Dinner can be one of the most challenging things in a parent’s day. After all you’ve just spent an entire day working, chasing after kids, dealing with drudgery and now you have to face feeding people. The wine only works for you. If you happen to have four kids – one of which insists on inspecting his food, refusing to eat half of it – it can also be a challenge to your budget, pallet and patience.
Did you know that each year the world produces about 1,477 pounds of edible food for every person on the planet, but only about half of that is ever eaten? Unilever challenged us to get our kids cooking, using one ingredient five was as part of Project Sunlight: Summer Sunlight Activities, helping us reduce the amount of food we wasted. Who knew it would cut down on the drama too.
So how do you make dinner ‘doable’ and leftovers disappear? Put the kids to work!
A Week of EGGceptional Dinners!
Inspired by the LAYdies (our rented backyard chickens) we chose eggs as our ‘One Ingredient’.
Phoning it in, and having breakfast for dinner every night sounded good to me. The kids weren’t going for that one though. So it was off to the grocery store, and into our garden with a list of yummy stuff to get in order to make these dinners EGGciting. (The egg puns just keep coming. They practically hatch themselves.)
Our menu for the week:
- Monday – Leek & Potato Frittata
- Tuesday – Egg Fajitas with Fresh Tortillas
- Wednesday – Roman Eggs with Garlic Crostini
- Thursday – Bacon & Egg Potato Salad (yes, it makes a meal)
- Friday – Spaghetti Carbonara
And my little Sous Chefs helped with it all – even the teen. More than feeding us, or even getting the kids excited about cooking and trying new foods, this challenge brought us all together in the process of feeding each other. The drama (most of it, he still wasn’t a fan of the chard) over dinner melted away. We laughed, tasted, danced around the kitchen and cleaned our plates.
Want to give the challenge a try? Do it! It’s easy. I’d love to see what your family comes up with. We’re up for a new challenge in the kitchen.
Here are recipes for two of the dishes we made. Nearly all of our meals were made better by products from the Unilever family including Knorr, Bertolli, and Hellman’s – which the LAYdies were happy to hear is committed to transitioning its entire product line to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2020. Yeah for happy chickens!
- 1 package Knorr Leek Soup Mix
- 1/2 cup of Hellman's Olive Oil Mayonnaise
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese (shredded)
- 1 pound red potatoes
- 1/4 cup yellow onion (diced)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups Swiss Chard (or spinach) roughly chopped
- freshly cracked black pepper - to taste
- Preheat Broiler.
- In a 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add potatoes and sauté over medium-high heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Cover skillet, lower heat to medium-low, and continue to cook stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender - about about 3 minutes more. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much oil as you can.
- Add onions to skillet (use extra oil if needed) increase to medium-high heat and sauté 3-4 minutes until translucent. Remove onion, layer potatoes back in the pan forming a 'crust', sprinkle over onions, chard and half of the Gruyere cheese.
- In a large glass bowl, whisk together eggs, Leek soup mix and mayonnaise.
- Slowly pour egg mixture evenly over potatoes. Cook at medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Occasionally lift the edges of the egg around the pan to let the uncooked eggs flow under the cooked portions. Take the heat down to medium, cover and cook until the eggs are almost completely set. The top and center should still be moist after 3-5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, take off the lid and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes until the top is golden and the cheese melted. Let cool for a minute or two before slicing and serving.
- Adding in roasted red peppers, garlic and some basil can really up the flavor.
- 1 jar Bertolli Tomato Basil Sauce (or your own homemade marinara - 3 cups)
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk (whole, skim or fat free)
- 1cup shredded Fontina cheese
- 1/4 of fresh basil (minced)
- cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 (Fahrenheit). Brush six ramekins (10-ounce) with olive oil. Evenly divide marinara sauce into each. Crack one egg into each. Pour milk over eggs and sprinkle with cheese.
- Place into oven on center rack. Bake until the whites of the eggs are cooked - around ten minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil, cracked black pepper and extra cheese.
- Serve with garlic rubbed crostini in place of toast for that true Italian taste.