Ren’s Quick Celeriac and Sour Cream Slaw with Pan-Fried Fish Fingers
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
1 celeriac, approx. 500g
1 green apple
1 medium carrot
½ lemon, juiced
150ml sour cream
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
300g skinless cod loins (or other sustainable white fish)
2 tablespoons plain flour (or a gluten-free flour blend)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Veg Portions / Serving: 1
Recipe donated by Ren Behan for Veg Power. Portrait photography by Yuki Sugiura (for Pavilion Books) | yukisugiura.com. Food photography by Ren Behan.
Celeriac is a very underused and underrated vegetable although it is often used in Polish kitchens in soups and in salad recipes. It actually has a very mild, sweet flavour and makes a wonderful alternative to raw cabbage in a slaw. Slaw can be a great way to wake up some veg that’s not at its best – perfect for beating food waste.
Start by making the celeriac slaw. Take a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Add the lemon juice and set to one side.
Carefully peel the celeriac. Since the outer edge of the celeriac can be tough, you may need to cut away the exterior with a sharp knife. Using the thicker side of a box grater, grate the celeriac. Tip straight into the lemon water, as it can quickly discolour. Finely slice the green apple into matchstick-sized pieces and place the apple pieces into the water with the celeriac. Peel and grate the carrot, too.
Drain the celeriac and apple into a colander. Make sure you squeeze most of the lemon water out. Tip it into a bowl. Add the carrot. Stir though the raisins and the sour cream. Set to one side while you cook the fish.
Chop the fish into smaller fish-finger-sized pieces. Add the oil to a large non-stick pan and heat gently. Dip the fish pieces, one at a time, into the egg and then into the flour to lightly coat them. Place each fish finger into the pan and fry gently for 3-4 minutes on each side. You may need to flip them over a couple of times and take care that they do not burn. Serve the fish fingers immediately with the slaw.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Get the kids grating the carrot and celeriac and squeezing the lemon juice into the water – although they may need to fish out any stray pips! They’re also likely to enjoy squeezing out any excess lemon water from the celeriac, followed by dipping the fish pieces into the egg and flour to coat – remember to make sure they always wash their hands before and after handling raw fish.
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.