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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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October 27th, 2011

How to get your kids to (happily) eat Brussels sprouts

mgtaylor60by Marygrace Taylor—
When it comes to foods on the Kids Won’t Touch list, Brussels sprouts are right up there at the top, along with other dinner table enemies like broccoli and spinach (or really, anything green). And really, who could blame a kid whose stomach starts churning at the mere thought of Brussels sprouts? Usually, they’re served up overcooked, soggy, and bitter—and with that unmistakable, sulfurous stench. But there’s an easy way to turn these miniature cabbages into a side dish or snack that even the staunchest sprout-phobes will love. Roasting Brussels sprouts brings out their natural sweetness and popcorn-like aroma while giving the outer leaves a satisfying crispness. Adding some chopped nuts and a bit of grated cheese makes them even more delectable. Your child might even ask for a second helping!

brussels-sprouts-copy-1

Nutty Popcorn Sprouts

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt
• 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. Place the halved Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on the oil and add salt to taste. Toss well with your hands and spread the Brussels sprouts on a single layer, so none are on top of each other. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are beginning to turn golden brown.

3. Place the roasted Brussels sprouts on a serving platter and top with the chopped hazelnuts and Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

Serves 4

Per serving: Calories 185, fat 14 g, protein 8 g, carbohydrates 12 g, dietary fiber 5 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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May 26th, 2011

5 Healthy, last-minute dinners your kids will actually eat

by Marygrace Tayor

Though they’re often a source of stress, those super-busy, super-structured weekdays that tend to define most of the school year do come with one advantage: Forcing parents to stay organized. Who’s picking up Jackson from trumpet lessons, who’s shuttling Hazel to the basketball game—and of course, what’s for dinner.

School might not be over just yet, but it’s already starting to feel that way.  As summer creeps in, the chaotic schedules start to wind down. Instead of playing chauffer after school, you’re just playing. The only problem is, sometimes you end up having so much fun, you lose track of time completely. Everyone’s having a blast chasing the dog, throwing the softball, and playing tag…Next thing you know, it’s six o’clock, and you’ve got a gaggle of hungry, tired kids who’ll turn anxious and irritable if they don’t get a meal pronto.

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These are the nights when you fry up a platter of grilled cheeses or order in a pizza—at least, they used to be. Just because you need dinner ready in no time flat doesn’t mean fast food-type food is the only option. Whipping up a speedy, nutritionally-balanced meal (that’s one with complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fat, and a hearty serving of veggies or fruit) is easier than you think. In fact, it’s downright simple! Here, five of my favorite well-rounded, quick-cooking, kid-approved dinners ready in twenty minutes or less.

Hummus plate

In a food processor, add one 15-ounce can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), ¼ cup tahini, the juice of half a lemon, one garlic clove, and salt. Puree while drizzling in a few tablespoons of olive oil until a smooth dip forms. Serve with cherry tomatoes, sliced , and whole wheat pita.

Total time: 10 minutes

Quick veggie tacos

In a wide skillet, saute one large, diced onion and 2 to 3 diced bell peppers, adding garlic and cumin to taste. Add a 15-ounce can of black beans (drained and rinsed), and continue cooking until heated through. Serve in whole wheat or corn tortillas with shredded cheddar cheese.

Total time: 15 minutes

Chicken avocado wraps

Cook frozen, all-natural chicken tenders according to package directions, then slice into strips. Meanwhile, mash one large avocado and spread on whole wheat tortillas. Top with the sliced chicken tenders, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, and grated carrot; then wrap and eat.

Total time: 15 minutes

Breakfast for dinner

Add ½ cup canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potato to your favorite whole wheat pancake recipe. Drop a handful of blueberries or banana slices on the uncooked pancake side before flipping. Top cooked pancakes with chopped pecans, a dollop of plain yogurt, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Total time: 20 minutes

Spicy peanut noodles

Cook one pound of whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions, then drain (reserving ½ cup of the pasta water) and rinse under cold water until cool. In a bowl, combine ¾ cup salted peanut butter, ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (or to taste). Add the ½ cup reserved pasta water and mix to combine. To the noodles, add the peanut sauce, half a head of shredded red cabbage, and one sliced cucumber. Toss well before serving.

Total time: 20 minutes

You can find even more of our favorite quick, kid-friendly dinner ideas—plus some KIWI readers have shared—on our blog, KiwiLog. What’s your healthy, go-to meal?

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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