Breakfast for Dinner

muesli-668519_640I feed my kids breakfast for dinner more often than I’d like to admit.  Sometimes breakfast for dinner means scrambled eggs and toast and maybe even steamed green beans.  Mostly, though, it’s the same cereal they had for breakfast, and I don’t always ask more than once if they want fruit or yogurt with it.

Do you know what kind of a mother I am on those nights?  A relaxed mother.  Relaxed because I have not had to cook at the same time as I supervise homework and piano practice and play a board game.  I’m not setting the table at the same time as being a referee for the hockey in the basement or the fighting on the stairs.  I am not doing dishes while the momentary peace that reigned around the dinner table falls to pieces in the post-dinner scramble of bathsbooksbed.  I can read with one or even two children right up until “dinner time” and I can resume reading five seconds after “dinner” is done.  No child has ever complained about breakfast for dinner.  The guilt I feel about not feeding them a cooked dinner is never more than fleeting.

Of course, the kids could help cook, set the table and wash the dishes.  And they do.  And they like to cook and make their own food.  But you know how it is: some nights it’s easier to do it all myself, and some nights doing it all myself is a mistake and I resent it.  Breakfasts for dinner cuts all of that out.

Breakfast for dinner is a regular sin in my house, but, like all the best sins, it’s one for which I feel absolutely no regret.

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Breakfast for Dinner: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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One of my favourite approaches to a quick dinner is breakfast for dinner.  The kids love it, and I can manage to hit all the food groups: scrambled eggs, steamed green beans, toast and fruit.  Done in a jiffy.  But, one of us does not care for scrambled eggs, and I’m always looking for ways to hide eggs in things he does like.

Last week, in my latest Trojan Horse approach to protein, I made these lemon ricotta pancakes for dinner, and they were amazing.  I served them with steamed green beans and broccoli, which worked really well with the lemon in the pancakes.  Oat bran, low-fat dairy and berries make this a nutritional bonanza, as well.  Sadly, the boy who does not like eggs also does not like these pancakes, so it did not solve the problem it was supposed to solve.  But I was enjoying the lemony goodness too much to care!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup light ricotta

1 cup milk

zest and juice of two lemons

(add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/4 cup brown sugar to turn these from savory to sweet, topped with raspberries)

Stir all dry ingredients in a large bowl until mixed.  Whisk eggs in another bowl; whisk in ricotta and milk.  Add lemon juice and zest to egg mixture.  Pour mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just blended.

Cook on medium in a non-stick frying pan, lightly coated with oil.  1/4 cup of batter per pancake.

Enjoy the lemony goodness!