Saturday, October 11, 2008

Veggie Tales

I was extremely excited recently to discover a copy of the kids' cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, at our local Christmas Tree Shop. You've probably heard of it, Jessica Seinfeld wrote it and it shows you how to hide veggie purees in everyday kid food. I had been eyeballing this book for a long time, because I am the parent of possibly the pickiest eater of all time. Seamus, my sweet little man, has the capacity to turn mealtime into a battlefield. He will eat the following items without gagging and throwing up on the table:
1. Goldfish crackers
2. Yogurt
3. Grapes
4. Bananas
5. Grilled cheese
6. Mac & cheese (very occasionally)
7. Applesauce
8. Peanut butter and jelly

(Here we are out to dinner at our favorite Japanese Hibachi. Seamus is dining, very elegantly with chopsticks, on cut up purple grapes.)

So you can see we have a problem. We beg. We plead. We bribe him with M&Ms. (we know, it's bad, we're already hiding from the Parent Police.) If we can persuade him to take a bite of a non-listed item, he truly will make himself gag and vomit. Then he'll say, "Uh oh, I spit." Spit? Kid, if this was only spit we were dealing with, Mommy's head would probably not be spinning around. Seriously, like I need to deal with that during the chaos of dinnertime??

All of his doctors could really care less. He's healthy, he'll grow out of it, they say. But it's still a huge pain in the neck. My hubby and I love food, he loves to cook (notice I said "he"), and we are always trying new things. We want our kids to be the same way. Grace will eat just about anything, Seamus is usually happy just eating air.

So I bought this cookbook, read through it and became very inspired. I hit up my awesome grocery store (no kids, so they let me back inside) and stocked up on gorgeous carrots, butternut squash, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and zucchini. I broke out my mini food processor and spent the afternoon pureeing away, freezing my veggies in mini-muffin pans and carefully labeling them and storing them away.

I tried it out that evening with regular Kraft mac & cheese. No, I didn't make the homemade mac & cheese from the actual steps, people. I'm working up to that. I mixed some butternut squash puree into the mac just before serving it to the kids. Same color, no texture difference. I sat down at the table and held my breath as I watched them dig in. They each took a bite and...nothing.

Nothing! They didn't notice a thing! Hallelujah, my son was not only eating real food, but he was eating a vegetable. I was literally snickering with glee behind my hands.

When he finished his typical 5 - 7 bites of his meal, I praised him for eating so well and said to him, "Seamus, you know what? You just ate a butternut squash!"

To which he replied, "Whaz a budda-nut skash?" Oh, the satisfaction.

So I wanted to share with you a recipe from this book, hopefully Jessica Seinfeld won't mind. And if I'm breaking some kind of copyright law, oh well, I guess they'll get me when the Parent Police haul me in.

Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c carrot or cauliflower puree (I used cauliflower)
1/2 c banana puree
1 large egg white
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix 1/2 c brown sugar with peanut butter, banana puree, veg puree, and egg white. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. Add remaining 1/2 c brown sugar and stir once or twice.
Divide batter among 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

These are soooo yummy, especially if you love peanut butter like I do! Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Your story cracked me up! I'm going to have to try the muffins -- they sound delicious!

Kim said...

Em-I am dying laughing here. I love how you said Seamus would eat air. That is sucha good idea though to hide the veggies. Preston will eat corn niblets and I know he eats veggies sometimes at school-oh wait don't forget fried aspargus at dinner last night but I don't think fried counts!
Did you happen to sample the mac n' cheese? I wonder if it tastes any different???
Don't worry about Seamus as annoying as it is. My brother Chris ate eggs, toast and bananas for about a year. He now loves vegiies, lives for cooking shows and is a good cook! There is hope!

Kate Reyes said...

I'm so excited! I've been asking everyone if they've tried recipes from this cookbook!! Now I know its worth the buy. I'm totally trying the muffin recipe but they sound so yummy Ethan will be lucky if he gets any! hahaha

Jennifer said...

Emily I have recently discovered your blog and I love reading about your darling children! I also love your sense of humor...reminds me of my daughter Cat. I really think you two would get along! I think I'm going to go out and buy that cookcook. Sounds great. LOVED your post about the grocery shopping by the way. So funny.
Jennifer/Owen W's Grandma

melkrivdo said...

Aidan has the same appetite as Seamus. I loved this entry. So frustrating when Aidan will eat the same boring food over and over. I recently heard of that book thanks to Oprah. I have not purchased it but may now. Thanks!

Greene Family said...

Too funny that Seamus would eat air! I've heard that is a great cookbook, and have thought about getting it too. I haven't had any issues with Simon trying new foods yet (thankfully!) . . . he eats just about everything. I've had a couple of nephews go through the picky eating stage around the same age as Seamus though.
I did make a similar banana muffin (just without the peanut butter) a few days ago, and they are delicious. Good luck with continuing to hide the veggies!

jen said...

I need to get my hands on that book too! I have been thinking of hiding veggies in things myself! Ethan is always saying "I dont like Spinach", "I dont like Broccolli", "I dont like tatoes"...etc. I did get him to eat a few pieces of broccoli sunday but he only ate them because they were tiny & covered in alfredo sauce!

mejane said...

Hi Emily! My son Jake, also has achondroplasia. I hope you don't mind, I found your blog through another. Your post is hilarious! I swear these kids can survive on air.
Can I add you to my blog list?

Destini said...

You are too much!!! Seamus and Taylor could totally be married and eat a very small menu together - except Taylor also eats eggs, toast, chicken nuggets, and shrimp (go figure)! What a great idea - I can't get Taylor or my husband to eat veggies, just gotta get them both out of the house while I puree - I see a trip to Barnes and Noble in my future!