Tag Archives: healthy food kids will enjoy

Sunday Funday Cooking Demo at Mar Vista Farmers’ Market

13 Mar
Food, I Love You! Mar Vista Farmers Market Cooking Demo

From L-R: The Food, I Love You! girls, Allie Zack, Cara Donnelly & Colleen Donnelly cooking up Strawberry & Asparagus Quinoa Salad at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market.

This past weekend was superb.  Because I had the chance to share my love of good-for-you food at the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market on Sunday!  I couldn’t have asked for a better community to celebrate my inaugural public appearance.  And, it gets better!  I will be conducting food demos once per month at MVFM, starting Sunday, May 20, 2012!

Every farmers’ market has a special personality.  But there’s something truly special about Mar Vista.  It’s quaint, local, hip and REALLY community-oriented.  The vendors are friendly and the visitors are eager to learn and support local farmers wholeheartedly.  I felt like the luckiest girl in the world on Sunday and because I loved the experience so much, I decided to blog about all the fun we had.

WHO: Me and my fabulous and beautiful sidekicks, Cara (amazing sister) & Allie (childhood BFF & post-college roomie).

WHAT: We prepared Strawberry & Asparagus Quinoa Salad for patrons to enjoy.  Some stopped by for a quick taste while others got cozy and watched us blanch asparagus (boil, drain & shock) and reduce balsamic vinegar down into a richer, oh-so-divine version of itself.  View more photos on the Food, I Love You! Facebook page.

WHEN: Sunday, March 11, 2012

WHERE: Mar Vista Farmers’ Market

WHY: To encourage people to make healthy food choices and enjoy the food that loves them back.  I also needed to get over my nerves and take care of business already!

PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE: Strawberry & Asparagus Quinoa Salad

A special thanks to:

  • Helen, Diana and Karen from the market.  Your ability to organize the market and inspire those you meet is such a special gift.  I am truly looking forward to the months ahead!
  • MilkMan Cheese | That goat gouda was to-die-for.  Thank you, and I.O.U. a vat of quinoa salad that’s for sure!
  • J.R. Organics | Your organic strawberries are SUPER sweet right now! Yum!
  • Atkins Produce | You have the juiciest navel oranges!
  • Sun Coast Farms | I’ve never seen such beautiful asparagus! The tips were a gorgeous green/purple.  PERFECTION!
  • Mar Vista Mom for the shout out!

Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn

25 Feb



truffle and parmesan popcorn

Makes 16 Cups

Movies and popcorn.  You’re passionate about the pair.   You wouldn’t go to a movie and not get popcorn because the novelty of ordering a jumbo bag of the light and airy pops of joy is just delightful.  And so, every movie you see, you buy popcorn and eat it—all of it—doused in liquefied butter and salt.  And you think to yourself, “Yes, I just did that, and no, I’m not sure it was worth it.” Because you also know there’s nothing gourmet about movie popcorn.  Instead make Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn, packing on gourmet flavor without the extra butter and salt.


½ C. organic popping corn kernels

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. truffle oil

¼ C. grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. sea salt


Place vegetable oil in a 3-quart pot with three kernels.  Cover and heat on medium heat, shaking constantly until kernels pop.  Once they pop, add remaining kernels and continue to shake over medium heat until popping stops, about ten minutes.  Immediately transfer popcorn into a large mixing bowl.  With a spatula, mix in truffle oil, Parmesan and sea salt.  Add additional seasoning to suit your palette.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  Not only is popcorn fun to make the old-fashioned way, it is high in fiber and low in fat and sodium.  Any seasoning can make popcorn a new and exciting flavor, so season to your heart’s desire!

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Hubba Hubba Brownies

10 Feb

Hubba Hubba Brownies RecipeMakes 12

You and chocolate.  It’s more than puppy love—it’s passion.  You know, like when a buxom female cartoon character passes by the boys club and suddenly one guy’s eyes pop out of his sockets and the “Awooga” horn blows.  That’s love at first sight right there.  And it’s just like you’ll feel when you bake Hubba Hubba Brownies and taste these smooth, rich, silky hunks of peanut and chocolate love.


½ C. dates, pitted

1 C. water

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

¾ C. sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

½ C. whole wheat flour

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 C. raw peanuts


Soak pitted dates in 1 cup water for four hours.  Drain water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with butter, oil or non-stick spray.

Combine dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl.  Sift together lightly as the air will help to give the brownies a fluffy texture.  Set aside.

Place soaked and drained dates into food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer dates to a mixing bowl.  On medium speed, beat in butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Slowly beat in dry mixture until fully combined.  Add chocolate and ½  C. peanuts.

Pour brownie mix into baking dish.  Sprinkle remaining ½ C. peanuts on top.  Bake  on middle rack for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: A moderate amount of at least 70% cocoa a day is good for your heart.  In fact, studies conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that chocolate helped to improve blood flow through the arteries and improved insulin’s efficiency.  Unsweetened cocoa powder contains almost no fat and is high in fiber, too!  Between the cocoa and dates in this recipe, you’re good to go in the digestion department!

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Baked Rosemary Chicken Strips with Homemade Dip Trio

1 Feb


Serves 4-6

Frozen chicken nuggets. Delish?  Not so much—unless you’re a five-year-old.  But every once in awhile, you have that craving and—pow!  They hit your stomach like a brick.  Well, my dear, serves you right.  That pseudo-vegan diet of yours has made your stomach weak in your day.  So  make a healthier, homemade version.  Baked Rosemary Chicken Strips are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and so much fitter for a young-at-heart grown up like you.



1 lb. organic chicken breast

Salt & pepper

¼ C. veggie oil

½ C. panko breadcrumbs

¼ C. shredded Parmesan cheese

2 sprigs rosemary, minced

Chipotle Ketchup:

¼ C. ketchup

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1 tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Honey Mustard:

¼ C. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. local honey

Tangy Yogurt with Dill:

¼ C. non-fat Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rub chicken with salt and pepper.  Cut into thin strips, creating at least four per breast.  Pour oil into a medium bowl.  In a separate medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese and rosemary.  One at a time, dip the chicken into the oil and then into the breadcrumb mixture until every strip is coated.

Get a large, non-stick fry pan going on medium heat.  Sear each strip for two minutes on each side, flipping with tongs, and transfer to a baking dish.  Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes.  Serve warm with dipping sauces.

For the trio of sauces, whisk ingredients together using separate mixing bowls to avoid mixing flavors.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  If you’re into eating meat, chicken is a good low fat option and an excellent source of protein.  It’s also a good promoter of strong bones and boasts a great deal of selenium, which is essential for promoting good metabolism.

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