Tis the season for squash and zucchini! When I stumbled upon a multipack at Costco I just couldn’t resist, and when the children lacked the palette to enjoy my simple prep method, I began brainstorming a way to trick them into eating it (I know, mom of the year, right?!)
Up until a few days ago, my oldest son has spent the last year telling us he wants to be a chef when he grows up. I grabbed onto that, my supply of squash, and set out to have my typically good eaters discover the joy of squash and zucchini. I decided to involve Pixar and try and convince my kiddos to try ratatouille.
Ahem, so this is the part where I admit I had never tried ratatouille before. When I make squash, I usually just slice and cook it with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper. Simple, easy, delicious, done. But since my kids wouldn’t eat it, I needed a new way to use up all these veggies in a way they might enjoy.
I searched Pinterest for a ratatouille recipe that I had the ingredients for. After reading about a dozen and relaxing I lacked eggplant, I decided to just wing it. Here’s what I did:
- Put a quarter inch of my favorite pasta sauce in the bottom of a greased 8×8 casserole dish. Add in a teaspoon minced garlic and stir.
- Arrange sliced squash and zucchini in a fun pattern. Most recipes also call for roma tomatoes and eggplant but I had neither and simply omitted them.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Spoon over stuffed ravioli. We did cheese ravioli, also from Costco, because clearly we have a Costco problem.
So what I made is likely, technically, not traditional ratatouille. But upon watching the film while eating (a special treat in itself), the kids dug in and ate the veggies they’d previously refused (they usually like veggies), and all’s well that ends well.
It all makes for a fun themed family movie night. Make a dish that goes with the movie, watch the movie, and try something new together. Trying new foods as a kid is intimidating, but doing it with Pixar softens the blow.
What’s your favorite themed family movie night?