The combination itself sounds delicious and I was sooooo excited about giving this new recipe to my kids for lunch yesterday. How did it go? hmmm..one bite and they both said no in their own ways. My 1 year old with his head swinging from side to side and my 3 year old saying – “No thank you!”. I quickly realized why they didn’t like it. It WASN”T THE RECIPE it was the TEXTURE of the leaves. See the leaves were in slivers because my normal blender that I use to make puree was busted and the other one does not blend as well.
I decided to make the same recipe again today for lunch and it was a big hit. They both loved it and I was a happy mama as they ate a nutrient packed dish over lunch.
First the recipe details (serves 1 adult or 2 preschoolers):
1 sweet potato
4-5 black Kale leaves
1 garlic clove cut into long slivers
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp fat free ricotta cheese
salt to taste
1)Steam the sweet potato separately
2) Remove the stems from the Kale leaves and cut them into smaller pieces. Size doesn’t matter.
3) Heat a frying pan on medium heat, add the Olive oil and sauté the garlic till it turns medium brown.
4) Add the Kale leaves and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add salt to taste.
5) Add the sweet potato, cooked kale into a blender and puree.
6) Transfer to a bowl and top off with ricotta cheese. Adjust salt as needed.
Here are a few things that I learnt/relearnt from this experience again:
1) Texture really matters for children. If your kid spits out something or refuses to eat it look at the texture of the dish. Kids are biased towards crunchy texture and if you are giving them leafy stuff you will get the response you are looking for if the leaves are crunchy or blended in as is the case with this lentils with spinach recipe or this pesto recipe.
2) Keep offering the dish. Try offering the same stuff in a different form or the same dish again and again. At some point they will notice and will take a bite. The tricky part is that it could take the kids days, weeks or months before they will come around to eating it.
3) Model good behavior. I ate the dish in front of them the first day and kept asking them every few bites if they want to eat it. I didn’t push it if they didn’t want it. The next day when I served the same thing, I didn’t remind them of the dish from the day before etc… all I said was “Mummy really likes it. Do you want to eat some?”
Note: This would also make a great appetizer for a party. Make the sweet potato and kale puree. Add the puree to cut baguette slices, add a bit of ricotta cheese, and top off with caramelized onion. It will be a hit!