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What's For Dinner?

Christine Coppa

My mom friend, Amy, and I often BBM each other with notes like: “Lily ate Cheerios and a banana for dinner.” My response: “JD had a (one) chicken finger, a tree of broccoli and 12 pieces of watermelon—is that enough? Amy had us over for dinner last week and we both sounded like a broken record: “One more bite. Eat this—then you can play. Half-a-bite?” Our kids are hardly babies, but every now and then we admit to spoon-feeding, just to get calories in. As a working single mom, there are definitely days where I come home with JD at 6 P.M. (beds not made + toys everywhere) and have no desire to cook. If I was single—I wouldn’t. I’d eat a bowl of cereal, make a PB&J—or have a martini with extra green olives—or let’s get real, eat sushi out somewhere in NYC. But, I’m a mom and I need to (try to) fix a balanced meal every night. After the jump, I’ll share my go-to, easy, quick meal that JD will always, without fail, eat.

Cavatelli-Broccoli-Peas. It all lives in my freezer at all times. I’m talking about a bag of cavatelli (this is a type of pasta, typically about 1¼ inches long, with a rolled edge and off-white in color). I’m all about steamed, fresh veggies and I usually make a big batch of carrots, broccoli and green beans on the weekend to use during the crazy week, but in a pinch I rely on frozen broccoli florets and frozen peas.

While the water boils I make a simple dinner salad: Crunchy romaine, black olives, cherry tomatoes and garbanzo beans (for protein) tossed in olive oil, fresh lemon, vinegar and a pinch of garlic powder.

Next, I microwave the veggies and by this time throw the cavatelli (which takes 6 minutes to cook). Drain pasta and toss back into pot. Add veggies. Add olive oil and start low flame—mix quickly. Sprinkle Pecorino-Romano cheese and a pinch of onion salt on top. Serve with a side of salad (JD always wants seconds on salad).

I’ve served this meal twice in a week and leftovers for lunch. What can I say? It’s easy, healthy and I know my son will eat it. Sometimes, I don’t feel like negotiating bites. Sometimes I call grilled cheese and leftover, steamed veggies dinner (it’s fine). Read: Sunday Sauce: Traditions Matter To Kids

What is your go-to easy meal, you know your child will eat? Have a nice weekend! Party, pool, beach, Warhol in our future! Woo! :p

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