Chef Bobo’s Good Food Cookbook features more than 140 kid-friendly recipes, personal tips for healthy eating, and advice on getting the whole family involved in food preparation. All of the recipes are favorites in Calhoun’s lunch program. Published by Meredith Books, the cookbook was a finalist in the 2005 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards.
This is Chef Bobo's favorite Thanksgiving salad!
"Brussels sprouts is a vegetable that is in full season around Thanksgiving. So many people turn up their noses to this healthy little head of nutrition; it's probably because they don't like the odor when the sprouts are cooking. Here's the solution: serve them raw! I served this salad at Thanksgiving for the first time last year and one of the guests told me it was one of the best things he'd ever eaten! Others wanted to lick the bowl. This year I'm going to Texas for Thanksgiving and will serve it to a crowd of barbecue lovers! It'll probably be the only thing on the menu that hasn't been smoked!"
- 12–16 Large Brussels Sprouts
- 3 medium Fuji or Honeycrisp Apples
- 4 Radishes, cut into 8ths
- 3 tbs thinly sliced Scallions
- 2 tbs torn Mint Leaves
- ½ cup Pomegranate Seeds
- 8 tbs Chopped Walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup Blue Cheese Honey Vinaigrette* (see below)
*Blue Cheese Honey Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup crumbled Blue Cheese (like Maytag)
- 5 tbs Lemon Juice
- 5 tbs Cider Vinegar
- 4 tbs Honey until the cheese is broken up and the dressing appears creamy
- Slowly whisk in ½ c vegetable oil and set aside
- Whisk again before pouring over salad
- Slice stem end of Brussels sprouts and separate into individual leaves.
- Dice apples and toss with lemon juice. Add cut radishes to apples.
- In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, with apples and radishes then add scallions, salt with some of the vinaigrette. (The vinaigrette softens the leaves of the sprouts, making them easier to chew.)
- Let salad sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes before serving.
- Before serving, top with the mint, pomegranate seeds and another drizzle of dressing. (I recently added the walnuts to the salad. If you are using them sprinkle the pieces over the salad as a garnish.)
A great, easy-to-pack lunch for kids!
- 2 Small Zucchini, cubed
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 medium Carrot, grated
- 1 small Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 8 (8 inch) corn or flour tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place zucchini, broccoli, bell pepper, carrot, onion and mushrooms in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain.
- Place two tortillas, side by side, on the prepared baking sheet. On each tortilla layer cheddar cheese, vegetables, then Monterey jack cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Top each with another tortilla.
- Place under the broiler and cook until lightly browned. Carefully turn tortillas and cook on the other side until lightly browned.
- Remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve. Serves 4 people
Another quick and health lunch that kids love! Easy to pack for school...
- 2 cans (14-oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. tahini paste
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- ½ tsp. cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed in garlic press
- Juice of 2 lemons
Yogurt Sauce Incredients:
- ½ cucumber, cut into fine dice
- 1 cups 2% fat yogurt
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 plum tomatoes, cut into slices
- 1 cup thinly sliced romaine lettuce
- 6 pocket-style whole wheat pitas
- Mix all ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth. If too thick, add some water until the hummus is the consistency of soft mashed potatoes.
- Stir yogurt sauce ingredients together, set aside.
- Heat pitas in a 350°F oven for a few minutes until warmed. Remove, cut in half, and fill with hummus, 2 Tssp. yogurt sauce, tomatoes and romaine lettuce. Serve remaining yogurt sauce on the side.
"One of our chef's at Calhoun, Ilya Malachias, introduced this fish entrée when I asked the chefs to explore oven frying fish instead of deep frying. This catfish dish was such a hit! Serve this flavorful and crispy fish with tarragon tartar sauce and a little squeeze of fresh lemon." —Chef Bobo's Good Food Cookbook
Makes four servings
Non-stick cooking spray
1 lb catfish fillets
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 fresh lemon, sliced
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Spray a cooking sheet with the cooking spray. Add the Tabasco sauce to the buttermilk and put the catfish fillets in the buttermilk. In a separate bowl combine the bread crumbs with all the seasonings and then mix in the safflower oil. One at a time remove the fish fillets from the buttermilk, let the excess milk drain off. Dredge the fish thoroughly in the bread crumbs and pat the fillet to make sure the crumbs are well attached. Lay each fillet, when breaded on the prepared cookie sheet. When all fillets are breaded put into the preheated oven. Cook until the coating begins to turn a golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve garnished with fresh lemon slices.
Soup for 4–6 people; can substitute cauliflower for broccoli, or other vegetables
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp salt (or to taste), ground white pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup milk
2 tbsp minced parsley
Heat butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and allow to sweat—to become translucent, until they begin to turn golden. Add Cauliflower and stir cook for about 2 minutes. Add stock, salt and pepper to taste, and coriander to the pot. Bring to boil and reduce. Heat to simmer. Allow to simmer for about 25 minutes. Cauliflower should be tender. Ladle soup into a blender a little at a time and blend until smooth. When all is pureed, add milk to thin the consistency a little. It may not be necessary to use the whole cup of milk. Adjust the seasonings. Ladle into bowls and garnish with minced parsley.
"I like to help kids develop their palates, and a great way to do this is to offer them a diversity of foods from other countries. Try this Thai recipe as a case in point. It's an easy, healthy way to cook chicken, and it allows kids to experience new flavors. Best of all, kids are absolutely crazy about it."
—Chef Bobo's Good Food Cookbook
Makes four servings
4 boneless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
1-1/2 tsps coarsely ground black pepper
4 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1-1/2 tbsp soy soyce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Chopped mint, cilantro & basil
Fresh lime wedges
Rub both sides of chicken with black pepper; set aside. Peel and mince the garlic. Finely chop the cilantro leaves. Combine the garlic, cilantro leaves, soy sauce, sugar and chili powder in a bowl; mix well. Rub the garlic mixture over the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook about 5 minutes or until the skin is crisp and brown. Turn chicken. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or more until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and place on cutting board, skin side up. Cut each thigh into 3 strips. Garnish with chopped mint, cilantro and basil. Serve with fresh lime wedges.
Note: You can make a nice sauce by pouring off the excess fat from the pan and adding 1/4 cup of water. Pour it over medium heat and bring to a low boil, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce the mixture until thickened. Spoon it over the chicken thighs.
Message from Chef Bobo: Growing up, Cornbread was always on our Thanksgiving table. My grandmother always made it using a cast iron skillet, which she got very hot before pouring in the batter. Doing it that way makes the crust of the cornbread very crisp. But you don’t have to do it that way to have a delicious cornbread. Here’s how we make it at school for lunch.
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup peanut or corn oil
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon oil to grease 9-inch square or round pan.
2. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, whisk wet ingredients in another. Combine and stir together just until batter is moistened but not smooth.
3. Spread into pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack.
Variations: If you want to “fancy” this cornbread up a bit you can add chopped red and green peppers (chopped very small) or you can give it some spicy bite to it by using jalapeno peppers and any other hot peppers. The peppers make the cornbread look festive. You can also add shredded cheese and even corn kernels to it.
Makes 6 sandwiches
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup sliced scallions, about 4 scallions
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Low fat sour cream
2 tsp yellow curry powder
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups baby spinach or watercress
6 10" wheat tortillas
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the chicken breasts with the vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place on a sheet pan and bake in the oven 15-20 minutes until no longer pink in the center. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the mustard, mayo, sour cream, curry powder, white wine vinegar, cinnamon, honey, salt and pepper.When cool enough to handle, cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced chicken, cranberries, amonds, and scallions. Set aside.
Add the curry sauce to the chicken mixture and mix until evenly covered. Place about 3/4 cup of the chicken salad in each tortilla, sprinkle with baby spinach, and roll tightly into a wrap. Cut in halves and serve.
3 pounds ground turkey
1 cup chopped scallions
3 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2cup sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup scallions
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp chili powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toast sesame seeds until golden. Set aside to cool. Mix the ground turkey with the remaining ingredients in a medium size bowl, add half of the sesame seeds. Form a small meatball sized patty and sauté on stove top; taste and adjust spices and herbs. Make a loaf out of the turkey mixture, season with salt and pepper and roast in oven about 30 minutes, or until it reaches internal temperature of 155 degrees. Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce and serve over the sliced meatloaf.
1 lb fish filets (basa, striped bass, cod or halibut are all good in this recipe)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped garlic
3 cups chopped tomatoes (you can use good canned tomatoes)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp minced cilantro
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Sweat the onions and garlic in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until the juices have evaporated and started to thicken. Stir in cumin and 1 tbsp cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the above mixture on bottom of baking pan. Place fish on top and roast until fish is brown and cooked through and the sauce is bubbling. Lightly drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the tops of the filets and sprinkle on the remaining cilantro as a garnish.
12 red peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped (see notes below)
Vegetable oil for peppers (if oven-roasting)
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped into 1/2" pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 leek, greens removed, sliced into 1/2" rounds
5 cloves garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp mild or spicy paprika
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock or water
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2–3 dashes of Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 bouquet garni made with 8 sprigs of thyme, 2 bay leaves, and 1 tbsp peppercorns
Salt and pepper to taste
To roast red peppers, preheat an oven for broiling. Meanwhile, cut each pepper in half lengthwise, remove the core and seeds, and rub it with vegetable oil. Place the peppers, skin side up, on a greased sheet pan. Broil the pepper for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and crackly. Remove from the oven, let cool, and peel the skin off the pepper. Cut two of the roasted peppers (four halves) into 1/2" long thin strips and set aside.
Set a soup pot on a medium flame and let the pot heat for a minute. Add the extra virgin olive oil, then add the coriander and paprika and simmer for a 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the vegetables, including the remaining roasted peppers, and sauté for 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the water, white wine and balsamic vinegars, Tabasco sauce, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, over low heat for 30 minutes until the vegetables are falling-apart soft.
Remove the bouquet garni, squeezing any juices back into the soup. Using a stick blender, purée the soup until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add some water to thin it out. Add the salt, about 2 teaspoons, pepper, and cream (optional). Stir in the reserved red pepper slices and serve.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
2 28-oz. cans good quality whole tomato and their juice
1 cup basic vegetable stock
1 cup fresh basil leaves, cleaned and chopped
Place a heavy soup pot on a high flame and heat it up. Add the Olive Oil and swirl it around so that the entire surface of the pot is coated. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and kosher salt. Sweat the vegetables until they are translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes and their liquid along with the basic vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and allow to cook slowly for about 45 minutes.
When the soup has finished cooking, stir in half the chopped basil. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Allow the soup to stand for about 15 minutes to cool before pureeing. Puree the soup a little bit at a time either in a blender or a food processor being very careful not to fill the blender jar or the food processor full because the soup is hot and steam builds up. After each blending pour the soup into another pot until all is blended and in one pot. If you have an immersion blender, pureeing the soup will be much easier. An immersion blender allows you to puree the soup all at once without taking it out of the pot.
On top of each serving sprinkle a little of the chopped basil.
1 lb ground lamb
2 tbsn olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsn chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups canned tomatoes (organic or San Marzano) and their juices broken up with your hands
1 lb dried fusilli or penne pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated pecorino romano cheese
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Place a three–quart soup pot on high heat, add the oil and when hot, add the onions, turn the heat to medium and saute the onions until they just begin to turn a very light brown. Stir in the chopped rosemary leaves. Add the ground lamb cook stirring until lightly browned. Add the white wine and let the meat simmer until the wine has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and their juices, bring to a boil and reduce to a very slow simmer. Allow to simmer until the juices are pretty well evaporated and the ragout is thick (about 30 minutes). Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Serve over the cooked, penne pasta and sprinkle with a little grated pecorino romano cheese.
Every Monday, in every restaurant in New Orleans there is a tradition of serving red beans and rice for lunch or dinner. It's a great comforting food and everybody loves it. If you can make it on Sunday and serve it on Monday, it's even better after sitting for one night in the refrigerator!
1 lb dried red kidney beans
2 tbsn olive oil
1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 stalk celery finely chopped
1 green bell pepper cored and chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp tobasco sauce
8 cups water
1 lb turkey kielbasa, cut into chunks
1 tbs olive oil
1 recipe steamed rice
Wash the dried beans and look through them for stones and throw away any which may have been in the bag. Put the beans in a pot which will hold 3 quarts of water and fill the pot with water. Put the beans aside and let sit over night. This will make the beans less gaseous and will cook faster when ready to cook. As an alternative you may put the beans in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and let them sit for one hour and then drain.
Put a 3 quart soup pot on the stove over high heat and add the olive oil. Swirl it about to make sure the bottom is covered. Add the onions, celery, green pepper, garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and black pepper. Stir around so that the vegetables will cook evenly and the flavors will mingle. It should be very aromatic. When the vegetables begin to translucent and they are just beginning to turn a golden color, add the tomato paste and tobasco sauce, Stir in the previously drained beans and add the vegetable stock.. Bring to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low and allow the beans to simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure there are none sticking to the bottom.
Check the beans to see if they are fully cooked, they will hold their shape but will be soft to the tooth. If so, the beans are done. Now is the time to season the beans with salt. You should never season beans with salt before or during cooking as doing so will make the beans tough. Add a little more pepper if you feel it is needed. To make the beans creamy, take about 1/2 cup of beans out of the pot and mash them in a dish. Return the beans to the pot and stir and allow to simmer a little longer. They will get nice and creamy the way they like them in New Orleans. If the beans seem too thick add a little water to thin them out. At this point the beans have been prepared in a strictly vegetarian way and can be served now with rice as a vegetarian entree.
Place a nonstick frying pan on high heat and add 1 tbs of Olive Oil. Swirl the oil around to make sure bottom of pan is fully coated. Add the turkey kielbasa which has been cut into chunks. Saute the kielbasa by stirring it around in the pan until they are golden brown. Add the kielbasa to the beans and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. The beans are now ready to serve.
In the middle of a plate or soup bowl, put a portion of steamed rice in the center and ladle the beans around it. Sprinkle a few drops of tobasco sauce on top to give it zest.
Good for all root vegetables: turnips, parsnips, carrots, celeriac and sweet potatoes. At Calhoun, we prepare Rutabaga Fries using the same method we use for French Fries.
For French Fries, we wash but don't peel potatoes, slice them into "French fry" shapes, dry them well and toss them in corn oil. We season them generously with salt and pepper and spread them on a sheet pan (cookie sheet) that has been lined with parchment paper. We then put them in a very hot convection oven at 400F. So our French fries are not really fried; we call them "oven fries," but they come out with more flavor and crisper than French fries, which are deep-fried.
Note: we use a convection oven, which makes more efficient use of heat by circulating hot, dry air. Thus the temperature in a convection oven, when compared to a standard oven, is the equivalent to 25 degrees hotter. So to make the "French fries" in a standard oven, you should set your oven at 425 F. Roast in the oven until deep golden brown and cooked all the way through.
For the Rutabaga Fries, you use the same method of cooking. Rutabagas must be peeled. After they are peeled, you slice them into a "French fry" shape, toss them in corn oil or canola oil, salt and pepper generously, spread them out on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Put them in a 425F oven and roast until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Note: rutabagas and other root vegetables have more sugars in them than Idaho or Russet potatoes and thus tend to caramelize faster. So when cooking the rutabaga fries, watch them carefully. If they tend to get too dark too fast, turn the oven down to about 375 or 400 F.
You can use this cooking method for any type of root vegetable and kids tend to love them. We have used it on rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, carrots, celeriac and sweet potatoes.
The Secret to any great soup! Makes approx. 4 cups of stock (one liter)
1 carrot, cut into chunks (omit for cauliflower soup, so stock doesn't discolor)
1 leek, well cleaned and cut into slices (white part only)
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1.5 liters water
Bouquet Garni: with bayleaf, peppercorn and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, tied up in cheese cloth
In deep pot, sweat all vegetables in olive oil. Add water. Drop in bouquet garni. Bring to boil and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Strain all vegetables and take bouquet garni out and discard.
I love this cake so much. It's absolutely my favorite. I can't make it at the school for the obvious reason-the walnuts! However, it is the cake I bake to take to Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner with friends. Everybody loves it. One of the nice things about this cake is that it freezes well and if you want a small slice you can just slice it off the frozen cake. Pop it in a toaster and, oh my, you have the best toast ever!
9 ozs. (2 ½ cups) Walnuts
2 cups sifted All-Purpose Flour
1 tspn Baking Powder
½ tspn Salt
½ tspn Mace or Nutmeg
8 ozs (1 stick) Butter
1 tspn Vanilla
¼ tspn Almond Extract
1 tbsp plus 2 tspns brandy (25 ml)
2 cups granulated Sugar
5 eggs, graded Large
Preheat oven to 325. Heavily butter 9 cup bundt pan. Grind 1 cup of the walnuts in food processor by pulsing 8 - 10 times or 8 -10 seconds. Some pieces will be ground and some will be small. Turn nuts into buttered bundt pan. Tilt pan around to coat it generously with nuts. Press nuts onto center tube with fingers. Invert pan over a paper or sheet pan to for excess nuts. Reserve for the top of the cake. Place the pan in the freezer until you are ready to pour in the cake batter.
Place remaining 1 ½ cups of nuts into food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times. The nuts should have a few larger pieces than those used for coating the pan.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and mace/nutmeg. Set aside.
In electric mixer beat butter until soft. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts and the brandy. Add sugar and beat for about a minute. Do not overbeat. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl with spatula as necessary. Beat for about a minute after last addition. On low speed gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and beat only until smoothly incorporated. By hand, stir in remaining 1 ½ cups of ground nuts.
Remove the cake pan from the freezer and pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle the reserved 1 or 2 spoonfuls of ground nuts over the top of the cake.
Bake for about 1 ¾ hours until done. Let cake stand in pan for 20-30 minutes. Invert on to cake round and remove pan. Let cake stand until cool and then wrap and chill in the refrigerator.