Use Your Noodles!

So, the Mayans were wrong. A few weeks have passed, and most of us are still here. Some say the prophecy was simply misconstrued: Maybe the big change was not to be the end of the world but the beginning of some sort of new enlightenment. I certainly hope so. Of course, there will always be “Chicken Littles” among us. I’ve even had two under my roof.  I mean, you should see my son when I serve broccoli, and my daughter when I serve peas. It’s truly as if the world is about to implode.

Fortunately, I figured out a way around the “my kids hate veggies” cliché about a year ago, and the kiddos’ veggie consumption has improved. This is not the sort of thing where I mash up leafy greens into microscopic particles and sneak these into our spaghetti sauce. (Full disclosure: I do sometimes use this Ninja approach, courtesy Mrs. Jerry Seinfeld.) My own method is much simpler. It’s noodles.

Truth be told, my kids don’t actually hate veggies.  My daughter loves edamame. My son can appreciate some good green beans. They just don’t go for a lot of variety, and that’s not good. A bottle of multivitamins will go only so far. Their pediatrician told me there are trace vitamins and minerals our bodies need and can get only when we eat a variety of foods. Fortunately, like their mother, my kids are starch-a-holics. To them, noodles are like manna from heaven. That’s why I have used my noodle by using noodles!

My husband bought me a lovely pasta-maker last Christmas, and I use it all the time now to make all kinds of starchy treats. Pasta is so inexpensive and so easy to make, and it makes everything taste better. One of my most-used recipes was my grandma’s, and it’s easier than tying a shoe: a couple of eggs, a couple of teaspoons of milk, a half-teaspoon of salt, and enough flour to make firm dough. After drying these noodles for an hour or so, I add them to all kinds of soups or sometimes just toss them with olive oil and sautéed fill-in-the-blank. They make just about any vegetable palatable to my kids. Today, I’m throwing chicken and veggies in the crock pot. My kids won’t complain because they see the noodles drying. They’ve been eyeballing them as if I have a chocolate cake cooling on the counter—not caring one whit that there are veggies on the counter waiting to be cut, which (history has shown) they will eat because each spoonful will be noodle-packed, too. Viva la pasta! Viva la veggies!

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