Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Rare Occasion Indeed

If you have this image in your head of our three children sitting politely at the table, grinning, mmmm-ing and loving everything I make for dinner, let me clarify a thing or two.  There are very, very, very few meals that everyone in our house enjoys.

Jamey is my biggest fan and, thankfully, likes everything I make (or at least convinces me he does).  Unless I use too much cilantro in something.  He's not a fan of too much cilantro.  Sam, at age 8, is my most finicky eater.  He's very hard to please these days.  Sadie keeps me guessing.  Things I think she won't like, she loves.  Things I think she'll love, she doesn't.  But, overall, she's a good sport and queen of raw vegetables.  Miriam isn't a huge fan of vegetables yet, especially the green ones.  So she usually picks out the things she likes and leaves the rest on her plate.  Unless there are cooked carrots or raw cucumbers.  Those, she eats.

But I am a stubborn, stubborn woman and it is more important to me that my kids try different foods a lot (and over and over) so they learn to eat a healthy variety of vegetables than it is that they don't complain at dinner.  I mean, it's not that I like to hear the complaining.  I don't.  In fact, we've developed a system that works pretty well.  Any complaining or arguing at dinner is a 10 minute earlier bed time.  By the time they're headed for bed 20 minutes earlier than normal they hush up and eat.  We don't require they clean their plates.  We just want them to give the meal a decent chance.

All this said...the other night we had a meal that included lots of vegetables that everyone (again, I say everyone!) liked.  I think it was the cheese.  Or maybe the corn (which was sweet, sweet, sweet).  Or maybe it was the tortillas.  Whatever it was, it worked.  We had it two nights in a row and everyone ate it happily.

Super Stuffed Tortillas (adapted some from Simply in Season)
How much filling you put in each tortilla will determine how much this recipe makes.  The original recipe says it serves 6-8, but I was able to use 20 medium-sized tortillas over two nights (saving a couple each night for Jamey to take to work for lunch).  The recipe below includes my changes and should last you two nights.  The filling should be kept separate until ready for use the second night or can be stored in the fridge a few days or frozen until you're ready for round two.

1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 medium-sized zucchini (seeds sliced out), diced in small pieces
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups cooked black beans
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup salsa
4 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided in two (unless you'll be making all 20 at once)
20 medium-sized flour (or corn) tortillas

Saute onion, green pepper and garlic in a couple tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or frying pan with a lid until they begin to soften.  Add the corn, zucchini and cumin and cooked vegetables until they're tender but not browned.  Add the black beans, broth and salsa and cook, covered, until the vegetables are soft.  Remove the lid and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Or, if you're pressed for time, pour the vegetables in a large colander to drain.

Transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside.  Wash or wipe out the frying pan until dry.  Over medium heat, lay a tortilla in the pan and sprinkle shredded cheese onto half the tortilla and place a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup vegetables on top of the cheese.  Fold over and repeat with a second tortilla bedside it.  Heat the tortillas until nicely browned on each side, flipping carefully.  Keep on a warm plate until ready to serve. Pin It


  1. I think this is what I will make for lunch. Hopefully I have some cooked black beans in the freezer...

    Thank you!

  2. These sound delicious! I think you're on the right track with how you're handling dinner time. We always made our son at least taste the veggies on his plate. If he didn't care for them, he didn't have to eat them all, but at least he tried them. Then, down the road we'd try it again. He'll be 11 years old this month and loves all types of veggies now. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago I had sauteed our first squash and zucchini from the garden with a little onion, garlic and EVOO and as he was (voluntarily) eating the leftovers for lunch the next day asked me, "Mom, why don't most kids like vegetables? They're so good." I love that NOT liking vegetables is a foreign idea to him. Keep up what you're doing and it will pay off for you. :0)

  3. Sounds very yummy. Oh, and I think every mom needs a stubborn streak. :)

  4. So I made it for lunch and LOVED it. So did Brad. The kids weren't thrilled but they did eat them. Thanks so much for bringing this recipe to my attention. I will definitely be making it again!

  5. It's so nice when EVERYONE likes what you make, isn't it?
    This recipe sounds so yummy; I can't imagine not liking it~

  6. Yummy. They look good! I'm sure I would enjoy eating at your house. May I come sometime? ;-) (Of course, you know that is impossible since I am on the other side of the continent...AND in another country)...but, it's the thought that counts, right. :)

    Just stopping by to visit before I go *offline* for the next month or so. Have a fabulous summer with your family! Enjoy these beautiful days.

    Many blessings,

  7. Another great use for zucchini! I love it!

  8. That looks yummy! I'm going to have to try this!

    Your family sounds like mine with the food preferences. As I was reading this, I was thinking, "that sounds like my child #1, and that sounds like #2".

    Thanks for sharing this. :)


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