Food Wars: Asian Invasion

Feeding a toddler can be stressful.  The actual event as well as the planning and preparation of each meal is a test of patience and creativity.  I’m looking to share, to vent, and to find ideas through weekly posts.

Previous week’s acceptable food theme was Tex Mex… last week’s theme was Asian.  Hmmm… apparently Buggy eats in themes?  I am THRILLED that he has accepted and appreciates Asian flavors.  He is, after all, half Cambodian.  It would be awful if he didn’t like rice, soy sauce, and egg rolls.

What have I learned about my son and food this past week?

  1. My son does not like stringy meat textures.  Now that I say that out loud – who does?
  2. My son likes fried food.  So do I.
  3. My son likes flavor.  Who doesn’t?
  4. I still need to find a marinara that he will eat.  I’ve tried jar brands and my own.  I think I might need to stick with a simple tomato mixture and leave it at that.
  5. I’m back to square one with quick, easy lunch ideas.  More to come on that next week…
  6. I can NOT find a way to get him to eat peas.

Unsuccessful attempts this week (“unsuccessful” = put in mouth, eyebrows furrow, tongue immediately ejects food onto bib, floor, high chair, self, or mother)…

  • Tuna Salad Cheese Melt Sandwich (can’t blame him, it’s not always my favorite)
  • Pizza Toast (whole wheat bread with marinara and mozzarella – I’m still struggling to find a marinara that isn’t too “spicy” for him)
  • Braised Marinara Spare Ribs (ate the pasta with the sauce they were cooked in, but did NOT like the actual meat)
  • Scrambled Cheese Eggs (loved the buttered toast that went with it though)

We did have some great successes though…

Brown Rice With Vegetables

Beef and Broccoli Stiry Fry

  • Won Ton Soup with Egg Rolls (sadly, no picture but it tasted delicious! and he couldn’t get enough)
  • Brown Rice with Vegetables – RECIPE BELOW! (Not an Asian dish because it had Parmesan cheese in it.)  We BOTH enjoyed this one.  He ate most of that bowl.
  • Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry (Nothing to add.  The name says it all.)
  • Fried Flounder (I’m not huge on giving him fried food, but I have yet to see my husband eat fish another way.  I certainly don’t eat it unless it’s fried, so….)

Recipe: Brown Rice With Diced Vegetables

Brown Rice With Vegetables

(Adapted from: SuperFoods for Babies and Children by Annabel Karmel)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup brown rice
2 TBS olive oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ red and green pepper, seeded and diced
1 zucchini, diced
5 button mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup chopped, cooked broccoli
¼ cup fresh spinach, sliced
1 TBS tomato puree (marinara or tomato sauce works fine)
¼ – 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the rice, cover, and boil on medium to medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes or until tender and most of the stock has been absorbed.
In a separate pan, heat olive oil.  Sauté the onion and bell peppers until soft.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.  Add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook until they are soft.  Stir in the spinach, broccoli, and tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the cooked rice and cheese and season to taste.

Variations: Add pre-cooked vegetables like broccoli, peas, corn, and carrots but steam or boil them before hand to make sure they are a soft enough consistency your child can eat.  You can also add cut-up pre-cooked chicken or turkey to make this a meat dish.  This recipe makes a hefty amount.  It makes a great main dish for your child and a great side dish for the rest of your family.

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