Sunday, February 12, 2012

Eat Something New Already

As an infant/toddler, Gracie was seriously the most amazing eater you have ever seen in your life.  Child ate 95% of what was put in front of her.  The 5% included meat and ravioli/pierogis/any smooth pasta like that.  As she approached three, that list got narrower and narrower- she still eats fruits and vegetables, so we're ahead of the game as it typically goes with kids her age, but her acceptable entree list has grown shorter and shorter with each passing day.  Katie is a bit pickier than her sister, and of course, her favorites are ravioli and anything involving meat.  It's become a challenge to make dinner, to say the least.  And?  Really?  I refuse to fall into a rut where they eat spaghetti and meatballs or mac and cheese every single freaking night of their lives.

So I went looking for recipes and I found this. And although it seemed inocuous enough, I needed to choose a day when Gracie ate a big lunch, in case she fully rejected it (since it would defeat the purpose entirely if I gave her the same old bean and cheese quesadilla if she refused it.)  I didn't follow the recipe exactly, because I am allergic to following recipes. Also because i wanted to use what I had in the house.

I used chickpeas instead of black beans, 1/2 tsp chili powder instead of cayenne, 1/4 tsp of cumin because too much bothers me (it totally smells like B.O., and I can't be convinced otherwise), and just kind of shook oregano over it til it looked about right to me.  I also just added whatever corn I had in the house, which wasn't very much.

I just kind of scooped some cooked brown basmati rice in until it looked right to me.  The pics in the recipe looked rice-y for us, so I think I used less than two cups.

I had cheddar cheese in the house, so that is what I used. I don't really know how much I used, just enough to make a thin layer on top. She says, at one point in the recipe, to mix everything together, but her pictures pretty clearly look like the cheese is just on top, so that is what I did.

I started cooking dinner too late tonight, so I definitely did not leave it in the oven for a full thirty minutes. I just left it there til the cheese was all melted. I prefer my cheese more bubbly, and would cook it longer next time.
I did let it rest for the full ten minutes- anyone reading this probably knows this, but just in case, you have to rest casseroles just like you rest meat, or they'll just be a runny, disgusting mess.

It was extremely easy and fast- I made it while Grace ran in and out of the kitchen and Katie whined and clung to my leg because she woke up from her nap too early.  The whole time I was cooking it, I kept showing it to Gracie and stressing that it was full of delicious things that she really likes.  She kept talking about it being new cheesy beans- her name for the bean and cheese quesadillas she would eat for every meal if we let her.

And then she ate it!

Well.  Mostly, she ate the cheesy topping.  But she ate everything that was stuck to it and picked out a lot of the chickpeas, too.

Katie ate hers, too.  WITH GUSTO.
And Stephen and I ate ours, too (not pictured.)  I added salt and hot sauce to mine, because it was definitely a little bland (the recipe suggests adding meat, which I did not do so I could eat it too, and I probably went easier on the spices than I needed to.)  And bonus points: it was something new!  With new flavors and textures!  And there were actual vegetables involved!

It was a win.  We'll make it again.


Max's Mommy said...

That does look good! (My husband would never go for it though, darn.)

Congrats on finding something everybody likes.

Crabby Apple Seed: said...

Is he picky? I swear, women get a bum rap on this, but so many men are SUCH babies about what they will and won't eat. Stephen is easy that way, but my brother is worse than Gracie with what he's willing to eat.

Laura said...

duly noted.

Megan M said...

this looks so good....I will have to try it! Abigail hates meat, and I try other sources of protein as often as I can...but she would prefer to just eat mac and cheese or a ketchup sandwich (yup, I said ketchup)