Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday, picky kids, and a recipe

Chicken Burrito---recipe at bottom

How it went: first week was a success, huge!  I've never been a big menu planner, and I'm seeing the error of my ways.  Having that list to turn to each day at 5pm has lifted a burden I never realized was there. Usually 5pm is the worst time of day.  When the kids were little we called it the "witching hour."  Everyone was cranky and I was pulling out hair to think up something to cook.  It was really handy on evenings that we had events. The only switching we did was to do the chicken burritos on Sunday because we had a portion of chicken that needed to be eaten.  Also, we stuck to the plan because it all looked good, and to only ate out once.

Monday
B: Cereal, Grapefruit (must eat 15 pound bag of grapefruit!)
L: Chef's salad
D: Steak*, baked potato, broccoli
*How we do steak: we get our beef from a farmer in bulk to freeze; we pull a decent sized steak for the 4 of us so that we are each only eating a palm-sized portion.

Tuesday
B: Veggie juice, oatmeal, grapefruit.
L: Leftover burritos
D: Veggie burgers, homemade sweet potato fries, fruit

Wednesday
B: Cereal, fruit
L: Choice of tuna salad or turkey sandwich, carrot sticks, apples
D: Soup and bread

Thursday
B: Breakfast burritos (egg and salsa) fruit
L:Choice of tuna salad or turkey sandwich, carrot sticks, apples
D: Tilapia, brown rice, spinach salad

Friday
B: Cereal, fruit
L: Spinach Salad w/ turkey
D: Grilled cheese, fruit, veggie sticks (one kid to a party)

Saturday
B: Whole grain waffles, yogurt, fruit
L: Potluck at Pinewood Derby!
D: Out

Sunday
B: Sausage, egg and toast.
L: Making our own egg rolls
D: Leftovers, fend-for-yourself

Easy Chicken Burrito Recipe
Ingredients:
1 can Campbells Fiesta Cheddar soup
1 can milk
1 can diced tomatoes (use the kind with chiles for more heat)
2 slices pepper jack cheese (or any cheese you want to use up)
1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut up into small pieces
1 small diced onion
Salt
1 Tbsp oil
Cilantro

Cook up your chicken pieces and onion in a hot skillet with just a little oil to prevent sticking.  This should only take a couple of minutes.  In a separate cook pot, cook your soup and milk as directed.  Add the diced tomatoes.  When you've reached a simmer, add your cheese.  You could also add any other type of seasonings such as salsa, chili powder or hot sauce to kick up the heat.  Add half the sauce to the chicken.  Scoop the filling into burrito shells and roll up.  Place in a greased baking dish.  Cover the burritos with remaining sauce.  Bake in a 350 oven for just 10-15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.  The great thing is you can add things or amend to your tastes: ground turkey or beef would be great, peppers, chiles, spices.  Really you can't mess it up!

Picky kid tip of the day:
My kids have gone through varying degrees of pickiness.  My husband and I have spent the last four years undoing the chicken-nugget-addiction we created with our older kid.  I will try to add things that worked for us to add to your bag of tricks.
We love Tex-Mex type foods because everything is made with only a few basic components: meat, cheese, rice, beans, tortillas, chips, lettuce, salsa and other accompaniments.  When I do a dish like this, I typically reserve some of the cooked meat to the side and let the boys assemble their own concoctions, making sure to have at least two things available that we know for sure they like.  What I like about this is they are still more or less eating the same thing we are eating, and getting used to the same family of flavors.  Additionally, they seem happier when they feel they have a bit more control over what they are eating.  In this instance, I actually had a bit of cooked ground beef and not enough chicken for everyone, so I heated the beef and allowed them to make their own burritos without the sauce.  My younger guy who likes things plain, just ate beef in a tortilla, though we encouraged him to try a taste of the sauce. My older guy had a burrito with meat as well, but took a small portion of the sauce, as well as some salsa, to dip into.  We've found with our kids that this approach greatly reduces their stress, and we have an enjoyable meal.

Happy eating!




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