Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kid Friendly Vegetable Dish

In 1998, My sister took ill and her two children came to live with me. They referred to broccoli as trees and broccoli rabe as poison. They ate corn and white potatoes. That is it. They developed a love for kale before they left. They liked it so much that they helped clean it so it could be chopped and cooked without  any fussing. They were exceptions to the rule. Few children like kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, broccoli rabe or mustard greens.

1/4 of a small cabbage, green a white leaves
1 medium sized zucchini
1 cup of chopped broccoli
3 medium white potatoes
1 cup chopped asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil in pan
1 tablespoon oil mixed with tablespoon of chicken broth & 2 tbs. of water to make dripping sauce

12 inch nonstick pan
Cabbage should be chopped in slivers. Think spaghetti. Chop it again in the other direction. if the leaves are the outside green ones they will be tougher and take longer to cook. Green kids prefer the white inner leaves. The inside white leaves are sweeter, contain more water and cook faster. Precut all veggies and place in a colander. Do not mix the vegetables together. This is not stir fry. Kids do not like it when veggies are all mashed together like a stew. An over sizxed sauce pan is best. 1 tablespoo of olive oil is usually enough.

Chicken broth
kids like the potatoes best. Chop them like french fries. The thinner, the better. Chop the potatoes last to avoid browning in the air. Strain the potatoes. Kids don't like soggy potatoes. Preheat the pan with olive oil. Mix a tablespoon of oil with 2 tablespoons of water and a tablespoon of chicken broth. Fry the potatoes on medium heat as if making hash browns. Hey, make hash browns. When potatoes are tender move to one side of the pan. Add the rest of the vegetables.  keep them separated as much as possible.

Don't worry about over cooking the potatoes. kids don't mind the flavor of the hash browns mingling a little with the other veggies. Slowly drip the sauce over the green vegetables. The vegetables are already cooking. Cover the pan.  Allow the potatoes to get the crunchy brown texture. Turn the whole pile of potatoes. Flip the cabbage. The cabbage may need flipping more than once if using the outer green leaves. 

Filippo Berio Extra Virginolive oil
Leave the vegetables to steam under tightly closed lid. Close the lid and allow the heat in the pan to cook the vegetables to your liking. Kids like crunchy. They also like a little more of the Chicken broth flavor than adults. Taste before serving to them. Sometimes only one taste not to their liking will turn them off from eating it. Always use a pan that has a lid that closes tightly.  This keeps the heat in so the vegetables cook evenly. Do not add too much water? Vegetables are mostly water. As long as the fire/heat is not too high they will cook in their own juices and the olive oil.

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