For those of you who may have lost track, the Littlest Chef is now almost 8 years old! Throughout her life, we have been very committed to helping her learn to appreciate a healthy diet inspired by the full range of cultures and seasonal offerings. We eat almost exclusively unprocessed foods, with an emphasis on whole grains and locally produced and organic ingredients whenever possible, and we are careful to keep our salt, sugar and fat intake in moderation. It hasn’t always been easy, but overall, we’re really pleased with the results of our efforts. The Littlest Chef now eats an incredibly varied and healthful diet that includes some rather atypical favorites for a child her age (i.e., lima beans).
Her diet has evolved over several stages:
- Age 6 months – 12 months: very adventurous; favorites included guacamole, baba ghanouj, and dal made with yellow split peas
- Age 1-3 years: more cautious; preference for eating the same thing over and over again (i.e., Can we have fwies, mommy? Pwease?)
- Age 4-6 years: the deconstructivist period; mostly open to eating what we were eating, as long as it could be presented in a deconstructed form (i.e., without sauces or with sauces on side); a little reluctant to eat less common vegetables, but did join the “mushroom club”
- Age 6-7 years: the reconstruction period; growing appreciation for seasonings and sauces; eats most veggies, but kicked out of the mushroom club for attitude unbecoming a mushroom lover
- Now – 7-3/4 years: the synthesis period; still hasn’t rejoined the mushroom club….miles away from joining the eggplant club, but embracing foods with many integrated ingredients.
And….from stage left….we welcome Moosewood’s Vegetarian Burritos! This recipe was a mainstay of my single woman’s culinary repertoire. It is healthy, tasty, meatless, and the burritos can be frozen individually for future quick meals. I recently realized that I had never made these burritos for the Littlest Chef, probably because the well-integrated texture would have been soundly rejected.
Since she is now a lover of legumes in any form, I thought it was time to try this recipe. The results were amazing. She didn’t blink an eye at the texture and immediately started happily eating the burrito. Then, she split a 2nd one with her dad. And she kept track of how many were left so she could be sure to have one for lunch the next day! The book that this recipe comes from was my first cookbook, and it is like an old friend to me now. How fitting that a recipe from this book, one that was such a staple for me for many years, was the recipe that made me realize my Littlest Chef’s palate had turned yet another corner!
All hail the wonders of a good Moosewood recipe! I am serving these burritos tonight, and thinking about the smile on the Littlest Chef’s face when she finds out what’s for dinner makes me smile right now! Enjoy!