Sunday, September 26, 2010

Acorn Squash Bowls

Makes 2 servings

This is the most beautiful time of year, with the leaves starting to change and a bit of a chill in the air at night. I love the produce at this time of year…the pumpkins, apples, squash, all warming sweet and delicious.

One of my favorite dishes is acorn squash bowls and they are easy to prepare and there are so many different ways to serve them, based on what you have on hand, or what you are in the mood for. 

I like to make a couple of them and then fill them with different fillings each night. Or I serve them on a platter and put out a couple of different fillings then my kids could make their own creations.

1 acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup apple sauce, goat cheese, cottage cheese, ground turkey, or chopped tomatoes


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut squash in half and remove seeds with a spoon.
3. Place squash halves skin side down on a baking sheet.
4. Rub olive oil over squash halves.
5. Fill squash halves with filling of choice.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of each.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a fork inserts smoothly through squash meat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Veggie Quiche Muffins

While Congress is investigating the operators of two large U.S. egg companies thought to be responsible for a major outbreak of salmonella, many Americans have either stopped eating eggs altogether or have drastically reduced their intake since the massive recall last month.
As a mother, I was especially concerned because my kids love eggs and eat them a few times a week.

So I went to my local farmer's market in Harlem and began asking questions.
One of the farmers I spoke to, whose family farm was just one hour away from New York City, assured me that his eggs were safe because they were free roaming, grass fed and not shipped into the U.S from another country. He also told me that the eggs were safe because they were not pumped with hormones or antibiotics and were produced on a much smaller scale than conventional supermarket eggs.

So when you shop for eggs, it's reassuring to learn that the farmer who raised, packaged and transported the chickens was the same person selling them.

Contrast that with the conventional purchase of supermarket eggs in which we have no clue about their origins or how many miles and days they traveled before reaching us.

While the eggs at the local farmer's market might be $1 more than the supermarket, it gives me peace of mind to know that there is a human face behind the product.

Whenever there is a health scare related to food, the responsibility almost always lies with faceless, giant corporations who cut corners on safety and quality in order to maximize profits. So whenever there is a scare/recall on food, I don't stigmatize the type of food but the source of the food.

With this said, I felt good buying eggs and was excited to go home and make my kids a mini quiche muffins.

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups ground oat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold almond milk
1/4 cup olive oil

Filling Ingredients:
4 eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
Herbs of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Filling options: Cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach, steamed cauliflower, roasted sliced peppers, roasted or grilled zucchini, chopped ham, turkey or grilled chicken

1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients, mix liquids, and then mix together. Knead, and spread into a pie pan or individual muffins cups
3. Whisk together egg and almond milk. Whisk in herbs, salt and pepper.
4. Choose filling ingredients and place in bottom of pie shell. Pour quiche batter over filling.
5. Bake until set, which is about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's For Lunch?

Packing a delicious, nutritious, lunch that children will eat and parents feel good about, is often a challenge.

What I have learned as a parent at the school; is that the lunch period is not very long and kids get very excited about seeing their friends and often do more chatting then eating. So I try to pack one entrée that is yummy and easy to eat; as well as, one crunchy fruit or veggie such as sliced cucumbers, carrots, apples or whatever is in season.

Ideally a lunch combines nutrient-rich foods from several food groups to supply protein, a healthy fat and a complex carbohydrate.

Children who eat this way, are able to sustain energy and concentration for several hours which benefits both students and teachers.

Below is one of my kid’s favorites lunch options. Easy to eat, easy to prepare. And if you enlist the help of your kids in the kitchen, I guarantee there will be less waste!

Cornflake-Crusted Baked Chicken Fingers

Makes 6 servings
6 boneless breasts pounded thin and sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg
2 cups organic crushed cornflakes ( I like whole grain)
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons of fresh orange juice for taste

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.Rinse chicken, and pat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk egg with 1-tablespoon water.
 3. In a large bowl, mix cornflakes with oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
4.Working with one piece at a time, dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with seasoned cornflakes, pressing flakes to help them adhere.
5. Transfer coated pieces to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving. To coat chicken, working with one piece at a time, dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with seasoned cornflakes, pressing flakes to help.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Appetizer Tuesday's: Quality Quesadillas (Cheese,Chicken,Steak)

School in session!!! Now it is more important then ever to eat right to fuel our bodies and brains. Try this easy yet magnificent quesadillas, that will make your taste buds go insane! If you really want to get the best of the Mexican experience be sure to prepare some guacamole to dip your quesadillas in (Look out for the recipe tomorrow). So get your "Mexican" on and dip yourself into this delicious dish, that will have you satisfied for days! Great for kids of all ages!

College Tip: I am sure you are sick of your campus dining, and I understand it might be hard (or you're too lazy) to go out and get all these ingredients; but you can really make this meal with any bread you have laying around! ;)

Ingredients:4 tablespoons cooking oil
Eight-8-inch whole-wheat tortillas or corn tortillas
1 cup cheese of your choice
2 tomatoes chopped
1 cup of black beans
1 organic avocado, sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon sour cream or yogurt (optional)

Directions:1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Place a tortilla on skillet.
3. Top, cheese beans, chopped tomato, avocado, chicken and steak if using.
4. Cover with another tortilla. Cook about 2 minutes until the cheese begins to melt. Flip 
and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. 5. Cut into wedges and garnish with sour cream or plain yogurt.