Is a hatred of green food innate or learned? Generally speaking, green foods are vegetables: good for you, beloved of concerned parents, hated by children. So even when the food you place in front of a picky four year old is clearly NOT a vegetable, he will know that there is vegetable matter lurking somewhere in it and will rebel. At least, that is my experience so far with a fairly vegetable-averse picky four year old. He recently picked up the word "yucky" at his nursery and is very enthusiastic about applying it to my cooking, regardless of whether he does in the end like the dish and finish the lot. I'm starting to think the distrust is innate and some kids have it while others don't. Because my second son actually listens, head cocked and eyebrows slightly raised when you tell him, "Yes, I know it's green but I really think you'll like it." And then as the flavor starts to hit his taste buds, his little turtle mouth opens again for a second bite before the first is even on its way to his tummy. So I can only claim this is a half-successful attempt at child-friendly food. It's fully successful on adults, however and will be resurrected frequently once the grilling season has started. It is packed with flavor but not calories and takes minutes to assemble. And my second son loves it. Turkey, feta, garlic, spinach, what's not to like? Oh yeah - the spinach. If you are green-averse. But if you are not and have a quirky sense of humor, it's a fun addition and gives you loads of vitamins. Eat your greens: your momma told you so!
Green Turkey Burgers (makes 4 small burgers, 2.5 Weight watchers points each)
These are lovely served on a bed of lettuce with sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions and a tablespoon of yogurt mixed with grated cucumber. The tzatziki - whether commercial or homemade - will cost you a half a point on the Weight Watchers regime, but it does add a lovely fresh flavor to the burgers and adds some needed moisture.
200 g skinless uncooked turkey breast
90 g cooked spinach, well drained
50 g feta cheese
1 slice of bread
1 medium egg
1 clove garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and turn it on until the mixture starts to form a ball in the bowl of the machine. You may need to add a little more bread, depending on how moist it is and the size of your egg. It will still be squishy, but stick together well enough to make a ball. Flatten and cook over a very hot grill/griddle pan or in a well-seasoned cast iron pan. If the pan is nice and hot before the burgers go in, they will sear pretty quickly and should not stick. Cook for five to seven minutes on one side and then turn over and cook another five on the other side. The burgers should be firm to the touch and cooked through when you remove them from the pan. Serve with lettuce and tzatziki and tomatoes if you have them (our CSA box had one tomato, indicating, I think, that the local organic farm has a greenhouse!). If you are not on a diet, you could toss them into hamburger buns for added weight - but it really isn't necessary. The salty feta and spinach have a subtle flavor that will stand out beautifully on their own.