Ben the Big Boy?

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Ben the Big Boy?

Recently, Ben has decided that he is a “big boy”. He has decided that trying to crawl is for chumps and prefers to “walk” around with you holding his hands. He could literally do laps around our house for hours if our backs didn’t give out. I’m short, but hunching over doing laps from living room to kitchen over and over again gets very old very quickly. In addition, he has decided that he will only eat from a spoon if it is a “baby treat”. By baby treat I mean either pureed berries mixed with cereal and yogurt or peanut butter and yogurt. Those foods cannot be shoveled into his face fast enough. As a result of this new penchant for grown-up things, I decided to try just giving him food that Husband and I were eating. My friend Nikki over at FantasticImaginings wrote a fantastic post in which she describes giving her little guy grown-up food. And thus tonight began Ben’s first dinner with the grown-ups, aka Jack the dog’s “Dear Diary, today was the greatest day ever!!!” moment.

This evening I made my black bean and rice dish. It’s in no way authentic, but it’s tasty. Ben thought so too, but the best part was smooshing it with his hands (so much texture!) and throwing it off of his tray to the dog (hence, Jack’s “Dear Diary” moment).

Black Beans and Rice (baby approved)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground turkey (I used 94% fat-free, but you can use ground turkey breast for something leaner)
1-15 oz can of black beans
1 Tb olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup (roughly) apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (can be omitted if you’re not a heat fan)
Hot sauce to taste

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about a minute.
  2. Add the turkey and brown.
  3. As the turkey is browning, add in the spices to ensure that the spices get into the meat.
  4. Once the meat is browned, add half of the beans (liquid and all) into the meat. Crush the other half of the beans in the can and add to the pot. The crushed beans will allow the mixture to thicken.
  5. I’m super imprecise when I cook, so before you throw your can into the recycling bin, fill it half-way with water and dump that water into the pot.
  6. Add the apple cider vinegar and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. After 10 minutes, add in the vegetables and adjust seasonings by adding hot sauce and other spices accordingly.
  8. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt. We eat ours with rice that I cook in the rice cooker (one of the greatest appliances), but it’s fine by itself.

Ben gobbled this up like it was going out of style. He generally likes black beans, but this was his first experience with ground turkey, onions and garlic. It seemed to go well, so we’ll be adding these to his repertoire!

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