Tag Archives: vegetables

How-To’s Day: Roasted garden roots

Our five-year-old Christopher (on the left in this photo) doesn’t eat veggies. Or anything else even remotely healthy but especially veggies. So, we put him in charge of the garden. He weeds and plants and waters and takes great pride in his little plot of green.  He still won’t eat most of the fruits of his labors but he will at least taste it. This is the same kid who won’t even lick his broccoli for a whole bowl of ice cream. That’s progress.

Christopher’s latest harvest, a whole bunch of root veggies, seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a few vitamins and minerals into his body that he is surely missing. Here’s how we did it:

Butter, salt & pepper

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and line your cookie sheet with foil, shiny side up.

Step 2: Cube all of the veggies, no smaller than an inch, no bigger than an inch-and-a-half. You decide what ratio of potatoes to beets to carrots you want and cut up enough to fill the cookie sheet. One cookie sheet easily feeds our family of five.

Step 3: Peel and cut six to twelve cloves (according to your taste) of garlic in half and distribute evenly amongst the veggies.

Step 4: Cut a cube of butter lengthwise and then into pats and spread out the same as the garlic. You can use as little as a half a cube or a whole cube if you want them good and crispy. Add salt and pepper to taste — more than you would think you’d need — the potatoes suck it up.

Step 5: Roast on the center rack for 20 to 45 minutes depending on how done you like them. We do two pans for company (as seen above) and it’s important to remember to rotate them to get good browning on the top and bottom pans.

These are great to cook ahead of time if you need to put other things in the oven. Just crank the oven up to 500 degrees about 5 minutes before dinner and throw the veggies in the oven until they’re sizzling.

Disclaimer: If you know us at all, you know my husband gets credit for this recipe. If you don’t, you know now. Thanks Allen!


Just eat already!

I get awfully tired of hearing the same thing from doctors or nutritional experts on the subject of picky eaters. It always comes down to: “Eventually he’ll get hungry enough to eat whatever you give him.” Not so. In fact, last year we went head to head with my three year-old picky eater on the advice of his pediatrician and he didn’t eat a thing. Not a thing. After about 36 hours I called the ped asking what to do next and received stunned silence. “Well,” He said after a minute or two, “he needs to eat something. Give him something he will eat.” That’s right. The kid won.

I am a firm believer in not coddling kids’ food phobias. I don’t feed them watered down baby food, I don’t cut the crusts off sandwiches, I don’t make a mild version of spicy dinners. My kids are regularly exposed to Mexican food (and we’re not talking the American version here), funky Italian, Thai, Korean, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean and any other flavors that come along.

They ate quinoa salad and lentil soup as babies and have snacked on hummus, not ranch dip, with the family for years. They’ve tried all the greens; bok choy, Swiss chard, poblano peppers and a wider variety of fruits than many adults.

I don’t make special food for my picky eater. Unfortunately, the kid just doesn’t eat. He’ll strike whole meals, sometimes more on a regular basis until he can manage to swipe a hot dog from the fridge, which he will eat plain; bun-less and flavorless. His favorite foods are spoiled for him with the addition of anything green or black. That includes herbs or spices of any kind. One of his few standbys, “smashed motatoes” are ruined by the addition of any spice other than salt. Green foods are bad, along with veggies of any kind. Most fruits are yucky. Many meats don’t make the cut. I have no idea what to do with this kid. I’m this close to pulling out Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious hide-the-pureed-veggies recipe book for something other than her fabulous garbanzo bean chocolate chip cookies (yummm) but I’m pretty sure he won’t go for it.

Any suggestions?