Suppertime in my home is still a bit of a mess. It feels like since we moved to the city almost two years ago and put the kids into "proper" public school our schedules are still catching up. For the most part, we've adjusted. But I still have difficulty adapting supper time to the various activities and items on the to-do list. I was so very used to a proper 6pm supper time every. single. night and absolutely adored that constant that now I'm feeling a bit nostalgic and sad for those lost supper times.
We still have family dinners together, don't get me wrong. But they are only a couple nights a week instead of the every. single. night. event I was used to. I guess with a 17 and a 12 year old I should count myself lucky to even get that many, shouldn't I. I can feel you all nodding your heads.
I will say, one of the absolute best thing of my kids getting older is that their tastes are changing and maturing. They appreciate so many more dishes, ingredients, and preparations that their mini versions would have turned their noses up to. Brussel Sprouts, radishes, goat cheese, and asparagus are all things their mini versions didn't like but their more grown-up versions love.
You mom's of little ones ... there is hope! Keep putting those foods in front of your mini's to try. Don't force it. But, encourage them to try new things and keep giving them opportunities to try new things. You'll be rewarded with children that appreciate the abundance of beautiful fruits and veggies this beautiful earth provides and enjoy a new variety of dishes. Hey, they may even love going out to eat to YOUR favorite place and not the fast-food or pizza joint! It's true, my kid's fave place is a lovely little bistro with locally sourced ingredients. Happens to be my fave too ;).
This portabella parmesan is a dish I would never have been able to make my younger children. Mushrooms? Young children and mushrooms don't generally go well together. But now? Now, this is a favorite family meal and a fast, easy dish that I love making. It's great for my rather limited diet, easy to make, and full of nutrients and flavor. They love it, I love it, we all love it.
If you can't or don't want to make your own tomato sauce make no apologies, go buy your favorite pasta sauce. For me, family meals allows me to touch, smell, taste, and play with as many fresh ingredients as possible. I adore making as many things from scratch as possible. But that's me.
Do YOUR thing. It's about family, not perfection.
I use almond milk and flour to coat my portabella's rather than traditional milk and breadcrumbs to cater to my non-gluten diet. Frankly, even if you skip this step it's still good. Still, there's something about a crunchy coating on the mushrooms that helps stay close to traditional Parmesan. And if you are already trading out the meat for mushrooms it seems only fair to give the family a crunchy coating as a replacement, don't you think?
Next week it's pasta night and I'm betting I will get both of my kids to commit to a full 2 hours for that meal, wouldn't you say? There is something about pasta that encourages setting aside time to eat, chat, and drink. I might even promise my famous chocolate cake to seal the deal. :)
Make it a Meal:
- Serve this with whole-wheat noodles
- Add our Veggie Fries for added fun nutrition (they can cook along with the Portabella Parm)
- Bake up some 3 ingredient gluten free peanut butter cookies while the Portabella Parm is baking.
- If your kids aren't fans of portabella mushrooms try subbing eggplant or zucchini. Often, those veggies are more kid-friendly.
- If your family isn't gluten-free use buttermilk in place of the almond milk and panko crumbs in place of the almond flour for the most crunch. Crunch is good.
- Don't apologize for pulling out a jarred sauce for this dish. If it makes your day easier ... go for it!
Portabella Parmesan Recipe with homemade sauce
- 4 tablespoons dried basil
- 4 large tomatoes chopped
- ½ onion chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves of garlic minced.
- 4 portabella mushrooms gills cleaned out and stems removed.
- 3 tablespoons butter for mushrooms
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil.
- Cook for about 7 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Transfer the cooked tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil to a food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Dip the cleaned mushrooms in the almond milk and then dredge in the flour.
- In skillet, melt the butter at medium heat. Add mushrooms.
- Fry mushrooms until golden brown ... about 3 minutes.
- Spread the sauce on the bottom of a greased casserole dish (I use a 9 by 9 inch square pan).
- Place the fried mushrooms on top of the sauce.
- Spread the Parmesan cheese on top of the sauce.
- Add an additional layer of sliced Mozzarella cheese, if you like.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.