Green Eggs and Ham

Most adults look forward to trying a new dishes and foods.  For our children, it can be a different story.  I can only relate.  All three of my children have been on the picky side of the fence at one time or another. Like all kids, once they’ve tasted the “junk,” they will beg, borrow, lie, cheat and steal to eat what they want when they want it.

Last spring, a friend of mine recommended a book to me that changed the way I approach introducing my children to new foods. It’s called “French Kids Eat Everything” by Karen Le Billon.

In the book, Le Billon details her journey from being a mother of two picky North American eaters to now having children who like to eat beet puree and sardines.

Her ten-rule French approach to food inspired me to try several of those approaches with my own kids.

Children must try a food at least seven times before they like it, Le Billon writes.

On that note, I started my quest. I began with the glorious vegetable kale.

I have introduced kale to literally thousands of students in Oklahoma over the last 10 years, and their reactions are always the same. “Wow Chef Poe, I had no idea this was so amazing!”

I could only hope for such rave reviews from my kids. I purchased a small bunch of Tuscan or “Lacinato” kale along with my other groceries that week and proceeded with my experiment.

My first recipe involved eggs. I simply chopped the washed kale and sautéed it in with the scrambled eggs for breakfast. When the kids saw it they wanted to know why their eggs were green. I made a witty remark about “green eggs and ham,” and they proceeded to eat.

My middle child complained a little, but after seeing the other two eat all their eggs, she followed suit out of peer pressure.

Every few weeks from then on I would purchase and prepare kale as part of our family dining. After a while the children began to ask for it by name. I started putting it in soups, main courses and starches. Now we have kale as a regular part of our family meals.

I’m glad to say that my little experiment has been successful. So successful in fact that last week we had kale and the kids got in a fight over who was going to get the second helping. If my little jewels can fall in love with kale, yours can too.

Cleaning the KALE is very easy.  Simply remove the center stem from the green leafy portion by using you fingers and stripping away the middle.  This stem is also edible but takes twice as long to cook as the leaves.  I juice it sometimes if I’m feeling super vegetative and healthy.

After removing the stems, I like to soak the kale leaves in a sink of cool water for a couple of minutes.  This helps the dirt or sand to separate from the leaves and gives you a “dirt free” breakfast!

After I soak the kale and drain the excess water off I cut it in to bit-size pieces.  In the case of this recipe I sauteed it in a little olive oil.

Next we add the eggs.  I like to crack them to a bowl first and give them a little whisk with a form to combine.

At this point you can season them with salt, pepper or “Mrs. Dash” if you are trying to cut the sodium.

I add another small drizzle of olive oil and add the eggs right in the same pan I sauteed the kale.

After the eggs have cooked into a creamy rich pile, add the kale back in and sprinkle the cheese on top to melt.  I like to use low-fat mozzarella because it adds a creamy texture to the eggs without a lot of extra flavor to compete with the natural favors from the kale.  Plus the kids like it!

Serve with bacon, turkey bacon, sausage or a ham steak and ENJOY!


GREEN EGGS AND HAM

Serves 6

6 to 8 fresh eggs
1/2 bunch of kale (Tuscan or Lacinato is my favorite)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or favorite melting cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Wash, rinse and remove the kale from the stem and chop it into small pieces or shred. You can add one small leaf cut very thin to start and work your way up to a quarter or half the bunch.

2. Crack eggs into a bowl with a pouring spout and whisk together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat olive oil in non-stick pan.

4. Add chopped kale and sauté for 1-2 minutes to wilt greens by half volume. Remove from pan.

5. Add eggs to pan and stir slowly using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

6. Continue to stir eggs until curds have formed and the consistency has become creamy but firm.

7. Add the kale to the eggs and combine.

8. Remove from heat and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over eggs and allow to melt.

Note: Serve with bacon, turkey bacon, ham or sausage and toast for a fun and unique way to introduce your children to kale.

For the full article see:  The Tulsa World Food Scene Online


4 thoughts on “Green Eggs and Ham

  1. Another friend who also requires that her children taste new foods calls them “No thank you bites.” We require two or three POLITE “No-Thank-You bites” for new or disliked foods. If they are NOT polite, the serving size grows larger. This approach taught me to like almost everything as a kid. I think two of the last foods that I learned to like were lima beans and chicken livers, but I even learned to like them eventually. ;)

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