Mommy + Me Meals // Slow Cooker Soup

>> Thursday, November 10, 2016

This post from my old family blog is just about two years old. It's still one of my favorite food tricks if Ada's being picky! And I actually think I may make slow cooker soup or chili tonight for dinner. Yum!

I must admit that as Ada nears age 3, she’s been much more adventurous with her eats. Some of her new favorites? Black olives and roasted beets. Stephen opened a can of olives to toss onto our pasta dinner one night, and we heard a little: “Whadder doze?” And the rest is history.

Still, assembled meals allude us. So, I needed a way to get Ada to eat what we were eating now that it’s fall. Why does that matter? I make my many slow cooker soups, and she just wasn’t interested -- in any of them. Rather than make a completely separate meal (which is what we’ve done for far too long), I got this sort of weird and wonderful idea.

It’s Soup and Not Soup

For this particular slow cooker soup, I made a batch of this delicious Whole Foods recipe, but instead of red beans -- I used a mix of black and pinto. Instead of red rice, I used brown. I skipped the greens.  I tossed in some salsa and pumpkin puree for wet ingredients versus the wine. And then instead of cooking it on the stovetop, I simmered for several hours in the slow cooker (after the beans had soaked in water overnight).

You get the idea. Keep it loose, use what you have, and improvise.

I like to serve chunky soups and stews with cheese, so that’s why you see that in the mix. The olives were added because Ada likes them. And you see some canned black beans on Ada’s plate -- that’s because she’s only now starting to like rehydrated beans. They are ever-so slightly tougher and less salty . . . so the canned are like the gateway beans on her plate.

Here’s a closer look:

And that’s right. This is the same meal, though it looks quite different, right? The strange part: I strained Ada’s beans and rice versus serving them in soup form. I tried soup first just to see, but she turned her nose. This is much the same nutrition, minus the goop.

You can either use a slotted spoon to do the work. Really picky kids might need light rinse in the colander. Since I’d eventually hope Ada will enjoy some soup, I am going to keep trying to serve it to her in its original form before going to these measures. But we do what we need to do. It’s better than admitting defeat and serving yet another PB+J.

She was skeptical at first, but ended up eating the whole thing (plus an apple)! I’m absolutely thrilled to see Ada trying new foods. I’m going to continue to encourage it, but also keep following her lead. Thanks for you patience with this post -- I know some of you had been looking forward to it for over a week!

Have you made any good mommy + me meals lately?

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