Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two (surprisingly) Kid-Popular Meals

Sometimes my kids surprise me. The last two nights, I have made meals that I worried would be rejected outright. Not so! Here is proof that if you push the envelope occasionally, you may be surprised with your kids' responses.

Sausages with Black Grapes
Farfalle cooked al dente with herbs de Provence heated in butter
Steamed peas and carrots
Cucumbers (last out of the garden)

While Baby G wasn't at his best (cold and teething) and didn't eat overmuch, D had three servings of the pasta and carrots, as well as having seconds of the sausage. I'm not sure he touched the onion/grape sauce on the sausages, but I certainly enjoyed it, and it didn't seem to slow him down as far as eating the sausage was concerned. I was pleasantly surprised by the farfalle—herbs de Provence contain thyme, basil, savory, fennel seeds and lavender—and they were just right as an accompaniment to the sweet Italian sausages. Coincidence? D slept through the night and actually slept in a bit this morning. Maybe because he didn't wake up hungry?

Tonight, I was sure that I was taking a big risk serving a curry:
Mark Bittman's Curried Chickpeas and Cauliflower with Chicken
Whole wheat chapatis
Yogurt, more sliced cucumbers, and rhubarb chutney (a gift from a friend)

I was concerned the recipe was a bust, because it seems overly fussy for what it is (cook the chicken, then add the ginger and onions, then remove the chicken from the pan, then add the chickpeas and curry powder, fry THEM, then remove them, then cook the cauliflower in the same pan in the coconut milk, then add everything back in...made me wonder why I couldn't just simmer it all together for a more harmonious and tender result. I sort of did that at the end), and the spices blackened quite dramatically in the hot pan between additions. The final results looked kind of rustic, with dark bits in the sauce, but it didn't taste bitter at all. And Baby G went to town on those chickpeas, in spite of the curry powder (I did skip the chili in order to make sure it didn't get too spicy for the kids). D called the chapatis 'tortillas' and filled up primarily on them, but also the cucumbers, and tasted some of the stew. Both kids also sampled the chutney, to mixed reviews. The best part was that my husband and I got to enjoy a version of curry (we love it, but don't get to have it often because of the kids' sensitive palates) and the kids were satisfied, too! In spite of my misgivings, I would do it again. Chapatis were very easy to make with the hlep of my Kitchenaid Food Processor and Lodge Cast Iron Griddle. There are many more flatbreads in my future.

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