Healthy Recipes

I wanted to share a few healthy recipes that have been well recieved by the kids. Measurements are approximate, as I don't take measurements most of the time, but  most of these recipes are relatively adaptable to suit your tastes, or what you have on hand.

Broccoli Soup

This is a great way to eat a lot of green veggies, and the mushrooms give it a hearty flavor. I started out just using crimini or button mushrooms, but Shiitakes give it an extra nutritional boost and even more flavor -- without being overpowering. I recently started adding white beans or a few small unpeeled red/white potatoes, to add a wider variety of nutrients. They give it a creamy texture and can be a good substitute for milk if you're staying away from dairy.

  •  1-2 tbsp butter or ghee
  •  1 onion, chopped
  •  1-2 celery stalks, chopped
  •  Two cups button or crimini mushrooms, chopped
  •  Shiitake mushrooms, 6 or more 
  •  2-3 small white or red potatoes (optional)**
  •  1-2 small  zucchini or crookneck squash, chopped
  •  3-4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
  •  Water, organic low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  •  Herbamare (seasoning salt), to taste
  •  1 cup+ cooked white beans (optional )**
  •  ¼ to 1 cup of milk (Milk can be left out for a dairy-free version of this soup). 1. Sautee the onions, celery and mushrooms in the butter, ghee or oil until onions are translucent and mushrooms release their moisture.

2. If using potatoes, chop into small cubes and add broth. Bring back to a boil and simmer until potatoes start to soften.

3. Add zucchini and broccoli stems (if using), then finally add broccoli crowns.
Simmer until broccoli is tender (5 to 10 minutes). 

4. Remove from heat. If using beans, add these and puree with a hand blender.

5. Add milk at the very end,  to desired creaminess.

6. Season to taste with salt and/or herbamare (pepper for the adults).

** Both the white potatoes and white beans give this soup a creamy texture and flavor that substitutes well for milk. Either or both of these can also be left out, but you'll end up needing more milk to get that creamy consistency.

Green Pancakes

Here is the recipe for Green Pancakes, also called "Lily Pads". It is adapted from a recipe I found in the Sesame Street Silly Snacks cookbook. If you use red chard (including the red ribs) you get pretty pinkish pancakes.  It's a relatively flexible recipe - you can use more or less greens, flour or milk to get the color and consistency to your liking. I use a whole bunch of greens or a bag of spinach and double the flour, milk and nutmeg, to feed four or five. Always turns out great!

• 2 cups *kale, chard or spinach   (kale or chard must be briefly steamed or wilted, ribs removed from kale)
• 2 eggs
• 1 TBSP melted butter, plus additional for skillet
• Pinch of sea salt (I use Herbamare seasoning)
• 1/4 teaspoon sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I use fresh ground, and probably a bit more)
• 1/2 cup flour (I use half spelt flour, half amaranth flour)
• 1/2 cup milk, almond milk, or unsweetened coconut milk
• Parmesan or hard cheese of your choice

1. Put fresh spinach or steamed kale/chard in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped or pureed.
Add eggs, butter, salt, sugar and nutmeg. Process until combined.

2. Add the flours and process until combined. Add the milk and process until the batter is smooth and at desired consistency.

3. Drizzle the batter onto buttered skillet, as you would with any pancakes, into circles about 2 inches in diameter. The smaller they are, the faster they cook.

4. Sprinkle the tops of the lily pads very lightly with finely grated cheese, and flip over to melt the cheese into the lily pad. Repeat with a sprinkle of cheese on both sides. **

The original recipe used american cheese (yuck) cut into circles to place on top of the lily pads; looks cute, but I'm not a fan of american cheese, and the less cheese here, the better. Calcium iinhibits iron absorption, so I only use enough cheese to add a bit of "kid-friendly" flavor (and a little goes a long way with parmesan). 

**An alternative would be to add 1/8 to 1/4 parmesan cheese straight into the batter (depending on the amount of greens you use). It makes for a quicker, easier cooking time (less mess on the grill).

Sweet Vegetable Soup

(makes a large batch)
This soup gets its sweet flavor from carrots, sweet potato, squash and sweet peas. It is high in Vitamin A, C, K and even B vitamins. Packed with veggies, it's a nutritional powerhouse that also appeals to sweet-loving kids.
  • 1 carton Low-sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1 carton Low-sodium organic butternut squash soup
  • 1/2 bag organic frozen peas (optional)**
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large stalk celery
  • 5 medium sized carrots
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • Butter or ghee

  1. Chop and sautee onion and celery until translucent.
  2. Dice carrots and add to pot.
  3. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Peel and dice sweet potatoes; add to pot.
  5. Simmer a few minutes before adding zucchini, and throw the peas in at the very end to avoid overcooking.
  6. Puree with hand blender, add butternut squash soup, and set aside half to freeze (or freeze half the puree and add 1/2 carton BN squash soup).
  7. Season to taste with sea salt or your favorite seasoning salt (I use Herbamare).
  8. Pour over brown rice noodles for the kids, season with pepper for the adults, and enjoy!
**I think I left these out a couple of times and a few of the kids liked it better - but I still try to put in as many peas as I can get away with.
If you don't have sweet potatoes on hand, an equal amount of red or white potatoes also go well in the soup -- just be sure to leave the skins on for more nutritional benefit (once everything is pureed, no one will ever notice the difference).