Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : What to Cook for Your Fourth of July Barbecue

Happy Fourth of July!  In a few days.  Long summer weekends always make me think of family.  When we were kids, my brother and I would cool off during hot summers by running through the lawn sprinklers.  On rare occasions, my dad would dust off his old propane grill from the garage and we'd have a family cookout.  Except my family doesn't like heat or bugs, so my dad would be the only one cooking out while everyone else would be eating in.

Besides being awed that the old grill actually still worked, I remember being awed watching the old man work at the grill.  I enjoyed seeing the open flames, smelling the meat being cooked, and seeing my dad sweat.  Grilling was one of the few occasions where my dad actually did the cooking.

I have since carried on the Ko tradition in my own household and accepted the title of the grill master.  And while traditional barbecues may feature hamburgers and hot dogs, we have had some great family events serving up tasty portions of lean fish and chicken.  One technique that I've used successfully is to grill salmon on top of cedar planks.  I show you how easy and tasty cedar smoked salmon can be in the following video:

Happy grilling! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Deconstructed Deviled Egg

Imagine a fresh, colorful salad with cranberries, pecans, mixed greens, tomatoes, and bell peppers.  Adults may like complex meals comprised of many ingredients which blend harmoniously together.  However, too many mixed ingredients can be confusing for a kid.

Kids like to be able to easily identify what they are eating.  I find that Cailya prefers to be served food items one at a time as opposed to all at once.  Colin enjoys using trays that are compartmentalized so he can clearly recognize each food that he is eating.

One way you can make food less distracting and more appealing to kids is deconstructing it.  You can take the basic elements of a dish, change their forms, and put the elements back together in a way that is more kid-friendly.

The next time you are having trouble constructing a meal for your kids, just think, "deconstruction!"
That's what I did in the following clip:

The recipe for the deconstructed Caesar salad deviled egg featured in the above clip can be found at the following video link:

To read more about the healthy egg, see my previous post:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : The Art of Fermentation


I never developed much of an appreciation for alcoholic beverages.  This may be due to the fact that anytime I ordered a fancy mixed drink, it would disappointingly taste just like alcohol.  Or it may be due to the fact that I am too cheap to buy expensive alcohol.  Or maybe it is simply due to a disdain for being carded despite being a thirty-five year-old man with two children.

Moderate alcohol consumption has been found to be associated with improvements in blood cholesterol levels and has been inversely associated with blood sugar levels and belly fat.  Although an explanation for these associations is not yet fully known, one explanation may simply be due to the fact that people who drink alcohol as their beverage of choice are less likely to drink unhealthy sugary beverages.  To read more about the harms of sugary beverages see my previous post:

Moderate alcohol consumption may actually be less toxic than sugary beverage consumption!  But of course, I don't advocate giving your kids alcohol!  However, alcohol is an example of sugar that has undergone fermentation.  Fermentation improves digestibility, lowers glycemic index, and serves as a source of healthy bacteria.  To read more about the health benefits of live cultures, see my previous post:

Although I don't advocate giving your kids alcohol, I do recommend introducing them to fermented foods like kimchi.  Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of napa cabbage and spices.  I show you a simple recipe for kimchi and discuss the art of fermentation further in the following video:

The link to the kimchi recipe featured in the above video can be found at:

As a word of caution, I followed this recipe literally and the kimchi turned out quite spicy, so you may need to adjust the amount of red pepper powder.


Churilla JR.  Association between alcohol consumption patterns and metabolic syndrome.  Diabetes Metab Syndr.  2014.

Higgins JA. Whole Grains, Legumes, and the subsequent meal effect: Implications for blood glucose control and the role of fermentation. J Nutr Metab. 2012.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Fermented Tofu, Bean Curd, and Chinese Cheese


Growing up, my refrigerator had a variety of unfamiliar jars.  Some jars seemed to have no expiration date and would stay in my refrigerator for what seemed like forever.  Others would remind me of my middle school science experiment.  One such jar was bean curd, the fermented form of tofu. 

Fermentation is a metabolic process by which natural yeast or bacteria endemic to the environment convert sugar to acids, gases, or alcohol.  Bean curd is tofu that has undergone fermentation and then subsequently preserved in salt, rice wine, sesame oil or vinegar. 

Studies show that fermentation of carbohydrates lowers the potential for carbohydrates to raise blood sugar.  Interestingly, this blood glucose lowering effect has been found to persist even for subsequent meals, a phenomenon called the second meal effect.

Bean curd is a common condiment in Asian dishes because it packs a lot of punch.  I show you just how much and bring back an old friend in the following clip called, "The Fermentator."

Try this easy recipe for pork shreds and fermented bean curd:


Higgins JA. Whole Grains, Legumes, and the subsequent meal effect: Implications for blood glucose control and the role of fermentation. J Nutr Metab. 2012.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...