I will warn you…the food photos in this blog look really unappetizing!! However, the end results were all pretty successful and mighty tasty.
As always, I am forever trying to sneak vegetables into my kids’ diets in any way I can. I’m sure some of you would say, “Don’t sneak it…go for all or nothing.” Yeah, I’ve tried that route. While I will say that Levi does eat a fair share of broccoli these days and a carrot or two from the garden, it all comes in waves. He’s always been a picky eater, ever since he was a baby. Calvin on the other hand was a great eater from the first solid food we gave him, but now at 17 mos he is “picking” up on his brother’s finicky ways. Dinner time is starting to become a three ring circus, with me juggling 3 different meals…one type for Levi (God forbid should his chicken be mixed in with his rice or there be a speck of pepper on his potatoes), one type for Calvin (again, everything separated, but he does OK with spices at least) and the original preparation of the meal for Michael and I. I vowed that this would never happen in our house…”no way am I going to be a short order cook”, I could hear myself say. It makes me crazy, but I remind myself that it’s just a phase…it’s always just a phase. At least they are eating wholesome, healthy food…most of the time. I didn’t end up with kids who can sleep anytime, anywhere or ones who will eat everything put in front of them. I know kids like this, they do exist…just not in our home.
So, I’m left to being sneaky.
One of the best ways I sneak veggies into their food is through food like muffins or pancakes. They’re good for breakfast, lunch or dinner and make a great snack on the go. Recently I tried Heidi Swanson’s recipe for pancakes with cauliflower. Cottage Pancakes Recipe – 101 Cookbooks (Gluten-free-vegan types be warned…this is not for you. 4 eggs and 1 cup of cottage cheese, plus whole wheat pastry flour.) Super easy to make, they came out delicious and the boys gobbled them up. Next time I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit and add carrots or kale to the mixture, for a bit of color and vitamin variety.
Just today, I stumbled upon a sweet little healthy mama blog Naturally Crafted Mama ::: Creative and Conscious Living and found a fabulous looking recipe for power muffins that include black beans and beets!! YES! That’s what I’m talking about…can’t wait to try them.
I make this yummy carrot apple soup every so often, especially when we harvest as many carrots as we did recently. I can’t recall where it came from, but it’s simple enough to make. Saute up some garlic and 1/2 onion in a pan with olive oil and ginger (I don’t have exact measurements, as I just throw in what looks good to me). I chop up an apple and about 4 large carrots and add them to the pan after a few minutes, along with 1 1/2 tsp curry (I make my own), 2 cups stock and a can of coconut milk. Cook it low and slow for a few hours, add salt and pepper to taste. If it’s coming out too thick and you don’t have enough liquid, just add more stock. Then blend it down…yum! I made this great little bread to go with it. Easy Little Bread Recipe – 101 Cookbooks Heidi Swanson is my idol…I seriously love everything about her food and her philosophy.
And then there are the chia seeds. This is where it starts looking pretty gross.
When my mom was here last month, we talked about recipes we both had recently tried or wanted to try. We both love and subscribe to Food & Wine magazine and in it we saw a recipe for “Chia Seed Pudding” Chia-Seed Pudding Recipe. It looked easy enough, just 4 simple ingredients which are always in my kitchen: chia seeds, almond milk, agave and lemon zest.
The recipe calls for soaking the chia seeds in almond milk with the agave and lemon zest for at least 4 hours in your refrigerator, shaking it up every so often. I left mine overnight, because after 4 hours it didn’t look ready enough. I have to say, I didn’t like it AT ALL!!!!!!! It tasted too globby and slimy. Honestly, I was laughing about it. I mean, look at it…do I need to describe to you what I think it looks like? No…
So, instead I threw it into the blender and used it in the boys’ smoothies. Ah yes, the smoothie…another sure fire way to hide healthy things into your kids’ bodies. I throw all kinds of things into their smoothies…spirulina, cod liver oil, probiotics. As long as there is enough “sweetness” (in the form of vegetables and fruits or honey, depending) to mask the good-for-you but not so tasty stuff, they have no idea what’s in it. I change it up all the time. Sometimes it’s a green smoothie day and sometimes it’s a purple smoothie day, but at least I know they are getting some healthy punches of vitamins and nutrients. Then later at dinner, I don’t feel so bad about them not eating all their veggies!
What’s cookin’ in your kitchen?