Saturday, October 10, 2009
The dish that inspired the blog
Most recipes I found for quinoa involved mixing it with some veggies, herbs and olive oil. I'm sure it could be tasty that way, but tasty enough that my girls will eat it? Delicious enough that my husband and I will take more than two dutiful bites? Doubtful. Quinoa is also sometimes baked into breads & muffins, which sounds good, except it's rare that I have time to actually bake breads and muffins.
So I set out to find a way to serve quinoa that would be fairly easy and truly taste good. Taking inspiration from my daughter's favorite frozen burrito (Amy's Organic Non-Dairy Burritos), I mixed cooked quinoa with some mild salsa and some refried beans. Then I put a spoonful onto a Tostito (the "Scoops" work best) and topped it with a slice of avocado to add a little flair (not to mention some good fats). With baited breath, I put my creation onto a Dora plate and watched my daughter take a bite. She loved it!
As I doled out another serving, I realized this dish encompasses my main philosophy about food. It's important to eat real food - food that hasn't been smashed, pulverized, centrifuged, salted, preserved, and colored into something virtually unrecognizable from its original form. But (for me, at least) it's equally important that food be delicious...especially if you want your kids to eat it. My husband and I can gulp down bland veggies once in a while in the name of good nutrition and/or weight loss, but I simply cannot force my toddlers to chow down on healthy foods that don't taste good - no matter how much bribery is involved.
So, my approach is to combine something healthy with something that tastes really, really good. Maybe someday I will have adapted my palate to the point where a spoonful of plain quinoa served over a bed of spinach leaves tastes delectable. But until then...I'll take little grease & salt with my quinoa, please.