Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Amazing Kale Occurence

Last year I shared the story of our Salad Miracle. This year, I must report an Amazing Kale Occurence!

This afternoon, for the first time ever, my son knowingly, willingly, and happily ate kale! Granted, he's eaten it before; he's just never known he was eating it (visit the Sneaky Momma's Tomato Sauce on page 170 of Vegan Lunch Box and you'll see what I mean). He's always adamantly turned his nose up at any identifiable bit of cooked greens.

As I warmed up some pasta for shmoo today at lunchtime, I also contemplated some cooked potatoes and well-steamed, chopped kale I had leftover in the fridge. I decided to make them into an easy colcannon: I mashed the potatoes and kale together with plain soymilk, onion salt and freshly ground black pepper. When it was hot, I topped it with a nice pat of Earth Balance margarine. Simple, but very satisfying.

As he ate his pasta, shmoo kept shooting glances in the direction of my colcannon. Although I had given up all hope years ago, I decided to ask again. "Would you like some? It tastes like mashed potatoes."

"NO!" he shouted, then turned his head slightly away and shrugged. "Oh, okay."

I put a small scoop on his plate, added a special little touch of salt, and sat back. He ate a small bite, then another, and another, and soon was asking for a bigger helping. He ate most of the colcannon himself, then finally remarked, "Well, mom, I guess you finally found a way to feed me kale." WOO HOO!

I guess it goes to show, there is always hope! If you keep eating healthy foods with enjoyment and consistency, some day your child may finally open up and give it a try.

Of course, I've been putting kale on the table once or twice a week for the last 8 years or so, so be patient. It may take a while.

24 comments:

chickadee said...

That's awesome!!! :) I looooove kale but I never did until just a few years ago when I tried it again, mixed into mashed potatoes. Over time I added more kale, less potatoes. Now I'll even eat kale by itself and I quite enjoy it. I've been craving mashed potatoes and kale this week and reading about yours really made me want a big bowl of it!!!

OshinkoTickle said...

My daughter eats it sometimes but she isn't crazy about it. I love the tahini dressing in VwaV on kale! It is amazing!

Lilian said...

YAY!! This is wonderful indeed. Only last week I wrote a post lamenting that my son didn't want to eat the yummy lunch I had prepared (I even included a photo -- my very first photo of a food plate in the blog). Yes, I guess all it takes is patience!

Vegan Dogs said...

What kind of kale may I ask? Personally I can't stand green kale, but I love black kale. My husband is the world's worst vegan, he HATES vegetables. I don't want to hide kale, I like the flavor of it. I want my husband to love it too...so sad.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>What kind of kale may I ask?

It was curly green supermarket kale. I love all kinds, but it's hard to find dinosaur or black kale in the stores here; I have to wait until summer when I grow it or find it at the farmer's market.

>>I want my husband to love it too...so sad.

Ha, my husband still won't touch kale, either!! Or most other vegetables, for that matter...

avocoddler said...

This sounds like the standard Dutch winter dish! Try it with some fake bacon bits or veggie sausage mixed in!

.letting go said...

congrats jennifer.
Kale for the Win!

Pam said...

My son has been asking me to find ways to cook kale since we started cooking your "Sneaky Mama's Tomato Sauce. I'm going to try this today!

Roxy said...

I'm so glad Shmoo finally experienced the wonderous veggie that is kale! That reminds me...I have to get some!

Good for you Jen--sticking with it and encouraging healthy eating in your son. God knows more parents need to do that!

Miranda Hvinden said...

Is there hope for a 25-year-old child? :) Happily eating mustard and turnip greens....

VLyandra said...

Hooray, kale! I had never had some until I sauteed a bunch with olive oil and garlic to go with Christmas dinner. It turned out to be a huge hit with the whole family. =) I'm so glad Shmoo has seen the light. He'll retain these great eating habits all his life, so it's so wonderful that you keep trying to get him to try things. Now, if only all parents would encourage their children to eat vegetables like you do... =P

DDawnC said...

My hat's off to you, Jennifer. Congratulations on this blessed (Amazing) Kale Occurence!

NightOwl said...

Yay! Kale's the best!

springsandwells said...

Hoorah for Schmoo!
I wonder if this tactic will work on my kale-resistant boyfriend!? :)

Creamy mashed potatoes and greens is a wonderful combo.

:)

Beth Miriam said...

You give me hope. My DS (2 1/2) used to be a wonderful and adventureous eater, his first food was avacado. Now he's has a lot of opinions about what he will eat. I just keep offering it and trying not to make a big deal out of him asking for broccoli day in and day out.

red jane said...

Hey, 8 ears is nothin'; I finally grew into kale 3 years ago at 32 and now it's my favorite. I was thinking of trying the colcannon today but with sweet potatoes as they' re in the fridge these days. Love the site!

Smartchick said...

Congrats! This is well deserved. I've been reading for quite some time but finally signed up so I could post. : ) Just wanted to let you know that your site/book inspires adults to. My co-worker is a vegetarian (borderline vegan) who thinks beans are evil. I'm making her lunch everyday this week in hopes of introducing her to foods besides cheese pizza and convincing her that beans are awesome. All but one day is a "Vegan Lunch Box" lunch. :) Wish me luck! (I'm even making her eat Kale too *hee hee*). Thanks for the inspiration!

Smartchick said...

I've been reading for quite some time but finally signed up so I could post. : ) Just wanted to let you know that your site/book inspires adults to. My boss is a vegetarian (borderline vegan) who thinks beans are evil. I'm making her lunch everyday this week in hopes of introducing her to foods besides cheese pizza. All but one day is a "Vegan Lunch Box" lunch. :) Wish me luck! (I’m even making her eat kale *hee hee*).

mel c said...

Colcannon! So that's what I was eating!

A few weeks ago I had an amazing side dish at Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco that included roasted potatoes, kale, and caramelized onions in a creamy sauce. The texture of the roasted potatoes sounds more appealing to me than mashed potatoes (I'm a mashed potatoes purist), so last night I cubed up some potatoes and roasted them in a baking dish with olive oil, sliced onion, a clove of garlic, salt, and pepper. Then I trasfered it to a pan, threw in some Earth Balance and flour for a roux, then added soy milk. Finally I threw in some leftover steamed kale. The kale has previously been served with a sprinkle of lemon juice which gave a nice acidity to cut through the creamy sauce. Yum!

writermeeg said...

This is exactly how I get my husband to eat kale -- touche! And thanks for your wonderful site! :)

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

I have heard it can take offering something to kids over 50 times before they actually like something--patience is the key.

Cordelia said...

Thank you for this story! It's so nice to hear that there's hope for my little ones. My almost-six-year-old has been growing in leaps and bounds over the past year in terms of his willingness to try different things. He still doesn't like a lot of them, but he'll at least try, which is wonderful. He's changed his mind on some things like onions, and that brings much happiness to my kitchen.

My almost-four-year-old, however, will not eat any vegetables at all except fresh carrots. He used to eat broccoli, but apparently changed his mind. He won't eat beans either. It is so hard to feed that kid well! I am just trying to not push it and let him come around on his own, but it's hard. Hearing stories like this really helps.

Thanks for your blog, and your food explorations. It's so nice to get to read about another foodie veg mama in the PNW.

red said...

thank you



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