Thursday, April 18, 2013

What's Cookin'

Dinner is really important to me.  So, every night I make a healthy dinner and we sit at the table together as a family without the distraction of the TV or radio. I don't cook quintessentially kid friendly meals. There's always a salad to fall back on, but I don't give other options.  Besides the option not to eat.  Now, you may wonder how I manage this without the kids whining and complaining.  It's simple, I DON'T.  Let me just be completely honest here, dinner isn't easy to pull off.  And it's even harder to sit through.

Here's our week in dinners:


Teriyaki salmon
Parmesan quinoa with asparagus
Grilled pineapple
Salad with feta, pomegranate with chocolate balsamic dressing

It was all gluten free because they had a friend with celiac stay for dinner. Which meant our kitchen table that only seats 6, was overflowing. So Craig and I ate in the dining room by ourselves, which was really nice.  They could have been talking about boogers and secretly feeding the dogs their food.  Who cares, it was peaceful for a change.


Dog food
Caesar salad

Not dog food out of a bag.  It's a recipe I cook up containing brown rice, barley, pumpkin and ground turkey sprinkled with shredded cheese.

It was comfort food for a very cold day after the kids were frozen from tennis and track.  They were too cold to fight and this is one of very few recipes the whole family likes.  Even Bonnie and Clyde who got the leftovers. So they had a war about which kid didn't have homework that night.  Who was coldest.  Bragging about who has almost saved up enough money for a hypothetical ipad they'll never get because they'll blow it on something else way before then.


Portabello mushroom and spinach enchiladas
Caesar salad

I had portabello mushrooms and googled recipes and this vegan one came up and sounded fun.  I cheated and added cheese because we're not vegan.  I had avocados that needed to be used up, so I made some guacamole and then told the kids they could have chips with it if they ate it. Then we got a call that one of my good friends sliced her finger making dinner and came over for Craig to look at it and see if she needed stitches mid-dinner.  So mid-dinner, we all crammed into my unsanitary bathroom to ogle her laceration.  Afterward, I forced her to eat some enchilada to ensure the kids it was good. Which she did.  This didn't convince my mushroom hating kids they liked it.  But, my tortilla/guacamole bribe worked.   So, they all ate mushrooms, spinach and avocado.  Yeeeeesssss!


Kale, brussel sprout salad

My friend Suzanne gave me her lasagna recipe, so I had to try it.  And I hadn't made lasagna in years, the kids were totally stoked.  Of course, I had an eggplant laying around, so I felt a nutritional obligation to throw that in. No one was on to anything, except Ember, the eggplant detective.  She picked out every thinly sliced piece with expert precision while making unappetizing gagging noises.  While 1 out of 4 isn't bad odds at all,  all the kids fought about whether there'd be a snow day the following day (today).  Thank god there wasn't.


Slow cooker coconut pork curry
Madagascar pink rice
Kale, brussel sprout salad

Ok, so I've never made this before. But, I'm so excited to try a new recipe.  I always am.  And come on, pink rice? Does dinner get more fun than that?  I don't think so. Wait, why the hell is it pink? Is it finger lacerated blood rice or something? Whatever, that just means more iron.  They don't have school the next day, so they're going to be so excited bragging about how they're each going to have a better day off than their sibling.  It doesn't even matter if the food's good or not, there will be some reason for dinner to suck.  Like constantly reminding them not to pet the dogs at the table. Or hiding vegetables in their napkins.


Papa Murphy's pizza
Cut up veggies and ranch (Which I put out prior to pizza and it gets devoured)

TGIF!  This is our traditional Friday night dinner and my night off cooking.  Because, by the end of the week I just can't take it anymore.  I can't muster up the energy to prepare dinner, fight through it and then have to clean it all up afterward.


Sober (non-vodka) penne with spinach
Caesar salad

Normally, I wouldn't have a clue what the hell we're having on Saturday, because I don't usually plan that far ahead. But, this Saturday my sister and brother-in-law will be visiting us.   Maybe we can have a kids table and an adult table.   Wait.  Unless we make my sister and her husband eat with the kids and Craig and I go in the other room again.  Hmmm...

Before it starts all over again next week.

4 comments: said...

Sounds good to me. I like to try different things every day (but my kids are gone now). One of my son's favorites matched mine- noodles and cottage cheese (although he swore I made cottage cheese with noodles); the girls were more into the steak or salmon recipes.
And, when we were 7, I reminded them this was a family - not a diner.

Chantel said...

Umm....can you adopt me?

And secondly, is there a link to that there coconut curry pork-a-licious slow-cooker thingy??

The Loerzels said...

@ Chantel- It was so moist and delicious, the kids even liked it! Here's the link:

Sine said...

Marie - much of this strikes a chord, mainly because I also have four kids and we seem to have the same struggles at dinner time. Except my menu doesn't look quite as healthy and green as yours, I must admit.

Oh, and it also reminds me of something I read the other day by Frank Bruni at the NYT, about parenting, here is an excerpt:
"explain to me what’s gained by the voluminous discussions, within earshot of little Edwin or Edwina, of what he or she probably won’t eat or definitely won’t eat or must somehow be made to eat, perhaps with a bribe. Any food that lands on the table after that much tortured preamble is bound to be eyed with suspicion and ultimately spurned, in part because it has ceased to be a vessel of nutrition or an answer to hunger at that point. It has become a power struggle: the parents’ wishes versus the child’s defiance. And the battle seems to end one and only one way. With chicken fingers."

I so loved that last sentence. Definitely not at my house there aren't chicken fingers to be had. Fallback is also to go hungry. And they do do that a lot it seems!


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