| Menu Pairing |

Supper Ideas, Please!

I really struggle with standard weeknight suppers. No one here likes fish of any type, and we’re getting tired of chicken — I make it almost every night in every form, shape, and size. As a last resort, I’ll make pasta, but I’m not fond of such a starch-heavy supper.

It must be kid-friendly, and if it has vegetables, they have to be either invisible (pureed) or big enough to pick out, if necessary.

We like soup. I’m open to all types of soup, besides sweet or weird ones. In general, my kids like salty foods rather than sweet or cinnamon kind of things.

And I’m totally not going out to buy snazzy ingredients every day.

Can you help me out here? Thanks!

I put together three supper menus for you to try out; I’d love to hear how they went over! I’m a mom of picky eaters too, so if even one idea pans out (pun intended), I’d consider your request successfully answered!

Menu 1


Yeah, this is a no-brainer based on what you wrote. Here are some suggestions you may want to try.

Prep any veggies you have in the house. (I always start with the basic four: onions, celery, carrots, and zucchini, plus some others that are hanging around, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnip, etc.) You can sauté the onion first, or you can just skip that part. Cut the veggies into large chunks and toss them into a large pot; fill the pot with water to cover and bring to a boil.

Pour in 1234 cup red lentils, which is a great protein booster. They disintegrate, so you get added health and flavor, with no one being the wiser! If you don’t have lentils, use some chickpeas instead. They’re also protein and will get pureed along with the rest of the veggies. Cook for at least 1 hour.

Puree using an immersion blender and season with salt and pepper to taste. I sometimes remove some carrots, slice them, and then return them to the pot after pureeing the rest. Pick the vegetable that’s the least offensive to your family, and maybe you’ll slowly be able to get them to try it in the soup.


I make a cheese latke recipe that’s really no-fail.


If they don’t do the sweet stuff, like you mentioned, you can always make flat egg omelets with cucumber-and-pepper smiley faces on them if they eat raw veggies. If they don’t, try bits of pretzels, crackers, or pickles. My daughter loves omelets with enchilada chips (the orange bag from Golden Fluff). I tried it — they go great together!


I recommend scrubbing your potatoes and baking them covered. (I like to wrap each one in foil individually.) Slice them in half when done and place a bit of butter on each half. You can also sprinkle them with shredded cheese and return them to the oven until it melts. Season with salt to taste.

Menu 2


Make a simple mixture or try these potato-
meat burgers. They’re very soft and have a great “latke” taste.

Soft ’n Scrumptious Meat Latkes


  • 15 medium-sized potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 5 eggs
  • 1½ lb (680 g) ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • ¾ tsp pepper
  • oil, for frying

Process the potatoes and onion in a food processor, using the kugel blade. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add eggs, beef, salt, and pepper. Mix well until combined.

Heat a large, nonstick frying pan with oil and place large spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Fry over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side.

  • buns
  • pickles (Are pickles a vegetable?)
  • frozen (or fresh) French fries to top off your dinner, and you can always make some sweet potato fries to munch on yourself. One day, someone may come along and surprise you, wanting to taste the orange fries you’re eating!


This mock lokshen kugel has fooled many people into thinking it’s really made from noodles; your kids just may fall for it too! It can be made without the sautéed veggies and can also be spooned into muffin cups and served as individuals noodle muffins.

Mock Lokshen Kugel


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • oil, for frying
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 4-oz (110-g) can mushrooms, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Place spaghetti squash halves face down in a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté onion in oil until golden. Add pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Scrape squash strands into a large bowl. Add veggies, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix until well-combined. Pour mixture into a greased 9-inch (23-cm) round pan and bake uncovered for 1 hour.

Serve hot or room temperature.

Menu 3


Sounds boring, no? But we eat it every Friday night, and no one ever gets bored of a rich, tasty chicken soup. Why not make it during the week if your family likes soup? You can turn it into cream of chicken soup — this version has veggies blended in but still retains that awesome chicken soup flavor.

“Cream” of Chicken Soup


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 large carrots, cubed
  • 6 potatoes, cubed
  • ½ large knob celery, cubed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water, to cover
  • 3–4 quarts (2.85–3.8 liters) chicken soup
  • 1 lb (450 g) chicken cutlets, cut into very small pieces

Heat oil in a large pot and sauté onion until golden. Add vegetables and sauté for another 5–10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through.

Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Slowly add chicken soup to vegetable mixture until a desired consistency is reached. Bring soup to a boil. Add chicken and cook for another 15–20 minutes.


My kids enjoy the chicken and hot dog combo. Try one of these recipes for a new twist on your typical chicken dinner.

If you make the mini dogs, spaghetti is an obvious side, and the saucy dogs are eaten with buns, making dinner pretty easy to prepare.

Mini Chicken Dogs


  • 2 lb (910 g) chicken tenders
  • Italian dressing, for marinating
  • 24 cocktail frankfurters
  • ketchup or duck sauce, for drizzling (optional)

Marinate chicken in Italian dressing for at least 30 minutes. Roll a piece of chicken around a hot dog, overlapping the ends and securing with a toothpick. (Have the toothpick pierce through both ends of the chicken and into the frank.) Repeat with remaining chicken and franks.

Line up mini hot dogs in a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking pan and drizzle with ketchup or duck sauce, if desired. Cover tightly and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25–30 minutes.

Saucy Chicken Dogs


  • 6 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2½ Tbsp mustard
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 6 chicken cutlets, pounded thin
  • 3 hot dogs, sliced in half lengthwise
  • sauerkraut, for serving (optional)
  • sour pickles, thinly sliced, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Combine ketchup, mustard, and garlic powder in a bowl. Add chicken and mix to coat. Allow to marinate for 20–30 minutes.

Wrap hot dog with chicken and place seam side down in a baking pan. Place chicken dogs side by side, leaving a bit of space between portions. Spoon remaining marinade over chicken and cover with foil. Bake for 35 minutes.

Serve chicken dogs in buns with ketchup, sauerkraut, and/or pickles, if desired.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 892)

Oops! We could not locate your form.