Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Distractions & Dinner Strata

Yesterday when I was on Twitter, Eating Well Magazine (@EatingWell) posted a link to 5 meatless meals for entertaining.  I was expecting the run-of-the-mill vegetarian lasagna, mac n'cheese, and tofu stir-fry.  Instead, they had a few interesting recipes, one of which was a Tomato & Spinach Dinner Strata.  Granted, it's similar to lasagna, with bread instead of noodles, but I liked the spin on a regular dish, and figured since it had bread, cheese, and sauce, Henry would be a fan. 

It was fairly easy to assemble, but you have to remember to factor in that it needs at least two hours to sit in the fridge before baking.  I followed the recipe pretty closely (see link above for recipe), but used cottage cheese instead of ricotta and muenster cheese instead of mozzarella (side-note: I think the ricotta was a better choice, I just happened to only have cottage cheese).  As it was baking, the smell was amazing, and since I baked it in a round 10-inch pan, it looked like deep-dish pizza.  Having to wait the 10-minutes of "stand time" really was a bit torturous (I was really hungry!). 

Anyway, the strata was finally ready, and I cut it up for Henry.  He happily took a few bites, and then noticed an open bag of pretzels on the table.  After that, he refused another bite of strata and only wanted pretzels.  It's frustrating how easily distracted he gets when he eats...unless he's eating cake or cookies.  I try to always remember to clear everything out of his sight-line, but sometimes it's impossible, and sometimes I think I shouldn't accomodate him so much (I mean in the real world there will be things he can't have, right?).  But then I'm stuck with the fact that he won't eat what I made for him...

Thoughts on this one?


  1. It looks amazing! And kids are kids. Mine, both 8, are still crazy eaters. I try. I promise I do. And they both eat raw spinach and other veggies. But they'd rather have a hot dog! Gross.

  2. I struggle feeding my little guy too. He's 2, so part of it comes with the terrible two's, the rest is I just gotta understand that maybe he isn't hungry. I can't force him to eat, it'll only get us both upset and frustrated.

    PS, i was referred to your site by Josh Rutta. You can visit my blog at

  3. I learned a very useful concept in a parenting class called "technical success." The idea is that if there is something simple we can do to prevent a problem, go ahead and do it and don't worry about "the real world." There will be plenty of problems out there that aren't so easy to solve. For example, I could drive myself crazy trying to teach my toddler not to touch my Ming vase (if I had one), or I could just put it where she can't reach it. In other words, don't feel bad about putting the pretzels away. If he's eating strata, it's a success!