By Brenna O’Malley and The Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
In search of a meatless option for a crowd or just an alternative to packaged veggie burgers with lots of extra ingredients? This easy make-ahead recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, a salad or lunch topper, or a great way to get some protein and veggies into your day! These are crowd pleasing veggie burgers because your whether your friends are meatless, gluten free or particular about the veggies or ingredients they like, these burgers can be adapted to fit your guests’ palates!
Yields ~8 patties
1 can black beans, mashed
½ medium onion, diced
1 large carrot or 1 cup baby carrots, grated or diced finely
1 (8oz) pkg of mushrooms, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 cup oat flour (can be made by blending 1 cup oats)
½ cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked
½ cup sweet potato, diced and cooked
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced and made into paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup sautéed spinach or kale, 2 tbsp chopped almonds, 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
Preheat oven to 350F
If you do not have roasted sweet potato or rinsed and cooked quinoa ready, prepare those now. Sautee onions, garlic paste, mushrooms and red pepper with tbsp. olive oil until veggies are soft.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and any optional add-ins you choose. Season to taste and mix well.
Prepare a baking sheet, moisten hands with water and begin to tightly pack and shape patties for baking.
Bake patties in oven for ~25 minutes, if your patties are thicker, flipping halfway through may promote even baking.
Can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen to have on hand for the week. Enjoy!
We attended the Editor’s Showcase in February where we were able to sample different foods and learn the latest that’s going on in the food industry. The National Onion Association and US Apple Association shared with us some of their recipes featuring both apples and onions. Here is one we think you’ll enjoy!
Makes 6 Servings
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 ½ sups tri-color quinoa, rinsed
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 white onion, sliced
3 cups chopped kale, ribs removed and discarded
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 red-skinned apple, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Whisk the vinegar with the oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard until well combined.
Bring the broth and quinoa to a boil.
Simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until al the broth has been absorbed. Cool completely.
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-height heat.
Sauté onion for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Cool completely.
In a large bowl, toss onion, kale, chicken, apple, salt, and pepper with prepared dressing.
In the midst of figuring out my nutrition beliefs, I went from picky eater to vegetarian to vegan to omnivore. While vegetarian and vegan, my two favorite cookbooks were “A Celebration of Wellness – A Cookbook for Vibrant Living” and “Moosewood Cookbook”. I wanted to share with you what remains one of my favorite recipes from Moosewood Cookbook. Scheherazade Casserole is a delicious recipe, which includes bulgur, onions, bell peppers, and soybeans (just to name a few ingredients). I hope you enjoy this satisfying dish just as much as I do! Maybe it will become one of your favorites too!
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Place the bulgur in a small bowl. Add boiling water, cover with a plate, and stand at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, salt, and seasonings. Stir occasionally as you sauté over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add bell pepper and sauté about 5 minutes more.
Drain the soybeans, if necessary, and place them in a blender or food processor with 1 cup fresh water. Grind until the soybeans resemble a coarse batter. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the soaked bulgur and sautéed vegetables to the soybeans, Stir in the tomatoes, breaking them up into bite-sized pieces. Add tomato paste, the parsley, and 1 cup of the feta cheese. Mix well.
Spread into the baking pan and sprinkle the remaining feta chees on top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 375°F, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more with the oven turned down to 350°F. Serve hot.
Real Mom Questions – Real Mom Answer: Getting Your Kids to Dig Veggies!
By: Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN
Real Mom Question:
I cannot get my girls to eat vegetables (toddler dilemma). The only veggies I can get them to eat sometimes, are edamame, carrot French fries (which are really not veggies), or veggie burgers. I try to sneak veggies into grilled cheese sandwiches, but they spit it out in disgust; they will eat around the peas if they find them in pasta sauce. I have even tried hummus with carrot sticks, but they only want crackers or pretzels.
Our cutie pies are so sweet but sometimes so difficult–especially when it comes to feeding and eating. Sit back and relax. This is a process, a long one that for some kids can last longer than others, depending on other circumstances.
But in general, veggies are bitter and therefore not so yummy to their little palates. I would ensure those veggies stay on the plate, however. Just because the girls have given up, don’t give up on trying.
How to get your kids to eat their veggies and like them!!
1. Keep ’em coming. Continue the exposure every night even if it is just one carrot. The more the tots see the veggies, the more neutral they will become.
2. If they like carrot French fries, try similar shapes, textures, and flavors. For instance, try sweet potato fries, fried zucchini sticks, carrot muffins, and carrot juice (mixed with apple juice).
3. Sugar coat with cheese. Veggies may be bitter, but we can get the picky palates to convert by melting cheese on them or making cheese fondue. Even if the kids use the same veggie over and over as a utensil, that’s a great step in the right direction. As moms know, getting the toddlers to just touch or handle certain foods is a feat in and of itself.
4. Host a taste-test party. Go the grocery store and get one veggie to try five ways or get five veggies to try with one dip or condiment.
In our home, I host a Sunday “Maybe Someday They Will Eat This.” Of course, the kids don’t know I call the day this. But every Sunday I buy a bunch of new foods to try and let the kids try a few of them that night at dinner. Currently, I only do it on Sundays, but it has worked for us as I could not have the sitter doing it for me during the week.
5. Watch Copy Kids, the best DVD ever that role models toddlers eating fruits and veggies.
6. Go out to eat!!! Yes, bring your little princes and princesses to restaurants.
Both of my boys have increased their food variety by trying out food at restaurants and trying new sides with their main courses. Think cheese quesadillas with a fruit salad of mango, pineapple, avocado, and peppers or steak with veggie biscuits.
7. Work with their favorite color or flavor. If they love purple, make purple potatoes, purple eggplant, purple cauliflower, purple broccoli, and so on.
8. Get your veggies from the farm. They taste one thousand times better. I know order all of my produce and proteins through Farmigo. It is the best-tasting and most visually appealing food by far. I mean, who wouldn’t want to snack on beans when they taste like sugar and crunch like chips?
9. Follow that popular saying “Keep Calm and Carry On!” With consistent effort and exposure minus the power struggle, your little ones will slowly get there. A veggie is healthy but not essential for life. Just keep moving forward.
And one last thing, try the new rainbow baby carrot sticks, they are beautiful and sweet!!!
Brussels sprouts have been all the buzz lately. They’re a delicious side dish to any lunch or dinner. Try this easy recipe from Cooking Lightwith your dinner tonight. We’re sure you are going to be making more!
Courtesy of Cooking Light
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
2. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally.
While not easy, I somehow launched my children into college and beyond. With fellow empty-nester friends who are also health professionals and moms—one a nurse, one a psychologist—I took a walk down memory lane. We reflected on teaching children good self-care, particularly when they have health concerns related to food.
Carpooling was challenging enough, but when I thought three-year-old Thomas had shared my son’s peanut rice cakes, I panicked! Thomas was severely allergic to peanuts as well as tree nuts. Still parked at the nursery school, I hoisted Thomas like a football, screamed for the teachers, and rinsed his mouth, hoping I did not have to administer his EpiPen. He never ate any of the rice cakes, but I learned a valuable lesson on scrutinizing food items when you have or care for a child with allergies!
According to Hildie Kalish, RN, an elementary school nurse whose child has a severe nut allergy, “Keep your child safe by constantly checking and then rechecking ingredients in food products. Never assume an item is safe as it is not uncommon for food manufacturers to change ingredients or processing techniques. As soon as children are old enough to understand, teach them to read labels and avoid sharing food with other kids. When they are responsible enough, have them carry Benadryl and their own Epi-pen or Auvi-Q, and make sure they know how to use them.”
My nutritional skills were put to the test when I rescued ten-year-old Luke, my son’s friend, who was dizzy from playing baseball in the summer heat. Driving up with hydrating sports beverages and a mom’s wisdom, I remembered that Luke had an endocrine condition that made dehydration particularly dangerous. When a child exercises, their muscles generate heat, which in turn raises body temperature. The body cools itself through sweating, which must be replaced by fluid or the body will overheat.
Dehydration is more common in children, and young athletes are particularly prone to dehydration. Encourage your young athlete to drink fluids before, during, and after sports to prevent heat-related illnesses. Recommend fluid-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables and have your youngster carry a water bottle and drink a sports beverage when his/her physical activity level exceeds one hour.
I became a celiac expert when Rachel, a good friend of my daughter’s, was diagnosed. From that day forward, I stocked my cabinets with gluten-free items and helped her mom educate other parents about which foods to keep on hand for play dates.
Merle Keitel, Ph.D, counseling psychologist and parent of a child with celiac, says,
“It is important to establish a support system that is aware of your child’s dietary restrictions and has food on hand that your child can eat if at their homes for an extended period of time. In the case of celiac, fruits and vegetables work but if other children are having sweets, it is helpful for there to be chocolate or other gluten-free sweets so the child does not feel cheated and self conscious about being ‘different.’ Friends and extended family who are educated and willing to help can be a gift to the child with special dietary needs.”
These real-life scenarios portray what can happen when a child has a chronic health condition. Says Kalish, “At school I work with families of kids newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I always say that education is key. I see parents overcompensating with extra treats for fear that their child will feel deprived. Diabetic children do not need extra treats. It is important to treat them like any other child and learn the merits of a healthy balanced diet with plenty of ‘everyday’ foods and occasional ‘sometimes’ foods.”
While we can try to protect our children from all types of threats, educating your child, caregivers, schools, and trusted friends about a chronic health condition is essential. Allow your child to take the reigns and manage his/her own health as soon as he/she are emotionally and intellectually ready. We want our kids to remember the lessons that we teach them at home, as they will eventually leave the nest.
As we enter February, we’re seeing Red around every corner. Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month highlight the color, and give us a burst as the sometimes-drab days of winter continue to swirl around us. Not only can our moods become a little blah this time of year, our food choices may become more monotonous as well. By creating a theme, however, we can add a fun, proactive twist to eating, and bring more variety to our plates. What a great way to jazz up your kids lunchboxes, snacks or meals at home by picking a color theme– and what better color this month than RED!
Our role as parent or provider is not to make sure our kids love everything they eat, but rather to present them with opportunities to explore food, develop their preferences, expand their comfort level around a variety of choices, and therefore become confident, competent eaters. A color theme is one way that children can participate in the process, as they identify colors in the grocery store, find them in your fridge, and add them to their plate palate. It also provides an opportunity for them to learn about the function of many foods. For example, as you will notice below, many red fruits and veggies help promote heart health, so children can begin to connect the ways that foods work for them and support their bodies and brains. If you are introducing a new food, make it fun and don’t be discouraged if they don’t enjoy it the first time around (or the first many times!).
So roll out the red carpet and enjoy acquainting your family with some of these bright beauties:
Acai: This berry from Central and South America is shown to have excellent antioxidant value, which may assist in heart health, decreased inflammation and decreased risk of some cancers. Mix frozen acai in your blender with a splash of milk and banana, then top with granola, fresh fruit and shredded coconut for a colorful and satiating breakfast or snack.
Cherries: These succulent rubies give us great fiber, immune-helping vitamin C, and heart-happy potassium. Slice up fresh or frozen cherries for a fun ice cream topping or substitute berries in your favorite recipe with equal parts (pitted) cherries.
Cranberries: Not only are they super for our urinary tract system, they may also help keep our digestive system protected from unhealthy bacteria and ulcers. Pour a glass of cranberry juice, add some canned cranberries into a smoothie or mix some dried cranberries into your kids’ trail mix.
Raspberries: Rich in vitamins C and K, and many antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline, these berries can help protect our heart and prevent certain types of cancers. Fold some fresh berries into your favorite muffin or pancake mix, or keep frozen raspberries on hand to toss into a smoothie or oatmeal.
Strawberries: They are a good source of heart-helping folate, which decreases the risk of certain birth defects, and are a powerhouse of the antioxidant vitamin C, giving a boost to our immune system. Sprinkle some strawberries on cereal or blend up some frozen strawberries in a milk and yogurt smoothie. Or dip into some melted chocolate for a super satisfying snack!
Watermelon: Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, it is actually considered a nutrient dense food, one that provides a high amount of vitamins, particularly A and C, mineralssuch as magnesium, potassium and zinc, and antioxidants, including high levels of lycopene. Because it does contain 92% water, it’s also a wonderful way to help keep your kids hydrated. Insert a popsicle stick into watermelon chunks for a fun snack, or freeze some watermelon balls to add to your kids’ water bottles.
Beets: With an earthy flavor that gets supersweet when cooked, beets are very nutrient-loaded, giving us 19 percent of the daily value for folate, necessary for the growth of healthy new cells. Their rich color comes from the phytochemical betanin, which helps bolster immunity. Roast them, pickle them or shred them raw and dress them with citrus for a refreshing salad.
Red peppers: For the love of your eyes and your skin, include these vitamin A-packed foods. Add a little crunch to your child’s favorite deli sandwich or have them taste test with peanut butter or hummus.
Tomatoes: These red beauties are heart protective and provide a great defense against prostate and potentially breast cancers. Include a little more marinara sauce on your pasta or add some grape tomatoes into the lunchbox.
1 cup peeled, diced Granny Smith apple (about 1 apple)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare cake, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in apple. Pour batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.
3. To prepare streusel, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm.
To prepare ahead, cool completely, wrap (still in the pan) in foil, and leave out at room temperature for up to one day, or freeze for up to three months. To reheat thawed cake, unwrap and bake at 250° for 15 to 20 minutes.
The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
6 cups marinara sauce
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.
Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.
Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.
Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.
Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.
To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.
The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.