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Kids love fresh vegetables if prepared right

Every Saturday morning I go to the farmers' market on Third Street to buy local organic produce and chickens. The season is in full swing, so I am able to buy plenty of wonderful vegetables including zucchinis, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and...

Every Saturday morning I go to the farmers' market on Third Street to buy local organic produce and chickens.
The season is in full swing, so I am able to buy plenty of wonderful vegetables including zucchinis, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and fresh herbs. The best reason for shopping a farmers' market is that food that has been freshly picked tastes better.
Serving food to my children that is organic and supporting local farmers makes me feel like a "perfect mom," at least for a moment.
Another reason I like shopping at the farmers' market is they have more unusual varieties of common vegetables: purple green beans, potatoes that are red inside and out, zucchinis that slice into flowerlike shapes.
These exotic looking vegetables have helped in my battle in getting my children to eat vegetables. How could they resist vegetables that are their favorite colors?
Unfortunately, the purple green beans lost some of their allure for my 4-year-old son when they turned green upon cooking. He enjoyed the transformation, but was somewhat disappointed that he could not eat a purple green bean, his favorite color.
Here are two recipes that make good use of fresh vegetables.
Summer tomato sauce
This recipe came from my husband who got it while doing research in the Himalayas. The wife of one of his colleagues gave it to him during a discussion of foods that they missed after spending three weeks in the field.
I love this recipe because it doesn't require cooking. I prepare it in the morning while the children are having breakfast.
2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1/2 cup of basil leaves, cut in strips
1/2 cup best-quality olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the tomatoes, garlic, red onion and basil in a non-metallic bowl, toss gently. Add oil, vinegar and sugar and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and let tomato sauce sit at room temperature for at least three hours, but not more than 10 hours.
Serve sauce over hot pasta. The heat of the pasta warms the sauce and brings out all the flavors.
Roasted vegetable salad
6 servings
Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons balsamic
vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup best-quality
extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
Vegetables for roasting
1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise half inch thick
extra virgin olive oil
1 pound red potatoes, quartered
1 red onion, cut in half-inch thick slices
1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into half-inch pieces
1 red pepper cut into half-inch pieces
5 ounces of fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
Combine vinegar, mustard and garlic in small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add basil and stir.
Put oven on to broil. Place eggplant slices on a broiler pan and brush with olive oil. Broil eggplant until slightly golden brown, roughly two minutes.
Repeat process on the other side. Set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Place potatoes and onions in a single layer in a large baking dish. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of oil on vegetables, then toss them to coat.
Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and add the zucchini and red pepper. Sprinkle another tablespoon of olive oil on vegetables and toss to coat. Place in oven for another 30 minutes.
When vegetables are done, transfer them to a large bowl to cool to room temperature. Cut the eggplant into half-inch pieces and add them to the vegetable mixture. Add spinach and grated cheese to the vegetables and gently toss until well combined. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve.

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