Posts Tagged ‘naturally green’

Meatless with 101 Cookbooks

Monday, April 4th, 2011

One of my favorite natural food websites is the beautiful 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson. Her vegetarian recipes make use of a variety of whole grains — like barley and farro — and are generally simple and straightforward. Perfect for a busy weeknight.

Our St. Patrick’s Day dinner was a little unconventional — split pea soup and Irish soda bread — but easy and particularly enjoyed by the baby. When babies are in the puree phase, soups are a great way to make one meal for the whole family. I pureed all the soup, while Heidi suggests reserving some, pureeing the rest and then combining the two. That probably would have given it more of a soup-like consistency, while mine was a bit thicker. (And tofu-fearing husband notes that he would’ve preferred the soup with bacon…) I added a dollop of whole-milk yogurt to the baby’s helping.

soda bread and split pea soup

The soda bread was adapted from Jennie’s adaptation of Heidi’s recipe — collaboration at its best. I added raisins (1/2 cup). Yes, I know that’s not traditional, but the only bit of Irish I have is my name, so I’m not worried about offending any ancestors. The dense texture of soda bread is great for teething babies to gnaw on.

Find the recipes here:

(Heidi’s new book, Super Natural Every Day, is out soon and I can’t wait to pick it up.)

Eat Your Greens on St. Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The boy is having a St. Patrick’s Day party at Pre-K today, and of course everyone was asked to bring in something green. We were brainstorming ideas and the first thing that he came up with was peas. I have to say I was more than a little proud that he thought of naturally green things first, and vegetables at that — though it didn’t take long before he was asking for green cupcakes.

green veggies for st. patrick's day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s at home a little early with an “Irish” fondue party last weekend. I boiled potatoes, blanched broccoli and sliced raw green peppers. I was hoping that the cheese sauce would entice the boy to try the peppers, but no such luck. At any rate, if you’re struggling with green veggies in your house, sometimes a simple dip (hummus or homemade ranch) can make all the difference. And fondue — a warm, cheesy dip — is fun for the whole family.

Irish fondue

Recipe: Irish Fondue

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound Landaff or Caerphilly cheese*
  • 1/4 pound Gruyere
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Irish ale (like Harp)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 clove garlic

Serve with: vegetables, raw or blanched, boiled potatoes, sliced apples or pears, and cubes of bread.

Instructions: Set up your fondue pot. If you have the kind with a glass pot that sits inside a larger metal pot, add boiling water to the larger pot and light the flame to keep it warm. (If you have an electric fondue pot, you can cook the cheese right in the pot. I don’t, so I started it on the stove.)

Cut your garlic clove in half and rub down the inside of a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Pour 1 cup beer into pan and heat over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk flour into 2 tablespoons beer to make a smooth slurry.

When beer is warm, add shredded cheese, whisking until melted. Slowly whisk in flour/beer slurry, then let cook, stirring frequently, for a couple minutes, until thickened.  Pour into the fondue pot (the inner glass pot, in my case) and set over the flame to keep warm. You’ll want to stir the cheese periodically as you eat to keep it from hardening on the bottom.

*About the cheese: Landaff is a wonderful cheese made in New Hampshire that you may be able to find in Whole Foods. It’s an American version of the traditional Irish Caerphilly. If you can’t find either of those cheeses, try a mild cheddar (Dubliner of course is always good for St. Patrick’s Day).

Tips for Fondue with Kids:

  • Obviously this recipe does have alcohol — most cooks off while cooking. I haven’t tried this yet, but I suspect you may be able to make this recipe with sparkling apple cider if you prefer.
  • It may be easier to spoon some fondue into a small bowl for dipping — to avoid messes and burnt tongues!
  • Ask your kids for suggestions of what to dip — the boy asked for peanuts, so I added a small bowl of them to the spread. (And no, I don’t believe he actually dipped them, he’s just been on a peanut kick lately.)