Summer Time, Summer Rolls

And the heat goes on...

Ahhh, summer in NYC. Sticky, humid, kinda smelly, perfect for ice cream, popsicles, chilled soups, and summer rolls! These are especially wonderful for the days when turning on the oven or stove make you want to jump in the Hudson (JK). I love to fill them with fresh and colorful produce from my CSA (community supported agriculture) and the kids love to pack each one with the different veggies and herbs. Kids love to dip, and the real star of the show is the dipping sauce. Which can alternatively be made nut free. I have experimented with a few ways to "wet" the rice paper wrapper. For me, I find that laying two wrappers on a plate and brushing them with very hot water using a pastry brush works the best. Making sure the wrapper is completely wet but not exses water remains on the palte

Prep: 20 mins Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: 12 rice paper wrappers 1 large haas avocado, sliced into strips 3 cups shredded carrot 3 cups shredded red cabbage 3 cups cucumber, julienned 1 head of butter leaf lettuce, one leaf per roll 1/2 cup basil leaves 1/2 cup mint leaves Peanut Dipping Sauce: 1/3 cup  natural, creamy peanut butter* 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium, wheat free, soy sauce 2 tablespoons lime 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 teaspoon grated ginger 1/2 cup of green onions, diced for garnish 6 tablespoons hot water, to thin Directions: Blend the ingredients together for the dipping sauce and reserve. Place the rice paper wrappers on a plate and make sure they are completely wet using a pastry brush and hot water. I use two because one always breaks!  Begin by place the filling on the edge closest to you, I like to start with the leafy greens and work my way to the carrots and last the avocado. It is important not to fill the roll to much or it will burst at the seems. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, hold the fold in place, tuck in the sides and roll tightly.  Continue rolling with the remainder of the rice paper, I like to change the filling and herbs, and the kiddos like to experiment with different combinations!  Serve with dipping sauce! *To make sauce nut free, replace peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds.   


Prep: 20 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:

12 rice paper wrappers
1 large haas avocado, sliced into strips
3 cups shredded carrot
3 cups shredded red cabbage
3 cups cucumber, julienned
1 head of butter leaf lettuce, one leaf per roll
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves

Peanut Dipping Sauce:

1/3 cup  natural, creamy peanut butter*
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium, wheat free, soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 cup of green onions, diced for garnish
6 tablespoons hot water, to thin


Directions:
Blend the ingredients together for the dipping sauce and reserve.
Place the rice paper wrappers on a plate and make sure they are completely wet using a pastry brush and hot water. I use two because one always breaks! 
Begin by place the filling on the edge closest to you, I like to start with the leafy greens and work my way to the carrots and last the avocado. It is important not to fill the roll to much or it will burst at the seems.
Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, hold the fold in place, tuck in the sides and roll tightly. 
Continue rolling with the remainder of the rice paper, I like to change the filling and herbs, and the kiddos like to experiment with different combinations! 
Serve with dipping sauce!
*To make sauce nut free, replace peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds. 
 

Chocolate Avocado Mouse

I had invited a group of friends over for dinner, and at the last minute a client asked me to come make a birthday cake with her children. While I was super excited to bake with the kiddos, I didn't have much time to bake a dessert for my own friends. I always have bananas in my freezer and avocados on hand, a light and creamy avo mouse would be perfect pre summer dessert. Now, I know the combo sounds strange, or maybe, it sounds like the best thing in the world and you already have your food pro plugged in. Trust me, it will evoke childhood memories of pudding packs just more sophisticated and packed with superfoods like cacao. I use rice malt syrup as my sweeter because it has the lowest glycemic index of all natural sweeteners and has no taste. That being said, I find it pair perfectly with unsweetened cacao but I would also use dates. Make sure they are chopped or soaked for ease in the food pro. 

Prep Time 10-30 mins (if chilled)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup or 5 dates
  • 1/4 cup of non dairy milk, I used full fat coconut milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoons of vanilla 

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Chill until ready to serve! Serve with strawberries.

Spring Kale Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing (perfect for a picnic).

The warmer temperatures in NYC have me craving a light salad with crispy spring vegetables. The union square greenmarket with beaming with fresh flowers, and we starting to see more than just roots and tubers. The combination of the spicy radishes with the creamy dill dressing is so satisfying and light . The sprinkle of hemp seeds give this salad an additional superfood boast, they have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which our bodies can't produce on its own and we must get from food sources. They are also a great source of protein, which helps to keep us fuller longer.I am really into using cashew base for my dressing. They provide a creamy texture and mimic a cheese like flavor. This is a perfect salad to "put an egg on" but really, what salad isn't? 

Servings:4
Prep Time: 10 Mins


Ingredients
Salad:

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (Dinosaur kale), stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
  • 1 bunch of breakfast radishes, leaves removed ( I save them and saute) sliced into circles. 
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, cut on the diagonal 
  • 1 cup of salt potatoes. steamed, and cut into quarters

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup of cashews soaked overnight or 2 hours
  • 1/2 of a shallot, diced
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1-2 medijol dates, sliced
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the dressing, drain and rinse the cashews.
  3. Add cashews, shallot, lemon, mustard, dates, dill, salt and pepper to a food processor.
  4. Blend until dressing forms a creamy texture. You may have to add more liquid but you don't want it too runny. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  5. Toss salad with dressing, garnishing with extra dill. Yay for spring!!

 

 

 

Orange Cranberry Yogurt Muffins

Just the mention of muffins sends my mini chefs yelping and cheering for joy. I am not a huge muffin fan, but I do enjoy when they come out of the oven super warm, with chunks of fruit and I can slather some jam or nut butter across the top. The cranberries and oranges in this recipe have a nice amount vit. c which keep our skin looking young and healthy, also help us recover faster when we are sick and heals cuts and scrapes (I hear you boo boo' and ouchies).

Prep Time 10 mins
Bake time 15 mins
Servings 10
 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1 cup full fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. MIx together Dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Set aside. 
  3. In another bowl mix together wet ingredients. 
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry, 
  5. Grease a muffin tin with butter, coconut oil or no stick stray. Scoop batter in tin about 3/4 the way full. 
  6. Bake for 15-20 until muffins are cooked through, test after 15 mins for doneness, let cool on a cooling rack.
  7. Serve plain or with your favorite jam, butter or nut butter. 

Gluten Free Coco-Nana Waffles

Coco-Nana Waffles

I love waffles, kids love waffles, and the best part is about baking them is that are done with in minutes. Perfect for hungry kido or busy parent. These are favorite among my mini-chefs for their light and fluffy texture, and kids love to mash the bananas. I like to use coconut flour in gluten free baking not only for the flavor but for the amount of fiber and protein per serving. Try swapping out the chocolate chips blueberries, raspberries or strawberries for tart and tangy taste. 

Serves 8
INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup coconut flour I like Bobs Red Mill
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter, one reserved for greasing the waffle iron


Directions

  1. 1.In a large mixing bowl whisk the coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and salt together and set aside.
  2. 2. In a separate bowl mix together eggs, milk, vanilla, coconut oil, and mashed bananas.
  3. 3.Mix the wet ingredients with dry until they are all incorporated.
  4. 4. Heat and grease waffle iron. 
  5. 5. Spread mix evenly in iron and bake until done (about 1-2 minutes). For a little some extra special, serve with banana slices, yogurt, and dried coconut!  

Creamy Dreamy Cashew Milk

Cashew Milk

You know that feeling when you make something so delicious and yet so simple, you want all of your friends and family members to try it? That's how I feel about homemade Cashew Milk. Cashews pack a serious punch of heart healthy vitamins, like vit k, iron, and magnession as well as and unsaturated fat assosiated with lowering bad cholosteral. Texture on point, and keeping our heart in check! How did I drink coffee or blend smoothies before? Chia seed pudding? Oatmeal? With berries and granola? I use a cheese cloth or nut milk bag to help strain out the chunks but in a pinch a fine mesh strainer works too! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plain, unsalted cashews, soaked over night and drained (or at least 8 hours)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5-6 medijool dates (I soak my dates for maximum softness and ease in the blender)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon  

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Strain through cheese cloth into a mason jar or bottle ( I like to reserve the cashew flour for baking!)
  3. Serve cashew milk with coffee, in smoothies, chia seed pudding (recipe coming soon) oatmeal, cereal, use in ice cream or enjoy plain!

Veggie Pizza Faces

Veggies Pizza Faces

Pizza making is favorite amongst my mini chef's and one of the ways I introduce knife skills. We use  these salad knives for teaching littles hands how to chop and slice. They are large enough to grip tight with a bear claw and they are made out of BPA free plastic, making them safe for little hands.  Remember the game Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Veggie faces are very reminiscent, the tomato eyes can swap for ears, the zucchini nose can be a silly beard! 

Serves 4-6
Prep Time 10 Mins
Cook Time 7-10 Mins
 

Ingredients :

  • 1 package of whole wheat pita (large if making dinner, small if making snack)
  • 1 jar of pizza sauce or tomato sauce (or make your own!) I like Muir Glen Organic for the short list of ingredients and no added sugars. 
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Spinach
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into circles and cut into half moons (or you can let you mini chef do this part)
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half (same as above, having a helper in the kitchen is half the fun!)
  • 1 green and 1 red pepper, cored and seeded, sliced the long way to form a mouth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and set rack to middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. I like to chop the veggies first, calling out the names and colors of produce.
  4. Place about two-three tablespoons of sauces on the pitas and cover with cheese. 
  5. Decorate your face with veggies and fruit, spinach for hair, zucchini for eyes, tomatoes for nose and ears, peppers for a mouth.
  6. Toast for 7 mins or until cheese is bubbling.  
  7. Serve!