How To Get Your Kids To Eat Spinach

It's Monday and I'm ready for another super week. There's lot of great stuff happening at Indie as we close out June and head into July. For one, Team Indie and I are working hard to launch a new website for you. There are many moving parts to my business and this move will consolidate most of them. Yay! We made a lot of progress this weekend and I made this Spinach Fettuccini during one of my breaks.

spinach pesto fettuccini

Doesn't this look delicious? One of the things I like most about weekends is that I have time to experiment in the kitchen.

Everyone in my family will tell you that I'm not a very patient cook. As a result, some of the things I make look a lot better than they taste. These blueberry muffins I made on Saturday are a case in point. I tried to follow the recipe in the Joy of Cooking (page 631 in the edition I have), but I did not have a flour sifter handy. Could that be why they look so moist, yet feel like cardboard and rocks when you chew them?

brooks making muffins

Believe me, they look much better than they tasted. They're all gone now. The trash can ate most of them.

The best part about these muffins is that I got to make them with my son.

I made up for the sub-par blueberry muffins with the lotion and lip balm I helped my daughter and her pal make during their sleepover. We used some of my friend Anne-Marie's Bramble Berry lip balm and lotion making kits, and made pink and blue lip balm and scented lotion. With glitter of course, and way too much Pomegranate Rose and Lettuce fragrance oil. (They're ten years old, so that explains that …)

making bramble berry lotion

Since I was on a roll, I decided to make one of my family's most requested dishes: Spinach Pesto Fettuccini, pictured at the top of this post. Here's the recipe — I eyeball a lot of stuff so I hope not having specific proportions does not frustrate you in the kitchen. It's so easy.

Spinach Pesto Fettuccini


about 12 ounces of fettuccini
5 pounds of spinach (I used Earthbound)
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup of your favorite Parmesan-type cheese (I splurged on this Parmigiano-Reggiano, from Williams Sonoma)
1/4 cup pine nuts
fresh lemon juice

To Make

1. Prepare the fettuccini according to package directions. While it's cooking, prepare the spinach pesto.

2. In a food processor (I used my Magic Bullet), combine a big, huge handful of spinach, the garlic cloves, cheese and pine, pine nuts and lemon juice. Process it all together until it's thick and creamy. If it's too thick, add some water or a bit of olive oil. If it's a bit on the thin side, add more lemon juice or water — or olive oil if you want.

3. When the pasta finishes cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.

4. Put the rest of the spinach into the hot pan and stir so it begins to wilt. Add the spinach pesto mixture and stir well to combine everything and turn the pasta green. Add about 1/4 cup of pasta water, but only a little at a time, until you get the consistency you like. You can also add more cheese, lemon juice and/or olive oil depending on your mood.

Add some freshly cracked pepper and shave some of the cheese on top, like in my picture.

My husband and kids ate all of this dish last night. I never have to force my son and daughter to eat spinach. I just give them this. #winning!

Before I go, here's one more funny thing from the weekend.

On Saturday evening, our dear friends treated us to dinner at Cajun Yard Dog, an Indie restaurant that serves authentic Louisiana Cajun cuisine. As we waited outside the restaurant for our table to be called, our daughters discovered this relic.

vanessa and jada at the pay phone

Look at how their heads are positioned, especially my friend's daughter on the left. It's like they're looking at an alien or something. They were trying to figure out what it is. How hilarious is that?!

(It's a pay telephone for those of you who are my daughter's age.)

I hope you had a great weekend, and got to enjoy some fun times with your friends and family too.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.