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Reed Alexander's Olympics-Inspired Recipes

Is your menu ready for the first day of the Olympic Games? On July 28th, the First Lady is hosting the first ever national Let’s Move! Olympic Fun Day inspired by the summer games and as part of her Let’s Move! initiative to raise a healthier generation of kids. To join the celebration, Reed Alexander cooked up some delicious recipes inspired by London’s finest delicacies. Check out tips and recipes from Reed below:

To make the most of the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London, toast with some tasty (and good-for-you!) KewlBites snacks. What better way than to channel London spirit than with your own homemade version of classic Afternoon High Tea?

No hurdles to jump over here (no pun intended!); putting together a gold medal-worthy take on this iconic British staple is fast and easy. With these tips and recipes, you'll be reaching for flavorful Egg Salad and Smoked Salmon tea sandwiches and lightened-up scones and jam. Plus, start steeping the star of the show -- the tea, of course!

I was inspired two-fold to create this better-for-you interpretation of one of the most delicious indulgences, Afternoon Tea. 

Reason #1: Here at Let's Move!, we're empowering you to kick off your own Olympics Fun Day Meetup, by inviting friends and family to spend a day having fun with fitness. It's a blast! Plan a special outing to enjoy the fresh air or just to get active while showing your support for Team USA. Learn more about how to throw an easy Let's Move! Olympics Fun Day Meetup here: http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/2012/07/11/celebrate-summer-games-your-local-lets-move-olympic-fun-day

Reason #2: I love London! From Piccadilly Circus to Fortnum & Mason (an amazing gourmet hub for all culinary aficionados!) to the London Eye observation wheel, the capital of the United Kingdom is one of my favorite destinations to visit. From the iconic British traditions to the warmth of such an incredible city, these 2012 Olympic Games - and Olympic Treats - are sure to rock!  

Tower of London Egg Salad Sandwiches

By Reed Alexander

Make these double-decker, tower-style, Olympic champion-worthy egg salad tea sandwiches by stacking up two toasted squares of crust-less whole grain bread and using my lightened-up and flavorful herby egg salad as the delicious filling! These easy Tower of London Egg Salad Sandwiches will transport you to the shadow of Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, Buckingham Palace, or perhaps the Olympic Stadium itself!

What you need:

  • 12 large eggs

  • ¾ cup finely diced fresh celery stalks

  • 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • ¼ cup minced fresh chives, plus extra for garnish

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 30 (2-inch by 2-inch) squares wholegrain or multigrain bread, crusts removed

What to do:

  1. Place eggs in a large pot and fill with water to cover. Set over high heat on stovetop and boil, covered, approximately 10 minutes, until hard-boiled.

  2. Drain pot and place eggs in an ice-water bath (a bowl containing a mixture of cold water and ice). Cool 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, chives, dried tarragon, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine. Set aside.

  4. When eggs are cooled, peel them and discard shells. Dice six of the eggs, using both whites and yolks. For the remaining six eggs, dice only the whites, discarding the yolks.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine diced eggs and egg whites, celery, and mayonnaise-mustard mixture (see Step #3). Stir well until completely distributed and the mixture is smooth and uniform.

  6. Evenly spread roughly one heaping tablespoon of egg salad on 15 of the squares of bread. Top each with another square of bread, using all remaining 15 squares. Add another heaping tablespoon of egg salad on top of each sandwich, evenly spreading in a layer, and sprinkle with chives to garnish.

  7. Serve and enjoy!

Dill + Salmon + Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

sandwich photo

What you need:

  • ½ cup reduced-fat cream cheese

  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, both white and green parts

  • 20 approximately (3-inch x 2-inch) rectangles of sliced 100% whole grain bread, crusts removed and discarded

  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced into 20 approximately (3-inch x 2-inch) rectangles

  • 60 thinly-sliced rounds cucumber (or seedless English cucumber if you’re feeling fancy)

  • 20 sprigs fresh dill, for garnish

  • 20 small fresh lemon wedges, for garnish

What to do:

  1. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the cream cheese and scallions.

  2. Evenly spread approximately 1-teaspoon cream cheese-scallion mixture onto each bread slice.

  3. Top each piece of bread with a slice of smoked salmon, followed by three rounds of cucumber each.

  4. Garnish each sandwich with a sprig of dill and a lemon wedge.

Serve and enjoy!

Super Delicious Scones

These delicious scones are the perfect embodiment of the historical British tradition of afternoon tea. By cracking the code for making these scrumptious, tender treats healthy (we used applesauce instead of butter – an easy trick for any kitchen), we can take in the quintessential UK spirit, even if you’re across the pond or beyond! Plus, these scones are super-easy – no kneading of the dough required. Scones pair excellently with a hot, steaming cup of English Breakfast Blend tea to kick the morning off as a tasty breakfast. Serve some sweet seasonal berries on the side and you’ll be ready to go! Take one bite of the awesome edible reward you’ll be thrilled to receive when you make this fast recipe, and you’ll be transported to a shady spot in Hyde Park, one of London’s highlight destinations, taking in the scene next to the grand Buckingham Palace. Who knows? You might even get to share your light delight with Prince William and Princess Catherine!

What you need:

  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour

  • ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ cup nonfat skim milk

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • Egg White Glaze: 1 beaten egg white mixed with a dash of nonfat skim milk

  • canola oil spray OR nonstick cooking spray

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare 2 (9×13) inch baking sheets or one larger baking sheet by coating them with canola oil spray OR nonstick cooking spray. Before spraying them, line the baking sheets with aluminum foil, if desired. Set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – both of the flours, the baking powder, and the salt.

  3. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients – the milk, oil, and applesauce (do not add the Egg White Glaze, as this will be reserved for Step 7 [see below]).

  4. Add the wet ingredients into the larger bowl containing the dry ingredients, and fold them in with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until just incorporated and the dough forms. Do not over-mix.

  5. Form the scones from the raw dough. Use a 1-ounce (or 2-tablespoon) ice cream scoop to place one level scoop of dough into your hands, and lightly roll it into a cylindrical ball. Due to the ball’s cylindrical shape, the top and bottom should be rather even and flat. Place the ball on the baking sheet. Do not press the dough into a flatter shape, but, instead, ensure that it is roughly 1 ½ inches in diameter and slightly taller than that in terms of height.

  6. Repeat the process described in Step 5 (see above) with the remaining dough, spacing the raw scones on the baking sheet several inches apart. If using the 2 (9×13) inch baking sheets prepared in Step 1, place 5-6 scones on each sheet.

  7. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the tops and sides of each scone with the Egg White Glaze.

  8. Place the scones on the baking sheets into the oven, and bake for approximately 13-16 minutes, or until the scones are cooked through and lightly golden brown on top.

  9. Remove from oven and use a heatproof spatula to carefully separate the scones from the surface of the baking sheet. Place on a cooling rack to cool, or serve while still warm.

  10. Serve and enjoy!

Makes about 10 scones.

Marissa Duswalt is Associate Director of Policy & Events for Let's Move!
Reed Alexander is best known for his role on Nickelodeon's iCarley, and founder of Kewlbites.com