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iCarly encourages kids to eat their veggies

Jeannette McCurdy, star of "iCarly" on Nickelodeon teamed

Jeannette McCurdy, star of "iCarly" on Nickelodeon teamed up with Birds Eye for the "iCarly iCook with Birds Eye" campaign. (2012) Credit: Handout

For many parents, getting kids to eat veggies isn't easy. But now, a popular Nickelodeon star is helping children learn to love their greens.

Jeannette McCurdy, star of "iCarly," teamed up with Birds Eye to empower kids' culinary creativity and encourage them to share their veggie inspiration with other kids as part of the "iCarly iCook with Birds Eye" initiative.

At Nick.com/BirdsEye, parents and kids can create their own fun veggie dish for a chance to have it featured on an episode of the final season of "iCarly." The deadline is Sept. 9, 2012. Kids can also enter for a chance to win a trip to the Nickelodeon show with McCurdy.

On the website, kids can experiment using the virtual kitchen and dish creator, plus they can submit photos to be featured as the "Chef of the Week."

"It's all about celebrating the awesomeness of veggies," said McCurdy in the news release. "With all the variety, colors and deliciousness packed into Birds Eye vegetables, it's fun to get crazy in the kitchen and I'm committed to being a role model by eating more veggies every day."

Moms can get involved, too, by preparing some of the kid-friendly recipes on birdseye.com. Here's a veggie-packed recipe to try with your family tonight:

Refreshing Whole Grain Summer Salad
(Serves 4)

Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
-1 cup dry quinoa
-1 box (7.5 oz.) Birds Eye asparagus spears, cooked according to package directions
-1 bag (12 oz.) Steamfresh mixed vegetables, cooked according to package directions
-1 bag (12 oz.) Steamfresh whole green beans, cooked according to package directions
-1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Pour chicken broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil; stir in quinoa.
2. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
3. Add vegetables and cherries to the bowl of quinoa.
4. Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl until well combined.
5. Pour dressing over quinoa and toss gently to combine.
6. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.

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