With four grandchildren all under five, I have recently been reminded how difficult it can be to get children to eat fruit and vegetables. The hot weather here in Spain doesn’t help and at a BBQ recently, I noticed that the children were tucking into a homemade burger. Mum had cleverly hidden some finely chopped onion and mushrooms and used egg to bind the mince, so in actual fact the children were eating very healthily.
I decide to visit some of my old recipes and see how they could be adapted to encourage children to eat them. One of my grandsons loves sausage and cheese so I tried the sausage and potato layer and it was a great success. Equally, my granddaughter loves rice, but is not very keen on egg, so we tried the egg fried rice recipe and she wolfed it down. Of coursed all children love chocolate, but can be a great way to get fresh fruit down them when it’s dipped in the chocolate.
Sausage Potato Layer
Butter suitable dish and peel and thinly slice the potatoes, sausage and onion. Take pips out of peppers and slice. Layer half the potatoes in dish and season. Sprinkle peppers, onions and sausage and then top with the remaining potatoes slices. Pour over the cream and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven 180º for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.
Peel and slice onions and garlic and fry in olive oil until soft. Add tomato puree and canned tomatoes, then oregano and thyme. Simmer for 20 minutes until mixture thickens. Spread mixture over pizza base and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until crispy.
Egg Fried Rice
Cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with boiling water, then drain again and set aside. Beat the eggs and set aside. Heat oil in a non-stick wok or large frying pan. Crush garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute, add rice and cook for a further minute. Pour in eggs and stir fry for about 2 minutes or until eggs are almost set. Add Soy sauce to taste and salt and pepper. Serve while hot.
Whisk eggs until broken down but not too fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Place pan on a gentle heat and add butter and when melted add eggs. Stir gently with a fork or wooden spatula. Skin and chop tomatoes and fry in a little oil with onion (optional) and rosemary and garlic until soft. Add into centre of omelette and fold over. Serve immediately.
Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring. When the chocolate is runny, without lumps, take a piece of fruit and put a cocktail stick into the top. Dip it into the chocolate and coat all over. Place on a kitchen towel and allow to set. Decorating with hundreds and thousand – can be done with the chocolate is still wet. Any fruit can work so why not try some more unusual ones?