We don’t eat a 100% raw diet, and the kids eat more cooked food than I do. It certainly is easier to get kids to eat cooked veggies than raw, but raw is totally possible (see the two posts below). For dinner we either have a large salad or a plate of raw veggies (often sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper) followed by a cooked side, typically vegetable, but on occasion egg or grain (millet, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, or sprouted grains). The other night we had one of our favorite dishes and I wanted to share it here because it shows that you can get a variety of vegetables into your children in a way that they really enjoy. Never underestimate the power of a good marinara sauce! I will often just steam or roast veggies and warm up a high quality marinara or pizza sauce for dipping, we love this! Also, anything you use marinara on becomes even more magical with raw cheddar style goat cheese, or mozzarella goat cheese melted over the top. I’m careful about how much of this I eat, because I don’t handle fats well, but it really fancies things up for the kids.
Also, on a side note, notice all the pics are taken outside? I do often take pics outside simply because our house has terrible lighting and everything comes out yellow and fuzzy, but for the most part the photos were taken outside because that’s where we were eating. I see no reason for eating indoors in nice weather. If you haven’t made a habit of outdoor dining on a regular basis, I highly recommend it! A very important part of digestion is relaxation and oxygen, and being outside offers far more of both than inside does.
How I make it (feel free to use any veggies you personally like):
4 large or 6 small zucchinis, spiralized (you can also just slice them thin, but making them into noodles is so much more fun!)
1/2 can black olives, sliced
1 can artichoke hearts, sliced
1 head garlic, cloves sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 bell pepper or a large handful of multi-colored mini peppers, diced
2 portobello mushrooms, diced
large handful spinach, chopped (I usually add this but didn’t this time)
1 jar marinara sauce (I like to use Muir Glen or Kirkland Signiture)
a few tsp Italian seasoning
small pat of butter
First, I saute the garlic and onion in a wee bit of butter, until slightly tender, then I add the peppers and wait until those are tender. Next, I toss in the mushrooms and wait until they just begin to darken,then add the olives and artichoke hearts. Once everything is warmed up and tender I add the marinara and Italian seasoning. I wait until that is warm and just starting to bubble, then put in the zucchini and spinach. You could severe it just like this, if you happen to like raw zucchini. It would be better health-wise, for sure… but for those of us who don’t care for raw zucchini (myself and my kids) keep it cooking until the zucchini is just tender and the spinach is wilted. Serve.