Friday, March 18, 2011

"Green Eggs and Ham"burger

I am not Irish. Well, at least I don't think so. Not that that really matters. St. Patrick's day is really more of an American celebration of a non-Irishman who happened to go to Ireland. Of course, if St. Patrick saw how he was being remembered by most, he would probably be very broken hearted. That is not really my point. My point is that I don't like corned beef. I'm not all that crazy about cooked cabbage either. The kids, however, like to do a little celebrating of the greenness of St. Patrick's day. Therefore, I decided to give St. Patrick's day a little Dr. Seuss flair, since we missed his birthday a little more than a week ago.

"Green Eggs and Ham". I'm sure you can already guess the multitude of problems I have with that. First, ham is a severely processed meat that is not part of my balanced diet. Second, I am trying to avoid any kind of artificial food coloring. The first problem was an easy one, I just turned ham into hamburger. The second problem was pretty easy too. I just added some lovely green vegetables. The eggs were not really green. They were still very yellow, but the dish as a whole was a lovely green color. I probably could've baked it and turned it into a quiche, but I didn't think about that until just now. Oh well, it was a very delicious meal anyway, and my 12yo actually ate his green vegetables. That hardly ever happens, unless I mix them into a smoothie. The 8yo did not eat it, but that doesn't surprise me. He is still in that phase of not eating anything. He had an apple, some grapes, and some baby carrots for dinner.

How I made the green eggs and hamburger:
  1. brown 1 lb of ground beef, remove from pan
  2. saute about 1/2 an onion and 1/2 a green pepper both finely chopped (the smaller the better in my opinion)
  3. add in a bunch of kale, cook until wilted which only takes about 30-60 seconds (I prefer to just use the leaves for cooking. I hear the stems are good for juicing, but I just fed them to the rabbit. He's got to eat too. I have been blessed with an overflowing of kale lately, from a friend's garden. I have been looking for creative new ways to use it. This was perfect.)
  4. In a bowl, whip up about 6 eggs with whatever liquid you would normally add to make scrambled eggs. I also added a bit of sea salt and black pepper. Add this once the kale is wilted. Cook until eggs are well scrambled.
  5. Add beef back into pan, and mix well, just making sure everything is warm.

After it was done, I thought it would be good on a tortilla. Of course, I didn't have any. I wrapped mine in lettuce instead. The 12yo just ate it with a fork, covered in ketchup. The important thing is that he actually ate it. DH at it in a very large bowl, adding a dash of cayenne pepper. His sense of smell and taste are not very good. Therefore, he prefers to eat things that are on fire.

I had a difficult time coming up with a green dessert that didn't involve artificial color of some kind. I finally found some directions online for natural food coloring, so I decided on chocolate cupcakes with a mint frosting.

Chocolate Cake/Cupcake Recipe:

  1. Mix together 1 3/4 cup fresh milled flour (use soft white wheat for cakes, or if you are buying the flour you can look for whole wheat pastry flour, or if you prefer all-purpose flour will work too), 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 eggs, 1 cup milk (I used almond milk), 1/2 cup grapeseed oil, 1 cup honey. Add to dry ingredients.
  3. Mix for about 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add in 1 cup of boiling water. This will make the batter really runny. It's ok, it's supposed to look like that.
  5. Bake at 350*F for about 25 minutes for cupcakes, 30-35 minutes for cake

For the frosting, I read that you can mix in about 1/2 of an avocado to get a nice green color. Start with 1 stick of butter, beat until fluffy. Mash the avocado and mix in with the butter. At this point, I added about 1/2 tsp of mint extract. Add powdered sugar about 1/2 a cup at a time. You can add in a little milk in between, if necessary. Keep adding until you get the desired consistency. I think I ended up using about 2 1/2 or 3 cups of powdered sugar. It came out a lovely off white color. It was so not green. Not even close. So, I caved and added a dash of green food coloring. Oh well, I will try again with something else next time. On the bright side, it did get my kids to eat avocado. I may continue mixing it into the frosting just for that purpose.

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