Jack constantly tells me that there is absolutely nothing to eat in our house. Every day after school he asks if I could take him out to eat. Meanwhile, I will stand next to him staring in at a refrigerator full of food wondering what to do with him.
Let me translate what having "no food" means to Jack. Jack means that we are out of Nutella, Wonder Bread, Fruity Pebbles, Bagel Bites, Lunchables, Fruit Roll Ups and Top Ramen. These items are what Jack eats. Notice I didn't say food because I don't call this food.
I ask him all of the time to come up with real food that I would happily cook for him. I have no idea how he is growing so tall eating this way. Somehow, he keeps growing even though he isn't getting the proper nutrition I thought was necessary to grow the way he is growing. Jack is almost six feet tall now. It's crazy.
A grilled cheese sandwich with roasted tomato soup.
Tomatos and onions chopped and ready for roasting.
Roasted tomatoes and onions go into the pot to simmer with tomato sauce, tomato paste and vegetable broth.
Sometimes, I lie awake at night worrying about his health. I know it's ridiculous because I buy him this food. It is entirely my fault. However, he will not eat if he doesn't have this junk to eat. I want him to eat something so I continue to buy it. I realize that I am the mother and should be the strong one who insists that he eats what I give him. I don't do this. It goes against everything I try to teach about food and how I try to eat.
I try so hard to get Jack to eat a fruit or a vegetable. Recently, he started eating diced peaches. That is a big step. Oh, and he does eat sushi whenever we go out to sushi dinner. He also likes smoothies but not the ones I make at home. He only wants the smoothies from Tropical Smoothie.
This morning, Jack came into my room while I looking at my computer trying to figure out what I could make for my article. I said, "Hey, Jack, do you want to look at the computer with me and help me decide what to make?" To my complete amazement, he said, "yes." We started scrolling through Pinterest at photos of food and nothing was catching his attention. Then, we saw a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich. Suddenly, as if a light bulb lit up above his head, Jack announced, "I know! You can make grilled cheese with tomato soup." Really? I didn't even know he liked tomato soup. I know for certain I have offered to make him grilled cheese sandwiches tons of times and he always says no. So, I was completely surprised by this statement.
Roasted Tomato Soup
Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
10 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 package Pomi tomato sauce
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
cup basil leaves, cut into ribbons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well. Dip the onion and tomatoes into this mixture and place onto a baking sheet. Place into the oven and bake for thirty minutes. Broil for an additional five minutes. Pour the tomatoes and onions into a large pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for an hour. Use an immersion blender or an upright blender to blend the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the balsamic vinegar. Top with the fresh basil ribbons. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.
At the same time, I was really excited. I ran out to the store and bought everything I needed to make a delicious and healthy tomato soup. I crushed tons of garlic and mixed this into some olive oil and added a dash of salt and pepper. Then, I dipped the quartered pieces of tomatoes and onions into this mixture. As I roasted these, the kitchen smelled so good. Every time I opened the oven to check on them the garlic aroma would waft into the air. It was heavenly.
Once the vegetables were roasted, the soup is so easy to make. I just added sauce and tomato paste and let that simmer for a while. Then, I blended it all together to make it smooth and that was it. Then, I made a quick grilled cheese sandwich.
I called Jack in to the kitchen to see if he was actually going to eat it. I liked his technique of dipping the grilled cheese into the soup. A few minutes later, he asked for another grilled cheese, which I quickly whipped up for him and he ate it all. I was so happy. I finally have a real homemade meal that I can make for him every once in a while.
I think I will have him choose a few more recipes for me in the future until I have an entire menu of things he will eat. This might be the start of something good.