Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday's Food for Thought

Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

Perhaps the only thing more fun than cooking a great meal is sharing it with friends and family.  This Saturday is Cinco de Mayo and I sure hope you are celebrating!  To give you some inspiration for your weekend festivities, I have collected some beautiful images of decorations, table settings, and fun ideas to make your party the talk of the town.  Bright colors, bold patterns, hot food, and cold margaritas!  What is your favorite Cinco de Mayo food?

{image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7}

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens

Beets are one of those foods that I have been hesitant to try.  They seemed complicated to me.  Each week, I see them at the farm and want to try them, but I usually end up talking myself out of it.  Not this week!  I was determined to find a way to cook them, and I am glad I finally gave them a try!

This dish is SO GOOD!!  The entire family loved them and wished there was more.  In fact, it was the first thing my daughter finished from her plate.  The roasted beets are so sweet, I bet your kids will devour them.  The greens were delicious as well.  They were very similar to chard, but I think a less bitter.  I might even say they are better than chard!

This recipe is so easy! Just allow plenty of time for roasting.

1 bunch of beets with their greens
1/4 C olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C onion, chopped
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and separate the greens.  Rinse the greens, removing any large stems, and set aside.  Place the beets in a small baking dish and toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Cover and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife can easily slide through the largest beet.  Cut into a size your child can handle.
  3. When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining olive oil an a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion, and cook for about 1 minute.  Tear the greens into large bite-sized pieces, and add them to the skillet.  Cook until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Assemble the dish by placing the greens into a bowl and create a well for the beets.  Place the beets in the center of the bowl and drizzle with red wine vinegar.  Serve warm.

Adapted from

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fresh Idea

Beyond the Kids' Menu - Island's Restaurant

I am so very excited about this!  We don't often go out for meals, but things got a little crazy this past weekend.  We decided to go to our local Island's for a quick lunch.  To my surprise, they happened to be testing out a few new menu items, including their Fresh Beach Bowl.  I took one look at all the veggies on there and I knew my little girl would love it!  We told her what it was and she was ready to try it out.  

When her bowl came, it looked just as good as the marketing photo.  It was also fairly large given that this is on the adult menu.  Some of the pieces were a little too big for her, but that was easy to overcome.  She LOVED it!  In fact, my husband loved it too!  (I didn't sample it because of the chicken, but it smelled delicious!)  It was a little pricey ($9.49 + tax) - about double the average kids' menu item, but we got 2 meals out of it.  I think it was well worth the price to get such a great variety of veggies and brown rice.  

This item is only in the testing phase, so if you happen to be near one of the Island's restaurants that is testing this menu item (just call ahead to check), please give it a try.  I hope this option is here to stay!

Make Your Own Quesadilla

Cinco de Mayo is coming up this Saturday, so I couldn't resist making some Mexican food this week.  Quesadillas are such a quick and easy meal, and you can fill them with just about anything.  The best part for me is offering the fillings and letting my daughter make her own!  She is more apt to try a variety of veggies if she gets to assemble it.  :)

I have all the filling options prepped ahead of time and I lay them all out for the family.  I try my best to have an assortment in a variety of colors and textures.  No plain cheese quesadillas here!

Each person layers on the fillings and I cook them on the stovetop.  It takes a couple of rounds to cook them all, but again, it is so easy!

olive oil
shredded cheese (we usually opt for sharp cheddar and pepper jack)
yellow onion, diced
green onion, thinly sliced
red pepper, diced
sweet corn 
sliced olives
salsa (we make our own)
sour cream

These are what we had on hand this week.  In the past we have also used diced tomatoes and avocado. You could also add grilled chicken or any other meat if you like.  

  1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Lay the tortilla flat and fill one half of it with the fillings you choose.  Make sure you really stack them on there.  You will be surprised how thin they get once the cheese melts!
  3. Fold the tortilla over into a half-moon shape and place into the fry pan.  I prefer using a large fry pan so I am able to accomodate 2 quesadillas at once.
  4. Cook until the cheese has started to melt and the underside is golden brown.  Flip once to brown the other side.
  5. Once cooked, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.  Top with salsa and sour cream if you like.  Enjoy!! 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekly Menu

This week we picked up carrots, red beets, cilantro, spinach, tangerines, and strawberries from our local organic farm.  We will also be using the last of the green onions and sweet maui onions from a previous trip to the farm.  Check out what's on our menu this week:

  • Vegetarian Hamburgers and roasted carrots
    • using the carrots and sweet maui onions

  • Make Your Own Quesadilla Night
    • using the green onions, cilantro, and sweet maui onions

  • Spinach and Cheese Cannelloni with side of Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens
    • using the spinach and beets

  • We will be enjoying the tangerines and strawberries for our nightly dessert.