Healthy Caesar Salad (52 New Foods, Week 16)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 26, 2012 1 Comment

Move over mayo! Jamie Oliver’s healthy Caesar salad is coming to dinner.

Last week I started on the journey of introducing Caesar salad to my kids, so I was thrilled when I came across Jamie Oliver’s healthy version of this classically delicious dish. Made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, this healthy Caesar salad dressing is a winner and a Crunch a Color™ family favorite in the making!

Feature Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Healthy Caesar Salad

Healthy Caesar Salad

Finding healthy alternatives to mayonnaise is difficult, so the advice from nutrition experts is often “enjoy it sparingly.” Many recipes suggest substituting yogurt in dishes featuring this creamy creation, but could the tantalizing tang of a deliciously homemade Caesar Salad dressing be achieved with any ingredient other than mayonnaise? I was skeptical, and thoroughly delighted when Jamie’s recipe for healthy Caesar salad turned out to be even better than I expected! I tweaked the recipe slightly to suit my family. Here’s how I made it:            `

Jamie Oliver's Healthy Caesar Salad

Ingredients:
1 bunch organic Romaine lettuce
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 anchovy filet
1/8 tsp table salt
½ loaf of herbed Italian bread

Directions:
For the dressing:
1) Place the garlic, anchovy, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and lemon juice in a food processor. Blend for 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the croutons:
1) Slice the bread into ¼” cubes.
2) Toss in the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.
3) Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned.

Pull it all together:
1) Wash and dry the romaine lettuce. Tear into bite size pieces.
2) Add the dressing and croutons and toss until fully coated.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Tasters all around!

What we liked: This healthy Caesar salad dressing is deliciously easy to make. I dialed down the garlic and anchovies to create a milder version of the dressing that would be easier on the palates of my burgeoning Caesar salad fans. Blending in the food processor ensures a consistent, creamy dressing, which is key for my kids. Like the last dressing I tried, I worked in a few appearances of the recipe over the course of the week, letting them try it with some familiar favorites like teriyaki chicken wings. Slowly, they are coming around. Remember, it can take up to 10 times of exposure to a new food before some children will like it, so don’t give up! If they don’t like it the first time, wait a few days, bring it to the table again and suggest, “Give it another try. Your taste buds may have grown!”

Do you have a favorite healthy homemade dressing? Share the details! 

Next up: May is the month for Mothers. To celebrate, we’ll be featuring a fun lineup of my favorite recipes. Be sure to tune in.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy, Italian chicken

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes 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 children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

 

 

 

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How to make Caesar Salad a New Food Favorite! (52 New Foods, Week 16)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 21, 2012 0 Comments

Spin up a healthy side! Teach your kids how to make a Caesar Salad your whole family will love and add this classic dish to their list of new food favorites.

How to Make Caesar Salad

Salad is the Mount Everest of new foods at our house. It remains a mystery to me what is so daunting about the notion of a bowl overflowing with beautiful green leafy ruffles drizzled in creamy, homemade dressing. It seems so simple and enjoyable, but it’s a trail my kids haven’t been willing to hike. How will we get over this mountain together?

Feature Recipe: Easy, Caesar Salad

As with any adventure (culinary or otherwise), it’s always more fun and interesting to put the kids in charge of the journey – it’s a surefire way to get them having fun making, sharing and trying new foods. Salad is no exception, so this week my kids and I had great fun learning how to make Caesar Salad.             `

How to Make Caesar Salad

Ingredients:
1 bunch organic Romaine lettuce
½ tsp minced garlic
½ cup organic mayonnaise
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp table salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
½ loaf of herbed Italian bread

Directions:
For the croutons:
1) Slice the bread into ¼” cubes.
2) Toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.
3) Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned.

For the dressing:
1) Place the garlic, mayonnaise, cheese, olive oil, salt and lemon in a food processor. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pull it all together:
1) Wash and dry the romaine lettuce. Tear into bite size pieces.
2) Add the dressing and croutons and toss until fully coated.

Dressing recipe inspired by Amy The Family Chef.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: I’ll try a “taster”

What we liked: This easy Caesar salad dressing is fun for the kids to make with no worrisome ingredients like raw eggs. At its first appearance on our table, my kids hesitantly tried a “taster”, but they weren’t sold. So I worked in a few other cameos over the next few days: as a dipping sauce for snacktime vegetables, as a spread on fresh, chewy herbed bread, and as a dip for their favorite chicken wings. Slowly but surely they are warming to the taste, so we’ll keep trying. It’s important to remember, it can take up to 10 times of exposure to a new food before some children will like it, so don’t give up if they’re not gobbling up the dressing on the first try.

Do you have a family favorite salad dressing? Share the details!

Next up: May is the month for Mothers. To celebrate, we’ll be featuring a fun lineup of my favorite recipes. Be sure to tune in.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy, Italian chicken

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes 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 children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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How to Make Italian Chicken the Easy Way! (52 New Foods, Week 15)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 16, 2012 2 Comments

Need an easy recipe for busy weeknights? Here’s how to make Italian chicken that's deliciously simple and tasty. Less than 15 minutes to fabulous!

There’s no doubt that Chicken Parmesan will please most crowds, including the crowd at my house. But it’s a bear to make on weeknights and a healthier version without the breadcrumbs and cheese would certainly be a welcome addition to our stable of recipes. Here’s how to make Italian chicken that’s so simple, easy, and tasty it is sure to become a regular on your weeknight menu!

Feature Recipe: Easy Italian Chicken from The Family Chef

how to make Italian chicken

My kids love roast chicken (and Chicken Parmesan, of course!) but tend to be hesitant to try chicken any other way. Same goes for lots of other foods. So at our house, I award bonus points for trying a food my kids already like, prepared in a new way. This keeps me out of the recipe rut and makes it fun for my kids to try familiar foods prepared in an unfamiliar way. When Amy The Family Chef showed me how to make Italian chicken, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. Not only is it a new twist on an old favorite, it is a simple recipe my kids can make in less time than it takes to order a pizza! 

How to Make Italian Chicken (the Easy Way!)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min

Ingredients:
1 lb organic boneless chicken breast
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup white wine
2 Tbsp butter

Directions:

1)    Wash and trim the chicken. Cut the breasts in half lengthwise to create thin slices. Dry completely.

2)    In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, thyme and salt.

3)    Sprinkle about ½ of the seasoning mixture onto the chicken (leave the remaining half for when you turn the chicken in the pan).

4)    Heat a pan to medium high heat. Once heated, add olive oil, then the chicken, seasoning side down. Do not move the chicken in the pan.

5)    Add the remaining seasoning mix to the chicken.

6)    Once the chicken is browned and turning white on the sides, flip and cook the other side. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is firm when you press it, and nicely browned.

7)    Remove the chicken and set aside.

8)    Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of white wine. Be sure to scrape up all of the tasty bits.

9)    Add mushrooms to the wine mixture; simmer lightly for about 3 minutes.

10)  Add butter to the sauce. Mix to melt completely.

Serve the chicken with a side of fettuccine and garden fresh broccoli. Drizzle the mushroom sauce over the chicken and pasta. Enjoy!

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Fast and fabulous!

What we liked: This delicious recipe can be made start to finish in less than 15 minutes. A weeknight winner! Pair it with my easy, homemade tomato sauce and a dash of Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a healthier (and easier) version of Chicken Parmesan. My favorite tip from Amy: “Put the chicken in the pan and step away from the stove! Let the pan do the work.” Brilliant! Gives me enough time to clean the dishes before serving up a fast and fabulous supper.

What is your favorite weeknight recipe? Dish it up!

Next up: Healthy Caesar Salad

Our Italian dinner party wouldn’t be complete without Caesar salad! Tune in next week when we toss up a fantastic recipe for Healthy Caesar Salad.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy, homemade tomato sauce.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes 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 children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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Easy, Homemade Tomato Sauce (52 New Foods, Week 14)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 09, 2012 4 Comments

That’s amore! No longer will plates be brimming over with boring buttered pasta. Enjoy a boost of color with this deliciously easy, homemade tomato sauce that will have your whole family singing the praises of simple Italian cooking.

My grandmother and her sisters were amazing cooks. Growing up in a traditional Italian family, as young women they learned the art of simple Italian cooking. Learning to cook and enjoying food was at the heart of the family experience. Each one had a specialty and worked it to perfection. I’ve never experienced anything quite like my grandmother’s homemade tomato sauce – but I guess it’s hard to replace what was a delicious, handcrafted weeknight staple at our house. You can imagine my shock and dismay when my daughter announced, “I don’t like tomato sauce!”

Feature Recipe: Grandma Yola’s Homemade Tomato Sauce

Buttered pasta and pizza without sauce just doesn’t cut it in my books! To get my daughter past her picky palate, I needed to bring her into the inner circle. Like my grandmother patiently taught me, it was time for me to teach my daughter the secrets of how to make a deliciously simple homemade tomato sauce. I certainly don’t have time on weeknights to whip up a homemade sauce. What I love about this recipe is that you can make it ahead, and enjoy the fruits of your labor in different dishes all week long. The sauce can be used for dressing homemade pizza, pasta, and chicken dishes – saving busy parents time and making weeknight dinners a breeze!

Grandma Yola’s Homemade Tomato Sauce

homemade tomato sauce

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: about 2 hours
Makes about 16 to 20 servings

Ingredients:

5 28oz cans, Italian packed tomatoes
1 28oz can, tomato juice
½ large white onion, finely chopped
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
3 slices extra fine prosciutto
1 slice pancetta, cut into ½ inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp marjoram
1 tsp sugar
A few handfuls of fresh basil and parsley
Salt and pepper to taste



Directions:

1)    Over a large mixing bowl, run the tomatoes through a food mill with the finest sieve attachment (no seeds allowed!).

2)    Add the tomato juice to the strained tomatoes. Set aside.

3)    In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.

4)    Fry the pancetta until crisp, then remove.

5)    Fry the prosciutto.

6)    Reduce heat, add the garlic, then the onions and shallots.

7)    Add the marjoram and sugar. Mix well.

8)    Add the tomato mixture to the pot. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Bring to a strong boil.

9)    Add a handful of parsley and a few twigs of basil.

10)  When the sauce reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

11)  Serve with whole-wheat pasta and top with a sprig of fresh basil.

Cooking tip: If you’re lucky enough to have fresh tomatoes from your garden, chop them into ½” dice and add a cup or two to the sauce during the last 20 minutes of simmering. This is a great way to add fresh, seasonal veggies to your delicious, homemade sauce.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Delicioso!

What we liked: Making homemade tomato sauce is a wonderful Sunday afternoon activity. Together, we gathered our fresh ingredients and spent the day sizzling, simmering and stirring up a delicious meal. Putting my daughter in charge of the dish, and letting her add a few of her special touches like parsley from her garden, was the key. She proudly served her carefully prepared meal at our family dinner, and was eager to give tomato sauce another chance. Arrivederci bland white pasta, ciao ciao colorful, authentic Italian homemade tomato sauce!

What is your favorite Italian dish? Share your comments!

Next up: Italian Chicken

Chicken Parmesan is the perfect partner at any Italian dinner, but I was looking for a healthier alternative. Next up: a simple Italian chicken recipe that is so tasty you won’t miss the cheese and breadcrumbs!

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Kale chips.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes 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 children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Road to Healthy Eating

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 05, 2012 0 Comments

The road to healthy eating is fun and easy when you know your way! Use this map to put your kids in the healthy eating drivers seat and let them make their own healthy choices. Enjoy the ride! For a free printable version of this map click here to download.

The Road to Healthy Eating

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A free printable too!

For a free printable of Crunch a Color's road to healthy eating, click here to download.

 

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