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.

Marvelous March Activities

Spring is almost here! Spring will keep you on your toes because sometimes the weather is warm for running, playing, or gardening outside, and other days the weather is wild and cold so its easier to find things to do inside to stay active.

Do you have a plan to stay busy or are you hoping to just get lucky? Captain Create loves to run, jump, and play, as well as learn new things, and he has a fun family checklist to share.

Do you think you and your family can check off all the boxes? Print this page and stick it somewhere the whole family can see, like on the fridge or by the door, and make a plan to check off the list as a family!

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Dipped Clementines

Winter is the best time of year for bright and delicious citrus like tiny little clementines. They are packed with flavor, fiber and our favorite immune boosting vitamin C! Try them as a fun family project and fruity dessert this week! Bright red blood oranges are also in season and they have a wild red color and taste a little different than an orange colored orange. Try them out!

Around the World In 80 Plates: Liguria, Italy

Captain Create is Genoa, on the famous Italian Riviera in Liguria learning how to make a pasta shape known as TROFIE. Its a hand-rolled pasta, and a lot of fun to make! Its name comes from a Greek word for “nourishment.” Trofie are almost always served with fresh basil pesto (Captain Create has a recipe for that too!)

There are nearly as many pasta shapes in Italy as there are Italians, and the kind of pasta they make and eat depends on the part of Italy that they live. In the northern regions they often make fresh pasta with flour and water or sometimes eggs, and as you move south the pasta shapes and recipes change. The hot and dry climate of southern Italy makes it easy to make dried pasta with just flour and water, and they use a fun machine called an extruder to make the dried pasta shapes we are used to buying at the store. Central Italy is a meeting point where they sometimes make the egg dough of the north, and sometimes used the dried pasta of the south. The warm climate is also perfect to grow Genovese Basil, the base of the pesto sauce you usually eat with Trofie. Look how pretty that field of basil is!

Making trofie is a great family activity, and you’re going to make a bit of a mess, but its okay! You’ll have time to clean up before dinner is served.

In Italy, this pasta is made using Semolina Flour, which is ground from hard wheat, and gives the pasta a yellow color and a little bit different texture, If you can find semolina flour to use that’s great, but it is not a deal breaker. You can use all purpose flour too and you’ll still get yummy noodles!

Now for the fun part!

On a clean table or countertop or in a mixing bowl, make a mountain of 1 1/2 cups flour, then make the flour into a bowl and add 1/2 tsp salt. Next add a little bit of water to the flour-bowl and start mixing with your hands! Really get in there and knead it. You may use up to a cup of water, and you need to knead until its a smooth ball.

Once your dough is kneaded into a nice ball, let it rest for 15-20 minutes. This gives you time to clean up a bit and to make the basil pesto that is traditionally served with this pasta shape in Liguria. (You can serve this pasta with whatever sauce you’d like to though! Its your meal, so create what you like!

Now that your dough is all rested, its ready for the next step: rolling! First, start a big pot of boiling water with salt in it. Then back to the dough: roll out a big long worm, then cut of little bits about the size of a marble.

Roll out each dough-marble to a little worm shape and let them rest on a tray while you make the next one!

Cook the little Trofie in the boiling water for about 4 minutes, then drain them and while the trofie are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the basil pesto and enjoy!

Let us know how your pasta making adventure goes, and don’t be afraid to have a grown up help you learn about more Italian pasta shapes and recipes!

Easy Upgrades!

Adding more nutrition to things you already eat is an easy way to maintain your health and branch out a little bit to see if you like a new thing! Trying new things is a fun way to go on a little adventure every day,

Captain Create has toast for breakfast a lot of mornings; do you know what kind?! That’s right! Whole Wheat Toast! At store, Captain Create checks for this handy gold stamp to help him be sure there are whole grains in there! Do you know to look for the stamp? Show your grown ups what it looks like for the next time they go shopping.

What can you add to toast so you can add more of the MyPlate categories to it?

Let’s look at the plate again and brainstorm some toast upgrades!

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