When you become a parent, your child's health and well-being takes top priority. This is why when it comes to getting dinner on the table, parents these days are less likely to reach for that box of mac and cheese and other heavily processed foods. Instead, parents tend to gravitate to dishes, sides and snacks featuring real ingredients that even a small child can name.
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is on board with this approach to mealtime, as she creates delicious and simple meals for her own family in between appearances on Food Network's Iron Chef. At the same time, she wants to remind parents that healthier eating begins with healthier surfaces, making it important to practice safe food-handling techniques, such as killing germs on food prep surfaces.
The importance of safe food handling
Pathogens like E. coli, listeria and salmonella can be transferred from foods to food preparation surfaces and find their way into the food itself. To keep your family safe, it's important to take time to disinfect the kitchen counter before, during and after food prep — especially if raw meat is involved.
Here's to healthier eating
Guarnaschelli created a series of delicious recipes that are a hit with the kids, and don't take too much prep and cooking time.
Spinach and Curried Red Potato Frittata
7-8 medium red potatoes
6 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups spinach leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
hot curry powder
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 190C degrees. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet, place in the oven and bake until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and quarter the potatoes. Toss with the curry powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt with 1 tablespoon cool water. Whisk only enough to integrate the eggs. You don't want to whip too much air into them or make them frothy. Heat the non-stick skillet and add the olive oil. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook for only 1 minute until it wilts. Pour the eggs over the spinach and place the skillet in the centre of the oven. Allow the eggs to cook, undisturbed, 10-12 minutes or until cooked through but still slightly soft in the centre. Unmould and season again. Slice into wedges.
Quinoa and Chicken Bowl with Fresh Parsley
2 boneless chicken breasts skin on
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Slice the raw chicken breasts, and season generously with cumin, salt and pepper on all sides and arrange them, skin side up, on a baking sheet. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and roast until cooked through (internal temperature of 75 degrees C) and the skin browned, 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest. Lower the oven temperature to 175C degrees. In the meantime, bundle the parsley leaves and chop into fine pieces. Heat a large sauté pan and add the olive oil and quinoa and cook for 2 minutes, until you hear it crackling. Add 3 1/2 cups water. Stir gently. Season with salt and the paprika and bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Place the sauté pan in the centre of the oven and allow to cook, undisturbed, 12-15 minutes or until the grains fluff slightly and separate. Remove quinoa from the oven, flake it with a fork and allow to rest for 10 minutes before spooning into a large bowl or 4 individual bowls. Arrange the sliced, cooked chicken with the parsley leaves on top of the quinoa.