Friday, June 15, 2012

re-inventing lunch: dip flowers

Our lunches had become awfully redundant.   They were fairly nutritious, but very much the same thing, over and over and over.  Sandwiches.  Some kind of fruit (usually seasonal).  Cheese sticks.  Kombucha.  And the next day, it would be the same thing.

I'm ashamed to say, the sandwiches were almost always the same: almond butter.

Now don't get me wrong, this is a perfectly nice lunch.  But every single day?  Bor-ing.  To credit my kids, they never really complained.  But I had a feeling they were losing interest.  We desperately needed to perk up our daily lunch fare.

A few weeks ago, I came across the idea of serving Hummus Flowers.  Frankly, I think it's pure genius.  Except that I knew my crew wouldn't buy into the hummus thing.  I love hummus.  My husband loves hummus.  Our oldest likes it alright, and our daughter adores it.  But the middle boys?  Forget about it.

So here's what we do.  I set out an assortment of vegetables, cheesesticks, fruits, and crackers.  Pretty much what we have on hand, with a heavy emphasis on vegetable choices.  (Summertime will help so much with this!)  Then I set out an assortment of "dips."  We've tried cultured sour cream, almond butter, kefir cheese, kefir cheese ranch dip, homemade ketchup, mayonnaise, and of course hummus.  

The dip (or dips, I'm perfectly fine with triple-centered flowers, for example) goes in the center of the plate, and around it, you build a flower.  It's as simple as that.  Be creative, or be boring.  It's up to you.

Of course, you don't have to dip everything into the, well, dip.  Personally, I'm not keen on the idea of strawberries and hummus, for example.

Let me tell you...this has been so fun!  The boys all really get into building their flower, and this week...this week, I saw a sight I never imagined I would see.  My 6-year-old actually ate broccoli.  Write it down, people.

I've so enjoyed watching my pickiest eaters getting excited about vegetables.  And while I suppose this should be considered Playing With His Food, I had to smile when my sons today constructed bridges, volcanoes with lava, and of course, broccoli trees.  

And they ate everything they served themselves.

Truly amazing.

So there it is: lunch, re-invented.  Call it art, call it sculpture, call it play.  I call it fun, different, and nourishing.  And that's more than good enough for me.


Mama said...

Wow! What a superb idea!

Anonymous said...

That sounds so great, Mindy! I've been in a definite food-rut lately. It is so hard to be creative when you're just hanging on. You did great! I will have to think about how I can reinvent our meals! :-) Traci