Fun with Food

Fun with Food

I love cooking with kids.

Cooking with children is a ton of fun! They are curious and adventurous so they are more likely to try new foods. It really isn’t difficult to introduce them to healthier food especially if they help to prepare the recipes. I’m going to offer a variation on Rice Krispy Treats that comes from The Kushi Institute kitchens.

Rice Krispy Treats

3 cups toasted brown rice cereal (Barbaras or Erewhan)
1 cup brown rice syrup
½ cup almonds, peanut butter or Tahini
1 tsp sweet miso

½ cup golden raisins
Roll balls in chopped toasted nuts

1) Combined rice syrup, nut butter and sweet miso in small pot. Heat on low flame until well blended.
2) Pour over rice cereal and mix well.
3) Roll into 1” bals or press firmly into 8” x 8” glass dish. Let sit until cool.

The balls are very sticky so it is wise to drop spoonfuls of mixture onto parchment paper and allow to cool a bit before trying to roll into balls.

Give this recipe a try and make it with your children it will be a blast!

Pittsfield Farmers Market

Come see me July 20th

Come see me July 20th

I’m sharing a simple and delicious recipe for you. This one was the favorite during my demonstration at the Pittsfield Farmers Market in June.

I’ll be back at the Market on July 20th with new, simple recipes that you can sample while browsing the market!

Sweet Corn Millet Croquettes

 3 ¼ cups boiling water

1 cup millet, washed and soaked overnight

2 cups sweet corn

1 small onion diced small

1 grated carrot

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp umeboshi vinegar, or to taste

½ tsp shoyu or tamari sauce

½ cup scallions or parsley

Olive oil

1)      Heat small amount of oil in a heavy skillet medium high heat

2)      Add the millet and sauté 2 minutes stirring constantly

3)      Add onions and sauté another 2-3 minutes stirring constantly

4)      Add garlic, carrots and continue sauté 2-3 minutes adding corn to combine all ingredients

5)      Add boiling water to millet mixture and turn down to low, cook for about 30 minutes checking often to see millet is not sticking to bottom of skillet. Add more water if needed

6)      Once cooked add parsley or scallions and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool so you can handle millet mixture.

7)      Place half the mixture in a food processor and blend until paste then add back into remaining millet.

8)      Form the mixture into 6 equal sized croquettes

9)      Heat oil in skillet and add croquettes, cook 5 minutes on each side.

10)  Remove from pan and set in warm oven

Chive Mayonnaise

 1 cup veganaise

1 small bunch chives snipped small

1 tsp lemon juice or ½ tsp umeboshi vinegar

1 Tblsp olive oil

Pinch sea salt

Mix together ingredients and use to top millet croquettes.


Remember to stop by my booth and pick up some new recipes to add to your favorite whole foods recipe box.

Enjoy this fantastic summer weather!

I’m Back

Well it has been a long winter! I am delighted to be back with the freshness of spring and many cooking classes under my belt. My focus has shifted back to children and how to engage them in cooking with us. Here is just a quick snapshot of why we would want to cook with the children in our lives:

Do you struggle to find quick, nutritious snacks and meals to offer your children? With our very busy lives it is often challenging to find the time to prepare healthy meals. There is a healthy solution!

Children are naturally curious and adventurous so why not introduce them to food by making it fun.

They are so pleased when they make something for others and receive praise for a job well done!

Children will jump for joy when they learn to cook!

Benefits of Cooking with your Children

             Cooking with the children in our lives is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. They feel good about themselves when they contribute to the daily chores at home and cooking can be so much fun. Children love to have the opportunity to show us what they know and can do. They are proud of themselves when make something the whole family enjoys together.

Cooking with children does take time and patience. It can also get pretty messy and the food may not be just the way we grown ups like it, but believe me it is worth the effort. Preparing food to eat and share with others teaches children so many life-long skills while engaging them in a fun and healthy activity. And the fact is that children who help with the planning and preparation of meals also are more likely to eat what has been made. Younger children need tasks that they can accomplish safely and sometimes older children can help them when they get stuck.

Older children are able to read and interpret recipes. They can help younger children measure and and mix. Show older children how to properly clean cutting boards and counters and what good personal hygiene is when preparing food. Work with older children to set up the work area with all utensils that will be needed, and gather all ingredients before starting to cook. Teach them to develop the ability to plan for their menu by preparing all ingredients that must be chopped, peeled, etc. so that the actual cooking process goes smoothly and quickly. This organization and planning helps the cooking process go smoothly adding to their sense of accomplishment.

Shopping Adventures

Think about involving children in the entire food preparation process starting with making the grocery list, shopping, putting food away, setting the table, cooking and sitting together to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

In the grocery store teach your children how to read nutrition labels. Help them understand the difference between fresh and processed foods. Teach them about healthy fats, whole grains and beans, alternatives to meat and the importance of a balanced diet for overall good health. Introduce children to vitamins and minerals and how to shop for the highest quality foods at the best prices. Show children the content of sugar or salt that is in their favorite processed foods and offer them healthier alternatives they can make. In doing so we are teaching them about important nutrients and healthy food choices which they can carry all their lives.

The benefits of shopping and cooking with children are many.

They learn what healthy foods look and smell like

They learn about important nutritional information

They are more likely to eat the healthy food that is presented to them

They get to spend quality time with you

They may focus their time and energy in more healthy endeavors rather than being connected via phone, computer, TV etc

So what are you waiting for get into the kitchen with your children and have a blast! Try this recipe from Shari-Lynn Demaris’ cookbook it has become a favorite of some of the children in my life!

Tofu Nut Balls


½ cup uncooked short grain brown rice

1 cup water

2 Tblsp shoyu

½ lb firm tofu

½ cup ground almond

½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Sea salt to taste

1-2 Tblsp sesame oil

1 cup safflower oil (it is less likely to burn)

1)    Wash, rinse and soak the rice.

2)   Place prepared rice and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat cooking for 35-45 minutes until rice is very soft.

3)   Place shoyu and ½ the tofu in a blender and then add about ¾ of the cooked rice. Blend into a thick paste.

4)   Place remaining tofu in a large bowl. Add the blended mixture to the bowl along with the bread crumbs and almond meal. Mix well, then add the remaining rice and sea salt to taste.

5)   Make small balls with your hands or flatter batter and use cookie cutters for special shapes.

6)   Pan fry balls in the sesame oil for 15 minutes or pan bake them at 350 for 30 minutes.