Everyday Mom's Meals: When All Else Fails, Trick 'Em

Friday, October 3, 2014

When All Else Fails, Trick 'Em

How many of you struggle to get more veggies into your kids? I know there are many of you, because I get so many emails from parents who are "banging their heads" against walls trying to figure out how. I feel for you. I really do. And I know you're saying "But Mrs. E., your kid eats everything and anything under the sun; and you'd be right. But I can still have empathy because I watch friends and loved ones struggle with the picky eater fight all the time. So while it's not something I have to deal with on a daily basis, I understand, I really do.

One of the most common responses I have to this question is "When all else fails. Trick 'em." I know. I know. We shouldn't lie to our kids. We shouldn't deceive them. But I'm sorry, when you are on night five in a row of Junior not taking a single bite of anything green, and you're hoping just a few bites of vegetables find their way inside their little bodies, I'm of the thinking, don't make it harder than you have to. And if that means you hide the green stuff under pasta and homemade cheese sauce, to make it go down a little easier, I say go for it!

This can easily be a meat-free main dish, like I served it. Or it would make a delicious side dish too. Have some leftover rotisserie chicken? Chop that up and add it for a little extra protein. It's such a versatile recipe, you can do a million things with it, each yummier than the last.

If your kids turn their noses up at anything green, this might just be a dream come true. How can they complain about anything, no matter what color it is, when it's mixed with something that looks and tastes like mac n cheese...one of their favorites? You're welcome. 

Baked Cheesy Broccoli and Shells
1 lb. medium shell pasta
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. milk
1 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
16 oz. frozen broccoli florets
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat broiler. Spray a 8 x 11 baking dish with nonstick spray. Cook shells according to package directions, to al dente. In a large skillet melt butter. Add flour. Stir and cook about 2 minutes. Slowly add milk. Whisk until smooth. Cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Add 2 cups cheese and stir until combined. For best results, stir cheese in a figure 8 pattern. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low/warm. Drain pasta well. Add pasta and broccoli to cheese sauce. Mix well. Turn out into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese and extra black pepper. Cook under broiler for 3-4 minutes until cheese melts and golden brown.

Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 3, 2014
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

1 comment:

Veggie Mama said...

This would have to be one of my favourite things to eat. Yours looks so good!