For the last couple of years I have somewhat perfected how to make ONE meal but a meal that the whole family likes to eat. This took some time and patience, but I found recipes that I am able to do this with. Let me fill you in on why it was hard at first. It was hard because I like my plant foods, my husband still wants some animal protein from time to time (there may or may not be times where he screams out “I just want a piece of meat!” LOL), and then there are the kids. One child eats anything, and the other doesn’t want things messy or dishes all put together. So many opinions coming from the peanut gallery but I pushed forward and found a way to make it work and so far it’s working.
Getting my children in the kitchen as much as possible has definitely helped….A LOT! Along with other things I have done to help with picky eating, having the kids be a part of it is such an important part of eating.
So one thing I do is I try to come up with names of dishes that sound appealing to the foods my children already like. No tricking, it’s simply coming up with a name of a dish that the kids would find attractive and letting them see how it’s made and talk about the different ways to make one dish.
Here is the Taco Pizza recipe. This was the first time one of my kids ate organic ground turkey alone AND mixed into a dish. He is 7.5 and oversaw browning the meat (with me making sure if didn’t burn down the house). He also added in the taco seasoning and veggies. In all seriousness though, he is 7 so he is totally capable of handling this. Give your child something that helps you out and that is appropriate for their age. Toddlers are great at stirring, getting food out of the pantry or refrigerator, breading foods, scoop seasoning and dump into bowl, wash produce, get out silverware and place on the table, tear greens into pieces for salads, adding veggies to salad bowls, etc. Older kids (5 and up) can chop, wash, sort, mix, crack eggs, ground meat and sauté veggies, roll out pizza, place toppings onto dish or pizza, put dirty dishes away as you go, set the table, grate cheese, peel fruits or veggies, get food out of the fridge, get utensils and bowls/plates out of cabinets, etc.
I placed veggies aside. Kids layered everything in this dish. We made a couple with meat and veggies and a couple with veggies only. This way, everyone was happy. My kids put a very very small amount of meat on theirs which is totally fine with me. They were unsure if they would like this dish so I let them put the amount of toppings they felt comfortable with. If your kids are unsure of something, let them put the amount they want to start with and just know you can add on as your child continues to eat the dish overtime.
1 lb organic ground turkey ( I used half pound). This blog highly encourages families to eat more variety in plants so one thing I always recommend is using half of the recommended amount of animal protein in a dish). You can bulk up on the extra veggies in the dish.
1-2 avocados (top taco pizza with diced avocado once cooked and cooled.
2 cups frozen corn (organic is possible)
2 cups black beans (I se dry and soak overnight but you can use one canned BPA free)
1-2 cups sliced frozen peppers
1 cup mushrooms (chopped)
8 oz So Delicious dairy free shredded jack and cheddar cheese (this is by far my kids favorite DF cheese)
1 (10 oz can) enchilada sauce (I found one without the added preservatives)
½ cup salsa
Organic flour or corn tortillas (we used gluten free)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (we used very little of this as my kids were not so sure about this)
1 (1 oz) pack reduced sodium organic taco seasoning (McCormicks makes a decent one or you can make your own with a mix of 1 tbsp each chili powder/cumin powder/smoked paprika/garlic powder). You will most likely not use all of it but just season to your liking.
Preheat oven to 400 degress. Coat baking dish with spray or olive oil. Drain tomatoes.
Preheat large, nonstick pan on medium. Place meat in pan; brown 5-7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat and until no pink remains. Drain and rinse fat. Stir taco seasoning and 1 cup tomatoes into meat. We also added chopped mushrooms, beans, and corn. I set some veggies aside to use in one tortilla too.
Spread ½ cup enchilada sauce over bottom of baking dish; top with tortilla, ¼ cup cheese, and 1 ½ cups meat mixtures and/or veggies, spreading ingredients out evenly.
Place another tortilla on top, top with ¼ cup cheese and meat or veggie mixture.
Repeat layer one more time and top with tortilla and ¾ cup enchilada sauce, ½ cup tomatoes, and 1 cup cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Cut with a pizza cutter.
We used the smaller tortillas and made three of these. You may use several small tortillas (just buy enough because you will be layering them) or you can make one big one.