Tag Archives: Stonyfield Blogger

Summer Favorite: Buffalo Kale Pizza Recipe

What would you do with a big box of organic baby kale? What would you do with four of them?

For a recent campaign for Stonyfield Yogurt in partnership with Taylor Farms organic greens (for which I was compensated and received product), I realized that when you have a lot of Whole Milk Greek and Whole Milk Smooth and Creamy yogurt and baby greens (Power Greens: Baby Kale, in my case), I came up with three recipe ideas.*

The first two — true to how I usually cook — don’t have actual recipes. I made a delicious pasta with baby kale, garlic, and Greek yogurt (I put the baby kale in with the spaghetti near the end of cooking time, then tossed all that with olive oil in which I’d cooked some chopped/minced garlic and red pepper flakes, then stirred in Greek yogurt — so good, though chopping the kale first would have been a good idea, as even the baby kale stems can be…chewy). 

Then I made a yogurt-based garlicky herb dressing to toss on the raw baby kale leaves.

And then, dear friends, I had the most wonderful idea of all: Buffalo Kale Pizza. I didn’t come up with that name myself; my friend Diana did. I’ve been on a big homemade pizza kick this summer. I make a batch of Mark Bittman’s pizza dough (whole wheat, and so easy!), then I have dough to make pizza whenever I want.

I make pizza on the grill. I make it in my oven, if it’s not a sweltering day. I have even made it in the toaster oven when I just wanted a small pizza for which it would have been hot and wasteful to heat oven or grill.

homemade whole wheat pizza dough from Mark Bittman's Easiest Pizza dough recipe

homemade pizza dough

So on a Friday night, after yoga, I invited Diana to come over for pizza, as neither of us had any plans. She brought some fresh-picked lettuces from her window box garden and some mushrooms while I rolled out dough.
Diana made a pizza with tomato sauce, mushrooms, and mozzarella. I wanted to use tomato sauce, blue cheese, baby kale, chopped yellow sweet peppers, and mozzarella.

Buffalo Baby Kale Pizza, before baking

While the pizza cooked, I had an idea for topping mine. I put some Stonyfield Smooth and Creamy Whole Milk Plain Yogurt in a bowl, shook some red chili pepper flakes on it, then poured some hot sauce into it, before whisking it with a fork.

My pizza came out of the oven.

Buffalo Baby Kale Pizza, after baking

Looks so much prettier after the drizzle of sauce, right?

Buffalo Baby Kale Pizza, with hot-sauce drizzle

post-yoga pizza-making

Behold, homemade pizza and grown-a-mile-away lettuce! And while eating a slice of the pizza I’d made, Diana realized that the combo of blue cheese and creamy tang and hot sauce reminded her of…Buffalo wings. Except this wasn’t wings. This was homemade Buffalo Baby Kale Pizza.

So: Not exactly a recipe, more a method, because that’s how I cook. But I’ll do my best:

    1. Preheat oven with pizza stone, or grill, or just oven because you’re going to use a pan.
    2. Roll out/stretch pizza dough.
    3. Roughly chop a pile of baby kale and toss with a little olive oil so it doesn’t merely crisp up and dry out in the oven. Chop sweet pepper (yellow or red) if using.
    4. Prepare dough for toppings.**
    5. Spread thin layer of tomato sauce over dough.
    6. Sprinkle chopped oiled kale, peppers, and chunks of blue cheese onto sauced dough.
    7. Scatter mozzarella on top, followed by a little grated Parmesan.
    8. Bake pizza (timing depends on cooking method).
    9. While pizza bakes, put whole milk yogurt in a bowl. Sprinkle with hot pepper flakes, then add hot sauce. Whisk with fork.
    10. When pizza has been removed from oven, drizzle the hot yogurt sauce over it. Cut and eat.

*So…I was supposed to come up with and share a salad idea. Sorry! But really, you’ll be very happy with the Buffalo Baby Kale Pizza and you don’t even need a salad with it! You’re welcome. #efficiency

** Grilling: Throw flattened dough on grill for 5-8 minutes, then flip onto peel/cutting board to put toppings on grilled side.
Baking with pizza stone: Move flattened dough onto a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal.
Baking without pizza stone: Move flattened dough to a rimmed sheet pan that’s either been greased lightly with olive oil or sprinkled with cornmeal.

Packing Healthy Lunches for Kids

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What's in YOUR lunchbox?

What’s in YOUR lunchbox?

I have been packing healthy lunches for kids since my strapping second grader was a toddling little preschooler. Back then, his day was a half-day, and group snack was provided, so all I had to pack was lunch itself. He liked peanut butter and jelly then, and there were no allergies at his school, so every day I packed a PBJ, fruit, veggies, and pretzels.

I used cookie cutters to cut his sandwich into fun shapes: a pine tree, a snowman, a star. Then another mom told me her daughter (a budding marine biologist even at age four) wanted her sandwich cut into shapes, too: a norwhale, if I recall correctly, or was it some kind of shark? which her father painstakingly cut by hand. (Sorry, Michelle!)

Packing lunches hasn’t stopped. The younger boy started preschool. The older one went off to kindergarten, at a nut-free school. No peanut butter? No problem! (And no, my kids will not eat soybutter or sunflower butter no matter what brand or what kind of jam, banana, or fluff I put with it.)

Turkey sandwiches it was. And fruit, veggies, crunchy stuff. And snacks, now. All nut-free (which simply required some extra-close label-reading on the granola bars, if I wasn’t making my own).

But the younger boy doesn’t like sandwiches. So packing his lunch was a little more challenging: turkey roll-ups (until he decided he didn’t like turkey), ham roll-ups (ditto), cheese and crackers (ditto on the cheese). I’d send him with pasta and tomato sauce, pasta and parmesan, mac and cheese in an insulated food jar (which in my day we called a “Thermos”). Cut-up chicken (nope), cheese sticks (nope), hummus and veggies and a spoon (fine for a while), chicken nuggets (at his request).

If you have a sandwich-hater, you still have a lot of options when it comes to packing healthy lunches for kids. Here’s my formula:

  • main thing: sandwich, cheese and crackers, lunch meat roll-ups, nut butter or sunflower butter rolled up in tortilla, cream cheese and turkey and veggies rolled up in a tortilla and cut into pinwheels, pasta, rice and beans, leftovers, pizza
  • fruit: whole or cut up (I find sliced apples results in less waste than a whole one, frankly); include a toothpick if your kid can handle it and a fork if your child is younger
  • veggies: carrot sticks or baby carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, snow peas or sugar snap peas, a small chunk of corn on the cob (hit or miss around here, but your kids might like it)
  • crunchy: pretzels, tortilla chips, crackers, goldfish
  • snack: yogurt tubes or squeezes, hummus and a spoon, applesauce, granola bars, almonds (if your school allows nuts)

Did I get summers off from lunch-packing? Oh, you’re sweet to ask. Well, until this year I did (except when we headed out on adventures for the day). This summer, with camps and such, it was nonstop lunch packing except for a few blessed weeks.

The younger boy has been excited to start a new school this fall. “Mama, if they have a cafeteria, I do not want you to pack my lunch. I want to buy lunch at school!” he announced. I swooned. Then I realized that even though our school lunch menu looks decent, I still want some control over what he eats, to be honest, so he doesn’t fill up on chocolate milk and chicken nuggets.

We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, even though it is not my favorite evening activity, I still take some satisfaction from packing healthy, yummy lunches for my kids (this summer with two snacks, also).

healthy lunches for kids include fruits and veggies

Typical lunch for Ben, though this day he’d requested avocado in his lunch (didn’t eat it, because he claimed he “didn’t have time”).

healthy lunches for kids: protein, carbs, fat, yum!

Typical lunch for Max: Turkey sandwich, apples and peaches, carrots, some chocolate-chip zucchini cake from our neighbor (an atypical sweet in his lunch), YoKids Squeeze (frozen)

I realize Ben’s lunch, above, looks a little low-protein that day, though it does have hummus and the YoKids yogurt tube. He’d asked for avocado in his lunch.

healthy lunches for kids with snacks

Another lunch: sandwich, veggies, and fruit in an Easy Lunchbox, with apples, goldfish, a kids’ Clif bar, a YoKids squeeze, and a hard pretzel on top. That was from their week at a camp that left them super-hungry and tired, so I packed as many snacks as I could!

healthy lunches for kids include snacks

Snacks on top of lunch for a hungry camper

I freeze the YoKids yogurt tubes and the YoKids Squeeze! (which are a little more substantial and which Max selected), to help keep their lunches cold. They thaw by snack time (I think — actually, the bigger ones might not thaw in time for morning snack!).

Stonyfield gave me coupons to try the yogurt tubes, the YoKids Squeeze! pouches, YoKids yogurts, OhMyYog (a layered yogurt with a cream top), and the Stonyfield Greek & Chia yogurts (haven’t tried those yet!).

healthy lunches for kids AND for me

I pack my own snacks and lunches, too.

I pack my own lunch nearly every day, too, and also snacks…including this last little yogurt I knew the boys might not eat.

Happy school year, and happy packing healthy lunches — for your kids OR for you!

Disclosure: I am a Stonyfield ambassador and am provided with their products. All opinions are my own. 

Homemade Ice Cream — It’s a (YayLabs!) Ball! #Review

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We like homemade ice cream as much as anyone, and we’ve owned our fair share of ice cream-making supplies: a really nice electric ice cream maker (which I sold after it fell into disuse for a few years when the kids were very young), a hand-cranked ice cream maker (fun but it took some effort and time, so I gave it to my friend for her country house), and then an electric one again (seldom used, sadly).

And then guess what I was asked to try out? Stonyfield teamed up with YayLabs! to send me a SoftShell Ice Cream Ball. It’s a soft-sided ball, like a playground ball. You put your ice cream ingredients in one end and in the other, ice and salt. You’re supposed to use rock salt, but I don’t have rock salt. I have kosher salt. That worked fine. I found that regular table salt worked fine, too.

Ball, yogurt. Pretty simple. Add ice and salt, then roll.

Ball, yogurt. Pretty simple. Add ice and salt, then roll.

You don’t need to get fancy with the ingredients. You can just add yogurt! Or yogurt and some sweetener. Or cream and a little sugar and maybe some vanilla flavoring. Or just fruit juice. You choose. Anyway, the first time we used it, I had on hand Stonyfield Organic French Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt. I normally only buy Stonyfield Whole Milk Plain, but I somehow had vanilla on hand. So we used that. I didn’t add anything to it, just put the yogurt in the ice cream side of the ball.

It has its own stand!

It has its own stand!

Then ice and kosher salt in the other side, made sure it was closed tightly (careful not to cross-thread it!), and we rolled it around.

Add ice cream ingredients here.

Add ice cream ingredients here.

Though it looks like a playground ball, you cannot drop, kick, or throw the ice cream ball, or the hard plastic inside will break. You do not want to break your ice cream ball. You want to sit on the ground and roll it around.

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We made it into a game, the boys and I, and rolled to each other. After 10 minutes, per the instruction book, I scraped down the sides (not well enough, it turns out) and we rolled it for another 20 minutes. The yogurt wasn’t quite frozen but it was good enough for us! According to the instructions, higher fat products freeze more quickly, which is probably why the lowfat yogurt wasn’t quite frozen yet.

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They were laughing the whole time except when I took pictures.

But it was good. The kids would have liked it a little sweeter, but they were OK with it as it was.

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Oh, I forgot, we added some chocolate syrup near the end. To the freezing yogurt, and to the ball, and to the floor…

Then we brought it up to Maine when we went to visit dear friends in a cabin on a lake way up there. We bought cream in town and used some sugar. I used a pint of heavy cream and maybe 1/3 of a cup of sugar. We had no vanilla flavoring or maple syrup, so sweet cream ice cream it would be!

We rolled it around, first my friend and I and her toddler, then the boys and men joined us. Eight people, ages 2.5 to 43, rolling this ball in a great game and having fun.

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I forgot to ask my friends for permission to put their kids’ photo in the blog post, so you just see my kids rolling it here.

I think that’s the best part of this ice cream ball — the time spent making a game of rolling it, laughing, passing to each other, taking turns, letting the littler kids get a chance. It’s community-building. I scraped the sides better this time, and when it was done, whoa. Beautifully frozen sweet cream ice cream.

It may not be our everyday way to make ice cream, nor the way to go if you want more than a pint (in Maine, we each got a few spoonfuls), but it’s fun, for sure, and we can take it camping with us! (Car camping, obviously, so we have a cooler for ice and yogurt or cream. I don’t backpack with that stuff.)

If you need a fun addition to your summer treat supplies or a brilliant hostess gift, try this ball. It’s fun. I just hope they come out with a full-silicon version we could use for dodgeball or kickball. Wouldn’t that be awesome — playing kickball and making ice cream at the same time?