Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day// Top 5 Ways to Upgrade a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

What a yummy holiday! Grilled cheeses are an American comfort food with as many versions as there are Americans, and each family has their favorite way to make them. Upgrading a simple grilled cheese to provide more nutrition per bite is as easy as adding a vegetable, protein, or even a fruit or two! Whole grain bread will provide long lasting energy, veggies have vitamins, and mix up those cheeses for more flavor and some dairy group goodness.

What grilled cheese will you CREATE?

The Hunt for the Egg Salad Sandwich

Sandwiches have probably been eaten for as long as there has been bread, but the credit is sometimes given to John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792) for the name “sandwich”. There is nothing left now but a rumor of how this happened. Apparently, he was a very busy man, and did not want to waste time at the table with a knife and fork so instead, he put his food between two slices of bread and continued to work with one hand while he ate with the other. Manners aside, the name stuck because it was unusual, and he was a Lord. The name stuck, and soon all the other Lords and Ladies were serving “sandwiches” at all their fancy parties.

Sandwich, the town, is still in Kent, England, and there is another in Massachusetts, USA.

So Where Did Egg Salad Sandwiches Come From?

Probably in Boston, Massachusetts! The oldest example of a recipe written for an egg salad sandwich is in the The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book written by Fannie Farmer, but since eggs and bread are easy to find, they’ve probably been eaten for a lot longer than that!

Have you had an egg salad sandwich before? Let’s make one!

Check out Captain Create’s Tips for Egg-zellent Hard Boiled Eggs here!

Tip of the Week: Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a delicious addition to any healthy diet! They are packed full of protein for our muscles, and vitamins and minerals to keep our insides working they way they are supposed to. The white and yolk of an egg has calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, and choline for us to enjoy.1 You can enjoy the benefits of eating eggs no matter how you cook them,

With Easter on the way, many people want to be sure they cook their boiled eggs just right, and Captain Create has an easy way that works every time!

Are Easter Eggs Safe to Eat?

Yes, as long as you store them in the refrigerator, hide them in places above the ground and away from bacterial sources such as pets and dirt, and toss any eggs that are cracked, dirty or have been out of the fridge for more than two hours.2 They also should be washed, re-refrigerated and used within one week to prevent food poisoning.2

Better yet, minimize health risks by cooking two sets of eggs. Use one set for an Easter egg hunt or centerpiece display, and the other for eating. That way, the eggs you eat can stay properly refrigerated. Also consider using plastic eggs for hiding.2

Why Is the Inside of a Hard-Boiled Egg Green?

A green ring on a hard-boiled yolk is a result of overcooking.2 It’s caused by sulfur and iron compounds in the egg reacting on the yolk’s surface.2 The green-colored yolk is safe to eat.2

Save that egg boiling water!

Don’t dump this calcium rich water down the drain, and instead let it cool and feed it to your garden! Tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers can get a condition called blossom-end rot which makes nasty looking fruit and veggies3. Its caused by the plant not getting enough calcium3, so using this high-calcium water as part of a consistent garden-watering routine can help keep your fruit and veggies growing up right!

Resources:

  1. https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/holidays/egg-essentials
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748967/nutrients
  3. https://extension.usu.edu/archive/whats-troubling-my-tomatoes

Hawai’i Island, Hawai’i USA

Aloha! Captain Create is on the Big Island of Hawaii! We will go to Volcanoes National Park, the Northern “Valleys”, eat purple potato and coconut pie, and of course go to the beach! The islands of Hawai’i are packed with incredible beauty, fun, and great food! There is an active volcano you can visit, lots of adventures to go on, things to do, and yummy foods grown and cooked there.

Let’s Explore!

Hawaii, usually known as “the Big Island” is the home of Mauna Kea, the world’s most active volcano and Volcanoes National Park on the southern side of the island.1

All of the islands in that region of the Pacific Ocean were made by volcanoes building up from the ocean floor, and the big island has the only active one, which means that island gets bigger every year!1

This picture is the streams of lava pouring down the sides of Halemaʻumaʻu into the growing lava lake at the bottom, December 21, 2020. (photo by USGS)

You can watch what is going on at the volcano from a series of webcams set up by the National Park Service here.1

The northern coast is a tropical area, which means lots of green jungle, and very very tall cliffs and valleys. You can hike into them, or see them by boat from the ocean, or take a helicopter ride. Wade, that helicopter pilot you can see, says that the Waipi’o Valley is one mile wide and six miles deep! Waipi’o means “curved water” and is the name of the river that carved the valley down to the beach.2

There are lots of ways to stay fit, and the most famous, and physically demanding ways is to learn to hula! It takes a lot of focus and your whole body to do the moves correctly. Hula was, and still is, a way very important historical way for Hawaiians to pass on stories through movement and music. You can find lessons online taught by Hawaiians who have grown up dancing the hula. 3

Are you hungry yet?

Modern Hawaiian food is a mixture of traditional Hawaiian food and ingredients mixed with the foods of new cultures of people that have moved there. Fish from the ocean, tropical plants, and roots were traditional foods, and now pork and SPAM are a big part of the cuisine, plus influences with chiles, seaweed, and fruits from Japan and the Philippines are common now too!

A fun, and very colorful food you can find all over Hawaii is the obe, or purple sweet potato!
Not only are they pretty, they are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give them their purple color. Studies have shown that anthocyanins may help reduce blood pressure and inflammation and protect against cancer and type 2 diabetes.4 These purple yams are also rich in vitamin C, which helps keep your cells healthy, boosts iron absorption, and protects your DNA from damage.4

Let’s get cooking! This is a Obe & Haupia Pie (aka purple sweet potato and coconut pudding pie)

There are a few steps to make this pie, and letting the purple part cool after you bake it is important to not melt the coconut pudding (haupia).

PS, did you know it snows on Hawaii!?

The top of Mauna Kea, the dormant volcano on the big island, is over 13,000 feet! Wade, our helicopter pilot from above, got to snowboard the top of Mauna Kea!

References:

1- https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

2- Interview w/ former Hawaii resident and tour guide, Wade Chappell.

3- https://www.polynesia.com/islands-of-hawaii

4- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ube-purple-yam#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

Nutrition Tip of The Week: Manners Matter!

Eating meals with our friends and family at home is a great time to learn new and try new things in a safe place. This way, when you go to a restaurant or party, your good manners will stick with you and you’ll enjoy the food and celebrations more!

Manners are something to learn as a family to make mealtimes more enjoyable. Things like saying “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome” at home at the table will make them a long-term habit when you’re not at the table. Not only do manners matter so you can be polite at the table, they also help prevent the spread of germs, help encourage family conversations, and make everyone’s day a little more pleasant.

Are these folks using good manners at the table?

It doesn’t look like it does it?! Eating foods right out of the jar, stuffing food in our faces with our hands, and putting our feet on the table are not good manners!

How about these folks?!

Much better!

Captain Create has a few table manners tips to help your family perfect their mealtime manners and Create Family Mealtime fun!

Around the World In 80 Plates: Irish Soda Bread in Ireland

What better place to spend St. Patrick’s Day than Ireland!? Its green and gorgeous, full of friendly people with a unique language and accent, and yummy food!

Ireland is an island just east of Great Britain, and is known as the Emerald Isle. It has tall mountains and lush valleys filled with every shade of green you can think of. It gets cold and windy near the ocean, and the winters can be cold, but in summer, everyone is outside enjoying the landscape and green plants.

Boys often play a historic sport: Hurling. (Like baseball and softball are almost the same game, but not quite in Ireland, they have hurling for boys and similar Camogie for girls). They play all summer long, and the big teams get to compete in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, which is the Gaelic Athletic Association’s premier inter-county hurling tournament. It was established in 1887! See if think you could run and jump for an hour long game of hurling!

All that hurling probably makes the players hungry, and Captain Create knows a chef who is also an expert when it comes to the foods of Ireland! Darina Allen loves Ireland and Irish food. She teaches cooking and gardening at her cookery school, and she believes that growing and eating the traditional foods of your ancestors is one of the most satisfying ways to eat.

She has shared a recipe today that will make a great companion to a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of Irish Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage. Soda bread is an Irish tradition that has become a staple in many households, and is used to mop up stews and has become symbol of celebration. It’s baked in almost every house for Saint Patrick’s Day. Are you ready to try this quick and easy bread with your family? You will need a grown up to help mix it up and to take out of the oven.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Nutrition Tip of the Week: Eat Green with Leprechaun Dip!

This week is St. Patrick’s Day, which is a great excuse to eat all the green fruits and veggies!

There are more to green foods than a pretty color: Chlorophyll, (klor-a-fill) is what makes them appear green, and it is what soaks up the energy from the sun to feed the plants. Green colored fruits and veggies contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals(plant parts that help you to fight off germs!). Many of these veggies vitamins like have vitamin C, which is known to give your body extra help fighting off germs, and minerals like calcium and iron, which are good for your bones and blood. Lets make a green snack tray this week with bell peppers, cucumber, snap peas, and broccoli (maybe even add some tomatoes or carrots in honor of the red hair leprechauns are rumored to have!)

Let’s make Leprechaun Dip!

Its an easy edamame dip that is not only green, but also contains protein, vitamins and minerals! Just get out your blender, add and the things, and buzz it up!

Happy Pi Day!

Its pi day today. 3.14!

This scientific, silly, and yummy holiday was invented by physicist Larry Shaw because 3, 1, 4 are the first 3 numbers of the number π (pi). Pi (the number) never ends!

It is also Albert Einstein’s birthday today, so why not make a pie to celebrate in the name of science?

Pies can be a healthy dessert or snack, especially if it is a fruit pie!

Its Pineapple Season! How to cut a pineapple like a pro.

Eating fruits and veggies when they are “in season”, or when they are naturally ready based on the time of the year, is the when they are most cost effective and when they reach their full flavor! The USA grown pineapples usually come from the Hawaiian islands or Puerto Rico, but the largest worldwide producer of pineapples in Costa Rica. They grow on large plantations, and get picked and shipped around the world.

Pineapples are in season in the USA during April and May, and they are a delicious source of vitamin C, vitamin B-6, Magnesium, Calcium, and vitamin A. What a powerful fruit!

Candi and her team at Create Better Health Utah have one of Captain Create’s favorite pineapple recipes here: link to Sweet and Sour Chicken!

Have you ever cut up a pineapple? Adults will need to help, since they are big and have a tough skin.

Recipe of the Week: Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Spring is a busy time for everyone, and easy to make dinners are a great way to spend more time with family outside instead of inside cooking! Try stuffing a squash full of yummy stuff and roasting it in the oven for an easy to eat and easy to clean up meal that the whole family can help to make.

I made this one by using up random stuff in my vegetable drawer, pepperonis, and cheese. Easy! You can use the CREATES principles to create any yummy squash meal you want to, using what your family likes or what you’ve already got in the fridge.

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