Planning and cooking meals is one of my favorite parts of being a mom. I love searching for interesting, hopefully healthy, recipes and introducing my kids to new ingredients and flavors.
Last year, we successfully added asparagus, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and some sushi, among other new items, to our family’s regular rotation. But it’s hard to know which new items will make the cut.
Last week I took some time – actually a couple of hours – to sit down and go through old January Everyday Food magazines looking for healthy recipes that I was excited about and thought my kids would possibly/probably eat. (I love the Everyday Food magazine because it’s inexpensive and helps me think about using fresh ingredients for that time of year. The recipes are usually fast but not always low cal. You can look for work-arounds to lower the fat and calories. You can also look for recipes on their website for free.)
I took my well-planned list to the grocery story and checked everything off as I got it. I brought it all home and then my week fell all to pieces. My poor family ended up eating hamburgers and pizza, and I froze the meats and hoped the fresh ingredients would stay fresh until I was ready to try again.
I tried and failed on Friday night with my introduction of stir-fried beef in lettuce wraps with an Asian flair. Walsh was the only one who ate it. I thought they would like it because they have loved in the past Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps.
I thought the Asian ground beef lettuce wraps were quite tasty and pretty easy. Although I did not add the fish sauce it called for to the dish. I thought it tasted too fishy. (Duh!) Lilina declared it looked like poop. (Lovely!)
But not to be deterred, here is part of this week’s menu (I have to fill in my other days.):
Sweet and sour chicken with green beans – My kids love almost anything Asian so I think this will be a hit. It’s a low-fat, lo-cal version of a traditional fatty favorite and incorporates multiple vegetables.
Pasta with roasted vegetables and arugula – This recipe originally ran in January 2010 and for a while it was my go-to Friday night dish before Michael’s adult-league basketball games. I loved the flavor of the roasted vegetables and using the greens in the dish. I also love the salty olives. The kids used to really like this dish but I haven’t made it in a while. So it will be interesting to see if they are immediately accepting of it.
Ham and potato frittata adapted from this ham and leek recipe – I have tried quiche with them before and they do not eat it so this time I am trying a frittata. They love scrambled eggs. They love cheese. They love potatoes and they love ham. So in theory they should love this recipe. But we will see. I plan to serve with a mixed green salad. (Maybe if I put on a little show about being in a French bistro they will give it a chance.)
So what do you think of these recipes: Would your family give it a whirl or reject it with a nose in the air? Are you trying this type of recipes on your kids or just giving them what you know they will eat? What are some of your kids’ favorites that are out of the ordinary – provide links to recipes if you can. What are you serving this week?
What is the balance on getting your kids to try new thinks, not wasting money on food that is rejected and getting good nutrition into them each night? (Do you let them eat something else if they don’t like what you are serving?)