Skip to main content

Kid-Friendly Sweet-Not-Spicy Chili


All the parents at the girls' daycare have noticed an annoying trend: foods that the kids won't touch at home, they gobble down at daycare.  Perhaps it's peer pressure, I don't know, but the kids tell us they ONLY like x, y or z the way the daycare makes it and it drives us all mad.  I don't doubt the food is good, the daycare has their own cook who makes, fresh, homemade vegetarian meals each day.  But some of the parents have tried using her recipes and their kids STILL won't eat the food at home.

Nevertheless, when the girls both came home last week and told me they like chili - as long as it's not spicy - I couldn't miss the opportunity to make something new.  Now, anytime I serve something new for the first time, it's ALWAYS a disaster.  Generally they will refuse to try it or say they hate it before they try it, or will try only a microscopic amount.  I end up furious, and Adam asks me why I even bother.  Fun stuff.

So this time, I decided to adjust my expectations and simply expect that they wouldn't touch it.  I now know that sometimes (and only sometimes), after a few tries, they end up loving something they initially claimed to have hated (like my chicken soup with kamut alphabet pasta).  This time, however, I got a nice surprise: Big A was willing to try it, AND she really liked it!  In particular, she gushed over the kidney beans, and it's been years (she ate hummus until she was about 4) since I've been able to get her to go near a legume (peanuts excluded).  Little A, however, refused to even taste it, but hey, I expected that.  I'm willing to try again until she comes around.  Admittedly, she could be leaving for university by then...

I toned down the seasoning in this chili, added a sweet element with some mango puree, and hid some white veggies (green cabbage and cauliflower), which are undetectable.  Just make sure that if your kids hate 'bits' as much as Little A does, you puree everything well.  Also, if little spots might freak them out, you might want to use white instead of red quinoa.

Kid-Friendly Sweet-Not-Spicy Chili

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup red lentils, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed
1 onion, minced
1 cup green cabbage, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls mild chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups pureed mango
500g frozen cauliflower (or 4 cups fresh, cut into small florets)*, cooked and pureed
1 650ml jar passata (strained tomatoes)
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 cup red (or white) quinoa
2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Set a large pot over medium heat.  Saute lentils, onion, cabbage, garlic and spices in oil for about 5 minutes.  Add mango and cauliflower and cook for another 5 minutes.  Pour in tomatoes, and water or stock.  If chili is 'chunky' at this point, use an immersion blender to get out any big 'bits' of veggies.  Add quinoa and beans.  Turn heat down to medium low and simmer quinoa is cooked and chili has thickened (at least 30 minutes).  Serves a crowd.  Freezes well.

*Frozen cauliflower is softer and easier to puree, but well cooked fresh will do too.

This recipe has been entered into Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday.

Comments

  1. Oh I totally relate to your dinner woes! My daughter and husband are terribly picky and spice averse. I love the idea of pureed veggies!
    -Dana

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree what is it? The peer pressure? I need to get some peer pressure for home LOL Love the addition of cabbage!! :)
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!


    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blackfly Coolers: Product Review

Summer is over! Well, at least if you're a student. Officially it doesn't end for a few weeks, and it certainly still feels like summer. Yeah, I hate it. This f*cking hot, humid weather needs to end NOW! We made the most of our last weekend of the summer with our annual trip to the CNE on Friday, with a crowd of friends. It wasn't unbearably lot, thank goodness, and the girls and their friends had a blast on the rides.  Saturday I had to work, and Sunday was errand day. Monday we took the girls berry/apple/pear picking but didn't last long due to the heat. I organized the house to prepare for the construction workers starting back up yesterday, while Adam took the girls for a swim in our neighbourhood pool.

Yesterday was the first day of school. Grade 2 and Grade 5. Yep, the girls are growing up.  We are fortunate that the girls don't have much anxiety about school, they are so much more confident than I ever was as a kid! But now, in the midst of our reno chaos, …

Live Clean

I have been committed to living a healthy life through nutrition and fitness for over 20 years now.

It took me a lot longer to pay attention to what I was cleaning the house with and what I was putting ON my body as opposed to IN it.

When I got pregnant with Big A I started reading about the toxins in a lot of commercial cleaning products and switched to the all-natural, eco-friendly stuff. When I became pregnant with Little A, I switched to all-natural, eco-friendly personal care products.

I am all for being environmentally friendly for the good of the planet, but to be honest, what really motivates me to make these types of changes is concern for my family's health.

You may remember I mentioned giving up my favorite perfume a while back because it apparently is full of nasty chemicals. I switched to the "Red Tea" scent made my Roots, which is supposed to be somewhat "natural". This was only after a number of trial and errors. I first found a woman in …

Panang Curry

When we go out for Thai food, one of my favorite things to order is the panang curry. But there is no doubt when this dish is made in a restaurant, it packs a hefty wallop of fat, sodium and calories.

My version is lightened up, but still rich and flavourful and it is super simple to make.

Traditionally, panang curry is made with either beef or chicken, but I made it vegetarian, using dried seiten (wheat gluten) I got at T&T a few weeks ago. If you are not sensitive to gluten, this is a great source of vegetarian protein. If you cannot find it dried, you can get it prepared at most health food stores. Alternatively, you can use tofu, or the more traditional chicken or beef options.

This dish also doesn't usually have much vegetable matter in it, but I love how yummy veggies taste when simmered in this sauce, and it makes this a healthy one-pot meal. Use whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand.

Protein of choice (2 cups seiten or 1 lb organic tofu, boneless skinless ch…