We almost never eat chicken (or any meat) but occasionally I splurge on pricey, organic, grass-fed, local chicken at the pricey, local health-food mart. I made this the other night and don't want to forget how I did it!
Chicken and Rice on the Stove
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in two equal pieces each
1 cup of brown rice
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup of red wine
some olive oil
salt, pepper, thyme to taste
Heat some olive oil in a large, heavy skillet (medium high).
Add the chicken pieces and sear them on one side, then turn them and lower the heat to medium and cover the skillet.
Chop the onion and garlic and toss it in the skillet with the chicken.
Keep the skillet covered, but stir the onions etc. every so often until they are cooked and maybe sticking a bit to the skillet.
Deglaze the skillet with the wine, add the rice, veggie broth, tomatoes (including the liquid in the can), salt, pepper and thyme.
Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low.
Let it all sit there for about an hour.
Serve! It was really yummy.
Because Alison wants to know:
1 large head of broccoli and/or onion, asparagus, potato or other veggie (in about a 3/1 broccoli/other ratio)
and/or quinoa, millet any other whole grain you have on hand (I mix grains in an equal ratio for a total of about 2 cups dry)
1 cup of dry beans (any combination is fine)
1/3 cup wheat germ
4 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon ginger or sparing amounts of other spices your kid likes
Steam the broccoli and/or other veggies.
Cook the grains (I use a rice cooker for mine--imprecise but fine for this purpose--If your beans are just lentils, you can toss them in the rice cooker too).
Cook the beans.
If you have a child with plenty of teeth and chewing experience toss everything but the grain and beans in a food processor and blend until smooth. Then add the grain/beans and mix it all together well. If you have a younger baby who needs smoother food, blend the grains and beans too.
I freeze this mixture in my old baby-food cube trays, though it takes three or four cubes to make a nice meal for Nat these days.
When I want to feed it to her, I take a few cubes and put them in a glass dish and microwave them for about 25 seconds. They come out soft. I can cut them into finger-food bites or give her a fork to mash them around and eat them more like a thick cereal. She has no problem if they are still cold or even half-frozen, so her non-pickiness helps a lot. I've even fed them to her on cross-country road trips where I put frozen cubes in a glass dish with a lid in a cooler and gave them to her to eat as finger-food in the back seat while we were driving.
It's still handy to have this nutritious food on hand that she always likes to eat. If I'm having a lazy cooking day and telling Cole to scrounge for leftovers or cheese toast or a frozen burrito, I can still give Nat something healthy and balanced with zero effort.
The weirdest thing about this food is that she loves to eat it though she's been much pickier lately about eating straight-up broccoli or any other vegetable in the past few weeks. I'm going to go back to making a similar blend with sweet potatoes and carrots and see if she won't eat it too. These two (the orange and the green cubes) were her staples last year. I think she regards them as comfort foods. These days she is more of a normal 2 year-old eater in that she mostly wants tried and true favorites which amounts to lots and lots of fruit, more cheese than she needs on any given day, milk rather than solid anything and bread or other carbs (pasta being a favorite). It's still not terrible, if I remind myself that plenty of kids her age won't eat anything but box macaroni and cheese powder or mystery-meat dogs, or in the case of a kid I once taught in preschool, blueberry pancakes. But I want to keep her as balanced as possible!
*inspired by "Super Porridge" in Super Baby Food.