I was doing some research today on “kid dinners” and “family-friendly dinners” and was really surprised. I was excited when I saw a handful of sites that catered to just this type of cooking. But upon further review I was a bit disgusted at the menus (really?! Peanut Butter & Jelly Pizza!). I asked myself, “Why are we trying to disguise our food so much for the sake of our children?”. Are the taste of sweet potatoes with butter really that offending? Are green beans with a little olive oil so vile? God forbid the kids recognize the food they’re eating! What’s next, Barbie clothes on bananas?
- Make one bowl for flour, one for beaten eggs, and one for breadcrumbs (sometimes I mix the flour and breadcrumbs to cut down a step)
- I cut the fish (I used Cod) into pieces and Mia did the rest (1st dip in flour, then dip in egg, then dip in italian breadcrumbs)
- Brush a little EVOO on parchment paper and spread out the fish pieces out on the baking sheet. Brush oil from pan onto top of fish fingers.
- Bake on 400 for 20 minutes
PASTA (I only had 1/2 cup of orzo so I added 1/2 cup of Israeli Cous Cous to it – both cook 8-10 minutes). Keep in mind that this type of cous cous is just a tiny pasta pearl.
- Cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta and leave in the colander.
- Cook a little bit of fresh garlic in olive oil in the pasta pot for a minute or two.
- Add some spinach, pepper and a squirt of lemon juice in the pot and toss around. Add the pasta and a little sprinkle of parm. cheese and stir.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Cut the short ends off and then slice once long ways in half. Clear the seeds and poke with a fork or knife. Put each half in a piece of tin foil. Pour a little EV olive oil or butter on the top, add some salt, pepper and rosemary and close the tin foil. Bake at 400 for approx. 45 minutes (depending on size).
- The asparagus was thick so not only did I cut the ends off but I used a peeler on the bottom part of the stalk too
(my mom’s trick so they wouldn’t be too stringy).
- Layer half to the left and half to the right of a baking dish.
- Toss with EV Olive oil, salt and pepper and bake with fish for 20 minutes.
Salad: Not enough colors in your dinner? Add some yellow or red pepper to your romaine salad tonight. Also, be sure to mix your dressing for everyone – it just tastes better than adding your own!
How the Kids Can Help:
- Teach them how to crack the eggs and beat them with a whisk or fork
- Help pour breadcrumbs in the bowl
- I cut fish into pieces and let Mia do ALL the dipping
- Brush top of fish with leftover oil on baking sheet to get top golden brown
- Add/stir spinach and lemon juice into pasta (add a special sprinkle of parm. cheese on top)
- Let all the kids squirt juice from lemon wedges onto fish pieces at dinner
- Count Total Dinner Colors = 6: White fish, Orange Squash, Dark Green Spinach and Asparagus, Yellow Pepper, Light Green = Romaine
- Lots of fish activity and coloring sheets: http://www.lessonsense.com/fish/downloadfish.html
Did You Know?
- The English serve their Fish n’ Chips with salt and vinegar on Newspaper wrapped in a brown bag.
- In 1995, the British consumed an astonishing 300 million servings of fish and chips – that equates to six servings for every man woman and child in the country.
- The British invented the “Fish” and the French invented the “chips” (aka french fries).