Sometimes Simple Is Just What We Need
Don’t you think that sometimes we make cooking too complicated? Celebrity chefs tell us the exact way to make a sauce or roast a joint with extra flourishes that they consider essential to a tasty meal. And yet sometimes it’s good just to let the food speak for itself, allowing its natural flavour through.
Simple food combined in the right way can make an easy, low cost and tasty meal – but sometimes it takes a child to be wise enough to come up with the right combination
Children can be good at teaching us this lesson. They come more driven by their taste buds than the conventions of cooking or what fancy ingredient is fashionable right now. And yet it is easy for parents to get stressed and worried about what their children will or will not eat.
Adapting Without Fuss
The solutions can be easier than may at first seem apparent. For example I was recently lucky enough to have 7 year old Cameron stay with me with his Daddy. I was cooking Carbonara for tea, but Cameron doesn’t like sauces. I could have considered giving him something completely different but I knew he liked pasta – and ham and cheese. I also knew he loves pineapples. So a meal was quickly put together with the pasta, ham and cheese that we were having anyway – and with the addition of a few pineapple pieces. The easiest meal to put together and he loved it! The meal was quickly eaten up and the rest of us could get on and have our carbonara.
I was happy because I had cooked him something he loved without the effort of doing an extra meal. I also learned that putting pineapples with things soon helped the rest of a meal get eaten. We want children to eat the kinds of things we enjoy as adults and we want them to be well nourished.
I think by not making too much fuss over food, it can be more naturally enjoyed. Perhaps by allowing them to put some foods together, untainted by our pre-conceived ideas as to what constitutes a proper meal, they may develop some recipes of their own. Which is of course, why I am documenting this simple, nutritious recipe. It is of course very much like a Ham and Pineapple Pizza, but with pasta instead of a pizza base. It may seem a bit plain and boring, but to him it was the best meal he could have had – and so much better than anything with a sauce!
And children are entitled to have dislikes. There are certain food that I really don’t like and therefore choose not to eat. And I have a few favourite combinations that are not standard meals and other people may think them a little odd. So sometimes just being a bit creative and inventive can help everyone to stay happy and relaxed – and well fed.
If you have some favourite, simple dishes that your children love, do comment in the box below or share a recipe.
Cameron’s Pasta With Ham And Pineapple
For 1 person
- 50g / 1.5oz cooked, hot pasta
- 2 slices of ham, chopped
- 8-10 pineapple chunks
- 1 tablespoon grated cheese – cheddar or Parmesan
- Place pasta in bowl
- scatter pieces of ham and pineapple
- Sprinkle grated cheese on the top
If you like this recipe, you may want to subscribe to Penny’s Recipe’s newsletter and get the free Meal Plan – 7 family meals for under £30