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Kale and quinoa replace green eggs and ham in family-friendly recipes

Cook up delights with this concoction.
Rodale Books

If you've got children, you know that persuading them to eat anything green or different can be tricky. My parents tried to bribe me by reading "Green Eggs and Ham" while waving plates of broccoli (loved Seuss; hated the broccoli). But an increasing number of courageous cooks have transformed veggies like kale and grains such as quinoa into family-friendly meals. And to demonstrate the possibilities, Katie Couric featured author and food activist Laurie David and her recipe creator, Chef Kirsten Uhrenholdt, on her talk show recently. The duo teamed up to concoct a cookbook, with a preface by Katie, entitled: "The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That's Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You" (click for details).

Laurie believes that family meals are more than sitting around a table gobbling up goodies. They open up the lines of communication, of communion - and of love. She's co-authored another book that illustrates those points: "The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time."

Laurie and Chef Kirsten demonstrated some of their quick and easy recipes for your family meals on Katie's show. All recipes are from the cookbook. Sample them below, and get more information about "The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That's Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You" by clicking here.

A Very Simple Kale Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Makes: One Serving


1 very large handful Kneaded Kale per person
A pinch of salt per person
1 sliver of garlic, minced, per person
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice per person
2 teaspoons of olive or nut oil per person
1 teaspoon olive oil per bunch

Wash and dry the kale well (you can actually wring it dry in a towel). Remove the stems by grabbing the stem end with one hand and using your other hand to pull off the leafy part into bite-size pieces. Throw away the stems.
Put the kale into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Using both hands, knead the kale as you would dough until it is silky and tender, about 30 kneads. Use right away, or store covered for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Put the kale in a salad bowl. In a small jar, combine the salt and garlic and smash with a spoon. Add the lemon juice and shake vigorously. Add the oil, shake again. Dip a kale leaf in to taste and adjust with salt and lemon juice. Toss with the kale.

A Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


1.5 cups of quinoa (rinsed if needed)
½ cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
½ to 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup dried berries, like raisins or blueberries
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (unpeeled if organic)
8 kale leaves, stems removed, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Note: Some dried fruit, especially berries, often have sugar added to them, so look at the label and get dried fruit with as little or no added sugar. Brands that are 100 percent organic are more reliable.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cook until al dente, as you would pasta, 10 to 11 minutes. Drain well and spread on a baking sheet to cool, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss.
Add the cooled quinoa and toss. Taste and add until the salad is tart and sweet, crunchy and very good.

Get more information about the recipes and healthy family features in "The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That's Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You" by clicking here.

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