I know of at least three surefire ways to get the trio to break into tears in unison: shut off the television, take them off the swings at the playground, try to get them to eat Lemony Kale Pasta.
The first two things have to be done. Dora only lasts 30 minutes. And they have to let other kids have a turn at the playground (nevermind that we already double up in a swing since there are rarely more than two baby swings at local parks).
Clearly, I could have avoided the tears associated with the kale. But my CSA started last week. I had produce to use up.
My basket wasn't exactly triplet-friendly. The tomatoes were untouchable. The snap peas were spit out. Broccoli was booed out of the room.
When I brought it out at mealtime I was well aware that not a single ingredient is in the kiddos' repertoire. But I keep hearing that one day the kids will surprise me and eat something I'd least expect. Lemony Kale Pasta definitely fit that bill.
My crew, however, continues to be predictable. One look at the unfamiliar was all it took to get the tears rolling down their cute little cheeks. (One caveat: Unfamiliar items loaded with chocolate chips pique their interest.) Very little else is predictable these days. The terrible 2s, with erratic behavior times three, are upon us. For once, their rejection of my food is kind of comforting.
Lemony Kale Pasta
From Spoon with Me, adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
For the dressing:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ tsp kosher salt, divided
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
5-6 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
¼-½ tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the pasta:
1 lb. whole grain pasta
1 large bunch kale (black/lacinato kale preferred), rinsed and dried, stems removed
Additional Parmesan, for serving
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Mince the garlic cloves. Sprinkle the minced garlic with ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt and smash the garlic into a paste with a fork or the side of a chef’s knife. Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl. Add the Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Whisk together until well combined.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the package directions. Chop the kale into ½-inch ribbons. Add the kale to a large bowl an toss with the dressing to coat well. When the pasta is finished, drain well and let cool a minute or two. Toss the pasta with the kale and dressing until well coated. Serve with additional Parmesan, if desired.