Food and Manipulation

Let me start out by saying that I probably have no business posting about cooking. I have no culinary degree nor nutrition license. I do, however, have a massive amount of experiences eating… and this does have to do with the whole table blog thing I’ve got going here…

I have a great desire to serve healthy food to the precious McBabies. When McBaby #1 was born, it was as if someone flipped a switch. Because I was nursing, I was suddenly so aware of everything I was eating and how it was going straight to my newborn. It began my interest in healthier eating, organic food, baby-food making, and cooking in general. Am I the picture of health and wellness? No. Am I your best reference? Absolutely not. Will I be posing in Shape magazine? Not on your life, but praise God for photoshop. Did I eat 2 baskets of French fries at Red Robin the other day? Maybe…

As I’ve mentioned, we order our groceries each week from Green Bean Delivery. It’s organic, locally grown, and in-season food. I get nothing from mentioning this, it’s just to say that I have had the new and exciting challenge of being surprised each week with the produce we receive and then figuring out ways to work it in to our menu. There are weeks where I realize that it’s been quesadillas for like 4 straight lunches and I must regroup. This is when I amp up the veggie-implementation-strategies again. See what serious business this is?

So, today, I realized that we had some red kale that we really needed to use. We’ve snuck it into fruit smoothies – we all love those. It’s an easy sell. We’ve made kale chips (just broiled bunches of kale with a bit of olive oil and sea salt and they shrink up) and then made a huge deal about how cool it is that Mommy and Daddy get to eat chips at dinner. We then wait for a “can I try one?” and put on our best “I dunno, what do you think honey?” face and give in and stealthily revel in our victory. Or maybe that’s just me. My friend said the other day that I’m the worst at manipulating my children to eat things. I take that as a compliment. Seroiusly, it’s not that they don’t know what’s in it, I’m just really playing up the fun of it all.

The McBabies are awesome at breakfast/lunch eating, but never have been big dinner-eaters. So, I often need to work in my veggies early in the day which I find a bit trickier. Today, I decided to try mermaid eggs for brunch. Mermaid eggs? This is, of course, because they were veeeerrrrry green like Ariel’s tail.

First, I put a tiny bit of butter in the pan and sautéed the kale. Then, I added a bit of water to really steam, soften, and shrink it. I then food processed that with a bit of whole milk. That may sound gross, but the milk was going to be added into the scrambled eggs anyways, so I thought that would be better than water in eggs. I then added my eggs and a little more milk and whipped it all together. I also added a pinch of salt and pepper.

Then a little cheddar cheese… don't buy the pre-shredded kind btw. It's covered in a waxy film to keep it from sticking together. If you start buying fresh and/or organic cheese, you will REALLY start to taste the difference should you ever go back.

Tada! The kids LOVED it. To the skeptics: please note that their plates are half empty during the shooting of these photos.

We have a lot of “cheers” moments around here too. We make a big deal of the group cheers before our first bites - and sometimes during the meal - to get everyone to try everything. The McBabies are great eaters so I don't typically force them to clean their plates. They do a good job of trying, eating, and letting me know their satiation level. Excuse McBaby #1's undies. Beyond the veggie thing, that’s my other big/small daily challenge – getting the kids to wear pants. Have a great Thursday!