Balancing Act: The Adult-Kids Menu

Do your kids run at the sight of verduras? Do they request grilled cheese sandwiches day after day? Tranquila. According to Chef Anthony Lamas, owner of Seviche restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, there are easy ways to sneak vegetables and “adult” ingredients into kids’ menu for the whole family. “Don’t be afraid to add flavors and textures, layered components are interesting to kids,” says Chef Anthony, father of two boys and winner of Food Network’s Extreme Chef title.

As a dad, Chef Anthony knows first-hand how tricky it can be to prepare healthy meals parents and kids will enjoy. The key is to take tired ingredients such as chicken, arroz and vegetables and add flavor so your palate will be pleased, and the kids will ask for seconds. Try adding these tricks and healthy recipes for kids to the kids’ menu at your house.

·         Start with whole pollo: Plan ahead and flavor with salt, water, sugar, onions, herbs and lemon zest and garlic. Let sit overnight and roast.

·         Experiment with rice: Add interesting and tasty textures such as dried cranberries, macadamia nuts, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds or zucchini.

·         Add appealing sabores: Sautéed onions, celery and carrot will add flavor to any dish, while giving kids their veggies. Kids may say they don’t like bland spinach, but it takes on a new taste flavored with lemon and garlic.

·         Include los niños: Have kids help you create a tasty homemade buttermilk dressing for salads or parsley flavored butter for corn. They’re sure to want to try their concoctions.


Soups and stews are a basic -- but healthy -- meal idea, and an easy way to incorporate oodles of meats, vegetables and healthy herbs without the kids catching on. Straight from his kitchen, Lamas shared his recipe for Albóndigas (small meatballs) stew.


Ground beef chuck/round

3 ears of corn cut off cob

1 cup shredded cabbage

4 carrots cut into 1-inch rounds

4 celery stocks cut into 1-inch pieces

2 zucchinis cut into 1-inch rounds

1/2 onion chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 2 limes

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of garlic

3 bay leaves

1 cup cooked rice

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon ground oregano

1 gallon chicken stock

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Mix beef with rice and season with one tablespoon of salt, oregano, and a pinch of pepper. Make meat into three-ounce meatballs.

In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots and celery for two minutes. Then add garlic and remaining vegetables. Continue to sauté for two minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and add meatballs. Simmer for 15 minutes. Finally, garnish with a fresh squeeze of lime and a pinch of fresh cilantro.

Chef Anthony’s recipe calls for oregano and garlic, which both benefit your health. Find out why -- and other health-boosting ingredients -- here.

Sabor Latino: Easy-to-prepare Latin Fusion Dishes

If you’re tired of the oldies you’ve been cooking for years, now is the time to scan the globe for palate inspiration. Popular ingredients in Latin dishes are joining forces with those from Asia, India and France to create flavorful dishes with an exotic twist. Las Fabulosas serves up cooking tips and secret recipes for multicultural food from chefs and restaurateurs at Latin fusion restaurants.

Indian-Latin Fusion

“Mexican and Indian food are very similar,” says Alex Nagal, General Manager and partner at Tandoory Taco in Texas. “They utilize many of the same ingredients with great health benefits.” Nagal shared a “Tandoory Taco” recipe that blends the best of both worlds.


Chicken Tikka Tacos

Marinade for chicken:

½ cup plain yogurt

3 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste 

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork, cut into large bite-sized chunks

Marinade the chicken for one hour. Set oven to 375 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes or until well cooked. Slice cooked chicken into thin strips.

Tikka Sauce:

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, minced

3 tablespoon ginger-garlic Paste

1 Serrano pepper, minced

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoons paprika

6 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoons salt

1 cup water

½ cup heavy cream

Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish

Add oil and butter to pot, and heat until melted. Add onions and Serrano pepper, and cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for three minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until soft. Add the garam masala, paprika and salt and cook for three minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until it darkens for about five minutes.

Asian-Latin Fusion

“Latin and Asian foods complement each other with their similar repertoire of base flavorings such as onion, garlic and chilies,” says Eric McKamey, Chef de Cuisine at Masa 14 in Washington, D.C. McKamey shared a tasty recipe that incorporates the best of east and west.

Crispy shrimp and potatoes with chipotle-sesame aioli

1 cup mayonnaise (preferably Japanese Kewpie, but any will work)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons chipotle en adobo, chopped fine to a puree

1.5 teaspoons sesame oil

For sauce, whisk all together.

Canola oil (as needed)

1 pound shrimp, peeled, de-veined

¼ pound potatoes cut into pieces of similar size to shrimp

½ cup rice flour

½ cup cornstarch

Cold water (as needed)

Fine sea salt to taste

Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain, and cool to room temperature.

Heat oil in a high-sided pot to 350 degrees. Whisk rice flour and cornstarch together. Add cold water to bring to the consistency of heavy cream. Divide into two bowls. Add shrimp to one bowl to coat, potatoes to the other bowl to coat.

Using chopsticks, gently place items in hot oil, cooking in batches (about two minutes). They will be crispy to the touch, but because of the type of flour, will still maintain a very pale color. Transfer to paper towels to drain, seasoning with salt.

To Serve:

Lime Wedges


Serve the shrimp and potatoes as soon as it is coming out of the fryer. Pass along with the Chipotle-Sesame Aioli, with lime wedges and kimchi.

French-Latin Explosión

At French-Mexican fusion restaurant Paloma, in Philadelphia, “French sauces become exciting when made with chili peppers or mamey; filet mignon is served with a cappuccino-chipotle-red wine reduction sauce,” says Barbara Cohan-Saavedra, dessert chef at Paloma. Cohan-Saavedra shares a Mexican haute cuisine recipe.

Wild mushroom flan

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup cooked sliced wild mushrooms

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon finely chopped epazote (an herb, available dry or fresh in Mexican groceries)

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms in a little olive oil until cooked, for about five minutes. You should have about one cup of cooked mushrooms. Add heavy cream and epazote. Bring to a boil. Simmer for four to five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside. In a small bowl, add eggs and egg yolks. Beat with a whisk until well blended. Add the cream and mushroom mixture. Mix until well blended. Correct seasoning.

Set four medium-size ramekins in a bain-marie. Spray each ramekin with nonstick coating. Divide mixture among the ramekins. Add water to the bain-marie and bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. If serving immediately, unmold onto a warm plate and drizzle with cilantro pesto. To hold for later serving, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove plastic wrap and reheat in bain-marie or in a microwave at low to medium power. Then unmold, drizzle with the pesto, and serve.

Easy and Saludable Labor Day Side Dishes

Before the outdoor parties, barbeques and eating under the stars comes to a close, send off el verano with one last bash that your friends and guests will remember through the cooler seasons. Once the main courses are complete, throw some sure-to-please side dishes into the mix that are both palate-pleasers and heart-healthy options. Here are three side dish recipes to try:

Ceviche Cocktail

The great thing about this Latin American plato is the numerous options of sabores and ingredients you can play around with. It’s a light option that goes with just about anything.


One pound of sea bass and/or shrimp (adjust depending on party size)

Lime juice (about ¼ cup)

Lemon juice (about ¼ cup)

Orange juice (about ¼ cup)

Chopped red onion


1/3 cup of cilantro



Chopped tomato

Chopped cucumber

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Chop the fish and marinate with citrus juice for one hour (fish should be covered). Blend remaining ingredients (minus the avocado) and let marinade in dish or bowl for one hour. Drain and add avocado just before serving. For a fun party idea, serve in individual martini or double shot glasses.

Ajo Corn on the Cob

As you fire up the grill on last time during Labor Day weekend, remember that corn on the cob is a healthy and sweet side dish you can cook all year long. But nothing beats the extra flavor and tenderness from a smoky grill.


Yellow corn (for a sweeter taste)

Butter or butter substitute



Shuck the corn, rinse it and soak it in a pot of water for about 30 minutes. While the corn is soaking, sauté the garlic clove for 30 seconds over medium heat -- don’t let it brown. Take corn out of water, and wrap it in tin foil with a light covering of butter and the sautéed garlic, chopped. Place the wrapped corn on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once during the grilling process. Unwrap and serve. Like some heat? Sprinkle red pepper flakes on the corn with the garlic.

Grilled Fresh Fruit Salad

Forget the fresh fruit salad mamá makes, and try this easy and unique spin, since your grill is already in use.


Variety of firmer fruit, such as pineapple, apple, pear, banana and cantaloupe.

Cooking oil



Cut fruit down the middle, and spray lightly with cooking oil. Grill to desired doneness, about 3 minutes to avoid a mushy mess. Add honey or brown sugar for added sweetness to your grilled fresh fruit salad.

Personal Consultant

When it comes to preparing Latin dishes, white rice has been a traditional side staple. But according to a 2012 Harvard School of Public Health study, eating too much arroz significantly increases your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes. Researchers discovered, for example, that a daily large bowl of white rice, or a serving of 5.5 ounces, increased the onset of the disease by 10 percent.

“White rice has a high glycemic index,” explains Iris Mercado EdD, CDN, a nutrition expert and assistant professor at Hostos Community College in New York City. And when your body breaks down the grain, “it converts the starch to glucose (sugar) really fast and affects blood glucose level.” To make matters worse, white rice is tasteless and depends on salt and fat before it acquires flavor. That’s why people tend to eat big portions of the grain before feeling full.

For healthier eating, Mercado recommends switching to whole brown rice, which is not refined. When it comes to white rice vs. brown rice, brown is the clear winner. “The fiber in brown rice delays the digestion and conversion of the starch into sugar,” she says. Adds Mercado, “Latinos tend to eat their rice with beans,” which are high in soluble fiber and help control blood cholesterol. “Beans make you feel full faster,” she explains, so remember “to serve more beans than brown rice.” 

The Small But Poderoso Steps for Easy Weight Loss

Let’s face it. We want to go full-force when it comes to losing weight. But often factors beyond our control get in the way of shedding the pounds or keeping them off for good. We need an easy weight loss plan, but with the best weight loss results. Losing weight doesn’t just depend on how much ejercicio and cutting back you do; how you do it is just as important. Las Fabulosas culled easy-to-implement tips from three experts on how to go about losing weight.


1. “Eat small meals every 3 hours,” says Jenny Patrizia, author of Big Taste, Little Money: Healthy & Delicious Family Meals For Under $10. “We are meant to graze. It keeps our sugar levels at a balance and therefore controls our hunger.”

2. Serve your meals on salad plates. “It helps with portion control and caloric count,” adds Patrizia. “It also helps you stop when you feel full and keeps you from over eating.”

3. Aim for 80 to 90 grams of daily protein (pending you have no kidney problems). “Protein requires more energy to digest than carbohydrates,” says Lauren Minchen, RDN, CDN, explaining that we burn more calories by simply digesting the protein. She also suggests eating adequate protein, particularly when losing weight, to decrease the amount of lean muscle mass loss.


1. For easy weight loss, build a body that loses for you. According to Minchen, adding weights, two to four times per week, to a thirty-minute ejercicio schedule, makes mujeres lean and toned. “Many women refuse to participate in weight training because they are afraid that they will bulk up,” she says. But, unlike men, they do not produce the testosterone levels, so they won’t become bulky. “One pound of muscle burns an extra 40-50 calories per day,” she says, adding that more calories burn at rest when you add lean muscle tissue. So choose ejercicio that helps your body help you!


1. One of the best weight loss tips is eating to lose weight. Start your day by eating desayuno within an hour of waking up. According to nutrition expert Manuel Villacorte, MS, RD, it is the most important meal that drives your entire day. Having a healthy and complete breakfast “determines how much you’re going to eat at 4:00 p.m.,” says the San Francisco-based author of Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep the Weight Off for Good. Villacorte also points out that a sound breakfast keeps ghrelin, a hormone that “controls our hunger and drives our appetite,” in check.

2. According to Villacorte, combining carbohydrates and protein at every meal gives the “optimal blend of nutritional elements to fight cravings, control hunger, gain energy, and stimulate fullness.” Carbohydrates, for example, lower ghrelin, help with brain function, and decrease cravings. Protein, on the other hand, “increases your metabolism and helps keep ghrelin down.” Villacorte suggest a salad with chicken or fish for lunch. “Add a carbohydrate such as quinoa, garbanzo beans, lentils, or brown rice,” he says. And for a snack, have “an apple and a piece of turkey, low-fat cheese, or a hard-boiled egg.”

Small changes make for easy weight loss, but the best weight loss promises big results. Follow these small but poderoso steps for weight loss that is as easy as it is successful.