BellyGrowling #7, a week worth of dinners

from Jan

Sunday, Dinner at our family's house! 

What a great way to start the week. We all got to eat YUMMY lasagna and I did not have to do any cooking. Thank you family! 

Monday, Cabbage rolls 

This is a standby at our place.  And, since Grandma was visiting, I thought it would be nice to have an extra-tasty meal. 

How kids can help: Although Joshua does not like to, kids can easily crush up the gingersnaps in a bag using a rolling pin, construction vehicle, sturdy block, hammer, etc.  There is also a lot of can opening (we have a hand-held can opener which is great for developing those hand muscles), dumping, and scissor cutting of onions.  And, the mixing!  So much mixing!  Joshua really enjoys using his "grabber" hand to "load" the shredded cabbage from the bag into the bowl.  Then, we use "teamwork" to scoop up and shape the meatballs and cover them with the sauce. 

Tuesday, Ginger-soy whitefish and tahini farro 

Two out of three of us were sick this day, so I made an easy dinner that I had originally scheduled later in the week. 

How kids can help: There is not much to this dinner, but if you have an eager helper he/she could cut open the bag of the ginger-soy whitefish (from Trader Joe's frozen section) and put it in the pan. A kid could turn on the oven to the correct temperature and open/close the oven door.  Additionally, Joshua enjoys measuring out (and dumping) the water and farro. Once it has finished cooking, he likes to stir in the sauce (1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ tablespoon sesame oil, tahini to taste).  Without intention, I left the container of tahini open on the table where he was working and discovered him downing spoonfuls of it!  Fortunately, we had gotten what we needed for the farro! 

Wednesday, Mustard-glazed chicken

A new recipe that Joshua picked out. It turned out to be fine, but a bit bland. We have enjoyed other chicken dishes more, but this one was super-easy! 

Thursday, Wild mushroom pastitsio

Looking at the picture of this recipes, I thought it would be a perfect one for us: pasta, cheese, mushrooms. However, after actually reading the recipe, I realized that it used a "creamy" sauce, not a red sauce. Creamy sauces are not acceptable on pasta at our house! So, I did something dangerous and created my own recipe which turned out really yummy! 

Here is the new recipe, cheesy mushroom baked pasta: 

  1. Cook 4 cups of pasta according to package directions. 
  2. Chop up about 10-12 ounces of mushrooms (we used a combination of baby bella and button), 1 shallot, 3 cloves of garlic, and oregano (or any seasoning), to taste. 
  3. Saute mushroom mixture until mushrooms are cooked through. Drain liquid, if needed. 
  4. Combine cooked pasta, mushroom mixture, your favorite marinara sauce, and 1 and ½ cups of shredded mozzarella. We used about 15 to 20 ounces of sauce, but use how much your family likes. We are a saucy bunch! 
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes until bubbly and warmed through. 

How kids can help: Joshua has finally conquered his fear of the food processor and now wants to use it all the time (as long as he is wearing his earmuffs to dampen the sound)!  To support his bravery, we chopped up the mushrooms in the food processor rather than slicing them and threw in the shallot and garlic, too. He helped fill the pasta pot with water and cook the mushroom mixture on the stove. When those two pots were finished cooking, Joshua used the can opener to open the marinara sauce and mixed it all together with a generous dose of shredded mozzarella.  After Joshua set the oven to the correct temperature and politely opened the oven door, I popped the dish in! 

Friday, Veggie and cheese nachos 

We were to have the pot roast this night, but at 2pm Joshua and Jeremy both had full lunches and ice cream. I thought it best to hold off on a big dinner. Looking in the refrigerator and pantry, I came up with this easy idea: 

Veggie and cheese nachos 

  1. Fill an oven-proof 10 inch skillet, with tortilla chips of your choice. 
  2. Saute 1 zucchini, diced; ½ onion, diced; 1 cup of frozen corn; ½ cup of bell peppers, diced; a can of black olives, sliced; and 3 garlic cloves, minced. 
  3. Top tortilla chips with vegetable mixture and ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese in melted and dish is warmed through. 

How kids can help: Joshua and Jeremy were busy watching Mighty Machines (it was just one of those days), so I made this one on my own.  But, kids could easily help chop up and saute the veggies. Then, put everything together in the skillet.   

This new recipe was a hit with everyone! 

Saturday, 3 ingredient pot roast

How kids can help: This is such a simple recipe, it is almost hard to have someone help.  But, since I had carrots and mushrooms that needed to be used, Joshua help me wash and cut those up and we added them into the pot, too. Otherwise, it is the matter of opening a can, and putting everything in the cooking dish. It is a great EASY recipe although we all thought it was a bit bland. Next time I would add onion, potatoes, and some other seasonings.