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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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November 30th, 2011

Warm up with this hearty supper: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Split Peas

mgtaylor60by Marygrace Taylor—
Even though the calendar doesn’t say so yet, we’re all starting to feel that extra snappy chill that tells us winter has arrived. Even down here in Austin, evening temperatures have plunged into the 40’s and 50’s, and I’m left craving some serious comfort food. But nutritionally, mac and cheese every night just won’t cut it. So I came up with this veggie-packed shepherd’s pie that gets its protein boost from creamy split peas instead of the usual ground beef. It’s warm and satisfying—and a dish that kids are sure to love, since it’s topped with mashed potatoes. The next time your family wants something cozy and comforting for dinner, try this. And if you like this recipe, be sure to sign up for KIWI magazine’s seasonal cooking e-newsletter, KIWI Cooks—where you’ll get plenty more just like it!

shepherds-pie-kiwi

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Split Peas
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

This hearty casserole, which works equally well as a weeknight dinner or a holiday main dish. Kids will love the bright, sunny color of the yellow split peas, but green split peas work equally well.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the pie plate
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
½ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cooked yellow split peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
½ cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup 1 percent milk
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with olive oil. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Add the diced potatoes to the boiling water and cook until fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

3. While the potatoes cook, add the olive oil and the onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, until the carrots begin to soften and the mushrooms have cooked down. Add the split peas, garlic, and thyme and cook 2 minutes more, then add the vegetable broth. Allow the mixture to simmer while you make the mashed potatoes.

4. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot. Add the butter and use a fork or potato masher to mash the potatoes. Slowly pour in the milk while you continue to mash, using a little bit more or less to reach the consistency you like. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and add more seasoning if necessary.

5. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the pie plate (there should be some broth still left in the skillet; pour that on top). Smooth with a spatula, then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top.

6. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are just beginning to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6
Per serving: calories 312, fat 9 g, protein 9 g, carbohydrates 50 g, dietary fiber 9 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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September 30th, 2011

Flavors of Fall

mgtaylor60by Marygrace Taylor—

When I was a kid, fall meant apple picking. On a crisp, sunny weekend afternoon, my family (along with what seemed like every other family in a 20-mile radius) would pile into the car and drive out to Johnson’s Farm in Medford, New Jersey. As soon as the car was parked in the dirt lot, my siblings and I would run straight to the winding line of families waiting to hop on the next hay ride that went out to the apple orchard, leaving our parents behind to take care of buying the tickets. Once it was finally our turn, we’d ride the straw-filled truck to the rows of apple trees and fill our baskets with as many as we could carry. And when we got back to the farm, the best part of all awaited us: hot apple cider and fresh apple cider donuts.

To this day, it doesn’t totally feel like fall until I’ve gone apple picking. But I live in Austin now, and central Texas isn’t exactly known for its apple orchards (or autumn weather. The temperature still hasn’t dropped below 90 here!) So I took matters into my own hands and brought the flavors of fall into my kitchen with this yummy spiced applesauce, which KIWI published in our latest edition of KIWI Cooks, our sustainable cooking e-newsletter. It tastes just like apple pie filling—but is healthy enough to enjoy swirled into your family’s morning oatmeal, dolloped onto pancakes, or eaten on its own as an afternoon snack. Try it!

Spice-Kissed Applesauce

kiwi-sept-11-marygarce

The warm cinnamon and ginger in this kid-pleasing applesauce are enhanced by Ginger Gold apples, a green variety with a slightly spicy flavor. If Ginger Golds aren’t available, any variety of yellow or green apple, such as Golden Delicious, will work; their firm flesh and tart skin are ideal for cooking.

Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

• 3 pounds Ginger Gold apples, peeled, cored, and diced
• ½ cup water
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger
• Juice of ½ lemon
• Pinch salt

1. In a large stockpot, add the apples, water, sugar, spices, lemon, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil.

2. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples have completely softened.

3. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the apples into a sauce (mash less if you like your applesauce on the chunky side, mash more if you like your applesauce smoother). Serve warm, or transfer to a glass container and refrigerate for up to a week.

Serves 6

Per serving: calories 160, fat 0 g, protein 0 g, dietary fiber 6 g, carbohydrates 45 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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