One of my goals for this "deployment" is to try a new recipe each week. My criteria for the weekly recipe is that it must be healthy and something I would not typically make. I also aim to only use fresh produce and herbs when possible. Hopefully after 52 weeks of this I will have a handful of healthy meals that we have discovered we actually like!
Week 1: Minestrone Stir Fry (found on wholefoodsmarket.com) serves 4
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped, peeled eggplant
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp dried italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato juice or vegetable broth
1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta
1 cup chopped spinach
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/2 tsp salt
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add eggplant, celery, bell peppers, onions, carrots, italian seasoning, fennel seeds, chile flakes, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes adding a little water to prevent sticking. Add tomatoes and tomato juice and continue to cook for 3 minutes longer. Add pasta, basil, and spinach and salt and cook 1-2 minutes longer to heat through.
I gave my youngest a plastic kids knife and my 5 year old a butter knife to help chop the veggies. They love helping me cook and when there is actual prep work involved like preparing veggies instead of just dumping a box of macaroni in a pot, it can create a really nice experience of working together and cameraderie in the kitchen.
I told my girls that all great "cookers" (Shea's term) taste test their food. I was shocked when my girls who tend to be insanely picky, taste tested each vegetable! My kids are seriously the pickiest kids I have EVER met. Most foods that people consider kid friendly are not MY kid friendly. Thats how picky they are. So just having them taste test each of the raw veggies they were chopping made tonight a success.
I then followed the recipe and it was very easy and fast to make! Once it was cooked, Bethany wanted no part of it, but Shea actually ate a few spoonfuls of it. It didn't taste bad at all. The flavor was just fine. I didn't love it, but I may just need to get used to this healthier fare.