Monday: Tomato-corn crumble (adapted from this; I’ll be adding crumbled feta cheese and corn to the tomatoes, and making a crumble topping with flour, oats, melted butter, ground almonds and salt and pepper.) The cheese may make the tomatoes (pretty suspect with this group, unless they’re fresh cherry tomatoes) more appealing. Those who are still dubious will have the corn, and there’s at least some nutrition in the crumble.
Tuesday: Broccoli-cheese soup with baking soda biscuits
Wednesday: Chicken cacciatore. For the vegetarian, I’ll skip the chicken and beef it up (ar,ar, the irony) with pureed chickpeas.
Thursday: Black bean falafels in half-pitas with yogurt sauce and shredded veggies
Friday: Vegetable-cheese tart
Jazz is vegetarian. When they interviewed with me, that was one of the first questions asked: Could I accommodate a vegetarian? Though they were quite prepared to provide meals for her if I said no, they were relieved when my answer was “no problem!” It had proven quite an obstacle in other daycares, apparently.
Honestly, I find that odd. Now, this could be because I’m well used to cooking healthy, balanced, meat-free meals. At least half our family dinners are meat-free, often more. But we’re not vegetarians; we do eat meat, and I don’t find adapting meat meals for a vegetarian difficult at all.
The only meat meal on offer to the toddlers this week is the cacciatore. Conveniently, the chicken is the last item added. (You cook it first, then let it rest on a plate while you chop and cook everything else.) Does it make my life any harder whatsoever to use a vegetable broth instead of chicken when simmering the other ingredients? Nope. And then, before I add the chicken, I’ll remove a cup or two to a different container. Easy.
The only additional step I’m taking is to take a handful of cooked (or canned) chickpeas, which I always have in the house, whirl them in a blender with some water till they’re creamy, and pour into the soup. Takes 45 seconds, plus washing the blender. Call it three minutes. If I were feeling reeeeally lazy, I could crumble some tofu into the broth. Additional effort? 5 seconds.