Orrechiette With "Eat Your Veggies" Turkey Bolognese
I told my kids tonight that they were going to eat some "little ears" for dinner. They were so excited, for a minute I was almost worried. But then, I realized my kids knew me too well. There's been many a time when my boys, most of the time my oldest, has asked me, "What are we having for dinner?!" and I have replied with a grin, "Oh, just some ladybug wings with jellyfish sauce," or "Monster toes with braised tongue" and after their initial, "Really?!? No!!!" I get the, "That's NOT what we're having for DINNER! You're funny Mommy!" So tonight, they had me going. But for only a second. Then I knew that they weren't really keen to eat any body parts. They were just playing along with my game.
But here's something they didn't know. Mommy had another trick up her sleeve. Hidden veggies. Daddy was working late and it was just the three of us! I can't do the hidden veggie thing often anymore. First, there's the guilt factor. I WANT my kids to know what they are eating so that they get used to the different flavours and textures of a variety of vegetables. But having a picky almost five year old who dislikes most vegetables can be frustrating. VERY frustrating. So much that you do what you have to do. Which leads me to a good story...
I went through a phase awhile back where I was constantly hiding vegetables in a variety meals and baked goods. And I mean constantly. It got so bad that my husband started to complain. The last straw was the spinach brownies I produced from a cookbook put out by a well known comedian's wife. You know who I'm talking about. Well, he took a bite and instantly exclaimed, "What's in these?! Oh yuck! COME ON!" That was the end of the spinach brownies.
So, I've gotten better and I limit the hiding of veggies to things like pastas and sauces with meat. A lot of them call for finely diced vegetables anyway. I just happen to throw them in the food processor a little longer than called for. Some habits are just too hard to break.