The sixth food group – food created by Satan

Bless my Facebook page and the funny folk who pop by there, including the lovely dad who referred to ‘food created by satan’. Made me laugh for days, because HE’S RIGHT, some food, whilst edible, really just is evil.

What might be in that category for you will depend on your own tastebuds and experiences. Brussell sprouts seem to be pretty universal (just general grossness), others will lump in oysters (snot), peaches (furry texture), okra (slime), red meat (legs!) offal (ick!) polenta (slop) and many kids will include a long list of vegies for a variety of reasons.

And while this blog aims to help migrate many of these items over to the other five regular food groups, there will inevitably be an item or two that remains. And that’s fine.

There are ways to negotiate individual food preferences within a family setting. This Pesto chicken bake is a good example from my house. It’s a dairy-laden triumph that makes my lactose-intolerant innards shake with fear. So while my children see this and cheer with joy, I eat something from the freezer instead. It’s an easy fix to that 6th-food group problem. And while I advocate eating the same meal most of the time, a bit of variation is ok, so long as you’re all eating something healthy, together.

It look so innocent!

It looks so innocent!

Pesto & ricotta chicken bake

To pad this meal out to feed more people, feel free to add in a couple of cups of cooked pasta before baking.

Olive oil
600g chicken tenderloins, finely sliced (or buy stir-fry strips and save yourself a bit of prep time)
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cups finely diced cauliflower (I really hack away at it with my kitchen knife until it’s almost as if I’ve grated it)
1 large zucchini, grated
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp pesto (store bought is fine or see my recipe here)
125g can corn kernels (drained)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
250g tub ricotta
Salt & pepper

Turn the oven to 180C. Spray a medium baking dish with oil spray.

Heat a large frying pan over medium/high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and when hot, pop in the chicken and quickly stir-fry until just browned. Remove and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium. Reheat the pan. Add more oil if needed and fry the onion and cauliflower, stirring regularly for 8 minutes or so until the edges of everything are browning and the onion is turning translucent.

Toss in the zucchini and garlic. Stir well and let the aroma of the garlic waft about to make everyone hungry. Mix through the pesto. Turn off the heat.

Add in the corn, half the cheddar cheese and all of the ricotta. Combine well and pop into your prepared baking dish. Scatter the rest of the cheese over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden.

Serve with salad.

Serves 2 adults & 2-3 kids.


Toddler Recipes: What (and how) to feed fussy eaters

New book out now!

8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Vicki O'Neill said,

    Wendy, thank you for the chuckle you gave me with the line, “Stir and let the aroma of the garlic waft about to make everyone hungry!” Love it! And it does too!
    Making this tomorrow night as Tuesday is “Chicken Night” in our house. Hubby hates chicken & works Tues nights so “Chicken Night,” it is! Thank you. It looks delish.😊Vxx

  2. 3

    Mrs P said,

    This looks quick, easy, healthy and delicious, a winning combo! Will be trying this soon.
    My husband calls the golden arches “The Evil Clown Empire”, I’d say it’s in that food group but he insists it’s not food. He’s taught the little parrots the same so I’m sure they ruffle some feathers when they inform their friends that they’re not eating real food!
    I’m all for moderation and I’m not going to stop them going to parties there if they’re invited but hopefully they’ll prefer our food 🙂

    • 4

      wendyblume said,

      My kids eat maccas a couple of times a year, so that it doesn’t seem too unattainable and exciting. They like the toys but don’t rate the food. Chips and nuggets is all they’ll have. Although I think my son would find “evil clown” food pretty alluring!

  3. 5

    Lorelene said,

    HEHE my husband will actually say out loud “Broccoli is the devil”.
    Then many years ago we found a little baby onsie at the markets in Sydney that said just that. But the stall holder looked at him a little strange when he asked if it came in adult sizes. Alas no it didn’t.

  4. 7

    Alissa said,

    Hi just wondering if this could be frozen? Thanks 🙂

    • 8

      wendyblume said,

      I think this one isn’t particularly suited to freezing. But it does store for a couple of days in the fridge and leftovers make good word lunches for parents!

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