Are your kids picky eaters? Is it a bloody struggle to get them to eat vegetables? Don’t worry because we’ve talked to three cooking moms on fun and interesting ways to convince your children to eat the challenging vegetable, ampalaya.
Mother to Mark & Chris, 27, Mikey, 21, Sarah, 20 and JB, 18. Cherie worked as managing editor of Food Magazine, as associate editorial director and brand manager for Working Mom, Food and Foodie magazines.
Her Veggie: Ampalaya
It becomes tolerable for some kids when you cook it the way they do in Chinese restaurants—with thin, tender slices of beef and cooked with a black bean-garlic sauce.
Thinly sliced ampalaya pickles or salad can be pretty good. You mix in salt, squeeze out the ampalaya juice, wash the slices in water, drain, then mix in salt, sugar, a little vinegar.
Make sure you don't cook the veggies to death. Oftentimes, it's the mushy, overcooked texture that turns them off. Try to preserve the natural colors of the veggies so they look attractive.
Mother to Arthur, 16, Keith, 14, Chris, 13, Charles 10 and wife of Rob Lo, engineer.
Krystle is a housewife who loves to cook and bake for fun. She sells homemade cakes and pastries during the holidays.
Her Veggie: Ampalaya
What you’ll need:
1 pc ampalaya (big)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 pc onion (diced)
1/2 cup water
Sliced the ampalaya lengthwise. Remove the seeds and slice it thin. Place a teaspoon of salt on the ampalaya.
Mix and squeeze out juice of the ampalaya to remove bitterness. Discard juice.
Sauté garlic. Do not brown them. Add in onions. Cook until transparent.
Add in ampalaya slices. Season with salt. Stir-fry for a while.
Add in water. Cook until water evaporates, stir occasionally.
Add in beaten egg. Do not stir immediately, wait till egg sets before turning the ampalaya egg mixture. This will make the egg more visible.
Serve with rice and other viands like pork and chicken adobo.
Kids would prefer ampalaya that is sliced thinly than big chunky slices. Usually I combine ingredients which kids like with the veggies to make them want to eat them. I also add ingredients like garlic, onion and seasonings like soy sauce to make the veggies taste good.
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Click here to read another ampalaya recipe frmo Marianne Hudson.