Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Greens, glorious greens
The best way I've found to get my 18-month-old to eat greens is this: steam them, chop them up really small (no tough spines), and serve them with a peanutty-coconutty, yummy sauce (alongside brown rice and some baked tofu or tempeh). Here's my favorite peanut sauce recipe ever (not to peanutty, not too salty, just mild and delicious). If your little one is allergic to peanuts, try substituting cashew butter or almond butter. (You can save $ by skipping the jarred cashew butter and just grinding raw cashew pieces up with a little water in your blender.)
Sate Sauce (from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes, by Carol Gelles - a really good vege cookbook)
In a 1-qt saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons oil over med-high heat. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, cook 10 seconds, stirring until softened. Add 2 teaspoons curry powder, cook, stirring, until absorbed. Stir in 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or other sweetener, like honey or agave), and 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce). Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
And for more info on greens, Whole Foods has a nice little review. (Lovely rainbow swiss chard shown above.)
P.S. My favorite greens of all are beet greens (from the tops of beets) - mild, tender, and delicate, just with a little olive oil and garlic sauteed in the pan. Especially good when they're straight from the garden!
One more P.S. that I'm adding after talking to my friend Andi, who's making baby food for her little Sophia: the best way I was able to get Mirelle to eat greens as a wee babe was to puree the cooked greens up with some soft cooked fruit - ie pears or plums. The greens end up being brown, but really sweet, and you can feed them to your little one in place of a fruit. Sneaky mama...