Lemon Chicken, Carrots, Basil Orchiette, Raw Salad

Shut Up and Eat It!

Once I took on the attitude of “shut up and eat” (in a figurative way of course), my kids quickly understood that the conversation was over.  If you maintain this stance however, it is your responsibility to cook a healthy meal with simple flavors that your children can enjoy.  You can’t make chicken fingers every day and decide one day make “Curried Lamb” and expect your kids to gobble it up.  Start your flavors and textures slowly, and gradually introduce them into a variety of choices.  If you keep this up, I guarantee your children will not only try the food, but will enjoy it too.  Oh shut up – I promise.

This recipe has simple flavors and is simple to make – perfect for the kids!  This is a great dish to start your transition to the family dinner.

  • CHICKEN:  Salt/pepper chicken cutlets and toss them lightly with flour (try a ziploc bag).  Heat a drop of EVOO and cook chicken in pan until golden brown but not cooked all the way through.  Flip and cook the other side.  Place chicken on a plate.  Heat 1/2 cup chicken broth and juice from 1/2 lemon (in same chicken pan) for 3-4 minutes until it gets a little thick.  Add a splash of white wine and capers if you like.  Put chicken back in pan and simmer until cooked through for about 5-8 more minutes.  I like to flip the chicken over to coat both sides with the sauce. 
  • CARROTS:   I like the carrots on the stem.  Just scrape and boil until tender.  Add a little butter, salt and drop of orange juice or honey.
  • PASTA:  Cook 1/2 pound of pasta (I used orchiette) according to directions.  Mix 2 TBS of EV olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, basil (fresh or keep a tube on hand in fridge), and sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Add salt/pepper, pour on top of pasta and stir.

  • RAW SALAD:  Cut up whatever you have!  Tonight I mixed a yellow/red pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes and mixed with 1 TBS of EV olive oil and salt/pepper and a splash of vinegar.  I like to use rice vinegar AND red wine vinegar for a sweet and sour taste but use balsamic if you prefer.
  • How the kids Can Help
    1. Ask the kids to shake the chicken in the Ziploc bag.  Teach them about the dangers of raw meat and to always wash their hands.
    2. Teach them how to use a peeler if they are old enough.  Watch out for your fingers!
    3. Kids love to test the pasta to see if it’s cooked “needs one more minute!”.
    4. Have your child press the lemon on the counter to release the juices before you cut and squeeze it.
    5. Let them do a taste test – “needs more cheese….”.
  • Did You Know?
    1. Lemon-juice is a powerful antibacterial –the bacteria of malaria, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases are destroyed in lemon-juice.
    2. Lemon can help cleanse your body – drink with a drop of honey on an empty stomach.  Lemon has been used to destroy intestinal worms!
    3. Lemons assist mountaineers with their lack of oxygen and breathing.  Edmund Hillary, the first man to put his foot on the top of Mt. Everest, has admitted that his victory over Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemon.
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