As a parent of three young children, one of my biggest daily challenges is helping them with the habits, attitudes and orientation toward food that will carry them through life. Before I had kids, I thought that would be simple. I have always loved to cook, and I grew up eating fresh vegetables and fruits, so I naively thought they would love the same healthy foods as me. How wrong I was. To my shock and dismay, putting good food in front of them not only didn’t work, it often put their eating habits into reverse. As my daughter’s vocabulary progressed, she went from “Ewww:” to “This tastes yucky” and eventually “Julian, don’t eat that! There’s green stuff in there!!” As my children grew older, their opinions about food grew stronger. Admittedly, food fatigue and frustration settled in and I realized that I had to find alternatives. I tried everything imaginable, from making cute-looking “fun” meals to chopping vegetables up into teeny, tiny pieces. These were labor intensive and unsuccessful meals, ultimately. Then came my first personal breakthrough: vegetable purees – a time-honored device that worked wonders with my kids through the non-intimidating foods they already loved. That personal triumph became the impetus for my book Deceptively Delicious. But even after my initial progress, I knew there was more to nutrition and healthful eating than just pureed veggies. And like all things concerning my children, I wanted to do more for them. So I continued my food adventure: a search for more healthy options, fresh and rich ingredients and always – ALWAYS – delicious flavor.
I love tomato soup with grilled cheese. My children, predictably, won’t touch tomato soup. But when I add some mini turkey meatballs, they’ll eat “meatball” soup with no problem.
As for the grilled cheese, the bean spread under the melted cheese makes this a really satisfying meal. I have also served these sandwiches as little appetizers, especially when my vegetarian friends come for dinner.
Hands down, this is my favorite chicken dish in the world. It is juicy and rich-tasting, yet light and lemony. What a combination!
I had to include this family favorite. No, it is not approved by Joy Bauer. But it’s very important that we all feel we can indulge (in moderation) once in a while. I cut these in half for my kids and we all share them.
Excerpted from Double Delicious courtesy of Harper Collins.