Food and Cooking

Whole Foods Market

Delicious recipes, family friendly dining news, reviews, and resources for families in Marin and the Bay Area. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Fresh and Healthy Summer Garden Chili

June 25, 2017

summer chili

Chili is one of those meals that can be on the hearty, heavy side and not something you necessarily want to serve for a summer dinner—except for this fresh and healthy version. For this summer chili, I lighten things up a bit and take advantage of fresh summer produce like the zucchini growing in our backyard garden and sweet corn cut right off the cob.

Serve this chili with a variety of toppings and add-ons so each diner can customize it to his or her taste. You can make it vegetarian (or vegan) by omitting the ground turkey and doubling the amount of beans, corn, and squash. Either way, it's delicious! And our kids even eat it, too. There's probably no reason you couldn't make this year-round, either, although you'd have to substitute frozen corn for the fresh.

Festive Summer Almond Cake with Strawberries

June 20, 2017

almond strawberry cakeDuring early summer, I'm always on the lookout for recipes that use fresh local strawberries, which my whole family loves, but then who doesn't? I came across this recipe and it sounded fantastic, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's really easy to make, and it's light and delicious.

With its red berries and powdered sugar, it looks amazing, too, and has a certain patriotic flair. I think I'll even make it to take to the annual 4th of July party we go to.

Note that I changed the cooking time from the original recipe to 30 to 35 minutes as the cake was done well before the indicated 45 to 50 minute baking time.

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

Cool Off This Summer with Melon Aguas Frescas

June 19, 2017

Watermelon agua fresca

When the weather warms up, one of the things we often cool off with are aguas frescas, those refreshing traditional Mexican-style drinks made from various kinds of fruit. You don't have to go to your local taqueria to get them, either—they're inexpensive and really easy to make at home. Kids love them, and they're a healthy alternative to sodas and other soft drinks.

We often make aguas frescas with melons like cantaloupe or watermelon; whatever we happen to have on hand. It's a great way to use up all that watermelon that's been sitting in the refrigerator, which is what we made out latest batch out of. You can use other fruits, like strawberries and even pineapple, but melon is an economical choice and a delicious one, too.

Homemade Snacks for Summer Road Trips

June 19, 2017

Popcorn trail mix

Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Elizabeth Leader Smith and Whole Foods Market.

When I was a child, my family frequently made long road trips to visit family members peppered around the Midwest. The novelty of pit stops at roadside convenience stores lost its luster early on. Instead my family hungered for wholesome foods we could feel good about eating while sitting in the car for long stretches.

By planning ahead, my mom was able to pack with the car with healthful snacks (often homemade) to get us through that stretch from Cleveland to South Bend or Chicago to Green Bay. Today I do the same thing making some and buying others. When I have time to prep ahead, I'll make easy and affordable snacks like Popcorn Trail Mix and other recipes for the road like these:

Awesome Ice Cream Shops in Marin & Beyond

June 18, 2017

Lala's Creamery Petaluma

Ice cream is one of those foods that's synonymous with summer, although it's pretty wonderful at any time of year! On a hot day, there's not much better than getting a big scoop of your favorite ice cream on a waffle cone. To help you find that summer joy, we've put together this guide to our favorite ice cream scoop shops in Marin County (and we've thrown in a couple of our Sonoma County favorites that are worth the trip, too).

Here they are, arranged from south to north. Many of these shops are family owned and operated, but we've included a few of the popular chains, too.

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

June 4, 2017

Grilled Mediterranean chicken

Summer means it's time to fire up the grill and cook something delicious for dinner. One of the hardest things to cook on the grill is whole chicken. It's too easy to end up with a birds that's charred on the outside and underdone on the inside, but I think this technique is almost foolproof and results in a perfectly cooked chicken every time. It also speeds up the cooking time.

I like to marinate the chicken for a few hours—or overnight, if I'm thinking ahead—in a citrusy, herb-laded mixture that's full of great Mediterranean flavors. I can't say that it's purely Greek or Italian, but it uses flavors common in each cuisine. It helps to have an herb garden just steps from the kitchen door, too!

Feel free to vary this recipe to suit your taste. For example, I sometimes replace the oregano with fresh chopped rosemary for something equally delicious. Whatever variation I decide on, this is one of my go-to dishes for a summer cookout.

Family Friendly Recipes for a Memorial Day Barbeque

May 25, 2017

Tri-tip

Memorial Day Weekend, that traditional kick-off to summer is coming up! Since it's traditional to have a BBQ in the backyard, we've put together a selection of our most popular family-friendly grilling recipes, along with a few great sides and warm weather treats. So fire up the grill, cook up a feast, and enjoy the weekend!

Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip

Cooked slowly over charcoal with plenty of wood smoking chips, this traditional Santa Maria-style tri tip is simple to make and really delicious.

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunches in Marin

May 11, 2017

Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 14. Brunch is always a popular outing in honor of mom, and here are some of our favorite family-friendly spots for a Mother's Day brunch in Marin.

All information is correct at time of publishing, but please check with the restaurant to confirm. You should also make your reservations soon, as Mother's Day brunches fill up pretty quickly.

  • Belcampo Meat Co
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Sunday, 9 am

    Treat mom to a special brunch featuring Belcampo specialties: Bacon & Brioche French Toast, Ham Benedict, or the infamous Belcampo Breakfast Burger. Reserve now! Location: 2504 Larkspur Landing. For more info, call (415) 448-5810 or visit their website.
  • The Caprice
    Tiburon
    Sunday, 11 am–2 pm
    Enjoy three course prix fixe brunch includes prosecco. $49/ adults; kids under 12 $19. Shrimp cocktail, brioche french toast, filet mignon, blueberry and more. Location: 2000 Paradise Drive, Tiburon. Reservations are required by calling (415) 435-3400. For more info, visit their website.

Find Fresh Seasonal Produce at Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden in Novato

May 8, 2017

Indian Valley organic Farm and Garden

This spring and summer, the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden on the grounds of College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus is a great place to get organic fruits and veggies. A project of College of Marin, Conservation Corps North Bay, and the UC Cooperative Extension, this 5.8-acre certified organic education farm and garden is open to the public for produce shopping every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

Bring your own bags and browse the farm stand for a wide variety of seasonal produce grown right there on-site. Right now, you can get artichokes, beets, radishes, chard, kale, leeks, and more. They also often sell plants like poppies and other flowers, fruit trees, strawberries, and tomatoes. Bring your own plastic bags, as they aren't provided here, although you can buy washable, reusable produce bags at the stand for a nominal fee.

Make a Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake for Mom

May 8, 2017

This Mother's Day, why not make an old school dessert for Mom—pineapple upside down cake. Pineapple upside down cake is really old school, dating back to the 1920s when canned pineapple from was introduced to the US market by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which would eventually become Dole Foods.

Featuring moist and light cake topped with sweet pineapple and a caramelized brown sugar topping, it's no wonder this dessert has been popular for nearly a century. In our recipe, we use fresh pineapple, but you can substitute canned if you don't want to mess around with cutting up and trimming a fresh one. It's equally good with both.

Ingredients

For the topping: