Most children are anxious to eat dessert first, even if it is fruit. Vegetables, no matter which variety are just not a top priority for most eaters even when we understand the health value. There is a new film out called “Fed Up” that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and explores the shift in how and what we are eating. It features the message of “food is fuel” and the very serious issue of childhood obesity and the epidemic it has become in the United States. The film is another wake-up call for us to become more aware of the fat, sugar and salt content in the food we are buying. One staggering statistic is that there are over 600,000 products in the average grocery store and 80% of those products have added sugar! The New York Times also featured a recent article that stresses the importance of being aware of what we are eating and where the food comes from. The economic impact of diabetes is one obesity-related complication that is predicted to reach half a trillion dollars by the year 2020. This is getting serious!
So, at a recent stop at my local Williams-Sonoma store they were featuring a product called the “Spiral Vegetable Slicer” by a company called Paderno. It grabbed my attention because of its ability to make vegetables fun and appealing. There is indeed an “art” to hiding vegetables and getting creative to make them more interesting. When a food is visually attractive at any age, it will more likely be consumed. The slicer was surprisingly easy and the zucchini I tried here looks very much like noodles.
I sautéed the zucchini “noodles” in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and added caramelized onions, pine nuts and fresh parmesan cheese for one option.
Here I topped the zucchini “noodles” with fresh tomato sauce, fresh parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Now what child would not want to eat their vegetables for dinner?
Let’s take back our kitchens and our diets!