Kid food

On Sunday, Jacob and I had a little date with our friend Chloe at this awesome treehouse in Burlingame. J-man desperately wanted to stay there and “have dinner” – I think the idea of eating up in the tree sounded like happiness beyond his wildest imaginings. Jacob sees most all food as fair game, but I am willing to bet he would have eaten absolutely anything if he could have had it perched up in that Live Oak.

In this picture, Lucas is eating a homemade trail mix of raisins, granola, and pan-popped popcorn. There is probably a choking hazard note I should make here with regard to thirteen month old people and popcorn, but my point is rather that he will eat anything, as long as it is raisins. He will also generally eat anything as long as it is breakfast. By dinner time, he seems tired of eating, and (albeit cheerfully) unwilling to try new things.

Despite Lu’s raisin-centric-ness, we don’t really do ‘kid food’ at our house – they eat what we eat, and for the most part they do it happily. Two nights ago, we made a delicious riff on the mushroom tacos from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day book. They were so good that Kyle only made one mention of how mushrooms go really well with steak, or meat, or steak, or – well, on the whole, he was content just to eat. We served them with a tangy homemade mango salsa, which we left unspicy for the kids but which is even more awesome with a little serrano tossed in.

Ever since, I have been thinking about those mushrooms, and that salsa … Since Kyle is traveling tonight, it was just me and the little guys – so I skipped the salsa, instead turning our lovely and sophisticated mushrooms into a super-kid-friendly quesadilla (it was also mom-friendly: dinner made in one pan!)

On Sunday night we used king trumpet mushrooms from Far West Fungi, the mushroom folks at our Farmer’s Market. They were fantastic! For tonight, I used a little carton of organic white mushrooms from the grocery store, and they were good – the flavor was similar actually, though the texture was different. I cooked them with some butter, some onion, some truffle salt, and some fresh oregano from our garden. Then, once they had cooked down and everything was brown, I made a couple simple quesadillas in the same pan, alongside the mushrooms.

Once the cheese was melted and both sides of the quesadilla were lightly browned, I opened it up and stuffed in some mushrooms. One for Jacob, one for me, one for Lucas – quick and easy. We ate them with a simple green salad and had some sliced strawberries with yogurt for dessert. Both guys chowed everything – even though there was not a treehouse or a raisin in sight. I missed the salsa, but the mushrooms were enough to make a super simple dinner into a mid-week treat. Score one for kid food :)

Mushrooms with Onions and Truffle Salt
(Inspired by Heidi Swanson’s Chanterelle Tacos recipe from Super Natural Every Day)

You could certainly use regular salt instead of truffle salt, but I really like the way the truffle salt tastes here – just a pinch! 

1 -2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small white or yellow onion (or half a larger one)
12 ounces (or one carton) mushrooms – king trumpet if you can find them
generous pinch of truffle salt
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano

Heat the oil and butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until it is almost translucent, a couple minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring regularly, until the mushrooms brown and release their liquid, about five minutes. Sprinkle with truffle salt and stir. Pinch the leaves off the oregano sprigs, and stir them in to the mushrooms. Cook another minute, then lower heat (your pan will still be hot, but you can leave it on a low burner to make the quesadillas if you want to).

Mushroom Quesadillas

For each quesadilla, you will need one tortilla and about two tablespoons of grated cheese. We used mozzarella and a pinch of parmesan because that was what I had in the fridge – but use whatever is your favorite quesadilla cheese! Push the mushrooms to one side of the pan with your “spatu-love” (oh Jacob … ) and put a tortilla on the other side (see photo above). Fill with cheese, fold in half, and let it cook a minute. Flip, so that the other side can brown, and then check to see if your cheese is melted. Once it is melted, add a scoop of mushrooms and serve. Repeat as needed to make additional quesadillas.

Mango-Mint Salsa with shallots and serrano

One of the first things I ever made for Kyle was a fruit salsa. I think it kind of won his heart. Mango is a long-time favorite here, but the mint is a new addition – we have peppermint and spearmint in pots on the patio now that we are back in California, and I am trying to make good use of them!

1 large mango, peeled and diced
1 serrano chile, seeded and diced
1 large purple shallot, diced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
About a tablespoon of chopped mint leaves (peppermint is surprisingly nice here)
1 tablespoon orange juice
1-2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, or other mild white vinegar

Mix together the mango, chile, and shallot. Add the salt, sugar, and mint leaves, and stir to coat. Add the orange juice and vinegar and toss everything together.

This gets tastier, and the mango absorbs more chile heat, the longer it sits. It is heavenly in a warm corn tortilla with the mushroom mixture, but Kyle thinks it goes really well on most anything :)

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