Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Everything is better on a stick

April 29, 2010

The weather is getting warmer and you know what that means…well, yes, it means inappropriate belly shirts and sweaty subway rides, but more importantly, it means popsicles!

I have such great memories of summers at the Jersey Shore (before the Snookie and Situation invasion) on the beach, my face and hands stained blue from all of the color dyes and artificial flavorings crammed into my all time favorite Rocket Pops.

So now that we know how bad all those ingredients are for us, what to do? Simple, you make your own pops and you make them not only nutritious but fun to eat too. All you need are some BPA free molds and an imagination. I’m assuming you’ve got the latter. The molds can be found at You can choose from shooting stars, rocket pops, groovy pops, dual layer pops and even freezer gems. So cool.

Let your imagination soar as you put together nutritious and delicious combinations that your kids and all their friends will dig (yep, this will put you firmly in contention for coolest mom of the year).

Check out for some more inspiration and grab a copy of Pops! Icy Treats For Everyone by Krystina Castella, a great selection of healthy pop recipes at

To get you started, here’s her recipe for Honeydew Melon Pops:

4 cups diced ripe honeydew melon

1/3 cup plain yogurt(organic please)

Juice of 3 limes

Grated zest of 1 lime

3 tsp of honey

1. Put 2 cups of melon, the yogurt and lime juice and zest in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add the honey and blend again.

3. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of melon

4. Fill the pop molds with the mixture and freeze for at least 6 hours

5. Remove from the freezer. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the mold.

Serve and enjoy!


The Petit Appetit is a big hit

April 27, 2010

So, I have a new favorite cookbook, The Petit Appetit cookbook – easy Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler by Lisa Barnes.  The book concentrates on kids 4 months to 4 years, and is full of delicious, nutritious recipes for kids of all ages.

What I really like about The Petit Appetit is her emphasis on fresh, organic food and making mealtimes and cooking not only fun but educational.  There is also valuable information on food storage, food safety and pantry must-have items. And you’ll find egg-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes that will not disappoint.

Lisa splits up the sections by age starting with “The Beginners” (4-6 months) and then moves on the “The Explorers” (6-9 months) and ends with “The Connoisseurs” (3-4 years).  I just made her Cereal Batons and my husband ate them like “The Animals.”

Get your copy here…

It’s Meatless Monday! What’s for breakfast?

April 26, 2010

My family is pretty lucky. Every morning I arise earlier than I really have to just to make them a delicious homemade nutritious breakfast.  Now, I’m sure they appreciate my tireless pursuit of sainthood, but to be honest I am sick and tired of the clean-up.  They’re usually off to work and school before me, so guess who gets stuck with the dishes? (ahem) Yep, me.

So, I have been racking my brain to come up with breakfast ideas that require little or no clean-up. Which is why I got so excited when I found this delish recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in Living Vegan for Dummies, from one of my favorite vegans, Alexandra Jamieson (

Great for breakfast, snack time or anytime, all you have to do is just slice and go.

BTW, Living Vegan for Dummies is a mmmmmmust have book for anyone interested in becoming vegan or for vegans who want to create a healthy and balanced diet, collect invaluable tips for eating out and traveling as well as expand their cooking repertoire with some kick ass vegan recipes.

Yeah, I said it. Kick ass.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2 large overripe bananas

6 tablespoons soy, rice or hemp milk

2/3 cup agave syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup vegan chocolate chips

1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour

1 cup unbleached white, whole wheat, or spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly oil a 9-inch loaf pan.  In a medium mixing bowl, mash together the bananas, milk, agave, oil, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour the banana and chocolate chip mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-45 m inutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.

Clean Food, Clean Plate

March 24, 2010

I love to cook. But, I’m not a natural.  I wish I could be one of those savant culinary alchemists intuitively mixing spices, textures and tastes to concoct unusual delicious delicacies. But, I’m not. Let’s just say any time I spend cooking is a work in progress.

So, until I become a fabulous chef, I rely on recipes. One of my new favorite cookbooks is Clean Food by Terry Walters. Chock full of amazing seasonal recipes, she makes it easy to eat fresh, local organic and whole foods without having to spend your whole day in the kitchen.

Of special note, her Green Goddess Dip makes anything taste better. It’s especially good for kids of all ages who say they don’t like vegetables. Serve it with crudité and then see what they say. It’ll probably be something like “Why don’t we have veggies more often?”

You can buy the book here…

Green Goddess Dip

12 ounces extra firm silken tofu

3 scallions, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro

1 tablespoon maple mustard

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar

2 teaspoons mellow white miso

2 teaspoons brown rice syrup

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Wrap tofu in paper towels and press gently to remove excess water. Place in food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate to thicken and allow flavors to blend. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Variations: This dip can be thinned with water and used as a salad dressing, or made with 1 ½ cups great northern or navy beans instead of tofu.

The Conscious Kitchen

March 2, 2010

Rarely do I recommend something that is a must-buy-now item, but Alexandra Zissu’s new book is just that. And it comes out today!

The Conscious Kitchen is a must-have guide that tells you everything you need to know about choosing the safest, healthiest food for your family and at the same time preserving and protecting our planet.

Never again will you be confused by food labels, unsure what fish is sustainably caught or worry about the toxicity of the containers you pack your child’s lunch in.

The book covers everything from fruits, vegetables and meats, to cookware, to appliances to how to save the most energy in your kitchen even where to get organic booze! (my favorite)

Pick up a copy and feel smug knowing you will be confident in your food choices, playing your part in protecting the environment and most importantly taking care of your family.

You can get it here…

The Silver Spoon

February 19, 2010

Buongiorno!  I just enjoyed a delicious authentic Italian dinner.  Did I slave over a hot stove?  No.  Did I have to rush home from work to make it?  No again.  I sat with my footsies on the couch while my eight-year-old daughter made me a fabulous bruschetta and a tuna and bean salad.  This is all because of my new favorite book, The Silver Spoon for Children.

Adapted from the Italian cooking-bible, The Silver Spoon, all of the recipes are not only delicious but kid-approved. Each step is described simply and clearly with adorable illustrations and photographs to make the recipes easy to follow.

Your kids will learn about kitchen safety, equipment and utensils, and techniques such as how to squeeze juice from lemons and oranges, how to crack eggs and how to use a grater.  They can learn how to make their own pasta, roast a leg of lamb in an herb crust with stuffed tomatoes, and even bake their own Focaccia.

Get it here…

Now, where’s that book that shows my daughter how simple and easy it is to do laundry and clean her room?

Octopus anyone?

January 28, 2010

Have you ever read something that just reinforces how smart you really are?  Let’s put it this way, Nancy Tringali Piho and I agree on a lot of things, such as don’t be a short-order cook, there should be no such thing as a kid’s menu, make your own baby food from the family dinner, try to stay away from processed foods especially with Dora’s mug on the front- you get the picture.

Her book, My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus-Raising Children Who Love to Eat EVERYTHING, is a great, no-nonsense guide for all parents who want to introduce their kids to nutritious, delicious foods and ultimately create life-long healthy eaters.

The book covers everything from what to eat when you are pregnant to the important of nursing your kids so they get a variety of tastes and flavors from their very beginning moments of life to how to expand your toddler’s palate and prevent picky eaters. She even includes the dos and don’ts of restaurant dining.

It’s exactly the book I would have written. So, thanks Nancy, for saving me the trouble.

You can get it here…

Meatless Monday

January 18, 2010

Quinoa (KEEN-WA) is one cool seed. Known as the “mother grain,” not only is it a complete protein (who needs meat?) but it is also a good source of B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. I always recommend it to my clients who suffer from migraines and it really helps!

Quinoa is so nutritious that Incan armies existed on it for many days while marching.  They used to mix it with fat to make “war balls.” And we all know how important it is for an army to have war balls.

Here is a recipe for Coconut-Infused Quinoa from a MUST-read book called GRUB by Anna Lappe and Bryant Terry. Check out their site

Remember to rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the saponin (a bitter coating used to prevent birds from eating its seeds).

Coconut-Infused Quinoa

1 cup coconut milk, fresh or canned

Coarse sea salt

1 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons dried unsweetened coconut

Combine the coconut milk with 1 cup of water and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the quinoa and dried coconut, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and steam with lid on for 5 minutes, then lightly fluff with a fork.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

December 30, 2009

Come along for the ride with Barbara Kingsolver and her husband and two daughters as they pledge to become locavores for one year.  For those of you who don’t know, a locavore is a person who eats only local food.  (Just thought I’d clear up any misconceptions. My husband thought it might be some type of dinosaur.)

I highly recommend  Animal,Vegetable,Miracle for all of you who want to learn more about healthy alternatives to processed foods, industrial agriculture and ecology, and delicious seasonal recipes.  You can think of it as a how-to guide for planting (for the adventurous) eating, buying and cooking locally.

I can’t imagine moving out of Manhattan to a farm but the book does inspire me to support my local farmers, take more of an interest in where the food I am eating comes from and gives me an even greater appreciation for the people that grow and transport all of their delicious, nutritious food from their farm to our table.

To all the local farmers out there, wishing you a very Happy New Year with thanks and gratitude.