Archive for September, 2007

First Fish For Baby and Organic Fish Sticks For Kids Recipe

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

From Lisa Barnes

First Fish For Baby

This is an easy way to prepare fish for your baby or toddler. Because of the mild and “non-fishy” taste, tilapia is a good introduction to seafood for a little one. Fish can be thinned with reserved cooking broth, or mix with plain yogurt or cottage cheese for a more creamy texture.

Makes 2 servings

1 cup organic vegetable broth
2 (4-ounce) white fish fillets

Heat broth in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until simmering. Add fish fillets. Broth should not cover fish, but come up about halfway. Simmer fish until opaque, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Fish should flake easily with a fork. Remove fish from pan and mash with a fork to desired consistency, or puree with some of the cooking liquid in a food processor.

Tip: No bones about it. Be sure to check fish carefully for small bones before feeding to baby. Fillets have fewer bones than steaks.
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Organic Fish Sticks For Kids

Forget about frozen sticks with imposter fish and fake breading. Your child deserves the real thing. Use a mild white fish for this recipe. Serve a variety of dipping options such as ketchup, malt vinegar, and tartar sauce.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup organic milk
1 cage-free, organic egg, slightly beaten
1 cup toasted oat cereal
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound skinless, boneless fish fillets (halibut, cod, or tilapia)
1/4 cup expeller pressed canola oil

In a shallow dish beat together milk and egg. Put cereal in a food processor and pulse into crumbs. Or place in a self-sealing plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. On a flat plate, combine cereal, flour, and salt. Cut fish into 8 equal pieces. Dip fish pieces into milk-egg mixture, and then dredge in cereal mixture to coat.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish sticks to pan and cook until brown and crispy outside and cooked and flaky inside, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning with a spatula. Reduce heat if there is too much splattering. Pat fish sticks with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

Tip: Everyone has Os. I’ve discovered that every household with a child under five years old has some brand of toasted Os cereal. You’ll be surprised how well your child’s favorite cereal performs in recipes that call for bread crumbs, stuffing, or even nuts.
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Also see: Baby Food Has Come A Long Way

Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook and lives in Sausalito, California.
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Organic Rosemary Castle Potatoes Recipe

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

From Lisa Barnes

I call these castle potatoes, because while traveling with my mom in England we had dinner in a castle that served these wonderful potatoes. I came home and was inspired to re-create the dinner and remind me of the trip.

Makes 6 servings

2 pounds small organic white new or fingerling potatoes (about 24), scrubbed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil. Cut potatoes in half and place in a plastic self-sealing bag. Pour olive oil over potatoes and move bag to coat potatoes. Transfer potatoes to prepared pan. Bruise rosemary with back of spoon or mortar and pestle to release oil. Sprinkle salt and rosemary over potatoes and stir to mix. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until potatoes are brown on the outside and tender inside.

Potato Facts: The United States produces about 35 billion pounds of potatoes annually. Americans consume about 126 pounds per person per year, on average — far more than any other vegetable. Unfortunately, 65 percent of the potatoes consumed are not sold fresh, but in convenient forms, such as french fries, which add sodium and fat to Americans’ diets as well.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Diamond Organics
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Food Additives and Kids (ADD and ADHD)

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

From Lisa Barnes

I wanted to share this article with those parents who are dealing with children diagnosed with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder. There are many nutritionists and parents who have written about the effects of diet and specifically eliminating additives and preservatives on children’s behavior and learning abilities. Now there is a study about the role of food additives and how common food additives and colorings can increase hyperactive behavior in a broad range of children. You can read the entire article here in the NY Times. It is certainly a preliminary study, but hopefully one that will raise the discussion of additive warnings, food labeling, and eliminating certain foods containing these additives in schools.

However there is a quote that bothered me…

“Even if it shows some increase in hyperactivity, is it clinically significant and does it impact the child’s life?” said Dr. Thomas Spencer, a specialist in Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Is it powerful enough that you want to ostracize your kid? It is very socially impacting if children can’t eat the things that their friends do.”

If you talk to any of these parents who have children with ADHD and they’ve changed the child’s eating habits and thus altered the behavior, they would certainly say it makes not only “an impact on the child’s life” but of that of the whole family. And the idea that children will be ostracized for not eating preservative laden foods?! Is this a doctor suggesting we should all succumb to peer pressure for the risk of our children’s health and well being?!
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Also see: Organic foods, nutrition, and health key facts
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image: NewsTarget.com
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Got Squash? (Organic Zucchini Bread Recipe)

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

giantsquash1.jpg

From Lisa Barnes

Over the summer we went to drop off my son at preschool and sitting on the table was this large item. It looked like a zucchini, but a crazy overgrown, super zucchini. The teacher said one of the students brought it in from his grandfather’s organic farm. The kids loved seeing it and lifting it. It weighed almost 20 pounds! I asked what was going to happen to the zucchini and the teacher said nothing and offered for me to take it. I of course was happy and couldn’t wait to cut it, cook it and create with it.

My son wanted me to make Zucchini Bread. This seemed like a good idea and fun to share with his class (since I took the school property to make it). I carefully washed the giant and prepped everything else for the bread. I figured I’d cut the zucchini and grate it last, since it was going to take some work. That was a mistake. When I cut into the squash it was very hard. It was unlike any zucchini I ever cut. But then again I’d never worked with a 20 pound zucchini. Still I found it odd that it was so hard. Zucchinis are part of the summer squashes, thus the skin is thin. As I was trying to get a knife in and out I realized this skin was much more like a winter squash. Getting in further I saw that the seeds inside were not edible like a zucchini but hard like a pumpkin.

Speaking of pumpkins I figured I’d roast the seeds. Then I cut and steamed some of the flesh. I discovered the flavor was more like that of acorn squash. Then I did some research, on the internet, searching for a squash I didn’t know about. I couldn’t find any new varietals, but maybe that’s a question for Gene. Given my research and testing I think the closest thing was either an acorn squash that disguised it’s shape as a zucchini or a crazy green banana squash.

Anyways I had to rethink my zucchini bread. I salvaged my measured zucchini bread ingredients and made banana bread instead. However here’s the recipe for the “kini” bread we were hoping to make…

“Kini” Bread Recipe
Add a little green to your child’s diet without them realizing it’s a nutritious veggie in there. The recipe was inspired by my cousin Karen who made it for a family brunch gathering. This is a great bread for a large gathering, to slice and pack in a lunch or bring to a school bake sale. This makes enough for 2 loaves so you eat one today and freeze the other for another day, or make one for your family and share the other with friends. It also works if you halve the recipe and just make one large loaf.

3 cups organic zucchini, grated
4 cups organic whole grain wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cage free, organic eggs (use two eggs if cut in half)
2 cups organic sugar
1 cup organic expeller pressed canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest

Grease two 4 x 8 loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine zucchini, flour, salt, powder soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a medium bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and zest. Make a well in the center of the zucchini mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the well and combine with a rubber spatula.

Divide dough equally into prepared baking pans and bake for one hour or until gold and cooked throughout, using toothpick test.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook and lives in Sausalito, California.
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