I tried a Peruvian baked quinoa and cheese from Vegetarian Times last week. The recipe suggested it was a gluten free alternative to mac and cheese, but I didn't see much similarity. We were not that keen on it – too milky and not enough texture. Sylvia wouldn’t touch it but when we ate it with potato scones and Brussels sprouts, she was interested in these side dishes.
We’ve all been to a restaurant, made our choice and seen someone else has chosen what looks much better. Sylvia is often that person in the restaurant. She refused potato scones when I gave them to her but loved eating them from my plate.
I didn’t even offer her Brussels sprouts because they suffer so much bad press. But a good example is a powerful thing. We eat lots of sprouts in winter and Sylvia has chosen to start eating sprouts by helping herself to the ones on my plate. She loves them so much she even has tried to offer them to Zinc. I shouldn’t have been so surprised. As a lover of broccoli and peas, she does not have any problems with green vegetables.
I was even pleased on Friday that she chose a green bowl for her breakfast cereal. She loves to help with breakfast by getting her box of mini wheats, the carton of milk and her bowl.
Sylvia grows more and more alert to the extent that she is now starting to choose bowls, coats and shoes. She loves her shoes and would give up all the fancy toys for a pair of socks to pull on and off her feet. She notices each plane flying over the house, delights in jigsaws, cries if I make her get off a swing, and can point to her nose when asked.
Watching Sylvia is a reminder of how wonderful simple things can be. Her excitement at a piece of fruit is so intense as she reaches out with impatience. Lately her favourite fruit is banana but she loves apples and pears and watermelon and pineapple and mandarins. Though I suspect she might eat gingerbread men instead if given the choice. She loves to dip her chubby hand into the biscuit barrel for a gingerbread, which is why I have found the smallest gingerbread cutter possible.
Sauces and stews don’t interest her. Sylvia likes food plain. When I made tofu omelettes the other day, she kept begging for raw tofu before it went in the food processor. Most nights she has a selection of vegetables (such as broccoli, corn, tomato, mushrooms) and either chickpeas, vegie sausages or tofu. She will have rice, scrambled eggs or pasta so I keep trying other food but it is slow work. She wont eat mashed pumpkin but enjoyed pumpkin scones. She wont eat mashed potato off her plate but is curious about it when it is on mine.
However potato is popular in roast potato and chips - like most other carbs such as taco shells, crisps, rice crackers and toast. That seems quite normal with kids. But when I recently made some nutty fries, they were well seasoned so I didn’t think they would appeal to Sylvia. To my surprise, she was eating them off my plate.
The recipe was an amalgam of one given to me by my sister, Fran, and Ricki’s almond crusted fries. I first made it last October. It wasn’t quite right because the fries didn’t crisp up enough but we were impressed. I tried more oil but that didn’t help. When I tried it again recently, they still weren’t crisping as much as I hoped. The only possible solution I can see seems to be frying them longer because my oven isn’t that powerful. It also depends on what vegies or otherwise are used.
I have tried a variety of root vegetables, potatoes and tofu. Potatoes take ages but tofu cooks quickly. Sylvia was not so keen on the tofu fries but even the potato fries had added protein so I was happier for her to eat these than usual.
The fries are best with a good salad but also good with some sprouts, tomato and a pesto yoghurt dressing. I was given a pinenut and parsley salad recipe for serving with the fries so I have also included it below. It is like a low carb gf tabouli and is delicious. When I made the salad, on the second night I had it with soft polenta and tomato sauce which was excellent too. Unfortunately I don’t have a source because Fran’s recipes seemed to come from a collection of cookbooks.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Apple and date cake
This time two years ago: Do I dare to cook with one less pear?
This time three years ago: Baking cake for climate change
adapted from unnoted source and Diet Dessert and Dogs
serves about 4
- 3-5 tbsp almond butter (I did 5 the first time but I think 3 was better. I think Fran's original recipe was for parmesan cheese if you want a nut-free version))
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp seeded mustard
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried garlic
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- First time: 320g firm tofu, 2 medium beetroots, 2 parsnips
- Last time: 300g smoked tofu, 2 medium carrots, 1 medium Scottish turnip, 1 large parsnip, 4 medium potatoes
Parsley and Pinenut Salad
adapted from an unnoted source
- 100g parsley, chopped
- 100g cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ½ Lebanese cucumber (80g), chopped
- ½ red pepper, diced
- ½ apple, peeled and diced
- 85g pinenuts toasted and chopped
- ½ lemon juice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- handful of mint – I forgot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- ¼ tsp salt
On the stereo:
Closer: Joy Division