Imagine being married to Jamie Oliver. You would never have to cook a day in your life. Every meal you ever eat would be fresh, healthy, and full of something green, like arugula. That's why I was so excited when I finally found a copy of Nick Jr. magazine at Barnes and Nobles the other day. What attracted me to the magazine was the big headline "What Jamie Oliver Feeds His Kids." I was curious to see what the Naked Chef cooks for his two daughters Poppy Honey, age 3, and Daisy Boo, age 2. (Go ahead, laugh, I already did.) All jokes aside, the food is actually really simple stuff, and I tried the fried fish last night and my extremely picky kids actually ate it! Here's a quick review of the recipes:
1. Tomato, Basil, and Balsalmic Pasta. This is just a glorified way of feeding your kids pasta and tomato sauce, except he makes his own sauce with canned tomatoes, balsalmic vinegar, and fresh basil. The balsalmic vinegar is first reduced to release the sugar and make the sauce sweet, and then he throws the rest of the ingredients in to make the sauce. I found that just pouring a jar of Francesco Rinaldi Tomato and Basil sauce over fresh cooked pasta acheived the same effect with much less effort. Yes, I know the jarred sauce has high fructose corn syrup, but that's okay with me, my kids are skinny and can afford to gain weight. Jamie wants you to sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over the top for extra calcium, but ready made Kraft Grated Parmesan is easier.
2. Parmesan Fish Fillets with Avocado and Sprout Salad. The fish part of this was really easy. Just take a white fish fillet, dip it in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper, dip it in a beaten egg, and then dip in parmesan cheese and fry until done. I used tilapia and omitted the egg part (husband hates egg) and it still turned out good. I skipped serving it with the Avocado and Alfalfa sprouts salad. The kids were not going to to touch that. Instead, I mashed up the fish with Pakistani style rice and peas pilaf (called mattar pulao) and they never knew they were eating fish.
3. Quick Frozen Fruitie. Basically homemade berry yogurt made by pureeing yogurt with frozen berries, and a little honey for sweetness. He pours this into a cup and tops it with crumbled graham crackers. Jamie is clearly against adding sugar to food, especially when he is feeding his kids. I would love to say you could take the easy way out and give your kids the fruity yogurt you buy in the store, like Dannon or Yoplait, and crumble some graham crackers on top of it to make it fancy, but I'd feel too guilty. We all know those ready made fruity yogurts are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, and Jamie is making me feel really guilty about sugaring up my kids. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it sounds yummy, and that's what his kids are eating on the cover too. But I'll be a bad mom for the moment and give my kids rasberry flavored Yoplait with Graham Crackers on top because I don't feel like washing a blender today, or tomorrow, or day after tomorrow. My sister is coming up for the weekend, I think I'll make this treat then and make her wash the blender! I can just see her say "what?" as she reads this.
4. Cool Veggies with Minted Pea and Yogurt Dip. This is supposed to be a "healthy" snack for those rare kids who love to eat right. Take some yogurt and puree it with mint leaves, frozen peas, parmesan cheese (the fresh grated kind, this is Jamie Oliver), salt, pepper, and lemon, and you get a concoction that resembles the Green Slime from Nickelodeon shows. Kids are supposed to take pieces of baby carrots, celery, lettuce, asparagus, red pepper, and green beans and dip it in the Green Slime. That is so not gonna happen here. I won't even bother with this one.