I get a fair amount of emails from moms asking me how to get their kids to eat all sorts of good things. Unlike Jessica Seinfeld, I don’t go the route of camouflaging lentil beans as brownies and carrots as popsicles. Instead, I just put whatever I’ve cooked on a stick.
Children really like to eat with sticks. As opposed to forks. Or plates. Think about it. Carrying your meal on a stick makes it highly portable and the incentive to finish is built in. Once your stick is denuded of food, your child has a deft weapon to poke siblings eyes out with. Only child? Don’t worry! Your little darling will find proper motivation to eat up knowing that, upon completion, the parent will most likely freak out and try to disarm the child in fear that said child will poke his or her own eye out.
But relax. Let the kids walk on the wild side with their primitive tools. It’s a helluva lot safer than setting your kid loose with a Miley Cyrus video.
Since I’ve re-entered the kitchen, I have a little squeaky voiced shadow butting up against me. She keeps un-doing what I’ve done, rearranging what’s been put away and “cooking” all kinds of messes. Saturday I discovered a way to have her use her powers for good–sticking fruit on a stick. This would be what people in pre-school circles call “non-cooking cooking.”
Her creations were so tasty and attractive that even the brother decided to join the kitchen staff. This activity kept them busy for quite some time. As long as there were skewers and cut fruit, they were occupied. It was kind of like edible jewelry making.
Putting away boxes filled with food, I discovered my last bag of gluten flour. Since we had plans to go to the beach the next day, I thought seitan kebabs would make a good dinner and even better beach left overs. The kids love them–because they are on a stick–so I got to work boiling, frying and broiling.
Here is a recipe. It is not *the* recipe–I only use that when making the sauce in quantity. This recipe is kind of off the top of my head, which is how I do it when I am just making family portions. So, you might need to tweak it a bit, but it will definitely get you over the finish line.
Barbecue Gluten Kebabs
Here’s how I make it:
3 cups gluten flour
3 cups water
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
First mix all the dry ingredients together. Then add the wet. Make a brain looking blob. Cut into 3 pieces and add to a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and keep it rolling for an hour.
Drain, cut into irregular cubies (1-2″) and *deep fry.* You can pan fry, but deep fry is, honestly, easiest.
When out of the oil, transfer to a pot of sauce.
This is what you do for the sauce:
When you are done draining your boiled seitan brain, get started on the sauce.
Take a 28 oz can of crushed tomato and add this to it:
1/2 cup water
½ cup Bragg Liquid Amino (or good quality soy sauce–note that Braggs is saltier tasting than soy sauce)
½ cup molasses
½ cup sucanat (any sugar will do but the darker the lovelier)
one teaspoon hing (available in Indian groceries or Wegman’s, Whole Foods, etc.).
Cook until thick and dark.
Boil the fried gluten in the sauce until you are done frying and the sauce is dark. Transfer to a baking tray and shove in a pre-heated oven on broil for 10 minutes, give it a stir and wait another 10. Should get nice and charred in spots. Remove from oven, wait about 15 minutes to cool down and then skewer.
Sunday we made it to Anastasia State Park, a favorite Florida destination for our family. It was great to get out after convalescing in my sick room for a couple of months. We’ve never experienced crowds at Anastasia and the weather was perfect. Our summer has been a bit spoiled by the remodel and my morning sickness, so it was a great relief to have family time to cherish, watching my children compete with the sun’s glow. Even though I am pregnant and about to become a mom to yet another tiny person, I feel old. Like death is imminent. I am not trying to be a downer, but I think this is just what happens when you move along in your 30’s. The body begins to decline, despite the fact that a new life is rooted deep within me. Every day the contradiction slaps me in the face. While I know I am not quite yet eligible for AARP membership, I am way past my carefree 20’s. These moments with my kids are important to me and I am grateful that the bouts of poor health were temporary–knowing that these days of strength and vitality are also temporary.
Here’s my loves…notice I am included amongst the pics! Sadly, the Babu ended up on the cutting room floor. The camera battery died early in the day so much of the beach fun went undocumented.