Friday, August 28, 2015

Egg Free Zucchini Brownies

You know, 99.9% of the time when I'm on a food blog I'm there for the food.  Right?  I'm sure the blog content is good reading, but most of the time I just
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until I get to the good stuff.  The stuff I came for:  the recipe.  Which is why most of the time I keep my recipe intros short and sweet.  So if you are just here for the food:  here are some egg free zucchini brownies.  And if you'd like to stick around, I thought I'd talk about picky eaters and food allergies and school lunch.

This is the first time I've had real success with zucchini brownies, and I like that these are kind of a one-bowl kind of thing and it doesn't dirty too many dishes.  I found this recipe over at live in kitchen and they were a hit with my family!  This first photo is courtesy of the live in kitchen and you can pop over there to find the recipe and full instructions.

The only tip I would add about these brownies is at first the batter might look dry and crumbly-- at least mine did-- just keep mixing.  Keep mixing and the moisture from the zucchini will release and turn in into a brownie batter.  Don't overbake either.
Vegan Zucchini Brownies - This is the recipe I've been looking for! Rich, fudgy brownies from The Live-In Kitchen.

This next photo is from my own kitchen and as you can see, they turned out pretty much like the pretty picture above.  (Because if there is one thing that frustrates me, it's when my food looks absolutely nothing like the picture posted with the recipe-- or worse-- when the picture posted isn't even taken from the recipe it's representing!)


Ok, so now that we've gotten that taken care of, let's talk lunch.  School lunch-- probably the most talked about topic this time of year, and probably talked about TOO much.  But I thought I'd share my approach with you in case you are struggling with the same things as I am:  food allergies and picky eaters. 

I do this every year before my kids start school:  I see all these cute and healthy homemade school lunches on Pinterest and I get these grand ambitions that I'm going to be sending my kids to school with thermoses of hot soup and homemade build your own taco kits.  
 
Yeah that lasts about two weeks.  I get busy and it's not worth the effort because my kids won't even eat it.

So this year, I am trying a new approach.  I interviewed my kids and asked each of them, what they WILL eat in their lunches.  I offered suggestions also to get the ideas flowing.  I created a list for both my kids and THEY will be in charge of putting their lunch together. (With adult supervision of course) I have a drawer in my fridge dedicated to string cheese, yogurt, apples etc and space in my pantry for applesauce, crackers etc.

The goal here is definitely not going to be variety but at least I will be sending them to school with a healthy lunch that I know they will eat. (which most days will comprise of some sort of sandwich and fruit)

To give you an idea of some of the things on my kids' lists:

-Sunbutter and honey/or jam sandwich
-Sunbutter cracker sandwiches
-Ham and cheese sandwich (or just cheese)
-Macaroni and cheese
-Plain cooked noodles (my kids are weird but they like their noodles plain)
-cheese quesadilla (eaten cold)

-applesauce
-sliced apples
-banana
-grapes
-raisins
-peaches
-pears
-mandarin oranges (I get the kind pack in juice, not syrup)

-yogurt
-granola
-string cheese
-crackers
-muffins

-chocolate milk
-apple juice
-water

-cookie :)

Definitely not full of variety, but honestly it will make my life easier by keeping it simple, and it will give my kids some control over what they choose to pack and it won't be a battle zone.  So we will see how it goes!  While the rest of the country is back to school, we are still counting down... 10 more days.  10 more days.
 
Overall I am trying to simplify all my meals.  I admit I LOVE to try new recipes!  Perhaps that stresses my kids out because there is not a lot of familiarity.  My kid like to know what to expect. They thrive on routine, consistency.
 
My poor 4 year old asks me every night "Mom, what's for dinner?  Have we had this before?  Did I like it?  Did I eat it?" I'm sure with counseling she'll be fine.  
I kid.  
She's my one who recently announced she doesn't like cheese anymore, at least not plain.  She'll eat it melted.  She also doesn't like milk.  

(This is the part where I'm pulling my hair out now)
 
She doesn't have food allergies, but since my boy's allergies are life threatening we don't even have any of the things he is allergic to in the house.   Makes for pretty slim options.  I've tried firm approaches to my kids' picky eating habits and really laid back approaches and I'm still trying to find something that works for our family and their little personalities.
 
We are simplifying and sticking to the basics.  It will make my life easier, albeit a little boring.  Who knows?  Maybe my kids will get so sick of eating the same things over and over again that they will actually want to venture and try new things one of these days.  
 
Wish me luck!

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