Sunchoke Cha Cha Cha!

Bustling schedules and picky palettes can make the task of nourishing a family an uphill battle, so how do you get your brood to eat 30 different vegetables period, much less within one month?

Houston mom Amy Anton has stepped up for the challenge and is sharing her anxieties, discoveries and successes along the way.

new veggie

Have you ever had a sunchoke? I hadn’t even even heard of them until yesterday. And you probably don’t care, but I cook A LOT. I read cooking magazines all of the time. But still, I had no idea what a sunchoke was. Until yesterday, that is.

I was wandering through the produce section at my local H-E-B, when I saw a basket marked sunchokes. Say what? They are also known as Jerusalem Artichokes. Hmm, so obviously, they are some exotic version of an artichoke, I think… Not so! They are brown tubers, or root vegetables that look like a cross between ginger root and a small potato. Crazy!

I grabbed a bag of them and headed home, triumphant that I had a new vegetable for our Veggie Log. The story gets better, though, as we were having company for dinner. Perfect, I thought, they can all try sunchokes! Well, when I announced to my guests I had roasted sunchokes for them, you should have seen the look on their faces. I am sure they were thinking, she’s making us try some weird food… my husband looked disgusted… and the seven boys looked at me like no way, no how. It is spring break, and I am NOT eating anything weird!

Determined, I cut the sunchokes into bite-size pieces, tossed them with olive oil and salt, and roasted them in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. I snuck a bite of one before I served them, and WOW. Like a potato, but nutty, and not as starchy. And when I dished them out to everyone, you know what? They ALL loved them. They ate every last one! They asked for more! Boy, did I feel vindicated.

SO, if you are running out of new veggie ideas for your VegOut! Challenge (or your sanity), grab some sunchokes! They are in season right now, and I have seen them at Kroger, H-E-B, Central Market, and Whole Foods Market.

Challenge Traditional Thoughts on Children and Food: VegOut!

As a mother to two little ones, Becky Flechsig over at Raising Texas has taken on the 2014 VegOut! Challenge to her tool box to help raise a family who enjoys healthy foods, with more fun and less stress.

Join her on their food adventure this March…

I am now feeding real food to two little mouths.  Now more than ever I am reminded about how passionate I am about telling all of you (and anyone else who will listen) that kids don’t have to hate healthy foods.  Starting them out on the right path can lead  to a future of loving healthy, easy foods.  Having the right mind set can make this easier on everyone.

Some days my daughter loves cauliflower.  The next day she might not want to eat it. We don’t ever take anything off of the menu. And thanks to this handy post from July, meal time is more relaxed in our house. Per point number four, when it comes to meal time, we decide the what, when, and where and the kids decide the whether and how much. When it can be that easy, it is. Sometimes it isn’t. And when you feel like you are wasting uneaten food, you might be. I need sanity right now, not to stress over a half-eaten meal.

So to kick off what I am officially calling a blog comeback, our family is going to VegOut! with Recipe for Success. During the month of March we will eat 30 vegetables in 30 days. To be honest, we eat a decent amount of vegetables regularly, but we will run out and will then be faced with a challenge. We’ll be shopping around for new things we’ve never had and hitting up our favorite farmer’s market to see what is in season.

I’m also giving a decent amount of ownership in this endeavor to my almost three-year-old. I want to show her how exciting it is to try new things, and then she gets to rate her veggies. So if she doesn’t like something, that’s fine too. It’s all about being open to new foods and new things.

Tonight we went over the chart and ran through the veggie suggestions. We highlighted the things we have eaten already and circled items that are new. She is currently most excited about filling out the chart. Kids love charts. So do I. Win on the chart, guys. At the end of this adventure we get to turn in our filled-out chart and we might win something. You know, beyond the grand prize of winning a healthy and varied diet.

Here is some more great news… YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO REGISTER! And you should. Of all the food challenges to do for yourself and/or your family, this might be the easiest. You just might not know that yet.

Hopefully, if you don’t take the challenge now, following along with us will help you realize how easy it is to incorporate vegetables into your daily life. This is a challenge you could take on your own at any time. But if you want to be official, it starts March 1. I would love for you to join me and let me know what veggies you are trying, and if you are loving or hating them.

Here we go!

This post originally published on Becky’s blog, Raising Texas.