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January 27th, 2012

Warm up from the big chill

mgtaylor60by Marygrace Taylor—

I always say that once the holidays end, I’d be more than happy to fast forward through the rest of winter and move straight on to spring. Cold weather and short days aside, for local-minded eaters, January through March offers little culinary variety. Even down here in Austin, the farmers markets are still open, but all that’s really available are leafy greens and root vegetables. Oh, and cauliflower. If there’s one good thing about the dead of winter, roasted cauliflower is probably it. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that’s often more appealing to kids (and many adults) than the raw stuff. And when seasoned with a zesty, curry-based dressing, the white winter veggie will warm your family up without weighing them down.

kiwi-Curried-Cauliflower

Warm Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Cashews
This recipe only calls for a tablespoon of curry powder, which will help introduce kids to the flavor without overwhelming them. If you regularly cook with the spice mixture, feel free to add up to 2 tablespoons.

Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons safflower oil
¼ cup coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder (or more, if desired)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned are fine)
1/3 cup cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
2. On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower and onion with the safflower oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the edges of the cauliflower are golden brown.
3. In a small skillet, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, curry powder, sugar, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is fragrant and the garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Place the roasted cauliflower and onion in a large bowl and add the chickpeas and cashews. Drizzle the spiced coconut oil over top and toss until well mixed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm.

Serves 4
Per serving: calories 326, fat 22 g, protein 8 g, carbohydrates 30 g, dietary fiber 7 g


Marygrace Taylor is the staff writer and recipe developer for KIWI Magazine. She lives and cooks in Austin, Texas, with her husband and dog, Charlie.

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August 30th, 2011

Cooking with kids: Peach maple yogurt pops

mgtaylor60by MaryGrace Taylor—

Despite whether your kids have already gone back to school or are still gearing up for the first day, the weather and farmers market offerings still say summer. Your family can beat the heat and make the most of late-August peaches with these fruity, easy-to-make pops—you can stick the molds in the freezer in the morning and have a cool, creamy snack ready by afternoon. And if your family has a dog, feel free to feed her one of these icy treats, too (sans stick, of course!).

kiwi-blog-MGtaylor-popcicles
Peach Maple Yogurt pops

Prep time: 5 minutes
Freeze time: 6 hours

You’ll need:
1 cup plain, low fat yogurt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large peaches
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
Pinch salt
8 3-ounce ice pop molds or 8 paper cups and 8 craft sticks

1. On a cutting board, cut the peaches into thick slices and let your child remove the pit. (Be sure to keep the skins on the peaches: They’ll leave pretty pink flecks throughout the pops.) Add the peaches to a blender.

2. Have your child measure the yogurt and maple syrup and add to the blender. Add the ginger and salt and blend until completely smooth.

3. Help your child pour the pop mixture evenly into the molds or paper cups and freeze for at least 6 hours. (If using paper cups, insert the craft sticks after the cups have been in the freezer for 30 minutes.) Remove the pops from the molds or peel off the paper cups and serve.

Makes 8 pops
Per pop: Calories 71, fat 1 g, protein 2 g, carbohydrates 16 g, fiber 1 g


Marygrace Taylor is the staff writer and recipe developer for KIWI Magazine. She lives and cooks in Austin, Texas, with her husband and dog, Charlie.

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July 28th, 2011

Make this for your kids: Cheesy Zucchini Fingers

By Marygrace Taylor

It’s a pretty good bet that when a food is battered and fried, called “fingers,” and served with a dipping sauce, kids will gobble it up. In fact, if there was a Parenting 101 Guidebook (anyone planning on writing such a thing anytime soon?), this tip would probably top the list of Things All Parents Know For Sure.

On it’s own, zucchini doesn’t have a whole lot going for it. It’s sort of bland and can get soggy and waterlogged if you cook it the wrong way. But practically every garden and farmer’s market in the country is overflowing with the veggie right now, pressuring cooks everywhere to come up with interesting ways to eat it.

july-zucchini

My favorite way? Cheesy Zucchini Fingers, because you can get them on the table in less than a half hour and they win kids over every time. And they’re delicious, of course. Fresh herbs and a crunchy, salty outer coating make these just as tasty as those mozzarella sticks every kid (and grown up) loves, but way healthier. If you’ve got yellow squash on hand instead, feel free to substitute.

Cheesy Zucchini Fingers
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons each fresh thyme and oregano (or 3/4 teaspoon dried each)
1/2 teaspoon fresh sage (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
3 tablespoons safflower oil, divided

Tomato or marinara sauce, for dipping

1. Slice each zucchini in half, width-wise, then slice each half length-wise. Slice each of these halves into 8 to 10 1/2-inch thick matchsticks, for a total of 16 to 20 matchsticks per zucchini.

2. Set out three medium bowls. Place the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in the first bowl, and the beaten egg in the second bowl. In the third bowl, place the breadcrumbs, cheese, remaining salt, and herbs and mix to combine.

3. Dredge each zucchini matchstick into the flour, egg, then breadcrumb mixture and place on a large plate or baking sheet.

4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the safflower oil over medium-high heat. Add a third of the zucchini fingers and cook 3-4 minutes. Flip the zucchini fingers and cook 1-2 minutes more, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and repeat with remaining zucchini fingers.

5. Serve hot, with tomato or marinara sauce for dipping.

Serves 4
Per serving: calories 299, fat 15 g, protein 11 g, carbohydrates 30 g, dietary fiber 4 g

Marygrace Taylor is the staff writer and recipe developer for KIWI Magazine. She lives and cooks in Austin, Texas, with her husband and dog, Charlie.

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June 30th, 2011

Cooking with Kids: Whole Grain Strawberry Shortcake with Ginger

By Marygrace Taylor

Berries have a lot going for them: They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and so are super good for you. They also score points for being incredibly versatile—eat berries out of hand for a snack, toss them into a savory salad, or turn them into dessert. Best of all—maybe because the finger food size is more fun for little hands—you don’t have to work very hard to get your kids to gobble them up.

mgt og blog july

One of my family’s favorite ways to eat peak-season berries (like the ones overflowing at farmers markets right now) is in pie, but the whole process making the dough, rolling it out, and trying to keep it ice cold the entire time is pretty unappealing when it’s 90 degrees outside. Even when the temperature is cooler, notoriously tricky piecrust can be tough for children to work with, and so isn’t the best choice for parents who want to get their kids into the kitchen.

So instead, we get our fix with strawberry shortcake, which has all the delicious components of pie—buttery crust, saucy fruit, and even some sweetened cream to match the obligatory scoop of ice cream—in a package that requires less work and is simpler for kids to make.

Whole Grain Strawberry Shortcake with Ginger

Be sure to taste the strawberry mixture to adjust for sugar and lemon. Depending on your berries, you may need to adjust the sweetness and acidity.

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ¼ cup raw cane sugar, or to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon, or to taste
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a bowl, have your child combine the strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice, then taste to see whether she thinks the berries need more sweetness or sourness. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

3. Have your child measure the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt and add to a bowl. After mixing with a fork, she can add in the butter pieces and use her fingers to crumble the butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized clumps form. Add the buttermilk and vanilla then fold in the crystallized ginger.

4. Help your child place the shortcake dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it into a disk, about ½-inch thick. Divide the disk into eight small wedges, transfer to the baking sheet, and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

5. When the shortcakes are cool, make the whipped cream. Have your child measure the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and add to a bowl or stand mixer. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over mix.

6. Slice the shortcakes in half horizontally. Have your child spoon the strawberry mixture over each bottom half of the shortcake, followed by a dollop of whipped cream and the top half of the shortcake. Serve.

Makes 8 shortcakes

Marygrace Taylor is the staff writer and recipe developer for KIWI Magazine. She lives and cooks in Austin, Texas, with her husband and dog, Charlie.

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