We’ve done a lot of live TV interviews in our day and we’ve held a lot of cooking classes, but we’ve never cooked “live” online … until this week. Thanks to Ustream technology, last Wednesday, December 15th at 1:00pm EST, we spent 30 fast-paced minutes sharing clever tips and easy recipes to inspire a love for vegetables, and our demo aired live on the new Birds Eye Facebook fan page. Pretty cool stuff!
Behind the scenes at the Tipping Point Labs studio, the director calls the shots.
We were excited to team up with Birds Eye because they definitely share our goal of helping families get more veggies on the table. Did you know that according to a new report from the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance, 90% of young children don’t eat their recommended amount of vegetables? We’d love to change that statistic, so during the show, we cooked up two easy, kid-friendly dishes. The first was our Cheesy Spinach Bake from No Whine with Dinner featuring frozen chopped spinach and the second, a recipe from Birds Eye for Winter Squash Risotto. As we cooked, viewers were able to ask questions (which we answered live on the air), and we also talked about some of the proactive mealtime tips from our book for getting kids excited about eating a wider array of vegetables. If you missed the demo, you can watch it on Ustream TV or listen to us talk all about it on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast.
Winter Squash Risotto
Makes 6 Servings
This rich and creamy risotto is perfect as a side dish. To turn it into a spectacular holiday-inspired main dish, simply top it with grilled shrimp or chicken.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1½ cups dry arborio rice
- 4 slices nitrite-free bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 4½ cups hot chicken broth (and 1/2 to 1 cup additional water as needed)
- 1 box Birds Eye® Cooked Winter Squash (12 ounce), thawed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
1. Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Add rice, bacon, and sage, and stir to coat with oil. Ladle 1/2 cup hot broth into the rice; cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition absorb before adding the next.
3. When there is 1 cup broth remaining, stir in the squash. Continue cooking, adding remaining broth and additional water as needed, until rice is creamy yet firm. Stir in butter and Parmesan cheese.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with parsley as desired.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 320 calories, 11g fat (3.5g saturated), 530mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 9g protein, 60% vitamin A, 20% vitamin C, 10% calcium
Tip 1 … Take 1 … Action!
As you may know, when it comes to vegetables, our philosophy is to make them highly visible on the plate … not concealed or hidden within the meal. If vegetables are a tough sell with kids, we have plenty of strategies to wow them. During the demo, we talked about three of our favorites:
Meal Plan as a Family: Have the kids help with the weekly meal planning. Let each child take ownership of one night with a recipe they choose, help shop for and help cook. Our Stuffed Spinach and Cheese Pizza (No Whine with Dinner, page 75) is a dish the kids will gladly help make!
Theme Nights: Once a week, pick a theme for dinner. Try Mexican Night, Picnic Night, or Asian Cooking Night. For this dish, we steamed up a bag of frozen veggie medley — broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts — then tossed it with lite teriyaki sauce. Have the kids sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top.
Celebrate Colors: With dishes like our Over-the-Rainbow Brown Rice (No Whine with Dinner, page 142), have your kids take turns calling out a color at the dinner table. Once they choose a color from their plate, have everyone take a bite of whatever color was chosen. Yell “green” for peas, “orange” for carrots, and “yellow” for corn. Before you know it, they’ll have three bites down the hatch.
The Ustream demo was a blast, and we can’t wait to hear what you all thought of it. In the meantime, between now and December 31st, if you “Like” the Birds Eye Facebook fan page, $1.00 will be donated to Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to providing nutritious food to families in need. It’s all part of an effort to feed kids better!