Chickpea
This post is a collaboration with ALDI. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own. 

 

Coming out of quarantine many of us have been preparing a lot more meals at home. I will go out of my way to avoid being a short-order cook for my picky eater.  Before you roll your eyes, it’s not because my kids are angels, raised by a dietitian and eat kale for every meal. In fact, that is probably the furthest from the truth. The truth is, I have three small children and I’m too tired to make multiple meals. That doesn’t mean I take off my dietitian hat at dinner time though, I still want to serve my family affordable healthy meals that they will EAT.  Whether you have a picky eater or not, I think we all can agree that we don’t want to make multiple trips to the grocery store.That is why I love to shop at ALDI. ALDI has everything I need and it seems that every time I go in I find new great foods to try.  At my most recent trip to ALDI I found this 90 second quinoa and brown rice packet that makes a great addition to my taco bar (will share picture).  If you haven’t made a trip into ALDI recently you may not know that they have Earth Grown, an entire line of vegetarian and plant-based products, some of the lowest priced organic produce in the grocery industry and a whole line of wine and beer under $10*.  I’ve partnered with them to share with you 5 ways I avoid being a short-order cook for my family. 

1.  Create Simple Meals. 

When I have made complicated “kid-friendly” meals with hidden ingredients, it usually turns into a treasure hunt for my picky eater to find the foods she doesn’t like. My kids prefer seeing all the ingredients. Keeping my meals simple with a good protein source and a frozen veggie is a great place to start. I like to use Fremont Fish Market frozen fish and shrimp because no matter what happens at dinnertime I can have it on the table in 15 minutes or less and it pairs really well with a simple frozen veggie and fresh fruit.

2.  Build-Your-Own Bars 

Avocado Ranch Dip

 

 

We love to do build-your-own pizza, burger, or taco bars. Having a build your own bar allows my family to pick what they want but I’m only preparing one meal.  I recently shared all my ideas for a build-your-own taco bar on Good Day Kansas check out the segment here.

3. Serve a Less Traditional Meal 

Dips are a great way for me to get my kids to eat veggies. I love this Avocado Jalapeño Ranch Dip that has a base of Greek yogurt (protein) avocado (healthy fat) and goes great with veggies. Sometimes we eat this alone with veggies for a quick meal.
Avocado Ranch Dip

4.  Pair a Favorite with Something New 

My kids, like most kids, love things like chicken fingers, fish sticks and PB&J. I like to serve those things alongside other foods that maybe they have never had or they don’t enjoy as much. I love this recipe for Sweet Potato Salad, it is a spin on traditional potato salad.

5. When All Else Fails, Serve Dessert First!

This summer I have been obsessed with these chocolate covered cookie dough balls. I have served them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a secret though, the base is chickpeas, so I am giving my family a dose of fiber and protein with each bite.  I know that in case my best attempts at serving dinner fails, I can trust dessert to provide them the nutrients they need.

Yields 15-20 bites

Serves 2 bites

Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites
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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Simply Nature creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Specially Selected maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon almond flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 teaspoon simply nature coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas, vanilla, peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt, to a food processor and process until combined.
  2. Add almond flour, pulse until a thick dough is formed. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and lightly pulse through.
  3. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop dough and form into small balls. Place formed bites onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer for an hour. Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat on low heat stirring frequently being careful not to burn. Roll frozen bites into chocolate and return to the cookie sheet. Store in the freezer until ready to eat.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2020/07/ending-the-mealtime-battle-with-your-picky-eater/

 

For more info, check out ALDI.us, @ALDIUSA on Instagram and Twitter, and @ALDI.USA for Facebook. Use #ALDILove to show off your own build-your-own bar fueled by ALDI. 

 

*Price and availability may vary.