Sunday in the kitchen

See that big strapping lad there in that photo? The one that's not that far away from being taller than his mom? You would never know by looking at him that he is a super picky eater! The kind that refuses to eat almost everything - we're talking nothing-touches-my-plain-noodles picky. Dramatic gags and chokes if something as unappealing as a chickpea crosses his lips. You don't even want to know what happens when he tries to be brave enough to try mashed potatoes. Trust me, it's not pretty. Chicken? Forget about it. Tacos? Only if it's stuffed with romaine lettuce, and romaine lettuce only. A palate so discerning he hasn't drank a glass of plain soy milk since we switched brands 4 years ago. He refused to eat any kind of meat for the first 8 years of his life.

Needless to say this has been a bit of a challenge. But I have to admit that I do feel partially responsible. When Nate was diagnosed with severe allergies to dairy and eggs after a terrifying incident with pumpkin pie, I was so unsure what to feed this child that I stuck with what I knew for sure wouldn't kill him. Thus the beginnings of a bit of an obsession with plain noodles with a side of plain broccoli. Topped with dairy-free margarine. No more, no less. But he's growing (it surprises me how big and strong and healthy he is given his very limited diet!) and maturing and he has slowly become a little more adventurous with what crosses his lips. He'll now eat ground beef - with nothing on it, of course. I don't have to tell you how pleased I was when he recently gobbled up a side of roasted beets. Gobbled, not nibbled away at. The more food that he eats without whining or gagging makes for a far more pleasant dining experience in our house. We're making progress. It's been about 1 month now since he added sunflower and pumpkin seeds to his diet. I'm not quite sure how that came about - I guess if you expose your picky eater to something long enough, they'll eventually dig in! Oh this opened up a whole new world! My first thought was trail mix - a nut-free version, of course since he is also allergic to walnuts, almonds and peanuts.

Trail Mix
1 C roasted sunflower seeds
1 C roasted pumpkin seeds
1 C dried cranberries
1 100g bar of dark organic chocolate broken up into bits
Mix together and store in air tight container.
Sure trail mix is a great snack, easy to take on the road, nice to tide you over between meals. But let's take it a step further. 
Trail Mix Cookies
1/2 C dairy-free margarine
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C honey
2 tbsp ground flax seed combined with 6 tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C chickpea flour
1 C rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C oats
1 C trail mix
Combine margarine, brown sugar, honey, flax mixture, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Mix in oats and trail mix. Spoon onto baking sheet and bake at 350F for 12-15 mins.
A great treat to come home to after a walk in the woods!

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