Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Base training and eating well

It's the time of the year when I like to do a lot of cooking. This season, I got a Japanese cook book and have been working on my sushi skills as well as learning some regular recipes made in a Japanese home. At my house, the fare depends on what I'm into, and if I'm not finding the current cuisine very interesting, then the fridge will be bare and the boys must subsist on frozen pot pies and pizzas. But usually, especially this time of year, I venture into a new area and The Boys experience new flavors and textures. Of course, anyone who doesn't like what's for dinner is free to go hungry or learn to cook something else.

Consequently, my boys no longer blink at much. In fact, when I came into their room to show them the dried sardines, with their little dried up fins and eyeballs, that I'm using for soup base, they merely shrugged their shoulders and one said, "cool." Sigh. It used to be so much fun to hear them gag and wail. Oh well.

As a consequence of their culinary torture, they seem to have come to enjoy being in the kitchen helping or making their own goodies. For example, here's one of Kyle's favorites.

Chocolate Frosting for graham crackers or saltines
1 c powdered sugar
3 T cocoa
2 T milk
1 T butter
1 t vanilla

Mix sugar and cocoa well. Heat milk and butter in the microwave till butter melts. Add vanilla to milk and butter, then stir into the sugar and cocoa. Mix with a fork till smooth.

Yeah, I know this doesn't count as healthy food, but kids like sweets and I figure if they make their own, they won't eat as much and they'll have to think about it before they do it. They'll have to ask, "Do I want something sweet and chocolately enough to get off my butt and go to the effort to make it?" Which I figure is a healthy approach to "junk" food.

For regular meals, what I'm liking most about Japanese food, besides the high protein content and low fat, is the simplicity of the ingredients and the beauty of its presentation. For example, it takes some practice to get sushi rice down, but once you do, it's super quick and easy to make rice balls or cakes. Or for a fancier presentation, you can use a mold.

This weekend, I used a small plastic storage container for a mold and made sushi rice cakes for the endurance rides. To make sure they'd be sturdy enough for the bike, I quickly baked them in the oven for about 7 minutes on each side. They were cheap, tasty, easy to eat on the bike and provided 36 carbs each.

Tonight, we're gonna mix it up and have some thai with a sushi appetizer. I know it doesn't go together, but I have found when introducing new foods to kids, they're way more receptive to trying them when there are also familiar favored items as 'chasers.' The guys really like pad thai tofu and tom yum gai, so I'll do one or two japanese dishes as new things.

I promised the boys we'd have pad thai tofu, tom yum gai and a tuna sashimi appetizer.

That's all I've got for now. Check the 10 worst list below. Got anything to top it?

10 Worst Foods of 2007: "10 Worst Foods of 2007
How Many Have You Tried?" - Short article from SparkPeople.


Chris said...

Not the Baconator!!

Those now pot pies are like health food now :)

bryan said...

Damn ... that Baconator looks good. As in tastes good, but I'd feel guilty for a week because of it.

Jon said...

None, fortunately, yet.

sorel top said...

If you want to see gagging and wailing -- show Anya. We went to the Oven with the kids and friends last Saturday. Sean, my trooper, tried EVERYTHING. Anya, not so much. I even had to trim the red off the chicken tikka to get her to eat chicken and rice. She's my great little traveler, but not my eater.