My friend Erin at Smallbites has been chronicling the hits and misses at her dinner table. I love blogs that highlight what real families are eating and if it the passes the kid-test of approval. Frankly, my five-year old is my dirty little secret. Perhaps she's the reason I do my job as food editor at Working Mother so well (pretty sure my deputy editor would agree). In truth, she's a typical kid. Food has to pass the color and smell test before it even warrants a place on her palate.
I've taken control of my dinner table and decided if "you get what you get and you don't get upset" flies at school, then it's worth a try at home. Last night I made a bean chili. It's a great busy mom dish for many reasons. First the black beans and kidney beans, the main ingredients, make sure it's packed with protein, fiber and lots of other good stuff. It's also a ridiculously quick meal to make and perfect for the budget conscious mom (who isn't these days?).
It turned out to be the ultimate happy meal. Everyone loved it - down to my nine-month old. A quick whirl in the food processor and she was gobbling up her own portion. And the five-year old? She ate it too. The black beans were a no go, but she asked for seconds on the kidney beans, so there I was extracting them like a game of operation. Next time I'll probably skip the black beans all together to keep it even easier. This is sure to be a home-run with your clan too, so add it to this week's menu and let me know the verdict.
Smoky Bean Chili
Serves 6 to 8
Just skip the bacon if you want to keep this chili veggie and start by sauteing the onion in the olive oil. Feel free to pump up the spice with some chipotle powder or hot sauce based on your family's tastes.
3 slices bacon, diced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 11-ounce jar salsa 1/2 cup frozen corn
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups hot cooked rice
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, optional
1 teaspoons fresh chopped cilantro, optional
- Heat a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and saute until coked but not crisp. Add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute until onions are softened. Add the cumin and coriander (this helps release the flavors instead of just adding to the finished chili); stir well.
- Add beans, salsa, corn and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, the reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes until corn is cooked through. Serve over hot rice and garnish with cheddar cheese and cilantro.