I’ve been a little lax lately on the Lilly’s Lunch series. Between Lilly eating lunch at daycare a few days a week and the fact that we’ve developed a pretty decent list of go-to menu items, I just haven’t felt much need for innovation lately. But we’re moving into the Picky Toddler phase where things are getting disassembled/picked apart/refused, so today seemed like a good time to try something new.
These were a completely last minute addition to our lazy-mom lunch of Trader Joe’s chicken tenders. Mainly because I was trying to come up with a vegetable that wasn’t steamed carrots or peas.
The thought process went something like this: Jeez, I wish we had some sweet potato fries. Hey, we’ve got green beans…they’re shaped like a fry. And everything is better with breading… OMG GREEN BEAN FRIES YES!
So, I started with some plain ol’ frozen green beans (still frozen). I dunked each bean into some low-fat milk then dredged each one in some Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. From there I put them on a greased cookie sheet, sprayed them with the olive oil mister and baked them in a 425 degree F oven for about 15 min.
They came out crispy on the outside but tenderly chewy inside. They still taste like a green bean, but with a pleasant fry-like crunch to them. We experimented with some different dipping sauces. Yogurt and hummus both got a thumbs down but plain ol’ Heinz ketchup was a tasty counterpoint. I suspect they would be totally awesome with some warm marinara, but I didn’t have any on-hand. Next time.
Now to be completely honest, while I was devouring them, Lillian mostly used the beans as a vessel for sucking condiments. Frankly, I’m not sure she understood what we were doing until I squirted a blob of ketchup on her tray. Then a light when off and she went into full-on fry dipping/chomping mode. Even so, a lot of the beans were being spit out after she got all the ketchup off. I don’t think it was a taste issue because she kept going back for more. I suspect the chewy texture may have been slightly more than her 5 teeth could handle. Even so, she wasn’t complaining or avoiding them so we’ll be making them again. I have a feeling these would be an immediate hit with a slightly older child (one with, say, 8 or 10 teeth).
I’m not going to post an actual “recipe” for this because there just isn’t much more to say. Just dip, dredge and bake. Ta da.
Anybody else have a few go-to, sure-fire hits for Picky Toddlers (other than the beige food groups of mac & cheese, chicken tenders and grilled cheese sandwiches).