Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day and what better excuse to help get some green on your family’s plate for dinner! One year, I did a St. Patrick’s Day meal for the boys, which included kiwi, sliced avocado and guacamole, sliced cucumbers and honeydew. They love all these foods, but if you need an excuse to get your “green weary” child to eat green, let the holiday be a fun excuse.
If you need a fun way to sneak in some green vegetables that will have your children asking for more, try these fun Shamrock Rolls. They are based upon a recipe in my latest cookbook love, “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” The subtle green in these rolls is not from food dye, but rather healthy broccoli and spinach. These rolls taste so good, even my “I don’t like spinach!” son asked for seconds.
While I don’t recommend regularly resorting to bread as a method to get your children to eat green vegetables, this is a fun bread to make, especially for the holiday!
Shamrock Rolls (makes enough for 2 batches of 12 rolls each)
4 cups broccoli florets
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1 ½ cup water
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons granulated yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup wheat gluten*
1 ¾ warm water (about 100 degrees)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot and add the broccoli and spinach. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the broccoli is fork tender.
Place all the contents in a blender and puree, which should create 3 cups of green vegetable puree.
Meanwhile, in a very large bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast and wheat gluten. Stir to mix well.
Add the warm water and the green vegetable puree. Mix with a spoon until fully incorporated.
Cover loosely and allow the dough to rise 2 hours or more. (this dough does not need to be kneaded).
After it has risen, refrigerator before using, for 3 hours or preferably overnight.
Once ready to use, take half the dough and begin shaping it into miniature balls. You will essentially use this dough to make 12 shamrocks in a muffin tin, so divide the large ball into 12 pieces, and then take each piece and divide three ways.
Grease your muffin tin. Roll each miniature ball and then place 3 in each muffin holder in your tin. Repeat until your muffin tin is full.
Let rest for 40 minutes, covered with a towel.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let it preheat for 30 minutes at least and add a metal (do not use glass) pan in the bottom of the oven.
Sprinkle the cheese on top of the muffins just before you add it to the oven. When you add the muffin tin, pour 1 cup of hot water in the metal pan (this helps create a steamy-oven and makes the bread extra delicious).
Bake 20-25 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy. Makes 2 batches of 12 rolls.