Veggies for Kids: Out of the Mouths of Moms

Just today, Meg at Too Many Chefs wrote a thoughtful, tip-packed post about the tricks and tools and triumphs of encouraging her little one to eat more vegetables and fruits. It's worth a close read.

VEGGIES for KIDS is a continuing crusade here at A Veggie Venture, a forum for parents wanting to encourage healthful eating habits at home and school. 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 -- ideas and links along with kid-tested recipes will be posted in Veggies for Kids.

Day 166: Napa Cabbage & Carrot Slaw

Today's vegetable recipe: A quick coleslaw with Napa cabbage and grated carrot tossed in an Asian-style dressing. Low carb. Weight Watchers 0 points.
~ recipe & photo updated in 2008 ~
2005: After too much rich food in recent days, it was time to lighten up in calories, ingredients and even time. This slaw's dressing is delicious, a keeper. The Napa cabbage was quick to chop, a keeper. For a big batch, I should have pulled out the food processor for grating the carrots but didn't, costing time. And the basil/mint were alright but next time I'd forgo, tossing in green onion and cilantro (which was also specified in the recipe but I didn't have) and be done with it.

2008: This made for a quick and filling-yet-light lunch. I did use green onion and skip the fresh herbs, as recommended -- very good! It won't knock your socks off but it's a good basic coleslaw except without mayonnaise and other heavy ingredients. If all the ingredients are on hand, go for it…

Day 164: Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Pizza ♥

It doesn't take a Holmesian sleuth to recognize signs of a pizza neophyte. The just-from-the-box pristine condition of the pizza stoneThe amoeba shape
The gaping holes in the crust (oh, right, those are covered by toppings)Yes, I'm a pizza first-timer.

But can kitchen sleuths tell I'm hooked? Yes, the next pizza is already in my brain (squash, perhaps?) And as it turns out, there's dough in the frig so the next one'll be still easier, after investing, that is, in what I learned is an all-important pizza peel.

Once again, I'm indebted to the careful instructor over at StephenCooks, this time for pizza dough. Without this, it'd have been Boboli, baby! (Even then, the Boboli temptation was real. And I'd not hesitate, another time, for time's sake, to use a commercial crust.)

Other than the crust, the only thing made specially for tonight's pizza was the deliciously salty and pungent eggplant, a perfect pizza topping and a definite keeper. Otherwi…

Veggie Posts of the Week #38

Many thanks to JenGray for the visual reminder of the intricacies of Swiss chard! No wonder it tastes sooo good! Check here for leafy green recipe ideas.

Throughout the week, I watch other food bloggers cooking up a storm. These veggie-centric posts caught my eye and my appetite!

From Anne's Food in Sweden, a vegetable soup that looks as if it'd taste as lovely as its Swedish-translated name, Meadow Food Soup

From Everybody Likes Sandwiches in Vancouver, a polenta topped with a vegetable stew spiked with Italian sausage - wow

From Fresh Approach Cooking in Los Angeles, Rachael's green bean salad with water chestnuts and red pepper and brightened with a ginger miso dressing

From Baking Sheet, another Los Angeles foodie stop, a low-fat cornbread moistened with zucchini

From Once Upon a Feast in Toronto, a vegetable stock that starts with roasted carrot, celery, onion, tomato and mushroom

Day 163: Eggplant & Tomato Curry

It even LOOKS bland!

Tonight's eggplant dish was promising on paper, disappointing on a plate.

There was heat from the red pepper but still it was strangely flavorless despite a perfect eggplant and wonderful late-season local tomatoes.

It might well be one of those dishes that improves overnight. But I also likely made a mistake, adding a bag of carrot strips that had been tasteless fresh and then, to boot, in the frig for too long.

The good news about tonight's curry, however is the first use of a Foodie View-like spot at Ashbury's Aubergines, home to 3100 eggplant recipes. Check off the ingredients you have on hand in the search engine, voila, several recipes from which to choose. Now if only Epicurious were half as good at a search ...

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 7 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger (I was out, us…

Day 162: Mini Tomato Pesto Torte ♥

Here on A Veggie Venture, I try to insert vegetables into every course.

So for an easy, make-ahead appetizer from on-hand ingredients, I worked toward something roughly half cheese, half vegetable.

And it worked. The proportions were right. The cream/acid mix was right. The color contrast was pretty.

And OH: yes, it tasted great!

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Serves about 4

4 cloves roasted garlic
8 sun-dried tomato halves (the ones from my grocery are soft and seem to be dried without oil)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (see ALANNA's TIPS)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Some other liquid (tonight, I used juice from a jar of roasted peppers but fruit juice, even water would work)

In a small food processor (tonight, I used my favorite food processor attachment to an immersion blender), mix all the ingredients except the 'other liquid'. Then add enough of the other liquid to create a firm but moist paste.


Line a one cup…

Day 161: Eggplant Parmigiana ♥

If there were ever the right time to encourage foodie families to publish their own cookbooks, this is it.
The adventurous StephenCooks has been cooking up a family favorite, peroghies, with my Canadian grandmother's recipe. Nana made kazillions of these fruit dumplings over the years. We'd vie for them at weekend dinners at the aunts' and cousin gatherings at the cottage. Today there are only a couple of us who make peroghies but the recipe is recorded for future generations of cooks in our family cookbook.
And this week's column over at Kitchen Parade features a kid-favorite cookie recipe from my cousin Laura. We e-mail and talk on the phone. But still, if it weren't for the cookbook? I would have NO idea how delicious Fat Rascals could be.
And last night, I cooked a delicious cauliflower casserole from my cousin Sharon, another dish I'd have missed if it weren't for the cookbook. And much by accident, the inspiration for tonight's Eggplant Parmigiana co…