I’m all about comfort food to the max, and with a lot of fussy eaters in my house I’ve had to be devious over the years… I think I missed my opportunity to write a cook book on incorporating all those lovely veggies into my children’s meals without them even noticing, it seems it has become the trend for the celebrities that are new mothers to claim they invented the idea of chopping and pureeing veggies into our children’s diet… Believe me I learnt this trick long before that first cookbook hit the shelves!
Dinner for eight people on a budget is an art, comfort food makes this art easier, you can stretch almost anything once it’s incorporated into a delicious casserole, stew or soup, you can add nutrition from lots of ingredients and lots of flavor from herbs and spices and then incorporate into the dish, some lentils, maybe barley or just something that stretches that dish to go a bit further.
Tonight I have the dilemma of cooking for the majority but then making a couple of dishes for two very fussy eaters… So my plan of action is focaccia bread dough from the pioneer woman, from this I can make two pizzas for my extremely fussy eaters, but then also make the focaccia bread to go with a warm barley, rice soup, all of this will be served with a green arugula salad… Voila, dinner to the max, on a budget, even if you have gluten allergies, and dairy allergies, this can be incorporated too at not a lot of extra cost!
Pumpkin rice and barley soup, topped with crispy Cajun ground beef
1 can of pumpkin purée
4 cups of broth (choose a broth of your choice, I’m using a veggie one)
2 cups of shredded or finely chopped carrots
2 cups of chopped green beans
4 stalks of finely chopped celery
1 sweet potato, scrubbed, and chopped into small cubes
1 cup of frozen spinach
Any other vegetables you would like to add, I’m restricted with my breastfeeding diet
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon of wheat germ
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 cup of barley
1 cup of brown rice
2 teaspoons of thyme
2 teaspoons of oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 packet of ground turkey
2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
Olive/coconut oil for browning
Add oil to pot, I’m using my ninja three in one cooker, add ground turkey and cook until cooked and crispy brown… Keep warm! Remove from pot then add about a tablespoon more oil, add in vegetables of choice, except frozen spinach, cook for about 10 minutes until slightly softened, then add thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, flax seed, whet germ and chia seeds, stir to mix before adding pumpkin and broth, followed by barley and brown rice, bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is cooked, toss in spinach let it warm through, before serving in bowls topped with crispy ground turkey!
Throw together a simple arugula green salad and slice warm focaccia bread