Category Archives: Recipes

Super Dad in the Kitchen: Pear Bread

Alright folks. I’m back in the kitchen after a couple of weeks without trying to cook anything new. It’s been really tough to have time to look for an interesting recipe and try it out. Last night as I was cooking some simple pasta for dinner I noticed some pears my wife had brought back from her parents house. I though about making poached pears. I had never made it but I’ve seen in some cooking tv shows and it looks good. But as I check the recipe it asked for cranberry juice and we didn’t have any kind of juice in the fridge.

Then I spot a recipe for a pear bread. That caught my attention. It looked delicious and at the same time challenging as I had never even thought of something like that. So I pretty much copied the entire recipe from AllRecipes.com just using Stevia instead of sugar (so it’s sugar free), walnuts instead of pecans and I added some raising too.

So, let’s get to the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    It looks good

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup Stevia* (or 2 cups of sugar)
  • 2 cups peeled shredded pears
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts* (or pecans)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the oil, eggs, sugar, grated pears, pecans, and vanilla. Blend well. Add to well of dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x5x3 inch loaf pans.
  3. Bake in a preheated 325 degree F (165 degrees C) oven for one hour and 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack before removing from the loaf pans.

 

PS.: I still don’t know if it worked or not. I prepared it last night and left it cooling to eat this morning but I won’t have time to write after breakfast so tonight, when I come home from work I’ll update this paragraph.

I just couldn’t resist and I just eat a piece of it. It tastes really good, however, the consistency is not as firm as I wanted. I did follow the recipe with the exception of the sugar. I don’t know if using Stevia is what made it crumbly but, oh well, we’ll still eat it because it does taste delicious.

 

Cheers,

~Gil

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Super Dad in the Kitchen: Açaí Bowl (great for sporty teens)

If you spend a few hours on the internet every day I’m sure you came across an ad trying to convince you that açaí is the food of the future, or that you will get in shape just eating açaí. That’s just a bunch of bull****… Açaí (correct pronunciation: “ah-sigh-EE”) is a fantastic little berry and it does have a lot of advantages and nutrients but it’s not for everybody and it’s not to be eaten any time.

Açaí in it's natural form. From the heart of the Amazon.

And why do I know this? Well, way before Oprah invited Dr. Oz to her show to name açaí as one of the top powerfoods on the planet me and many of my friends would sit together in a small snack bar in Brazil, before our work out or soccer practice, to enjoy a bowl of frozen açaí pulp. That’s way back in 1999.

Professional athletes from various sports and other active celebrities use and endorse the benefits of açaí. Mathew McConaughey (actor), Kelly Slater (surfer), Mariano Rivera (NY Yankees), Torii Hunter (LA Angels), Bethany Hamilton (surfer), Bob Burnquist (skater), Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), and many MMA/UFC competitors, just to name a few. So I’m not alone in this.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that if you are a father of an active pre-teen or a teen athlete açaí can be a great option for a breakfast, or a game-day lunch. It’s not so easy to find but I’m sure that if you try places like Whole Foods Market, New Frontiers Market, Natural Foods Market, etc… you will find it. (PS: Some big chain supermarkets sell açaí juices. It’s not the same but it might work if you freeze it first).

You should then look for the frozen pulp packs (they’re normally in one of the freezers next to the ice-cream section). I like to use Sambazon Açaí. So here is my recipe for a delicious, nutritious (see nutritional info on açaí HERE), refreshing, and easy to prepare Açaí Pulp Bowl.Oh, and one important thing: this is a MEAL! Don’t eat it as dessert or just snack for your teenager to sit around and play video-game. It has the calorie value of a FULL MEAL.

Ingredients:

I just wish I had a better blender.

  • 2  Rio Blend (with guaraná) Sambazon Açaí frozen bars (3.5oz each)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup of frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple bits
  • 1/2 cup of apple juice
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk
  • Crushed ice
  • Granola
  • Honey

Prep:

  1. Use a knife to cut the frozen açaí in four pieces and put it in the blender.
  2. Pour the apple juice on top of it and the banana and blend well.
  3. Immediately add the rest of the ingredients except the ice and blend until you have a paste.
  4. If you feel like it’s too liquidish start adding some ice little by little and blend. You should get an ice-cream texture.
  5. Immediately pour it on a bowl and top it with granola and some honey on top.

Easy, fast, delicious.

*(PS: You can substitute the frozen fruits. Mango and strawberries also work great.)

~Cheers,

Gil

Super Dad in the Kitchen: Old School Home Made Kettle Corn

Popcorn is one of the easiest things to prepare, right? Just put the bag in the microwave, push the button and wait. Easy. Although this option is great for when you need to watch multiple kids at once I still think it’s worth the spending a little bit more time making old fashioned kettle corn for your kids (and the kid in you as well).

You can use it as a afternoon snack, or even dessert. And if you read my previous post about Great movies about dads… you can obviously make some kettle corn to watch a movie with your kids.

The recipe is quite easy but try to follow the steps, specially when to add the sugar and never forget to shake the pot otherwise the sugar will burn and won’t be distributed evenly.

Here we go:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. (Tip:  add three popcorn kernels, cover with a lid and wait and listen until all three kernels have popped).
  2. Add the rest of the popcorn kernels, shake to distribute then – right before they start to pop – sprinkle sugar evenly over the kernels. (I did it as soon as I heard the first pop)
  3. Cover with lid and listen for popping.  As soon as the kernels start to pop, shake pot gently back and forth over the burner, lifting it up and shaking from time to time, until the popping slows to every 2 to 3 seconds.
  4. As soon as the popping slows, remove pan from heat and immediately dump kernels into a large bowl.
  5. Sprinkle lightly with salt and toss with a wooden spoon.

Now watch your kids stuff their faces with this happy treat!

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Super Dad in the kitchen: Yummy (and healthy) Mini Burgers

Summer asks for barbecue. Summer asks for hanging out by the pool, going to the beach, to the park or simply having some fun family time in the backyard. A water slide maybe, a couple (and not more) beers for dad and ice-cold fresh lemonade for the little ones. Perfection!

As most of dads I also love firing up the grill and barbecuing. However I have a big problem with the quality of the ground beef we normally find in the supermarkets. Since I’ve learned the sad fact that our biggest meat distributor – Beef Products Inc. – uses a patented process to enhance the pH in beef trimmings by injecting ammonia in it. It’s a legal process (approved by the USDA) that is used to kill bacteria from those trimmings and make meat that were once only used for pet food suitable (?) for humans. You can read more about on this 2009 article published by the NY Times.

Well, I’ll pass on the ammonia, thank you.

I search for local farms that supply the smaller supermarket chains and look for a “grass fed” stamp or a “organic” seal on the package.  When I don’t know for sure I just grab my cell phone and call the 800 number on the package to ask if they use the pH enhancing process to make their ground beef. That’s what I did yesterday. I called Harris Ranch, a local beef company here in the Central Coast of California, and asked them. When they told me “no, we don’t use the ammonia process” I proceeded to buy the ground beef for the burgers.

So now let’s go to the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the Mini Patties:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard (or spicy mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup of  grated carrots
  • ground pepper to taste (if you’re cooking this for small children go light on the ground pepper)

For the Helpings:

  • Onions (I marinated the onion rings in a mix of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and honey. It has a sweet and sour taste. Then I wrapped it in foil and put it on the grill to cook)
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Fresh Spinach (It’s better to use spinach then lettuce for nutritional reasons)
  • Mini Whole Wheat Thin Buns
  • Cheese
  • Ketchup

Prep:

  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the patties in the order listed above (to make it easier). Than grab a small amount of the the mix and make the patties a little larger than the bread slices. They’ll shrink and will be perfect.
  2. For one pound of ground beef you might get about 10 patties.
  3. Fire up the grill and place the patties on the rack. Wait about 3 to 5 minutes before flipping them. (I know most dads know how to grill a burger but there might be some moms reading the recipe too)
  4. You can also lightly butter the buns and place them on the grill too.
  5. Make sure the patties are well cooked. (Kids should eat well-done burgers)
  6. Remove the cooked patties from the grill and prepare the burgers with the helpings.
  7. Enjoy!

I don’t have pictures of Lucas eating the burgers because while my wife was feeding him I was finishing preping the rest of the patties on the grill and when I came to check on him the burger was GONE! So I assume he loved it!

If you have questions or if you want to share a story, a recipe, or just say hi you can leave a comment bellow, connect via twitter @247superdad or send me an email at superdad247@gmail.com

Have a great weekend!

~Gil

Super Dad in the kitchen: Sweet and Tart Strawberry Filled Muffins

One of the most abundant fruits here in Central California is the strawberry. We get them fresh and for great price when in season. Last week I bought two boxes and we were eating a very slow speed so the solution was simple: let’s try to use them in strawberry filled recipes.

The original recipe for this muffin is from MyRecipes.com and it uses cream chesse. To adapt it to Lucas’ taste and to make it healthier I made a few substitutions and they worked out perfectly. If you want to see the original recipe just click on the MyRecipes link above. I’ll post my own version here:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup  plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons  strawberry preserves
  • 8 fresh strawberries (diced)
  • 2  1/4 cups  all-purpose  flour
  • 1/3 cup  sugar (or the equivalent of a sugar substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 2 teaspoons raw chia seeds
  • 1  1/4 cups soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg

Prep:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, the  diced strawberries and the strawberry preserves; stir with a whisk. Reserve
  3. In a different bowl, larger than the previous one, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chia seeds; mix them well and make a hole in the center of the mixture.
  4. Combine soy milk, oil, egg whites and egg and add to flour mix.
  5. Stir it very well or use a mixer at low speed.
  6. Spoon the batter into muffin pan coated with cooking spray up to 3/4 of each cup.
  7. Drop about 1 teaspoon of the strawberry-yogurt mixture into each cup.
  8. Divide the remaining of the batter on top of the cups.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes at 375F.
  10. Remove the muffins and let them cool down before serving
  11. ENJOY!!!!

These muffins turned out delicious. They were firm and on the first bite your mouth is filled with a sweet and tart flavor that is just amazing. You might be curious about me using chia seeds (the original recipe uses poppy seeds).

I discovered chia seeds a few months ago through my wife. She’s all into this healthy stuff and normally brings home the novelties. I was skeptical about chia seeds at first because I always related them only to those Chia Pet things; you wet their heads and grass grows from it. But after my wife insisted that I should try DRINKING chia seeds with my orange juice before playing soccer I have to say that I was impressed. My energy level was much better and my after game recovery was much faster (I’m a 35-year old playing full 90 minute matches).

Then I did a little research and found out that chia seeds have incredible health benefits. You can read more about them HERE.

I even found out a company that makes energy drink mix with chia seeds. Apparently the Mayans used to drink chia to run long distances. It takes some time to get used to the texture of those tiny grains in your drink but it’s totally worth it. The company that makes the energy mix is called WingFoot. Check them out too.

These muffins got the official "Lucas Seal of Delicious"

Anyway, The muffins were fantastic and as you can see by the pictures Lucas couldn’t wait to start eating them.

Cheeers,

~Gil

Super Dad in the kitchen: Sugar Glazed Coconut Bites

“Oh my God! This is very sweet!” That’s what I heard from my wife when I asked her to try one of these coconut bites. Well, if she said it’s very sweet I’m sure every kid will love it.

The recipe is very simple but the prep is a pain in the … But it’s worth it if you

cut the coconut in small cubes

want something simple and yet 100% natural to use as, lets say, birthday party treats.

Ingredients:

  • 1 dry coconut
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar

Directions:

  1. Drain the water from the coconut in a cup (I used a hammer and a clean screwdriver to make two holes on that part the looks like a bowling ball).
  2. Hold the coconut on the palm of your hand and gently hit with the hammer all around. (This will help removing the meat)
  3. Find a hard surface, preferably outside,  and using the hammer break the coconut shell
  4. Remove the meat using a small knife. THIS IS A TRULY DANGEROUS TASK. BE VERY CAREFUL OR YOU WILL CUT YOURSELF
  5. Wash the meat with water and cut in small cubes (if you also want to remove the brown peel it’s up to you)
  6. Mix all the ingredients in a large pan
  7. Cook in high heat until the water dries out a little bit (about 5 minutes) always stirring
  8. Lower the heat and keep on stirring until it’s completely dry. (If you use crystallized sugar your coconut cubes will have a golden brown glaze. If you use granulated sugar they will remain white)
  9. Spread the coconut bites on a baking sheet and let then cool off for about 15 minutes.
  10. Serve the portions in small sample cups or make colorful paper cones.

a nice presentation for a sweet treat

It is a very sugary treat. Almost like eating candy. Coconut also has a lot of oil. So like a said, it’s a treat and should be treated as one.  However it’s completely natural and it has benefits too. You can read about them HERE.
If you have any recipe suggestions, or questions, please send me a message in the comments section bellow or email me at superdad247@gmail.com.
Have a great weekend,
~Gil

Super Dad in the kitchen: Pineapple Muffin

I don’t expect every dad to be able or even interested in cooking but if you want to transition from dad to Super Dad you might consider developing a few “kitchen skills”.  Here is an easy recipe for a healthy yet delicious pineapple muffin.

I’ll first post the original recipe I got from All Recipes.com but because of my son’s milk allergy I made a few substitutions and also added some stuff for a better nutritional value. So first with the original:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pans, or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the reserved juice, egg, milk, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Mix just until blended.
  3. Spoon batter into muffin cups, then spoon crushed pineapple over the batter
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the crown of the muffin comes out clean.
 PREP TIME: 15 min      | COOK TIME: 30 min
So here are the alterations I made to the recipe:
Flour: instead of using 2 cups of all purpose flour I used only 1 cup and added half a cup of brown rice flour and half a cup of almond meal. (The reason is that excessive wheat may cause constipation and the almond meal has more nutrients)
Milk: cow milk was replaced for soy milk and you can guess the reason; Lucas is allergic to milk.
Sugar: I didn’t use sugar at all. I used a tablespoon of Stevia sweetener and used a little more of the pineapple juice. The muffins came out just sweet enough and also very moist inside.
Carrots: I added about 1 cup of grated carrots to the batter. I didn’t make any difference to the flavor but it added all it’s nutrients including Vitamin A.
I served it to Lucas with Vanilla frozen yogurt (use ice-cream if you will) and he loved it.
Healthy, delicious, nutritious and easy. Now go to the kitchen and be a Super Dad!
Cheers,
~Gil