Mealtime Mama: Italian Style Roasted Peppers


If  you love bell peppers (we do!), below is a unique recipe from the Ozark Natural Foods website to try this summer.

If you’d like to see other recipes on the ONF site, click here.

Italian Style Roasted Peppers

onf bell peppers4 large green bell peppers

1 large red pepper

2 large cloves garlic

3 Tbsp olive oil

Black pepper to taste

Directions: Wash and dry peppers. Place on greased baking sheet under broiler. Broil and turn peppers until skin gets black on all sides. Or, use tongs and hold over gas flame. Wrap in kitchen towel and allow to cool to touch (or place in paper bag and close) at least 10 minutes. Peel off charred skin, remove stem and seed. Cut into thin strips. Mix pepper strips with garlic, olive oil and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

ONF storeOzark Natural Foods is Northwest Arkansas’ natural-foods Co-op, owned by a community of more than 10,000 investors, most of whom live in Northwest Arkansas. ONF has been an essential part of the community for more than 40 years, growing with Fayetteville and the surrounding area.

Mealtime Mama: Cool summer recipes

mealtimemama-ONF It may be hot outside, but it’s precisely the time to bring the heat to my mouth. Whether you use fresh tomatoes or canned, this homemade salsa is a fresh treat.

In the summer, my mom always has it waiting for me when I arrive “home” for a visit. I even had it for breakfast one day! I love it that much. Below the salsa recipe is another family favorite that involves fresh broccoli. No turning on the oven for this one and it’s super good, especially to share at a potluck. Don’t let the broccoli fool you; the recipe also has BACON in it.

Banquet Salsa:

tomatoes-on-vine.PNGHalf a large green bell pepper (or one small)

1/2 jalapeno

Small onion, diced

1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes

Diced garlic (two cloves)

Cilantro to taste (finely chopped)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

Place bell pepper and jalapeno into the oven and broil them until the skin browns. Then peel the skin off and dice finely. Mix the other ingredients together and chill. Enjoy!

Broccoli Salad:

broc.jpg2 bunches broccoli, separated into florets

8 bacon strips, fried and crumbled

1/2 cup chopped onion (red adds color)

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons raisins (or to taste)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup mayonnaise

In a large salad bowl, combine broccoli, bacon and onion. Set aside. In another bowl, combine mayo, sugar and vinegar until smooth. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss.

ONF storeNote from the mamas: The Summer Remix symbol appears on posts previously published on nwaMotherlode that were noted as a “reader favorite”. If you missed the original publication date, we hope you’ll enjoy this encore performance. Happy summer!


Mealtime Mama: Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

mealtimemama-ONFKaylin Gilkey blogs about healthy living — which includes healthy eating — at Enticing Healthy Eating and is working toward a holistic health coaching certificate.

She loves to take recipes and healthy them up. Thus, these dark chocolate AVOCADO truffles.

kaylin's trufflesWant to try them out? Here’s the recipe and directions:

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Makes 16-20 truffles


1 1/2 small, ripe avocados
5 oz. dark chocolate
1 heaping Tbsp. Splenda brown sugar blend (or 2 Tbsp. brown sugar)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (separated)


Slice avocado in half, pit the avocado, then get all of the flesh out into a medium sized bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado until lump-free.

For the dark chocolate, try to find baking bars or dark chocolate bars rather than dark chocolate chips if you can. I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate bars.  Melt the chocolate in microwave safe bowl.  Add the melted chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and about 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the cocoa powder to bowl of mashed avocado.  Stir well to combine.

Place the mixture in the bowl into the fridge and let set for at 40 minutes. Use a small ice cream scoop or a small tablespoon to scoop about tablespoon-sized truffle balls. Roll the truffles around in your hands, then roll them in the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder. Place all truffles back in the fridge to fully set for a bit longer. Yes, I know it’s hard to wait, but it’ll be worth it! Then pop one in your mouth. Smile and enjoy your healthy treat.

Kaylin GilkeyKaylin Gilkey blogs at Enticing Healthy Eating and is very passionate about food, nutrition and health. She can’t wait to help others reach their health goals. She works at Back in Emotion Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic in Bentonville. She’ll start soon teaching nutrition workshops and classes at at the Artist Retreat Center in Bella Vista and at Back in Emotion. CLICK HERE to visit her business Facebook page, which is Kaylin’s Keys to Health.

Mealtime Mama: Great food ideas for a “nautical” baby shower or birthday party


By Shannon Magsam, nwaMotherlode

I had so much fun recently hosting a “nautical” baby shower for my neighbor, Jenn.

Jenn and Brian are decorating the baby’s room in a sea-worthy theme, so it was only fitting.

I thought you might enjoy seeing a few pics in case you want to throw a party this summer with the ocean as your inspiration. It would make a fun birthday party as well, with a few modifications.

First, we start with our beautiful mama-to-be, Jenn, and the adorable wooden sign I bought from Riffraff for the baby’s room (it was on the food table surrounded by sea shells):

baby shower, jenny

The biggest hit on the food table was the fruited chicken salad in croissants. These weren’t just any croissants, though. These were special “crabby” croissants:

baby shower, crabs

Cute, huh?

Click here to see the fruited chicken salad recipe. I cut down on the raisins and left out the onions.

How-to: To make the crab’s eyes, I just used mini marshmallows and sliced black olives. The juice from the olives was sufficient to make them stick to the sugary marshmallows, so I didn’t have to use anything to “glue” them together. I then just inserted a toothpick for the final touch.

Following the nautical theme, I was also PINspired to add an octopus to the spinach dip. Like him?

baby shower, dip

Click here to read more about how to make your own bell pepper octopus.

I also served some delicious treats that our other awesome neighbors brought (thanks Sandra, Christie and Carolyn!) plus multi-colored goldfish crackers, blue cupcakes covered with cream cheese icing and “sand” sprinkles and brownies (not nautical-related. Moms and mamas-to-be just need chocolate).

My Aunt Joyce’s special occasion punch was served to wash it all down. This punch has been served as all the baby showers, wedding showers and birthday parties in our family forever. Click here to see the fruit punch recipe.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a few shots from the shower. Good luck hosting your own By the Sea Party!


Mealtime Mama: Quick side dish for your Memorial Day gathering


Happy Memorial Day, mamas.

We hope  you enjoy this recipe, which is tasty and healthy:

Roasted Green Beans & Asparagus

green beans 21 pound whole green beans (fresh)

1 bunch asparagus (fresh)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions: Wash and drain the green beans and asparagus. Trim the stems of your green beans, but keep them whole. Trim asparagus if needed. Stir together olive oil, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and balsamic vinegar together in a large bowl. Place the beans and asparagus in the bowl and mix well, coating all pieces.

Spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil spray and spread out a single layer of the beans/asparagus. Cook for 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees.


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