My favorite day of this week? Monday. It’s the day my kids spent time with me planting the garden from the design they created. In fact, they pretty much did it all. And it’s based on the design of The White House Garden.
We planted 20 vegetables and herbs in our 8 foot by 24 foot space including:
Potatoes, Zucchini, Pole Beans
Tomatoes, Broccoli, Cranberry Beans
Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Rhubarb
Lettuce, Carrots, Red Cabbage
Spinach, Peas, Sweet Corn
Swiss Chard, Squash, Basil, Cilantro, Oregano
We have gardened every year together since they could walk – but I have to say that this was the most involved they had ever been in designing and planting the garden. Their ages lend well to independent gardening tasks and this year I could really tell that it was something they were looking forward to. They were excited to start seeds indoors a few weeks ago, eager to shop for seeds and plants at the local nursery and really got into designing the garden as well. As soon as we got home from school, they put on their gardening gloves and grabbed their tools and headed out to the garden. Filled this mom’s heart with joy.
Now on to Delaware for this week’s MyPlate meal for the United States of MyPlates Challenge. Stuffed Tomatoes – what are they stuffed with? Homemade hummus. My kids were real troopers through this one as the outdoors were calling their name and the title of this recipe wasn’t. But I promised them it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes away from the nice weather outside and they would get to use the blender. They were in.
There is a little thing called impatience with kids, so the key is to be prepared for recipes as much as possible. I lay out the ingredients and tools ahead of time so all they have to do is measure and make the recipe.
This recipe involved making our own hummus – something I have done many times, but my kids had never done.
To introduce them to hummus, I had them each try a chickpea (and myself along with them) and encouraged them to tell me what it tasted like. I happen to like them (even great roasted) and my son thought they were great as well. He even kept reaching in to grab a couple before we blended them together. I discovered the remains of my daughter’s bite (or shall I say lick) on the bench next to her the following day. Just proves that even a dietitian’s kids don’t eat their vegetables all the time.
They also liked carving their tomatoes so the hummus had a place to sit.
Adapted from The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook, recipe submitted by Jourdann Latney, of Delaware. I left out the mint.
Makes 4-6 stuffed tomatoes.
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of crushed red peppers
Pinch of salt
4-6 medium tomatoes, cored
1. In a blender, combine chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until thoroughly incorporated. If the hummus is too thick, gradually add more water to make it slightly thinner. Season to taste with salt.
2. Scoop as much pulp out of each tomato as possible. Divide the hummus evenly inside tomatoes.
I would garnish with fresh basil next time.
MyCart Shopping Tip: Chickpeas are sometimes found by the canned beans, but they can also be found in the Mexican food section. Look for canned beans that are reduced sodium or no added salt if possible. And when you drain and rinse any canned food including beans and vegetables, you can remove up to 40% of the sodium.
Husband: 3 – Hummus in a different way. Maybe.
Adventurous Son: 3 – He liked the chickpeas but didn’t like the appearance of the hummus. He’s not so sure we should try it again. I plan to make a Mediterranean pizza with the leftover hummus we had and use hummus as the sauce. We’ll see what happens. He also discovered that he really enjoyed the tomatoes on their own – pretty cool.
Cautious Daughter: 1 – She would eat it for survival only. Her words – not mine.
Dietitian Mom: 3 – I like hummus, I like tomatoes, try again with basil.