Sometimes your personal commitment to healthier eating can be sidelined by the other people you have to cook for! With all due respect to significant others and kiddies, of course :)
This is a time for baby steps. No need to force kale on them at evey meal. "They are chips, damn it! EAT THEM!!"
How about switching noodles in your soup to lentils? I mean, don't tell them about it. Just try it. A nice, cozy, easy to make chicken soup....with the HUGE nutritional benefits of lentils. We all know that the noodles in chicken noodle soup are far from beneficial. So make this small, healthy change and see what happens. I'm not saying they won't notice!! But - your family may surprise you. Lentils taste great and feel even better. So full of amazing nutrients - fibre, B vitamins, zinc, iron and potassium. (these are all things most people are severely lacking, by the way. Just saying.)
Here is a recipe for you to start your "family experiment" with. The flavours are super mild, no other surprises for them. Just start with the lentil thing :)
**The spinach may throw them off even more than the lentils, so choose wisely. You may not want to add this at this time in the food evolution. DO NOT OVERWHELM THEM!
**If you have chicken leftover from a previous meal, just add it (1 cup shredded or chopped) at the end of the cooking time to heat it through. Although, cooking the chicken in the soup adds flavour.
Chicken Soup (with lentils...shhhhh....)
2 tablespoons butter
½ large onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth (may need more, depending on how "soupy" you want this)
1 cup French lentils
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
A couple of huge handfuls of organic baby spinach (optional)
(I spatter the word "organic" around in all recipes. If you can find/afford organic meats/produce then go for that. If not, don't stress about it. Promise?)
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Season the vegetables well with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the chicken. Cover and continue cooking for about 45 minutes (lentils to be softish.). Remove the chicken and put it on a plate to cool. Once cooled, use two forks to shred the chicken. Or cut it into pieces. Not with the forks. Grab a knife for this. Ahem.
NOW- Before you add the chicken at the end, you could blend this soup - a little or a lot. Personally, I like it as is. But, you know your family. What will be the most appealing approach? Return chicken to the pot. Add the spinach at this point, too. (if you are to be so daring, heeheehee). Stir and let sit for a couple of minutes to soften the spinach and warm it up. Taste and correct the seasoning. Don't be shy with the salt - we need salt.
If your family is already somewhat adventurous...add some fresh ginger with the veggies at the beginning (1 or 2 tablespoons, minced), or maybe some cilantro (1/4 cup chopped) at the end. Play around with some herbs and spices. Perhaps a squirt or two of Siracha chili sauce to add some heat?
Double the recipe next time, if they like it!
If they don't - all the more goodness for you :)