Ever have that moment when you’re cooking, getting in your groove and feeling like a Food Network star (don’t lie, I know you have pretended to have a cooking show too), when it hits you. You forgot to buy a key ingredient. In my case, it was the tortillas for our quesadillas 🤦🏼♀️
How in the world do you make Cooking Classy’s Chicken Quesadillas without tortillas? I was afraid I’d have to nix the whole thing, but then it hit me – use the peppers! I had just made Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Peppers and loved them, so why not change up how I use the peppers for this meal?
By basically ignoring the original recipe, I got to work cutting the peppers then combining the prepped chicken, cheese, and hot sauce. I started up the grille again (possibly my favorite way to cook peppers so far!) and stuffed the peppers full of the chicken mix.
After the Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Peppers were a success I was much more confident coming into this tasting. I used all the same tactics of adding the extra crispness of chips on top while topping the peppers off with fresh tomato salsa to cool things down a bit. Adding chips is a great trick for when a picky eater is unsure of a new taste or texture – load up the meal with what they like and they’re more likely to accept the new food! Even just by changing the appearance a little bit can be a game changer once it comes time to try the new food.
Drew and the girls were with me this time when I tried this food, but because I ate the other peppers they weren’t nearly as interested about me trying this meal as they were before. So just having that attention off of me helped calm me down before taking the first bite. Even though I liked the other stuffed peppers, I had no idea if I would like the peppers with the seasonings and salsa from the recipe. So, when I piled the food on my fork I was sure to get a lot of cheese and chip pieces so I could possibly disguise any tastes I didn’t like.
Thankfully I liked it!! The pepper’s taste mixed so well with the shredded cheese and hot chicken seasoning that I had to have another…then finish off the left overs for lunch the next day 😉
What You Can Take From This
- Don’t make every tasting a big deal – for Drew and the girls this meal was nothing new. They’ve seen me eat similar foods so they didn’t keep asking if I like the food or think it looks good. This helped me feel more at ease and natural with a new recipe in front of me.
- Keep trying new recipes with the new food – usually if I find a new food or recipe I like I only eat it that way over and over again. Your picky eater needs to know that there are so many different ways to eat a new food, or else they’ll fall into a recipe rut. I’ve been asked so many times why I eat the same thing at restaurants, and the answer has two layers to it:
- It’s either because I’m so happy that I like it I don’t feel the need to try something else, or
- I’m afraid I will miss out on the recipe I do like by ordering something I might not like, thereby ruining dinner
- Be prepared – this one is probably more for me at this point, but be sure you have exactly everything you need for a recipe. Picky eaters like me want to know what is in their food when they’re nervous about a new recipe. When you change something up on the fly it can send them down a fearful rabbit hole of worst case scenarios. So before you start cooking, double check you have all the correct ingredients and the right amount of them. That will save you from a potential melt down from your picky eater.