Category Archives: Good eats and recipes

Natural (store bought) kid treats …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

For the longest time, I tried hard to not give Kai any sugar-laden treats. Now that he’s getting a bit older, it’s hard to keep them away from him. I mean, I can’t deny the poor kid of the joys and sweetness of childhood. But I can deny him of the impurities people are putting into food.

Here are some of my favorite natural treats that I give him. Yes, they have sugar, but … oh well.

Healthy school lunches …

WEDNESDAY: GOOD EATS

Now that school has started again, I’m on the hunt for healthy lunches to pack for Kai. I feel bad for always packing a turkey and cheese sandwich, a water or juice and a fruit or some chips. Today, I did change it up a bit and gave him an empanada from Whole Foods. I found these pics and will be using them for future-lunch-making inspiration. What do you pack for your kid’s lunch?

CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW TO GET YOUR CHILD TO EAT MORE FRUIT! IT WORKED FOR ME!!!!

A fun way to help your child eat more fruit and veggies …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

My mom had a great idea for Kai’s birthday party: use a plastic gum drop tree and laden it with fruit (we used melon and grapes and strawberries) instead of candy.

Kai loved this idea … and the other night, one week after his party, he wanted to do put fruit and veggies on it again. Of course, I said yes.

I was serving asparagus for dinner that night, and although at times he does eat it, it’s not his favorite. So, instead of forcing him to eat the asparagus, I cut up a bunch of cucumbers, gave him a bowl of cherry tomatoes and green grapes and let him decorate the little tree.

We used it as the center piece for our dinner and we all nibbled from it as we ate. Kai ate the most of it.

I think if you make healthy eating fun, kids will do it in a heartbeat.

Here are 5 tips on how to help your child eat more healthy.

Here are some of my and Kai’s favorite recipes:

Breakfast “ice cream”

Fresh juice

Healthy chocolate chip cookies

Tomato Poppers

Two raw food recipes

Honey and pecan popcorn recipe

Homemade ice cream

Fruit leather/fruit roll ups

Creative cupcakes ideas …

TUESDAY: ART

To help ease my daily 4:30 sugar craving, I started to research fancy cupcakes yesterday afternoon. (To be honest, I’m not sure if it helped the sugar craving or made it worse.)

I have to admit, I’m not a good cupcake decorator. I’ve tried and whenever I do brave the task, I smear frosting all over the table and all over my hands. It’s a mess – both on and off the cupcake. So, when I saw these, I was truly impressed. It takes a lot of talent to make them look so pretty (and to taste so good. Mmmm!)

Although I didn’t make these cupcakes, I did make these art pieces, check them out. They rock!

Art project: colorful recycled magazine shadowbox art …

Bird paintings

Photo collage

Dripping with circles painting

Garden signs

Chakra art

Kevin’s wedding present painting

Chic seashell art

Happy thoughts

Ice cream for breakfast? You betchya! Check out this recipe …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

The other day, my friend Vicky told me about the Sneaky Chef. So I went on her web site www.thesneakychef.com searching for healthy recipes to make with Kai. The Sneaky Chef’s recipes are similar to Jessica Seinfield’s Deceptively Delicious recipes, where they add in fruit and veggie purees into meals to get kids to eat healthy food. In my house, I don’t really sneak it into the food. Kai loves almost all foods and he helps me prepare a lot of them, which I think why he’s such a good eater.

After checking out the web site, I thought I’d try the recipe below. Mmm. It was yummy.

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Ice Cream
Rich in vitamins B6, C, potassium, fiber, calcium, protein, and antioxidants

– 1 frozen banana, cut in pieces (about 1 cup)
– 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
– 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Note: If you prefer to use sweetened yogurt (the vanilla flavored yogurt works well with all of the above), you probably won’t need the extra sugar or honey.

For each of the above Breakfast Ice Creams, put all ingredients in food processor and puree on high – hold on tight, the first few seconds are a bit rough until the mixture smoothes out. Each makes about 1 1/2 cups of ice cream.

Another sneaky hint: Make popsicles out of these ice creams by pouring them into ice pop molds and freezing the night before. It’s double the fun to eat it this way in the morning!

Click on some of my other fave recipes:

Fresh juice

Healthy chocolate chip cookies

DIY: Make your own fresh cup of juice …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

Sunday morning, as I pulled out the dehydrator to make fruit leather (a.k.a. roll ups), which I do at least once a week, (see how I do it here), Kai saw a box in the cabinet where I keep it. “What’s this, Mommy?” “Oh, that’s a juicer.” “I want to make juice!”

And that’s how we began.

We pulled everything out of the refrigerator that we could juice.

5 apples
1 bag of baby carrots
1 zucchini
1 cucumber

We juiced all of it. Making a concoction with all of the ingredients first and then making a cup of plain apple juice after he complained that the first drink tasted spicy (the zucchini, maybe?). I thought it tasted great, so I sipped it down, while Kai enjoyed his apple juice.

The hardest part was the clean up, but for a fresh cup of juice – it was worth it!

Click here to discover how you can sneak fruits and veggies into cookies. Shhh!

For even more recipes, click below:

Tomato Poppers
Two raw food recipes
Honey and pecan popcorn recipe
Homemade ice cream

3 weird (albeit healthy) foods my husband and son eat …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

Alex is notorious for bringing home super healthy and unfortunately sometimes tasteless foods. I think this is one of the reasons why Kai is such a good eater. He tries everything Alex brings in the house, and most of the time loves it – especially if he sees Alex chowing down on it. Personally, I eat most of the foods too – sprouted bread, brown rice pasta and an exotic variety of seasonal fruits and veggies. But there are some foods that my boys eat that I just can’t. I’ve tried and I can’t.

Here they are:

1. Sardines. I often come home and they are sitting on the couch (of all places!) devouring the little fish. Sometimes they pair them with crackers. Other times, they just eat them straight from the can. Full of omega 3’s, sardines are great for you. But for me, it’s the smell that deters me from eating them.

2. Seaweed. Kai has been snacking on seaweed since he was a baby. I think he likes the saltiness of it. When we’re driving around town running errands, he often sits in his car seat munching on the black ribbon-like sea plants. Loaded with amino acids and omega 3’s, Alex started eating it a few years before Kai was born. Kai has grown up on this stuff and I’m sure he’ll be eating it for the rest of his life. One day, Alex wasn’t paying attention and Kai ate the whole bag. Poor kid was so bloated for the next few days. For me, the seaweed is a bit too salty and fishy tasting.

3. Soy nut butter Kai and Alex love to pair soy nut butter with apples. It’s one of their favorite snacks. To me, soy nut butter is flavorless. I prefer good ol’ chucky peanut butter (the natural kind with the oil, of course.)

To help your child eat healthy, read these 5 tips.

Shhh! Deceptively delicious and healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe …

FRIDAY: RANDOM

Last year my mom bought Jessica Seinfield’s (yes, Jerry’s wife) book Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food , and it has transformed the way we bake treats in our house.

What’s deceptive about the cookbook is that Seinfield teaches you how to pack in nutrients into your food, without anyone even knowing it. In my family, we don’t have to hide the fact that we’re doing this, but unfortunately some familes won’t touch anything that even hints at something healthy. This approach may be the only way to give some children will receive any vitamins in their food.

How do you do it?

Simple. Add veggie or fruit purees to your ingredients.

Since, I’m a working mom, I don’t have time to puree my own produce. So instead, I buy jars of organic baby food and add them to whatever I’m cooking. It doesn’t have to be just treats. It can be meatballs (sneak in spinach and carrots), quesadillas (avocados) and even pancakes (beets!). Once you start, you’ll be surprised how many different ways you can be deceptive.

So, after work last night, Kai and I made healthy cookies.

To speed up the process, I bought Pamela’s gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix. (Don’t freak out gluten free doesn’t mean gross. I promise!)

Ingredients:
Pamela’s gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix
1 egg
1/2 stick of butter (the recipe calls for a whole stick, but I like to improvise)
1/2 cup of oats (I added this for fun)
1 giant scoop of chucky peanut butter (again for fun) (I sometimes add walnuts instead, but we were out)
1 jar of organic sweet potato baby food (fun)
1 jar of organic mango/banana baby food (and for fun again)

(Try whatever baby food appeals to you. I’ve added carrots and spinach before. Personally, I can’t really even tell anything is in there.)

We mixed it all, placed them on a baking sheet and popped them into the oven for 15 minutes.

They came out hot, gooey and sinfully (a.k.a. healthily) delicious.

Try this at home. I promise, you’ll be surprised on how GREAT it tastes!

Find more of my recipes here:

Tomato Poppers
Two raw food recipes
Honey and pecan popcorn recipe
Homemade ice cream
Fruit leather/fruit roll ups

Plus,
5 Tips on how to help your child eat healthy!

Easy to make (and healthy too) fruit roll-up recipe …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

Fruit leather, a.k.a. fruit roll up, is one of the easiest and healthiest treats I’ve ever made.

Ingredients:

Strawberries

How to do it:

1. In a food processor, mash up the strawberries.
2. Spread it out in a dehydrator pan.
3. “Cook” for about 10-12 hours at less than 104 degrees to keep the raw food enzymes.

That’s it.

Since this was my first time, I wanted to try a simple recipe. Next time, I think I’ll mix strawberries and kiwis or strawberries and apricot apple sauce.

Note to self: Buy more pans for the dehydrator – and a lot more fruit, such as peaches, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple …

Check out more of my dehydrating fun.

And if you’re feeling really fruity, check this out.

10 reasons why my Mother’s Day was wonderful …

MONDAY: HIP MAMA

I had a great Mother’s Day with my two boys. Check out how we spent our day.

1. Alex made me breakfast – green pepper, onion and fancy cheese omelet.
2. Kai made me a card.
3. Alex picked a rose from our garden for me.
4. Kai, Alex and I went to the Orlando History Museum – free admission for moms.
5. We at lunch at Dexter’s downtown.
6. We all napped.
7. Alex and Kai worked very hard to make me dinner. A tofu/veggie/Play Doh dinner. Delicious. (See photos.)
8. We met up with some friends – Jen, Vinny and Ed – at TCBY for free frozen yogurt for mom. Yum.
9. Kai and I snuggled and read our new library books in bed.
10. I fell asleep happy.