Healthy Recipes

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Healthy School Lunch: Raspberry Spinach Salad Recipe Recipe

I have to admit, we haven't had much problem getting the kids to eat their vegetables. How, you may ask? Well, my first rule is never trick them. Second, get your children involved in the kitchen. Once they start to enjoy cooking, they will become more emotionally interested in creating new dishes, which is exactly what you want them to do! Trust them and let them experiment with new flavor combinations.

They recently came up with a savory fruit salad with greens, which was delicious. Since today was my husband's little 7-year-old sister's first day at school, I packed a plastic container with the raspberry salad (my munchkin's favorite fruit) and raspberry salad dressing on the side. You could also make a sandwich layering a slice of cheese, raspberry salad and a slice of cold meat between toasted slices of bread.


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Tuna Nicoise Salad with Goose Eggs Recipe

Today, I made a French salad recipe called nicoise salad. I filled the salad with a combination of salad greens, capers, tuna and goose eggs. I was testing the recipe because school is about to start, and I'm not a big fan of the ready-made all-inclusive food trays. They don't contain much except a few crackers and small pieces of cheese and cold meat that are usually packed with salt, sugar and fat.

The salad received two thumbs up from my little munchkin. She loves hard-cooked eggs, which makes folding in the other ingredients much easier. As an added bonus, hard-boiled eggs are easy to pack. If you're planning on making this for your kids, the nicoise salad dressing can be packed separately so the salad is still crunchy and fresh when lunch time finally arrives.

A Pham Fatale reader named Karen left a wonderfully insightful comment last week where she described the challenges of preparing lunches for her kids. While my little munchkin hasn't experienced the teasing from her classmates (yet) even though her lunch box is different from her friends, I understand the issue. It has inspired me to come up with back-to-school recipes that covertly sneak nutritious ingredients into dishes that are familiar to kids. What could be more femme fatale worthy than that?

 


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Tofu Asparagus Stir Fry Recipe Recipe

Tofu Asparagus Stir Fry Recipe

07.20.11 by Jackie

This tofu dish usually accommodates everyone in my family; the tofu is fried, then sautéed along with vegetables (I cooked with asparagus and green beans today) in a mixture of black bean and chili garlic sauce.

The story behind this dish is funny. The dish is named after my father-in-law, Mir. Several years ago, he went to a Chinese restaurant for a dinner meeting and they serve this as an appetizer, similar to chips and salsa in a Mexican restaurant. It was much saltier and spicier than the recipe I make now. He liked it so much he asked the waiter to bring him a whole plateful so he could have it for dinner as a main course. And thus Mir's Special was born.


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Rau Cau Dua: Vietnamese Coconut Jello Recipe Recipe

Rau câu is Vietnamese jello made with agar agar, which is a seaweed by-product, similar to gelatin (except it's vegetal). Several months ago, family friends came for dinner and brought delicious rau câu made with nước dừa ("coconut juice" in Vietnamese). We usually serve the more traditional Vietnamese dessert made with sweetened condensed milk and flavor it with layers of chocolate, mocha, pandan and sometimes durian, but I really like the flavor of this variation. I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy this version was to make. All you need is a few cans of coconut juice with pulp and agar agar. How simple is that?

The coconut jello has another great advantage. It has the same texture as pana cotta, so you can serve it to children without being scared of any spilling or any accidents on your floor. I've adopted this cube version whenever I make it for kids. You can use the same recipe using your children's favorite drinks. It's mess-free and melts in your mouth. They’ll love it!


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Edamame Hummus Recipe Recipe

Edamame Hummus Recipe

04.28.11 by Jackie

Edamame beans, also known as soybeans, are a common, healthy snack in our home. They're packed with fiber, protein and iron. So it's especially good because most of the family is vegetarian. To change things a little, I removed the thick velvety shells and made edamame hummus. The spread is made the same way I would make regular garbanzo hummus, except that I flavored it with feta cheese for a creamier texture.

I left the edamame hummus on the table while preparing dinner. Everyone spread it on warm pieces of garlic bread. It's a great way to keep everyone patient while I’m getting dinner ready. If you're planning on serving it for a party, you could create crostini appetizers. They're always a hit!


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