Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kid Friendly Meals

We have had an illness that's swept through our family for the past week and it's been a drag.  Since I was sitting at home with sick kids, I went through and organized some photos that I recently took and  I came across the ones below.  They made me think about one of the joys of parenting - the opportunity to sit back and observe my kids experiencing joy and the ability to experience the world through their eyes.  
Feeling the sunshine and breathing evening air
Interacting with nature

And exploring new places
Learning to do hard things
And gently touching tiny living things

I wouldn't classify trying to find food the whole family will eat as one of those "joys" but it's a great moment when I make something that everybody eats and enjoys.  This initially didn't sound great to me (maybe the name?) but it's a combination of fresh ingredients and familiar, favorite dishes.

When I took the picture, it was just ready off the stove.  The sauce thickened up as it sat a little bit  and coated the noodles more like macaroni and cheese.  I particularly liked that you can make it in one pot and it only takes about a half an hour.

One Pot Chili Mac & Cheese (4 servings)

1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced onion
8 oz ground beef or ground turkey
4 c. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3/4 c. white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c. kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. chili powder
1.5 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
10 oz uncooked elbow / macaroni pasta
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add garlic, onion, and ground beef and cook until the meat is browned, about 3-5 minutes.  Drain excess fat.

Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, and seasonings.  Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Top with cheese and replace the cover until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.  At this point, I stirred it up but you can leave it and serve it with the cheese on top.

Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

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