A Coriander Kale Pasta For Those Who Hate Kale

Let's be honest. For many kids and adults, kale is, literally and figuratively, a tough one to swallow. 

Meanwhile, study after study shows that green vegetables are nutritional superheroes.

A 2015 study linked consumption of 1-2 servings of green leafy veggies per day to substantially improved cognitive abilities. Another study demonstrated that a chemical compound, 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) in kale, broccoli and other greens enhances immune system function, clears viruses and fights cancer. DIM is, in fact, in clinical trials for cervical and prostate cancer. 

To help us get our kale on, here is a simple, nutritious and may I say delicious pasta to please kale-averse kids and adults alike. With unusual but pleasing hints of health-boosting coriander, avocado and protein-rich chickpeas, this creamy kale preparation really hits the spot.

You can smother the sauce on crackers for a snack, slather it on a grilled cheese sandwich to boost the nutritional content in kiddo's lunchbox or enjoy it with your favourite pasta for a weeknight family supper that's healthy, tasty and quick to prepare. 

My 4 and near 40 year old boys ate it with gusto. I hope your families will love it too. 

RECIPE

Coriander Kale Pasta
Babies, Baby-led weaning, Toddlers, Kids, Adults

Yield
Serves 2 adults and 2 kids 

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp coriander powder
4 cups roughly chopped kale leaves, thick stems removed
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 avocado
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Red chilli flakes (adults only, optional) 

Method
In a pot for which you have a lid, heat the oil on medium. 

Sauté the shallots until soft for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. 

Add the kale and a sprinkling of salt. Sauté to mix with the shallots, garlic and oil. Add a splash of water and reduce heat to low. Cover and steam for 3-5 minutes until the kale has softened. 

Take the lid off and stir in the chickpeas. Transfer the ingredients into a blender with the avocado and lemon juice. Blend well until a creamy sauce forms. Add a splash of warm water to help things along. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. 

Stir into your favourite pasta (we love whole grain kamut spaghetti) adding a a bit of the pasta cooking liquid to make the mixture extra smooth. Serve with grated parmesan cheese for everyone and chilli flakes for adults, if you like a bit of heat.

Serve babies the sauce on its own without salt as a delicious and nourishing baby puree or with soft cooked pasta for baby-led weaning. 

 

 

 


 
 

 

 

 

 

Old Bay Spiced Chicken Tenders Your Family Will Love Forever

The most effective way to broaden ones culinary repertoire is to travel. In that vein, on a business trip to Argentina once, my husband discovered the fascinating fusion of Italian and South American cuisines in the form of a dish that etched itself in his memory, Chicken Milanesa. Such a profound impression it made on him that, usually a man of few words, he couldn't stop raving about the crispy fried chicken with lemon and capers over a bed of arugula - how light yet satisfying, how crunchy, comforting, tangy and just plain delicious it was. He decided to recreate it for us in our New York kitchen as newlyweds and eight years and one kid later, he has gone through several iterations of that beloved recipe. The version I am sharing with you today is the one we have finally settled on as a family favourite. Toddler of course loves it but so has every single kid who has ever dined on our family table. I encourage you to try this recipe and possibly discover your own new family favourite, from our kitchen to yours, with love and spice. 

RECIPE

Crispy Chicken Tenders
Toddler, Kid, Adult

A Note On Old Bay Seasoning
Old Bay is a classic American spice blend that is particularly popular on the East Coast of the US as well as in the South. Created by a German immigrant in the 1930s in Maryland, it contains myriad spices like celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg and more and, to it's many fans, is one of those immediately identifiable flavours you can't get enough of. Usually paired with crab or shrimp, my husband decided to try it to enliven his take on Chicken Milanesa and the results were rather satisfying. If you can't find Old Bay, you can use sweet Spanish paprika, salt and pepper for an equally pleasing effect. 

Yield
2 adult and 2 kid servings (about 28 tenders)

Ingredients
For the chicken tenders
2 large chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
2.5 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs (regular will do if you can't find these)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme)
1 Egg
50 ml / scant 1/4 cup water
Coconut oil for frying

For the dipping sauce
1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
Pinch dry thyme
3/4 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 lemon juiced

Method

Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Place the chicken breasts between two layers of cling film or parchment paper. Using a meat tenderiser or the flat section of a rolling pin. flatten the breasts into 1/4 inch thin cutlets. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. Slice into 4 inch by 1 inch strips. You should get 14-16 strips from each flattened chicken breast. Set aside. 

Put the flour with 1.5 teaspoons old bay seasoning in a plate. Mix well. Next, whisk the egg and water together in a shallow, wide bowl and place next to the flour. In a third plate, place the breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons of Old Bay and the thyme and mix well. 

Coat the chicken strips in flour, dusting off any excess. Transfer into the egg mixture coating well. Finally coat with the seasoned breadcrumbs and set aside on a plate. 

Heat a thin film of coconut oil in a skillet on medium. Shallow fry the tenders for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Serve with the yoghurt dipping sauce, our healthy, veggie packed paprika pomodoro or good ol' ketchup! 

Grandpa Ish's Peach Melba

One of the best things about meeting my husband 14 odd years ago, besides the man himself of course <insert wink emoji>, was getting acquainted with his father. Ish, as he's lovingly called, is not only an amazing, loving and fun dad, dad-in-law and grandpa to toddler but also, as I mentioned here before, a Cordon Bleu trained professional chef and ex-restauranteur. You can safely assume that many recipes I concoct are in some shape or form inspired by him. Having grown up on the Fiji Islands, trained in classical French cooking and run restaurants in culinarily cutting-edge California, Ish cooks with precise technique married to tradition with truly innovative flavours thrown in, all without compromising heart and soul. 

On a recent visit to my in-law's home in sunny Florida, Ish whipped up an old classic, the Peach Melba, and we were all blown away. This French dessert, invented in the late 1800s by the renowned chef Auguste Escoffier, consists of a poached peach, vanilla ice-cream and raspberry sauce, and like most French desserts, does not disappoint. I was especially pleased that Ish's innovative spin on the dish included spices like cardamon, clove and star anise! In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion Monsieur Escoffier might have preferred this spiced, delicious interpretation of his famed creation. 

RECIPE

Grandpa Ish's Peach Melba
Toddler, Kid, Adult

Yield
12 servings

Ingredients
6 peaches, cut in half and de-seeded
5 cardamom pods gently smashed
8 cloves
2 star anise
1/2 vanilla bean sliced lengthwise and scraped
6 tablespoons sugar
Water
10 oz frozen raspberries
1/2 lemon juiced
3/4 cup orange juice
vanilla ice-cream or plain Greek yoghurt
few leaves of fresh mint (optional)

Method

Place the peaches cut side up with the cardamom, cloves, star anise, vanilla bean and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a wide saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes until the peaches are fork tender. Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to a fresh dish. Skin the peaches by hand (the skins should slide off easily at this stage but you can use a small knife if necessary). Chill the peaches for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator. 

Place the raspberries, lemon juice, orange juice and remaining sugar in a blender. Puree well and chill. 

When ready to serve, place a peach half in a serving bowl. Cover with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream or Greek yoghurt (for a healthier version). Drizzle generously with the raspberry sauce. Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy as a refreshing summer dessert. Don't forget to think of Auguste Escoffier and Grandpa Ish :).