A healthy, low-carb and super quick meal

Yesterday was my husband’s 47th b-day and I wanted to cook him a special meal.  However, we sort of celebrated the night before with a meal that was also pretty heavy-pasta, cake and ice cream, the works.  So last night, to kick off a healthy new year for him, I made Rachael’s Gutsy Red Pepper Gazpacho.  I decided that we needed a low-carb meal that was full of nutrients.  It was truly delicious, even though I modified it a bit.  I omitted the jalapenos and added about 1/2 cup of cilantro.  The dish was ready in about 10 minutes and made a fantastic first course.

Why I though my kids would eat this is beyond me.  But that was the reason I left out the jalapenos, just in case I could convince them it tastes like pizza (which it doesn’t).  I immediately got a round of “iiwwwweeees” when they saw it.   I didn’t serve this with chips like Rachael suggests, because I knew my kids would go for the chips and eat nothing else.

So to keep the family interested and still make it a special meal, I had my kids help me make stuffed mushrooms, which I remember enjoying as a kid.  We used a very basic combination of chopped shallots, garlic and mushroom stems, sauteed in EVOO with a little breadcrumb and cheese and chopped parsley.  We mixed this all together with a little more EVOO, stuff the large white button mushrooms and stuck them in the oven at 350 F for a half hour.

While those cooked, I just made a plain breaded chicken breast with a squeeze of lemon and steamed broccoli served with a pat of butter and lemon.  I have noticed that squeezing a little lemon over broccoli really awakens the flavor and takes it from being boring to full of taste.

This meal was a little all over the place but the point is, it was fun for everyone to partake in the preparation and I knew with the old standbys of chicken and broccoli my picky eater would have something he could eat.  We still had to lure him into eating the broccoli, which he usually enjoys, by showing him how fun it is to eat “trees”, but once he had one floret, he went back and had three others.  I really think the fact that he saw his older sister eat a piece convinced him that it was safe to try.

It is sometimes frustrating when the picky eaters won’t eat what you work so hard to prepare, but it is even more frustrating when they run away from the table screaming because there is nothing in sight that they will even taste.  Last night my attitude was, “I want them at the table with us for this special night” so I made a few things I knew everyone would enjoy, even if my husband and I ate the centerpiece alone.

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