Are you looking for some lunchtime inspiration? Look no further – healthy lunch ideas right here!

Savory Breakfast – Kale, Bacon and Ponzu

Posted: February 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

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I woke up this morning and made myself a cup of Gingerbread Coffee, while I settled in to watch a Valentine’s day morning Shark show with Devon. We love Sharks, so this was pretty exciting.

Now, if you don’t have a Valentine today, may I suggest Chef MIng Tsai? (I think he’s technically married with children, but one can swoon.)

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(photo: People magazine)

I love Ming Tsai. I dearly miss his restaurant, Blue Ginger , in Wellesley, Massachusetts, the town where I went to college. This guy is hunky hunky, an ex-jock, engineering student turned professional chef. The food he serves at his restaurant is fusion at it’s best – bursting with flavor and the stuff I still dream about. If you ever get a chance to go, I was particularly fond of the Crispy Fried Calamari, the Sake-miso Marinated Alaskan Butterfish, and the Mom’s Famous Three Vinegar Shrimp.

I get my nostalgia fix by watching the guy on PBS – his shows ‘Simply Ming’ and ‘East Meets West’ are refreshingly down to earth, devoid of tv magic, and pretty darn entertaining. Last night, I watched a tivo’d episode of ‘Simply Ming’, and was inspired to make something using Ponzu sauce – a citrus based sauce- and bacon, his main ingredients. In the episode, Ming made bacon wrapped shrimp on radicchio with a ponzu and bacon glaze, a warm bacon, shallot and mushroom  frisée salad, and some bacon-pineapple fried orzo, with a ponzu vinaigrette. Pretty mouth watering stuff.

Fortunately, I happen to have some delicious Kikkoman Ponzu Lime sauce that I received from the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program. This was one of my favorite condiments that I tried at the Winter Fancy Food Show this year, and although they were serving it with tempura shrimp and tempura avocado, I must admit that I’ve been using the stuff in pretty boring ways such as seasoning for my rice and not much else.

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So I woke up this morning with new inspiration and decided to make use of the ponzu in a kale stir-fry, to compensate for yesterday’s vegetable shortage. I sauteed some shallot and ginger in olive oil, added some chopped turkey bacon (from Trader Joe’s), dumped in my bunch of chopped dino kale, and added a tablespoon of the lime ponzu sauce. Even the kale hater liked it. Me: It’s kale! Him: Yeah, but it’s meat kale. Note to self – three slices of turkey bacon negates picky anti-kale sentiments.

This made for a good brunch on it’s own, although if more hungry, or serving a crowd, I might have served it with some poached eggs. Happy Valentines’ everyone!

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Rainbow Lunches for Kids (and adults!)

Posted: August 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bento, Lunches for Kids | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments »
Photo: Jewelmaker

Some of the best ways of getting kids to eat healthy food you pack in their lunch box is to make it look exciting! Try using a rainbow of foods to brighten their day. Here are some easy suggestions for rainbow colored fruits, vegetables, and other tid-bits you can use to make a fulfilling and colorful lunch for the little ones.

White: white rice, mushrooms, cauliflower, potatoes, butter beans, cheese cubes
Black: black beans, olives, black rice
Pink: pink grapefruit
Red: beets, cherries, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes
Orange: apricots, carrots, oranges, orange peppers, peaches, pumpkin
Yellow: yellow peppers, bananas, summer squash, pineapple
Green: broccoli, green peppers, spinach, green grapes, lettuce, cucumber, peas
Blue: blueberries, blackberries
Purple: plums, grapes, eggplant, purple potatoes, purple cabbage
Brown: almonds, walnuts, chocolate chips (in small quantity!)

Don’t forget the dipping sauce – yogurt for fruits, or a simple vinaigrette for vegetables. You can either use a small separate tupperware for the sauce, or use a silicone muffin cup right in the container with the rest of the food.

But wait a second – rainbow lunches aren’t just for kids – eating a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables provides essential nutrients and enhances any diet – and let’s face it – wouldn’t it be kind of exciting to open up your own rainbow lunch after a hard morning of work?

What other tricks do you use to get your kids to eat their lunch?

Photo: Jewelmaker
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