Monday, May 27, 2013

Veggie overhaul.

If you're a parent who says that your kids eat veggies ALL THE TIME... you're just lying to yourself.


Well, at least that's what I tell myself in order to feel better about the fact that our 21-month-old will NOT eat her vegetables! My sweet little veggie-loving baby, has turned into a toddler who simply does not like vegetables. As a baby, Linna used to eat fresh and cooked veggies every day, along with steamed salmon, hummus, fruits, and all other types of healthy foods. But lately, as we have been living somewhat of a "go go go" lifestyle, our family's eating habits have become pretty poor.

After about a month of living in Singapore, and eating out or ordering in most nights, I realized how little veggies the three of us were consuming. So the Saigh family has recently undergone a veggie overhaul!

Mama Saigh's Pumpkin Pancakes.
Instead of forcing veggies down Linna's throat in their whole, boring form (besides peas - she loves whole peas), I have resorted to pureeing them, and hiding them in Linna's food.

Sneaky sneaky!

Little does my husband know, I'm hiding them in our food too (although we do a better job of eating veggies in their whole form)! Every week or so, I pick up three different veggies at the grocery store, steam them, puree them, and freeze them in these new Yummi Pouch reusable squeezable food pouches that I picked up before we moved to Singapore. In some of the pouches I add a little fruit to sweeten the mix up, so Linna will just eat it straight from the pouch. In the other pouches I simply add the veggie puree, freeze them, and thaw as needed. They work really well, and allow me to freeze the veggie purees in small portions.

Last week, I made a pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrot puree, and with it I've made pancakes, pasta sauce, and muffins. Both my husband and I agree that we can't taste the veggies in these dishes, and Linna just gobbles them up! I kind of just make up my own recipes as I go along, and don't really use precise measurements. It sucks when you Google or go on Pinterest to find a recipe using veggies, only to find out you don't have all the ingredients in the house. So, I make up my own versions! Here's a couple "recipes":

Pumpkin Pancakes (all measurements are approximate):

- Half-cup of the the pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot puree
- One egg
- Splash of milk
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of baking powder
- Pinch of sugar
- Teaspoon on cinnamon
- 1/4 cup flour

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together, cook on the stove top just like you would a regular pancake, and serve with a tiny bit of 100% pure maple syrup. The "recipe" makes about two little-person pancakes, and two big-person pancakes. Linna LOVES these (so does AJ)!

Simmering curry. Nom!
Veggie Banana Muffins (all measurements are approximate):

- 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/3 cup pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrot puree
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Mix mashed bananas, eggs, oil, and veggie puree in a large bowl. Add in sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and flour. Mix until all ingredients are moist. Pour into buttered and floured muffin tins, bake at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes (this is an estimate on time, I just checked them every once in awhile). Insert a toothpick, and when it comes out clean, they are done!

Other than sneaking veggies into Linna's foods, I have been making a lot of veggie-packed curries for AJ and I.

I. Love. Curry.

These curries are super simple, and although it seems like there are a lot of ingredients, once you have the spices, they last for months! Here's one of our comfort-food favorites that is PACKED with veggies:

Yummi Pouches for fruit and veggie purees.
Chicken and Pea Curry (all measurements are approximate):

- 1 onion chopped
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- 2 TBSP minced fresh ginger
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1 or 2 chicken breasts cubed (we only use one)
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1/4 cup red curry paste
-  3/4 cup of coconut milk
- 3/4 cup plain all-natural yogurt
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach
- 2 cups pea pods (or a mix of 1 1/2 cup pea pods w/ 1/2 cup frozen peas)
- 1 1/2 cup steamed brown rice

Directions: Cook the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large pan with the vegetable oil for about 2 minutes at a medium/high heat. Add the chicken and cook completely. Add in cinnamon, cumin, salt, and ground coriander, and cook for about a minute. Add in vegetables and cook for another couple minutes. Add in curry paste, coconut milk, yogurt, sugar, and curry paste, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or so on a lower heat. Serve this curry over steamed brown rice. Throw in a red chili pepper for an added kick!

NurturMe NurturMeals.
When we are in a crunch, I've been adding these packets of NurturMe quick-dried veggies to Linna's foods, and she doesn't notice those either. When I add a whole package to her food (i.e. a whole package of NurturMe Fruit or Veggies in a bowl of yogurt), she won't eat it, but if I put half a pack in her yogurt, pasta, etc., she eats it right up! NurturMe also has a brand new line of veggie/fruit mixes, and snacks called Yum-A-Roos that are really good. They even have a new protein-packed dried quinoa for little ones who don't like the texture of quinoa. I love popping some of the Squash, Bananas, and Green Kale mix into Linna's yogurt, so I know she's getting some good nutrients. They run about a dollar a pack when you buy them in the US, but in Singapore they are (like everything else) more expensive. Guess I'll be buying some more at home, and putting them in my suitcase on the way back to Singapore! You can follow the NurturMe Facebook and NurturMe Twitter pages, for deals and coupons on products.

Have fun getting in those veggies everyone!!!

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