Few things say fall like stews, soups and chilis. In our house, chili is in the rotation from Halloween to the first of March. Smelling it cook all day is part of the joy. And because you make it yourself, you get to decide the type of beans you use and just how spicy you make it. I've been keeping ours on the milder side in the hopes my son will eat it, and I never use kidney beans because I hate them. I don't care if people (hi, Mom) say it's not chili without them. Regardless of any modifications, I find it's always delicious — and perfect this time of year. And while the upside is that it's super simple, the downside is there really isn't much for kiddos to do to help.
We don't do fried chicken largely for health reasons. But most fried things have egg in them, and a lot use dairy too. But sometimes you just want a little crunch on your chicken, right? I've been experimenting with a crispy chicken, and it seems to be going over well.
I make a lot of chicken around here. Like, a lot. And I used to buy packets of dry spice mixes for marinades, and while I loved them, they were just too expensive. So, I started playing around with making my own. For a while, I didn't measure, and I'm pretty confident that we can all make our own meat marinades without measuring, but if you're looking for something to try tonight, here's one iteration that's a toddler/husband/mama favorite.
My son is all about chicken thighs with some light spice. Getting him to TRY (much less LIKE) any other cut of meat is not easy. But last night, I scored something of a victory. He's never had chicken nuggets, but if your kiddo prefers the smaller shape, there's no reason you can't cut the chicken into smaller bites before breading and cooking.
In our house, chicken is the meat of choice. My son prefers thighs; I prefer breast meat. This dinner seemed to be a good compromise because the meat stayed pretty moist. Plus, it's free of dairy, eggs, soy, nuts and gluten too.
Very few ingredients, a simple sauce that most people will like. But I do have to be honest: My kiddo did not love the pasta with this sauce. But he did love helping. And that's something. (I also have to believe that most kids would enjoy a side dish of pasta.)
My son is somewhat skeptical of ground meat, so I thought maybe meatballs would appeal to him because of the shape. It worked!