Simple Simon Says...Simple Dinner's Rock!

Tonight, Ry wanted rice noodles. He always wants them, he would subsist off of them if we’d let them. Those and cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, etc., of course). However, when I make him noodles with meat and veggies, he won’t eat anything else but the noodles. So, I may have told him a little white lie tonight, when I said we had no noodles left. Instead, I cooked him brown basmati rice. While it takes about an hour to cook, instead of the twenty minute time-frame of the noodles, it was worth the wait.  It is also exciting that we even get to use rice. We actually started giving it to Ry after we got home from our vacation, so for the last two weeks, off-and-on. It seems to be just fine. I usually like to give things about a week before deciding if it’s okay or not, unless it’s blatantly obvious. At this point, he has still been doing fine, so we are excited. Still not getting too excited, but always hopeful. Rice opens up a whole new world of food opportunities. It’s so fun and easy to throw veggies and meat together with cooked rice or make rice pudding or rice noodles (what little kid doesn’t love noodles?). Okay, maybe I’m getting a little more excited than I realize, after all it has been about 8 months since he last had rice.

For tonight, we also had half a pack of ground organic turkey that needed to be cooked up. We got our CSA box today, too, which is always exciting. Even though I receive an e-mail each week telling us what we’re getting, I don’t ever remember. Today’s inventory included carrots and purple kale, which I decided to use. I really wanted to make a green sauce with the spinach we got, try a little spin on “green eggs and ham” (minus the eggs and the ham), but I guess I’ll have to save that for another day.

This dinner was so easy, but tasted so good. I think, and I know I’ve said this multiple times before, keeping things simple is good. A lot of times we get too complicated with meals. People always think Ry can’t eat anything, but he really can (I know this is repetitive, too, sorry), but keeping the ingredient list low and getting creative with just a little may result in some surprises for people. Like this dinner, it was brown basmati rice, organic ground turkey, purple kale, carrots, palm shortening and sea salt. That’s it, no other seasonings, no fancy cooking techniques, nothing more. The flavor, though, was awesome. We were all happy and there’s just one small bowl leftover for tomorrow’s lunch, I hope. Plus, what a good way to get kids to eat carrots and purple kale.

In all this talk today about childhood obesity and trying to get kids to eat “right,” kids need to be exposed to good, whole foods. Although Ry and Cove may not have the most diverse food exposure and certainly don’t know what additives, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), fillers, junk food and those other ingredient words you can’t pronounce are, they still know the difference between good and bad food. I have to say that Mike and I also know what good food tastes like and this certainly was good. The point is if something doesn’t have a lot of ingredients and the recipe actually seems easy, it can still taste good.

Turkey, Carrots and Kale with Brown Basmati Rice

2 cups brown basmati rice

1-pound ground organic turkey

2 tablespoons palm shortening

1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste

2 small carrots (or 1 big carrot)

4 purple kale leaves (green kale is fine, too)

Cook the brown basmati rice according to the packages directions. Typically, this takes about an hour total. When it is about half-way done, begin preparing vegetables. Chop the carrots into small pieces. Cut the purple kale off of its stem and chop the leaves into very small pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon palm shortening up in a medium-sized pan, then add the turkey. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until it starts to brown, then add the carrots and purple kale. Sprinkle with sea salt. Continue cooking for about five more minutes, until the turkey is done. Add the brown basmati rice and other 1 tablespoon of palm shortening to the cooked turkey and vegetables. Mix well. Add more sea salt, if desired. Cook for a minute or two more, allowing some of the rice and turkey to get a bit brown and crispy, adds excellent flavor. Enjoy!