One thing for which I am so grateful on a daily basis is the inspiration from other bloggers and from cookbook authors to make quick, healthy, filling meals for the boys with hollow legs who populate this house. Left to my own devices, I’d probably just eat toast for dinner most nights, but you cannot grow healthy kids on toast alone, tempting though it might be. I know, though, that if I spend a minute flipping through my cookbooks, or my bookmarked blogs, I will rise above my lethargy and get inspired to try something new.
Such was the case one cold night recently, and I made a stew that I knew would be my perfect comfort food. The catch: I was fairly sure it would be a flop with the kids. WRONG. Youngest ate three bowls of this Chick Pea and Sweet Potato Stew, and then he asked for it in his lunchbox for the next day. It was a lesson for all of us: do not be afraid to stray from the tried and true.
Here is the recipe, reprinted with permission, from Michael Smith’s Family Meals:
Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons (30mL) of vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons (30mL) of curry powder
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
A 19-ounce (540mL) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups (1L) of water
1 teaspoon (5mL) of salt
A 14-ounce (400mL) can coconut milk
2 cups (500mL) of fresh or frozen green peas
1 pint (500mL) of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ teaspoon (2mL) of your favorite hot sauce
The zest and juice of 1 lime
A handful of fresh cilantro sprigs
Splash the vegetable oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring as the onions soften, 5 minutes or so. Sprinkle in the curry and stir for a few moments to brighten its flavor. Toss in the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, water and salt. Bring to a slow, steady simmer, then simmer long enough for the sweet potato to soften, 20 minutes or so.
Pour in the coconut milk, peas and tomatoes. Continue cooking just long enough to heat everything through. Season with the hot sauce and lime zest and juice. Serve and share with the cilantro sprinkled over every bowl.
Is it no reflection on the quality of this recipe that one boy got up from the table after eating a bowl full of this for dinner to make himself a sandwich. See above re: hollow legs.
We also had great success recently with an apple galette, inspired by Kitchen Counter Chronicles. Jen’s recipe is ever so kid-friendly, and the kids really loved getting involved in making dessert.
And if you do not have the time or energy to make your own baked goods, either for dinner or for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities, give thanks for the brilliant concept that is ShopBake, an on-line baked goods store with treats from over 50 Toronto bakeries. They sent us a sample pack of some of their goodies, and I have to tell you that everything I tasted was delicious. Best of all, because there are so many vendors, you can really narrow down your parameters: gluten-free, nut-free no problem!
Shop Bake sent us samples of their goodies, and Penguin sent us a copy of Michael Smith’s Family Meals. Thank you for spreading the goodness!