Friday, April 13, 2012

Success with vegetables: Mushroom Gnomes

This post is sponsored by Country Crock. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

We really struggle with getting Carina to eat much of anything at all. Lately, our biggest issue has been vegetables. Despite drenching her broccoli in cheddar cheese or covering her green beans in olive oil, she doesn't really seem to have much interest in eating them. She would rather smear them around her highchair tray or drop them off of it and squeal in delight as they go "splat" on the floor.

I consider myself to always be on the lookout for fun and different ways to serve food, with the hopes that it might actually reach her mouth (and hopefully won't get spit out). I was excited to download and look through the {free} Clare Crespo Digital Cookbook. It contains 25 creative ways to serve veggies for kids. Since Carina has actually taking a tepid liking to mushrooms, I crossed my fingers and decided to try the Mushroom Gnomes recipe.

Mushroom Gnomes - Printable Version!

12 large white button mushrooms
12 mini red or orange sweet peppers
3 sprigs curly parsley
2 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. water
A squeeze of lemon juice
12 toothpicks or skewers

Trim stems of mushrooms even with the bottoms of the mushrooms. Trim some of the stem into very tiny pieces for “noses".
Cap-less mushrooms
Trim caps off peppers and scrape out seeds. Save 24 seeds. Cut parsley sprigs into tiny 1/4-inch pieces and bigger 1-inch pieces.
De-capped and de-seeded sweet red peppers
Melt Country Crock® Spread in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and sauté until mushrooms are beginning to color, about 5 minutes.
Sizzling mushrooms. I could not believe how amazing this smelled while cooking.
Turn mushrooms stem-side down. Add water; cover and cook over low heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms with tongs and place in a serving dish. Add peppers and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt to skillet. Cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place a long toothpick into a pepper and stick on top of mushroom with tip sticking out of the pepper. Arrange larger parsley pieces as “beards” at the base of each mushroom. Stick two pepper seeds on each mushroom as “eyes.” Add tiny parsley “eyebrows.” Stick tiny pieces of mushroom stem on as noses.
The finished product, my gnomes!
Pin It! These were fantastic, and Carina ate a couple of them...success! M and I ended up soaking up the leftover cooking liquid (laced with garlic and Country Crock® mmmm...) with the mushrooms and peppers and it was delicious. M usually isn't a mushroom fiend like me, but he went to town on these! We plan on making them again in the future, maybe for a party or when we have Carina's cousins visiting in the near future. I think these are definitely a fun and creative way to serve veggies to kids.

Are you looking for quick and simple tips and recipes to make serving veggies more fun? Download the free Clare Crespo Cookbook here for fun and whimsical recipes your family is sure to love!

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