Friday, June 19, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Sicilian Pesto Pasta

My mom likes country music. Growing up, whenever I would climb into her car and play the preset music stations, "Take me Home, Country Roads" would blare out of the car speakers. The fact that my mom is a Taiwanese immigrant who neither grew up in the country nor spent any significant time in the countryside is besides the point. She just liked the tuneful melodies and the driving rhythms.

It turns out that my mom was before her time. Country music has now crossed genres into contemporary and pop music, making it more popular than ever. When I saw that Lady Antebellum was coming to town, I jumped at the opportunity to take my mom to her first country concert.

We walked amongst a sold out crowd of 32,000 and found our seats in the massive Jiffy Lube Live theatre. I had never before been to this amphitheater, and I was impressed with the enormity and scale of the venue. As the sun began to set, the cool night air settled in and the stage was set for an amazing performance. The drumbeat began and Lady Antebellum took to the stage as the crowd cheered on.

Melodic with perfect harmonies, we couldn't help but stand up and dance. I turned towards my mom, who had a beatific smile on her face. The balance between the vocals and instrumentals was just right. The chemistry of the trio was palpable, and leading man Charles Kelley did a good job of being playful and interactive with the crowd. Because we could easily see the trio on the two gigantic screens flanking the main stage, we felt like we were seeing them up close and personal.

All and all we had a fantastic time seeing Lady Antebellum at the Jiffy Lube Live theatre. The only let down was after twenty minutes of searching for our car in the dark, we were subsequently pulled over by the police for a mandatory DUI check point.

Just like music that crosses genres and broadens appeal, you can try twists and variations on the food you cook for your kids. For instance, my kids already find pesto pasta appealing. I tried a slight variation called Sicilian pesto, which includes a little crushed red pepper and tomatoes. I made the pesto with a combination of basil and swiss chard to incorporate some highly nutritious dark leafy greens. This variation on a classic had the kids singing praises!

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