After School Snacks

veggies after school

Yes, you read that title correctly:  It is the 16th of August and I’m writing about after school snacks.

Here in Pasadena, CA our school district has decided to start our school calendar so that it coincides with the absolute-most-unbearably-and-ridiculously hot time of the year, also called mid-August.

Apparently the justification for this has something to do with finishing the first trimester at winter break (which, OK, yes, makes sense) but people, if you’re so smart then tell me this: How are we supposed to go to the beach when school is in session?  Where are your priorities school board!?  Honestly!

But I digress.

I’m teaching three workshops to some super fun (haven’t met them all yet but I just know it’s true) mamas in the next couple of weeks.  I AM STOKED!  Love chatting/chillin’/coaching/supporting parents with their kitchen and table woes.

Here’s a freebie tip and you didn’t even have to pay me.  Isn’t this your lucky day?

A great time for veggies is right after school.  In our neck of the woods ’round this time of year it so dang hot that some cool, fresh snacks are soundin’ pretty tasty after a hard day of addition and capitalizing proper nouns.  Plus, if your kiddos are anything like mine, they are famished when that final bell rings and would eat a cardboard box if it was their only option.

Luckily, my kids do have an option, and it’s called “steamed broccoli, fresh carrots and tomatoes.”

That’s not what you’re hungry for child’o-mine?  Hmmm… get started on that mountain of veggies and then we’ll see what else I might have for you.

What’s that?  Your kids still won’t eat vegetables?  Your day just got luckier: I offer a workshop called “Come to the Table ” which is focused entirely on how to get the food you want into the people you love–without driving you crazy in the process.

If you want to watch your kids eat stuff like what’s in the photo above, let me know.  But that one ain’t a freebie.  😉

 

 

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Don’t Adjust That Dial

rainbow flower

Here we have a little something I termed “rainbow-flower” (as opposed to cauliflower) and broccoli.  My 5 year-old son accompanied me to the farmers market recently, and chose the purple and yellow cauliflower featured with our good friend, Mr. Green Broccoli.

I have seen purple cauliflower in grocery stores before, but not yellow.  It’s raw in this photo, but all these veggies retained their technicolor appeal after roasting as well.  I did my usual with a couple ‘a cloves of garlic, drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt.  Roast at a high heat (400-425) for about 25 mins.

My second grader, and resident politician, suggested we keep track of who preferred which one.  This endeavor evolved into a voting process and tally sheet which she diligently managed throughout the course of the meal.

I used to use this type of “see which one you prefer” type game to encourage sampling when my kids were little.  We don’t need a gimmick anymore, but it was still fun.

My girls acknowledged that with eyes closed, you couldn’t tell the difference between the yellow and purple cauliflower, but my stubborn little guy insisted (picture older sisters rolling their eyes, knowingly) that he could taste the different colors.  Let’s just say that it’s really not worth arguing with him (about this or much else these days…)

But anyway, what do I care?  The kid motored through his vegetables and enjoyed every bite!

Ahh… Kale. I’m Back, Baby!

refrig soup

Refrigerator Soup.  What the heck is “refrigerator soup?” you ask.  It’s whatever you have left in your refrigerator at the end of your shopping cycle which you then chop up and throw into a pot.  With broth.  And wine. 

As promised post-cookie-bar-hangover, today’s post includes kale.  Kale!  Purge my soul (and arteries) my good friend, dark leafy greens!

This is–hands down–my favorite kind of soup to make, in case you’re wondering.  I love to make refrigerator soup for three reasons:

1. It insures I don’t waste.  Anything that grows out of the ground and a few other items that I found in my fridge are in this here bowl.

2. It’s DE-lish and different every time I make it.  Fun!

3. It’s healthy.  But of course.

It’s hard to record a recipe for food items such as this, but I will share what I did yesterday, K?  If you’re a psycho-measurer or to-the-letter-instruction-manual-follower, you are likely to be annoyed very soon…

Ingredients (as I recall…) 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 onion, 2 cloves garlic, two kinds of cauliflower, broccoli, stems and leaves from both as well, carrots, celery, kale (KALE :)!), leftover brown rice, leftover chicken, chicken broth, 1/4 cup white wine, blob of “better than boulion,” salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: Chop up and simmer everything from the beginning of the list until you arrive at the rice.  Cook down until veggies get a bit softer.  Add everything else and bring to a boil.  Leave at a good bubbling place until veggies are cooked.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Tips: Quantity on the afore mentioned items…?  Yeah… Uh… How does “whatever you’ve got” sound?  Also, timing on this is also absolutely not key.  I didn’t pay a lick of attention to how long any of this took, I’m sorry to say… I was in domestic mode yesterday, cleaning my floors, folding laundry, dusting, etc, so I just popped by every 20 mins or so to take a gander at what was going on.  But hey, that’s me.

So, you know, with absolutely no details of any kind to follow, this recipe prolly won’t make it into my cookbook someday.  But man did we enjoy it last night.