One of my biggest struggles is always dealing with what to feed my family for dinner. This is complicated by a few things - kids who don't all like the same things, an extremely picky husband, and the fact that said husband is rarely home for dinner, and I never know from one day to the next if he'll be eating with us or not. Add in the fact that I often have only a half hour or 45 minutes to make dinner, get everyone fed and get everything cleaned up, and you can see why my kids end up eating sandwiches, hot dogs or frozen waffles way more than I like. I do try to pair those with healthy side dishes like yogurt, applesauce or fruit, but I know that it's not the best solution.
One of my goals for 2008 is to try and get my family eating healthier. And I'd also like to try and get my kids to eat something other than the same 6 things every week for dinner. Last week I unearthed my crock pot and attempted a recipe that I have made in the past, slightly modified this time to decrease the time taken to prepare a side dish. Basically, we had chicken breasts and I added chopped potatoes to the crock pot instead of having to make mashed potatoes separately like we've done before. You see, my kids will eat mashed potatoes, but they do not like them chopped and cooked in the crock pot along with the chicken. But they will at least eat the chicken (usually), so they'll just have to (eventually) get used to the potatoes. But what I realized when I made this dish last week is that the crock pot idea worked wonderfully. It took just a little bit of preparation in the morning, then we had a hot dinner ready to go onto the table the moment we walked into the house that night. Plus, I could keep dinner warm until Ron got home so that he had a hot meal ready for him as well. I loved it!
So, I'm on the lookout for more recipes that we can use since I know that chicken and potatoes will get old real fast (especially if Ron and I are the only ones eating the potatoes). Keep in mind that I probably have one of the pickiest families around, and you'll understand why I have yet to find any other crock pot recipes out there that anyone other than I will actually eat. We're talking very basic here, people - no fancy ingredients or spices. Just keep it simple, quick and easy. Here's a few things to consider as well.
- The only vegetable that Hannah will put into her mouth is corn, and even then under great (and vocal) protest.
- Abby likes raw carrots but turns her nose up at anything resembling a cooked one.
- Ron will not eat anything with onions in it, or that has one spice in it that overshadows the others - yes, I know, he's weird. And he won't eat pot roast or any other 'stringy' meat.
- I've tried beef stew before but nobody except for me will eat any of it.
- Ron is a pretty strict 'meat and potatoes' kind of a guy - he won't eat much of anything else. He can't even stand rice.
- Abby likes rice, but Hannah will not eat more than a grain or two. Yes, that's a grain or two, not a bite or two... Sigh.
- We recently tried a new (non crock pot) recipe that I got from Karen's blog - a Parmesan chicken and noodle recipe that was great in theory, but which (no surprise here) nobody ate. I do think I may have screwed something up when I made it though, so I might have to try that one again. I definitely know that I made way too many noodles for the amount of chicken that I had.
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