Category Archives: Seafood

Dinners with fish or shrimp as the main course

Red Snapper, Asian Broccollini, Israeli Cous Cous

Watch our new videos on You Tube!
1)  30 second Video of Mia and I for Whole Foods Fantasy Foodie Contest:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Vz4h0TUHXM

2)  5 Minute Overview of Blog/How to Make Chicken Roll-ups: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OqwhMU_cCI

Table for Two
It is so rare that I get to spend a quiet dinner at home with just me and……my 10 yr. old son.  This being a rare occasion, I asked him what he would like to have for dinner (sushi is out because he gave up raw fish for lent).  He asked for fish, cooked.  So we stopped at the fish market and I let him choose.  “How about the Flounder, or the Cod?”, I suggested.  He told me, “Mom, it’s important to mix it up a bit, how about the large red snapper?!”.  Like I need a lecture on exposing kids to different foods, who’s teaching who here?

Red Snapper (about 1 pound even)

  • Pat fish with paper towels to dry it and salt lightly.  Grab a baking dish and lie fish skin side up.
  • Mix 2 TBS of EVOO, juice from 2 lemons, 2 TBS of white wine, ½ TSP of Fine Herbs into a bowl (add 2 TBS of fresh parsley and 1 chopped clove of garlic if you have it).
  • Pour it over the fish.
  • Slice  ½ cup of grape tomatoes and lay them on top.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (depending on thickness)

Brocollini

  • Wash and trim stems.  Heat 2 cloves of garlic in 1 TBS of EVOO for a minute or so.
  • Stir fry brocollini with a dash of ginger powder and 1-2 TBS of soy sauce and a small dash of crushed red pepper.
  • Cover and reduce heat for 1-2 minutes until cooked through.

Israeli Cous Cous

  • Cook ½ onion and some mushrooms in a drop of EVOO and cook until soft.  Add 1 cup of cous cous and stir.
  • Add salt, pepper, 2 TBS of parsley and 2 cups of chicken broth and/or water.  The broth makes it a bit more starchy.
  • You could even add some chicken and spinach to this recipe and make it a quick main course.

Hey Kids!

Shrimp Scampi w/ Cappellini, Roasted Veggies and Salad

The Future of Food is the Past

Last week my son was eating a piece of fish so simply grilled and prepared from Red Stone.  He said “This is a piece of heaven.  This is the future of food!”.  How true that statement is.  But what my son doesn’t know or remember is that food USED to be fresh and simply prepared years ago.  In the days where everything is processed and doctored up in some way, we can only hope (in this case) that history does repeat itself.  Just leave the ugly clothes and hair behind.

Shrimp Scampi

  • Peel shrimp and dry them.  Cook some GF cappellini in salted water and drain saving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • Heat some garlic in a little olive oil and 2 TBS of butter.
  • Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side.  Add a little salt/pepper and move shrimp to a side dish.
  • Add lemon juice (1 lemon), 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, about 1/4 cup white wine to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens a bit.
  • Toss the shrimp and sauce over the pasta.  Stir and serve adding additional pasta water as needed for sauce).

Roasted Veggies (or whatever is leftover from the week)

  • Cut up some carrot, fennel, broccoli and brussel sprouts (cut in half).
  • Toss in a baking dish with some EVOO and “Fine Herbs” (it’s a nice blend).
  • Bake on 375 for about 40 minutes or until tender.

Salad

  • Make a salad and add some tomatoes, celery and whatever you have left from the week.
  • Toss with some balsamic vinaigrette.  I like to add a little fresh basil or a bit from the spice tube for added flavor.

For the Kids

  • Let the kids test the pasta
  • Teach them to “smash” the garlic and peel the skin off.
  • Show them how to de-vein a shrimp.

Flounder Cutlet, Zucchini, Brown Rice

They Like Gagoots!

For years my mom made zucchini w/fresh tomatoes (we called it “gagoots”) and I never liked it.  Tony Soprano used to call his stupid-head son “you big gagoots”.  Hard to believe after 40 years that I am now making the exact same thing.  Not only do I finally LOVE it, but my kids quickly started liking it too!  I guess it’s true, we really do become our parents when we get old.  I can only hope that my kids learn their life lessons as quickly as they learned to like gagootz.

Flounder Cutlet

  • Salt and cut fish into several pieces (as desired).  Dip into flour, then egg, then GF breadcrumbs.  Use flounder or cod, whatever looks freshest.
  • Fry in grapeseed or canola oil (enough to coat the pan well but not submerge fish).
  • Flip it as soon as it’s brown.  When the other side browns, immediately put on a baking rack to cool.
  • Serve plain or with ketchup or tartar sauce.

Zucchini (Gagoots)

  • Heat a little garlic in about 2 TBS of EVOO in a pot.  Add some sliced onion and cook until soft.
  • Peel and slice 3-4 zucchini  (about 1/2 inch thick circles).
  • Cut 3-4 tomatoes and add with zucchini into the pot.
  • Heat on Medium for about 15 minutes or until cooked.

Quick Brown Rice

  • I am hooked on this Brown Rice cooked and frozen in a bag from Whole Foods.
  • Just heat it up in the Microwave and add a little EVOO or soy sauce for flavor/texture.  Great for a quick starch!

For the Kids:

  • Let the kids help crack the eggs and pour the breadcrumbs.
  • Let them help with the dipping into the flour, etc.
  • FYI:  The dish “Gagoots” is a true italian term for a traditional dish that typically includes zucchini, onions and peppers.

Seared Tuna, Grilled Stringbeans/Mushrooms and Edamame Rice

“It’s Not Your Fault Your Fat”

For goodness sake, no wonder everybody struggles with their weight.   Have you been to the big grocery stores lately?  The majority of food is processed and filled with chemicals that are known to cause serious harm to our bodies.  Does a cigarette come with those pizza rolls?  The reality is that cheap food is typically highly processed and faster to cook than fresh (if you don’t know better and haven’t read everydayfamilyfood.com of course).

Would you go to the beach without sunscreen or worse yet, tan with baby oil (even your face)?  Heck no!  We all look back and can’t believe the damage we did to our skin years ago – but who knew any better?   Ten years from now you will be just as horrified remembering a time when we ate 60 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per year and 40% of all foods in a grocery store had hydrogenated oils in them.

Just like smoking and sun damage, we must educate ourselves on the dangers of certain ingredients and their link to cancer.  Even just a few choices you make today could have a major impact on the health of you and your family.   Try these 3 healthy choices next time you go to the food store:

  1. Eliminate foods with high fructose corn syrup (I can’t get rid of the Heinz ketchup though).  Why?  Read this:  http://www.noweightgaincookbooks.com/worse_than_sugar.htm
  2. Eliminate foods with any type of hydrogenated oils.  Why? They will eventually kill you and make you fat in the meantime.  Read this: http://www.treelight.com/health/nutrition/PartiallyHydrogenatedOils.html
    • 95% of all cookies and 75% of chips and crackers
    • 70% of all cold cereals and cake mixes and 80% of all frozen breakfast foods
  3. Try to buy your meats and milk free from hormones.  Why?  It “can increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive system cancers among women and may promote development of prostate cancer in men”.  Read this:  http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/hormones/

Grilled Tuna:  This is a variation on the marinade I use for my flank steak recipe. 

  • Take 4 fresh tuna steaks and marinate in a Ziploc for 10 mins. or 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Marinade:  ¼ cup of Soy sauce, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 TBS of brown sugar, ½ TSP of ginger.
    Add a chopped shallot if you have it.
  • Grill on tin foil for 3-7 minutes on High.  Flip and grill for another 3-7 minutes on Medium.  Cook times vary based on how rare you like it cooked.

Grilled String Beans

  • Wash and snip string bean ends (or defrost) and cut grape tomatoes in half.
  • Toss on tin foil w/ olive oil, salt/pepper and garlic powder
  • Grill for about 10 minutes – wrapped/covered in foil.  Stir to avoid sticking/burning.

Grilled Mushrooms

  • Wash or wipe button mushroom clean.  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt/pepper and grill on tin foil for about 10 minutes.

Avocado/Tomato Salad = Avato Salad

  • Cut one avocado into cubes and slice grape tomatoes in half.
  • Toss with ½ fresh lime, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt/pepper.

Edamame Rice

  • Brown rice takes a while to cook so you can use instant (10 mins.) or buy it cooked and frozen from Trader Joes or just make a large batch and freeze it yourself.
  • Defrost some edamame.
  • Cook/defrost rice.  Add a drop of soy sauce and edamame and stir.
  • You could also add some lemon zest and tarragon for a french vs. asian flare.

What Can Kids Do to Help?

Did You Know?

The consumption of canned tuna accounts for more Americans eating tuna than any other type of fish.

Broiled Flounder, Tin Foil Veggies, Tarragon Potatoes, Shallot Spinach

Surprise – No Grill Gas!

Can someone please tell me why it is such a complete surprise when you uncover the grill (raw dinner in hand),and realize, after pressing the igniter about 10 times, that there is not even enough gas left to light a candle for your table.  I guess it’s the same feeling I find, after using the bathroom, that there is not a stitch of toilet paper left.  Perhaps, it’s the same surprise I get when we show up to our son’s first piano recital and, can you guess, the battery is dead in the camera.  I guess my husband and I could benefit from being more organized, more prepared, more structured in our daily lives.  But then I think of this quote by Leo F. Buscaglia:

“Love withers with predictability; its very essence is surprise and amazement.  To make love a prisoner of the mundane is to take its passion and lose it forever.”

I smile and think, “who needs the grill tonight after all?”.

Broiled Flounder:  Each piece of fish uses a separate piece of tin foil so mix up the toppings.

  • Lay a piece of flounder on tin foil and drizzle some EV olive oil on top/bottom.  Flip the thin tail underneath so the fish is about the same thickness across).
  • Chop some fresh herbs (or dried) basil, parsley and/or thyme – whatever you like.
  • Squeeze some fresh (or bottled) lemon juice and a splash of white wine (if you have it).
  • I added some leftover calamata olives and grape tomatoes to my 2nd piece of fish.
  • Broil for about 10-15 minutes.

Tin Foil Veggies:

  • Slice a zucchini (into spears), and some colored bell peppers and tossed with olive oil, shallots, salt/pepper on a piece of tin foil.
  • Covered and poked holes and broiled for 10-15 minutes.

Spinach w/Shallots

  • Cook some shallots up in a little EV olive oil in a large pan.
  • Add fresh spinach and toss w/ salt/pepper (add 1-2 TBS of water if needed).  Cook for about 5 minutes.

Tarragon Potatoes

  • Wash and slice baby red potatoes in half. Boil for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Toss with EV olive oil, salt/pepper and a little tarragon (fresh or dried).

How Can the Kids Help?

Did You Know?

  • In Iran, crushed shallots are often eaten in yogurt.
  • Shallots are very high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, folic acid, calcium, iron and is also a good source of protein
  • The body can digest the shallot much easier than it can an onion.

Grilled Fish Trio, Grilled Snow Peas/Portobello and Rice Pilaf

Falling Through the Cracks

When I grill food on tin foil, it feels as liberating as serving dinner on paper plates.  The kids like it because they don’t get too much of that charcoal taste and texture (yes, they don’t like the black stuff).  I like it because I simply just throw it away after the food is cooked– no cleaning pots/pans or serving dishes.  No matter what it is, veggies, steak, chicken, pork and fish – it all works on tin foil.  And the best part is, you don’t have to worry about stuff falling through the cracks and you still get some grill marks and delicious grill taste.  Now if it could only catch the things on my “to do” list from falling through the cracks….

Grilled Fish:  While not a fan of cooking multiple main courses, my kids and I picked 3 different fishes at the market today, “I want salmon, no I want swordfish, no I want…!”.  The customer next to us said to me, “I have never seen children so excited about fish before!”. 

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon:

  • Put a piece of Salmon on tin foil and pour a little teriyaki sauce on top (and bottom), sprinkle with ginger powder, pepper and some fresh garlic cloves.
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for 7-8 minutes.

Grilled Swordfish:

  • Cut a piece of swordfish in half and place on tin foil (with a little EVOO on bottom).  Pour a little EV Olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic clove and splash of white wine on top.
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for 8-10 minutes.

Grilled Flounder

  • Place flounder on tin foil (fold thin sides under to cook evenly).  Pour a little EV olive oil, salt/pepper, garlic clove, fresh lemon and spices (I used thyme and parsley).
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for 6-7 minutes.

Grilled Grape Tomatoes

  • Place grape tomatoes on tin foil.  Toss with EV olive oil, salt, pepper (and fresh basil if you have it.  FYI it will turn black on grill).
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for about 10 mins.

Snow Peas

  • Wash and take strings off snow peas.  Place on tin foil and toss with salt/pepper, fresh garlic and ginger powder.
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for about 10 mins.

Portobello Mushrooms

  • Slice mushrooms and place on tin foil.  Toss with EV Olive oil, salt/pepper and grill for about 10 minutes.

Rice Pilaf:

  • Cook rice pilaf (Far East brand) according to directions (does take about 30 min.)

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Smash the garlic clove
  • Pick and/or sprinkle herbs on fish
  • Squeeze the lemon wedge on fish
  • Help wash veggies (teach importance of washing food)
  • Measure and pour rice pilaf ingredients
  • Fish coloring/activity pages: http://www.coloring.ws/fish.htm

Did You Know?

  • To get Omega 3 in eggs, farmers force hens to eat flaxseed (fish oil).  Don’t bother, just eat fish instead.
  • If Omega 3 is “added” to your food, chances are it wasn’t meant to be in there in the first place.  Just eat fish!

Now THAT was good!

Grilled Cod w/Mango Tomatoes, Grilled Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus, Raw Salad

What NOT to Order

I went to my favorite fish guy in Ambler today determined to make grilled tuna (Mac has been bugging me to make it).  When I arrived, it wasn’t as bright red as usual but I figured it would be fine.  As I began to order it, I heard him whisper, “get something else”.  So I quickly changed plans and ordered a big piece of the Cod.  “Great choice!” he told me – as if it was my idea.  It reminded me of a waiter that says something like, “are you SURE you don’t want to try the salmon instead?” – hint, hint, the veal is a real loser tonight.  So I was thinking….wouldn’t it be great if someone could warn you before every meal what NOT to order, sort of a fairy godmother of food?  Imagine if Stacey and Clinton from What NOT to Wear came jumping out of the restaurant’s kitchen to guide you in ordering the best items off the menu.  C’mon tell me that wouldn’t be the coolest!

Grilled Cod w/Mango Tomatoes: 
I am not a girl that ever likes fruit in my dinner but when I bought this Mango and cut it up for the kids, Mia told me it tasted like lemon (which I forgot to buy for the fish).  I asked her if I should put it on the fish and she suggested that I add some sliced grape tomatoes and Voila!  Plus, once grilled it didn’t taste fruity at all.

  • Pat your fish dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt/pepper.  Place on a piece of tin foil.
  • Chop some fresh thyme, parsley and tarragon (from my herb pots – you can use dried too) and sprinkle it in on top of or inside the cod fish filet (if it is sliced).
  • Dice a mango and some grape tomatoes and put on top of and all around the fish.
  • Drizzle with some EV olive oil, white wine and lemon juice (bottled is ok).
  • Place another piece of tin foil on top and tighten sides with bottom piece.  Poke a couple holes for steam to escape.
  • Grill on HIGH for about 10 minutes.  Turn the heat down to Medium for another 5 mins. or so (depending on thickness of fish).

Grilled Asparagus

  • Snap the end off of one asparagus piece to see where you should cut the bottoms off the rest.
  • Lay asparagus on tin foil and toss (with hands) EV olive oil, salt/pepper, lemon juice and 2 cloves of garlic.
  • Wrap in the tin foil and grill for 10 minutes on High.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

  • Peel and slice sweet potatoes (about ½ inch thick). 
  • Toss with EV olive oil, salt/pepper and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
  • Lay on an open piece of tin foil and grill on High for 10 mins. and then Medium for 5 mins. (same as fish).

Raw Salad:  Raw salads are so good for you and so easy to make.  Just cut up whatever you have!

  • Peel and dice celery, orange pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes and avocado.
  • Toss with EV Olive oil, salt/pepper and Rice Wine Vinegar.
  • Squirt some fresh or bottled lime juice on before mixing to ensure the avocados don’t brown.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Plant a few herbs in a pot and let the kids help you pick them.
  • Sprinkle the chopped herbs and mangos/tomatoes in and around the fish.
  • Toss asparagus with seasonings with hands!
  • Sprinkle brown sugar on the sweet potatoes
  • Help add ingredients and mix the raw salad.
  • Fish Coloring Page:  http://www.rugbyclc.com/resources/fish+-+colour.gif

Did You Know?

  • This dinner took 15 minutes to cook!
  • I like grilling on tin foil because the kids don’t like things too charcoaled plus it makes for an easier grill clean-up and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks!
  • Cod is it one of the cleanest sources of protein with little or no carbohydrates or fat.
  • Cod provides you with healthy doses of B12, B6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, plus it’s a very mild flavored fish – all good things for your heart, cholesterol levels, and fish has anti-inflammatory effects on the body and may help protect against skin cancer.

Grilled Fish, Spaghetti Fra Diavolo, Sauteed Kale

“Spoiled Rotten”

I pride myself on being able to say “NO” to my children whenever and wherever I want to for the simple reason, “…because I said so”.  I feel empowered by this and like to execute this power at random once in a while just to prove that I can do it and that I am, in fact, the boss (some days).  Try it just once for no reason and see how great you feel!  Last week, I told the kids we were stopping at the Fish Market to get some fish for dinner.  I heard my daughter say “YES, mom let’s me have whatever I want there!”.  Meanwhile, all they have there are fruits and vegetables – Yeah, I’m such a pushover. 

Want to be a real hero after school?  Lay out some fresh berries and apples with a side of chocolate syrup for dipping – YUM!

Spaghetti Fra Diavolo:  Lidia inspires me to do the easiest and most tasty dishes!  You can add any kind of seafood (e.g., lobster, clams or fish) to this sauce or serve it on the side.

  • Sautee some garlic in EV olive oil for a few minutes.
  • Pour a can (or two) of peeled tomatoes in the pot squishing the tomatoes with your hands.
  • Add salt and some crushed red pepper (a little will not be hot – don’t worry).
  • Add some fresh basil and let it cook for at least 20 minutes (crushing tomatoes with spoon as you stir).
  • Cook spaghetti in salted water.  Add sauce and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.  Save some sauce for the fish.

Grilled Fish:  Use any kind of white fish for this recipe (I actually took 3 pieces of white fish out of my freezer; cod, halibut, flounder).  I like broiling it too.

  • Marinade:  Mix about ½ cup of EV olive oil, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice, salt/pepper, and sprinkle of the herb of your choice (I like Penzies Fine Herbs).  I added some fresh parsley too.
  • Put each piece of fish on tin foil, brush the marinade on it (both sides) and close foil.
  • Grill or broil for about 7-9 minutes depending on size.
  • Serve with Fra Diavolo sauce on side.

Sauteed Kale:  Wash kale and cut off ends (I cut it up a bit too).  Kale is a little thick – I would try to get the kids to eat spinach first.

  • Sautee some garlic in olive oil.  Add kale and toss with salt/pepper.
  • Add a pinch of crushed red pepper for flavor (a tiny bit will not be hot but add flavor).

Salad:  Normally I wouldn’t serve a spinach salad with Kale as a side dish but I had it leftover from the fajitas so I wanted to use it up.  Tossed salad with some ripe cherry tomatoes and some sprouts (let the kids just try them – they are SOOOO good for you).

How Can the Kids Help?

Did You Know?

  • Fra Diavolo is Italian for “Brother Devil”
  • Kale is a variety of cabbage and has more than the recommended serving of Vitamin C and A for the day.  It’s also a good source of fiber, protein and calcium.
  • We require around 50-100 different chemical compounds to be healthy – over 2/3 of our diets consist of corn, soybeans, rice and wheat  (leaves little room left in diet for other things)*

*In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Grouper, Roasted Tomatoes, and Easy Cheesy Mac

At the Hour of Death – Waffles, I mean Amen.

When someone is sick or there is a death in the family, what do we do?  We show up at their door with food as a symbol of our compassion.  When my mother was in her final weeks and upon her death, nothing was more touching than the outpouring of love (and food) from friends and family.  We had all dropped our busy lives and huddled together for over a month to care for her.  My brother from Hong Kong, my sister from Denver, my other sister and her 2 daughters, my dad and I, were inseparable during this time.  People brought us delicious dinners and of course (surprise, surprise) in our worst hour, we never skipped a meal.  The words, “I am just too upset to eat” would never come from our mouths – they just say that in the movies.   After my mother finally did pass, we gathered around her bed and prayed together.  Only an hour later, in our shock and grief, we found ourselves sitting around the table yet again with home-made waffles and champagne toasting to the amazing woman that my mother was.  Maybe we are weird, maybe we are food obsessed or maybe in our worst hour, the hour of death, we just need to do something that felt normal.   Sitting at the same table we all grew up around seemed to provide us the utmost comfort yet again.

Grouper:  My favorite Asian fish market in Ambler (Sonny’s) always comes through with the freshest fish.

  • Place fish on tin foil on baking sheet (wrap fish in foil almost covering it all)
  • Drizzle EV Olive oil, fresh garlic, and salt/pepper on the fish
  • Grate some lemon zest and squeeze some juice  – throw 3-4 lemon wedges in there too
  • I put a dash of “Fine Herbs” from Penzies Spices but use whatever you like (sage, thyme)
  • Bake on 400 for 20 minutes
  • Uncover fish completely and cook approx. 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness of fish)

Baked Cherry Tomatoes/Fennel/Pepper:  use any or all the ingredients for this.  I had a couple of capers left in a jar and had some fennel leftover from last night so I threw them in and it was awesome!  Bake on parchment paper for easy cleanup.

  • Toss cherry tomatoes, yellow or red pepper and fennel (optional) with EV Olive Oil and Salt.
  • Bake with fish on 400 for 20 minutes.
  • Put in a separate bowl to be served with fish

Mac n’ Cheese: 

I make Mac n’ Cheese the fancy way with butter and flour, making the rue first and then slowly adding the milk and then cheese.  However, the kids are happy with just pasta and butter – then mix in a little cheese (Parmesan or even American slices).

Carrots:

  • Boil fresh carrots.
  • Add butter and a drop of orange juice for sweetness.

How Can th Kids Help?

  • Teach kids how to smash the garlic with the back of the knife – let them peel the skin off
  • Grate or ‘zest’ the lemon – let them squeeze the juice too
  • Help peel the carrots – be careful, the peeler can be very sharp
  • Finding Nemo Coloring Page:  http://www.freecoloring.info/img/finding-nemo-08.gif

Did You Know?

  • Eating one or two servings of fish per week can reduce your risk of dying from a heart attach by a third or more! http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/omega-3/hb00087
  • You don’t have to disguise fish for kids – they usually prefer it just plain instead of batter fried.

Spaghetti with Shrimp, Peas and Portobellos

If Kids Were CEO’s

My girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter asks if they could go to McDonald’s and my friend tells her “no” because “the food is very bad for you”.  So this precious little girl with the biggest brown eyes (picture Cindy Lou Who) looks up at her mom and says “then why do they sell it to the people?.  How much time do you have….costs, sales, profits, preservatives, shelf life.  Now perhaps this 4-year-old doesn’t understand all that, but she does understand the basic difference between RIGHT and WRONG.  Too bad she doesn’t have the CEO’s job.

As a parent, I struggle with the balance between GOOD and WEIRD.  I want to make the good choices for my kids;  eat healthy, play outside, limit video games, encourage reading,  imaginative play and non-violent TV.  However, I do fear that if they aren’t exposed to the bad choices, they will be perceived as “weird” or they might rebel or they might never learn to make the good choice for themselves.  I don’t want the kid who has NEVER tasted McDonalds but rather the one who has and knows the consequences (chemicals are bad for your body).  I don’t want the kid on the playground who can’t join in the conversation about Pokemon because he never watched TV or played video games but rather the one who has and knows the consequences (it literally scrambles your brain).  If they can learn this now, maybe it will help them make better choices as they get older and the stakes are higher.  Maybe when they become the CEO’s they will make the right decisions.  Now, I’ve educated the kids enough about food and they haven’t asked for McDonald’s in years, video games….well I’m still working on that one.

Spaghetti w/ Shrimp, Peas & Portabellos:  I buy the shrimp pre-cooked and frozen so they are always ready to go.  Simply run them under warm water for a minute to partially defrost. 

  • Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to directions.  Drain and save a little pasta water.
  • In a pan, heat up a little garlic (2 cloves) and butter (1 TBS) in olive oil.
  • Add shrimp, peas, mushrooms and cook through (few minutes).
  • Add parsley, juice (and grate rind) from one lemon, salt/pepper.
  • Toss spaghetti into pot and mix.  Add a drop of pasta water if needed to thicken sauce.
    Top with parmesan cheese if you’d like.

This recipe is good with a variety of ingredients.  Try asparagus, soybeans, spinach, etc.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Teach kids how to open a clove of garlic -I smash down on the garlic with the side of the knife – Mia peels away the skin.
  • Pour olive oil in the pan – Count to 3:  That’s enough!
  • Ask kids to tell you when garlic is getting brown – oh no!
  • Count the shrimp – how many per person?
  • Add the peas and mushrooms and stir (I let Mia cut the mushrooms)
  • Help grate the lemon and squeeze the juice in.
  • Disney Spaghetti Coloring Page: http://disney.go.com/magicartist/coloring/lady/page7/index.html

Did You Know?

  • Show your kids this trick!  How do you know when the pasta is done?  Take a piece out of the boiling pot and throw it against your kitchen cabinet.  If it sticks, it’s done cooking!
  • Some historians think the Sicilian word “maccaruni” which translates as “made into dough by force” is the origin of our word, macaroni.  My grandmother called ANY kind of pasta, “macaroni”.  She would get excited and tell us, “We’re havn’ mac-a-rone-eeee!”