As a mother of three I’m no stranger to trying to feed children reasonably healthy options. I was legendary with my 1st child, nothing from a can or packet passed her lips for at least the first year but by the 2nd and then 3rd child it was more a case of grab whatever you can, get them fed and into bed before you pass out from exhaustion!
Today I ventured into the scarey territory of embracing a healthy alternative to one of my 9 year old’s favourites, the dreaded two minute noodles. I presented him with his steaming, fragrant, home made bowl tonight which he cast a very skeptical eye over and then reluctantly tasted about 1/2 a teaspoonful. I sat there watching and waiting patiently for the quick run outside to spit it out or the fatal grimace that meant there was no way in hell he would go any further. Miraculously it didn’t happen, there was a quick nod of the head and the spoon went back into the bowl for a second lot! OMG he didn’t just like them, he loved them – wonders will never cease. Phew.
I’m not guaranteeing that you will get the same result with your children but fingers crossed you do and you will also find that this meal is a taste sensation for the whole family.
In the recipe below all the ‘optional’ items are those items that you might think are a bit risky for your childs taste but as an adult you will love them. The overall dish is only mildly hot.
Serves 3 – 4
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
500 grams of chicken breast or thigh fillet, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 a can of coconut milk – get the unsweetened organic one
2 cups of chicken stock
Juice of two limes
1 mukrat or kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped (optional, if you don’t have access to any just add zest of one of the limes instead)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1/2 a fresh pineapple cut into chunks or one of the small tins in natural juice (optional)
2 cakes of dried egg noodles, broken into pieces (get the authentic asian ones if you can rather than the ones in the 2 minute packs)
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
3 spring onions, sliced
2 tablespoons of toasted coconut thread (optional for garnish)
In a deep frypan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the garlic and saute for a minute. Turn the pan up to high, add the sliced chicken and brown quickly on both sides (about 2-3 minutes). Add the turmeric, cayenned, chilli, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, lime juice and kaffir lime leaf. Turn the pan down to medium and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the pineapple and noodles, stir and simmer for another five minutes or until the noodles are soft. Add some boiling water if you feel you would like more liquid. Remove from the heat, stir in half the spring onion. Serve in bowls, garnish with the rest of the spring onion, the coriander and the coconut thread.
You could also add some extra veges towards the end of the cooking time such as spinach leaves, green beans, sliced zucchini, tomato wedges.