Tips and Recipes

52 New Foods: Week 11, Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes March 21 2012, 6 Comments

Health up your hot cakes! Banana pancakes get a whole lot healthier with the addition of whole-wheat flour. Thanks to Jamie Oliver, they’re deliciously tasty too!

Brunch. Like Ramona Quimby, the sound of the word makes me smile. The perfect combination of half breakfast and half lunch, it’s my most favorite meal. Brunch brings together family, friends, delicious comfort foods, and great conversation. Banana pancakes are a must on my brunch menu, but could I make them healthier?   


52 New Foods: Week 10, Gluten-Free Fruit and Berry Crisp March 14 2012, 0 Comments

Gluten-Free Fruit and Berry CrispCan gluten-free be tasty? Oh yes! This delectable gluten-free fruit and berry crisp will have your kids licking the bowl and screaming for seconds!  

52 New Foods: Week 9, Wild Salmon with Quinoa March 07 2012, 2 Comments

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! This jewel of a recipe for quinoa with wild salmon is simple and delicious. A tasty treasure for busy families.  

quinoaWith St. Patrick’s Day on the sunny California horizon, our conversations have turned to leprechauns and lucky charms (the whole food kind!). My kids are fascinated by stories of finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Where does that rainbow end? It could be our kitchen table! Hailed as the “gold of the Incas”, quinoa has been treasured for generations as a power grain. If my kids will try it, this easy quinoa recipe may prove to be a treasured jewel in our weekly dinner lineup.

Feature Recipe: Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli and Quinoa from Family Fresh Cooking

Family Fresh Cooking's Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli and QuinoaEasy quinoa recipes are in abundant supply with the resurgence of this ancient South American grain. The trick is how to pick one that won’t result in a tasteless mountain of mush. Thanks to Marla Meridith, we’re in good hands! Cruising Marla’s site is a joyful adventure for your eyes and tummy. Her tasty recipes are beautifully presented and make it easy for amateur chefs (like me) to make designer dinners, effortlessly.

I used Marla’s recipe for Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli and Quinoa as my starting point. It’s a little early in the season to grill, so I opted to bake the salmon and it was equally tasty.


1 cup quinoa
16 ounces wild salmon
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
Garlic salt
Marla’s Basil Aioli


For the quinoa

1)   Rinse the quinoa in cold water.

2)   Place in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water (or broth). Bring to a boil.

3)   Reduce to a simmer, cover.

4)   Cook about 20 minutes.

*Tip: For more flavor, sauté the quinoa in a splash of olive oil until lightly toasted, then add to your saucepan.

For the salmon (modified for baking from Marla’s original recipe)

1)   Heat oven to 350°

2)   Wash the salmon and pat dry.

3)   Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic salt and pepper.

4)   Bake for 15-20 minutes in a lightly greased heatproof dish.

Divide the quinoa between four dishes. Place a piece of salmon over each bed of quinoa. Drizzle with basil aioli. Enjoy!

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Jackpot! 

What we liked: I used rainbow quinoa instead of black quinoa for our recipe, thinking it would be easier for my kids to try. They were hesitant at first, but I encouraged them to try this new kind of “mini pasta” as a way to earn their bonus points. Sautéing the quinoa in a splash of olive oil, and adding chicken broth instead of water, definitely helped create a more flavorful dish. Serve the basil aioli on the side so the kids can have fun drizzling!   

Do you have a favorite, easy quinoa recipe? Share your comments!

Next up: Gluten Free Fruit and Berry Crisp

Gluten Free Fruit and Berry CrispCan gluten free be tasty? According to Amy The Family Chef, the answer is yes! Next week we’ll take her Gluten Free Fruit and Berry Crisp for a test drive. Loaded with peaches and blueberries and topped with a tasty cinnamon oat crunch, it may be tough to wait for dessert!


Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Cinnamon Beef Noodle Soup.

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 Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

52 New Foods: Week 8, Cinnamon Beef Noodle Soup February 27 2012, 1 Comment

slow cooker cinnamon beef noodle soupAn easy, weeknight-worthy twist on the winner of the 2011 Taipei International Beef Noodle Soup Festival: Slow Cooker Cinnamon Beef Noodle Soup.  

52 New Foods: Week 7, One-Pot Asian Chicken with Bok Choy February 20 2012, 1 Comment

One and you’re done! This tasty, easy one-pot Asian chicken recipe is a favorite anytime dish for my family. Healthy eating made easy.

Healthy Eating: Week 6, Curry (#52NewFoods) February 13 2012, 5 Comments

Slow Cooker Curry The Family DinnerWinter days call for cozy meals. Load up the healthy ingredients, relax and get ready to enjoy a wholesome, easy dinner that will have your whole family eating healthy -- Slow Cooker Curry from The Family Dinner.

Healthy Eating: Week 5, Sunbutter (#52NewFoods) February 06 2012, 3 Comments

No Peanut ButterNo bake, nut-free cookies that kids can cook! Paired with a sweet touch of honey and wholesome oats, these protein power bites are the new lunchbox regulars at our house.

Healthy Eating: Week 4, Spinach (#52NewFoods) January 29 2012, 0 Comments

spinachPlanted firmly toe to toe, it was a piercing stare down contest of epic proportions. Two unrelenting, iron wills: Spinach vs. my picky eater. What’s a mom to do?

Healthy Eating: Week 3, Mandarin Oranges (#52NewFoods) January 23 2012, 2 Comments

healthy eating mandarin orangesGung Hay Fat Choy! Many mouth-watering foods are part of the Chinese New Year celebration, but Mandarin Oranges always top our list of favorites. Ambassadors of prosperity and good luck, Mandarin Oranges are the perfect food to ring in a New Year filled with healthy eating adventures!

Healthy Eating: Week 2, Brussels Sprouts (#52newfoods) January 16 2012, 1 Comment

cooking brussels sproutsSizzle, sizzle, pop! A comforting aroma filled our kitchen as we fried the pancetta for our new food of the week: Brussels Sprouts. If I plan to advocate for my kids to try new foods, I figured I had better set a good example by trying something new myself!