Colorado Springs parents can make green kid-friendly food without using dye

St. Patty’s Day bento-style lunch for kids with Benedictine Shamrock Sammies and other food dye-free green foods.

Kermit the Frog might disagree, but Catherine McCord thinks it’s easy being green, especially on St. Patrick’s Day.

McCord is founder of the popular Weelicious website and brand — a resource for parents to see how easy it is to expose children to wholesome, delicious homemade food. At the site, you can find how-to videos she created that have amassed more than 50 million views.

A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, a wellness entrepreneur and a cookbook author, McCord has a ton of ways to create fun recipes that use green foods instead of dye to get the holiday color. Think spinach pancakes, avocado shakes and smoothies made with spinach leaves.

Colorado Springs chefs offer tips for selecting and using winter citrus fruit

Take her St. Patty’s Day bento-style lunch for kids. It features Benedictine Shamrock Sammies: four whole wheat sandwiches shaped into a shamrock (see recipe on cover). Bread is first cut using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. A mixture of cream cheese, onion and cucumber is spread over each heart, and the heart points are fit together to make a shamrock shape.

“My grandmother used to make the most heavenly tea sandwiches for us using this homemade spread called Benedictine,” McCord wrote on her website. “Her recipe called for green food coloring, but in keeping with our ‘no dyes’ principle, I left it out and was shocked that the cucumber still gave it a gorgeous green hue.”

Colorado Springs popular farm-to-table dinners and brunches gearing up for summer

And it’s a winning combination because, as she points out, most kids love cream cheese – whether it’s on pita, rice cakes or toast.

The holiday lunch also includes veggie leprechaun hats — made from slices of fresh zucchini, yellow bell pepper and white cheddar cheese — and Avo-Devil Eggs. These start with hard-boiled eggs that are halved and yolks removed to be mashed together with Greek yogurt, avocado, lemon juice and salt. The mixture is used to refill the egg white halves. She adds cubed kiwi, halved green grapes and dye-free chocolate drops.

“I wanted to make something my kids would actually eat that was easy and festive,” McCord said.

And that’s a lot of natural green!

Colorado Springs sports bar offering new upscale menu

The California-based author has written three cookbooks: “Weelicious: One Family. One Meal,” “Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunchbox” and “The Smoothie Project.” In 2015, she launched One Potato, an organic home meal delivery kit service focused on family dinners. Visit weelicious.com.

Contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

Load comments