We had pizza the other night and our side, the grown up side, had veggies hidden under the cheese. When the kids side disappeared, we offered a slice of ours, but they were suddenly more full than they thought and wouldn’t try even a bite. When veggie pizza is an exotic experience for your taste buds...that’s when I decided that they needed to take a little walk on the wild side a little more often.
It’s really no different than those first samples from the green and orange jars of baby food. The first few bites were not always a big hit, but after a few tries less of it usually came back out. Prunes was their favorite fruit for Pete’s sake!
I got my chance to offer a new taste bud experience from the most unlikely place, my dad! While on a casual shopping outing at a food store my dad strolled up to the cart and produced a bag of a foreign substance I’d never heard of and announced he would be purchasing it to give it a try.
It was a large bag by experimental standards so I offered to try some too so he wouldn’t be stuck if it didn’t turn out to be good.
The product he was interested in trying was Quinoa. It’s a grain that he had read something about recently saying it was a healthy alternative to rice.
So, we were off and running.
It turns out Quinoa—pronounced keen-wah—originated in South America and has been around for thousands of years! It is high in protein and contains essential amino acids and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus and iron. Plus it’s gluten-free and easy to digest!
But, be that as it may, it would have to pass a lot bigger test on my table.
If you Google Quinoa, you will find that there are plenty of recipes out there to try. And luckily, there was one right on the bag we purchased.
Quinoa resembles couscous so my biggest critics didn’t find it unappealing to look at. And since it was for Grampa, trying it was a little more acceptable than just another annoyance from their mother and resident chef.
We cooked it much like rice, but I used chicken broth instead of water. We added some diced veggies too, like onions and carrots. You could tell it was done when a tiny curl appeared.
Then, the moment of truth, each plate on the table had a small helping to sample.
And much to my dismay, there were no wrinkled noses, and no leftovers. It was a hit! Both of my boys declared it “really good” and I made a big fuss over how great it is to try new things.
It still doesn’t happen often enough, but we are trying to broaden our horizons at the dinner table. I can recommend Quinoa if your feeling adventurous and I am always searching for suggestions so feel free to share if you have had success or failure with some experimental food fare!