Red, White & Blueberry Pizzas {#FoodieTotsWorldCup}

While strawberry season is sadly winding down, there were plenty of new berries at the farmers market this weekend — namely blueberries, raspberries and both sour and sweet cherries. As we get ready to cheer on the US in the World Cup, these red, white and blueberry sweet pizzas are a perfect project for the kids in the kitchen.

red white and blueberry pizzas | foodietots.com
Recipe: Red, White & Blueberry Pizzas
Makes 4

Ingredients:
4 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
cinnamon-sugar

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Place 2 tortillas on each of 2 baking sheets. Brush to coat with olive oil.
2. Spread ricotta over each tortilla and arrange berries on top. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar.
3. Bake about 10 minutes, until berries begin to burst and ooze juices. Let cool and slice into wedges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Stay tuned — our goal is to cook one dish from each country Team USA plays. And of course the host country, Brazil! Care to join us? Post a picture of your global dish on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #FoodieTotsWorldCup.

In the Kitchen at Cava Grill

We recently went into the kitchen at one of our favorite local eateries to learn how to make falafel. The foodie tot and I frequently lunch at Cava Grill on her days off from preschool. When I was explaining to her recently that both hummus and falafel start out from the same ingredient, chick peas, it seemed like a cooking lesson was in order. Fortunately, the kind folks at Cava Grill welcomed us into the kitchen to learn their secrets.

foodietot loves cava

Cava Grill makes their falafel and most other ingredients fresh in house each day. They work with a number of local farms to source their ingredients, including naturally-raised lamb, beef and chicken, and are working to ensure every item is GMO-free by the end of the year. Later this year, they’ll transition to baking pita in-house as well. Cava’s hummus and spreads are made in a central commissary and delivered to the restaurants three times a week; you can also find them at local Whole Foods, MOMs Organic Market and other natural grocers to enjoy at home.

But back to the falafel. It turns out their recipe is the result of a miscommunication when they started testing recipes. A cook didn’t mash the chick peas first and when the falafel were mixed, whole beans remained in the balls. This happy accident results in falafel that isn’t as dense as many others, and tastes fresh and flavorful.

fresh-made falafel at cava | foodietots.com

The foodie tot was eager to get into the kitchen and mix things up. There’s just seven ingredients: chick peas, salt, cumin, parsley, cilantro, onion and flour. The Mosaic District location, where we were cooking, goes through 100 pounds of chick peas each day — just making falafel!

Take a look at the video to see the foodie tot — and Cava’s director of operations, Rob Gresham — in action.

FoodieTot Loves Cava from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

While I couldn’t entice her to write this blog post herself, the foodie tot did consent to a post-visit interview.

Q.  What did you enjoy about making falafel?

A.  Putting everything in!

Q.  Were there any surprises in the kitchen?

A.  How big the cans of beans were. (6 pounds each!)

Q.  What’s your favorite thing to eat at Cava?

A.  Fawaffle! (i.e., falafel ;) )

In addition the the tasty falafel, we love Cava for its healthy and customizable kids meal. The meal comes with a mini pita, choice of brown or white rice, choice of proteins, carrot sticks and hummus. The girl gets her falafel, while the foodie boy prefers the lamb meatballs. Kids can choose fresh toppings too — the foodie tot gets either the cucumber or cucumber-tomato salad and kalamata olives. I love the “super greens” salad blend, myself, which includes kale and brussels sprouts; I get it fully loaded with toppings and usually go for the spicy harissa or sriracha greek yogurt dressing. Perfection. Drink-wise, kids can get organic milk or choose the freshly-made juice. It’s strawberry season right now, which means strawberry mint lime juice is our beverage of choice.

cava grill healthy kids meal | foodietots.com

Just look at that colorful, fresh, veggie-loaded meal!

A casual spin-off of the original Cava Mezze restaurants, there are currently 5 Cava Grill locations in the metro DC area, with five more on the way within the next year. The newest location, Chinatown, will open early this fall. Visit their website to find the location nearest you. They have a fun Tumblr, too.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored review, but we did receive a free lunch. As always, all opinions are our own, and we really, really love Cava! Many thanks to Nikki, Liz and Rob at Cava Grill for welcoming us into the restaurant.

Scenes from Mosaic Central Farm Market

May, as you locals know, brings opening day to the rest of the DC region’s seasonal farmers markets. Brand new this year is the Mosaic Central Farm Market in Merrifield’s Mosaic District. If you follow us on Instagram (@foodietots), you know the Mosaic District is one of our family’s new favorite hang-outs. From fast, healthy lunch options at Cava Grill, Sweetgreen and Chipotle to Friday night outdoor movies on the big screen — last weekend I enjoyed a date night with the foodie boy to watch E.T. — it’s not hard for us to find an excuse to stop by. You’ll likely catch us there on sunny weekends, in particular, when the kids can be found splashing in the water fountains while mom and dad enjoy iced coffee from Dolcezza. (And yes, there’s also a big Target there for those less glamorous essentials and MOM’s Organic Market for our organic pantry staples. And an Angelika Theatre, where we escape for date nights without the kids.)

Mosaic Central Farm Market from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

Central Farm Markets, which currently operate locations in Bethesda and Rockville, is now operating a Sunday market along District Avenue each week from 9am to 2pm. The first week was bustling, and I was pleased to recognize a few favorites from other markets, like Toigo Orchards, Twin Springs Fruit Farm and Westmoreland Berry Farm (they’ve got asparagus & strawberries) and two new-to-me, certified organic farms, Bending Bridge Farm and The Farm at Our House. All-natural meat vendors include Cibola Farms and Springfield Farm. One of our favorite pickle stops, Number 1 Sons, is there too.

Mosaic Central Farm Market -- Opening Day -- FoodieTots

There are prepared foods, too — I brought home asparagus ravioli from Ovvio Osteria — and Nicecream, the made-to-order ice cream sensation that launched last year. Rumor has is it their new shop is now open in Clarendon, too. We enjoyed the strawberry ice cream at market and look forward to sampling many more flavors as the weather heats up.

Nicecream at Mosaic Central Farm Market | FoodieTots.com

Did you hit the market this weekend? We finally scored some strawberries! All our cold and rainy weather has put a damper on strawberry season, but local pick-your-own farms are opening very soon. Asparagus season lasts for a few more weeks, so stock up while you can.

MeatlessMonday: Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado Crema

Mix up your Taco Night routine with these smoky, mildly-spicy Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado Crema….

Roasted Cauliflower Tacos #MeatlessMonday recipe | FoodieTots.com

Years and years ago, almost too many to count ;) , the husband, some friends and I had this great idea to head to the local Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day. Which fell on a Saturday that year. Upon discovering that the pub had a line down the block, we quickly changed course and enjoyed some festive Mexican food next door. And thus was born our tradition of Mexican food on St. Patrick’s Day and Irish food on Cinco de Mayo — perfect to avoid the crowds on each holiday. Now, with kids in tow, we tend to do our Cinco de Mayo celebrating at home anyway. And since this year, it falls on a Monday, these meatless roasted cauliflower tacos will be perfect. You can even make these again next St. Patrick’s Day and cover your something-green bases with the avocado crema. Which, by the way, is so good you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful. Fortunately this recipe makes more than you’ll need for the tacos, so you can have the crema, say, for breakfast the next day.

And if you’re not in the mood for tacos, this roasted cauliflower is our new favorite side dish –perfect along side chicken or fish. I’ve also mixed it into a quinoa salad for another meatless meal.

Roasted Cumin Cauliflower Recipe | FoodieTots.com

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado Crema

Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients:

For the crema

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 cup organic sour cream
  • sea salt
  • lime juice

For the tacos

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + additional for tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pickled red onions
  • shredded lettuce, optional
  • cilantro, optional

Instructions:

1. Make the crema: Place avocado flesh and sour cream in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Add pinch of sea salt and squeeze of a lime wedge, and pulse a few more times. Place in a serving dish, cover and chill until ready to use.

2. For the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut away leaves and stalk and cut cauliflower florets into large chunks. Place in a large bowl.

3. In a separate small bowl, stir together cumin, chili powder, paprika and salt. Drizzle olive oil over cauliflower, then sprinkle with spice mixture and toss to coat the cauliflower.

4. Pour cauliflower onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

5. To assemble tacos: Pour olive oil to coat bottom of a small frying pan and heat over medium. Place tortillas in pan, one a time, and warm them for about a minute on each side. Keep warm on a plate in the oven while frying remaining tortillas. Place avocado crema, pickled onions and a spoonful of cauliflower on each tortilla, folding to form a taco. Garnish with lettuce and/or cilantro if desired.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  And please share — what’s your favorite vegetarian taco filling?

Mango Chia Pudding {and Whole Foods #Giveaway!}

Move over March Madness, it’s Mango Madness right now at Whole Foods Market — aka #MuchosMangos — and they asked us to cook something up to celebrate.

Ataulfo mangos | foodietots.com

I asked the foodie tots what they wanted to make first, and the boy suggested smoothies. But when we blended it up with chia seeds — for an extra boost of fiber — it was so thick we decided to call it dessert. Of course, it’s really just yogurt and fruit so it’s equally suitable for breakfast, but I know I can always use another healthy fruit-based dessert in my repertoire. I’m also thinking these would be great frozen in push-pops this summer!

Mango Chia Puddings by FoodieTots

The Ataulfo mango, on sale right now at Whole Foods Markets, is a sweet, creamy mango perfect for a quick snack, or to use in a salad or salsa. Mango salsa is definitely in order for our next taco night, and I know my kids would love this Mango Miso Tofu Salad.

Back to this pudding. I used plain greek-style yogurt, two mangos, a little honey to sweeten it, and scoop of chia seeds. Most recipes for chia pudding use the chia seeds as the thickener, so they use a lot more. Because the mango and yogurt mixture is pretty thick already, you don’t need to use as many seeds, which is great if you’re just introducing chia seeds to your kids. Also, the seeds soften while the pudding sits, so do let it chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or more before eating.

mango yogurt and chia seeds | foodietots.com

Recipe: Mango Chia Pudding

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ataulfo mangos, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup organic Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into glass ramekins or serving bowls and chill until ready to serve.

Note: If making these for children under 1 year, omit the honey.

FoodieTots Tip: Mangos are great for knife skills practice for little ones. The foodie tot helped peel these mangos (using a veggie peeler), and then carefully sliced them.

practicing knife skills

Ever wonder how to tell when a mango is ripe? Here are helpful tips from Whole Foods Market….

How to select and store mangos:

  • Give it a (gentle!) squeeze. A ripe mango will have a slight give, much like a peach or an avocado.
  • Don’t judge a mango by its color! Fully ripe mangos may have red, golden yellow or green skin.
  • Check the cheeks and shoulders. The sides of a mango are called “cheeks.” A mature mango should have full cheeks and “shoulders” that rise above the beginning of the stem.
  • Ripen at room temperature. If you need to speed the ripening process, place the mango in a paper bag.
  • Move ripe fruit to the fridge, which can help slow down ripening, if needed.

GIVEAWAY: Whole Foods Market is generously providing a $75 gift card to one lucky reader! Tell us your favorite use for mangos below, and follow the widget prompts for additional ways to enter. Contest closes at 11:59pm EDT next Friday, April 18.

kid-friendly mango chia pudding | foodietots.com

Disclosure: This post and giveaway is sponsored by Whole Foods Market. All opinions, as always, are our own.

* shared with BeckyCharms & Co. WOW It’s Wednesday link-up. *