French Food Fun: 52 New Foods, Around The WorldFri 15 Mar 2013
Story by Jennifer Tyler Lee
Et Voila! Deliciously healthy French recipes easy enough for a busy family to enjoy.
I never expected that cooking French food with my kids would be so hard. Not only in terms of technique (which I found challenging as a busy parent) but in terms of ingredients.
Take lemon tarts for example. When we decided to take 52 New Foods on a tour of Paris, my daughter’s first request was to make lemon tarts. “Deliciously French!” I thought. But despite my best efforts, I was unable to find a recipe that I’d call healthy. Trying to remake these French treats without the cream, egg yolks and sugar felt like an impossible task. Maybe if I had more time and more patience I would have been able to tackle that challenge.
Instead I focused on the softballs -- basic French recipes that I could remake in a healthy way on a busy parent’s schedule. Recipes that my kids would enjoy eating and making, and that wouldn’t result in that guilty parent feeling of “I just don’t have enough time!”
Although we managed to make some delicious French dishes this month, I feel like we barely even scratched the surface of all that we have to learn about cooking classically French recipes in a healthy way. I absolutely love French food, but I ended this month feeling like I love it more when someone else makes it for me!
As for the lemon tarts, I’ll leave those to Julia Child.
Whole Wheat Crepes
One of my fondest memories of living in Paris is of strolling the beautiful promenades. On those wonderful walks, I remember feeling transported like I was in a dream – surrounded by portrait-worthy gardens, inspiring architecture, and filled with the sights and sounds of a foreign but somehow familiar place. No walk was complete without a stop at one of the many fresh crepe stands. By a long stretch, the food in France left the greatest impression on my memory. Longing for a taste of Paris, I decided to remake one of my favorite French treats for my kids to enjoy: A healthy, easy crepe recipe.
A cold snap in California left us longing for a cozy treat, so I ventured to try a simple, healthy leek soup with my kids. Classically French and easy enough for a five year old to make, I decided it would be the perfect addition to our 52 New Foods adventure in France this month: Healthy Leek Soup.
“Get the galette!” shouted my 6-year-old son with the tenor of a football captain cheering on his teammates toward the game-winning touchdown. Called into the kitchen by the sweet smell of warm apples and cinnamon, my kids raced to the table and huddled around our delicious French creation, hoping to be the first to snatch a bite of this sweet treat: An easy apple pie recipe.
In the final stretch of our 52 New Foods adventure in France, it would be impossible not to mention one of my favorite French bistro meals: steak and frites. Instead of avoiding it, I decided to give it a healthy makeover, starting with the frites. Not only are these fries tasty and easy to make, they are nutritious. Even better, I discovered the secret to making them perfectly crispy every time: Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color – award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color and Jennifer’s 52 New Foods adventure has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray’s Yum-O, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, Yum Food & Fun For Kids, and Edible Silicon Valley, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.
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