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Veggies for Kids

Feeding a couple of hungry boys -- one veggie resistant, one veggie adventurous -- for the last while has me thinking about how the Veggie Venture might help parents encourage their children to eat and enjoy vegetables. What works for you? What would you like to fix at your own table? Leave a comment, send an e-mail or write your own post -- I'll collect the ideas/links along with kid-tested recipes in a new section called Veggies for Kids . Here's one Mom's take: "I could go on and on about the kids-and-vegetables topic. Andrew is my pickier eater, Nate will try new things pretty easily. Some of my tried and trues are not exactly novel, but here's what I do: Salads: I can get them to try lots of things if they're mixed with lettuce and salad dressing. Raw vegetables with dip: Nate ASKS if we can have brocolli, as long as ranch dressing is involved. He also loves basil pesto as a dip. Not exactly low fat, we limit the amount of dip. Not to mention it&#

Day 142: Tropical Salad Supper ♥

A quick supper, a magical melange of vegetables and fruit in a lime vinaigrette. ~post & photo updated 2013~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2006 ORIGINAL POST: Leftovers aside, when you eat the very same thing three nights out of four, it's gotta be good. This is my new mainstay when "it's too [nice...hot...busy...pick one or insert your own] to cook" supper. Night #1 featured pork tenderloin and mango. Delicious. Night #2 included leftover poached chicken and papaya. Wonderful. (To)night #3 was meatless with kiwi. Not as good but maybe the 3rd time isn't always the charm? The citrus tart in the vinaigrette does seem to mellow against against dense and somewhat fatty (even if lean) meat so a protein is recommended as are the creamier taste and texture of mangoes and papayas vs kiwi. This salad is the first time I've ever eaten (to my knowledge) or cooked (certainly) Napa cabbage. All these years, and no Napa cabbage? Seems I'm making up f

Day 141: Golden Carrots ♥

Today's simple carrot salad, just grated carrots tossed with orange, cilantro and Moroccan spices. Gluten-free and Weight Watchers friendly. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". ~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2015~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2005: Five minutes flat. Ingredients easily kept on hand. Kid friendly. Can't beat that combination! While tonight there was no forgoing the convenience of pre-grated carrots from the grocery store, to my taste the new "carrot convenience product" carrots were cut too thick, closer to a julienne cut. Plus, they were dry. Another time, I'd pull out the food processor or a standing grater to grate whole carrots: I suspect fresh-cut surfaces will better absorb the fruit juices too. Veggies for Kids KID #1, an 8-year old finicky eater: "It's good. I like the oranges best. The cinnamon tastes really good." KID #2, a five and 9/10-year old adventurous eater: "Hey! This is crun

Day 140: Yellow Squash Soup with Spinach ♥
aka Early Autumn Leaves in Soup

Today's easy soup recipe: Just yellow squash, bell peppers and spinach in a simple soup but somehow ever so much more. Great color, low carb and just one or two points for Weight Watchers. When made with vegetable broth, not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". ~recipe updated, first published way back in 2005~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ FIRST THE POETIC It's still summer-warm here in eastern Missouri and even as I write, outside the cicadas are calling, described by Faulkner as the "rasp of summer, August". But this afternoon, an early-turning tree in the neighborhood began to glimmer with autumn gold. It'll be mid- to late-October before peak leaf color reaches the Mississippi and Missouri river valleys. Until then, our rolling hills will be a mix of green with yellow, then yellow with green. Just like this pretty soup! NOW THE PRACTICAL If you've over-indulged for a few days and need/want to cut back, BRING ON THE CAKE. It's counter-i

Day 139: Chopped Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

With hints of cinnamon and cumin, the dressing is unusual and delicious! (I'd definitely consider it as a dressing for salad greens too.) I dressed the salad several hours beforehand. The good news: the flavors and juices did soak in, just as hoped. The bad news: the chopped vegetables also softened up, more than expected. Think about dressing the overall salad just before serving, it just might turn "good" into a "favorite ♥ ". CHOPPED SALAD with SUN-DRIED TOMATO DRESSING Hands-on time: 7 minutes for the dressing, 20 minutes for the chopping Time to table: 30 minutes Makes 5 cups DRESSING 1 tablespoon olive oil (reduced from 4 tablespoons) 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (up from 1 tablespoon, I used a fig vinegar ) 1 tablespoon honey the zest from an orange (made easy with a microplane ) 6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (preferably fresh and still soft, preferably without oil) 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (a defining ingredient, try not to skip) 1/8 teaspoon ground cu

Day 138: Tomato Cocktail ♥

Not Your Mother's V-8. Instead, this tomato cocktail is faintly sweet, almost fruity. It's frothy and refreshing. It's slightly puzzling, an enigma of scent and flavor and texture. If you're working on Five-a-Day in Three-(Meals)-a-Day, this would be lovely at breakfast. TOMATO COCKTAIL Hands-on time: 10 minutes Time to table: 4 hours Makes 3 cups 2 pounds cherry tomatoes (the tomato man reports they hold the most juice) 1 red pepper (optional) 1 leaf of fresh basil (optional) Sugar (I used a tablespoon) Salt (I used 1 teaspoon kosher salt) Puree all the ingredients in a food processor until very smooth. Here the recipe and I diverged. The Recipe: Pour the mixture into a sieve lined with cheesecloth and placed over a bowl, then bring the cheesecloth over top. Refrigerate overnight to drain. This will produce a "clear" and "pure and refreshing" sort of "chilled consomme" though "better as an alcohol-free apertif&qu

Day 137: Lavender Potatoes ♥

~recipe & photo updated in 2007~ Lavender Heaven, that's how to remember these potatoes, my favorite since last month's first Panzanella . Cooked with nothing more than lavender, rosemary, butter and salt, these potatoes are ever so simple yet ever so elegant. Two less prosaic lessons: Steamed new potatoes turn out mealy, like last night's . (I was even told they might be old.) Boiled new potatoes turn out creamy, like tonight's. When potatoes are packed with succulence, less is more. A pound of tonight's potatoes would easily have served eight (each serving 2 - 3 small potatoes) as long as there were another vegetable on the plate. 2007 Photo Update: In 2005, I made these with new red potatoes, in 2007 with French fingerlings. I like the color of the red better but the fingerlings are creamy good. In 2006, I loved these potatoes so much that I created an easy, romantic all-lavender meal , perfect for Valentine's and other romantic occasions. VE