Austin mom’s kid-friendly pasta sauces now available in 300 Wal-Marts
Karen Posada faced a problem that many parents, including my own, face: How to get kids to eat pasta that isn’t just slathered in butter and Parmesan cheese.
(It wasn’t until I was in high school that I even started thinking about liking tomato sauce, in part because there is no embarrassment like ordering “pizza without sauce, please” in front of your peers, at least once you start to drive.)
Posada’s solution is a good one: Create a line of organic sauces that are developed specifically for kids’ palates. No garlic or visible pieces of onions, no extra kick from peppers or spices. Pasta sauces, which come in three flavors — regular tomato, Hidden Veggie and Tropical Tomato and Mango — are just the first products that Posada has in mind for her company, Animeals 4 Kids. (Kid meals and baby food are on the horizon.)
Yes, the sauces are a little sweeter (Posada sweetens the products naturally with fruit or corn kernels, not sugar), but it’s the smooth texture of the regular tomato sauce that was most pleasing to both me and my own little ones. We served the pasta sauce with spaghetti one night and as a dipping sauce for cheese bread another, and on the second night, elbows were flying as we tried to see who could dunk their bread in first.
The vegan and gluten-free sauces ($4.98 for 26 ounces) are available at more than 300 Wal-Marts across the country. To find a Wal-Mart near you that carries them, go to animeals4kids.com.
Edible Austin gets ready for Eat Drink Local Week with auction of chef dinners
Edible Austin is gearing up for its annual Eat Drink Local Week, which starts Dec. 7. To kick things off, the magazine is hosting a live auction on Thursday where auctioneer Walt Roberts will auction off nine dinners featuring some of the area’s best-known talent, including David Bull, Paul Qui, Josh Watkins, Tink Pinkard, Tatsu Aikawa and Tako Matsumoto of Ramen Tatsu-Ya, and Houston’s Monica Pope. Tickets to the auction event, which will start at 6 p.m. and take place at Allan House, 1104 San Antonio St., cost $45 if you buy them by Sunday or $55 after that. You can find out more and buy tickets at edibleaustin.com/auction.
The full Eat Drink Local Week schedule will be rolling out in the next few weeks at edibleaustin.com/eatdrinklocal, but mark your calendars for an evening with Milwaukee food activist Will Allen at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Stateside at the Paramount, a winter harvest dinner party with Bread & Circus Supper Club at the Palm Door on Dec. 10 and a screening of “Farm-City, State” at the Blanton Museum of Art on Dec. 12.
In other Eating For Good news, it’s time again for the Austin Empty Bowl Project, the annual fundraiser that allows soup and pottery lovers to help support the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and Meals on Wheels & More. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre in Lincoln Village (across from Highland Mall). For $20, you can select a locally crafted ceramic bowl and fill it with soup from a number of local food businesses, including Hoover’s Cooking and the Soup Peddler. Information: austinemptybowl.org.
Local cook wins $25,000 prize in National Beef Cook-Off
Austinites tend to do pretty well in national cooking contests. Hardly a month goes by without a press release announcing a local cook won some kind of national contest, but few come with the kind of prizes that would make the annual holiday letter. Last week, Jennifer Fisher, who runs a blog called the Fit Fork (thefitfork.com) competed as a finalist in the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, which was held in Las Vegas, but her Beef and Sweet Potato Samosas did not win the $1 million prize. But just a few weeks ago, Austinite Abbie Argersinger won $25,000 in the National Beef Cook-off in Washington, D.C., with her Cali-Avocado Steak Salad, which only has eight ingredients (including salt and pepper!) but can serve as a main dish, especially during the warmer months. For Fisher’s recipe for Beef and Sweet Potato Samosas, go to austin360.com/relishaustin.
Cali-Avocado Steak Salad
1 boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick (about 1/2 pound)
6 tsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3/4 tsp. pepper, divided
1 large navel orange
1 large Fresh California Avocado
2 loaves naan bread, (about 3 oz. each)
4 cups mixed salad greens
Rub both sides of beef steak with 1 teaspoon olive oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Cut bottom and top off orange. Remove remaining skin from orange; cut into segments; reserve. Cut avocado in half; remove pit, but do not peel. Squeeze juice from two cut ends of orange over cut sides of avocado, then brush with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Brush both sides of naan bread with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 15 minutes until desired doneness, turning occasionally. During last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling, place avocado, cut side down, and naan bread on grill; turn bread once.
Meanwhile, toss salad greens with remaining olive oil and pepper. Add orange segments to salad. Remove skin from grilled avocado. Cut avocado into slices; add to salad and toss gently. Carve steak into thin slices; place on top of salad. Cut naan into wedges; arrange around salad. Serves 2.
— Abbie Argersinger
Like many fine beverage establishments, Daily Juice is taking advantage of the collective pumpkin spice fever that we seem to come down with this time of year. But instead of serving it in a latte or muffin, the juice-and-smoothie shop, which has two Austin-area locations, is selling a version of this pumpkin smoothie.
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
1 cup fresh pie pumpkin, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (or 3/4 cup pumpkin puree)
3-4 pitted dates
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground clove
2 frozen bananas
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. flaxseed oil
1 to 2 Tbsp. agave nectar (optional)
In a blender, puree the pumpkin cubes or puree, dates and spices until smooth. Then add the frozen bananas, almond milk, flaxseed oil and agave nectar, if using. Blend for 30 seconds and serve immediately. Serves 1 to 2.
— Daily Juice