In recent years, we’ve been learning more and more about the importance of early childhood education. Of course, a full education includes all aspects of the person, from the body to the mind—and all aspects of the nourishment of a person begin, well, at the beginning of a person’s life. So this month, in light of our health and wellness issue, and in honor of wholesome childhood roots, three Santa Fe chefs share with us recipes that are not only healthy for but adored by kids (and adults, too!).
Blue Corn Café & Brewery recently welcomed Guillermo Bojorquez as its new chef. Along with his 9-year-old daughter Nethania, Chef Guillermo created a healthy shrimp soup and elbow pasta salad that are sure to be hits at nourishing family dinners. Osteria d’Assissi Chef Cristian Pontiggia shares with us a dish his grandma used to cheer him up with—he now makes his nona’s whole-wheat spinach-and-ricotta ravioli for his 15-month-old son, Leo. And Chef Aja Marsh of Verde Food mixed up her nutrient-dense, low-glycemic, vegan and gluten-free chewy sweet-potato oatmeal-raisin cookies with maple-pecan icing. We hope the children in your lives love these wholesome recipes as much as ours do. Here’s to healthy lives, from start to finish.
By Chef Guillermo Bojorquez of Blue Corn Café & Brewery and his daughter, Nathania
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced deep purple carrots
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup diced tomates
15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup peeled, diced red potatoes
3 cups water
1 pound fresh market shrimp from Mesquite—check out New Mexico Shrimp Co.
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh herbs (dill, parsley, oregano or tarragon)—from your local farmer’s market or CSA
Sautee the onions, celery and carrot over medium heat until they are just lightly caramelizing then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes, water, seasoning and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook about 20 minutes, covered, until the potatoes are just tender. Add the shrimp and return to a simmer. Serve immediately with a garnish of chopped herbs and some tortillas on the side.
Elbow Pasta Salad
Makes four sides or two main servings
½ pound elbow pasta, cooked, drained and cool ed
1 ear of fresh corn, grilled or roasted and cut off the cob
½ cup fresh sweet peas or sliced snap peas
½ cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup ham, cubed
1 cup shredded lettuce or baby greens
1.2 cups mayonnaise
Salt to taste
It’s as simple as mixing all the fresh, local veggies together with the pasta and letting it stand for about an hour while you pack the rest of the things for your picnic play date with your kid. Run and have fun and enjoy the beautiful New Mexico sky!
Blue Corn Café & Brewery, 4056 Cerrillos Road, 505.438.1800, bluecorncafe.com
Whole Wheat Spinach Ricotta Ravioli in Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce
By Chef Cristian Pontiggia of Osteria D’Assisi
For ravioli dough:
300 grams (1.27 cups) whole-wheat flour
1 large egg or 1/4 cup yogurt
For spinach cheese filling:
1 clove garlic
100 (.42 cups) spinach, finely chopped
100 (.42 cups) grams ricotta
Salt to taste
1 small red chile, finely chopped (optional)
For tomato sauce:
2 medium size heirloom tomato—from the farmers’ market
4 leaf of fresh basil
1 clove of fresh garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
To begin making the ravioli, we will first make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and the eggs (or yogurt) and knead to make a soft dough by adding a little water if required. Once the flour comes together as a dough, knead well for about 3 to 5 minutes to make a soft and smooth dough. Cover and keep the dough aside till we prepare the filling.
Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic and the chopped spinach. Sauté the spinach until it is wilted and soft. Allow it to cook in high heat until you notice the water that is released while cooking the spinach is evaporated. This would take about 5 minutes.
Once the spinach is cooked, turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, add the ricotta/paneer along with a little salt and chiles. Stir to combine well. Check the salt and adjust to suit your taste.
The next step is to make the ravioli pasta. Divide the whole-wheat ravioli dough into two equal portions. Roll each half into a very thin rectangular sheet with a rolling pin. Make sure you use enough flour to dust the surface and the dough to roll it out. Proceed the same way with the remaining portion of the two and make two sheets. Once you have rolled the sheets, we need to shape and fill these sheets and shape them into raviolis.
To shape ravioli, I use a ravioli tray. This helps to hold the filling and also shape it evenly. Dust the sheets with more flour and place it on the ravioli tray. Lightly press the sheet into the cavities to make a depression for the filling. Spoon a small portion of the filling into the depression. Take care not to over stuff it. Place the other ravioli sheet over this filled sheet. Using the rolling pin press, close and cut the ravioli. You will notice it forms impressions on the edges. When you over turn this, the individual ravioli pieces will comes out. Dust the filled ravioli with a lot more flour and keep it aside till you are ready to use it. You can refrigerate it and make it with the sauce when you are ready.
To make the Fresh Tomato Sauce:
For starting, you dice the tomatoes. Then you will chop the basil and slice the garlic. Take the pan, add olive oil and start heating until the oil starts boiling. Add the tomatoes, basil and fresh garlic and sautée them on medium heat for about 2 minutes by taste, add salt and pepper.
Osteria D’Assisi, 58 S. Federal Place, 505.986.5858, osteriadassisi.com
Chewy Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
By Chef Aja Marsh of Verde Food
Makes approximately 24 one-inch cookies
2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 prepared flax “egg” (see below)
2 Tablespoons applesauce
1 cup sweet potato puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup currants or raisins
1 cup maple-pecan icing (below; optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In a small bowl or blender, whisk together the coconut oil and maple syrup until smooth and well blended. Mix in the flax egg, applesauce, sweet potato and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir to combine well, then add in the oats and currants or raisins and stir until everything is well combined.
Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons 2-inches apart on the baking sheets; flatten the dough gently with your fingers or a fork. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes until they are moist and soft but appear to be dull on the outside and are starting to lightly brown. Rotate the baking sheets during baking for even heating (I rotated mine every 6 minutes). Remove the cookies from the baking sheet after a few minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with icing, if desired.
Flax Egg Substitute
Makes 1 Flax Egg
Mix together 1 Tablespoon ground flax with ¼-cup water and allow to gel for 15 minutes.
Maple Pecan Icing
Makes 1 Cup
3/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.
Verde Food Company, 851 W. San Mateo, 505.780.5151; 105 E. Marcy St., 505.983.8147, verdefood.com
Recipes compiled by Mia Rose Poris