Savory Waffles with Cheese , Yes Please!

Waffles are one of those foods that everyone loves.  They are so versatile, you are sure to find a way that you love them whether that be topped with blueberries or ice cream and chocolate sauce or smoked salmon, crème fraiche and chives.  In honor of National Waffle Day tomorrow I’d like to share this amazing recipe for Zucchini Parmesan Waffles.  These waffles are the perfect way to sneak vegetables into your child’s diet but are also really delicious topped with a fried egg and served for breakfast for a grown-up. You could even use them like a pizza crust and top with Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce and mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes.

Happy Friday,

Julie

Zucchini Parmesan Waffles

Makes 4-6 waffles(depending on the size of your waffle iron)

Ingredients

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 egg

¼ cup whole milk

½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for garnish

½ cup All-Purpose Flour

Non stick cooking spray

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

-Place zucchini in a colander and spring with ¼ teaspoon salt.  Let site for 20 – 30 minutes and then rinse well with cold water.  Press out as much of the water as possible and blot dry on paper towels.

-Preheat the waffle iron to medium setting and have your oven on at its lowest setting.

-In a large bowl, mix together the egg, milk and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan Cheese.  Gradually add the flour to the wet ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Then add the zucchini and toss until well-combined.

-Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.  Place rounded tablespoons of the batter onto the waffle iron, leaving room for the batter to spread when the machine is closed.  Close the waffle iron and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.  Place the waffles in the oven to stay warm while you continue to cook the remaining batter.

-Sprinkle with more Parmesan Cheese before serving.

Do Your Kids Eat Veggies?

Everyone says kids are picky eaters and sometimes that is true.  Since my children were born, all three of them, I have put a lot of time and effort into introducing them to healthy foods and preparing them healthy meals. From breast milk to home-made purees, I started them early.  They all liked their vegetables, some fruits and for the most maintained a healthy diet.  Sometime about 2 years ago that slowly started falling apart, especially for my oldest son.  He now doesn’t eat any fruits or vegetables.  When he turned five he made the bold statement that he would start eating vegetables but I’m still waiting for that to happen.  My middle son, who is 3, is the best eater of the bunch. He loves fruit, specifically berries, and will eat greens like kale and spinach(not always but sometimes). My little one who is 1 ½, has started in the right direction and I’m really trying to hang on.  He does get macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers with French fries but he also eats yogurt, nuts, applesauce and a variety of other healthy items.

As a parent, and a chef, it disturbs me that my children don’t want to eat everything in sight. Also, that they don’t appreciate the effort I put in to prepare their meals but that could be a whole other issue.  I’ve turned to the internet many times for tricks to get my kids to like a variety of foods and most say exposure is key.  All of my boys like to cook with me, so they are exposed to everything from spinning kale in the salad spinner to making banana chocolate chip muffins and everything in between.  Because we cook together, it isn’t so easy for me to ‘hide’ fruits and vegetables in their food.  In an effort to get out of our weekly cycle of meals, I’ve turned to the internet again for suggestions.  Here are some good ones I found.  Follow our Pinterest Board, Kid’s Meals, where I will add more tips and recipes as I find them.

Choices: Kids love being in charge so instead of saying we’re having carrots with dinner tonight, offer a choice…  “Would you like carrots or cucumbers with your dinner tonight?” By being ‘the boss’ of what they eat, mealtime is more likely to be successful.

Serve a family meal: It is really nice when a family can sit down and eat together and even nicer when you all eat the same meal.  Kids look at their grown-ups for cues so if you are enjoying something sitting next to your child, there is a  higher probability they will try it and like it too.

Reward ‘good’ Eating:  My grandmother used to say “There is no such thing as I don’t like” and if we complained we would get more of whatever we didn’t like.  We got smart and started complaining about dessert.  She didn’t fall for that one but it is true that kids like sweets and treats.  Offer dessert for finishing dinner or even tasting their vegetables.  You’ll be surprised how motivated a child gets over a small treat like a chocolate chip or a mini marshmallow.

Do Your Best:  Don’t get frustrated if a meal doesn’t go as planned. Kids are unpredictable at best so what gets eaten one night might get turned down another.  Keep trying and something will stick.

If you have any other tricks that work for you please let me know. I’m all ears when it comes to getting kids to eat something that isn’t sugar coated or fried! On that note, have a great Cinco di Mayo this weekend!

Happy Friday,

Julie