Tag Archives: recipe

packed lunch inspiration

22 Feb

photo-7Packing yourself a nutritious lunch can be easy, as long as you maximize your time, have the tools and sprinkle in some creativity.

Take advantage of the time you are in the kitchen cooking dinner to prepare for lunch the next day. You are already busy in the kitchen, so why not make the most of it?

Here’s how to create a nutrient-rich, protein and fiber filled lunch in a snap.

Tools: Mason Jars (small + large)

Time: Rinsed and chopped kale, hardboiled the eggs and whipped up the vinaigrette while dinner was cooking the night before.

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 4 stems of dinosaur kale, leaves removed from stems
  • 2 eggs, hardboiled
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • pinch of sea salt + grind of black pepper to taste

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • quarter size dollop dijon mustard
  • dime size scoop of honey

Directions:

1. Hard-boil your eggs: Add your eggs to a pot. Submerge them in cold water, then bring to a boil. Once at a roaring boil remove pot from heat, cover and let the eggs sit for 12 minutes. Rinse them off with cold water to stop the cooking, then peel. Sprinkle eggs with salt + pepper, then place them into a small mason jar, then into the fridge.

2. Prep your kale: Rinse, dry then de-stem the kale. Line each leaf on top of the other and chop into thin slices. Add sesame seeds on top. Place in large mason jar and into the fridge.

3. Make your vinaigrette: In a small mason jar mix together your oil, vinegar, mustard and honey. Whisk together, or put the top on and shake vigorously. Place in the fridge.

The next day as your off to work, add your mason jars of goodness into your bag and assemble on-site when lunch time rolls around.

Enjoy!

Flora’s seasonal recipe: Vegetable soup

13 Feb

photo-6I am not a trained chef. My food intuition comes from my upbringing.

I spent countless hours in the kitchen with my mom who hailed from a small town outside of Florence, Italy. Like many mothers before her who cooked with their children, she bestowed her heritage onto me through her food.

There was never a lack of food options in our home. It seemed as though something was always on the stove, in the oven or already cooked, cooled and in the fridge.

Out of all occasions, feeling sick with the sniffles, cough, fever etc…always meant that I was in for some sort of homemade soup. After each spoonful I slurped down I started to feel better.

Here’s a recipe for a simple – no frills vegetable soup for when you or your loved ones are feeling under the weather. Hopefully this will bring some rosiness to your cheeks and some energy back into your body.

Serves 4 big bowls of soup

Ingredients: (use veggies that are lying around your fridge)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, cubed
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed and sliced
  • 1 medium beet, cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
  • 3 swiss chard leaves, stems separated from leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water

Directions:

Prep your ingredients: cube onions, smash and slice garlic, cube your beet, slice your carrots into rounds, remove the stems from the leaves of your swiss chard then thickly chop the stems, roll the leaves then cut them into long ribbons.

Over medium heat add olive oil, then add garlic and onions, a pinch of salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the rest of your veggies, leaving the swiss chard leaves to the end. Stir it up so that all of the flavors mingle. Add water, another pinch of sea salt and your bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then down to a slow simmer with the lid slightly ajar. Let simmer for 1 hour, or until all veggies are cooked.

If you’re feeling like you can handle cheese (dairy can affect mucuous) then top off your soup bowl with freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano.

You will feel better with every spoonful!

suggestions for picky eaters

4 Feb

Picky EatersFeeling defeated in trying to get your children to eat healthy?

Perhaps it’s the texture, color or consistency of a food that discourages them from eating it, or simply an aversion to specific foods?

Your children are not alone, picky eating is a very common phase for growing children. In fact, research has shown that the average child needs to be repeatedly exposed to new foods before forming an honest opinion on it.

When introducing your child to a new or healthy food, have patience. It may take more than a few times of trying the newly introduced food before your child accepts it. A great way to help children ease into the introduction is by working new food into your typical family meals. Some favorites of ours include:

Cannellini puree: Makes for a great addition to various kid-friendly foods such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, or to thicken up soups. It will add in some extra protein and fiber into your everyday meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • herbs and spices of choice

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

Carrot puree: Add this puree to your favorite tomato sauce, mac and cheese, muffin or pancake recipe. A wonderful way to add more vitamin A and folate to your meals.

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrot stalks, peeled and diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Put sweet potatoes and carrots into a pot, add enough cold water to cover. Boil for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain, then add into your food processor with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth.

What strategies have you come up with to add nutrients into the diets of your picky eaters?

Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC

Recipes adapted from Parenting.com

avocado egg salad

1 Feb

photo-4Looking to cure the lunch or breakfast blues?

Try making this versatile avocado egg salad! Who needs mayonnaise when you have avocado?!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 slice of red onion
  • Dusting of paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, drop your eggs and let cook for 5-9 minutes (depending on the size of your eggs). Meanwhile, cut avocado in half and peel it. Dice the red onion. Once eggs are cooke, remove water from the pot then run cool water over the eggs to cool them down. Smash them to break their shells, and peel. With a fork mash the avocado and eggs together. Add onion and mix. Dust with paprika and a pinch of sea salt. For an additional burst of flavor add cilantro, or salad greens!

winter BBQ ribs

28 Jan

4663625452_f53d16c10cWinter weather elicits the desire for warm foods, as we hibernate indoors and transition to looking inwards.

Slow cookers or crock pots, are a fantastic way to cook up a gourmet tasting meal with very little effort, perfect for the winter season!

Slow cookers use less energy than leaving your oven on for long durations of time, and are super easy to use and clean. We highly suggest adding one to your cooking repertoire.

Here is our recipe for winter BBQ ribs that will leave you and your family satisfied, and your bodies feeling warm and winterized.

Serves 4 half rack portions.

Ingredients:
  • St. Luis style pork ribs, 2 slabs

Dry rub:

  • Brown sugar, 1 cup
  • Paprika, 1/2 cup
  • Black pepper, 2 tbsp
  • Kosher salt, 2 tbsp
  • Chili powder, 2 tbsp
  • Garlic powder, 2 tbsp
  • Onion powder, 2 tbsp
  • Cayenne, 2 tsp

BBQ sauce: 

  • Ketchup, 2 cups
  • Water, 1/2 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil, .25 cup
  • Paprika, .25 cup
  • Chili powder, 2 tbsp
  • Garlic, minced, 4 cloves
  • Cayenne, 2 tsp
  • Yellow onion, diced, 1 large
Directions:

Combine dry rub ingredients.

For the BBQ sauce, heat olive oil over medium heat, add yellow onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, sautee for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let thicken for 15 minutes. Cool and reserve.

Two nights before eating the ribs, remove the silver skin on the backside, then rub them with dry rub, let them sit overnight in your fridge.

The night before eating, cook the ribs in slow cooker on low/medium for 6-8 hours, until tender, or in your oven at 225F for 6-8 hours. Cool the ribs overnight (so tempting!).

To finish the ribs, cut them into individual ribs, place them back in a pan and add half the BBQ sauce, bake uncovered at 325F for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the sauce has caramelized.

Serve ribs with extra BBQ sauce, heated, then enjoy all of your hard work!

Photo courtesy of snowpea&bokchoi