We firmly believe that Sunday is family day in our household. With all the hustle and bustle of the week and children and parents having various activities in the evening it doesn’t allow much time to sit down and relax as a family over the dinner table. This is why we have instilled Savory Sundays!
Savory Sunday for our family means time together, time to savor, and to linger over savory dishes for dinner. Our Sundays start off early, like any family with younger kiddos I am sure. The kiddos have breakfast and then usually start on an art &craft activity overseen by our 6-year-old (no joke, by 7:45pm it looks like an art room threw-up in our kitchen, lol!). Then it is time to get ready for Sunday school and church, after church it is lunch time followed by quiet time for the kiddos and time for my hubby and me to enjoy quality time together (we try our best to have date nights but truth be told those usually occur every other month…but we are working on it). Then after quiet time the kiddos help me get dinner ready for the evening.
The kiddos attention span is short so this often entails them pouring, stirring, or doing a simple step and then going off to play. I want to always be honest with you; sometimes we need to lower our expectations so that they coincide with the developmental age of our kiddos. You can’t expect a 2-year-old to cook with you for an hour, shoot for more than ten minutes if we are being truthful! Which is why I always try to have steps that are age appropriate, and if the dish involves cooking over the range (all my kiddos are too young for that…I have a 6, 5, & 2 year olds) then I will have them work on a side project. One of their favorites is helping make bread to accompany dishes. That is precisely what I had them do while I prepared the Lasagna Roll-ups. All you need is one or two Pillsbury dough, they come in the tubes and pop open (kiddos get a kick out of that).
- 1 or 2 Pillsbury dough…whatever you have on hand, cresents, flatbreads, Italian, etc. (depends on how many kiddos you have, need 1 per 2 kids)
- ½ stick of butter melted
- 2 tablespoons Pesto (I have a jar I use from the store but if you want to go homemade more power to you!)
- Small paint brushes
- Various Cookie cutters
- Parmesan cheese
- Place wax or parchment paper on table in front of each child.
- Place dough on top of paper.
- Make certain butter dish is cool to the touch and mix pesto in butter then place paint brushes in bowl.
- Place cookie cutters in the center of the table.
- Instruct children to paint their dough with the butter & pesto, sprinkle on cheese, and then cut into fun shapes.
Now for the main dish….
- 1 summer squash (sliced and then halved or quartered depending on the size, see image)
- 1 zucchini (sliced and then halved or quartered depending on the size, see image)
- ½ a yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 14 100% Whole Grain Lasagna Noodles
- 1 container of Ricotta cheese (15 oz)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Lightlife Kick n’ Black Bean Burgers (these add a nice kick…but not too much and are a nice substitute for meat)
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, whatever you have on hand
Mix together summer squash, zucchini, onion, garlic, and pesto in bowl.
Place mixture in pan over medium heat and sauté until onions are just golden and squash is tender.
While veggies are sautéing boil lasagna noodles, follow directions on the box, drain, and then lay flat on Parchment paper so that noodles don’t stick together and this will make it much easier to assemble the roll-ups.
While veggies are sautéing and noodles are boiling in separate bowl mix together ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese and egg. (And they wonder why us women are champs at multitasking? Hello…we can sauté, boil, and mix…haha).
Crumble up the Lightlife Kick n’ Black Bean Burgers so that they resemble ground meat and add tomatoes and Lightlife Kick n’ Black Bean Burgers to the sautéed veggies, turn off heat.
Pour sautéed veggies into bowl with cheese/egg and stir till thoroughly mixed.
Spoon out two tablespoons worth of mixture onto each Lasagna noodle and then spread across each noodle.
Then simply roll each noodle and place into 9 x 13inch greased (olive oil) pan .
Pour Spaghetti sauce over noodles and sprinkle a little shredded mozzarella cheese over the top.
Cover with aluminum foil, place in oven, set to 350 degrees, and cook for 40 minutes.
(You can save money and energy by not preheating the oven. It is not necessary unless you are baking breads and/or pastry type of food).
Grab a roll-up and some of the yummy bread the kiddos made and sit down to enjoy!
Over dinner discuss the happenings of the past week. Perhaps say a special blessing for a family in need. Have each child share their favorite part of the week or day and their least favorite part of their week or day. It is also helpful if you discuss the upcoming week, what each child has going on, and encourage the other children to support that child in their endeavor whether it is a soccer game, a spelling test, bringing snack to preschool, etc. This is also a great time to share what mommy and daddy have planned for the upcoming week. It is time to get practical, I would love to have a leisure dinner every weekday evening but it simply isn’t possible. Yes, we do still eat together but sometimes it is a mere 15 minute before one child or parent needs to be somewhere. This is why Savory Sundays are so important to our family.
Does your family do anything special on Sundays? Do you have a Sunday meal tradition? How do you get your family to participate in meal preparation?