Thursday, January 14, 2010

Veggie Patty and Mac and Cheese

Why do I even bother? When veggies meant nothing but roasted and pureed whatever, they went down pretty smooth. Sam loved sweet potatoes, especially. But now ... what the what? I made root vegetable chips the other week. Chips, for goodness sake! They were delicious. And they were rejected. I have also made the best veggie burger ever, from Best Recipe. The bulk of the burger is mushrooms and bulgar. It was awesome, especially with catsup. Rejected. Tempura? No, thank you. Straight up vegetable X, steamed and seasoned? Heeeeeck no.

So I turn to yet another vegetable patty here. I can be called a pessimist when it comes to many things in life - human nature, mother nature, the nature of Seattle drivers - but with vegetables and Sam, I keep on it. I got this recipe from a book I am not even going to mention because I have found nothing that Sam likes in it yet. These patties are simple: grate a couple carrots, a zucchini, a small potato; let them lose some water for 20 minutes, then squeeze; mix with some flour; throw in an egg or two to make everything stick. Then you make patties and fry. I find them delightful with tempura sauce. Sam finds no delight in them whatsoever. Arg.

Next vegetable up is something I saw on Simply Ming, whom I cannot stand, by the way. What is with the way he talks? And he always calls his audience "guys." Yuck. Anyway, he made deep-fried tofu-zucchini pillows. I love frying, so I'm game.

The thing is, you have to be ready to eat or throw away what your child does not take to. Oh, and that crap about giving it to them eight times? Yeah, crap. I can't stand wasting food, yet, I also can't stand a bulging waistline. So there's the rub. When it's veggies, no biggy, but you have to watch all those extras. A little flour here and phyllo-wrapped something there, and we're not just talking a few calories anymore.

Among the frozen options that have failed are spanikopita, mushroom-a-kopita, Trader Joe's samosas (I forgot they were spicy, and Sam was not amused.), Preager's vegetable patties of all sorts (they used to be fine!), and succotash. Every now and then peas are okay, but heaven forbid you try to give this kid the same thing two days in a row.

So mac and cheese. I hear your sniggers. This is Annie's and my genius friend EB taught me how to sneak vegetables in. Instead of using milk and butter, you use pureed vegetables. In this particular batch we find cauliflower, rutabaga, tofu, and white beans ... although the serving size is infinitesimal.

I once made real macaroni and cheese, but something about a bechamel just doesn't click for me. That was the second time I tried and the second time I failed. I was left with a grainy cheese sauce. Gross. I cried a little as I dumped the whole thing out.

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