"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality." -Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
Alice in Wonderland Feast:
10 Purple, Orange, Yellow Carrots
A Mini Bouquet of Fresh Oregano
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/2 Stick of Butter
1/2 Cup Dried Morels
*Optional Chicken Breast
Layer the thawed, salt and peppered chicken breast as the base of the feast. Chop the onion, carrots, potatoes, and layer on top of chicken. Sprinkle with Olive Oil and 1 cup water for moisture. Cut or pinch small fragments of butter to disperse over feast and sprinkle fresh oregano and dried morels on top. Bake covered fully at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until potatoes are easily forked, softened and ready to serve.
Feast with a side of buttered rice or rainbow quinoa. Additional option to this is to chop the ingredients into smaller portions and cook as a stovetop stew with a chicken bone broth base.
So, I consumed a much higher level of sugar over the holiday week and weekend as did the girls. I had like one million chocolate covered peanut butter balls. This week after was all about getting back to a nourishing normal. We try to eat well because I know it actually affects us all so much. Our mood, emotions, 'can't get off the couch syndrome', anxiety.. all of these can be affected by what we are actually fueling and feeding our bodies with. An interesting experiment is to track your child's emotional outbursts or frustrations, then go backwards... what did they eat, how much sugar was tucked in that fruit roll up, how much food coloring is currently in their system, how is their body reacting to these substances or the weight of digesting an entire carb loaded consumption. What if they are all in relation to each other.
So if you're in a post holiday cooking rut.. if your drawn to it, try exploring with foraged mushrooms. They are an amazing ingredient to use through the winter months. They're bound to make any feast a little more magical. Tuck them in with onions, purple carrots, fresh oregano, dried chamomile flowers with a side of rice. It takes practice to change a child's cravings or habits. They might not like it the first time, but maybe the second or third. Nourishing and magical and so, so easy. Current offerings at most co-ops are dried chanterelles, crimini, lobster, morel, matsutake, maitake, oyster, portabella, porcini, and shiitake. Many mushrooms are incredible sources of selenium, an antioxidant mineral, literally as much as carrots, peppers, tomatoes and green beans. Truly magical. They provide protein, vitamin C and an incredible source of iron. They can benefit bone health by adding strength to the teeth, hair, nails and skeletal system. Plus, you can say you are having Alice in Wonderland stew for supper and maybe it will dash in a little intrigue and wonder to their small little worlds.
There is much potential for magical conversation to be paired with this meal, to choose a character from Alice in Wonderland and dream up scenes of woodland friends gathering for a feast. I know I will miss playing and acting with my girls someday, so for now I will be the weirdo Mom who does it whenever I can. To drip into their world with the smallest acts could mean so much to little ones. For us to weave into their world of imagination and play is beyond essential. It can shape their mind to be open to new experiences and communicate a connection and playfulness in an all too serious world. Nourishing and magical. I hope Alice would be proud. Also PS the new remake of Alice in Wonderland while beautiful, is so intense, is it not? So many stressful scenes. I prefer the classic film for SURE.
Magic and wonder to you!