Fresh Fridays 
April 18, 2014 
  Vol. VI, No. 8    
Photo of a dog made out of a banana with the words,

The arrival of spring make us a little giddy and puts us in a playful mood. It is no surprise then that many cultures find reason to celebrate at this time of year. The variety of springtime holidays, including those customarily celebrated in the Mediterranean, like Easter, Passover, and the Persian New Year Nowruz, all celebrate rebirth and renewal in some way. They also all have a culinary tradition in common: the use of eggs!


Eggs have been enjoyed as part of the Mediterranean Diet for thousands of years in a variety of ways. Regardless of whether you are celebrating a specific holiday this year, or are just happy that the sun is shining and the grass is getting greener, beautiful decorating and playful plating make family meals fun for everyone.


With help from our friends at the American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center and The Kitchn, we offer you a variety of ways to make your eggs beautiful in celebration of spring. We have also rounded up some ideas for playing with other foods to help inspire you and your family to have fun and eat well!


Things to consider when playing with your food:

  • Use whole and minimally processed foods to keep your snacks and meals as healthy as possible. Consider using fresh or canned fruits and vegetables, canned beans, cooked pasta, whole grain bread, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and shelled nuts.
  • Eat what you make. Playing is great fun, but eating your creations is just as important as making them. Avoid wasting food by using only ingredients you want to eat.
  • Paring knives, vegetable peelers, apple corers, cookie cutters, toothpicks, and skewers all make great tools for food creations, but they are also sharp. Consider who in the family is allowed to use different tools and what level of supervision is required.
  • Examine the shape of whole fruits and vegetables to see if they resemble something else. Does your zucchini look like a penguin body? Does your apple have a facial expression? Turn the fruits and veggies around and look at them from multiple angles.
  • Use whole grain pizza crust, pancakes, or thinly sliced bread as a canvas for "drawing" pictures with sauces, vegetables, fruits, and cheese.
  • Some foods lend themselves very well to certain applications:
    • Use cauliflower florets to make lambs (cut up black olives for eyes and legs)
    • Use thinly sliced carrot rounds as fish scales
    • Make a bird's nest out of toasted coconut
    • Use pretzel sticks for animal legs, antennae, or tree branches
    • Cut flower shapes out of watermelon and cantaloupe
    • Use black beans, olives, or blueberries for eyes
    • Peanut butter, other nut butters, and cream cheese make excellent adhesives
    • Make grass out of chives
    • Sculpt 3-D shapes with sticky rice

So invite the entire family into the kitchen, do a little brainstorming to get the creative juices flowing, and have fun!


Click on a photo or title below to link to the suggested activities:
In this Issue
Egg Decorating Ideas from the Novograts Family
Huevos Haminados
Fun with Fruits, Veggies & More
12 Great Ways to Use Radishes.

Man drawing cartoon people on glass.

What culinary traditions does your family have for the spring holidays? Share your favorite recipes, stories of celebration, and ideas for playful plating on the Oldways Forum.

Oldways Bookstore.

How to Boil and Egg  
Eggs are an incredibly versatile and affordable ingredient. Discover more than 80 ways to prepare them in Rose Carrarini's book How to Boil an Egg.

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes.  
Encourage even the youngest members of the family to help with the cooking and playful plating of healthy food with Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes

Use these half dozen ideas from the Novogratz Family, courtesy of the American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center, for decorating eggs for your spring celebrations. Just hard-boil a dozen eggs to get started. The week after Easter is Egg Salad Week, so use your leftover eggs to make egg salad that the whole family will love.   


Content and photo courtesy of the American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center 

Make huevos haminados from the Sephardic Jewish tradition. This recipe for the traditional slow-cooked eggs infused with an onion flavor and emblazoned with beautiful leaf patterns comes from The Kitchn.

Photo by Nina Callaway/The Kitchn  
Dog made out of a whole banana. Fun with Fruits, Veggies & More           

Oldways friend and registered dietitian Barbara Ruhs has collected ideas for ways to make beautiful and playful food using fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients on Pinterest. Try making a melon flower arrangement, a banana dolphin, cauliflower lambs, or hard-boiled egg chicks.  


Photo by SvetPavlova - Fotolia 
Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.   

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)        



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