Go ahead and Play with Your Food

It is funny how food on a stick seems to taste better. Maybe it is the sense that it is somehow more interactive and fun. You know how your mom always said, “Don’t play with your food.” Well, these recipes are all meant to be eaten with your hads. It actually is a time that you are required to play with  your food. These recipes are all great for playdates for the kids to make themselves.

Fruit Kabob with Granola and yogurt dipping sauce

This recipe takes the usual fruit kabob and adds a twist or two of newness. By halving an upsidedown melon, you have a perfect foundation to use as a serving display.

Hardware- bamboo skewers, cutting board, knife to cut fruit, platter

Software- an assortment of your favorite fresh fruit (remember to get ones that are in season. they will be sweeter and cheaper that way) apples, grapes, cantaloup, honeydew, oranges, pineappples, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, Multigrain Cheerios, cubes of cheese, marshmallow

Steps

  • put a wet paper towel or rubber shelf liner under your cutting board so it doesn’t wiggle. This will make it easier to precisely cut your fruit.
  • Cut the apple into wedges. Cut the wedges in half.
  • Put them in a bowl and squeeze some orange juice over them so they won’t oxidize. (Oxidation causes your fruit to turn brown)
  • mix the appless around in the juice so the orange juice touches all the exposed sides.
  • peel the orange and pull apart the wedges. Cut the wedges in half.
  • Set aside
  • Peel and cut the melons into bite size chunks. Set aside
  • Peel and cut the pineapple into bite size chunks. Set aside
  • Wash the berries and grapes
  • set aside
  • After you have prepped all your fruit, decide what order you would like to have them be in on the skewer. I like not have 2 of the same color fruits next to each other.
  • Start sliding fruit on by poking it with the sharp side of the skewer. Leave room for a marshmallow at the very end of the stick. Remember that the first fruit you slide on will be at the top of the skewer.
  • Slide on the fruit, then a few Cheerios, piece of cheese, then more fruit, then Cheerios, then fruit.
  • Push the pointy end of the skewer into the melon half.
  • Use the marshmallow to hide the tip of the skewer

Enjoy with a side of lowfat yogurt sprinkled with granola or Grape Nuts Cereal for added crunch. Kids love to dip things so this gives them a fun healthy dip.

Pancake for lunch

In the dilemma of what to pack for lunch, I sometimes will pack breakfast foods for lunch. My kids love pancakes. I like to make them thin enough to wrap around a sausage/turkey slice. It is a healthier option to the fried corn dog. You can give them a small tupperware of yogurt to dip their pancakes in.

Simple Guacamole by Sonia Chung at Whole Foods Market

Guacamole is best when mixed up right before serving. If you do have to store it a few hours before using it, then put it in a narrow container and place plastic wrap directly on top of it. The plastic will prevent the air from oxidizing your avocados.

Hardware-big mixing bowl, potato masher, cutting board, knife, plastic juicer, mixing spoon, flatware spoon, zip top plastic bag, pizza slicer

Software-Ripe avocados, Fresh lime juice, Chopped Cilantro, Garlic salt, cherry tomatoes, diced red onions (optional)

Steps

  • Wash the avocados and lime
  • Rinse off the cilantro and chop it up by rolling the pizza cutter over the leaves. Remove any thick pieces of stem. Set aside.
  • Rinse off the tomatoes and dice. (optional) Set aside.
  • Cut the avocados in half by rotating the avocado around and keeping your knife still. Give it a twist and pull apart
  • Using your flatware spoon scoop out the shell into the big mixing bowl
  • Putting your hand under a kitchen towel, place the avocado half with the seed stuck in it on the towel. Wack the seed with a knife so that the blade is slightly embedded in the seed. Give the knife a twist to remove the seed. Place your hand over the back of the knife and pinch right behind the seed and this should make the seed fall off the knife w/out any threat of cutting yourself
  • Scoop out the shell into the plastic bag
  • Sprinkle it with garlic salt. Remember to use less because you can always add more later
  • Press the air out of the bag and zip it up. Mash up the avocados by squeezing the bag.
  • Cut the lime in half and put it in the juicer. Squeeze lime juice to a bowl.
  • Open the bag. With a teaspoon add juice to the bag.
  • Add the cilantro and red onions (optional) and smash it around in the bag.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir gently. Chill until ready to serve

I like to serve this with baby carrots, celery, and the oven baked no salt added chips or the oven baked flax seed Omega 3 chips. It is also great in sandwiches and wraps instead of mayo. Try it on your next BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato). I use the Applegate brand turkey bacon over at Whole Foods. Enjoy.

Homemade Hot Pockets aka Mini Calzones

Bridgeford has premade bread dough in dinner roll size. I find them in the frozen section of the store. These are the perfect size to make homemade hot pockets. I use any leftover dinner protein. For example. BBQ chicken, BBQ pork, Chili, any pizza toppings. Any cooked veggies are great too.  You will want to let your dinner roll defrost and rise (meaning for the yeast to wake up and puff up the bread) under a damp dish towel.

Hardware- rolling pin, tablespoons, teaspoons, small bowls for toppings, cookie sheet or pizza stone, parchment paper for the cookie sheet, pastry brush, knife, cutting board

Software- Bridgeford premade bread dough in dinner roll size, any cooked protein you have on hand, any veggies you like on a pizza sliced or chopped, italian style tomato paste, cheese, garlic powder, egg, flour, small bowl of water.

Procedure

Sprinkle flour on a clean counter or a big cutting board. rub flour on your hands and also on the rolling pin. Roll out one dinner roll to a flat pizza shape. Using the back of a teaspoon, wipe on a thin layer of tomato paste in the center of the pizza and spread it out as if you were saucing a pizza. Add the meat, veggies, and cheese. dip your finger in the bowl of water and rub it all along the pizzas crust. Carefully pull up the wet edges on half to meet the other half that is laying flat as if you were closing a book. Firmly pinch the edges together. You want to make sure the dough is all sealed up. Otherwise the stuffing will leak out.

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