Mango Salsa Recipes for Picky Eaters (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 13)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on April 10, 2013 2 Comments
mango salsa recipes


These simple mango salsa recipes make it easy and fun for picky eaters to try a new food (or two) lots of different ways – the key to getting past peas and pasta!


Fresh, organic mangoes gave the market a bright splash of color. Impossible to resist, we decided to make them our new food of the week. A fun way to start our Whole Foods Challenge!

As part of our 52 New Foods adventure, we’re heading to Whole Foods to scout out our new food each week this month. It’s how my kids plan to celebrate the launch of Crunch a Color at Whole Foods markets! We hope you’ll join us. Be sure to snap pictures of the new foods you are trying and share them with us on Facebook and Twitter. Bonus points if you spot Crunch a Color in store!

mango salsa recipes whole foods


Now back to those mangoes. You may be thinking, “It’s not hard to get kids to try mango!” This is true, but there’s a secret. Familiar foods like mango are your ticket to more challenging foods like onion and pepper. Here’s how:

Set the ingredients up assembly line style, and let your kids create a mango salsa tasting bar. Encourage them to build their own recipes, moving from just one or two ingredients (mango and lemon) to a full on salsa with all of the fixings including those tough to try foods like red onion, cilantro and pepper. Let them taste a bit of each version and figure out the right mix for them! They may decide that they don’t like the recipe with red onion, but it’ll get your kids having fun tasting a new food a few different ways, which is your goal! It’s one of the keys to getting past peas and pasta.

What we Liked: This little game worked wonders with my picky eaters! First, it got my daughter Catherine to finally try (and like!) cilantro. Surprise! The mango salsa recipe with onion and pepper was a little too strong for her palette, but I celebrated that she gave it a try (and we agreed to do it again). As for my son James, his reaction to the full on version of our mango salsa – mango, lemon, lime, strawberry, cilantro, red onion and pepper – can only be summarized one way. A picture is worth a thousand words!

mango salsa recipes for picky eaters


Mango Salsa Recipes for Picky Eaters

FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS RECIPE CLICK HERE.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Crunch a Color points: 5 Yellow / Orange, plus additional points for the other colors that you add.

Ingredients:

mango salsa recipes ingredients


2 mangoes
2 medium strawberries
2 slices of red pepper
2 slices, Meyer lemon
2 slices, lime
1 Tbsp red onion, chopped fine
1 handful, cilantro

Directions:

1. Prepare your ingredients. Mangoes and strawberries should be cut into ¼” cubes. Lemons and limes sliced into wedges. Peppers and onions chopped fine! Cilantro can be left as is.

mango salsa recipes step 1


2. Setup your ingredients assembly line style, starting with the simplest recipe on the left (mango, lemon, lime) and moving to the most challenging recipe on the right (red onion and pepper).

mango salsa recipes step 2


3. Prepare your mango salsa recipes, moving from left to right. The recipes build on each other. For example, the last recipe includes red onion and pepper, along with all of the ingredients that came in the earlier versions (lemon, lime, strawberry, cilantro).

mango salsa recipes step 3

mango salsa recipes step 3b


4. Give ‘em a taste! We tried our mango salsa recipes with a slice of whole wheat tortilla.

mango salsa recipes step 4


5. Vote for your favorite!

mango salsa recipes step 5


* How do you like to enjoy mango? Do you have a favorite mango salsa recipe? Share your ideas!  

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s new food: Eggplant Parmigana.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray's Yum-O!, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Crispy Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 8)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on February 24, 2013 13 Comments
crispy baked sweet potato fries


How to make sweet potato fries so crispy and tasty they’re worthy of a French bistro.


I have a weakness (well, maybe more than one). Frites. When we meet, I have a terrible time resisting their unhealthy whispers. I know better. I want to set a good example for my kids. I don’t want to like them. But I do. This relationship kind of reminds me of high school boyfriends.

In the final stretch of our 52 New Foods adventure in France, it would be impossible not to mention one of my favorite French bistro meals: steak and frites. Instead of avoiding it, I decided to give it a healthy makeover, starting with the frites. Not only are these fries tasty and easy to make, they are nutritious. According to Mark Bittman of The New York Times, their recent rise in popularity is due in no small part to their nutritional profile.

Most of the recipes I’ve tried in the past have resulted in soggy sticks, so I worked diligently until I figured out how to make sweet potato fries crispy like their unhealthy cousins. The trick? Cut the fries a little thinner, avoid layering them on the pan, and be sure to bake until the color turns to golden brown with dark edges and the skin is a little bit puffy. Serve them piping hot to avoid letting sogginess sink in. Trust me, that won’t be hard to do.

What we Liked: These crispy oven baked sweet potato fries are easy to make and feel like an indulgence. I never have to encourage my kids to try a bite of these healthy frites. More often, I sit at the table thinking, “I should have made a bigger batch!”

Crispy Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 to 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Crunch a Color points: 15 yellow / orange

Ingredients:

baked sweet potato fries ingredients


2 lbs sweet potato
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel and slice the sweet potato. Cut into ¼” to ½” wide sticks to ensure crispy frites! This is a fun and easy job for the kids to do. After peeling, have them cut through the middle of the sweet potato first, then set the flat side down to cut in half again before slicing into sticks.

how to make baked sweet potato fries step 1


2. Place the sweet potato fries on a lined bake sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt, then toss with your hands. This step helps to save on cleanup.

how to make baked sweet potato fries step 2


3. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve hot!

crispy baked sweet potato fries 2

how to make baked sweet potato fries


* How do you like to make sweet potato fries? What’s your trick for making them crispy? Do you have a favorite spice that you like to add to these healthy fries? Share your tips and tricks!


Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s new food: Apple galette.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray's Yum-O!, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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A Simple Bok Choy Recipe (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 4)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on January 26, 2013 4 Comments
bok choy recipe


Our simple, sizzling bok choy recipe with a hint of garlic and ginger makes a super side for a healthy supper.


Bok choy is one of my favorite Asian greens, but it took some time for my kids to warm up to this simple vegetable. Was it because they felt that it was their responsibility to be wary of anything leafy-green? Regardless, I was determined to turn the tables.

Last year I started to feature bok choy in clay pot rice – sweet and salty flavors mingling together with a few crispy bites of green was a taste my kids loved. But my goal this week was to get them to enjoy this friendly Asian cabbage in the same way that they love a side of broccoli – simple and green. The trick was lightly stir-frying the bok choy in freshly minced ginger and garlic, and adding a little touch of salty flavor with Braggs Liquid Amino Acids – it’s made with unfermented non-GMO soy beans and has a flavor similar to soy sauce. You can find it in most organic markets and health food stores.

As I started to write this post, I searched for more information about soy, and Braggs in particular, to uncover any new health concerns. I first turned to Marion Nestle for the scoop on soy in general, then reviewed an interview with Michael Pollan on NPR (way back in 2008) where the topic of using Braggs came up. In the end, I’d recommend making this simple bok choy recipe with non-GMO Tamari (like San-J Tamari) if you want a little salty flavor, but you can also just simmer up the bok choy with garlic and ginger and leave it at that. It’s up to you to decide.

A Simple Bok Choy Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 7 to 9 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Crunch a Color points: 10 green

Ingredients:

bok choy recipe ingredients


4 bunches of bok choy
3 slices of fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp non-GMO Tamari sauce
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
Sesame seeds for garnish

Directions:

1. Mince the ginger, then the garlic. My kids love using their big muscles to put the ginger and garlic through the press! Set aside.

bok choy recipe step 1


2. Chop off the ends of the bok choy and discard. Then chop the remaining leaves into 1-inch sections.

bok choy recipe step 2

bok choy recipe step 2b


My budding artist was fascinated with the pattern made by the chopped ends of the bok choy. Beautiful!

bok choy recipe step 2c


3. Give the bok choy a bath in a bowl of cool water. Swish the greens around gently, letting the dirt sink to the bottom of the bowl.

bok choy recipe step 3


4. Scoop out the bok choy from the bowl and into a sieve. The dirt will be left at the bottom of the bowl. Give the bok choy another quick rinse with water.

bok choy recipe step 4


5. Heat a wok over medium heat. Once the wok is hot, add the grapeseed oil, ginger and garlic. Simmer gently for about 2 minutes. Then add the bok choy and stir-fry for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the leaves are bright green with slightly brown edges. At the very end, add the Tamari and toss gently in the pan to coat evenly.

bok choy recipe step 5


6. Garnish with a few sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

bok choy recipe


* What is your favorite way to enjoy bok choy? Post your pictures and recipe ideas on our Facebook page.

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy Orange Granita.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray's Yum-O, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

Read More