However there are two veggies which he refuses to eat: zucchini and chayote which is according to Wikipedia a “roughly pear shaped, somewhat flattened and with coarse wrinkles. It looks like a green pear and it has a thin green skin fused with the white flesh. The flesh has a fairly bland taste, and a texture described as a cross between a potato and a cucumber” Now both zucchini and chayote are commonly used in Mexican cuisine, in fact lots of Mexican diners feature them as their vegetarian options (much to Devoted Daddy´s detriment).
When a friend of ours told us that our common pediatrician starts babies on solids with veggies I started teasing DD about whether we should start Lu with zucchini or chayote first.
Last week, on Lu´s 6 month appointment, after measuring and weighting (really, really tall, average height by the way) and giving yucky shots, our sweet wonderful doctor handed me Lu´s “Introduction to Solids” eating plan. Guess which veggies she suggested for the first two weeks? Zucchini and chayote of course!
We tried chayote last week. Lu opened her mouth like a good girl as I spooned the light green watery puree, she closed her mouth tasting for a couple of seconds and the with a delighted grin wrestled the spoon away from me licking the very last drop of chayote. Then today we introduced Lu to zucchini at lunchtime. She is only supposed to get a spoonful of the new veggie the first time she tries it but after tasting zucchini (pureed skin and seed and all) Lu not only carefully licked the spoon again she also grunted and opened her mouth clearly demanding seconds!
So it seems that “Calabacitas a la Mexicana” and “Chayotes rellenos” will eventually make a comeback to my kitchen!
For those of you reading Mexico City Monday looking for a taste of Mexico here are the recipes for both dishes:
Calabacitas a la Mexicana
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/2 small white onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 mexican zucchini, diced
• 4 tomatoes seeded and peeled, diced or 1 can stewed tomatoes
• salt to taste (or Knorr Suiza if you want the authentic taste)
• 1 roasted peeled poblano pepper, chopped
Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook the onion and garlic in the hot oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the zucchini, corn, poblano pepper, tomatoes and stir gently.
Cover and cook until the zucchini is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt.
• 3 unpeeled cooked chayotes
• 2 tablespoons finely diced onions
• 2 tablespoons cooking oil
• 1 slice thick ham, cubed (1/2 inch)
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons butter
• salt and pepper
Cut the cooked chayotes in half lengthwise. Spoon out the pulp and keep the concave peel for later stuffing.
Sautee onion in cooking oil. Add the chayote pulp, the ham and the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff the chayote halves and add one slivered butter square on top.Bake on medium oven temperature (330 to 350°) for 15 minutes
Chayote Recipe from http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Ham-Stuffed-Chayotes-76653
Image from http://manualderecetas.com/