As we enter the season of fall baking (planning on baking pumpkin-chocolate mini-muffins later today, for Anand’s birthday party), I keep thinking about how we show love with food. The kids are so delighted when they come home and find surprise apple-cheddar crescent rolls; it’s very clearly a sign of love. And that’s fine, but at the same time, my family doesn’t do great, health-wise, if we have a ton of starches around (sweet or otherwise) — it’s so easy to reach for the easy carbs.
For the family, we try to always have fruit on hand; I just picked up a double-decker fruit basket, so we can fit even more out on the island. When the kids were younger, I did a lot of cutting up fruit for them, and I still do sometimes, to encourage them to eat it, but at this point, they’ve learned to like it enough that they just grab it and either bite into it, or cut it up themselves.
I haven’t quite gotten them to liking hummus yet (must work on that again), but sometimes when they come home from school, it’s a plate of veggies with ranch that’s waiting for them, and they’ll happily snack on that if it’s out. The specific veggies the kids like does vary over time, which is a little frustrating! But thankfully, they are consistently fans of bell pepper, so there’s at least one raw veg. I can count on them eating. They also like cooked broccoli. Bell pepper and broccoli are on a very steady rotation around here. Yes, it’s boring, but needs must.
For myself, I’m trying really hard to prep more healthy options on the weekend, to make busy weeks easier. This weekend, I grilled Sri Lankan-style shrimp (recipe soon), to toss in a Caesar salad, or with quinoa and tangerine dressing, or just nibble straight up when I want a bite. Better I reach for one of those, instead of a scone. I made two batches of soup on Sunday (chicken and tortellini for the kids, Vietnamese chicken soup for me and Kev — same base, divide into two pots, season and add veggies, etc. appropriately), and Kevin grilled some chicken breast for Kavi’s Caesar salads. Of course, I’m traveling at least one weekend out of four, and I’m not always as organized or energetic as I was this weekend. But still, something to aim towards.
Pictured, a batch of mushroom-swiss egg bites, in the new silicone egg cooker — I did these in the Instant Pot, and I have to say, it was easier than doing them in the sous vide, and I’ll probably take this option going forward. I think you could also just do them on the stovetop, with a steamer tray, if you took a little care with temps.
The kids and Kevin don’t like mushrooms, so this batch is just for me, but I think I’ll try cheddar bites next time, and then if they’ll eat that (they do like scrambled eggs, but this form is going to look weird to them), maybe cheddar-broccoli? For me (and maybe Kev), Sri Lankan green-chili & onion bites will be appealing, but it may take a while to get the kids on board with that. I’m not sure they’ll ever greet them with the excitement of a batch of muffins or scones, but I think I can be okay with that.
And it’s not like the easy carbs are going away entirely — I’m still going to bake! But I guess this is a reminder to myself, more than anything else — there are lots of ways to show love with food.
Here, have something delicious and also healthy, because I want to make it easy for you to take better care of yourself. Let’s make sure we have plenty of fruit and veg and lean protein in the shopping cart this week. I love you.