It all starts with the foundation.
Build a house with no foundation and it’s going to fall.
Starting with a little primer before the makeup makes for a smooth palette.
That He-Man Castle of Grayskull you just built out of blocks? A few good layers of those blocks on the bottom will eliminate the possible tantrum of falling blocks later. (Yes, my kids are really watching those old episodes right now.)
And Spanx. Oh inventor of Spanx, you lucky dog you. You knew when you came up with this fantastic idea, that it’s all about the foundation. Once that is set, the rest goes on nice and smooth.
(*For all you guys out there who are like, huh? Spanx are like the modern woman’s version of a girdle, except totally low-key.)
My point is this: You need something solid to start with when planning a family dinner. A foundation. A rock you can depend on onto which other things are built. The foundation which makes the rest of dinner goes smoothly.
Which brings me to stir-fry.
Yes- I know most of you out there probably know how to make a stir-fry. And this post is not necessarily to show you how to do this (though a recipe will certainly follow.) It’s the idea that you can start with a staple, in this case whole wheat noodles, and build from there to make your meal adult AND child friendly and therefore move away from the short order cook routine. Case in point- this tofu and vegetable stir-fry. Did my kids go for the veggies? No. Did I encourage them? Yes. Might they try it the next time they see it? Maybe. Like I said, sometimes it takes 17 Bites. While it may feel like a while, the route to get there should not be torture. Tonight, my kids were happy as clams eating the one meal that I made for the family. One dinner. All eating. That’s my idea of success.
1 package whole wheat noodles
small head broccoli, chopped
1 red pepper, cored and sliced
2 small zucchinis halved and sliced
4 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic
1 T minced ginger
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 T sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a few T salt. Add noodles. Follow package directions for cooking times.
In a large saute pan, heat 2 T olive oil. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add ginger and stir. Add broccoli and carrots and saute until starting to brown a bit, 3-4 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers and cook 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth and cook until almost dissolved and carrots are soft, about 5 minutes more. Add hoisin sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce and stir for another minute. Remove from heat. Serve over noodles.