Lately, more and more articles and books are focusing on healthy recipes and better eating for children and families. “Healthy Family, Healthy You; The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well—simply and sanely” by Natasha Nadel (www.healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com) is a new book that deals with the topic.
Natasha believes we all have a responsibility to feed one another deliciously, but healthfully, rather than stuff one another full of non-nutritive foods so we can feel we were a good host.
Her new book provides healthful recipes for everyday weeknight meals and secular and Jewish holidays around the year, along with tips and tricks for creating a healthy family. Her motto is “Substitution is your strategy.”
Natasha is an author and freelance writer specializing in sustainable food, the environment, and community trends. Natasha gives workshops to schools, camps, and local organizations.
Gluten-Free Super Simple Appetizer
Makes 12 servings of 5 crackers each
Having a crowd and don’t want to leave out your gluten-free friends? Here is the answer! Easy, fancy and delicious, this appetizer is fun to make with the kids and can be adjusted as needed. For instance, my tester used different gluten-free crackers, and when she couldn’t find the right sea salt shaker in her small town health food store, she combined plain sea salt with a dulse (a type of seaweed) shaker.
1 box “Mary’s Gone Crackers” (original or cracked black pepper) or other gluten-free crackers
2 pints cherry tomatoes
“Sea Seasonings” brand sea salt and sea veggies shaker (or plain sea salt and black pepper)
Spread the crackers out on a tray or serving platter. In a small bowl, mash the avocados using a fork. Top each cracker with approximately 1 teaspoon of mashed avocado. Slice the lemon in quarters and squeeze a couple drops of lemon juice on top of the avocado. Slice the cherry tomatoes into two halves and top each cracker with one half. Sprinkle a pinch of the sea salt mix on top of each cracker so it covers the avocado and the tomato.
Best-Ever Lasagna (Gluten-Free!)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
This lasagna has become such a hit with my friends that they (and their children) ask for it when they come for meals. They don’t tell their kids about the tofu or spinach until they are gobbling it up … and they always gobble it up!
From “The Healthy Mama’s Guide,” Meal Makeovers section.
non-stick cooking spray
1 (16-ounce) bag of chopped frozen spinach
1 cup frozen chopped onion
1 (12- or 14-ounce) box frozen butternut squash puree (or BPA-free organic can, such as the Farmer’s Market brand)
1 1 lb. package organic silken tofu
1 (32-ounce) jar pasta sauce (any flavor like garlic or mushroom)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 package brown rice lasagna noodles (10 ounce) like Tinkyada
1 (24-ounce) jar whole roasted red peppers (about 3 whole peppers), sliced and flattened
1/8 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs (if gluten-free isn’t necessary for you, use whole wheat)
1/8 cup nutritional yeast
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13- x 9-inch lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Place frozen spinach, onion, and squash into a large glass bowl and defrost in the microwave (I use the “vegetable” setting).
Place tofu into bowl with defrosted vegetables.
Add thyme, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, and mix thoroughly.
Place one layer of noodles in pan, followed by half of the vegetable and tofu mix. Cover with 1/3 of the bottle of marinara sauce. Spread it thinly and evenly.
Place another layer of noodles in the pan. Cover with the rest of the vegetable tofu mix and another third of the marinara sauce.
Place your final layer of noodles in the pan. Cover with the rest of the marinara sauce and then the roasted red peppers.
Mix the bread crumbs and nutritional yeast together in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the red peppers.
Bake for 1 hour, uncovered.
Editor’s note: For more edible delights by Sheilah Kaufman, go to www. cookingwithsheilah.com.