My 12-year-old daughter has become a vegetarian. This is something that she's toyed with on and off for about a year, but usually a quick trip through the McDonald's drive-thru will cure her of it. (I know, how mean am I? But as someone who for years thought Vegans were aliens on Star Trek, I knew this would be a huge challenge for me, and I wanted to be sure she was serious about it.)
For several weeks now, she has stuck to her guns and not put a morsel of beef, chicken or fish in her mouth. She gets the vegetarian meals for lunch at school, and I know this because I checked the invoice online to see what she's been ordering. And I've made it a point to cook a few of her very favorite recipes that include meat, and she opts for peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
I finally caved and bought a vegetarian cookbook a couple days ago. Last night I tried our first dish. It was so delicious, I have to share the recipe with you. The picky eater in the family would have nothing to do with it. But the three of us non-vegetarians were sold. This stew is filling, flavorful, a bit sweet and the servings are huge. No side dishes required.
Southwestern Stew with corn dumplings
from Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
l large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cups cubed peeled dark-orange sweet potatoes or butternut squash
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
1 jar (16 oz) chunky-style salsa
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pouch (6.5 oz) golden corn muffin mix and bread mix
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon roasted sunflower nuts, if desired
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In ovenproof 4-quart Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in sweet potatoes, corn, beans, salsa, water and cinnamon. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
2. In small bowl, mix corn muffin mix, milk and 1 tablespoon oil. Stir in nuts if desired. Drop dough by 8 spoonfuls onto vegetable mixture.
3. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of dumplings comes out clean.
This recipe is a great source of vitamins A and C. It meets 30% of daily iron requirements, which is one of the nutrients I've been struggling to get into her diet. I found a website on teens and vegetarianism that I think will be helpful. If anyone else has any resources, I'd love to hear about them.
For the Giving Thanks Challenge: I'm thankful for fall vegetables. Butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkins. All part of the reason that fall is my favorite season.