From the moment my kids began eating off of a dinner plate, I began to explain to them what the intention (or benefit) of the food was in front of them. Maybe I have been graced with good eaters by happenstance or maybe they actually listened. Now believe me, the broccoli “scrub brush” analogy didn’t always work, but ninety percent of the time they would eat at least half of their serving to “clean out their body”. At nine and eleven, they still love to impress me with their healthy choices (and beg me for TCBY in their next breath: they are no where near perfect and nor do I expect them to be).
So how do you cook a healthy (and quick) meal on those nights when you are getting home late from baseball and swim team practice, feeling like an Uber driver? And include vegetables with the carbohydrates and protein that they need? Try cooking my favorite go to soup! The main ingredient is Tolerant’s Organic Red Lentil Rotini. Not only does it taste like regular pasta, it also contains 21 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving. The only ingredient listed is non-GMO organic red lentils. That’s it! So if you family is gluten free, keep reading!
Begin by adding enough water to a pot for the amount of soup base you desire (I aim for at least two meals). I then add the desired amount of red lentil pasta and proceed to cook like regular pasta. When the pasta is cooked to desired tenderness (about 10 minutes), turn down to low but do not drain. The undrained water makes the perfect start for the base of the soup. Now add the organic “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base to the water. I usually add three tablespoons to six cups of water, but you can adjust to desired taste. Since I never cook with measuring spoons and rarely recipes, I just throw ingredients into the mix. However, to make it easier on you, I will list out quantities and seasoning below. While the pasta is cooking, either cook chicken breasts by boiling or pull apart a rotisserie chicken (I like to buy organic rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods). The last step is adding vegetables. Since it is summer, try adding fresh summer veggies like green beans, sugar snap peas, and yellow squash. Whether fresh or frozen, you want to make sure you pick vegetables that your kids will eat. And that’s it! I always make enough to serve again later in the week. My kids love this high protein complete meal after a day of activity. While you are enjoying this meal, talk to your kids why their bodies need veggies, protein, and carbohydrates. Let them know that vegetables provide essential vitamins like A, E, and C that heal their bodies, protect them from illnesses and helps them grow. Proteins are essential for building, repairing and maintaining muscles. And carbohydrates refuel their hardworking bodies for long lasting energy. I owe this way of thinking to my own dad, who always talked about healthy eating growing up. Thoughtful eating leads to healthier choices.
Swim Team Soup
– Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Rotini
– Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (about 3 tbs: adjust to taste)
– Shredded chicken breasts
– Organic frozen mixed vegetables (or any veggie)
– 1 tsp Thyme
– 1 tsp Parsley
– 1 tsp Garlic
– 1 tsp Celery Seasoning
– 1 tsp Rosemary (or 1/2 tsp if ground)
– Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste
Cook pasta for about 10 minutes, do not drain. Add chicken base, seasoning, chicken, and veggies. Since it is warmer now, I don’t serve piping hot.
For extra fun (or hassle), invite your kids to help! That was supposed to make you eye roll!