Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Portion Size Me "Snack Wars Challenge"

Today was an exciting day!  My kids got to participate in the Portion Size Me "Snack Wars Challenge" at our local Homegrown Organic Cooperative Store.  Below is a photo of the Airstream and portable home of the Reid family who are promoting their book titled "Portion Size Me" and educating the public on how to snack healthier and make better lifestyle choices. 

My daughters said they weren't nervous at all but I could tell they were a little nervous with the time limit to prepare their snack and the fact that they had a basket of "mystery ingredients".  If you are familiar with Food Network's show "Chopped", this competition was similar in style, but without all the pressure or fancy kitchen appliances.  I did joke while they were setting up the baskets that they might find things like Chia Seeds, Tofu, Romaine Lettuce and Raw Cocoa beans.  And what would they make with that?!

The actual mystery ingredients were watermelon and Alouette Cheese.  My kids of course did not use the cheese since we don't eat dairy.  Now if there had been Daiya Vegan cheese and a toaster oven to melt it, I'm sure they would have come up with something!

Here's my daughter Anika in the middle, looking all professional chef like.  She made the winning snack of fruit salad with avocado, watermelon, peaches and bananas!

Here's what it looked like...and okay, so her presentation needs work, but it tasted good :)  And who would think to put avocado in a fruit salad?

Below is what Ksenia and I made together, which also won "Best Tasting Snack" in the final round with adults competing.  We used every healthy ingredient we could find in their "pantry" that had things like gummy bears, Jell-O pudding cups, canned sausages and Ritz Crackers.  I have a bone to pick on this because I don't think this teaches the kids to try new things that ARE healthy.  I'm a firm believer that if you only give kids whole foods to choose from, they will always make healthy choices.  I think what Marshall Reid and his parents have good intentions, but at the same time they are putting out a confusing message.  I'll discuss more about that on my other blog at my Nutrition Coaching site

So I used the watermelon, Mott's Applesauce, mandarin oranges, sliced almonds and prunes.   Never have I tried this combo before but it WAS good.

If you want to participate in the Snack Wars in your home town, go to the Portion Size Me blog!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kiwi's Next Great Young Chef Contest!

Kiwi Magazine is looking for the "Next Great Young Chef" for 2012!  My kids have decided to start working on some recipes that include all of the products that must be included for the recipes to be accepted.  Those are products by Earth Balance, Nielsen-Massey, and Xylosweet

While we have never used Xylosweet, I think it will be an easy substitution for them to experiment with since the labeling says that it is a one to one ratio with other sweeteners.  We have also found that we really love the Earth Balance Soymilks and Peanut Butters.  Both products are so rich and creamy! 

We love the Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract but the kids have discovered other flavors they want to test in their recipes.

You can enter your kids by going to the Kiwi Magazine 2012 Next Great Young Chef page. 

I like that Kiwi often features vegan and gluten free recipes, so I'm hoping my kid's recipes will have a good chance.  They certainly are excited about it and we are having a lot of fun in the kitchen with their experiments :)

Here's Anika in the kitchen this morning working on a new spin on French Toast.  As she was making the food she said "Mom, can I be the next Food Network Star?".  :-)