There was a joke I heard once that stuck in my mind because of how sexist it was.
“Why is a bride’s wedding dress white?…… To match the rest of the kitchen appliances.”
I used to think this was sexist. But now – having had two kids – I think it’s quite insightful.
I am permanently in the kitchen. When I leave the kitchen I get dizzy. I kind of mummy-chef-benz. All this time in the kitchen and I’m not even claiming to be a supercook. Squeezy sachets of pureed food line my cupboards because no matter how many hours I spend whizzing, frying, baking, and crumbing, there NEVER seems to be enough food to feed my kids. (They have appetites like me, Lord help them).
So here are a few quick ideas I’ve decided to plot down incase anyone else is struggling. And these tips are for parents who DON’T have thermomixes. Yes, us poverty-stricken mums who don’t have a few grand in our pockets to afford god’s gift to cooking. DAMN IT.
Not sure what a Thermomix is? Do yourself a favour – watch this!
Tip 1: CHIA is ACE.
I’m not glorifying chia for it’s health benefits (although, it is a damn fine food in terms of Omega-3). I’m praising it for it’s mystical thickening abilities. Leave chia seeds soaking in milk overnight, splash a dash of vanilla essence in it, and booyah….porridge. My baby loves this stuff. And it’s way quicker than even toast; you just have to make it the night before….
Tip 2: Bechamel sauce (white sauce). On everything.
My kids eat veggies. I don’t think this is because I am a supermum and have done anything in a particular way to make them like vegetables. I know some kids refuse to eat their greens because they are fussy with food and have been that way regardless of what their parents did or didn’t do. But I learned this cheese-sauce trick when introducing zucchini to my daughter. She would not touch it, but soaked in white sauce, she couldn’t really tell what it was. Gradually, I put less and less sauce on top and eventually she one day, she was eating plain zucchini. Ta-da!
Tip 3 – Arrowroot biccies
These biscuits are better pacifiers than dummies. My son starts freaking out in anticipation of food from the minute I put him in the high chair. I literally do not have time to warm anything up because he is intensely crying, so I end up just serving him his food cold. Poor lad. But then, I discovered the secret of the Arrowroot biscuit. This handy tool keeps him occupied more than any toy, and he sucks and munches away giving me the precious two minutes to get lunch ready. Yes, these things have sugar. Yes, I should care about that. But really, I don’t give a toss. It’s virtually the only sugar he gets and it is a dead-set lifesaver.
No 4 – Chops.
Sorry Shaun, but you’re up for dinner. Lamb chops are an absolute MUST for any time poor parent with a fussy eater. I was sitting at the table eating my chop with my kids when I heard the most remarkable sound. SILENCE. We were all so absorbed in the salty slice of heaven in our hands that there was no nagging, screaming, tears or shrieking. Lamb chops, I love you. (No vegetarians in this house).
Tip 5 – bite sized Fish’n’chip ‘fingers’
OK, this one I will need to give you a recipe for. I never do exact measurements, so bear with me. You add some potatoes to the boil (about 3 medium sized ones). Once they’ve boiled, mash them. Add a big can of tuna in olive oil. Grate in half a zucchini, a carrot, and if you have some sweetcorn, throw a bit of that in too. Put in any fresh herbs you have lying around the place. Grate in some cheese and throw in a raw egg. Mix it all together with some breadcrumbs too. Then roll them and shape them into any shape you like (I make them like fingers so my son can get a good grip) and grill in the over for 10-15minutes, or fry in coconut oil.
If you somehow manage not to eat them all yourself, your kids will love them!
Tip 6: Fake it to make it with Cacao, Avocado and Banana.
I confess, I got this recipe from Belle Gibson, so I feel a bit immoral sharing this. My conscience is appeased by the fact that this recipe is healthy and won’t be doing anyone any harm (unlike her fake claims that her diet could cure cancers!).
In a processor blitz raw cacao (about a tablespoon), a tablespoon of maple syrup, a full avocado and banana/pear (preferably, all should be ripe) and pretend it’s mousse. My three year old is none-the-wiser and my bubba goes gaga for this. You can thank me later
What are your quick-meal tips? Share the love people!