Three People, Three Dinners

I promised myself when we started this dietary change that I would resist making each of us a separate dinner. So far I’ve been able to keep that promise…but not tonight.

You see, tonight was supposed to be leftover night. I had a soccer game and the girls had American Idol. Well, my plans didn’t come to fruition and there weren’t really a lot of leftovers in the fridge. We could go with quiona salad that was a week old (pass), leftovers from our failed first attempt with tofu (pass), and something we couldn’t quite identify. So, no leftovers and more time than I anticipated meant cooking.

Right from the start I had it in my mind I wanted to make a tart. Why? I have no clue, but I settled on a neat looking recipe from The Accidental Vegetarian for a carmelized onion and mustard tart. Well, the Picky Eater doesn’t eat eggs and wanted some leftover couscous and a sandwich. Child opted for leftover homemade chicken nuggets from last night, some veggie nuggets, and maybe some vegetables.

Aside from the Kid’s meal, the Picky Eater’s food was the easiest. I sauted some portabello slices with onion, and then put it on a nice fresh bread with Swiss cheese. I toasted the final product and served with the couscous.

My tart was not so easy. Let me just say that pastry crusts and I have an uneasy relationship. The initial product never looks or feels like they say it should in the books. It never rolls right for me and I end up patching it together to hide my mistakes (see the picture looks pretty…right???). Well, I compounded my problem by putting the wet ingredients in before I should’ve and not letting the crust rest enough. So it looked ok, but the crust just wasn’t pleasing.

The filling, though, was great. Three onions caramelized with butter and canola oil, crushed garlic, eggs, and heavy cream. Oh, and some Dijon mustard. Let’s face it, I could throw those ingredients on the floor and they’d probably still taste good.

So, even though this blog is really supposed to be about the Picky Eater and the challenge of feeding her, tonight ended up being about all of us having something different and mine ending up the least like what I wanted (DAMN YOU PASTRY CRUST!).

So, faithful reader, what is it you do on those evenings when everyone has a taste for something different? Do you give in and take the path of least resistance (something the kid picks, probably out of a cardboard box)? Or, do you climb the mountain and try to accommodate everyone? If you do that, who ends up suffering — the cook or everyone else?

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  • Ellen  On May 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Greg and I each forage for our own food on nights like you describe. Since he’s pescetarian and I’m definitely a meat eater (for health reasons, strangely) who doesn’t eat pasta or grains (or dairy for that matter), it’s sometimes hard to figure out something that works for both of us.

    Usually what I do is buy a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods or some other meat I roast and then just try to pair it with whatever he’s having. If he’s having pasta with red sauce, I add the red sauce to my chicken that I’ve heated with some garlic and a red wine reduction. If he’s eating enchiladas, I heat the chicken or carne asada with a little of the enchilada sauce and some veggies.

    And the tart: WAAAY too ambitious for a school night. Bet it tasted good though!

  • mrr  On May 27, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Where’s the category for yelling: “This is what I made for dinner! If you don’t like it, you can go to bed hungry!”
    And I thought pastry came from the freezer. I once had a neighbor who claimed she made it from scratch, but I never witnessed the process.

  • sdmcclurg  On May 27, 2010 at 6:11 am

    @mrr…a fine question. I think I’m just a pushover.

  • Barb  On May 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I still have not figured out how to make a good crust. I opt to purchasing one already made. The tart does sound good though. We I was young, we ate what was made or figured out something for ourselves.

  • Jane a.k.a. Picky Eater  On May 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    The sandwich was amazing. Just for the record, it had fresh spinach on it. It is a definite do again. As for Scott’s tart, it did look just like the picture, but better.

  • sdmcclurg  On May 27, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    @Ellen…was a free range rotisserie chicken? I mean did it wander in the front yard of Whole Foods and there was your dinner, or did pay some guy to bring it to the store through the backdoor? Won’t someone think of the chickens??

  • Ellen  On May 27, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Yep, free range rotisserie chicken, the reason I pony up the cash at Whole Paycheck instead of the closer, more affordable Henry’s. However, they just reduced the cost so it’s not as big a sticker shock. As long as I eat all of it and use the carcass to make chicken stock, it’s actually a good deal.

    Wish I could go veg, but it leaves me very sick and very fat, even though I eat beans and plenty of veg these days.

  • sdmcclurg  On May 28, 2010 at 6:30 am

    @Ellen…there was a very nice HuffPo post about fat and protein passed on by a friend that you can see on FB. You might be interested.

    And there is nothing wrong with meat!


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