A year of pescetarian parenting and related discoveries.

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Tuesday, July 27

Eat well, be well at any age | Blog | Ode Magazine

A few important points to keep in mind;

Monday, July 26

Summer Corn Wheat Berry Salad

     Here is a well balanced summer salad from Meatless Monday; Summer Corn Wheat Berry Salad

     And something I tried that didn't go over very well in my house, Twice Baked Potatoes
These were whipped with with some yogurt, milk, butter, and vegetarian Bac Un's as well as lots of fresh herbs and seasonings in the mix, and then topped with chopped broccoli and Gruyere cheese when they went back in the oven. When they came out they were topped again with a dollop of sour cream and paprika. It was the broccoli that turned my kids off, but I keep trying to win them over...

Saturday, July 24

Deadly Kids Meals

We don't have most of these fast food joints in the north east, but both of my children ate too many of these types of meals when they were little.

The really scary part is that, as with adults, this type of food as a rare treat would be okay, but instead most school lunch programs are not far from what you will see in this slide show;

Deadly Kids Meals

Thursday, July 22


 Here is the recipe for my Thai Shrimp Salad which I described preparing in yesterday's post.

      for marinade:
1.5 t. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup lite soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
1" piece of ginger, minced
6 T. rice vinegar
1 T. fruit jam
1 T. fresh lemon juice
      for stir fry:
1.5 cups shelled shrimp (cut in half if large)
1.5 cups bean sprouts
.5 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
.5 cup chopped chives
1 cup chopped fresh basil

     Combine all of these ingredients, then add clean shrimp and marinade for at least thirty minutes. Then drain, but reserve marinade. While waiting cook one cup of jasmine rice, and drain, and clean and dry 2 cups of lettuce leaves. 

      In hot wok, stir fry shrimp with fresh vegetables, basil, chives, pepper, and seaweed gomasio. Be careful not to overcook shrimp. Add marinade and boil one minute. Remove from heat.
     Layer lettuce, rice, and then stir fry in salad bowl. Garnish with parsley.

Wednesday, July 21

Thai shrimp salad

     Here is an example of creating a new dish out of a series of creative errors. Cooking should be fun! The intention was to make Thai shrimp lettuce wraps. I have a bounty of fresh organic lettuces in my garden and wanted to try showcasing them this way, and I had a social engagement tonight I needed to bring a dish to.

     First, I made several modifications to the recipe mostly because I wanted to use what I had on hand, ie: my fresh chives were substituted for scallions. And the recipe called for 2 lbs of shrimp. I used much less than that and added a generous amount of vegetables instead, mostly bean sprouts.

     Then came the presentation. I began rolling the lettuce wraps with a dollop of rice and stir fry and securing them with a tooth pick, but it was clear right away that they were going to fall apart, so I abandoned that idea and layered everything in my fancy new pig bowl. It would have been messy to eat these with our hands and I think I'll much prefer serving it and eating it as a salad with a fork.

Tuesday, July 20

Monday, July 19

Tofu Ideas

     Tonight I'm going to try preparing tofu this way, suggested by Meatless Monday in their offerings this week. It sounds like it would appeal to the kid palate if you cut out the horse radish; Baked Indonesian Tofu. I'm going to add a vegetable to the mix, perhaps the petite Brussels sprouts I have in the freezer.

     Last night I also served tofu two ways. It was our weekly Sunday night cookout in the backyard. I was grilling a sword fish steak for my son and I to share, and so prepared a slice of tofu for my non-fish loving pesetarian daughter in the same marinade and grilled it for the same amount of time, thus no added trouble or fuss. I was also preparing one of her favorite dishes; mashed potatoes. While I strive to notch up the healthiness of the dish the best I can by adding lots of my fresh herbs, and using a blast of olive oil and Bummels and Browns yogurt spread instead of butter, last night I tried something new by mashing in a slice of tofu as well. It worked well, the taste was indiscernible. I would however whip or beat it in next time as the manual mashing that I prefer failed to make the tofu invisible. Here is a shot of dinner before it was devoured, served with a salad made mostly of my own organic lettuces and a scoop of the fish monger's cole slaw. Veggies should be the bulk of every meal, and you want to incorporate as many colors as possible in every meal, which is a fun way to involve children in meal preparation.

Sunday, July 18

Easy and Elegant

     Here is a quick and easy pasta dish that stays on the healthier side while still tasting delightfully decadent. It takes just minutes to prepare, but tastes like hours of work was invested.

     Pan fry, in a small amount of olive oil, one package of high end fresh ravioli (I used tomato mozzarella for this version) along with a very generous amount of thickly cut mushrooms. This is key - the big beefy slices of 'shrooms encourage the eater to go easier on the pasta without even realizing they are eating more veggies than carbs.

Stir gently and attentively til heated through then add your favorite sauce. As this was a quick meal for us, I used jarred sauce but a very fancy creamy marinara. Once heated, plate with a half handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I wish there were leftovers!

Saturday, July 17

Mom's Night Out and Something for the Teens

     Here is a YouTube for the teens made by a teen that they all know who has made his public platform healthy eating. The recipes he is sharing here would be of interest to all ages, but I know the recommendation of what is good is much more powerful coming out of the mouth of a celebrity teenager than from a concerned mom.
     And sometimes Moms need a break, and to go out and share a special meal with only people old enough to share the wine that must accompany the food.
     Last night was one of those. My dining companion and I went to a couple of art openings and then went to dinner at a relatively new restaurant in town. Foregoing the foie gras and kobe steak that was selling briskly, I found a pescetarian feast. I apologize for the quality of the photos. It was a dark and stormy night. Really!
Our appetizer was pan fried oysters on a mango and summer tomato salsa. Light and lovely just as an appetizer should be.

Out palates were refreshed with a cold roasted watermelon soup. Delightful.

My entree was fresh day boat cod served over a crab crusted potato with a sauce that I think was made from saffron and olive oil. I liked the dish a lot - it felt like a treat but didn't induce great guilt.

Still. I have to head off to the gym now...

Wednesday, July 14

Bastille Day a perfect excuse for mussels, frites and all things French

     Loved this post. I have never made fries quite that way and am going to try it. Teens will love them I am sure!  Bastille Day a perfect excuse for mussels, frites and all things French

     Currently researching the pomegranate. It is a super food, but seems to be at the top of even that esteemed list, so I am trying to come up with more ways of incorporating into my diet. I just learned this week that in addition to its benefits of anti aging, warding off cancers, lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol (all of which are benefits I need) it is helpful to women experiencing unpleasant side effects of mid life. That would be me. So I have been drinking the recommended glass of juice a day, but want to cook with it too. Anybody have any good ideas? I'll probably try or modify a few from this site which has quite a few recipes on it, as well as lots of other good info; http://www.pomegranates.org/

    And a side note; yesterday my daughter asked me "How does a vegan get enough protein?" This is a question she never would have had a few months back, so I feel like my efforts have had some effect, and that she is thinking about food intelligently. It may sound insignificant, but it was huge.

Sunday, July 11

Pea Shoot Potato Salad

     I love cooking with fresh pea shoots and pea tendrils. The latter are to me one of the prettiest edible plants of all. An even bigger bonus is how nutrient dense these little baby greens are. Though you can cook them I tend to stick to raw uses, and most often just toss them into salads or sandwiches. This afternoon I was making a potato salad for our Sunday night dinner, and as always was trying to think of new ideas for how to improve on the healthiness of the dish without forfeiting the traditional taste that people expect. I had a package of pea shoots on hand, and decided to chop up a substantial handful while I was chopping up my fresh chives and some celery that I was putting into the mix. I loved the way they blended in without the kids knowing there was a vegetable in there at all! Another change I made that was indistinguishable to my taste buds was that I replaced one third of the mayo dressing with cottage cheese. I used all of the herbs that I always do, lots in potato salad, including seaweed gomasio and a few shakes of Bac 'Uns and a splash of pickle juice. I also use red skin potatoes and leave most of the skin on for the nutrition boost, and I use omega 3 eggs. I was thrilled to see my fussy vegetarian daughter take a huge second helping. You can't get a bigger endorsement than that!
     Here are EatDrinkbetter's top 10 pea shoot recipes, and a shot of my salad.

Wednesday, July 7

Black Bean Corn Salsa and chicken nuggets

      Holidays are so hectic. Have lots of good food stories to share about the holiday weekend, but have been having technical difficulties that are delaying the posts. Highlights were some Asian aduki bean burgers and a blackberry spinach and walnut salad that I made. Also had some fabulous fish tacos. Will rectify these technical glitches as soon as possible.
Black Bean Corn Salsa
      This is my favorite kind of salsa, but I've never made it before. Only bought it in a jar. So I was very excited when Meatless Monday offered this recipe for making it at home. I love that there is a little bit of protein in it, as I am always looking for ways to up the protein in my kid's diet.
     Also saw the following come across my desk yesterday. Not a bad article to share with tweens and teens who are starting to make their own decisions about what goes into their mouth and what doesn't. There is a very common fallacy that chicken nuggets are a healthy food choice for kids. I certainly let my kids eat them regularly when they were little. The truth is prepared thoughtfully at home they may be, but what we get when we are ordering them out is seriously suspect. I am really glad my daughter wont touch these anymore.

Friday, July 2

Happy Independence Day!

Here is a kid friendly holiday appetizer that kids cans can feel independent in making themselves, and yet it is still tasty and pretty enough to bring along to any social gathering. And it is so healthy it is a superfood.
Simply, wash and pat dry fresh fruit. Gently scoop out a bit of strawberry center and spoon in a yogurt filling of your choice. Top with one blueberry. I like to sprinkle a fancy sugar over the top but that is not necessary. Just delightful, don't you think?!