Saturday, July 25, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Gluten Free Flourless Cauliflower Crust Stromboli for Kids

One of my more popular recipes I have featured is zucchini pizza. Zucchini pizza has a special place in my heart. It was the first time I transformed raw ingredients into a completely unique finished product. It was the first time I used vegetables as a substitute for wheat flour. And, it was the first thing I made for my kids that they really, really liked. 

Making a dough out of vegetables is a great way to sneak healthy vegetables into your child's diet. The trick to making a good vegetable dough is to squeeze as much water out of your vegetables as possible. Shredded zucchini makes for an excellent dough. Cauliflower is another low glycemic vegetable that can be turned into dough.

Recently, I came across a clever twist on cauliflower pizza...cauliflower stromboli! According to the author, making cauliflower crust stromboli automatically makes you 1000 times cooler. It's a verifiable fact. He did the math. Try it out on your kids. I'll bet they'll love it!

Friday, July 17, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Low Carbohydrate Noodleless Zucchini Lasagna for Kids

"I haven't seen Colin in some time and he's changed so much!"
 -Facebook comment

Yes, indeed kids have a way of doing that. I remember when Colin was just a baby. His face seemed to change every week. When he first came out, he was the spitting image of my dad. Eventually, as his face went through multiple evolutions, it became readily apparent that Colin takes after Cassie's side. Now, when he smiles, he reminds me of Cassie.

Cailya, on the other hand, didn't bear a strong resemblance to either side initially. Slowly, her face evolved to become increasingly Ko-like. Still, it isn't obvious to the general outsider that Cailya takes after me because she has these adorably full cheeks. Most people can't see how those cheeks can come from an angular face such as mine. However, if you met any of my relatives, you would see that Cailya's cheeks are undeniably Ko cheeks.

I continue to be amazed by the transformations my kids undergo. This summer, we decided to sign Colin up for some lessons, mainly because he was looking bored. We signed him up for swimming, piano, and tennis lessons, and we found out that he is equally mediocre at all three. Although he was timid when he first tried any new skill, over time I saw my son develop a real enthusiasm for learning. He went from disinterest to curiosity. He went from defiance to acceptance. He went from being scared of water to jumping right into a pool. These are amazing transformations for a dad to witness and I could not be prouder of my son. 

You can turn your food into amazing transformations as well. Try this healthy lasagna recipe made out of zucchini, inspired by my son's enthusiasm for transformation.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Amazing Rice Paella on an Outdoor Charcoal Grill


In my line of work, I am constantly encouraging my patients to cook for themselves. I tell them that they should cook as if their lives depend on it...literally. Food is our most powerful medicine, and cooking for yourself and your kids is the single best thing you can do for the health of your family.

Sometimes my recommendations meet with some degree of resistance. Work, time, and energy are all common excuses. Another reason people don't cook is they may be afraid of trying something new. On average, people cook about twenty-five things, which are on heavy rotation. It's understandable that people tend to cook comfort foods and food that they are comfortable making.

Before I became invested in cooking for health, I would get nervous about entertaining. I feared that I would serve something inedible. I feared I would undercook something and make my guests sick. I tended to stick with familiar dishes that I had done before.

Then, I read Man With a Pan, by John Donohue. One of the inspirational stories in this book was written by Manny Howard. Howard, known for extravagant high-wire cooking feats, shares his tale of roasting a whole pig in an underground pit. The fact that he had never done so before, or that he was preparing a meal for a small army of guests did not faze him in the least. Nor was he fazed when he pulled the hog out only to find that it wasn't properly cooked. He simply pulled the meat and finished it off in the oven. In the end, his guests had a great meal and a great time.

This story inspired me to try a new way of cooking paella for my extended family. After cooking the chicken, onion, and aromatics on the stove, I added the rice and chicken broth, then transferred the pan to a hot outdoor grill. The charcoal grill gave the paella an even distribution of high heat and a smoky flavor. It was the first time I cooked paella on a grill, but it won't be the last.


Donohue, John. 2011. Man with a pan: culinary adventures of fathers who cook for their families. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to Cook Lights Out Beer Can Roasted Chicken for Kids


Biiirrrruhhh. Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of silence. That's the sound of all electrical appliances coming to a grinding halt. In my case, that was the sound that greeted me early in the morning as my ceiling fan shut off. We had experienced a heavy rainfall the night before, which resulted in an unfortunate power outage. To make matters worse, we were expecting over twenty guests later that evening to celebrate Father's Day.

Cassie and I immediately started whatever prep work we could do in anticipation of our Father's Day feast. The menu included roasted bell peppers, eggplant with mint and feta cheese, potatoes with rosemary and garlic, hot tomatoes, lemon grilled salmon, and roasted chicken. While Cassie nervously watched the clock, I for some reason had blind faith that the electricity would turn on at some point and all would be well. My confidence was further buoyed by the fact that most of my cooking would take place on the outdoor grill.

Since I couldn't use the electric oven, I was forced to improvise and roast my chicken using my Weber grill. In order to do that, I bought a six-pack of beer to make beer can chicken. What is beer can chicken? It is quite simply one of the most entertaining ways to roast chicken. A half-filled can of beer is lovingly and gently placed into the cavity of a four pound chicken. The can, along with the extended chicken legs, serve as a tripod so the bird can be roasted vertically under indirect heat.

I know what you may be thinking. I served beer can chicken to my kids? Yes. Yes, I did. The beer itself never reaches a boiling point, so it doesn't contribute any alcohol flavor to the chicken. In fact, after I had finished roasting the chicken for two hours, the can of beer was full of liquid--a mixture of the retained beer, juices, and fat from the bird. Try making beer can chicken this Independence Day. Your kids will love seeing the bird standing up on its legs. Even better, they'll love the way this chicken tastes. Happy Fourth of July!

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