Are you exploiting St. Patty’s to get your kids to eat greens? If so, find some inspiration here!
I was recently asked to review a new free cookbook from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. The cookbook was created in partnership with the NIH’s Health We Can! campaign which helps parents, caregivers, and entire communities keep children at a healthy weight.
I thought it would be fun to share some of the kid-tested recipes from the cookbook that include green foods in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day! Kids love to get in the spirit of a holiday and what better way to get them to eat their green veggies? 🙂
Some green foods to highlight in tomorrow’s meals are: avocado, celery, peas, broccoli, edamame, green beans, kale, (I’m making a kale and white bean soup!) spinach, grapes, asparagus, sugar snap peas, and of course, lettuce.
I’m going to try this red, white and green twist on grilled cheese. But I’m also loving the Quinoa-stuffed tomato side dish.
Here is the recipe:
Red, White and Green Grilled Cheese
1 tsp garlic, minced (about ½ clove)
1 small onion, minced (about ½ cup)
2 C frozen cut spinach, thawed and drained (or substitute 2 bags (10 oz each) fresh leaf spinach, rinsed)
¼ tsp ground black pepper
8 slices whole-wheat bread
1 medium tomato, rinsed, cut into 4 slices
1 C shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 400 ºF. Place a large baking sheet in the oven to preheat for about 10 minutes.
2. Heat garlic with cooking spray in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Cook until soft, but not browned. Add onions, and continue to cook until the onions are soft, but not browned.
3. Add spinach, and toss gently. Cook until the spinach is heated throughout. Season with pepper, and set aside to cool.
4. When the spinach and onions are cool, assemble each sandwich with one slice of bread on the bottom, one tomato slice, ½ cup of spinach mixture, ¼ cup of cheese, and a second slice of bread on the top. (For picky eaters, see Healthy Eating Two Ways suggestion below.)
5. Spray the preheated nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the sandwiches on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom of each sandwich is browned.
6. Carefully flip sandwiches, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until both sides are browned. Serve immediately.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Danielle Omar, MS, RD