A perfect menu

Every once in a while, but not often enough, I manage to serve a dinner that makes everyone happy: the grown-ups like it, the kids like it, it's simple to make, and it's healthy.

Last night we had roasted red pepper soup, watermelon, and cheese-avocado-tomato-spinach panini.

For the soup, I used this recipe (you can see a version with my changes here). The kids loved it because I called it V8 soup (they love vegetable juice). Funny how much a name can change things. It makes me happy to see the kids eating this soup, because it is practically liquid vegetables, and they ask for seconds instead of me nagging them to eat it.

The watermelon was perfectly ripe and we all ate plenty. (We've had a few sad melons lately. I did a better job choosing this time, thanks to an article I read on choosing watermelons.)

The sandwiches were packed with our favorite things, and because I made just one apiece, when they were gone, there was nothing left to eat but fruits and veggies.

This dinner took me about 45 minutes to make, including cutting up all the veggies and watermelon (don't you hate it when recipes say they take 15 minutes but don't take into account all the chopping?).


  1. I've probably never had roasted red peppers in my life. Are they hot? My kids wouldn't eat anything hot, but it does sound good!

  2. They're not hot at all. They're just red bell peppers, very sweet. In fact, if you don't tell your kids, they might just think it's tomato soup.

  3. I love this soup and use it as a base for all kinds of vegetable soup. When red peppers go on sale, I buy a dozen or two, roast and peel them, then freeze them in batches to use in the soup. This eliminates the work of preparing the peppers each time (or the expense of buying them ready-to-use in a jar.)