For years before Larson, we’d been running the food blog A Couple Cooks, all about the joy of cooking and eating healthy, vegetable-forward food--together as a couple. Suddenly, we had someone new to cook for. But instead of disrupting our life with food, we found that having a baby fit right into our routine of cooking and eating real food.
Now that Larson’s turned one and officially a toddler, we’ve been able to share our greatest love with him: food! And to our surprise, it’s been easier than we thought…so far, at least (fingers crossed!). Here are 10 pretty simple toddler-feeding strategies that are working in our house:
Smoky Red Lentil Stew
Serves 3 to 4
2 large carrots
1 medium yellow onion
2 stalks celery
3 medium garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika (pimentón), plus more for garnish
¼ teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1¼ cups red lentils
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice (½ large lemon)
1 handful cilantro or Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Plain Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
1. Peel and finely dice the carrots and onion, then finely dice the celery. Peel and mince the garlic.
2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Then stir in the balsamic vinegar, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, and lentils and stir for another minute. Add the broth, kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a low simmer, then cover halfway and gently simmer until the lentils are just soft but before they start to break apart, about 7 to 10 minutes. Watch closely and taste to assess doneness. The finished soup should be brothy with the lentils just soft; cooking past this point yields a very thick stew (which is just as delicious but less soup-like). Stir in the lemon juice.
4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with torn cilantro or parsley leaves, Greek yogurt, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
Recipe excerpted from A Couple Cooks | Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love with Real Food by Sonja and Alex Overhiser. Copyright © 2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.