Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Barnes’

The Vegan Weekend – Part 1

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Ellery's giant salad and "pizza"

So my sister came and the corned beef was put away.  Instead I stocked up on vegan sausage and cheeses, vegan “butter” sticks and pleny of fruits and veggies.  I am becoming pleasantly surprised by the vegan recipe choices and products, that are quite tasty.  Many of these items are not as soy based as in the past.  Surprisinlgy wheat gluten, potatoes and veggies make up the vegan sausage.

As my husband was picking up Aunt Christy and Uncle Craig (a.k.a. Unc and Tee Tee) from the airport, I was home with the kids, roasting veggies.   I make these veggies on a regular basis, to create last minute meals during the week.  These are easy to make and great to have on hand for any diet, be it vegan, vegetarian or omnivore.  The veggies (this time red peppers, zucchini, potobello mushrooms) are simply cleaned,  cut, oiled (I use olive) and seasoned (I use rosemary salt, pepper and fresh thyme and rosemary) and roasted in the oven on a baking pan on 400F for about 30 minutes.  These can be added to pasta, salad, couscous, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, and the list goes on and on…

During out weekend we went out to eat twice.  Often going out is a challenge for someone on a restricted diet be it food allergies, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian etc.   Once we went for chinese food at Feng Nian in Sausalito (lots of veggie options and yummy meat and seafood dishes for the carnivores) and the other time we went to Cafe Gratitude.  This place is vegan heaven.  They “celebrate the aliveness of food”.   I’d had their food at the farmer’s market, but never been to the restaurant and was waiting to take my sister.  All the ingredients are organic, local and sustainable.  They even have their own farm.  The food is wonderful.  However the ambance is lacking.  Kind of like eating in your college deli/bookstore.  I think take-out and a trip to the park for a picnic will be my choice next time.  My sister appreciated the food and effort and enjoyed being able to look at a menu and be able to choose anything.  And did I mention all the names of the menu items are affirmations, such as “I am Wonderful” or “I am Refreshed”?  Here’s a few photos, as the food is quite inventive and beautiful.  My daughter had a “pizza” on homemade cracker bread, called “I am Passionate” (above photo).  She liked it but it was a bit messy for her.  My sister and I shared these lovely spring rolls, wrapped in some type of kale leaves as well as yummy indian biryani quinoa dish (“I am Graceful”). My brother in law had a rich black bean mexican inspired dish (Yo Soy Mucho”).  My son had a comforting, sweet porridge with coconut and dried fruits (“I am Bright Eyed”).  However my husband got the short end.  The waiter recommended the “I am Giving” salad of kale and seaweed with miso sauce, and my husband bit.  We weren’t sure why as he is not a huge kale and seaweed fan.  This was the dish that makes people think “vegan” = funky food.  Yes, it was different, but fun.  Even the inside of the bowls ask, “What are you thankful for?”

Springrolls, vegan style

quinoa curry bowl

Share

I Left My Heart….

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Were you wondering what happened to Valentine’s Day?  Asking yourself, “Why didn’t she do a blog with heart foods?”  Well, I was so hearted out I needed a break.  Yes a heartbreak. (pun intended).  The good thing about hearts is that they work all year long.  In fact I think cutting hearts in cookies or sandwiches away from Feb. 14th is more meaningful, cute and unexpected by your children.

This year I did the treats for both kids’ classes.  So I wasn’t busy blogging about heart shaped goodies, but I was busy making them.  Here are some pics…

These heart sandwiches were for my daughter’s class.  These were super simple and festive to make.  Here’s what I did:

1. Using a small 1 1/2 – 2 inch heart cutter, cut out hearts from slice of sandwich bread. (carefully cutting you’ll get 4 out of each slice).

2. Put bread hearts into pairs for sandwiches.

3. Spread one side of bread hearts with cream cheese

4. Spread another side of bread hearts with strawberry or raspberry fruit spread

5. Put together. Ta dah! 

 

Heart shaped graham crackers along with lovely organic, Oxnard, CA. grown strawberries for my son’s kindergarten class.  These were pretty and easy to pass out, nestled in recycled paper muffin cups.

Then, as we were hurrying to make and eat dinner before another evening school event (and the cookie cutter was still out) we make some simple heart shaped cheese toast.

The cookie cutters really come in handy for all kinds of things: from tortillas to cookies to sandwiches to cheese, etc. there’s lots of ways to create fun shapes all year long.  It’s also a fun activity that can involve your kids.  For now I’ve left my heart in the basket with the other 100+ cutters I own (yes, it’s a bit of an obsession), but look out you never know what shape will be chosen tomorrow.  St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.  Then there’s baseball season, Easter, May Day, first day of summer…..

Share

Safely Feeding Babies – 10 Important Tips (plus 1 you already know)

Monday, June 30th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

I see many questions and myths shared about food for babies on parenting websites and blogs.  The ones that are most alarming to me are those regarding food safety and proper food handling, and all the “my grandmother used to_______” (the ______ was something like “put Brandy in a bottle” or “put honey in the cereal”.

Babies usually triple their birth weight the first year. That’s why nutritious and safely handled food, served in an age-appropriate way, is so important.  Being aware of safe food handling practices and potential feeding dangers are the best ways to protect your family from food illnesses and accidents, while also giving your child a healthy start on development and growth. Here are a few important tips and reminders.  (of course you know the final one – that’s why you’re reading it on this blog)

1. Wash Hands. It’s important to wash your hands before preparing food or beverages, especially when feeding babies. According to a Penn State University study of mothers with infants less than 4 months old many moms said they routinely forget to wash their hands after changing baby’s diaper, and using the bathroom. Not washing hands could result in infant diarrhea from the bacteria transferred while engaging in these activities.

2. Handle Bottles Carefully. Although some babies will drink a bottle straight from the refrigerator, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises most babies prefer milk warmed to room temperature. Warm the bottle by holding it under a running hot-water faucet or putting it in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. Shake well and test milk temperature to make sure it’s not too hot before feeding. Microwaves can heat unevenly. Children’s mouths and throats can be severely burned by bottles heated in the microwave.  Always discard leftover milk in bottle to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria.

3. Cow’s Milk. Avoid serving regular cow’s milk until infants are 1-year-old. Before then, infants may experience an allergic reaction, stomachache and low blood iron. When you begin serving regular cow’s milk, serve whole milk.  Do not switch to lower fat milk until the baby’s doctor recommends this change usually around age 2.

4. Mixing Cereal and Formula in the Bottle. Do not serve cereal mixed with formula from a bottle.  Many think this practice helps babies sleep better through the night, however there is no evidence of this. Plus, there is a possibility of a baby choking.

5. Hold Baby When Bottle-Feeding. Babies who are put to bed with a bottle are more likely to have cavities. This practice also increases the potential of choking.

6. Limit Juice. Serve only 100 percent juice and in small quantities so it doesn’t interfere with the infant eating other nutritious foods. AAP recommends giving juice diluted with water only to infants who are approximately 6 months or older and who can drink from a cup. AAP recommends offering no more than a TOTAL of 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day to infants. (Source: American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition)

7. Avoid Honey And Corn Syrup. Do not serve infants honey or corn syrup during the first year of life. These foods may contain botulism spores that could cause illness or death in infants.

8. Food Introductions. When introducing new foods, try only one at a time, and start with single-ingredient foods. Avoid serving mixed ingredient foods until each food has been given separately. Begin by serving about 1 to 2 tablespoons and then increase the amount as baby wants more. Wait at least 3 days before trying another new food so you can tell if there are any adverse reactions.

Iron-fortified rice cereal is usually the first food offered, as this is easily digested. It’s frequently recommended to continue fortified baby cereal through the first year of life.

Remember your baby will still be receiving the majority of nutrition from breast milk or formula during the first year.

9. Serve Solids Safely. Transfer an amount you feel baby will eat from the baby food jar to a dish. Throw away any food left uneaten in the dish. Avoid feeding directly from the baby food jar. Bacteria from a baby’s mouth can grow and multiply in the food before it is served again. Use refrigerated jarred baby foods within 1 to 2 days after opening.

Once opened, do not leave baby food solids or liquids (breast milk or formula) at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Bacteria can grow to harmful levels when food is left out longer than this.

10. Choking Hazards. Avoid serving foods that may choke an infant, such as nuts and seeds, raw carrots and celery, whole kernel corn, raisins, large chunks of meat or cheese, popcorn, chips, pretzels, grapes, whole berries, cherries, unpeeled fruits and vegetables, hard candies, pickles, hot dogs, marshmallows (regular or miniature), and peanut butter. In general, avoid foods that are round and firm, sticky and chewy or cut in large chunks.

As infants grow into toddlers, they can begin eating the foods above, if cut into small pieces. Most pediatricians advise foods should be no larger than 1/4 inch for toddlers and 1/2 inch for preschoolers.

Plus One…

Finally my continuing tip and philosophy is to serve organic.  Try to purchase organic foods for babies and children whenever possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals.  According to the US EPA Department of Health and Human Services, the greatest exposure to pesticides and chemicals is in a child’s first 4 years.  See my post Why Organic for Kids.
~
See also Lisa’s Introducing Solids To Baby (with Organic Sweet Potato Puree Recipe)
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Lisa Barnes (her babies tasting their first food)
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share

More Wheat Berries Please! (with Organic Wheat Berry and Citrus Dressing Salad)

Friday, June 20th, 2008

wheat berries

From Lisa Barnes

I like to experiment with various grains – amaranth, quinoa, couscous, millet (not my favorite) and now wheat berries. I didn’t do much with them because I think they’ll take too long to cook. True some recipes ask for an overnight soak as well as an hour of cooking time. But the recipe below uses the wheat berries al dente – with a bit of texture and crunch. I believe it’s this crunch that makes my son enjoy this salad.

When I was first recipe testing the wheat berries my son wasn’t very interested in trying. However once he knew they weren’t mushy, but actually crunchy – he dug right in and even asked for seconds. My daughter likes them too… although there is a bit of a mess (but better than when I make couscous) under my daughter’s chair. Her pajamas are usually peppered with the little grains.

This salad is good for a family get-together or pot luck, as it will feed 6 – 8 people and can be made ahead. Wheat Berries are high in protein as well as iron and fiber – but there’s no need to tell people it’s good for them.

Organic Wheat Berry and Citrus Dressing Salad

For those children that like crunch wheat berries are an interesting nutty and plump option. They can be enjoyed hot or cold and with just about any dressing, veggies or nuts. Wheat berries can be found in natural food stores and organic markets in the bulk cereal and grain section.

Makes 6 cups

2 cups organic wheat berries, rinsed
6 cups water
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
½ cup organic grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Dressing:
Grated zest of one organic lemon, about 2 teaspoons
Juice of one organic orange, about 1/3 cup
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
2 tablespoon minced green onions
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine wheat berries, water and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover until plump and chewy, about 1 hour. Wheat berries will still be al dente. Drain into a serving bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together, juices and zest and onion. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add prepared tomatoes, olives and cheese to serving bowl of wheat berries and stir with serving spoon. Drizzle dressing over wheat berries and toss to coat.

Go Green! While lemon is not on the “dirty dozen” list as potentially harmful, we’ve suggested organic because we’re using the zest (outside peel where pesticides can be heavy)

~
See also Lisa’s Why Organic For Kids?
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Grains of Winter Wheat © Alexander Ryabchun | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share

Hos“pitiful” Food

Friday, June 13th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

Until recently I had only been in the hospital for two reasons – the birth of my son and the birth of my daughter. I remember the hospital food to be pretty decent. There were even two menus of food choices. One was a standard chicken, pasta, and sandwiches. The other menu was Asian with jook, noodles and stir fry. I switched up my entree choices, but once I tried the green tea ice cream, I was hooked. I had it with every meal. It was just the right of sweet and smoke and a lovely sage color.

The last night of the hospital stay in the maternity ward was called “Date Night”. There was a special menu including steak, greens and creme brulee for two. A table for two was set in the room with linens and candles. And our newborn was whisked away to the nursery. It really was a nice dinner and the hospital made a big effort to make you feel like you were on a date. I appreciated the uninterrupted meal even more once my husband and I were home with the new baby as we discovered what so many parents call the “witching hour”. This is the time you set your dinner plate on the table and your baby starts to wail (no matter what the hour).

When I found myself heading to the hospital (not maternity ward) this time I thought, “at least I’ll have my green tea ice cream”. I was wrong. Apparently the “healthy pregnant” people get the good food and the sick people get the left-overs. O.K. I wasn’t expecting local sustainable organics but I was shocked to see so many processed foods loaded with partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colorings and flavorings. My full liquid tray consisted of low fat milk (not organic), coffee (decaf, regular, who knows?), Swiss Miss egg custard (a huge list of offensive ingredients), cranberry juice “cocktail” and a bowl of very mushy and gelatinous oatmeal. (see my post for a yummy organic oatmeal option).

I’ve always advocated for children’s developing bodies and brains to get the healthiest organic foods. But shouldn’t hospitals be ground zero for providing and teaching about whole healthy foods? Whether it’s a new life or an older one we trust hospitals to make us better, not add to health problems. I know it’s expensive but so is healthcare. A $3,000 night in a hospital can’t include some thoughtfully prepared veggies, soups, and grains? A hotel couldn’t operate with such substandard food. I guess hospitals know the patients have no choice and it’s not an “amenity”. Food as a necessity means they can cut costs and take short-cuts.

I’m going to need to research. I know I’ve read about some hospitals making a better effort for nutrition and food service. If Alice Waters and Jamie Oliver are increasing nutrition awareness and culinary curriculum for children in schools, who’s doing the same for patients across the country in hospitals?
~
See also The Top Ten Green Hospitals (National Geographic Green Guide)
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: National Geographic Green Guide
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share

Breakfast for Dinner (with Organic Yogurt Pancakes For Kids Recipe)

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

Before we were parents my husband and I would sometimes skip dinner (both had a big lunch, out) or just have a glass of wine with a baguette and some yummy cheese. My roommate in college sometimes had a bowl of ice cream for dinner. And I meet plenty of new parents who are intimidated to cook for their children in the first place because their own dinners are often eating take out meals standing in the kitchen.

But once you have kids that are old enough to eat your food and hear your philosophy about healthy meals and eating habits, that freedom is lost. It’s not that you want to revert back to some poor eating habits all the time, but maybe once a month or year. It just doesn’t happen – kids want and need a meal. Plus you are the one cooking it and setting a good example.

If you’re a parent who’s tired of coming up with creative ideas for your family dinner together…take a break. Be a hero and announce to your kids you’re having “breakfast for dinner”. This usually is welcomed with squeals of delight. I’m not advocating a cereal dinner (although I know a few parents who have that on the rotation for those really difficult days) but how about family favorites you only make on the weekends such as pancakes or a cheesy omelet (which also happens to make great use of left-over veggies and meat)?.

My kids and I (Dad was out) had these pancakes tonight with an impromptu veggie cheese omelet and side of fruit and everyone was happy.

Organic Yogurt Pancakes

1 cage free organic egg, slightly beaten
2/3 cup organic yogurt – plain or favorite flavor*
2/3 cup organic milk or soy milk
3/4 cup organic unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Expeller pressed canola oil to prevent sticking

In a medium bowl, mix together egg and yogurt until smooth. Add milk, flour and salt. Mix until batter is smooth. If batter is too thin, add more flour.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Spray cooking oil in bottom of skillet, or drizzle enough oil to lightly coat the pan. When oil is hot and sizzles, drop quarter cup fulls of batter into pan. Leave enough room around each heart to turn easily. Cook one to two minutes and watch for bubbles to form on the surface before flipping with a spatula. Cook another one to two minutes on other side until cooked through, and lightly browned on each side.

Top with fresh organic berries, yogurt and/or maple syrup.

Makes 10, four inch pancakes.

*If you choose a flavored yogurt such as strawberry or raspberry, the batter will take on a bit of color. Pancakes will also be sweeter than using plain yogurt.

~
See also Lisa’s No Yolking Around – Organic Pancakes for Kids Recipe
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Runaway Pancake (a Rand McNally Junior Elf Book), Ben Williams 1956
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
Lisa’s Posts
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share

The Lure of the Top Chefs

Monday, May 26th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

When did chefs become so popular and get notoriety like rock stars? Don’t get me wrong, I get caught up in the hype too. And I am usually more nourished and fulfilled by an amazing meal than a great song. But cooking, eating and food overall as entertainment seems to be a phenomena of the last 10 years. I don’t remember knowing names of chefs or watching them on T.V. when I was a kid. Now I have many friends whose children love to watch cooking shows and can tell you the names of the Iron Chefs, like a baseball line-up.

A few months ago I saw the advertisements for the Pebble Beach Food and Wine event and saw the list of chefs, food discussions and meals – and I began salivating. I bought tickets for my husband and me. I was not in a position to splurge for a weekend package or even more than one event, but that didn’t matter. We opted for the grand tasting. How could “grand” not be anything but wonderful?

We got there on a cool gray day and went into the tents, which were enormous. At first all we saw was Lexus advertisements and we wondered what we got ourselves into. Then we got the lay of the land (tent) and saw that all the chefs were around the perimeter. There were lines of foodies (although not too long) waiting to compliment the chef and taste their offering. However for each chef there were probably 20 wineries offering wine. Many more organic wines than I had ever heard of, which was nice to see and learn about.

In the center of the tent there were presentations and book signings. We immediately saw Chef Jacques Pepin was up first. Thinking there would be a big line waiting we headed towards the center. There was no one there but us and Jacques. He was a delight, and we took a picture (above). But it was kind of sad that he didn’t have a bigger following. Everyone was more interested in Trey from the last season of Top Chef. Don’t get me wrong… it’s one of the few shows I watch on T.V. (See below) But let’s show some respect to a pioneer and forefather.

Later in the day a crowd of people was trying to get a look at Top Chef Judge Tom Colicchio and a man was pushed into my husband. My husband helped the stumbling man and it was poor Jacques!

O.K. yes I like Top Chef. The biggest surprise was how nice Judge Gale Simmons was. I think she gets edited as the picky and hardest to please. In person she is very likable and seemed genuinely happy to hear about what I was writing for this blog and my philosophy about feeding children. We even swapped a Food and Wine Cookbook for a Petit Appetit Cookbook.

So as far as the food, some was great and some was unimpressive. My husband and I thought we were Top Chef Judges the way we picked apart and praised the food. Surprisingly some local S.F. favorites like Elizabeth Faulkner of Citizen Cake (a strange pudding shot with tasteless cookie) and Charles Phan of Slanted Door (a ho-hum wonton) were a disappointment. Our favorite savory offering was a duck and seared fois gras dish from Cal Stamenov at Marinus Restaurant at the Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley. At the other end of the tent was an amazing dessert table with carrot cake cookie sandwiches and “ocean” chocolate truffles (unlike anything I’d tasted) and that too turned out to be from Marinus. So guess where I want to go?

One thing I found missing at the event was signage. There are so many people with food allergies and intolerances and very few of the tables had a sign even saying the name of the dish/food item let alone the ingredients and where they came from. I thought this was remiss. Having a food allergy I didn’t like having to ask if something was hidden in food that may cause me to go to the hospital. A few chefs told exactly what was in the dish and where the ingredients were grown. Call me crazy but I expect to know (and don’t think we should assume) that the peas are organic and were grown locally when at an event such as this.

So what about children? Yes, there were a few in attendance. We even talked about how much our foodie son would’ve enjoyed some of the chocolate and seafood dishes. But then remembering the ticket price and the fact that this was a real weekend get-a-way date with my husband I was very happy he was home with grandma and grandpa.
~
See also Lisa’s I Met Alice Waters
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Lone Pine at Pebble Beach, WikiPedia Commons
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
Lisa’s Posts
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share

The Heat is On… Time for Lemonade! (Recipes for Kids)

Friday, May 16th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

For us in the San Francisco Bay Area, the temperature has soared this week. A favorite to quench thirst for all ages is lemonade. In working on my latest book I test drove all kinds of lemonades – sparkling, traditional, herb infused, and more. The basic lemon can really be turned into something special.

Besides the yummy drink, making lemonade can provide a fun activity for children. If you have a tree, there’s the picking. My kids love to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s to pick lemons with “the picker” — a long handled pole.

Then there’s the juicing. Of course this can be done with a machine, but you can also use a hand-held citrus squeezer. Kids love to test their muscle strength, plus it makes the chore last longer (sometimes a necessity for parents looking for some down time). If you have too many lemons and an abundance of lemonade, be sure to share with friends or set up a stand.

The positive power of one child and a refreshing drink created a unique foundation that evolved from a young cancer patient’s front yard lemonade stand to a nationwide fund-raising movement to find a cure for pediatric cancer. Since Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004) set up her front yard stand at the age of four, more than $17 million has been raised towards fulfilling her dream of finding a cure for all children with cancer. Nationwide the effort continues: AlexsLemonade.org

Refreshing and Inspiring!
Here are two different recipes, one requiring lots of lemons and ice for a thirsty few and one that makes a glass or two with just a lemon hint (from my friends at SmallShed Flatbreads in Mill Valley, California).

Frozen Lemonade

This is the perfect lemonade for sipping on a hot afternoon. It is really great whipped in the blender, but if you don’t want to bother you can skip the last step and just pour over ice. Please note the color if this will be golden rather than bright yellow due to the use of raw sugar. You can always substitute white if you prefer.

Makes 3½ cups

½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, juice from about 4 lemons (organic if possible)

½ cup raw turbinado sugar

1½ cups water, divided

2 cups ice cubes, break into chunks if large

Heat sugar and ½ cup water over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture has thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. This is simple syrup.

Combine lemon juice, simple syrup and additional cup of water in blender with ice cubes and blend until slushy. Add more ice as desired.

Small Shed’s Fresh Squeezed Maple Lemonade

“I have always found foods to be most enjoyable when prepared simple, and nothing is more simple than our house-made lemonade. Frequently our customers will bring a box of Meyer lemons in from their yards and trade us for a Flatbread pizza!” – Ged Robertson, chef owner at Small Shed Pizza.

Makes 2¼ cups

Juice squeezed from 1 lemon, about ¼ cup

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste

16 ounces sparkling water

Put ingredients in a pitcher and stir with a spoon. Pour and serve over ice.

Tips: first roll lemons pressing between your hand and a counter. This will make them easier to squeeze, and yield more juice.

Variations: You can substitute regular still water for sparkling, and honey for maple syrup. This lemonade tastes great made with hot water too!

~
See also Organic Lemonade Has 10x More Antioxidants Than Regular
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Norma Cornes | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
Lisa’s Posts
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share

Happy Mother’s Day! (with Organic Greek Frittata Recipe)

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

There seems to be three camps of moms on mother’s day…one that likes to celebrate with family, one that likes to celebrate without and one that tries to juggle both.

The first like to be surrounded and reminded of their children and their own parents – getting multiple generations together for usually brunch or dinner. Then there are those (usually with young children) who like to take the day off from being a mommy. Many I know do a relaxing spa day alone or with other mom girlfriends and then go to a romantic dinner with their spouses. The ones that like to try to fit everything and everyone in (like their daily life) tell me they’re doing a lunch or spa without children in the morning and then are joined for a family celebration in the evening.

If you’re a Dad – ask your wife what she’d prefer. One year I celebrated mother’s day by shopping by and for myself. I thought it would be nice and relaxing but it was so depressing. I watched families going into restaurants for brunch and missed my husband and kids (they had a fun day without me!) and also missed my own mom who doesn’t live close by. I came home and said I never wanted to do Mother’s Day alone again. Of course I like the alone time – just give me the day off before or after.

Anyways if you’re lucky enough to celebrate with your own mom and family, here’s a lovely and easy fritatta recipe to make at home. And if you’re in the mood for someone else to make brunch, make reservations fast (OpenTable.com can help). If you live in the Bay Area I would suggest Foreign Cinema. They have a wonderful brunch, excellent mimosas and bellinis for mom, and a great 3 course children’s menu.

Happy Mother’s Day! (Here’s a photo of my mom with my daughter)

Organic Greek Frittata
A frittata is an easy, yet elegant dish, to serve for friends and family – perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch. Adding couscous to the frittata makes it heartier, and gives the eggs a bit of a crust. Cut the frittata into wedges and your children will think it’s an egg pie.

1/2 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon water – divided

1/3 cup uncooked couscous

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 cage-free, organic eggs

2 teaspoons expeller pressed canola oil

1/3 cup slivered oil packed sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped nicoise or kalamata olives

1/4 cup diced organic onion

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan bring ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in couscous, remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff and separate with fork.

Combine the 1 tablespoon water, salt, pepper, and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk together. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, olives, and onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in couscous and egg mixture. Level mixture with rubber spatula. Sprinkle cheeses over top. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until set and cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges with knife or pizza cutter.
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Tiny Feet © Orangeline | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
Lisa’s Posts
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share

Kids on a Plane (with Organic Snack Recipes)

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

So we’re headed to the East Coast to visit family (and see a Red Sox game). It will be great once we get there. However anyone ever traveling with (or unluckily, near) small children knows how touchy and anxious the plane flight can be. Even if you’ve packed all the old favorite (and new) books, games, stickers, toys, DVD’s, etc. it may still not work for a child who is confined for more than an hour.

I’ve been stockpiling and preparing snacks now that only peanuts and “cereal bars” are the only edibles offered any more (unless you are flying first class). And you can’t bring in liquids, gels and other food type textures (forget the yogurt, hummus dip and apple sauce). Some of the items in our (large!) carry-on include: bananas, apples, carrot sticks, trail mix, dried spicy peas, yogurt covered raisins, and fig bars. In addition here are a few recipes for things my children (and husband and I) will enjoy en route. In addition I’m sure we’ll be buying food (an actual meal) in the airport (an activity for the lay-over, right?)

Organic Cherry Almond Granola
This is from my baking friend, fellow mom and food blogger Amy Andrews. It is the perfect crunchy snack for on-the-go packing or enjoyed at home in your child’s favorite cereal bowl with milk. It also makes the perfect top layer for a yogurt parfait.

Makes 5 ½ cups

Granola base
2 cups organic rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup organic sliced almonds
1/2 cup organic unsweetened grated coconut
3 tablespoons organic flax meal
1 cup dried cherries

Granola syrup
2 tablespoons organic, expeller pressed canola oil
3 tablespoons organic agave nectar
3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper. In large bowl combine the oats, almonds, coconut, and flax meal.

In small bowl whisk together canola oil, agave nectar and maple syrup. Add the vanilla and salt. Pour over oat mixture and stir with wooden spoon to combine.

Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet pan and spread to an even layer. Bake for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes until golden in color. Remove cookie sheet pan from oven and add the dried cherries. Stir to combine and let cool. (At home, enjoy as a topping to organic yogurt or as a cereal with your favorite milk or nut milk.) Store airtight.

Organic Apple Crisps
An alternative to boring potato chips, this simple treat satisfies a child’s need for crunch. Having a mandolin provides convenience and accurate cuts for even baking. However a careful, steady knife works as well. The apples crisp because of the low heat which dries out the moisture. Once in the oven these need no attention (just remember to turn off the oven overnight), until it’s time to pack them (or eat) them in the morning.
Makes about 48 apple crisps.

2 large organic apples such as Fuji or Braeburn
2 tablespoon evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Stir together evaporated cane juice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Using a mandolin or a steady hand cut the apple vertically in to 1/8 inch thick rounds. You do not need to core or peel the apple. The seeds will fall out or can easily be removed from apple slices once cut.

Place apple slices on baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven and cook for 1½ hours. Rotate pan and cook an additional hour. Turn off heat and leave pan with apples in the oven overnight if not dry and crisp.

Loosen chips with a spatula to remove from parchment paper.

Tip:
Shake it Up! The easiest way to lightly and evenly sprinkle sugars and spices is to transfer to a spice shaker. Having a specially marked shaker for cinnamon and sugar saves time when making other snacks such as cinnamon toast or spicing up plain yogurt. This is also a “neat” way to get children to help with decorating and flavoring tasks.
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Ripe Oats © James Virgin | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
Lisa’s Posts
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share