Sunday, October 7, 2012

Homemade ketchup or how not to cheat

Since we are having a long weekend, all of the meals are being eaten at home and the topic of picky eating came up again. It's ironic that it never happens at the daycare. Every day when we pick Allie up, we get a "report card" where the teachers write what she enjoyed doing today, what she ate, what mood she was in, what her nap was like etc. Wait, I can actually show you one. It's a very cute and useful idea! Here it is:

So as you can see, for the food section they circle one of the 3 options for breakfast and lunch and the options are: she ate

  • nothing
  • a little
  • a lot

I have almost never seen anything circled but "a lot". She always eats a lot there, but at home from time to time we do go through periods of Allie not being so enthusiastic about eating what I cook. During those periods one of my secret tricks is actually kind of cheating... Cheating on healthy food. I'll cook her a healthy meal and then I'll serve it with ketchup. Busted!... but sometimes I just see no other way but offer ketchup as the last resource. She'll eat anything with ketchup. Anything! But then I feel like ketchup just cancels out the whole healthy eating idea.

A couple weeks ago when I was just going through our supermarket's own magazine "Fresh" that I wrote about before, I came across the recipe for a homemade ketchup. I loved the idea and that was the reason why the magazine got to hang around on the kitchen table for the last 2 or 3 weeks, I was going to try the recipe  I finally tried it the other day and wow...Is that a genius and delicious idea! It was so good! Needless to say, Allie loved it and treated it just the way she treats store-bought ketchup (I mean with love). I actually even saved an empty ketchup bottle in case I'd have to transfer the homemade stuff in there and continue the culinary cheating, but I didn't even have to use it!

With  few tweaks and adjustments based on what was available in my fridge that day, here comes the recipe (sorry for the lack of pictures, I am still to replace the camera that was [mis]used by the photographer Allie):

 Roasted Garlic Ketchup

1 head garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper (red preferably), diced
1/4 C water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ground allspice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the top of the head of garlic, so you can see the cloves. Place it on foil,  drizzle with some olive oil and salt. Wrap and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you've never had roasted garlic, you have to try it, it's delicious! In a lot of Russian restaurants, they actually serve a whole head of roasted garlic with bread with your dinner. You just spread the roasted garlic paste on bread, it's amazing!

2. In the meantime, heat some olive oil in a skillet and add diced onions and peppers. Let cook about 15 minutes on  medium heat, stirring occasionally.When cooked through, add the water and brown sugar, stir and let cook for another 5-10 minutes until most of the water evaporates.

3. Squeeze out the cloves of roasted garlic in the mixture, add in tomatoes, vinegar and allspice. Cook for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

4. Transfer to a blender and blend it to a preferred consistency. 

5. Serve with anything you like and save the rest in a jar.

I actually ended up serving it to the adults with some spaghetti. I mean it just tastes like a delicious pasta sauce! 

Enjoy the ketchup yourself and offer to your picky eaters as an extra incentive!

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful recipe for any age - thanks for sharing it.