QUICKIE CHALLENGE
UPDATE :  I'm very pleased to announce that we've already received  3  very interesting entries! Thank you very much. Keep them coming guys and remember to send them in by June 7 2010  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on June 8 2010  !! What's your motivation? Not one, but TWO fabulous prizes - a gorgeous cookbook (take a detailed peek here) and a guest blogger spot on the fabulous blog Lazaro Cooks! And now on to today's post :

Mother's Day is long gone but motherhood is a year round, life-long commitment, that includes loving your children, feeding them, taking care of boo-boos and homework, lots of patting, hugs, kisses and the occasional smack, when necessary, and even some trickery, all for the good of our beloved offspring.


This is what I shared with my two younger boys for lunch today,  when they came home earlier than usual because of mid-year exams. If you've been following my blog, you might know that I've been progressively changing the way we eat to include more fish and veg and less meat, eggs and animal fat because of my family's changing nutritional needs. School going kids especially, greatly benefit from more fatty fish in their diet, for healthy brain and neural development and of course, we all could use less fat, more veg and wholegrains in our daily diet.

I count on the fact that my kids have no interest in reading my blog - if they did, I would be in trouble as I'm always looking for sneaky ways to get them to (unwittingly) eat more of the beneficial foods they hate like, well, fish, vegetables and wholegrains, all of which this lunch is packed to the rafters with.

Fortunately, this looks more like fast food then health food and all vegetables present have been disguised in one way or another - not a recognisable leaf, stalk, fruit or root in sight! *shhhhhhh* Of course, it's not perfect as I've used frozen commercial bread and we all know there are always nasties hiding in convenience foods. Still this is a relatively lesser evil and remains a quick, easy, very nutritious and very tasty way to feed your children foods they might ordinarily reject, like the peas in hummus guise below, which incidentally, is so wickedly good, I kept putting spoonfuls in my mouth as I was prepping the shot....


Make your own bread by all means, if it makes you feel better. For me, in this usually crazy paced world, I find it more helpful and less threathening to my sanity, to make incremental improvements, rather than about faces in my family's diet, to try to win them over to healthier eating and better health.

The things a mother sometimes has to do.....

Prep 20 mins       Cook 15 mins      Serves 2 - 3



Lemony Pea Hummus

3 Tbsp light vegetable oil
250 g (2 cups) thawed frozen peas
2 fat cloves garlic bashed and skinned
Juice of 1/2 lemon (don't be shy with the juice, peas are sweet)
Sea salt to taste (be generous and use a good brand like Maldon if you can)
A generous handful flat leaf parsley tops, rinsed


Fish Fingers

300 gm ( 12 - 14 ozs) skinned salmon fillet, cut into thick, flattish fingers (goujons)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp light vegetable oil
2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) in a large plate.


Bread

3 frozen or prebaked flatbreads (chapati, tortilla, naan or whatever you like or have on hand - I used wholegrain chapati)


Tomato & Scallion Relish

150 g (1 1/2 cups) red cherry tomatoes (or about 3 medium normal tomatoes) coarsely chopped
1 stalk scallion (spring onion) rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2  Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste


Cheese

1 cup grated or shredded mozzarella cheese (or your favourite stringy cheese)



Preheat oven at 230 C (450 F). Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper or parchment.

Hummus: Heat half the oil in a pan till moderately hot and add the peas. Stir around till thoroughly heated through. About 2 or 3 minutes only. Add the garlic cloves and stir another 1 minute. . Turn off heat and add lemon juice, salt and parsley and remaining oil. Puree mixture ( I used a stick blender), adjust seasoning if necessary  and set aside, covered, until needed.

Fish and Bread: Season fish fingers with salt and pepper then roll in oil. Put into plate of panko and roll around till completely coated, gently pressing crumbs on so they stick. Put fish fingers and flatbreads on lined tray and bake for about 12 minutes or until golden and crusty. Breads should be golden but still soft enough to fold over and will be ready sooner than the fish, so remove as soon as they're done, cover with a clean cloth and set aside. Don't overcook fish or bread.

While fish and bread bake do Tomato Relish : Combine all relish ingredients in a bowl and stir till thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and chill till needed.

To Serve : Take a baked flatbread, spread half of it generously with pea hummus and arrange a layer of the fish fingers over. Top fish with some relish and scatter over some of the cheese. Repeat with the other flatbreads and when done, return all to the oven just long enough to melt cheese. Remove from oven and fold over each one. Serve immediately