It’s a personal challenge to see how my vegetables I can get kids to eat. Jumping on St. Patrick’s Day as a great opportunity to make “green food”, this turned into a super fun dinner party for my 7-year old and friends—with parents. With 10—TEN!—vegetables, it was a meal everyone enjoyed.
I set out the appetizer—Edamame Guacamole and green veggies—when they first arrived. The snap peas were a big hit with the kids, the other veggies not so much. I’ve discovered many kids are likely to eat the broccoli if it is steamed (soft but with a bite, never mushy) rather than raw. I steamed the appetizer broccoli with the Green Mac n’ Cheese broccoli.
For those who needed encouragement to eat their veggies, my daughter showed them the graham cracker Leprechaun house “constructions” supplies.
After they’d munched some veggies, they were allocated their construction supplies, including a “preview” of two M&M and two jellybeans to eat—yes, before dinner. It’s not realistic to expect them not to eat any candy while using the candy to make their leprechaun house. My daughter reminded them that those who ate more than the allocated share, would lose their leprechaun house constructing privilege to those who did follow the rules. It was pleasantly surprising that her friends followed the rules and everyone got to build their own leprechaun house.
with snap peas, green bell pepper and celery sticks, slightly steamed, broccoli chunks. This could also be a regular guacamole; simply mash an avocado with 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1/2 finely chopped tomato and 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion.
Chicken Breasts with Cilantro Pesto
Arugula and Cucumber Salad
Peel and cut a cucumber into bite-size pieces, toss with arugula (or spinach) and CMF Basic Salad Dressing (lime version)
- Make the Cilantro Pesto. Tightly seal and refrigerate
- Can prepare the Green Mac n’ Cheese and freeze so it need only be baked the day of the dinner party
- Prep the veggies for the appetizer
- Make Edamame Guacamole. Store in serving container, cover tightly and refrigerate.
- Make the CMF Salad Dressing (Lime version)
- Make Green Mac n’ Cheese (if it wasn’t made over the weekend)
- Remove Green Mac n’ Cheese from freezer
- Prep chicken breasts. Cut in half, and cut the thicker half horizontally so all pieces are a similar thickness. Toss chicken with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place on roasting pan.
- Prep salad. Peel and cut cucumber, toss cucumber pieces with arugula.
- Set up platter with veggies
- Set up “Leprechaun” house making station
1 1/2 hour before serving
- Preheat oven to 350. Put Mac n’ Cheese in Oven
- Remove Mac n’ Cheese from oven. Raise heat to 400 and put chicken breasts in oven for 15 – 18 minutes.
- While chicken is in the oven, finish prepping salad, tossing with salad dressing
- Remove chicken from oven, place a spoonful or two of pesto on each chicken breast and serve.
Cilantro 2 bunches
Green bell pepper
Skinless, boneless chicken breasts – 3 whole (6 half chicken breasts)
White cheddar – 4 cups
1 lb elbow macaroni
Green candy (M&Ms, apple licorice sticks, jellybeans