@TheDoctors – Healthy Food Options to Cook Together

Our segment on @TheDoctorsTV airs this Wednesday on FOXLA at 3pm – Check local listings – https://www.thedoctorstv.com/when-its-on

A few months ago the producers from the day time talk show “The Doctors” reached out and asked if Kaia and I would be interested in doing a segment with them. We obliged ; )

The segment focuses on healthy food alternatives. The goal is to spotlight the still growing issue of diabetes amongst children in the United States where 1 in 5 kids is pre-diabetic.

They asked us to come up with some recipes that would be a healthy alternatives that are easy to make, and can be fun to cook for parents and kids together.

– Dinner 1 – Turkey Meatballs, homemade marinara on noodles. 
Ingredients – 

  • 2 lbs 93/7 Ground Turkey
  • 1 cup Spinach chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Salt 
  • 1 tbsp Garlic
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs 
  • 1 tbsp Pepper freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Cheese grated
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Italian Parsley chopped fine
  • Basic Tomato Sauce or we can make our own.  – Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Oregano, Yellow Onion, Garlic, Black Pepper, Green Onions, Salt, Vegetable Stock
  • 8oz. Spaghetti Noodles

Preparation – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. – Meatballs – In a large mixing bowl combine the ground turkey, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 1 cup of chopped Spinach, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tbsp of minced garlic, 1 tbsp of Salt, 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper, 2 tbsps of softened butter. Mix the ingredients together well. Roll and Ball the mixture into a about 16 2 oz. meatballs. In a cast iron pan or saute’ pan, heat a tbsp of Olive Oil and place the meatballs in the pan browning them. Use the remaining oil for the 2nd round of meatballs. After browning the meatballs. Place the pan with all the meatballs into the oven and cook for 10 minutes – Noodles – In a larger pot, boil salted water, add noodles and cook al dente – Sauce – in a separate pan, heat the sauce and add the meatballs to finish cooking. Add the al dente noodles and continue cooking on low heat for about 3 more minutes. Use a fork or tongs to twirl noodles on. Plate meatballs and pasta. Shave the Pecorino cheese on top of the plated pasta and add some chopped parsley. 

After submitting this particular recipe, we received an almost immediate response from producers asking if there was a way to get rid of certain ingredients? Like the butter, cheese and breadcrumbs which we knew were not so healthy additions to our meatballs… We knew there was a way! After a few different try’s we sent this…

“Hi everyone, we’ve tried some new variations of the our Turkey Meatballs and landed on this iteration… in lieu of the breadcrumbs and butter we used roasted cauliflower and a couple eggs. Instead of the softened butter we used eggs plural. But, we think we could have gotten away with only one egg, and if you are making this recipe try it with one egg only! Oh, and no cheese at all, and use zucchini noodles instead of the spaghetti noodles”.

In retrospect, my email response could have been a little better put together and not so scattered, but you have to understand we were meat-balled out by then. After they got our notes, they asked if I could send the new recipe… I forgot to send the recipe, HA!

Anyhow, after laughing off my previous blunder(s), they got the recipe.

The new recipe is… 

  • 2 lbs 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 cup Chopped Organic Spinach
  • 1 cup Riced and Roasted Cauliflower – preheat oven to 400 degrees, chop or use a food processor to dice the cauliflower (stock removed) fold in a tbsp of olive oil and a tsp of salt, cover a sheet tray or pan with foil and lay the cauliflower flat, roast for about 25 mins, remove from oven and let cool.
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 tbsp of Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic 
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This is only to coat the pan. 

It’s the same preparation as the last, but instead of the breadcrumbs and butter you will add the riced and roasted cauliflower. After mixing the ingredients well they go into the oven at 375 for 15 mins. The lower temp and longer time allow for the cauliflower and egg to firm.

turkey-meatballs
The best around!

Ultimately we were still asked on the show. With the initial challenge of making our meatballs healthier by eliminating and replacing certain ingredients, we learned a great deal and were able to flex our creative muscles to make them work. The roasted cauliflower and egg was a genius idea that proved to successfully bind the ingredients as well if not better than the breadcrumbs and butter.

Hopefully the ingredients, prep and cooking descriptions are workable for you. If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We love hearing from you!

We had a lovely time working with the team @TheDoctors. Hopefully we can bring some more of our creations to them and you!

We are looking forward to a continued great 2020! We will be launching a line of breakfast bars, jams, jellies and preserves in the next month. They will be available online! Stay Tuned!

Chopping on the Cheap, with a Little Help from Friends

Our initial shopping day was Monday last week, and we needed to make dinner…  After returning home from the grocery store, we dove right into cooking. We had worked up quite the appetite after our dance through Ralphs.

As soon as we cascaded through our front door I asked Kaia to turn on the oven. I grabbed the Vitamix – this is an incredible machine. It’s like a bullet blender, but a thousand times better.

We have an electric stove and oven that, for some reason, doesn’t hold the temp or remain consistent throughout cooking. I think it has less to do with the oven, and possibly more to do with Kaia opening the oven door every 30 seconds while something is cooking. I’m guessing your kids have that same heightened anticipation while waiting for the object in the oven to become edible! I almost didn’t sign our lease due to the electric oven/stove conundrum, but alas here we were, and I had asked Kaia to turn the oven to a higher temp than necessary so it would cook properly.

I was thinking chips and salsa, some rice and our tri-tip on the fly! As I mentioned, we were so hungry by the time we started cooking. Kaia and I talked it over and she concurred. This would be the fastest way we could feed our hungry faces.

With the oven heating and the Vitamix out, we grabbed our ingredients…

  • Tri-tip roast: seasoned with our home mixed dry rub and some liquid smoke, we wrapped it in tinfoil and tossed in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 mins
  • 5 roma tomatoes: combined these in the Vitamix with some shallots, garden fresh cilantro, jalapeno, fresh garlic and salt

**The above are things we purchased this week, the below are items we already had at home…  Remember we try to always work with what we’ve got!

  • Corn tortillas: we brought a pan of oil up to about 450 degrees and fried the tortillas
  • Basmati Rice: not really a traditional rice to go with a beef roast, salsa and tortilla chips; but we added some of our fresh cilantro and shallots to rice and allowed them to work their flavors in.

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Fast-forward to Wednesday and three meals were already consumed. Kaia and I made our way across town to her Godfather’s place. His name is Miki (pronounced like Mickey Mouse) and coincidentally he is also my bestie. He’s an amazing guy with an incredible family of his own. He has 2 kids under the age of 2, and a very patient fiancé. His brother, whom is also one of my dear friends, happened to be babysitting a 6 year-old named Max.

So our count was a little higher than usual…. we were up to 4 adults, 1 pre-teen, 1 first grader, 1 toddler, and an infant… by my count that’s a 7.5-er on the food-consumption-o-meter. Our group epitomizes the modern families that we see grace the small screen today. Every one of our stories is different, but those differences are what make us all alike. Miki is a camera operator and photographer. We had set up this date to shoot some food photos.

As our time together sometimes does, our evening turned into a family dinner for everyone. Kaia and I still had a number of our veggies from the initial purchase this week. Those coupled with some other things around our house from weeks prior made for a great shoot (for this blog!). After we talked about what Kaia and I could bring, Kila, Miki’s brother, decided to pick up some protein. A whole chicken and 2 extra chicken breasts were bought and paid for and BOOM! We had a well-rounded dinner planned and ready to be enjoyed by our families.

First shots were of some very pretty veggies:

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Generally with these impromptu family dinners we fly by the seat of our pants; spontaneity sprinkled with love become our main ingredients. Kaia and I took a look at what we had.

Red Potatoes
Green Onions
Red Onions
Shallots
Sweet Peppers
Kale
Roma Tomatoes
Jalapeno

We knew that the kale needed to be eaten, as well as some of the potatoes. Both Kaia and I said HASH! …slow down pot-heads, we are talking potato hash! We used a cast- iron skillet to cook the diced potatoes and small chopped kale. The first thing we did was use olive oil on a paper towel to grease the pan. We added some brunoised shallots to sweat in the pan. Then we added our potatoes, followed later by the kale. The kids kept asking for more. They ate all of it!

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As parents, we know how difficult the “eat your veggies” conversation can sometimes be. If you are looking for something delicious to feed the kiddos, this potato hash is your jam!

Next we utilized the dehydrated spring mushrooms by adding about 2 cup of veggie stock to a small pot with the mushrooms. These would become the base for a mushroom cream sauce. We let these rehydrate while we broke down the whole chicken.

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Finally we got to the chicken in its now broken down state. The smaller pieces make it easier (and quicker) to cook: 8 pieces, plus the 2 additional breasts Kila brought along with the whole chicken. We preheated the oven to 400 degrees (not our oven, so this is the real cooking temp). The potato hash was removed from the cast-iron. This not only gave us a pan to cook on, but one that already had some great flavor already on it. That’s what we call a win-win!

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Our goal was to blacken the chicken with the skin still on. Kaia used a mortar (grinder) to create a powerful rub. After searing the chicken skin down for about 5 minutes we placed the skillets in the already pre-heated oven. Toss some of the green onions on the top of the chicken before putting them in the oven for added plate filler and flavor. 20 minutes in the oven is ample time for the chicken to cook through.

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It sometimes seems that the importance previously placed on family meals and time spent together has almost completely disappeared. At least that’s how it feels these days – insert sad face.

Daddy Daughter Cooking wants to help remind everyone about the importance of family socials. The cooking bonds that were once forged by trips to Grandma’s or by going to Mom and Dad’s for Sunday dinner is seemingly a lost art. We need these interactions. For Kaia and I this time spent together and memories that we continue to make are shaping our future.

Thanks to all for sticking around and following us on our journey. We hope that these recipes strike a chord with you!

Watch our video here!