THE KIDS CORNER | My nephew got chickenpox. To assist my brother, I helped to take care of his sweet little darling for a few days. He’s almost 3. Right in the middle of his ‘no’ and ‘it’s mine!’ phase. Yes … exactly ;-). Besides, he refuses to eat anything that’s green. Worse, he screams and glues sticky rice in his hair if you dare force him to eat his vegetables… I hear you… Help!
But you know what? He’s so cute that you just forgive him everything and anything in a second with only one look at his sweet little face. You don’t believe me? See for yourself…
Being his aunt, it’s really not up to me to tell him off. I don’t even want to do that. I’m 35 years old so I should be smarter than him, right? And you know what? I managed to ploy a little scheme to make this sweet little kid eat tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, leek, onions, and garlic! No kidding! Today, I’m sharing my strategy with you…
By definition, a kid loves spaghetti bolognese. So let’s make him a nice bolognese sauce with plenty of healthy stuff in it! Our weapon? A blender of course!
Serves 5 kids
- 3 tomatoes
- 3 small carrots
- 1 whole zucchini (yes you read me ;-))
- one piece of leek of about 10 cm (use the whitest part)
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 tablespoons of ketchup (or more)
- 2 small chicken breasts (or less)
- a mix of spices for chicken (paprika, coriander, turmeric, cumin)
- 1 bay leaf
- olive oil
- pasta (85 gr per portion)
- some grated cheese
First, marinade the chicken breasts: mix two teaspoons of spices with olive oil until you obtain the consistency of a lotion. Rub the chicken breasts with this mixture, add a little bit of salt and leave to marinade while you are preparing the vegetables.
Cut the tomatoes into pieces and blend them into a fine purée. Peel the carrots and cut them into pieces. Very important: peal the zucchini: its deep green skin would otherwise be too difficult to conceal. Cut it into pieces as well. Cut the leek and onion and peel the garlic. Put everything in the blender and mix with the tomato purée. If it’s not liquid enough, you can add half a juicy tomato or more. Sometimes you have to shake the blender or stir its content to be able to blend everything.
Of course, when you use fresh tomatoes and the green pulp of a zucchini, you can’t have a nice and vibrant red purée like from a can… My nephew won’t be fooled so easily! But rest assured, I have a secret weapon: ketchup! It’s sweet and will help reduce the sour taste of the fresh tomatoes. Besides, it will make the purée redder and make it look more like a bolognese sauce. I chose an organic ketchup from Delhaize and added 4 full tablepoons… But you may need more depending on how sour your tomatoes are and how red you want your purée. Perfect! My nephew won’t suspect anything!
Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan, roughly mince the marinaded chicken breasts and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the fresh tomato purée, a little bit of salt and let simmer for about 30 minutes with a bay leaf (yes, let’s introduce him to aromatic herbs too!). At the end of cooking, adjust the seasoning. While it’s cooking, bring some water to a boil and cook one portion of pasta for kids (about 85 gr). It’s ready! Serve your sweetheart one portion of pasta with bolognaise sauce and some grated cheese (remember: he has to believe he’s having real spaghetti bolognese). Keep the rest for another kid … or for yourself!
And by the look of his almost empty plate, I think my nephew loved his zucchini, carrots and leek! An evil scheme you think? Don’t worry, I plan to tell him the truth … as soon as he reaches the age of majority!