Mom, this is not a dinner!
That's what my 8 year old son said to me last night when I gave him a small bowl of noodles (whole wheat ones) with reduced-fat pesto sauce, a hard-boiled egg, cubed mango and carrots with hummus for dinner.
So I asked, what do you think dinner is?
And he said, when you cook something all together.
My response, well, this is a potluck dinner.
He then asked, what's a potluck dinner?
So I said, when you eat a bunch of random foods together.
His response, oh, okay then.
And that was that.
Now, the above mentioned meal is not my typical suppertime offering but we (myself and my three children) did not get home from soccer practice until late and baths and homework had yet to be done. Plus, there were some people working in our yard who needed my attention. So I took stock of what was in the fridge and made sure the meal had all the necessary components -carbs, a little fat, some protein, fruit and vegetables - and called it a day.
Sometimes when I know I'll have no time to "cook something all together" in the evening, I make sure to plan ahead and throw something together in my slow cooker that morning. Or I'll defrost stew that I've stashed in the freezer for nights like these. But yesterday threw me some unexpected curveballs and other than PB&J sandwiches (which my daughter says is a lunch food; not dinner - I can never win!), a potluck dinner was the best I could do.
I'm sure I am not the only one with nights like these so I wonder, what creative liberties have you taken in the kitchen to feed your family?
Leslie Fink, MS, RD
Cooking, Family, Food