Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Cook Healthy for Kids : Cooking the Best Broccoli of Your Life

When I first started blogging about my amateur cooking experience, I was quite nervous.  I didn't know the first thing about cooking, and I was afraid that my kids would reject everything I put in front of them.

What I really enjoy about blogging, vlogging, cooking, and writing is the freedom to do anything and everything I want.  If I want to try a new recipe, I can go ahead and do just that.  I don't need anyone's permission to fumble around in the kitchen or to make a silly video and publish it.  Just pushing that "publish" button on my posts or on my youtube videos is quite a thrill.

I also enjoy music, and although I am not the most talented musician, I enjoy the freedom of writing and playing whatever I want.  In college, I was surrounded by much better musicians who all picked up the guitar quite easily.  Playing the guitar has always been a challenge for me, which is why I pretty much write songs consisting of only three chords. 

However, whether I'm playing a song comprised of three chords or cooking a dish comprised of three ingredients, I can be proud of the finished product that I created.  Making up songs for the fun of it reminds me of the creative genius, Dana Carvey.  I do a parody of one of his bits and feature a recipe for the best broccoli of your life in the following video:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : Watch out for Wheat Flour in Disguise

Whether you are trying to stick to a gluten-free diet, paleo diet, low carb diet, or simply trying to eat and cook healthy for yourself and your kids, you are probably trying to cut wheat out of your diet.  Some sources of wheat are obvious and easy to avoid.  It's easy enough not to buy a loaf of bread for instance.  Other sources of wheat are not as obvious.  For instance, wheat flour is a common thickener in sauces and gravies. 

One of my favorite dishes with gravy is gumbo.  Gumbo is typically prepared with a thick gravy, called a roux.  A Roux is made out of equal parts wheat flour and fat, such as butter.  According to wikipedia, "Gumbo is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It typically consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables, which can include celery, bell peppers and onions (a trio known in Cajun cuisine as the "trinity"

But while some gumbos use wheat flour and butter to create a thick gravy, others use okra as a natural thickener.  I find gumbo to be hearty and flavorful regardless of how thick the sauce is.  I found this recipe for a roux-less gumbo, which I prepared for the kids.  They loved it!  I feature this recipe in this week's movie trailer called, Forest Gumbo:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : Make Fish Sticks With Grain-free breading

One of the challenges with cooking healthy is figuring out healthy but tasty alternatives to unhealthy ingredients in a recipe.  For instance, because bread is high in glycemic index, I try to avoid bread and derivatives of bread like bread crumbs in my cooking.

Many American recipes call for dipping a protein in egg wash and then dredging it in wheat flour and bread crumbs.  Instead of wheat flour and bread crumbs, I have used crushed nuts or oat flour (ground rolled oats) in some of my previous posts.
Fish sticks, a favorite dish of many kids, are often made using bread crumbs and wheat flour.  You can make your kids a healthier fish stick by using almond meal and coconut instead.  Take a look at this commercial for "Ko Town Fish Sticks" and try making this easy recipe for your own kids:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : Coconut Cranberry Quinoa - Take a Vacation From Your Breakfast Routine


I have a bad habit of always ordering the same thing when I go out to a restaurant.  I tend to stick with my favorite dishes rather than try something new.

When it comes to home cooking, I also have a tendency to repeat the same dishes that I have grown accustomed to cooking.  To a certain extent, we all develop these habits because it just takes less mental energy to come up with a new dish or to try something novel.

One way to get out of the rut of doing the same routine day in and day out is to take a vacation.  We recently went on a relaxing vacation to a club med resort in St. Port Lucie, Florida.  What made this vacation particularly relaxing for me was the fact that Cassie planned the whole thing. 

While Colin and Cailya spent their days at the mini club, I boned up on my tennis skills and Cassie learned to get scolded in novel ways by the aerobics instructor.  Everyday, we were treated to an endless variety of culinary delights.  Not only was I introduced to new foods like fois gras and chocolate bread, but I learned that Cailya loves herself some oatmeal and Colin loves himself some roasted chicken.

Why not take a vacation from the same old foods you always serve yourself and your kids? Try this delicious coconut cranberry quinoa inspired by our recent vacation:

You can find the recipe at the following link:

Friday, August 1, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Stuck on a dessert island?

Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a desert island?  Sometimes I feel that way when writing posts for my blog.  Each post is like a message that I carefully put into a glass bottle, put out to sea, and watch drift away.  All the while, I wonder to myself, "Is anyone out there?"

You and your kids may feel as if you are trapped on a different sort of island...a dessert island if you will.  Healthy options for desserts are few and far between.  Not only do most desserts have toxic amounts of added sugars, but many are additionally made out of highly processed grain flour.  That's like spiking your vodka with bourbon, except this lethal ingestion will spike your blood sugar levels. 

But you don't have to be stuck on a dessert island!  You can have your cake and eat it too.  Instead of accepting desserts made out of processed grain flour, why not experiment with healthier flours?  I have recently learned about flours made from beans like chickpeas, or nuts like almond meal.  Check out this video called, "Coligan's Isle" and learn how to make a grain-free carrot muffin from almond meal and coconut flour:

Here is the link to the recipe featured in the video above:


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