Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – Cat Cora's Cooking Tips For Moms!

“It’s the toughest job in the world. It’s the toughest job on the planet,” reveals Cat Cora to Healthy Hollywood about motherhood.

The celebrity chef and her partner, Jennifer, have 4 young boys. And, Cat reveals, their parenting concerns aren’t that different from the rest of us. “It’s always about am I doing the right thing. Am I making sure my kids are getting enough education, are they getting enough of the right foods, are they getting enough exercise – it’ ongoing.”

Healthy Hollywood got a chance to chat with Cat at the Residence Inn by Marriott in midtown Manhattan, where she was being honored as their Mom of the Year 2013. The Residence Inn by Marriott kicks off a month long celebration of moms and Cat was singled out for her ability to balance kids and a hectic travel schedule.

As part of the event, Cat cooked up 3 simple, family-friendly recipes. And, we, lucky attendees, got to taste each of the dishes, including a chicken stir-fry, a curried quinoa salad (see recipe below) and a healthy banana yogurt split.

As for what’s cooking in Cat’s kitchen? Surprisingly, the world renowned chef reveals she’s always cooking from the hip. “It’s always about what do I have on hand. What do I need to use up? It’s always cooking from the hip, even when you try not to; you’re cooking from the hip. Even when you think ‘I’m going to have this for dinner, something changes or you’re home later than you thought.”

To keep her sanity in check before dinnertime, Cat shares with Healthy Hollywood her busy mom strategy. “One of the easiest things you can do before dinner is just put out a light dipping sauce, like olive oil and sea salt or a light ranch dressing, and some cut-up vegetables and almonds. Let the kids help themselves and this can help give you some time between cooking up dinner and work. So, you have some time to relax and breathe and get your head together and think about what to make for dinner. That’s one of my tricks and you’re getting some vegetables into your kids’ diet.”

Cat shares with Healthy Hollywood her Mediterranean-inspired salad. This dish is beyond yummy. I, Terri MacLeod, have already made it for my family and they loved every forkful.

Curried Quinoa Salad Mediterranean

(Serves 4)

  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup fresh Kale, julienne
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 tsp fresh mint, julienne
  • 1 tsp yellow ground curry
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced and toasted
  • Feta, crumbled on top

In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add crushed garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until brown. Add kale and sauté quickly, continuing to stir for 2-3 minutes or until lightly wilted. Set aside. In a large bowl toss kale and all ingredients except almonds and feta with the cooked quinoa, season with salt and pepper and taste. Garnish with almonds and feta cheese.

The Residence Inn by Marriott launched a Family Talk forum, where parents can share their tips on travel and finding balance. Check it out here!

-- Terri MacLeod

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