This is a guest post by Janeane Bernstein. Be Food Smart showcases voices from all fronts of the food movement. Know of a blogger, farmer or passionate storyteller who may be interested? Contact us or provide details in your comment.

Hasta la vista fast food, bye-bye TV dinners – I’m out of my funk!

Bacon double cheeseburgers, French fries, ring dings, Twinkies, pepperoni pizza, sodas galore, TV dinners – you name it, I ate it. Those were just a few of my favorite things growing up and the list goes on. Of course, now I know why I was packing on a few extra lbs, was so sluggish and even depressed at times. I was eating cookies for breakfast and a whole assortment of high sugar treats on the way to school. As the day continued my high fat, high sugar roller coaster continued.

I might have been the first person in my 7th grade language class to ever get an F-. Now, I can laugh about it, but I was so humiliated! I am sure I forgot about the test, which was ridiculously hard by the way, so I just bombed it. I have no idea how I remembered anything really. I was just not focused and had very little drive to stay on task. And, I was the queen of procrastination. School projects were done the night before and they would be disastrous. I remember gluing my fingers together with crazy glue at 3am and being in a panic trying to pull them apart. Let’s just say it was so obvious from the luggage under my eyes and the glue stuck to fingers and clothes, that I did not have my act together.

Food was always a comfort and it took me until motherhood to really get a grasp on how to change my habits and instill good choices in my own kid’s lives. Now, my 9 year old daughter creates her own signature soda: seltzer water, splash of lemon, orange juice, frozen strawberries and a sprig of mint. After years of being addicted to diet sodas, I love her concoctions and welcome both her and her sister’s creative ideas in the kitchen. They look at me in horror as I tell them my past as a junk food junkie, while stir frying my kale, garlic and brown rice creation.

I am not out to make my kids crazy about food, just aware. My kids know more about food additives than I ever did and they know how certain ingredients affect our bodies. Of course, I still have a sweet tooth, but we create all natural dessert concoctions and constantly throw ideas around for new meals. The focus is less on ‘what’s for dessert?’ and more on “let’s create a big, beautiful veggie platter and homemade pizzas!”

I look forward to sharing my adventures in the kitchen and getting your own creativity flowing.

 Monster Green Sauce Recipe

Never would I have imagined that I would get my kids to eat broccoli and spinach. I tried repeatedly to entice them with these incredibly healthy veggies, but it wasn’t until they came up with their own recipe that they were hooked. Here is their version of pesto that we re-named “Monster Green Sauce!”


Add the following to a food processor:

2 cloves of roasted garlic drizzled with olive oil (or more if you love a lot of garlic!)
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Fresh organic basil leaves
2 cups cooked broccoli (but not cooked until dull and mushy)
2 cups cooked spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil

Puree until smooth.
We add more garlic and cheese to taste.
You can also add a handful of almonds in the sauce and puree them as if they were pine nuts, but with more nutritional impact.

Here’s what we do with the green sauce:

  • Add it to a baked potato, top with grated cheese, and serve warm
  • Spread onto a pizza crust; add cheese and/or your favorite toppings
  • Include the sauce in your next lasagna recipe
  • Add to gluten-free or regular pasta dishes
  • Serve as a sauce on your halibut or salmon
  • Spread onto slices of fresh baked bread and top with diced tomatoes and a sprinkle of cheese and fresh basil – serve warm.

There are endless possibilities and it really is a delicious alternative to the usual pesto!


About the Author:  Janeane Bernstein

Janeane Bernstein earned a doctorate in Media and Technology from Boston University and degrees from Syracuse University in Education and Communications. In 2000 she switched coasts and landed in Southern California to work in voice-over, radio and media and technology gigs. In between diaper changes and another baby girl, she went on to become a weekly contributor on a nationally syndicated Sirius-XM satellite show, host of a weekly radio show at KUCI 88.9fm at UC Irvine, Western Regional Coordinator of Mamapalooza, and producer and host of “The Momz Rock the House Show,” which can now be heard on OC Talk Radio and 90.1fm KBPK.

In the fall of 2011, Janeane launched a new show on Monday’s @9am PST on KUCI 88.9fm called “Get the Funk Out!” – featuring inspiring guests sharing stories of creativity and ways to shift your life into a more positive direction. When it comes to health and wellness, Janeane believes that anyone can learn how to make healthy food choices and find balance. She finds every opportunity to educate her own children on the importance of eating healthy, reading labels and understanding that what they put into their bodies now will impact them today and throughout their lives. Having shed her junk food past, Janeane lives by the following George Eliot quote:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

For inquiries or to be a guest on Janeane’s shows, send e-mail to: janeane @