Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are You Still Sneaking Tofu Into the Coconut Custard Pies?

Am I? This is a question that just came to me via Facebook from my grown daughter’s college friend. Boy! Did I make an impression or what? That must be all he remembers about me after so many years.

Yes, I’m guilty of raising my kids on healthful foods. Veggies have always been a staple in our house. And yes, I’ll admit that some unusual ingredients have, on occasion, made their way into some otherwise “normal” dishes, however “sneaking” is a harsh word. I simply “placed” them there.

I found that, in the beginning of our lifestyle changes, it was easier to use additions and substitutions in recipes and not announce to the family that the cheesecake was actually half cream cheese and half tofu, or that the pasta sauce had been secretly mixed in the blender with a can of kidney beans. I never considered this to be lying. I just didn’t tell them the whole truth.

I have lots of tips for getting your family to eat more healthfully. Number one is – Don’t ever tell them it’s good for them! As soon as they hear those words, the battle is lost. When my kids asked, “What’s in the lasagna, Mom?” my answer was “lasagna noodles and pasta sauce”. That’s the truth. I just “forget” to mention the tofu and the spinach that are in there, too.

If you are worried about making changes in your family’s eating habits, here’s another important thing to remember – If it tastes good, they’ll eat it. And by all means, please don’t look guilty when you place the whole wheat pasta on the table, or the mostly egg white omelet on their breakfast plate. And don’t ask them how it tastes. (You may not like the answer.) Just smile in a self-assured manner, then sit down and dig in.

In my meatless cookbooks, The Vegetarian Gourmet’s Easy International Recipes and The Vegetarian Gourmet’s Easy Low-Fat Favorites, I feature lots of recipe make-overs.

When you’re feeling brave, give tofu a try. Use it to replace half the cheese in lasagna, or cheesecake, or half the eggs in your omelet or quiche. Maybe someone will remember you for it!


Morgan Mandel said...

My mom would use raw sugar instead of refined.I didn't care for the taste or the texture.

Well, at least I like broccoli now.

Morgan Mandel

Fairy Lady said...

It's always easier to start early -before the kids know any better. It's amazing what they will believe is normal.