Most of you probably know that I have a 2.5 year old son. I'd love to lie and say, "Oh, he just eats whatever we eat! Ha ha ha! I rule at parenting!" but the cold reality is that no matter what I cook for dinner, the little
turd angel begs for cheese. I know that, like most parents- I harbored asinine ideals about parenthood before I actually had a kid. "Oh, my kid is going to eat whatever I serve him because I'm only going to offer him HEALTHY CHOICES! Ohh, my superior parenting skills are going to prevent my kid from having tantrums!" etc.- of course, now that I'm in the thick of the "terrible twos" (whatever dude, newborns suck so much more than toddlers- give me a 2 year old over a caterwauling 2 month old any day of the week, thanks) I fully understand how stupid I was being. Duh, my son is a human being. A human being who wants to survive solely off of cheese and Trader Joe's honey whole wheat pretzels. ("Cratzels!")
So, imagine my delight when I came upon the realization that I could combine 2 of my son's favorite things- dairy products, and Shrek- and convince him to devour MONSTER NOODLEEEESSSSSSSSS. It's just noodles with pesto, duh- but you'd think I laced it with crack rocks, the way he gobbles it down. The only way I could get a better reception is if I gave him a heaping plate of noodles drenched in butter and parmesan cheese- but we reserve that for special occasions. (like when I don't feel like cooking real food.) Anyway, now my kid loves monster noodles and I really like pesto, so it works out for everyone. Plus I am stoked when he eats it because I add spinach to my pesto, (an absolute abomination, according to some, but what the hell ever!) so it's basically one of the 2 green things he'll eat. (Sometimes he'll eat broccoli.)
Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, I wanted to make a point- I've flipped through those "sneaky chef" type books and I have to say- in general, I am not a fan of lying to kids. I'm not going to sneak blueberry puree into my son's brownies and pretend like they're healthy, in fact, the whole "puree" thing seems like a ridiculous ploy, to me. Teaching your kids to prefer babyfood-style, overcooked, mushy vegetables doesn't seem like a very good idea. But, that doesn't mean I'm not above sneaking in vegetables wherever I can. I don't do it to trick my family, I do it because they taste good and I want to be healthier!
Anyway, this simple dinner consisted of:
Half a package of spiral noodles
A few scoops of fresh pesto
Chopped vegetables- zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, and tomato (added raw at the end) or whatever you can find in your fridge that sounds good
To make the pesto, just throw pretty much all of a package of fresh basil leaves, a large handful of spinach (SHUT UP, EMILY. IT'S GOOD FOR YOU. AND I LIKE SPINACH, OKAY?), a few handfuls of grated parmesan, 1 clove of garlic, a large handful of walnuts, and a huge glug of olive oil- all into a cuisinart (Thank you, wedding registry. It's been 4 years and every time I use all the awesome crap in my kitchen, I think to myself, "God, I love being married.") or blender. While blending, drizzle in olive oil until the consistency is smooth, and add salt & pepper to taste. You can spread it on sandwiches, throw it on noodles, dip veggies into it.
I like to either roast or lightly saute my chopped vegetables, then I just toss everything together in a large bowl. I add the pesto, throw in fresh chopped tomatoes, and then I inhale it while my son showers me with praise. He even ate a few of the vegetables, woo hoo!
I wish I could say I had tons of leftovers, but my husband came home from work late and inhaled the rest of the bowl. Luckily I still have some leftover pesto in the fridge.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Posted by Alice Carrier at 9:45 PM