Do your homework, eat your veggies

There are days I feel like a hypocrite.

Here I am, a food writer, and I only made dinner twice last week. The other days were either leftovers, fend-for-yourself meals or something taken from the freezer.

I tell myself there’s no point in cooking when my husband is out of town for basketball since the kids’ reaction to something new is iffy. In reality, though, I was more likely distracted by a book, the season finale of “The Walking Dead” or even going for a run.

I ran out of excuses, though, when my son started talking about the report on Alzheimer’s disease he wrote for health class.

“Mom, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s,” he said. “There’s only medicine to slow it down.”

We talked about why Alzheimer’s happens to some people and not others. Genetics plays a huge part, he said, but so does taking care of your body and mind.

“What should we do?” I asked.

“We have to be healthy,” he said. “We have to exercise and keep our brains sharp. We have to eat food that’s good for us, like fruits and vegetables. A lot of vegetables.”

I just looked at him. My son is my picky eater. There are some healthy foods he loves – oranges, fresh spinach, carrots and bananas – but there’s so much he won’t even try.

“Vegetables, huh?”

“Oh, man. Why did I write that in my report?”


  • 2 ciabatta rolls, split
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 3 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly slices
  • 6 thin slices tomato
  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • A pinch each of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Baked chicken, sliced (optional)

Preheat Panini grill to high.

Brush both the crust and sides of the rolls with a tablespoon of the oil. Place on a work surface, crust side down. Rub cut sides with garlic; discard the cloves.

On bottom halves, evenly layer with mozzarella, tomato and spinach. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with remaining oil. Cover with top halves and press gently to pack.

Place sandwiches in grill, close the top plate and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe courtesy of 200 Best Panini Recipes by Tiffany Collins


2 responses

  1. Love reading these…makes me feel like you are not so far away….and love to hear about the amazing and wonderful things your kids say and do. Miss you!

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