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.

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Easy Orange Granita Recipe (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 3)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on January 18, 2013 2 Comments
easy orange granita recipe


This easy orange granita recipe was a deliciously fun project for my kids and me! A simple twist on a favorite fruit: Satsuma Mandarin Oranges.


Like sparklers against a dark night sky, mandarin oranges at the local market add bright and cheerful pops of color to dreary winter days and herald the coming of Chinese New Year! Nature’s perfect “fast food”, mandarin oranges are regularly featured as lunch box treats, after school snacks and even dessert at this time of year for my family.

As we venture forward into another year of trying new foods, we wanted to prepare this favorite food in a new way. With a little inspiration from our blended family, a combination of Chinese and Italian roots, we decided to make a classic Italian dish with our simple Asian ingredient: Mandarin Orange Granita.

Easy Orange Granita Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 90 to 120 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Crunch a Color points: 5 orange

Ingredients:

orange granita recipe ingredients


8 Satsuma mandarin oranges

Note: you’ll also need an ice cube tray and a simple citrus press.

If you’re like us, you don’t have time to scrape, then freeze, scrape, then freeze, to create a granita. Instead, we made our orange granita the easy way, with our food processor. We tried the recipe two ways: one with Clementine and the other with Satsuma mandarin oranges. The Satsuma’s were far superior, both in color and taste, so we’d highly recommend hunting them down at your market for this granita recipe. It will be well worth your effort! 

Directions:

1. Slice the Satsuma mandarin oranges in half (cutting through the middle of the orange as opposed to top to bottom). Using a simple citrus press, squeeze the juice out of the oranges.

orange granita recipe step 1

orange granita recipe step 1b


2. Pour the juice into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. It can take up to two hours for the juice to freeze completely.

orange granita recipe step 2


3. Once frozen, remove the juice cubes from the tray and load into a food processor.

orange granita recipe step 3

orange granita recipe step 4


4. Pulse until the frozen juice looks like slush.

orange granita recipe step 5


5. Enjoy!

easy orange granita recipe


* What is your favorite granita recipe? Post your pictures and ideas on our Facebook page.

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Sesame Green Bean Salad.

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, 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.

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Sesame Green Bean Salad (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 2)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on January 09, 2013 0 Comments
sesame green bean salad


A simple sesame green bean salad adds a new twist to an old favorite and makes supper super fun!


Sesame seeds make your family-favorite dishes more fun and nutritious. My kids like to sprinkle them on vegetables, chicken and brown rice. Their subtle, nutty flavor is easy to enjoy and added an Asian twist to one of our weeknight regulars: green bean salad.

Sesame Green Been Salad

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

Ingredients:

sesame green bean salad


1 pound green beans, trimmed and washed
2 tsp rice vinegar
½ tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Steam the green beans in a basket over boiling water for about 10 minutes, until crisp-tender. Steam a little less if you prefer your green beans on the crunchy side. Steaming your vegetables is one of the best ways to help retain their nutrients.

sesame green bean salad step 1


2. Give the beans a bath in ice water, to bring back their color.

sesame green bean salad step 2


3. Toss gently with the rice vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

sesame green bean salad step 3


4. Enjoy!

sesame green bean salad


* Have you tried sesame green bean salad? What new food is on your list this week?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Pear sauce.

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, 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.

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Easy Asian Pear Sauce (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 1)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on January 07, 2013 2 Comments
asian pear sauce


Pear sauce made with crisp Asian pears and a hint of ginger is an easy and fun twist on homemade applesauce.

It’s 2013 and Crunch a Color’s 52 New Foods adventure is setting off on a tour around the world! Like the sun, we begin our journey in the East, sampling and savoring foods from Asia. What better way to get ready for the Lunar New Year than a stop at the fresh market in Chinatown!

asian pears picking


A visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown would not be complete without heading home with a bushel full of sweet, crunchy Asian pears. Their flavor and texture is like a cross between an apple and a pear, and they are delicious sliced into wedges as a snack. But on this brisk January afternoon, my kids were craving a warm treat, so we whipped up a batch of Asian pear sauce with a hint of ginger, and not a drop of refined sugar: an easy and fun twist on homemade applesauce.

Asian Pear Sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 to 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 cups
Crunch a Color points: 5 yellow

Ingredients:

asian pear sauce ingredients


2 pounds Asian pears
2 pounds Fuji apples
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1½ cups water

Directions:

1. Wash, peel, and core the Asian pears and apples. Chop the fruit into ¼” size pieces. This is a fun job for the kids to do!

asian pear sauce step 1

asian pear sauce step 1b


2. Load all of the ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the fruit is soft. The Asian pears will remain slightly crunchy compared to the apples.

asian pear sauce step 2


3. Let the kids mash the fruit mixture with a potato masher until you achieve the texture you prefer. We made our sauce with small chunks of pear remaining.

asian pear sauce step 3


4. Let cool, then enjoy with friends!

asian pear sauce share

asian pear sauce


This delicious Asian pear sauce is a wholesome treat and an easy way to try something new alongside yogurt, roast chicken, or simply on its own as a healthy snack.

* What is your favorite way to enjoy Asian pears?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Kumquat Jam

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, 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.

 

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One New Healthy Food a Week (52 New Foods)

Posted by Erin Nantell on January 04, 2013 0 Comments
pick one new healthy food a week


52 weeks, 52 new foods. This simple challenge planted the seeds of change at our family table. Pick a new healthy food to try each week and join the adventure!

Whether your kids are the picky eaters, or you are the culprit, it can be challenging to break out of the rut of serving the same three vegetables each week. But the key to eating healthy is to make colorful and diverse healthy food choices, which is why kids earn points for eating servings of colorful fruits and vegetables, and bonus points for trying new foods, when they play Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game.

Last January, as a way to earn more of those alluring bonus points, we took on one simple challenge, together as a family: 52 weeks, 52 new foods. The adventure inspired our family to welcome a cornucopia of new foods to our table and make healthy eating fun for our whole family.

Fifty-two weeks later, I am proud to say that we achieved our goal, but the journey was infinitely more important than the destination. Our 52 New Foods adventure challenged everyone in the family to try something new each week, it encouraged us to start a garden, it brought us together to cook and enjoy healthy food as a family, and it connected us with new friends and food lovers in our community. We learned about where our food comes from, the artisans who work tirelessly to grow it, and how the food choices we make impact our neighborhood and the bigger world around us. 52 New Foods planted the seeds of change at our family table.

We hope you’ll join us as we continue our 52 New Foods adventure in 2013. It's easy to get started! Here’s how:

Let your kids choose one new healthy food to try each week.

Head out to the farmers’ market together and encourage your kids to discover new, seasonal vegetables and fruits to try. Putting the kids in charge of the adventure is the key to making it fun.

Cook the recipes together as a family.

Tune into the Crunch a Color recipe blog each week for easy, healthy, family-friendly recipes. Set aside one night a week for “new food night” and enjoy cooking together as a family. Our recipes generally feature five ingredients or less, and are easy enough for a five year old to make!

Make it fun.

Whether you’re racking up points for trying new foods with Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game, or inviting giggles to your family table with Crunch a Color: Conversation Starters for Kids, make mealtime fun! Reward your healthy eating each week with an active family adventure, like a bike ride together to a new park or a trip to a local farm.

Record your favorite recipes.

Snap a photo, jot your recipes in a journal, or mark your healthy food of the week on your calendar. This is a great way to keep on track. At the end of the year, you’ll have a treasured family cookbook of new healthy foods to enjoy together.

What new, healthy foods will you try in 2013? Get your healthy food list started with these easy, family-friendly recipes:


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, 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.

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