Cooking for Kyle and I can be, how do I put this lightly… challenging. I am a vegetarian and Kyle is a 12 year old boy trapped in a 24 year old man’s body when it comes to food. I am pretty sure that Kyle has personally kept Wonka in business, buying all forms of Sweet-tarts over the years. Also, his favorite foods consist of chicken (in all forms), mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, french fries, cake, donuts, and of course, candy. When we started dating I got Kyle to try his first strawberry and raspberry – success – except he hated them and to quote his take on raspberries, “I think I just ate the earth, that is what the earth has to taste like”. So, I failed on that one. Needless to say, getting Kyle to eat healthy has been an uphill battle. He has sensory integration issues, so texture is a big hurdle that he can’t get over. Which brings up a big problem trying to introduce new foods.
I have slowly been influencing his food decisions, and when I see him eat only 1 chicken breast and 1 side of mashed potatoes, I feel really proud! That may not seem like a big deal to some, but if you know Kyle, it is. I can’t tell you how many times a waitress had to be present while I tried to talk him out of ordering 2 chicken breasts, double mashed potatoes, and potentially fries. One huge victory in the war of getting Kyle to be healthy is that he likes quinoa. I never in a million years thought he would like it! Like is also an understatement, he LOVES it. Every meal we have to have quinoa, and here lately we have been making meals that are solely quinoa. I am completely ok with it, too! If Kyle is wanting to eat quinoa everyday I will make it for him. With that said, I have been trying to research some fun recipes to continue with this new found love so I don’t get burned out on it.
Here is one of my go-to recipes. I think I am going to change it a little bit the next time I make it by taking out the corn, but still one of my favorites. Being from New Mexico, I obviously love mexican food and can’t get enough green chile. Others may not like it as much, my husband being one of those people (I don’t get it). I haven’t quite gotten him to try this yet, but maybe one day!
1 cup white quinoa (make sure you rinse it really well before putting it in)
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 small can Hatch green chiles
1 cup corn (I used frozen Trader Joe’s roasted corn)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
cilantro & avocado (optional)
In a medium sauce pan combine all ingredients except the lime, cilantro & avocado. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower temperature to low-medium heat and cover. When all the liquid is absorbed it is done! Easiest thing ever to make. It usually takes about 30-40 minutes for all the liquid to be fully absorbed. After you take it off the heat, squeeze the lime in and top with cilantro, avocado slices and cheese if you would like!
Why the lime is not optional is because beans are a great source of iron, but it is in a form that is not able to be absorbed. If you combine beans with a source of vitamin C (lime) it takes the iron from a form that is not available to be absorbed to a form that can be! Make sure that you also don’t add the lime juice while it is on the heat because it can break-down the vitamin C and make it not work as well as it should. Just a tip for all you other vegetarians or those of you doing meatless meals to ensure you are getting all the nutrients out of your meal that you can!