Sunday, December 14, 2014

Seven Fun Ways to Get Children to Eat Vegetables Without Fussing... Much

"It’s a major battle getting my kids to eat vegetables, and I’m at my wit’s end!” Do you recognize yourself in this sentence? We hear it constantly. Parents who struggle with chard, peas and cabbage every day are commonplace. We have no secret weapons to win this fight, but we do have some clever, commonsense tips that will help. Ready to make meals more enjoyable for the whole family while getting your kids to take in the nutrients their growing bodies need? Here are our suggestions: 


1) Let’s play! Play with color and presentation. Dress up a salad by cutting lettuce into a round shape and using tomatoes for eyes, balsamic vinegar for hair, a carrot for a nose and a yellow smile of olive oil. You may find your kids eating bite after bite without much coaxing. At the least, there will be more smiles on the table.

Spaghetti as a scorpion
Silly Spaghetti
2) Childish illusions. Switch “carnivorousingredients with vegetables. Tonight for dinner we’re having...grilled portobello mushroom burgers! Marinade mushroom caps with flavorful ingredients like brown spicy mustard, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce—and serve them on a bun spread with mayonnaise along with cheese, onion, lettuce, and tomato. Another option is to create a stuffed eggplant steak by substituting pork loins with eggplant slices and filling them with melted cheese and ham. Once they are breaded and cooked with extra virgin olive oil they will taste even better than the original recipe.

3) Happy couples. Mix greens with rice or pasta. Drop a few beets, some carrots or a handful of peas in one of those rice or pasta recipes they love. If this trick doesn’t work, you can add the veggies to the sauce.

4) Serve them what they love. Add some of their favorite ingredients to a salad or a vegetable soup. Some sunflower seeds or some shredded cheese, for example, will make a dish much more appealing to your kids.

5) No more salty chips. Accompany meat and fish with vegetables. Leave the potato chips for special occasions, restaurants and family reunions. Start with carrot chips and hummus or fried green tomatoes. And see what happens...

6) Paint and color. If the tips above don’t work, try frying various vegetables as if they were chips for a colorful, fun and easy trick. Carrots, beets and sweet potatoes are all good choices for fried vegetables (get inspiration from Japanese tempura).  Just cut the vegetables into thin slices and fry them in a pan with hot extra virgin olive oil until they are crispy. If you prefer not to prepare them yourself, look for vegetable chips in stores. They are easy to find, although you’ll need to check to be sure that the salt content is not too high.

7) Let’s eat together! Our final words of advice: Eat with your kids, and eat the same foods they do. If you devour a plate of vegetables, so will they...eventually

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Olive Oil Cookies with White Chocolate, Cranberries and Pecans

Looking to make healthier dessert options for this holiday season? Try this salty yet sweet recipe for Butter Flavored Olive Oil cookies with white chocolate chips, cranberries and pecans.

Olive Oil Cookies with White Chocolate, Cranberries and Pecans
Olive Oil Cookies with White Chocolate, Cranberries and Pecans
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats (not instant)
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. Butter Flavored Olive Oil
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 c. chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Sift together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the Star Butter Flavored Olive Oil, brown sugar, and regular sugar until well combined-- it will look like wet sand. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until light in color. Gradually add flour mixture until all the ingredients are well-incorporated, but be careful to not over mix. Stir in white chocolate, cranberries, and pecans.
  4. Drop cookie dough onto baking sheets by rounded tablespoons, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake between 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. 
  5. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. If you try to transfer them too early, the weight of all the goodie in the cookies will make them break apart. After cookies are completely cooled, store in an airtight container.
  6. Makes about 4 dozen cookies, serve and enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownies with STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil

Have a craving for brownies, but can't eat gluten? Or simply want to feel healthy about giving into your indulgences? Try this delicious recipe using Johnny's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownies with STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil
Johnny's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9" x 9" pan
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together 3 eggs. Then add the water, STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil and the Johnny's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix.
  3. Mix with a wire whisk until batter is well mixed and pour into your pan.
  4. Put into the oven and bake for 34-37 minutes then remove from the oven.
  5. Let cool, and enjoy!
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cranberry Pecan Quick Bread

Baking is always a big part of getting ready for the holidaysThis recipe for Cranberry Pecan Quick Bread makes 3 mini loaves. Perfect for that special teacher, co-worker or neighbor.

·      1 cups Flour
·      1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
·      ¾ teaspoon Salt
·      ½ cup Sugar
·      ¼ cup Brown Sugar
·      2 Eggs
·      1 teaspoon Vanilla
·      ¾ cup fresh Cranberries
·      ½ cup Pecans, chopped

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 3 or 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix and set aside.
3.  In a large bowl combine the STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil, sugar, and brown sugar.  Mix well.  Add in the eggs and stir until combined.  Stir in the vanilla.
4.  Add the flour mixture to the olive oil mixture and stir until just blended.  Gently fold in the cranberries and pecans.
5.  Divide the batter evenly between 3 or 4 mini loaf pans.  Place several fresh cranberries on top of each loaf before placing in the oven.
6.  Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  Slice and enjoy!

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