Saturday, May 1, 2010

Deceptively delicious

Eileen and I decided to give the kids healthier food which is not an easy task since they are so picky. To get a few ideas we dusted off Jessica Seinfeld's book "Deceptively Delicious" that we got a while ago as a gift. Far from being a great cooking book, it is a good source of ideas to try to get your kids to eat foods that they usually do not eat.

A couple of days ago I made rice balls with sweet potato puree and I would like to share the recipe and the experience.

Here is what you will need:

-A truck load of patience
-1 cup cooked brown rice
-Nonstick cooking spray
-3 teaspoon olive oil
-Nerves of steel

-1/4 pound chicken cutlets, rinsed and dried
-1/2 cup sweet potato puree
-1/4 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup lowfat (1%) buttermilk
-1 large egg, lightly beaten
-1 1/2 cups whole-wheat cracker crumbs or bred crumbs

So now that you gathered all the ingredients, tell the kids that it is ok to watch TV in the play room, you will be done very soon.

Here we go:
  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat.
  2. When the pan is hot add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. Smell poop.
  4. Go change your one year old girl's diaper.
  5. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and put it in the now scorching hot pan.
  6. Scrape the burnt chicken off the pan, cut it in pieces, and place them in a food processor or blender. Next time I will buy some ground chicken, that will save a lot of steps.
  7. Go tell the boys to stop fighting or else...(nothing and they know it, Daddy is a sucker).
  8. Add the sweet potato puree, cheese, and buttermilk, and blend until smooth.
  9. Go put your baby girl down for her morning nap.
  10. Do not forget to change her diaper first.
  11. Put one boy in time out, send the other one to his room. No more TV, today Daddy means business.
  12. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cooked rice.
  13. The boys' screeching really gets to you so you tell them to go back to watch TV. Daddy is a sucker after all.
  14. Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on a sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil.
  15. One at a time, dip the rice balls in the beaten egg, then roll them in the bread crumbs to make an even coating.
  16. Smell poop.
  17. Poop can wait.
  18. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat.
  19. The smell is too strong, I need to change my two year old's diaper.
  20. Add the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil to the now way too hot skillet.
  21. Add the rice balls.
  22. Your baby girl just woke up crying, you go pick her up.
  23. You turn the overcooked rice balls one handed (the other arm holds your girl who will not stop crying.) It takes way too much time.
  24. By now the rice balls should be brown and crispy. I went for jet black and hard as a rock.

Lunch is served, I do not expect a great reaction from the kids but even Matthew who hates to hurt our feelings said "Daddy, it tastes nasty!!".
In the garbage went the rice balls and I made peanut butter sandwiches.
Do yourself a favor, unless you are wealthy enough to have a staff of nine (two nannies per kid, a maid, a private chef and a full time shrink) stick to what they like and make it as easy on yourself as you can.