Crunchy, juicy, nutrient packed jicama is an unsung hero of the produce aisle. Technically a cousin to green beans, jicama is a root vegetable from Mexico available year-round that is delicious cooked or raw. With a mild, earthy, slightly sweet flavor and an apple like consistency. It’s a great addition to salads, salsas, slaws, and grazing boards. Jicama also works as lighter swap for potatoes in baked and air fried recipes, and it’s delicious sautéed or boiled, too.
If you’ve never tried jicama, don’t be intimidated. Start by choosing one with a smooth, unblemished surface and thin brown skin. The skin should be thin enough to scrape with your thumbnail to reveal the white flesh inside. Avoid thick skinned, bruised, or shriveled jicama, which are signs of aging.
Once you’re ready to prep, start by trimming off the ends of the jicama and slice in half. Then, use a knife to gently peel away the skin.
For Jicama Sticks:
Step 1: Carefully slice off the rounded parts of the jicama, creating a flat surface.
Step 2: Cut each half into 1/4-inch slices.
Step 3: Stack slices and cut evenly into sticks.
Fresh, raw jicama sticks are a great addition to lunchboxes or served on a vegetable platter with your favorite dip. They can also add unexpected, satisfying crunch to cooked dishes, like a noodle salad with jicama and a miso vinaigrette.
Jicama sticks are delicious roasted, too. Their firm texture can withstand the heat, while the edges get golden brown and tender. Toss together with sweet peppers and spices for a simple, satisfying sheet pan side that pairs well with all kinds of meat and fish.
For Diced Jicama:
Step 1: Follow the steps above to create jicama sticks
Step 2: Line up sticks or stack into a pile, then evenly cut into cubes.
Diced jicama is a vitamin and fiber-rich way to add bulk to all kinds of green, grain, and protein-based salads. I love the combination of crunchy jicama with creamy avocado served with grilled chicken.
Moist and mild flavored jicama also plays well with fruit, especially melon. A refreshing combination of watermelon, jicama, and fresh mint falls somewhere between salad and salsa, delicious scooped onto tortilla chips or just spooned straight from the bowl.
Next time you’re at your local grocery store or market pick up jicama and experiment with ways to incorporate it into your recipes.
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved
As gardens begin to grow, one of the first perennial herbs to appear are chives. Chives are quite resilient and are particularly easy to grow both in garden beds or in pots. They can stand a bit of shade, tolerate drought, and grow well in any type of garden soil. For first time gardeners, this is an excellent plant that will yield a reliable source of flavorful nutrition.
Chives belong to the lily family and are part of a large genus of over 500 species of perennials that contain bulbs or underground stems. Known for their strong scent and distinct flavor, chives, along with garlic, onions, scallions and leeks are known as allium herbs. Allium species have been cultivated around the world for centuries and are valued both medicinally ad for their fabulous flavor.
If you grow your own chives, you can continually cut them back so the crop will continue into early fall. If you let happen to let them go you will get lovely purple-pink globe shaped chive flowers that make a beautiful garnish as well as a bright addition to spring or summer salads.
Chives are best when used fresh. Rinse and dry them well, then snip with scissors or cut with a very sharp knife. Snipped chives can be placed in freezer bags and frozen for later use, but will not maintain the texture of fresh shoots.
This is an herb that will elevate so many dishes, including soups, stews, salads, sauces, marinades, dressings, and dips. Adding a few tablespoons of chopped chives to cottage cheese will add a pleasing punch to a super simple snack. Make an easy supper of baked potatoes or sweet potatoes topped with Greek yogurt and chives. Mixing chives into cream cheese, along with lemon zest, and a grinding of black pepper will make an excellent spread for sandwiches or crackers. Omelets prepared with chives, parsley, and dill are a nice choice for any meal.
Chives contain valuable vitamin and mineral content. Vitamins K, A, and C are found in chives, as well as calcium, an important mineral. Chives also contain small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Purported to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral, eating more chives may boost your immune system and assist in maintaining superior levels of health.
If you buy your own chives at the grocery store, look for a bright green color with no sign of yellowing or wilting. Chives will keep in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for several days. Before using, rinse and dry well and trim the ends before using.
Enjoy this light and bright spring herb.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved
Healthy snacks give your family the energy and nutrients they need throughout the day. As you plan snacks, think of them as “mini meals” that include two of the four food groups.
Try these simple nutritious snack ideas:
1. Whole grain crackers with a cheese stick
2. Fresh cut fruit with a yogurt dip
3. Nut-free trail mix. Mix dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, and apple rings with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, along with your family’s favorite cold cereal.
4. A small tortilla wrap spread with Greek yogurt, some jam and a banana.
5. A smoothie made with vanilla yogurt, blueberries, apples and some orange juice.
6. Vegetable sticks (like cucumbers and carrots) dipped in hummus.
Make snacks interesting by using a variety of shapes, colors, and textures.
• Offer different types of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Jack, Swiss) in different forms (cubes, strings, slices, and balls)
• Switch up the vegetables and fruit. Make sure you have a colorful variety in the fridge to choose from.
• Kids love to dip. Use cottage cheese, hummus, yogurt, or guacamole as healthy dips.
From planning to packing, get everyone in the family involved when making snacks. Take children grocery shopping and let them choose some of their favorite foods like breads, vegetables, fruit, and yogurts. Set aside time in the evening to pack lunches and snacks. You’ll be happy you did during the next day’s busy morning rush!
Food Allergies: Schools have different policies when it comes to food allergies. Many schools have a nut-free policy throughout the whole school, and some have policies just for some classrooms. Find out about the food allergy policy at your child’s school. Once you know about the foods that need to be avoided, keep them in mind when reading the ingredient list on food labels and when packing lunches.
Back to school snacks can be nutritious and delicious. With a little planning and creativity, your kids will love snack time at school.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved
Just a few fresh berries add color and nutrients to a salad, cocktail, or mocktail.
Stock up on fresh berries, wash and freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Then transfer to a freezer bag for future smoothies and baked goods.
Add a handful of berries to a parfait, with yogurt for breakfast or ice cream for dessert.
Gently fold berries into muffin and pancake batter. Cook a big batch and freeze some for easy breakfasts later.
Make into a savory salsa and serve as a dip or over grilled chicken or wild-caught salmon.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved
There are those foods that can be rather difficult to figure out how to eat without looking like you were born in a cave. Here are some useful tips for properly eating perplexing foodstuffs.
Pluck off artichoke leaves and scrape the tender part (not the prickly point) between your teeth (preferably after dipping in melted butter). Work your way to the delicate inner leaves, and then use a knife to cut off the remaining small leaves and feathery innards. Cut the artichoke “heart” into bite-sized pieces and eat with a fork.
Eat asparagus with your fingers if served raw as crudités. Eat with a fork and knife if served with dinner.
Break bread into bite-sized pieces, and butter it or dip it into olive oil just one piece at a time.
Eat entire crab, including shell, either in sandwich form or using a fork and knife. Remove inedible pieces from your mouth with a fork.
Place meats, vegetables, and other fillings on a flat tortilla. Roll up and use your fingers to eat fajitas from one end.
Spear bread, vegetables, or fruit with a fondue spear and dip into cheese or sauce. Remove food from spear using a dinner fork, and eat from a plate. DO NOT double dip. Spear uncooked meat cubes and place spear into fondue broth or sauce. When cooked, transfer meat to a plate using a dinner fork and cut into smaller pieces to eat.
Wear a lobster bib to avoid fishy splatters, Crack shells with shellfish crackers and extract meat with a small fork or pick. Cut larger pieces with a knife, and eat with a fork after dipping in melted butter. Clean your hands by dipping fingers into finger bowls, and use lemon (if provided) to cut extra grease. Dry your hands with your napkin.
Use a knife to push peas onto a fork. Do not mash peas before eating, or eat peas from a knife.
Use a small fork to extract mussels, clams, or oysters from the half-shell. Season with fresh lemon or cocktail sauce. In informal settings, you may quietly slurp shellfish from shells.
Using a soup spoon, spoon soup away from your body and then quietly sip from side of spoon. Tilt bowl away from you to spoon up remaining drops.
Twirl pasta with fork tines into bite-sized portions, and allow any dangling pieces to fall back onto your fork. You may also rest fork tines against the bowl of a spoon while you twirl pasta.
Extract clam from shell using a small fork, and use a fork and knife to remove inedible neck. In informal settings, it is permissible to use fingers.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen
If you’re tired of the same old sandwich or just want to build a healthier sandwich then try using these delicious spreads instead of mayonnaise.
Reduced Fat Greek Yogurt
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Cottage or Ricotta Cheese
Light Cream Cheese
Macadamia Nut Spread