Being that I am an almost-vegetarian I’m not sure why I keep pushing Maya to eat meat. Maybe because I don’t want her to be anemic like me. Or maybe because I want to feed her as much protein as I can because I am tired of people asking me why she is so thin. Or maybe because I don’t want people to think that as an almost-vegetarian I won’t let her eat meat.
The only thing that one can extract from the above paragraph is that I need counseling to figure out why I think I need to justify why I think Maya should eat meat. And now that we are all suitably confused, I’ll just move on…
Maya won’t eat meat unless it comes in a nugget form, and since I obviously won’t allow my child to eat deep fried carcinogens it goes without saying that Maya doesn’t eat much meat! So on the rare occasion she asks me to make her “Red Chicken,” I get off my lazy behind and oblige her.
Despite the unappealing and completely deceptive name Maya has given this dish, it is the easiest recipe in the world:
Red Chicken (There is no chicken in this meal but I can only correct Maya so many times before I throw in the towel)
1/2 pound of ground turkey
1/2 cup of tomato sauce (I use Ralph’s organic brand which Ali and I agree is the best jarred sauce we’ve tasted. Ali and I don’t agree often so trust us on this one).
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat the olive oil and add the ground turkey. When the turkey is browned, add the tomato sauce, sprinkle the spices evenly, and mix well.
After making the “Red Chicken” I was suddenly inspired to make a vegetarian dish to go along with it. Truth be told, I visually needed to see some green foods on the dinner table so I could pretend I served my family a well balanced meal. So after considering the contents of our nearly empty fridge, I dug deep into our freezer, found a bag of frozen peas and broccoli, and came up with this:
Indian-ish Peas and Broccoli
3/4 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of defrosted broccoli
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
Heat the olive oil until super hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stir until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the turmeric and stir well. Turn the heat to medium and add the onion. Stir until the onions are soft, and then add the defrosted broccoli and the frozen peas. Stir until everything is well combined, turn the heat off and cover so the peas defrost.
A chopped tomato would have been a fabulous addition to this delicious dish, but since I was pretty surprised to find an onion in my bare bones kitchen, I knew that finding a tomato would have been sheer madness.
Right after I finished cooking dinner, my father-in-law came over for a surprise visit. I can count on my right hand how many times he’s eaten something I’ve cooked, so I was speechless when he took me up on my offer to have dinner with us. Truth be told, I can’t say I blame him for being a bit timid around my cooking…you would too if you saw some of the random things that have come out of my kitchen.
I didn’t get any compliments from Ali, his dad, or Maya, but I didn’t get any complaints either. And in the Din household, where every sentence usually includes at least one complaint, no complaints = success in my book.