Or, how to get your offspring to eat a bag of kale.
We all came here for the food. Sometimes it feels as though parents are in the minority in the world of paleo-ish. I have a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son, and while they do not eat a paleo diet, I do all the cooking and shopping and they don’t, so they suck it up and deal. Kids can be picky and downright monstrous around feeding time, and while its tempting to lay a tarp on the floor and toss food down to them from a safe distance, its not always feasible.
I have a few recipes up my sleeve that the kids are cool with, and that are cheap and healthy. My favorite is Sister Slaw. I originally got the idea from the beautiful and incomparable Primal Kitchen, who you should love tightly, particularly if you have children and you feed them food. Her bento box posts are hypnotic. Anyhoo, get yourself a big bag of kale, or two bunches I have to mince that onion into practically a puree without my daughter seeing it. She’s highly suspicious of anything resembling an onion, but its an important addition to the Sister Slaw. We otherwise make the slaw together meaning I (wo)man the blood-thirsty mandoline and she gets to dump everything together. It’s important to really massage the dressing into the veggies. Put on some Al Green and work it. Make sweet love to it and when you’re done, stick her in the icebox for a couple of hours. [Editors note: The slaw, not the child.] The kids get this with some U.S.Wellness hot dogs and then I congratulate myself.
Use the other half of your kale for some chips. My daughter is actually licking the plate right this second. She just ate an entire bunch of kale. [Editor’s Note: Meredith just tried kale chips with coconut oil and ate all the kale in the whole wide world because it was so delicious.] A good trick to keep in mind for the kiddos to get them to eat their veggies is to add more fat and more salt. Plain kale is kind of gross, but drown in sea salt and good quality olive oil and it’s snack. I serve these up with some sweet potato puffs, or chicken tenders dipped in egg and rolled in crushed Rice Krispies.
Kids are cool; they will generally eat whatever shit you put in front of them if they get hungry enough. Note that they tend to get hungrier if they are running around than if they are in front of the TV all day. Adding fat and salt makes things more delicious and harder to resist, and if they had a hand in cooking it, even more likely that they will try it. Don’t stress, yo. Also, be confident in your child’s ability to not starve themselves. They are remarkable creatures who will likely outlive you.
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale (dinosaur kale), shredded
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Stir together the kale, green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, and onion in a very large bowl; set aside.
- Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, and stir thoroughly, making sure to coat the vegetables very well. Chill in the refrigerator for two hours before serving.
- Some kale
- some olive oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the hard center ribs and tear the leaves into pieces. Toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp. Try to wait for the pan to cool before eating.
Sweet Potato Puffs
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 2 eggs
- 1/4c chopped nuts
- coconut oil
- cinnamon, salt, other seasonings you might prefer
- Stab the potato all over with a fork or knife, and microwave for 5 minutes or so until its cooked through. Cut it in half, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl, mashing as you do. It doesn’t have to be uniformly smooth, so don’t kill yourself.
- Crack two eggs into the mashed sweet potato and mix.
- Stir in your crushed nuts, salt and any seasonings you like. My kids like cinnamon. I like Ras-el-Hanout.
- Fry up in some coconut oil on medium heat until cooked through.