“Well THAT is a skill!” I exclaim, as once again, my lovely nine year old daughter has separated all of her dinner into little piles of ‘will-eat’ and ‘won’t-eat’. As someone who has never really been that selective of an eater, this habit of hers has the same effect as fingernails on chalkboard for me…turning our dinner table into a battle of wills most nights. It’s funny…she’ll devour avocado, but pick around plain quinoa? What is with that? It isn’t so much that she won’t eat everything, is the FACE she makes when she’s eating. The scrunched up, squinty-eyed look of complete and utter disgust, at the meal I spent hours preparing…you’d think with six children, I’d get used to the thoughtless comments and remarks. I know they don’t mean to be ridiculously callous and rude, but some nights!
“Mom, what are we having for dinner?!”
“Well, actually I have prepared _______”
” Ohhh”… with sad face, downward glances
Hmm mmm…so how long until ya’ll move out again?
It was a gorgeous sunny day last week and I was craving warm climate food, actually had some time to spend in the kitchen. I came up with this version of chicken ‘tostadas’. Anytime we have foods that the kids get to assemble themselves, it tends to be more successful. They pick out what they don’t like from the start and control the amounts of other ingredients. Plus they help me with the slicing and dicing, it’s a win-win!
These were super healthy incorporating at least 3 super foods, fairly simplistic and 100% homemade. Well, except for the wraps but they actually enjoyed the Dempsters Ancient Whole Grain Tortillas that I had bought. I did make everything just before suppertime, but most of these toppings could be made up to a day before, easy! And best of all…’Little Miss Picky Pants’ actually GOBBLED up her dinner and made a second wrap! “These are soooo good Mommy! Thank-you!” As you can probably imagine, I was basking in the glow of my own ‘Super-Momminess’ for a few hours after that. I’ll take those minor victories, they keep me holding on through those dark days, hee hee. I call them ‘crazy’ because they are crazy delicious and my crazy kids dig ’em. Please give them a try and I’d LOVE to hear the foods that satisfy your ‘selective eater’.
Crazy Coconut Chicken Wraps
Ingredients & method
- 1 large family pack of deboned chicken thighs
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1. Mix the above, coat chicken thoroughly, spread out in an 9×12 baking pan, bake in 300° oven for an hour or until the chicken falls apart. You can do this in the morning or a day ahead. Allow to cool and pull apart with a fork, place in a bowl, cover and keep in the fridge until needed.
- 1 540 ml can chick peas, strained
- 4 cloves of garlic, roasted until tender
- juice from one lemon
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
2. Place the above in a food processor or blender and pulse on medium speed until mixed well and smooth. Scrape into bowl, cover and place in fridge until needed.
- 2 large mangos, peeled & chopped
- 2 green apples, peeled, cored & diced
- ½ cup white onion, diced
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp ginger, peeled & minced
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp Five Spice powder
3. Heat the coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Add the onion and ginger, stir fry until onion is tender. Add the apple and mango, sprinkle brown sugar over, pour in vinegar and five spice powder. Stir over medium heat until apple has softened and sauce has thickened. Guess what? Now you…spoon into a bowl, cool and then place in fridge until needed!
- 3 cups leafy kale, chopped
- 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped (mix in with kale )
- 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese ( crumbled feta would work just as well)
- plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
- sweet ginger dressing (optional)
- 8-10 whole grain tortillas
If you prefer you can quickly stir fry the chicken to re-heat if you like, my kids like it that way because then the cheese melts! Place all the choices out on the table and allow everyone to choose their own combination, mine have to have meat & lettuce, but they do love the lemony hummus and sweet chutney. If there ARE any leftovers, they make a lovely salad when you throw them all together!
As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it, or leave it.