Seducing the youngest ones' palate is always an exciting challenge when introducing new flavors and traveling through unpredictable terrotories.
Experience has taught me that to make a meal fun it is better to create a story about the dish that we serve. And that's what I did today. I bought a round zucchini and staged a dish that represents a young glutton for lentils who befriends a ladybug lost in the land of rice. Together they exchange flavors and taste the textures of the rainbow.
Although my daughter is becaming “too old” for this type of children dishes, her eyes sparkle with joy and enthusiasm when appreciating a dish of this kind.
Lentils are the oldest legumes consumed by Mediterranean people, and when combined with a cereal, in this case, rice, are an excellent source of protein.
Compared with other grains, lentils cook faster.
Coral lentils, which I used for this dish, don't need to be soaked, they cook very fast, they are light and easy to digest.
For the little man:
1 round zucchini or any other appealing veggetable that can be filled
1 hand coral lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch of coriander
salt to taste
1 black olive
1 slice of apple
4 thin carrot strips
For the rainbow:
2 purple cauliflower florets
2 broccoli florets
For the ladybug:
2 black olives
To the land:
1 hand rice
salt to taste
Black sesame seeds
Wash the zucchini and cut the top to form a lid.
Dig the inside.
Cut the “flesh” you got from the inside, into small pieces to cook with the lentils. Reserve.
Steam the zucchini until slightly soft. Reserve.
Prepare the lentils:
Place the olive oil in a pan. Chop the onion and sauté in olive oil.
Add the garlic cloves and sauté well.
Wash the lentils and add to the onion and garlic. Mix well and add water to cover. Season with salt and cook until tender.
Add the pieces of zucchini and the chopped coriander. Season it with salt and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pan.
Meanwhile, cook the rice.
While the rice cooks, wash the rainbow ingredients and blend them separately. I used them raw but they can also be cooked, preferably steamed.
Prepare the ladybug: cut the tip of a cherry tomato, scoop the inside and insert a black olive.
Make the eyes with two pieces of rice and the pints with bits of olive or black sesame.
For the man's hat, make small cuts and insert the strips of the carrot.
For the eyes of the man, slightly dig two holes and insert the eye made with the slice of apple and a piece of olive.
make a rainbow with the raw vegetables, place the doll in front and then the rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and put the ladybug on the rice.
© veggie delicious food, 2013