Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dreamy Beanies Please

My littlest offspring #3 was really sad yesterday. This is newsworthy because #3 is usually the happiest living being in the entire universe. Really. She's definitely a "cup 1/2 full" kind of child, so her quiet, glum little expression caused warning bells to rouse me to full mommy mode. After a quick check to insure that she wasn't feverish, and pulling her onto my lap, I asked "why the sad face, little peanut?". The proverbial dam burst open and the little lass poured out her dismay that she can't eat anything anymore. Ah, I fully understand. You see, in the past couple of weeks, I've removed, as best as humanly possible, wheat from #3's diet. Despite doctor's reassurances that stomach aches are common in children and that I should simply ply her with antacids, I've decided to trust my gut, as I should have long ago, and retort that no it's not ok for a child to have this many stomach aches, particularly a well adjusted, well loved, well liked sprite of a girl. Soooo, I removed wheat and what do you know ... no more tummy aches. Plus, both #3 and offspring #2 don't drink milk and can only have limited dairy (it's a milk protein thing, not a lactose thing). Now, while that may seem daunting, I'm pleased to report that there are actually zillions of choices of what to eat. Mostly meat, seafood, fruit, legumes, rice and veggies ... all of which are good for you. I'll admit that I miss being able to whip up a big batch of pasta (it's an Italian thing), and sandwiches and pizza are out, yet I also have to admit that it's actually working out quite well. An adjustment, for sure, but not that bad. Anyway, back to youngest offspring ... after a nice heart to heart chat, I got out my cookbooks and had her flag any recipes that she would like me to make. Said cookbooks now sport about 10 zillion post it notes flagging her stomach's desire. Her first request was "dreamy beanies, please" A variation of that wonderful concoction known as white bean spread; it's easy, fast, and full of protein. Simply blend white beans cooked with garlic, olive oil, rosemary sprig, a couple grinds of sea salt, and sage. (remove the rosemary before blending) A finishing drizzle of olive oil and a couple grinds of pepper make it a great appetizer or light lunch. I mash it by hand, but it's also delightful whipped up in the food processor. This photo shows it pared with Rice Chips. It's great spread on crostini, too. Next is our full flavor Santa Fe Stew. This made the entire house smell heavenly. I made it with ground turkey, but the meat can be completed omitted or feel free to substitute whatever type of meat you like. This comes together quickly, so prep everything in advance.

2 T olive oil
1 lb ground meat (I used turkey)
Salt to taste
1 large onion diced
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon (yep, cinnamon)
2 large garlic cloves minced
1 cup minced peppers (I used a combo of Anaheim, Poblano, and regular green)
2 T chili powder
1 cups chix broth or water
1 medium (2 lbs) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the oil in a dutch oven, and add the meat, onion, salt, cumin and cinnamon. Cook over low heat until the onion is soft, about 10 min, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic, peppers, and chili powder. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes. Add the broth or water, stir and cook another 5 minutes. Add the squash and lemon juice. Stir, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the squash is cooked, but not mushy. Gently stir in the beans, cover, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if you desire it. Serve hot as is or with warmed soft corn tortillas, a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds, a little bit of cilantro, and sr. cream.

PS: Offspring #3 is once again a jubilant little sprite.


Marjie said...

Love the picture of Little Miss in the tree. Is this home or on your recent trip to SD? She's a cute little mite! And I may actually be your first commenter - yay!

Paula said...

Thanks for your comments. You are the first one! The pic was taken in our front yard this weekend when the sun decided to make an appearance. It's shining now, too, which is giving me a major case of spring fever!