Charred Indian Kale, Red Pepper, & Corn Stir Fry

This past weekend, we ordered Indian food out from a local restaurant. Yaaaaay! It was a welcome break for me from the kitchen. Until I realized that we didn't have enough vegetarian items. So I decided to make my own version of a traditional Indian spinach dish by substituting kale. Which has become so trendy these days. I used dinosaur kale because it is more tender and was on sale at Whole Foods.

My son loved the kale with garlic naan, and my baby daughter enjoyed it pureed with no salt.  My older daughter, though, is a whole other story. Believe me, I'm working on it. 😉

Here's how I made it…

Charred Indian Kale, Red Pepper and Corn Stir Fry

1 bunch dinosaur kale, stems removed and sliced (or have your kids tear them into pieces)
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/2 red pepper thinly sliced
1 thai bird chili, split
1 tsp. cumin power
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. coconut oil

In a medium saute pan, add coconut oil. Preheat pan for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add green chili. Then add red peppers and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add kale, corn, ginger, spices and lemon juice. Stir fry vegetables for 4-5 minutes until vegetables appear to be charred slightly. Season to taste. Garnish with lemon and cilantro.

The same recipe can be used for swiss chard, spinach or dandelion greens.

Charred Indian Kale, Red Pepper and Corn Stir Fry | WannaBee Chef

Two Minute Grape and Feta Salad

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I love tea time and it's now become a favorite of my kids as well.  Being Indian, we take our tea very seriously, but even more so the snacks that go along with it!  I find tea time very relaxing because I take the opportunity to bond with my kids in the afternoon and/or to meet with family and friends.  When I'm not enjoying tea at home, I love checking out new spots - one of my most memorable experiences has been High Tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. 

This quick, easy and extremely flavorful salad served with a side of brown rice crackers and a cup of tea was such a hit with everyone!  The crackers have been a a savior when we are looking for a gluten-free substitute for bread.  The important part of this salad is slicing the grapes in rounds so there is more circumference of the juicy flesh.  This salad doesn't keep well so make sure you enjoy it fresh.  I usually buy red grapes since my kids say they are sweeter 😉 . 

Grape and Feta Salad

1/2 cup red grapes, sliced 

1/4 cup feta, crumbed

2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 

1 tbsp parsley chiffonade

lemon juice to taste (I like it slightly tart, so around 1 teaspoon)

extra virgin olive for drizzling 

salt 

pepper 

Layer the sliced grapes on a plate.  Sprinkle the feta, pine nuts, and parsley on the grapes. Squeeze lemon juice on the salad.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  This salad is best eaten on a cracker or even alone as a snack. 

Two Minute Grape and Feta Salad | wannabeelicious

Berry Vanilla Yogurt Parfait

My kids love going to the ice cream or frozen yogurt store and selecting all the various candy toppings for their dessert.  It's so tough to stop them from piling them on!  This parfait allows younger kids to participate in making their own custom made dessert, except that it's much healthier.  It's especially perfect for pre-school age children because they can use their hands without having to handle dangerous kitchen tools.  In addition to dessert, it also makes for a great breakfast food or after school snack.

Here are the ingredients I used for my recipe:

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup strawberries, sliced

1 cup grass fed vanilla yogurt (whole milk)

1 tbsp jam or marmalade

1 tsp toasted coconut chips (store bought) 

First, put 1/8 cup blueberries into any vessel of your choice, such as a glass or bowl.  (I used a wine glass for a little extra pizzazz!  My kids thought it was the coolest thing!)  Spoon 1/4 cup of yogurt on top, then add 1/8 cup strawberries, followed by another 1/4 cup of yogurt.  Drizzle the jam or marmalade.  Continue layering until all the ingredients are done.  Top with the coconut chips for that extra crunchiness.  I also rimmed the glass with turbinado sugar.

If your kids are too young to use a knife to slice the strawberries, they could also mush them with their hands.  Also, I know there are so many options for yogurt at the grocery store, it can really be overwhelming.  Because it's healthier, I recommend any grass fed, whole milk yogurt, either plain or in a flavor of your kid's choice.  If you're more adventurous, you could also make your own yogurt at home using an Instant Pot.  I will be putting up a post very soon showing you how to do it!  It's not as hard as you might think!   

Feel free to let your kids get as creative as they want and mix up the ingredients.  Some other ideas include granola, your children's favorite cereal, nuts, and other fruits. 

The parfait will sit well for up to two days in the fridge.       

Grilled Summer Vegetables

A colorful medley of roasted peppers, asparagus, fennel, and endive

A colorful medley of roasted peppers, asparagus, fennel, and endive

Summer is almost here, and I love to grill vegetables because it's easy, healthy, and here's the best part: you can use the leftovers for the rest of the week in things like eggs, pasta, and wraps.  It's the gift that keeps on giving!  

Okay I'll admit, a plate of grilled vegetables is not the easiest sell for kids.  This one's more for the adults.  But if your kids eat at least two of the vegetables, I'd consider that a success.  (Just because I'm a chef doesn't mean that I'm immune to the whims of my kids when it comes to eating.  But still, I try to expose them to vegetables as much as I can because otherwise all they'd want to eat is pizza and chicken tenders.) 

For my vegetable medley, I used asparagus, baby tri-colored peppers, endive (halved), and fennel (quartered).  Corn on the cob would have made a great addition as well, but unfortunately I didn't have any at home.  Before putting the vegetables on the grill, I mixed them with a homemade marinade in a large bowl.  My marinade consisted of:

1 tbsp tarragon (chopped)

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

I then squeezed juice from two oranges and a lemon on top of the vegetables in the bowl.

I set the grill on low to medium heat and spread out the vegetables on the grill.  I also included the oranges and lemon I had used earlier because putting them on the grill helps more juice to come out.  (I later squeezed them on the vegetables after grilling as a finishing touch.)    

I grilled the vegetables for a total of about 8 minutes (4 minutes per side).  The fennel takes about 5 minutes longer to cook.  Here's what the vegetables should look like when they're done:

Arrange the vegetables on a plate, crack open a beer, and you're good to go!

Grilled Summer Vegetables | wannabeelicious