Thursday, June 21, 2012

Making E the A to Z - F is for figs!

I was not sure I would do the A to Z this week. Emily and I are participating in a bicycle camp for special needs kids. It is called Bike First locally, but the mother company is nationwide and is called Lose the Training Wheels. The kids are basically taught how to ride a bicycle. It has been such an incredible experience to see kids, some of who never even touched a bicycle, go to riding on two wheels with a little help in 4 short days. Some of the parents cried when they saw their kids doing it. It was just wonderful and touching. It is also draining, because the coaches teach the parents how to spot and run along with the kids until they are doing it on their own. E and I have left every session quite tired.

Then this week when I was at New Seasons to get another ingredient, I saw a few cartons of mostly green figs sitting in the produce area. I almost squealed. Every year around mid-June I get really excited for fresh figs.  I love figs! Not dried ones, the fresh ones only. I look forward to them all year just like some people look forward to the McRib sandwich (no thanks, not for me).  I grabbed up a carton and let it sit on the counter for a few days to the figs to ripen. 

Ripe figs
I usually eat them all myself. Hubby also likes them but I almost don't want to share. I started thinking about F foods and I wondered if E would take to figs. The taste and texture is like a cross between a strawberry (because of the seeds) and a date. It's also easy to prep. Rinse off, chop off stems, and quarter - or eat whole if you don't have sensory issues! 


E gobbled them up. 
She ate them without the usual rigorous questioning and sniffing and so on when trying something new. Could be because she was so tired - which leads me to think that wearing her out before feeding her new stuff may become the primary strategy. 
She got on the two wheel bike without training wheels on the fourth day! 



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Making E the A to Z: Eggplant wagon

After many years of trying I finally got both kids eating eggs, but only if they are hard boiled. And then E only eats the yolk, and H only eats the white.
H eats the white mostly. 

E eats the yolk only. 
They also usually both another "e" food called edamame, which is basically Japanese for steamed soy beans in a little salt.
E loves shelled edamame right now
The "e" foods are pretty much covered just with those. BUT!!! I have been wanting to try eggplant on them for a while because it is one of my favorites. In a search for a simple recipe for diced eggplant, I came across  a recipe for this: 

Eggplant Wagon

Basically, you cut off about a quarter of the eggplant when it is laying on its side, scoop out and dice up flesh.
Cut four 1/2-inch slices off a zucchini for the wheels. use toothpicks to attach. I also attached the top of the zucchini to the 'front' of the wagon. Dice up the zucchini, 1/2 bell pepper, 1/2 onion, and saute in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil until soft, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 can tomato sauce, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and 1/8 tsp garlic powder. Stir and heat through. Spoon some into the hollowed out eggplant. 

The filling is quite good, especially with a little Parmesan sprinkled on top. H wanted to play with the wagon but not eat it. E thought it was cool and wanted to know if I'd do the same thing with a squash for Thanksgiving. She did try the filling, and while there was no puckering or gagging, she didn't go "more, please".  Looks like I'll still be the only one chomping on eggplant for a while longer! 

NOTE: this recipe was adapted from one found on the Country Crock website, where you can get a free veggie cookbook. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Making E the A to Z - D is for Dates

This was a tough one. I thought of exotic things like daikon and dragonfruit at first. Then I reminded myself it should be simple and at least available most of the year. I drew a blank on simple and healthy "D" foods. Things like 'Doritos' and 'Doughnuts' popped into my head. Possibly more a symptom of me yearning for some junk food.

One night this week, I was suffering a very bad headache, which I think made for some odd dreams. Oddly enough, in the middle of most of those dreams was a plate of dates. I don't care to try to interpret why those dates were in my dreams aside from that was going to be my D food. I have made Lara-style bars before, but for this post I kept the dates as is.


Hubby bought a package at the grocery store yesterday that were not pitted. I took a couple, sliced off a little of the top, and simply squeezed the pit out. Then I chopped each one into bite size (for picky kid) sizes. I wish I could have captured the look on camera. E's face did the classic scrunched up "EW". She touched one and lamented that it was sticky. "What does it taste like?", she asked. "Is it healthy? Why is it so brown and sticky?"
Yes, she is the 20 questions master these days. I convinced her to try one, that the amount on her plate was a healthy amount (more on that in a bit), and gave her a fork so her fingers didn't have to get sticky.  And she ate all of it. I'm not sure a daikon would have gone down so easily!
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Date nutrition - one medjool date packs 1.5 g fiber and a little iron and calcium, but I personally wouldn't make it a big source of those nutrients, since each one also has 66 calories and 16 g sugar. That means each date is about 66% sugar. [One date weighs about 24g].
Source of nutrition data: USDA National Nutrient Database

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