Haile’s Healthy Swaps: September/October 2015

These healthy alternatives to comfort food dishes are ideal for the upcoming fall weather.

September 5, 2015

Issue 14: September/October 2015Kids' Menu

Summer is a blast! I’ve had so much fun teaching my kids’ cooking camps; enjoying much needed time to play, relax, and rejuvenate on the beaches in California; and precious moments taking super-early morning walks with my mom to beat the Arizona heat. But even though the temperatures are still soaring, we’re back to school now, which inspired me to get into the kitchen and create some simple, easy, nutritious, and delicious recipes to fuel a fantastic new school year.

JackieAlpersPhotography_chocolate-smoothie-haile-18

Cherry Zucchini Smoothie

My first swap takes on sugary breakfast foods like donuts and cereals. I love to literally mix things up a bit by making yummy smoothies. The best part is they can be made out of an unlimited combination of fresh and delicious ingredients. My Chocolate Cherry Zucchini smoothie recipe is fun, flavorful, and a refreshingly sweet way to get your daily veggies. All the kids in my cooking camp really loved this recipe. Plus, did you know that zucchini is heart-healthy? Just another reason to blend it up right now.

Chocolate Cherry Zucchini Smoothie
Print Recipe
This smoothie is a healthy take on a classic that is sure to please.
Servings
2 people
Servings
2 people
Chocolate Cherry Zucchini Smoothie
Print Recipe
This smoothie is a healthy take on a classic that is sure to please.
Servings
2 people
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy!
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My next swap takes on pizza. I know this is a very popular (and in my opinion, boring) lunchtime meal, because eating cheese, peperoni, and maybe a few other toppings isn’t always the healthiest or adventurous choice. That’s why I like to swap pizza out for my Mediterranean Chickpea Flatbread. I love Mediterranean flavors like cumin and paprika, which really make the flavors in this dish pop! The chickpeas are used both in hummus form, as well as whole roasted on top of the flat bread, imparting plenty of calcium to keep our bones nice and strong.

Mediterranean Chickpea Flatbread

Mediterranean Chickpea Flatbread

Mediterranean Chickpea Flatbread
Print Recipe
This pizza alternative is protein-packed and fresh.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Mediterranean Chickpea Flatbread
Print Recipe
This pizza alternative is protein-packed and fresh.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Season the chickpeas with cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. Pour chickpeas onto baking pan, and roast for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut your cherry tomatoes in half, chop the cilantro, and thinly slice the red onion.
  5. Next spread 1⁄4 cup of hummus onto the pita bread.
  6. Then divide and top pita bread with the chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
  7. Bake the pita bread for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Serves 2.
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Finally, an essential component to back-to-school recipes is making sure they are simple and quick to prepare, and my Green Rice and Tofu Fajita Bowl is a fantastic example of a perfect lunch to bring to school. I love how colorful and flavorful the green rice is, and how well the spinach, jalapeño, and cilantro work together. And, the crispy tofu just makes it all complete. It’s truly perfection.

fajita bowl-37-2

Green Rice, Black Bean & Corn, and Tofu Fajita Bowl

Green Rice, Black Bean & Corn, and Tofu Fajita Bowl
Print Recipe
This vegetarian bowl is filled with both protein and flavor that the whole family can enjoy.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Green Rice, Black Bean & Corn, and Tofu Fajita Bowl
Print Recipe
This vegetarian bowl is filled with both protein and flavor that the whole family can enjoy.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
For Tofu:
For Green Rice
For Bean and Corn Mix
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut tofu into equal sized cubes and set aside.
  2. Heat a pan on medium- high heat, and add coconut oil.
  3. Add the tofu to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Add salt and fajita seasoning to the tofu, and distribute evenly by stirring the tofu around the pan.
  4. Cook the tofu for another 10 minutes, or until slightly crispy and golden brown.
  5. Mix in the bell peppers and onions, and heat through.
  6. Add all green rice ingredients to a blender, except for the rice, and blend until smooth.
  7. our the green sauce over the precooked brown rice, and stir until the rice is completely green.
  8. Dice tomatoes, and combine beans, corn, and tomatoes in a bowl.
  9. Season with a dash of salt.
  10. Set aside.
  11. You can warm this mixture or serve cold.
  12. Layer the green rice mixture, then the bean and corn mixture, and finally top with tofu. Enjoy!
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I hope that these swaps will inspire you to get creative with back-to-school meals, and to have a happy and healthy new school year!

Haile Thomas is a 10th grader at The Gregory School, a motivational speaker, a young chef, and the founder of the HAPPY Organization.







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