We all try to feed our children healthy foods, but I’m pretty sure that most moms would have to admit that just sometimes we let the sweets get a little out of control. We keep a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in the kitchen and luckily my 4-year-old daughter loves fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. My 2-year-old son hates vegetables, yet loves fruits! Occasionally he’ll eat some cucumber or carrot or peas, but you’d mainly see him with a banana, apple or a handful blueberries.
I try to feed my kids healthy foods, but there are those evenings when there’s only time for a frozen pizza, or French fries, or chicken nuggets. And of course, if I’ve made cupcakes we’ll have those for dessert. I always feel guilty about it, but if I look over the course of a week or so I realize that they’ve gotten plenty of other healthy lunches and dinners and I don’t feel so bad. Besides, I’m a firm believer in having a treat every so often!
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, my kids prefer them raw. If I’ve taken the time to cook any vegetables, they’ll usually always think it’s disgusting. So you’ll find a lot of chopped cucumber, celery, carrots, apples, etc. in the refrigerator along with various dips such as hummus, or avocado. Most of the time I remind myself to not waste time cooking the vegetables, but sometimes I’ll find a recipe that just looks too interesting to pass up.
If you live here in Sydney, you may have seen an ad on the TV recently sponsored by Woolworth’s. In the ad, Annette cooks a special, quick and healthy dish for children called Orange Pasta. Annette juliennes some carrots and cooks them with diced tomatoes and some onions and serves plates of this Orange Pasta with shredded cheese and parsley. Apparently, her children don’t realize that the “pasta” is actually julienned carrots.
I thought it would probably be easy for my kids to distinguish between regular pasta and carrots and that they wouldn’t eat this Orange Pasta, but I thought it looked interesting and that I’d give it a try.
The preparation was quick and easy and the cooking time was next to nothing. The hardest part is chopping the carrots into matchstick pieces, but it’s easy if you’ve got the proper tools, such as a julienne peeler.
Here are my notes from the recipe: I found that I needed to cook the carrots a bit longer than 1 minute to cook them properly and to soften them just a bit; I used half of a red onion instead of a whole one; I used extra virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil; I used Parmesan cheese instead of cheddar cheese.
My conclusion is that this is an excellent vegetable dish. I’d like to use it as a side dish sometime, but it would make a great main dish for a child who actually liked it. My 4-year-old daughter took a couple of bites but decided she didn’t like it at all. And I just didn’t even bother trying with my 2-year-old son!
Adapted from Woolworth’s
3 medium carrots
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
200g can diced Italian tomatoes
1 small clove garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, optional
fresh parsley, chopped to serve
shredded Parmesan cheese to serve
Wash the carrots well, then peel them into long thin strips.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high. Add onion and garlic and allow to soften.
Add carrot strips and toss them continually for a minute or until just cooked. Stir in chopped tomatoes and season if desired.
Remove the pan from the heat and serve with a sprinkling of tasty cheese and chopped parsley.