Thursday, November 8, 2012

Polenta, Eggplant Lasagna--So Easy a Kid Could Make It!

Only half of families today eat together more than 3-5 times a week and most of the time those meals last only about twenty minutes...and many times the television is on. You know it is true. I am not denying it. I find often times we huddle around the kitchen counter eating when we could very well set up the dining room table and slow down a bit. Studies show that children that dine with their family eat healthier, have an interest in where their food comes from, and are closer with their parents and siblings. Kids like this are less likely to try smoking and drugs. Eating together opens doors of communication that otherwise might stay closed. Start making meal time fun and meaningful as early as you can. I love the book The Family Dinner by Laurie David. It has a ton of great recipes and ways to get kids involved in a dinner ritual. Cooking with your kids every once in a while is a great way to spark an interest. One recipe my five year old and I enjoy making (not out of the book, just something we tried on our own) is made with polenta, an Italian style cornmeal.

Polenta Lasagna is easy to prep and once everything is laid out the kids can go to town all on their own. You just need a 'Polenta Log' sliced up, veggies of your choice (I chose eggplant because we had some in the garden), mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, shredded parmesan if you like, and tomato sauce. Polenta is a healthy, gluten-free, low carbohydrate food rich in vitamin A and C, but please please please get your polenta from an organic source. Today's corn is almost entirely genetically modified.   Food Merchants Organic Polenta is a good choice.

Let your little ones layer the ingredients any way they like and then bake until warm all the way though. 

I suggest more cheese than sauce, though. She went a little crazy with the sauce and when cut our lasagna sort of fell apart. She was proud anyway, as she should be, and it tasted wonderful. We have also used the polenta slices and made mini pizzas on them. They got a kick out of their "baby pizzas". Hope you all have a wonderful dinner with your family sometime soon!

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