Tag Archives: salad

Sharon’s Plantains

Sharon N’Diaye is my friend who hosts the Cooking with Kids class at The Ajna Center for Wellness here in Croton. My daughter Juliana has taken several of her classes and loves them. Juliana even added plantains to her list of foods she will eat. Although Juliana has no known allergies, she is a picky eater. I love Sharon’s approach to getting preschoolers involved in the preparation of their own meals!
This is part one of a two part series on Sharon’s classes.


Happy New Year!! We are coming off the high spirits of the holidays and January can seem like a bit of a downer in contrast…and with our snow and frigid temps, it’s just the right time for some cozy, warm recipes!!

These recipes are easy and a lot of fun to make with your kids! In fact, I’ve made these recipes with a whole roomful of kids at our Cooking With Kids class.  And the great thing is that they are allergen-free.
The first recipe to share is fried plantains. There are only two ingredients! Oil, really ripe plantains, and you can sprinkle them with sugar cinnamon or salt if you’d like. Our chefs paired this item with a salad. You can do an oil/vinegar/mustard dressing (vinaigrette) or if you’re not sensitive to eggs, you can make “pink” (Russian) dressing by adding a 1/2 cup of mayo with a 1/3 cup of ketchup!
The kids really enjoyed making the plantains. In fact, one particular small chef added plantains to her list of approved foods!

We started with really ripe (black) plantains, which are available in most grocery stores/bodegas. If you get them when they’re yellow or green, you can prepare them in a similar way, but for our purposes here, use the black ones!

The process was so simple and easy, and the kids enjoyed peeling and cutting the plantains. Once the plantains were cut, all we had to do was to heat up some coconut oil (or the oil of your choice) in a skillet / frying pan. Once the oil was hot, we let the plantains sizzle a bit until they were brownish on one side, then I flipped them over! The kids looked, but I took care of the flipping!

When the plantains come off the pan, you can put them on a paper towel covering a plate to soak up some of the oil. If your small chefs are so inclined, they can sprinkle their plantains with salt or cinnamon sugar. Or, if you’re into non-dairy cheese, that can be fun as a topping!

For more info about Cooking with Kids, or to sign up for a class:
sharonndiaye@gmail.com  Facebook: Sharon’s Barefoot Books and Small Cooks
Ingredients for Fried Plaintains:
Black plantains
Coconut oil or other healthy oil for frying
Optional toppings: Cinnamon sugar, salt, or non-dairy cheese
Ingredients for Salad:
Mixed greens (organic is best)
Shredded Red Cabbage (Juliana’s personal favorite!)
Fresh Cilantro
Ingredients for Simple Vinaigrette:
3 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil or similar oil
1 part Vinegar (I like raw organic Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 part Mustard
Ingredients for Pink (Russian) dressing:
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise (vegan mayo for egg allergic)
1/3 Cup Ketchup

Labor Day Weekend and Kimmy’s Corn Salad

We had a great Labor Day weekend, despite some occasional rain that passed through. BBQ’s can be difficult to navigate when avoiding gluten, dairy, and eggs (also nuts and stone fruits too) but we did great! It helped that my sister was the hostess so she was awesome about providing snacks and meals that everyone could enjoy!
Some great food moments:
Eating Watermelon!
Eating Trader Joe’s Corn Chips and Salsa!
Prepping our delish Veggie Kabobs! These are green peppers, red onions, eggplant, zucchini and cherry tomatoes! So summery and delish!
My husband Richard is prepping the fresh Jersey corn for Kimmy’s Corn Salad. She got the idea for the corn salad from Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten.

Ingredients for Corn Salad:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 Tbsp more for sauteing.
5 Cooked ears of corn, kernels removed
1/2 C diced red onion
1 Small Organic* Orange pepper, diced
Salt, pepper, and crushed basil flakes, to taste.

Boil corn on the cob for approximately 8 minutes, and cut off kernels once slightly cooled. Lightly saute red onions for approximately 8 minutes, until slightly translucent. Combine all ingredients and serve right away.


* I always recommend using organic peppers because conventional peppers are heavily sprayed with pesticides. For all produce, organic and local is always best.

Tahini Miso Salad

I have to stop posting about baking, although I feel like it’s what I do best! So instead I’m going to post about a very delish little salad I made. I actually made it about 2 weeks ago, and I’m trying to catch up with all my favorite recipes. Being egg free, unfortunately, means no mayo! I grew up on macaroni salad, potato salad, and coleslaw in the summers! I’ve looked at the vegan mayo in Mrs Greens (local specialty health food store), but I haven’t been brave enough to try it! Plus I don’t want to over-do the amount of soy I feed my family. So I looked for some other alternatives.

I love tahini! I sort of forgot that I love it until I visited a friend’s house and she had the most delish tahini salad out. I ate more than my fair share! I had a hard time finding all the ingredients I wanted, but found what I wanted at Whole Foods. Oh yeah, did I mention the huge oversized yellow squash that we found at Lawrence Orchard Farms? 


I shredded my red cabbage and my yellow squash (which I call a yellow zucchini!) in my Cuisinart food processor.  I love the size and texture that it came out. I used one of the disk blades with a smaller hole to achieve this size.

I also experimented with shredding half an organic green pepper* and some green onion the same way. The green pepper came out good, but was partially “juiced”. I may use a different attachment next time to see if I get different results.


Next I toasted some sesame seeds. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and spread sesame seeds evenly on a baking sheet. Bake about 6-8 minutes. Check on them so none burn.

For the dressing, I mixed freshly grated ginger, freshly minced garlic, tahini, apple cider vinegar, grapeseed oil, honey, and yellow miso. Toss lightly and serve right away.

Summer Cabbage Salad:
Half a red cabbage, shredded small
1 Yellow squash (zucchini), shredded small
Green onion, cut small
Organic green pepper*, shredded or diced
3-4 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds.

Tahini Miso Dressing:
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 Cloves of freshly minced garlic (or 1 Large Clove, to your taste)
3 Tbsp mild yellow miso
2 Tbsp tahini
1Tbsp honey
1/8 C apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil

Mix all ingredients and pour over salad! This dressing would be great over greens, with radishes, or with my cabbage and yellow zucchini salad I pictured above!

* I recommend organic peppers because peppers are part of the “Dirty Dozen” produce that is the most pesticide ridden when grown conventionally.