom_on board

With a recent delivery of canned albacore tuna, my excitement grew. My kids actually love tuna and will eat it by itself by the spoonful. They are currently into eating rice rolls and love raw veggies . .  so the Tuna Veggie Roll was born! This might look super complicated but it’s really not. When you get into the swing of it, these rolls can be made in a flash!

Bumble Bee Tuna

Tuna Roll Prep

Tuna Veggie Roll_closeup

You guys, these are absolutely delicious and I love that they are packed with albacore tuna! Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Omega-3 Albacore Tuna is an excellent source of Omega-3 EPA and DHA. It’s a perfect way to add this important nutrient to your family’s diet and can be used in all of your favorite tuna recipes.

Tuna Veggie Rolls by Hip Foodie Mom

And here’s a bonus recipe for kids who like edamame.


Simply prepare your edamame as you normally would, either boiling them or placing them in the microwave until ready and then soak them in a mixture of soy sauce + sesame oil + a little salt + sesame seeds (and if you want a little kick, add some Shichimi Togarashi – Japanese Mixed Chili Pepper). You will never want to eat plain ole edamame again. Try this!

Tuna Veggie Rolls
Note: Seaweed Gomasio is a blend of sesame seeds, seaweed and sea salt, and it can be found at Whole Foods. If made in the morning, these rolls can keep just fine in your child’s lunchbox (in an airtight container) until lunch time at school. RECIPE yields 4 rolls.
Recipe type: Main or Snack

Special equipment needed:
  • A bamboo rolling mat
  • Disposable gloves
  • A small bowl of water
  • A wood cutting board or other clean surface
  • A sharp knife
For the rice:
  • 2 cups cooked white medium grain rice; slightly cooled
  • Sesame oil; start with 1 tablespoon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Roasted sesame seeds or seaweed gomasio to taste
For the rolls:
  • 4 sheets dried roasted seaweed (gim)
  • 2 cups cooked seasoned white medium grain rice
  • 1 can albacore tuna, drained and mixed with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled and julienned
  • serve with soy sauce
  • Roasted sesame seeds

  1. For the rice: Place cooked white rice into a large bowl and let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Starting with 1 tablespoon, mix in the sesame oil and salt (or Seaweed Gomasio if using). Mix well and taste. Add just a touch more sesame oil if needed but do not overdo it. Your rice only needs a hint of sesame oil for taste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, mix one last time and set aside.
  2. Step 1: Take one sheet of the dried gim and place onto your bamboo mat (make sure the bamboo sticks are horizontal). Spread about a ½ cup of cooked, seasoned rice onto ⅔ of the gim, spreading it evenly with your fingers. Tip: leave at least one inch uncovered (with no rice at all) at the top. This will help you to seal your roll at the end.
  3. Step 2: Lay in the tuna and then all of the ingredients (bell peppers, carrots and cucumbers) on top, leaving about an inch of exposed rice down at the bottom. Using the bamboo mat on the end closest to you, roll from the bottom up and over the ingredients (like you’re rolling a sleeping bag), pressing down gently but firmly to make the fillings stay in. As you continue to roll, pull the mat up and straighten it so that it doesn’t get caught in the roll. Continue until you have reached the edge of the gim.
  4. Step 3: Using your fingers, dab just a little bit of water along the top seam of the dried seaweed and roll to seal it closed. Roll and gently squeeze one last time with the bamboo mat, set aside and continue with the other seaweed sheets.
  5. Step 4: When all of the rolls are finished, using a sharp knife, dip the knife into the water and lift the knife up so the water runs down the blade. This will help you to get a nice, clean cut. Slice each roll into about 8-10 pieces. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds, serve with soy sauce if desired and enjoy!

For detailed photos and more tips on how to roll a rice roll, click here. Visit Bumble Bee Tuna on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. And for more recipe inspiration with tuna, click here.

And since most of us are heading back to school soon (if you have not started school already) and might need some lunchbox inspiration, here are some tips that have helped me with my kids’ lunches.

My Tips for Packing Lunches

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Keep it healthy and colorful.
  3. Personalize it.
  4. Bento box it.
  5. Change it up.

Keep it simple.

Remember, your child probably only has 15-20 minutes to actually eat so I say keep it simple. My kids like easy finger foods or things they can easily pop into their mouths. Have the fruits and veggies already sliced. And for you, Mom or Dad: prep the lunches the night before. Everything is ready and easier to pack up in the morning. Or, sometimes when I need to pack a lunch at the last minute, I just pack all of her favorite things. Easy peasy.

Keep it healthy and colorful.

The way our kids are learning to eat now is shaping them into how they will eat as adults. Let’s teach them by example. Eat healthy. Pack healthy. Now, of course, if given the option of a cookie or a carrot, my kids will go for the cookie. But I’ve always given them raw veggies to snack on so they eat those as well too. Kids love eating the colors of the rainbow. Keep the skin on those apples. Pack some raw veggies. Keep it colorful. You’d be surprised how your child’s eyes will light up in excitement.

Personalize it.

Leave a sticker or write a little note or card just to say “Hi”, “Have a great day” or “I love you.” It really brightens their day. And it gets even better when they are old enough and can actually read!

Bento Box it.

I really think kids love food more when it’s organized. My kids love food and food containers that have compartments. That’s why I love lunch containers that keep all the food separate. And this keeps it clean and fun for the kids. Remember, kids are visual too. Also, pay attention to the container. Is it easy to open? Make sure your child can open his or her lunch container with no problems.

Change it up.

This is probably why we parents stress so much about packing the lunches but we have to change it up a bit. They can’t eat chicken bites everyday.  And even if they can, change up the protein and add different dipping sauces for more flavor and fun. Instead of a sandwich, try a tortilla wrap or tortilla wheel or circles. Try to change it up as much as possible. But do not introduce a brand new food in a lunchbox. Save these new foods for dinner time at home.

Here’s to a great school year!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for this post. Thank you for allowing me to work with brands that I love and support. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich + A Giveaway from Maille

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich with Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar by Hip Foodie Mom

Sometimes you just need a sandwich. A big sandwich. Or a chicken burger. One that drips when you take a bite and is juicy and full of flavor. This is for the days when a salad won’t cut it. When you just need more.

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich by Hip Foodie Mom

I could have grilled a big, juicy ground beef patty but I had lovely chicken thigh meat in my fridge and couldn’t let those babies go to waste. Grilled to perfection and the grill marks get me every time. Oh baby.

This chicken sandwich rocks on so many levels. .  the bacon, the chicken thigh meat, the perfectly toasted bun, and fresh, crisp green leaf lettuce and the big, luscious slices of fresh tomatoes.

But you wanna know what the kicker is?

Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar with sandwich

Maille’s new Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar. Now, I’m a HUGE lover of honey dijon mustard (or any kind of dijon mustard; love the stuff) and balsamic vinegar.  . so combining the two?!

This is perfection.

And should be spread on every burger, sandwich, wrap, whatever . .  out there. You guys need to try this.

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich_main by Hip Foodie Mom

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


The “prep time” is the refrigeration time for the chicken thigh meat with the dry rub. And the cook time is an estimate. Chicken is done when cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

For the dry chicken rub:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon ancho chili pepper powder, you can add more if you want more heat
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ tablespoon coriander
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon star anise powder
For the chicken sandwich:
  • 4 big chicken thigh pieces, boneless and skinless
  • 4 buns, toasted
  • mayonnaise
  • honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar
  • dijon mustard, optional
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • cooked thick, crispy bacon strips
  • green leaf lettuce
  • tomato slices

For the dry rub:
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well blended. Taste and adjust any seasonings as needed. Sprinkle dry rub onto each chicken thigh piece, on both sides, and gently rub in. Cover and place into the refrigerator for at least an hour.
For the sandwich:
  1. Fire up the grill. Remove chicken thighs from the fridge and place into the hot grill and let cook undisturbed until browned, for about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs and repeat. Continue this until the thigh meat is nicely charred and cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes before assembling your sandwich.
  2. To assemble: generously slather on the mayonnaise and dijon mustard on the bottom piece of the bun and slather on Maille’s honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar on the top side of the bun. Place the slice of cheddar cheese on the bottom bun, add the chicken thigh meat (which should still be hot), layer on the tomatoes, lettuce and thick, crispy bacon. Top with the top bun and devour immediately.

Dry rub inspired directly from Tom Douglas’ Chicken Rub, Rub With Love. I figured out the proportions on my own.

And just to make sure someone gets to try this fabulous Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar. .  We’re giving away the entire product line of Maille’s dijon mustards and cornichons. One reader will win everything featured below.

Maille Product Giveaway hosted by Hip Foodie Mom

You guys have to try each and every product shown above. These are the best. Enter the giveaway below and GOOD LUCK!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was provided with all of the products featured above to sample. I wanted to host a giveaway because I truly love these products. 


Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto for Pompeian #PantryInsiders

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto

Ever since our vacation last summer, my family has been addicted to Butter Noodles. And I’m not talking about light butter. I’m talking full fat salted butter, full taste, slab on a ton of butter, mixed with some garlic, Butter Noodles. This has been my quick go-to dinner when the pantry is bare and I don’t have a lot of time to cook dinner.

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto by Hip Foodie Mom

Since August is National Olive Oil Month, I decided to see if I could come up with a healthier version of a pasta dish that the entire family would enjoy. When I cook, I hate wasting vegetables and fresh greens so I tend to throw everything I have into a dish (or will make pesto) and just cook it up. .  this is sort of how this recipe came to life. My husband and I are also trying to get healthier and wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds. So, since I was making healthy pasta, I grabbed the whole grain pasta at the store and went for it.

Whole Grain Pasta by Hip Foodie Mom

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto_vertical

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto_bite

This pasta was so delicious. I love lighter, colder pastas in the summer and loved the extra virgin olive oil + a splash of balsamic for more flavor. For even more bite, heartiness and fun, feel free to mix in some seasoned breadcrumbs and if the raw vegetable pesto doesn’t do it for you, you can lightly sauté everything to warm it up before mixing in with your pasta.

Truth be told, my kids didn’t love this pasta as much as my husband and I did but you can bet I’m going to be making this again and will keep throwing vegetables into their dishes whether they like it or not.

Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Hip Foodie Mom

The key to this pasta, aside from the actual whole grain noodles and seasonal summer vegetables I used, is the extra virgin olive oil. I used Pompeian. In honor of National Olive Oil Month, Pompeian is encouraging people to take the Pompeian Pledge and swap butter for olive oil in everyday recipes. To learn more, click here and the next time you’re at the grocery store, check out Pompeian’s line of olive oils and vinegars. You can also visit Pompeian’s Facebook page to find out how you can pledge to switch from butter to olive oil in your recipes during the month of August for National Olive Oil month. 1,000 people who take the pledge will be randomly selected to win a coupon for a free bottle of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, along with movie prize packs, so check it out!

And speaking of movie prize packs, another recipe, if you can call it that, that we make all the time and especially on Friday nights for family movie night is popcorn with olive oil and salt. We’ve literally been making our popcorn like this for over 2-3 years. I hope you enjoy and take the pledge!

Healthy Whole Grain Spaghetti with Vegetable Pesto by Hip Foodie Mom

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


The only thing you are cooking here is the pasta. If the raw vegetable pesto doesn’t do it for you, you can lightly sauté the mixture with some extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4 to 6

  • ½ lb. whole grain spaghetti pasta
  • ½ head of cauliflower, cut into big chunks
  • ½ medium to large sized zucchini, cut into big chunks
  • ½ yellow summer squash, cut into big chunks
  • 1 heaping cup green olives
  • 2-3 sun dried tomatoes (I used the kind that is jarred with olive oil)
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh arugula (use however much you want)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more when serving if desired
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes for some heat, optional
  • balsamic vinegar; optional

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions; cook to al dente. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. As the pasta is cooking, place all of the vegetable chunks into a large food processor and pulse until the cauliflower, zucchini and summer squash resemble a couscous like texture. Remove from the food processor and place into a large mixing bowl. Add in the green olives, sun dried tomatoes, fresh arugula, pine nuts and parmesan cheese and pulse until everything is blended and chopped very fine (you still want texture; do not over process/pulse). Remove from the food processor and add into the same mixing bowl with the vegetables. Mix well using a rubber spatula.
  3. Add the whole grain pasta to the mixing bowl, along with the extra virgin olive oil. Mix well, coating the pasta with the vegetable pesto. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes if desired and enjoy immediately. When serving, feel free to add a splash of balsamic vinegar (or white wine or red wine vinegar) for a kick and more freshly grated parmesan cheese over the pasta if desired.

Recipe adapted from Deb Perelman’s cauliflower pesto from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook.

If you’re interested in more recipes using olive oil, click here to try my Olive Oil and Thyme mini bundt cakes. This recipe is one of my favorites.


Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Pompeian’s Blogger Ambassador Program and Pompeian Pantry Insiders. I was compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for allowing me to work with brands that I love, use and support.


Quick and Easy Vegetable Lo Mein

Quick and Easy Vegetable Lo Mein

Noodles are definitely a staple at my house. My kids love pasta and Asian noodles are one of their favorites. Because of this, Lo Mein was one of the first dishes I learned how to make. I would play around with sauce ingredients and vary what I put inside. Sometimes with beef or chicken and sometimes keeping it all vegetables.

Chinese stir fry, fried rice, beef with broccoli, shrimp with white sauce and, of course, lo mein are some of our favorites. If you haven’t tried making Chinese food at home, you really need to! You’re going to be amazed at how easy it really is. I believe the key to great Chinese food at home is using fresh, quality ingredients and making sure you have the right cooking essentials.

So, head on over to The Kitchenthusiast to read this post and to get this fabulous recipe. You don’t want to miss this one! And if you like it, please leave me a comment down below or over at KitchenAid’s blog.

MAKE-AHEAD Cook the pasta noodles and chop up all of the veggies the night before and keep in the refrigerator. This way, everything will be prepped and ready to go for dinner after a busy day!

I hope you enjoy it!

Vegetable Lo Mein by Hip Foodie Mom

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and is in conjunction with my partnership with KitchenAid and The Kitchenthusiast. All opinions expressed here, as always, are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me in partnering with the brands that I love. 



Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells

Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells by Hip Foodie Mom

It’s Monday you guys and I’m here with something fabulous.

It took me a week to get back into the swing of things and to recover from my vacation. Why is it that we always need a vacation after a vacation?! Anyway, after adjusting back to my correct time zone and feeling at home in my kitchen again, I dove in over the weekend and cooked and photographed 6 dishes for the blog. Crazy town USA.

As a food blogger, it’s important to stay informed of new products, food trends, food news etc. .  and I’m here today to tell you about Le Creuset’s new line of Stainless Steel cookware.

Le Creuset Stainless Steel Saucepan

We all use and love their enameled cast iron cookware and bakeware, casserole dishes, skillets, grill pans and griddles, roasters and more. And we all know Le Creuset is a quality product so I knew their Stainless Steel saucepan was going to rock.

Homemade Marinara by Hip Foodie Mom

I made my favorite homemade marinara sauce and loved it! This stainless steel saucepan heats up tremendously fast and evenly and has a self-sealing lid that locks in moisture, while a relief vent releases steam to prevent boil-over. The inside layer is made of surgical-grade stainless steel for a safe and stable cooking surface and also has laser-etched interior capacity markings on the inside to make measuring easy. I also used this saucepan last weekend to make hot cocoa just to test how quickly this baby can heat up. I love it. Now, I just need the rest of the new stainless steel line! To learn more, click here.

Now let’s get to this recipe!

Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells3

It’s Monday so I wanted to make something vegetarian and I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough zucchini in my life right now. Question for you: when making stuffed pasta shells, do you bake and serve them shell opening side up or down? For this recipe, I liked baking and serving them up so you can see the lovely julienned strips of zucchini.

Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells5

Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells_closeup

Don’t you want to just dive in?!

Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells_bite

You’ve got to try this recipe! I hope you can enjoy this one for an upcoming Meatless Monday. .  or maybe even tonight?!!

Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells_bite_small2

Zucchini and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4 to 6

For the marinara sauce:
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2-3 fresh sprigs oregano
  • 1-2 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomato sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the stuffed pasta shells:
  • ½ lb. jumbo sized pasta shells (for stuffing)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, unpeeled and julienned
  • 2 to 3 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped finely or diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For the marinara sauce:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large sized saucepan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the garlic, oregano and thyme sprigs and allow everything to cook in the olive oil for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour in the crushed tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and mix well. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Season with the red chili pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Mix well and let cook for an additional 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove the oregano and thyme sprigs and discard.
For the stuffed pasta shells:
  1. Cook the jumbo sized pasta shells according to package instructions; cook to al dente only. Remove from heat, drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a medium to large sized nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil for about a minute. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook about 4-5 minutes, until soft and tender. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Remove from heat and set side.
  3. Using a large mixing bowl, combine the slightly cooled zucchini and mushroom mixture (discarding any liquid) with the ricotta cheese. Mix well. Using a 9×13 casserole baking dish, pour in about 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom, covering the dish.
  4. Stuff the pasta shells with the zucchini, mushroom and ricotta mixture and place open side up or down (your preference) into the baking dish on top of the marinara sauce. Continue until the baking dish is full.
  5. Ladle another 1 to 2 cups of the marinara sauce over the pasta shells and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the inside is heated through. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted nicely. Serve immediately.

Inspired by Skinny Taste’s Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. The stainless steel saucepan featured above was sent to me to test. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.


The Ultimate Grilled Veggie Sandwich

The Ultimate Grilled Veggie Sandwich

I’m back home after being on vacation for about two weeks. Two weeks was great and we had so much fun. .  but it felt like a month. I loved our vacation but living out of a suitcase is one of my most unfavorite things in the world. Especially when you over pack like I always do and are constantly digging around a very large suitcase looking for that pair of shorts for over 5 minutes.

I’m happy to be home and ready to get back to a normal routine. On vacation, you relax, forget what day it is and eat what you want, right? Well, I did and now it’s time to get back to healthier and lighter.

The Ultimate Grilled Veggie Sandwich by Hip Foodie Mom

Ok, so healthier and lighter will have to start tomorrow because I have to share this freaking delicious grilled veggie sandwich with you guys!! This ultimate grilled veggie sandwich has some of my faves: zucchini, baby spinach and portobello mushrooms. Oh baby.

Zucchini Strips


I also used gruyere, butter and one of my favorite Korean food ingredients, gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), for a little kick. So, be sure to check this sandwich out! It’s got crazy flavor, texture and just the right amount of spicy.

The Ultimate Grilled Veggie Sandwich_sliced

The Ultimate Grilled Veggie Sandwich
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


For the gochujang sauce: you can slather it on or use it lightly. Totally up to you.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2

For the gochujang sauce:
  • ¼ cup gochujang
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
For the sandwich:
  • 1 tablespoon butter for the skillet + more for spreading on your bread slices
  • 4 slices bread, any kind (I used a multigrain bread)
  • ½ cup freshly grated gruyere cheese; split
  • 1 medium sized zucchini; sliced using a vegetable peeler
  • 1 heaping cup portobello mushrooms; sautéed
  • 1 heaping cup fresh baby spinach
  • Dijon mustard (optional)

For the gochujang sauce:
  1. Combine the gochujang, honey and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk together until well blended. Taste and adjust any ingredients as necessary. Set aside.
For the sandwich:
  1. Butter one slice of bread on both sides and set aside. Using a cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet, heat one tablespoon of butter in your skillet over medium heat. Let the butter melt completely and then lay your slice of buttered bread into the skillet and top with a ¼ cup of the grated gruyere cheese. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the cheese melt until it’s almost entirely melted, for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Lift the lid and top the melted cheese with the raw zucchini, sautéed mushrooms and baby spinach and cover again with the lid for just a minute or two. Butter one side of the second slice of bread and spread dijon mustard and the gochujang sauce on the other side. Place the bread, dijon mustard/gochujang sauce side down onto the baby spinach and flip your sandwich to begin toasting the other side. Flip a couple more times if desired until you have nice, golden brown toasty bread on both sides.
  3. Repeat everything for your second ultimate grilled veggie sandwich. Enjoy!

The Ultimate Grilled Veggie Sandwich_closeup

Don’t you want to devour this bad boy on your next Meatless Monday? Grilled Veggie Sandwiches never looked so good. I hope you give this one a try!




Bibimbap Tacos

Bibimbap Tacos by Hip Foodie Mom_forblog

I couldn’t let the summer go by without grilling some flank steak. And whenever I grill beef, I love using one of my favorite Korean marinades. It’s the one I use when making bulgogi. I’ve been on a major taco kick. .  throwing whatever I have into a flour tortilla.


Bibimbap Tacos by Hip Foodie Mom

I can’t believe I haven’t made these before. If you like bibimbap, you will absolutely love these tacos! Bibimbap is a very popular Korean dish and literally means “mixed rice”.  It is served in a bowl with rice and topped with bulgogi (or another protein option or no meat at all), and sautéed and seasoned Korean vegetables and gochujang and you simply mix everything together in your bowl just before eating. Bibimbap looks like this:

Bibimbap by Hip Foodie Mom

So, one of my favorite Korean food dishes inspired me to make these tacos today. Head on over to The Kitchn for this recipe and to read this post. And if you like it, please leave me a comment and PIN it!!

Oh and don’t skip the fried egg my friends. These tacos will change your life! Enjoy!

Bibimbap Tacos by Hip Foodie Mom_forblog2



Mac and Cheese Salad Lettuce Cups + A Huge Giveaway!!

Mac and Cheese Lettuce Cups by Hip Foodie Mom

Summer is here and that means barbecues and macaroni salad. Here’s a fun, fresh and new way to serve one of your favorite dishes: mac and cheese salad in a lettuce cup!

I’ve been indulging a little too much lately and have been eating a ton of salads over the past couple of days. And with our abundance of lettuce from our garden, we’ve been chopping lettuce up for tacos and throwing everything into a lettuce cup! In my mind, a lettuce cup (or wrap) is a great way to reduce the carb intake and eat a little lighter.

Mac and Cheese Lettuce Cups_vertical

These babies combine two things I love: lettuce cups and mac and cheese salad. Every summer I make this recipe and will vary the ingredients depending on what I have in my refrigerator. .  but it all starts with and revolves around my cheese. I’ve got to have my fresh Wisconsin mozzarella in there. No macaroni and cheese salad is complete without it.

mac and cheese salad ingredients

Mozzarella Cheese

So, you’ve got to check out this recipe over at All Things Mac and Cheese. .  I hope you enjoy it!


The Ultimate Mac and Cheese Giveaway!!

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese Giveaway


And there’s a fabulous giveaway to tell you about!! All Things Mac and Cheese is giving away the following:

All-Clad Pasta Pot
All-Clad Saucier
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Dish
Wooden Handled Flat Whisk
OXO Good Grips Box Grater
Selection of Wisconsin Cheese and butter

HELLO!! This is perfect for all you mac and cheese lovers out there so be sure to ENTER the giveaway.  . you can enter here. Good luck!

Mac and Cheese Lettuce Cups2

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and All Things Mac and Cheese. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with brands that I love.



MorningStar Farms: Spicy Black Bean Burger

MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger_main by Hip Foodie Mom

Summer is in full swing and we are officially in “quick and easy” mode here at my house. The kids are out of school and I have to be smarter about how I plan our days, meal plan throughout the week and schedule our time. When my daughter is not attending summer camp, our days are filled with running errands, play dates, going to the library and going to the park. It’s busy to say the least. When I was single, I feel like busy meant hitting up the vending machine and eating fast food. But now, I’m smarter. I eat smarter. Even when we’re busy.

MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger_closeup by Hip Foodie Mom

And when I’m busy, I still make time for my morning run because seriously, these are the times I feel I need the run the most. I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by watching what I eat (but not denying myself), cutting down on meats and cutting down on the carbs. So, on the days where I want to eat lighter, I simply remove the top bun and eat an open faced veggie burger or remove the bun entirely and eat a lettuce burger.

Morning Star Farms | Spicy Black Bean Burger Patty MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger by Hip Foodie Mom MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger_vertical by Hip Foodie Mom

Quick and easy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste.

MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger

With 30+ products and over 600+ recipes, MorningStar Farms has more ways to eat smart. And with this Spicy Black Bean patty, I also cut it up and placed it into a salad and a soft taco. The possibilities are endless! And I’m telling you now, these Spicy Black Bean Burger patties are so good!!! My daughters each ate their entire Spicy Black Bean Burger patty! They loved it as much as I did! And with only 3-4 minutes in the microwave, it doesn’t get any easier than that.

MorningStar Farms Buffalo Chik Patties

I also tried the MorningStar Farms Buffalo Chik Patties and these were also delicious! With a good source of protein and great taste, I’ve already stocked up my freezer with a handful of these. MorningStar Farms makes it easy to eat smart, whether you go meatless every day, or occasionally. And initially I thought they only had veggie breakfast sausage patties! MorningStar Farms is always creating and introducing new products and flavors. Their products include Roasted Garlic & Quinoa Burger, Buffalo Chik Patties, Parmesan Garlic Wings, Mediterranean Chickpea Pizza and Baja Black Bean Pizza. So, mix it up on your next Meatless Monday and grab something from MorningStar Farms! You’ll be glad you did!

MorningStar Farms: Spicy Black Bean Burger
You can enjoy this burger with or without the bun.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

  • 1 box (4) MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Patties
  • 4 buns, toasted
  • mayonnaise
  • dijon mustard
  • green leaf lettuce
  • tomatoes; sliced
  • micro greens
  • raw zucchini, thinly sliced
  • red cabbage, chopped or shredded

  1. Cook MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Patties according to package instructions. Assemble burger: put mayonnaise and dijon mustard on the lower bun, top with the lettuce, tomatoes and the Spicy Black Bean Veggie patty. Top the patty with micro greens, zucchini slices and the red cabbage. Finish by placing on the top bun and enjoy!

  MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger on plate by Hip Foodie Mom MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger with bun by Hip Foodie Mom      

Now for a giveaway! For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, leave a comment below to tell us how MorningStar Farms give you more ways to eat smart.

Sweepstakes Rules:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/7-8/10/2014.

Be sure to visit the MorningStar Farms brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Spicy Korean Grilled Chicken

Spicy Korean Chicken_main

July 4th is tomorrow and, if you’re like most Americans, you might be firing up that grill. I’ve given you some tasty recipes this week to choose from, if you don’t know what you’re making yet.

And I might have saved the best for last. One of my favorites: Spicy Korean Grilled Chicken.

Spicy Korean Chicken_closeup

You can use bone-in, skin on chicken pieces like I have here or you can absolutely buy skinless, boneless chicken. If you do, I highly recommend chicken thigh meat.  This marinade is one of my faves because it uses a Korean hot pepper paste, gochujang. I love a little heat with my meat. And if you buy boneless, skinless chicken meat, we like to make Bibimbap with the chicken. It’s a nice alternative to beef and absolutely delicious all mixed together with the seasoned veggies. So, if you don’t already have your menu planned for tomorrow, you need to check out this recipe!!!

Head on over to The Kitchn for this one. And if you like it, please PIN and leave me a comment over at The Kitchn!

And while you are enjoying the July 4th celebrations tomorrow, whatever you are doing. .  going to a park, or picnic with family and friends or firing up the grill at home and watching fireworks close by, let’s all remember to give thanks for our freedom and wave that red, white and blue! Have a great 4th everyone!

Spicy Korean Chicken_on plate