Going entirely meat-free may be the choice of some, but at AllergyKids, we recognize that diet, like religion, is not a one-size-fits-all approach. So in an effort to inform and inspire (and for those who want to eat a little less meat), we recently introduced Meatless Mondays.
As consumers are learning, our meat is often injected with all kinds of growth hormones and antibiotics, fed livestock feed that has been laced with genetically modified organisms, insecticides and antibiotics (as recently highlighted in the New York Times), and often industrially grown and produced. That knowledge can lead to some pretty jaw-dropping reactions (think, Food Inc.).
And in our efforts to afford more fresh produce in our diets, what we have learned is that for those on a budget, opting out of meat once a week can help us to afford those fruits and veggies.
So this week, we turn to our friend, Kim O’Donnel, who authored The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, in search of a meatless recipe. And since we’re all about kids here, we thought we’d share her Dino Mash.
This pretty mash is completely dairy free yet manages to be creamy and full-flavored, with the help of starchy cooking water and a head of roasted garlic.
1 head garlic
Olive oil for slathering, plus 1/4 cup
2 pounds Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, or red-skinned potatoes (4 or 5 medium-size), scrubbed, trimmed, and peeled as necessary
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups kale, stemmed and chopped finely
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Trim the top of garlic and pull away the outermost skin. With your hands, lightly rub the garlic with oil and place in a small roasting dish. Cover with foil.
Roast the garlic until the cloves are fork tender (but not burned), about 50 minutes. Check for doneness at 40 minutes. (A kitchen timer is helpful.)
Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes: Quarter and place in a medium-size saucepan with 4 cups of water. The water should just barely cover the potatoes. This is important.
Add the salt. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium. Cook for 25 minutes, place the kale on top of the potatoes, replace the lid, and allow the kale to steam for 5 minutes. Test the potatoes with a fork for doneness. Remove from the heat.
Squeeze the garlic flesh from the cloves into a large mixing bowl. With tongs or a strainer, transfer the potatoes and kale to the mixing bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.
With a hand masher, mash the potatoes and kale, focusing on the potatoes at first, ensuring that they’re smooth, ladling in their cooking liquid as necessary (you’ll use some, but likely not all). Use a wooden spoon to combine all of the ingredients. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and black pepper, stir, then taste for salt, adding more as needed.
Makes 4 servings
For more meatless cooking ideas, please visit Kim’s site at www.kimodonnel.com
Written by Robyn O’Brien
I am a huge fan of a woman named Kris Carr. She has absolutely taken cancer to task. Not only did she conquer the disease, but she also dismantled a lot of the barriers that prevent us from accomplishing seemingly impossible goals. And she helps others to do the same.
Kris challenges convention, unbridles creativity and inspires others to create the changes that they want to see in their lives. And her work is absolutely heroic.
So when her blog recently suggested making brownies with black beans, I had to laugh at how crazy that sounded. Always a fan of black beans (I grew up in Texas) and always on the hunt for variations on sweet-treats for my kids, I couldn’t quite picture how to weave the two together, and I loved the challenge.
So I am going to give this one a try. And if you are interested in doing the same, as well as learning more about Kris, her New York Times best-selling books and her incredible take on life, visit Kris’ site for added inspiration at Crazy Sexy Life. And bookmark it.
Black Bean Brownies
Originally seen on Crazy Sexy Life by Meredith Terranova, RD
-15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
-1/3 cup honey, maple syrup or molasses
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
-1 tablespoon cinnamon
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 cup raw sugar (optional)
-1/4 cup instant oats (gluten free if preferred)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8- by 8-inch pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats. If too soft, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.
Pour batter into the pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.
Notes: Because there isn’t any flour these brownies come out pretty dense.
Rolled oats may be substituted for the instant oats. Put the rolled oats in the food processor.
Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe.
One of the kids came home from school yesterday with a handout from the “Garden to Table” program, a project designed to encourage children to learn how to grow their own food.
As my son handed the sheet over, he said, “Mom, this is the stuff that makes lettuce taste better.”
And as I looked down, there on the page was a recipe for salad dressing.
So as a tribute to all of the moms out there who have kids that are loathe to try anything new, especially veggies, I thought I’d highlight the recipe that my son brought home.
Disclosure: he is Chief Picky Officer (CPO), and this recipe has been CPO-approved.
Recipe for Strawberry Salad Dressing
Enlist the help of your kids
Turn on your favorite music
Grab the following:
- 1 Lemon – juiced
- 1 Orange – juiced
- 1 Tablespoon of honey
- 5 Strawberries chopped or pureed
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 10 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Chopped garlic and shallots are optional
Using a blender or a bowl and a whisk, combine all of the ingredients.
Enjoy over your favorite salad…with your kids and their friends, as the recipe serves twelve!
Written by Robyn O’Brien
King Cakes are a traditional Mardi Gras desert. The King Cake is sort of like a pack of cinnamon rolls that decided to hook up and form a cake. The royal colors of purple, green and gold used on King Cakes apparently are used
to honor three kings.
A Mardi Gras tradition, the king cake is served on Fat Tuesday as part of the feast, and a figurine of a baby or, alternatively, a dried bean is hidden within the cake. The person who receives this slice is, according to tradition, to have good luck throughout the coming year. One word of warning, don’t bake the plastic baby. It’s best to insert it into the bottom of the already baked King Cake.
Most King Cake recipes contain a lot of butter and eggs and artificial colors to decorate the top, but this version uses coconut milk and dairy-free soy alternative (look for one that is GMO-free), so everyone has a chance at good fortune (and good food!)!
This recipe does take several steps, so feel free to prepare the filling and “sprinkles” a day in advance to ease party preparations.
Makes one cake/Serves 10 to 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- For the Cake:
- 1 package dry active yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 T. maple syrup
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- 1 t. salt
- ¼ t. nutmeg
- 3 T. organic white granulated sugar
- 6 T. GMO-free soy margarine, cut into pieces
- 3 T. Egg Replacer Powder mixed with ¼ T. hot water
- ¼ cup coconut milk (not “lite” variety), plus more for brushing
- For the Filling:
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup dairy-free soy margarine, softened
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- ½ t. cinnamon
- For the Sprinkles:
- Unrefined Cane Sugar (about 1 ½ cups)
- Instead of using Yellow, Green and Purple Food Coloring, opt for decorating with Mardi Gras beads
- For the Icing:
- 1 ½ cup confectioners sugar
- ½ t. salt
- 3 T. warm water
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and maple syrup, mixing gently until the yeast dissolves and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and sugar. Add the soy margarine and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add this mixture to the yeast, along with the Egg Replacer mixture and coconut milk. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until a soft dough forms. Place in an oiled bowl, covered, for 1 hour, or until the dough is doubled in bulk.
3. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy margarine, chopped pecans and cinnamon until combined.
4. Get out the beads (and skip making sprinkles with artificial colors).
5. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or round pizza pan.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle about 1/8” thick. Using a floured bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Cut each of the strips into triangles, each about 3 inches at their base. (Think of a zipper or zigzag pattern when you cut, alternating the tops of triangles with the bases.) With the tips of the triangles pointed inward, place the triangles in a circle on the prepared sheet, overlapping one over the other and pressing the edges to seal. Place an even amount of the filling on the centers of the triangles, and place the baby or dried bean somewhere on the filling. Fold the outsides of the triangles over the filling, so that the reach just over the filling. Fold the tips over, pressing slightly to adhere the tips to the outside of the ring. Cover the ring lightly with a paper towel or clean dish towel, and let rise for 20 minutes more.
7. Brush the cake lightly with coconut milk or soy milk. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow cake to cool completely on a wire cooling rack, and then transfer the cake to a serving platter large enough to catch excess icing.
8. Prepare the Icing. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar and salt. Add the warm water and, stirring vigorously, stir until the mixture is a very thick glaze. Ladle the mixture over the cake in several additions, letting the icing run down the sides. While the icing is still slightly warm, layer the beads (rather than the prepared sprinkles) over the cake. Allow the icing to harden completely before serving.
We are always on the lookout for healthy snacks that deliver protein that helps balance blood sugar levels (and fuel the brains of little ones) and fiber to maintain healthy digestive tracks. And who isn’t looking for a bit of good luck in the New Year?
So when we came up with this recipe for roasted blackeyed peas, we got excited and decided to share it. You can eat these toasty creations by the handful or sprinkle them over a salad.
- Turn on your favorite music
- Drain one can of blackeyed peas
- Toss them with:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Teaspoon Kosher salt (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon cumin (optional)
Bake the blackeyed peas on a baking sheet at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, turning them halfway through.
Cool and serve!