I really enjoyed Laura’s authenticity last week in her post about Dinner Table Games. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one whose children come to the table whining and can’t stay seated! We highly value the practice of dining together in our family as well, but at times I have to admit I stare at the three rambunctious boys across the table—all embarking upon their own escapade of poor manners—and my eyes glaze over because I don’t know where to begin (and I’m shocked that more hasn’t penetrated their little minds by now)!
It truly is a time in which consistency is key… and unfortunately after a long day caring for the kids and cooking a nice meal, I just can’t train in my own strength. Thankfully I don’t have to do it on my own, but it is refining nonetheless!
As Laura alluded to, it is much easier to make sure your kids are excited about coming to the table for their dinners. Yet, I deeply want my kids to be adventurous eaters—and I want to eat like an adult! Sometimes I just pick my battles. Sometimes I come up with strategies. One trick that has worked for me is to make a grown-up meal for Travis and me, and “deconstruct” it for my boys. Here is one recipe I’ve created that seems to keep everyone happy:
Savory Poppyseed Crêpes
Sliced Beets (from a can or jar is fine)
Olive or Coconut Oil
1. Following a Crêpe Recipe (I follow Alton Brown’s recipe because he is a scientist and a chef, and I think he’s pretty great.), mix the crêpe ingredients together. You can do this in a blender, which is incredibly efficient when clean-up rolls around!
2. Put this in the fridge for at least an hour to let the gluten set.
3. Begin cooking the crêpes. You will need to flip frequently, so stay near the burner! If you’ve made these French pancakes before, you can cook the chicken at the same time.
4. Slice the chicken, and sauté in a pan with a drizzle of olive or coconut oil.
5. Slice the avocados.
6. Begin assembling: Down the center of a crêpe, place a thin layer of spinach, add several slices of chicken, a few slices of beets and avocados. Next, crumble some goat cheese over the top to add some creaminess.
7. Finally, drizzle some poppyseed dressing over the top.
8. Serve with a favorite side dish. Roasted sweet potatoes pair well with this. I chose to serve it with a side of butternut squash soup this week.
Okay… now for the kid “deconstruction” part! All you do is roll up a crêpe, and put the sides from above next to it! Maybe you’ll need to supplement with another veggie like carrots or peppers, but the ingredients are mostly the same, and the kids will be thrilled that they are having pancakes for dinner! Of course I allow a little drizzle of maple syrup to get those little feet running to the table! (Quick confession: I can only get one of my boys to eat beets so far!)
Another win: I always double the batch of crêpes so I can use them the next morning for blintzes or breakfast crêpes with berries. If you want to do this the morning before, it will save you the hour of waiting for the batter to set before you can make dinner.