CHOCOLATE AND EGGS
Jun 30, 2017
Ah, Easter, that time of year when I am obliged to frisk my son when he comes home from nursery and eat all his shredded wheat nests and chocolate eggs before he can get to them. I grew up on raw cacao and chocolate tea and - as most people know these days - if you take away the sugar and milk then chocolate is actually quite good for you (in moderation of course). It contains nutrients that boost the 'happy' chemicals in your brain and enough caffeine to keep you alert. Eggs are the original superfood containing almost everything you need nutrient-wise including a massive dose of protein (that your body absorbs much better when the eggs are cooked). As it's Easter I have been putting these two amazing ingredients together to keep the family amused and fed. Last night I boiled some eggs in coloured water - beetroot in one pan to make red and turmeric in the other to make yellow. I allowed the eggs to cool overnight and then presented them to my son and husband to decorate this morning whilst I got on with the rest of our Mexican feast. The main part is the beans and they are super simple to make - burn two cloves of garlic in some oil and add a diced onion, celery stick, carrot and half a green pepper. Stir quickly and then add 3 tins of kidney beans in their liquid, a squeeze of tomato puree, a tablespoon of cocoa or grated dark chocolate and salt to taste (cinnamon and smoked paprika are also nice additions). Allow everything to simmer gently for about half an hour until you have a thick, porridge-like consistency. You can mash the beans with a potato masher if you want to speed the process up. Stir in some chopped coriander to finish. Now comes the fun bit - lay out bowls of crisp salad leaves, sliced pepper, grated cheese, guacamole (or just avocado slices), lime quarters, chopped coriander, sour cream, salsa and anything else you can think of (e.g. leftover chicken, grated carrot, roast vegetables). Warm through some flour or corn tortillas in the oven, present everyone with a decorated egg (to peel and smash) and invite people to build their own burrito. Eating this way is fun, encourages children to try new foods and, most importantly, allows them to self-regulate the amount they eat which is key to preventing obesity. This is also an excellent meal for baby-led weaners as there is plenty of finger food here and the bean dish is firm enough to pick up by hand. The beans are even more delicious the next day. Happy Easter everyone!