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

Dining with Kids in Marin: Grilly's Mill Valley

July 23, 2016

Grilly's Mill Valley

When we're in Mill Valley and are in need a quick and healthy lunch, we often stop at Grilly's on Miller Avenue for fresh and tasty Cal-Mex fare. Grilly's has been a fixture in Mill Valley for over 24 years, and specializes in traditional Mexican-style favorites prepared with fresh and healthy ingredients.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pho

June 26, 2016

Chicken phoI love my slow cooker, but I really don't use it much during the summer, because, after all, who wants to eat hearty soups and stews on a hot day? Lately, however, I've been trying to think about how to use the slow cooker to make more warm-weather kinds of dishes. One of my successful recipes is for a slow-cooker version of chicken pho, that delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. Simmer the broth all day in the slow cooker, then prep the garnishes and noodles and dinner is ready!

Pho is usually associated with beef, but this chicken version is a little healthier and easier to make. It's probably not 100% authentic, but it tastes pretty darn close to the real thing, without the need to pay a visit to your favorite Vietnamese restaurant (and there aren't too many of them in Marin). One of the great things about pho is that you can vary the taste to your own liking by adding traditional garnishes like fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and chiles. If you (or your kids) like it plain, that's fine, too!

Hawaiian Style BBQ Short Ribs

June 12, 2016

Hawaiian style short ribsThese marinated and grilled short ribs are the perfect thing for a summer backyard BBQ. They only take a few minutes to make and cook (outside of the marinating time), and the sweet-salty soy sauce-based Hawaiian marinade delivers a taste of the islands without having to get on a plane.

You can serve these short ribs in classic Hawaiian plate lunch style, accompanied by two scoops of rice and macaroni salad, but we opted to be a little healthier and make an island-style sesame-cabbage slaw that has added texture from crumbled dry instant ramen noodles.

You'll want to get Hawaiian-style—also called Maui- or flanken-style—short ribs, which are cut in thin strips across the bone. These don't need to be marinated all that long, and only need to be grilled a few minutes on each side. The marinade works great with chicken or pork, too.

Farmigo Brings the Farmer's Market to You

June 8, 2016

Farmigo

Love the idea of buying your food at the farmer’s market, but don’t have the time or opportunity to make it part of your shopping routine? Farmigo is here to help! This startup works with local farmers and producers to offer families weekly deliveries of fresh produce, prepared foods, bread, eggs, meat, seafood, and more. It’s kind of like a CSA—in fact, Farmigo created the software that many CSA programs use for membership and online ordering—but one where you can choose between many different offerings.

Kick Off Your Spring Break at PIER 39 with Hard Rock and the 7D Experience!

April 7, 2016

7D Experience PIER 39Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco at PIER 39.

Kick off your family's spring break at PIER 39 in San Francisco with two great special offers from Hard Rock Cafe and the 7D Experience. The Hard Rock is expanding its great Sunday Fundays kids eat free deal (normally on Sundays only) all weekend for this weekend only. Kids 10 and under dine for free off the Hard Rock's kids' menu all day and night from Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10, 2016. Mom and Dad get to rock out, drink, and eat while the kids enjoy a free meal with every adult entree purchased, 1:1.

In addition, kids also get free admission this weekend to the 7D Experience at PIER 39 with each full-price adult admission. The 7D Experience combines the thrill of a rollercoaster with the excitement of a state-of-the-art laser blasting game in a 20-seat theater with a massive movie screen. There's also the Lazer Challenge, where you compete to make it through a maze of criss-crossing laser beams.

Raspberry Almond Oatmeal Bars

April 5, 2016

raspberry almond oatmeal barsMy kids love to have a sweet treat when they come home from school, and I always try to make them as healthy as I can. These berry-filled oatmeal bars are really delicious, and I sometimes even use whole-wheat flour in them. Use either strawberry or raspberry preserves—they're both equally delicious. Even apricot would work! The sliced almonds can be replaced with chopped walnuts, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Healthy Ingredients a Mom Can Trust

April 4, 2016

Whole Foods Market Marin

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Whole Foods Market.

Aspartame? Vanillin? Ammonium chloride? Shopping for groceries shouldn’t feel like reading a chemistry textbook. And once children enter the picture, the stakes are even higher.

At Whole Foods Market, we stock our shelves with products we buy for our own kids. We carry the widest selection of organic foods of any retailer, but it doesn’t stop there. What goes on your little one’s body is just as important as what goes in it. Looking for diapers? Ours don’t contain synthetic fragrances, inks, or chlorine. We offer lotions, soaps, sunscreen, and baby powder that don’t contain irritating preservatives, artificial colors, or scents.

Spring Vegetable Pasta is a Dinnertime Hit

March 28, 2016

spring vegetable pastaAfter seeing all the fantastic spring produce at the Marin Civic Center Farmer's Market, I've been determined to create a recipe that showcases some of the season's best vegetables. I made this spring pasta dish this weekend, and my kids loved it. It's built around the organic English peas that I picked up, and is fresh, light, and delicious. I also found the first of the season's white corn, which I usually think of as a summer thing, and I decided that would go well in this dish too (and it did).

Put the kids to work in the kitchen shelling the peas and shucking the corn. It's always fun for them to get involved in cooking a meal. If you don't have the time or inclination to deal with the fresh peas and corn, frozen would work fine, too.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb farfalle or other pasta shapes
  • 1 lb English peas in the pod (or 1 cup frozen peas)

Inside-out Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits

March 21, 2016

inside-out chicken pot pie with buttermilk biscuitsThis dish subverts the traditional chicken pot pie and makes it into an easier but no less delicious weeknight meal. Make a chicken pot pie filling, with plenty of chicken and vegetables, then spoon it over buttermilk biscuits. It's a dish that everyone in the family loves!

You can use either homemade or refrigerated biscuits to make this—it's great with either. Feel free to mix up the vegetables in the "filling"; broccoli and mushrooms are great additions. This recipe makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie or roast chicken works great)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bird's Nest Cookies for Easter

March 20, 2016

birds nest cookiesThese cute and clever bird's nest cookies are the perfect treat for Easter. Light and airy coconut-filled meringues really look a lot like birds' nests—you can complete the illusion by adding a few egg-shaped Easter candies. We like the Cadbury mini eggs, but malted milk eggs or even jelly beans will work equally well.

The kids love to help make these, and of course love to eat them. These treats are a great addition to Easter baskets, too. Give them a try, and you'll probably find that they earn a spot in your spring baking repertoire.

Ingredients