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Need to eat more fruits and vegetables? If so, have some Cabbage and Apple Salad

Cabbage and Apple Salad - finishedEveryone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables, not just kids, but adults also.  According to the CDC, in the U.S., only 32% of adults eat 2 or more servings of fruit a day and only 26% of adults eat 3 or more servings of vegetables.  

The rates where we live, Oklahoma, are even worse, just 18% for fruit and 23% for veggies.  I wonder why we are so bad at eating fruit around here?  I have NO PROBLEM getting my girls to eat fruit, as that is our go-to snack of choice, but with veggies I have to be a bit more creative.

So, this simple recipe gives you both a vegetable and a fruit in one dish.  I gave you a choice on the dried fruit and the nuts.  I used dried cranberries and walnuts for mine.  I recommend dijon mustard and red wine vinegar, but don’t fret if you don’t have those on-hand; just use regular yellow mustard and apple cider vinegar instead.

This salad is crunchy and just a bit sweet.  I will be serving it tonight with some grilled chicken, but it should go with just about any protein of your choice.

Cabbage and Apple SaladCabbage and Apple Salad - in process

  • 3 cups shredded cabbage (you can usethe pre-cut bagged coleslaw mix for this)
  • 3 apples, seeded and chopped, any color
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup nuts, sliced almonds or chopped walnuts or chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard or yellow mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh minced onion (not dried)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Mix all ingredients together, store in fridge. Serve chilled.

– Stacey

Fruity Terrine – an updated gelatin salad

Most folks wouldn’t admit to liking a gelatin salad.  And considering some of the weird combinations that people have come up with, especially during the 1950’s and 1960’s, I don’t blame them.  The recipes always seem to start with some bright artificially colored gelatin and then add things like vegetables, canned fruit cocktail, cooked seafood, mini-marshmallows, or cottage cheese.  The results looked something like this:

Weird Jello Salads

But, a gelatin salad doesn’t have to be yucky; it can be yummy.  You just have to use juice to flavor the plain gelatin and be very selective with the add-ins.

This recipe is really just a souped up version of the Juicy Gelatin Jigglers recipe that I posted awhile back.  I was inspired by the Citrus Berry Terrine that Dorie Greenspan has in her “French Fridays with Dorie” cookbook and that had been the featured recipe for the “French Fridays with Dorie” group where lots of folks make and photograph the same recipe from the book with their own variations.

Fruity Terrine – an updated gelatin salad
Serves 4-8 depending on your appetite

  • 2.5 cups of orange juice (I used refrigerated not-from-concentrate, but freshly squeezed is always better)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin, each envelope holds about 1 Tbls gelatin
  • 2 cups fresh fruit of your choice (strawberries, orange segments, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.)
  1. Place 1.5 cups of juice in a microwavable 2-cup measuring cup. Microwave juice for 60-75 seconds.
  2. Pour hot juice into a 5-cup container (I used a Rubbermaid plastic container with a lid). Stir in honey.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin powder on to hot juice and use a fork or small whisk to mix it in until it dissolves and there are no clumps.
  4. Pour in the other 1 cup of juice and mix well. Put the lid on your container and refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes while you prepare your fresh fruit.
  5. When the gelatin had slightly thickened but is not set, stir in the fruit.  Continue to refrigerate for 4+ hours.  Unmold and serve with additional fresh fruit as a garnish.  I unmolded mine by setting the mold in the sink filled about halfway up the mold with hot water for a few seconds.

I made this as a part of our Christmas meal to add something “fancy” that contained fresh fruit.  I used just strawberries and clementine orange segments.  The kids liked it so much they wanted me to make it again. So, I made it again for New Year’s Eve dinner with different fruit, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  I have since made it yet again with just blackberries and raspberries.  They really like it.

– Stacey

Two notes:

  1. Gelatin is made from animal parts, so it is not vegetarian or vegan.  If you want to make a veggie version of this recipe, I have been told that you can substitute agar-agar for the gelatin.
  2. If you want to use pineapple or pineapple juice in this recipe, you can’t use fresh of either and have it work.  Fresh pineapple has an enzyme in it called bromelain that will prevent the gelatin from jelling.  Apparently, papaya and kiwi also contain similar enzymes.  But don’t fret, canned pineapple and pineapple juice don’t contain bromelain. The canning process heats the pineapple to a temperature sufficient to break the enzyme down, making it gelatin friendly.
Fruity Terrine - Christmas

Fruity Terrine - Christmas

 Fruity Terrine - New Year

 

 

 

 

Radish and Quinoa Salad

Radish and Quinoa Salad

The other day as often is the case, Leah wanted me to buy a bunch of radishes.  She will eat them as-is, but she is the only one of the girls that will, so I often end up throwing away radishes.  

I went looking for a salad that would make the radishes appealing to the whole family.  I found a Tomato-Mint Quinoa Salad recipe on allrecipes.com and made a few variations on that.

The first few times I tried making quinoa I made the mistake of not washing it well in warm water.  This meant that it still contained some of the bitter-tasting saponins.  While most quinoa sold commercially in North America has been processed to remove this coating, I think that some of it must still remain based on my previous bad quinoa experiences. 

To clean the quinoa, rinse it in ample running water for several minutes in a fine strainer. Removal of the saponin not only helps the taste, but also with quinoa’s digestion.  If can’t find or don’t want to use quinoa, then I am guessing you could substitute cooked rice, couscous, or orzo pasta in this recipe. 

I will probably reduce the amount of quinoa next time I make this so that it doesn’t dominate the veggies. Do use the sesame oil as that flavor really makes the salad.

Radish and Quinoa Salad

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups quinoa (mine was the tri-color kind)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 20 grape tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 10 radishes, quartered
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chopped dried mint
  • 2  Tbsp chopped dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • sea salt  and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1.  Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Pour in quinoa, raisins, and a pinch of salt. Cover, and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, then remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature. 
  2. You will know the quinoa is cooked because it will have sprouted little white tails.  This little tail is the germ  and when the quinoa is ready the cooked germ separates from the seed and looks like a tiny curl.
  3. Toss together the tomatoes, onion, radish, cucumber, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled quinoa, then season with mint, parsley, cumin, lime juice, orange juice, sesame oil, and salt/pepper.
  4. Chill 1 to 2 hours before serving.

– Stacey

Taco Salad… in the slow-cooker?

Girl with Taco SaladThis was dinner on Wednesday night and everyone enjoyed it.   Obviously, you don’t have to make taco meat in the slow cooker, but I had been making chili in it recently and I wondered if the extra cooking time would improve the flavor.

I always add both tomatoes and beans to my taco meat to make it more nutritious.  Do notice that the tomatoes are obviously in there and not hidden veggies.  Unlike some children’s cookbook authors, I think it is important that kids know they are eating veggies in order to develop a taste for them and a habit of choosing to eat them.

I had gotten a LOT of Westbrae organic beans and Muir Glen diced fire-roasted tomatoes during the sale our local Natural Grocers had in October.  If you can’t find the fire-roasted tomatoes, then substitute regular canned diced tomatoes but add a little smoked paprika for that smoky flavor.‎

Slow Cooker Taco Salads
Serves 6-8, depending on appetite

  • 20-oz. ground lean turkey (or ground beef)
  • 25-oz. can organic pinto beans (or kidney or black beans, if you prefer)
  • 28-oz. can Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Taco seasoning of your choice (I used a mix from Native Roots, a local natural foods store,
    but here is an option from $5 dinners for making your own)
  • sea salt, to taste (our taco seasoning was salt-free, yours may not be)
  • Organic corn chips (we used some from Xochitl)
  • 2-3 cups organic leaf lettuce or raw spinach, shredded
  • 1-2 raw tomatoes, chopped
  • shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt (a great substitute for sour cream)
  • Tabasco sauce (served at the table to spice things up a bit more for the adults)
  1. In the morning, put the ground turkey, beans, canned tomatoes, taco seasoning and optional sea salt in your slow cooker (AKA crock pot). Cook on low for at least 4-6 hours.
  2. When you get home in the afternoon or evening , chop up the lettuce or spinach and the tomatoes.
  3. Serve everything at the table and let everyone plate their own taco salad… chips, lettuce, taco meat, shredded cheese, yogurt, and fresh tomatoes.

We also mashed up an avocado with a bit of lime juice and some tabasco, salt, pepper, and garlic as a speedy guacamole.

– Stacey

Taco Salad

My Favorite Salad Dressings and Veggie Dips

One way to get kids to eat more veggies is to serve them with dressings and dips.  But, look at a bottle of the stuff at the grocery store and it is usually a long list of chemicals.  So, you need easy and fast kid-friendly recipes for dressing and dips and here are a few of mine.  I already posted my ranch dressing recipe, but I am giving it here again for simplicity along with ones for vinaigrette, caesar, and poppyseed.

If you have some vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey on hand, you can always whip up the vinaigrette in moments.  If the taste is too intense for your kids, use a less flavorful vinegar than balsamic and up the ratio of oil to vinegar.

The recipes below use storebought mayonnaise.  But, if you do want to make your mayo from scratch, here is a recipe for whole-egg mayo.  Just be sure to buy the highest quality of preferrably local pastured eggs.  You are running a slight risk if you choose to eat raw eggs as you do in homemade mayo.


Ranch Dressing
(based on this one from allrecipes.com)
Yields 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  Shake before serving.

Note: If you don’t keep buttermilk around regularly, you can make a substitute by taking 1 cup whole milk and adding 1 Tbsp of while vinegar or lemon juice.  Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes and use as you would buttermilk.


Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Yields about 1/2 cup

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or more, if needed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk vinegar, mustard, and honey together.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until it’s incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Shake before serving.


Caesar Dressing
(from Smitten Kitchen)
Yields about 1/2 cup

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp of the jarred stuff)
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, plus a little more if you like
  • 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, finely chopped (optional, I never use this)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional, you can just add it to the salad directly)

Whisk all except olive oil and cheese together.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until it’s incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper. Add parmesan cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  Dressing can be made 1 day ahead.

Note: Since you use prepared mayonnaise for this instead of the traditional raw egg, you don’t have to worry about serving raw egg to kids.  If you are a traditonalist, you can use one raw egg in place of the mayonnaise.


Poppy Seed Dressing
(from “The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook” by Paula Deen)
Yields 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp Paula’s house seasoning (or 2/3 tsp salt, 1/6 tsp black pepper, 1/6 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender.  Process on low, gradually adding oil.  Chill; shake or stir before serving.  Note: Her directions call for a blender, but if you whisk vigorously, you can make it in a bowl as well.

This is great sweet dressing to serve with fruit such as strawberries or on a green salad that features fruit.

– Stacey

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