Eating healthy and sticking to one’s exercise regimen has been one of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions of the past decade. It seems these days that a zeitgeist of awareness has made us more mindful of our collective health and well-being. Together with the dawning of crucial matters such as global warming, climate change, cleaner air and animal rights – comes “turning vegetarian” or “abstaining from meat” as common quips, statements and remarks. This “Good for You” Culinary Trend has not only made us way healthier but also more creative in our culinary ways, especially when you have KIDS.
With most children being picky eaters, one can only have but a few options when it comes to healthier meals. Take for example these 2 all time favorites — Buffalo wings and Caesar salad – typically known to be high in calories, fat and cholesterol. In the recipes below, by simply substituting ingredients and tweaking a few culinary processes, we have creatively cooked these dishes up to become meat free, zero in saturated fat, more nutritious and ultimately appetizing to the eccentric vegetarian or health enthusiast. Read on down and find out.
Spicy Buffalo Broccoli Wings
Ah deep fried chicken wings… Who’s going to say no to that? In this recipe, we’ve replaced the actual chicken wing with Broccoli; just don’t tell them the real deal until they’ve tasted it! By steering your kids away from bad cholesterol and saturated fat, you’ve not only cut down on calories but you’ve made their hearts healthier as well. What’s more! Broccoli is packed with Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese.
- 1-cup water or milk
- 1-cup flour
- 2-tsp. garlic powder
- 1-head of broccoli, blanched in boiling water for a minute or 2
- 1-tbsp olive oil
- 1-tbsp hot chili sauce
- Low fat Sour cream or blue cheese as dip (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 450°F
- While the oven is pre-heating, make the batter by combining well in a bowl: water or milk with flour and garlic powder.
- Piece apart the head of broccoli into bite-sized pieces, and coat each piece with the batter above.
- Bake for 18-minutes.
- While the broccoli is baking, make the buffalo sauce by combining olive oil & hot chili sauce in a small bowl.
- After 18-minutes take the baked broccoli out and pour the buffalo sauce mixture over them and continue baking for an additional 5-8 minutes.
- Serve up alongside low fat sour cream or blue cheese dip.
Most children shun salads, except for this one! The familiar taste of bacon, the cheese and its tasty dressing gives it a thumbs up from my kids. In here we’ve used Tofu instead of bacon bits, Spinach instead of lettuce and used mayo that is lower in fat. Tofu is high in protein and contains compounds called Isoflavones, known to have antioxidant properties that are responsible for fighting off free radicals that lead to premature aging and bone loss. Furthermore, considered one of the Top10 foods with the most health benefits, Spinach is packed with way more Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Folate and Vitamin A compared with the traditional lettuce.
- Firm Tofu, finely chopped seasoned with salt & sautéed to a crisp
- 2 finely chopped or minced garlic cloves
- Pinch of coarse salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 drops Worcestershire sauce ?
- 1/2 cup low-fat or light mayonnaise
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water (to achieve desired thickness)?
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) freshly-grated Parmesan Cheese
- Spinach Leaves?
- Coarsely ground black pepper ?
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup salad croutons
- Making the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, sautéed to a crisp tofu, and salt until blended. Whisk in the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, and water. When the dressing is well combined, whisk in 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Assembling the salad: In a large salad bowl, add the spinach leaves, croutons, and the dressing, a little at a time; toss until coated.
Samantha Samonte is a writer for Culinary One, a website about culinary arts cuisines and good food. Helping aspiring chefs to find the best cooking schools in North America. She spends the rest of her time living life to the fullest in the company of her laptop and creative writing prowess.