Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and “A Tale of My Picky Eater”

​This week’s meatless meal is brought to you by my good friend and Yoga Bird, Kim! We both love hikes in the woods, dancing like no one is watching and a good meatless meal. The above photo was taken in the Prescott National Forest on our way back from the Grand Canyon. Hope you enjoy this recipe that Kim shares, it’s a winner! 🙂

A Tale: My Picky Eater by Kim Wetzel

How many of you have hidden something in your child’s food that was “for their own good?” I have, too many times to count. I have even (forgive me Lord)… LIED about ingredients.

“Why are my pancakes orange, mom?” – “Oh, that…I think it’s the lighting in here.”

“What is this green stuff?” – “Spices… The good kinds… Uh, that you’ve TOTALLY had before…and TOTALLY loved!”

“What kind of meat is this?” – “Chicken.”

From pureed sweet potato in their pancakes to broccoli in their eggs, I have tried it all.

When my picky eater was two, I discovered that he loved scrambled eggs so much that he would eat WHATEVER I threw into his eggs. So when I would try to feed him broccoli or spinach and he refused, I fried up an egg, threw the undesirables right in there and immediately brought it back to the table as a “new” food item… VIOLA! He scarfed them down eagerly. A trick I overused because he realized it one day and has not had a single egg since…literally! He is now 15!

On to the next tactic…force. My picky eater many times would not eat something on LOOKS alone! I had tried bribery; I had tried punishment, and finally just went ahead and pried his mouth open and shoved it in there. Most of the time, he really loved it. It would go from gross and scary to, “Wow! Mom, this is actually yummy!”

He needed help getting over the hump of his fear of green things… “Prasinosophobia”…apparently it’s a “real” thing, I googled it.

Time passes, the boy gets older, and now he TRIES most things. However, recently, one evening he refused to try. I tried everything and he wouldn’t budge. I playfully told him I would do what I used to do and pry his mouth open and shove it in there. To which he replied “I’m so big Mom, I don’t think you can do that anymore!” Whaaaaa?…..Challenge accepted! One thing you don’t want to do in our house is tell mom she can’t do something anymore!! Let’s just say mom still has it (for now)!

You may think I have only one kid…false! I have three. I have one who is like a goat and will eat anything…she even gets in trouble for ordering extra veggies in her school lunch without asking, racking up her school lunch bill. Who gets in trouble for ordering extra veggies?! My girl does! We never have veggie leftovers, because she will eat a whole pound of green beans to empty a bowl (hungry snorting gremlin noises included)! I have one who will try everything and eat almost anything… veggies with hummus and big green salads are among his favorites.

Really only one is a true picky eater. He doesn’t like that he hates most foods. He gets frustrated with himself. He will skip whole meals if something he dislikes is being served. So I find myself catering to his likes when picking the dinner menus (he is such a sweetie and I want him happily eating something). So on to a new tactic (because he’s big… and smart!). …finding GOOD recipes with HEALTHY ingredients that taste amazing. We realized about a year ago that he likes quinoa. SCORE in the healthy department! So in my hunt for dinner with that ingredient in mind, I recently came across this great fall recipe. Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. He balked at the sound of it, but likes quinoa, so he tried it. It’s salty/sweet. It’s easy. It’s a hearty meal without meat. (I am a vegetarian and love when my family joins me in a filling meatless meal.) The recipe pairs well with a green salad and some fresh apple cider. Enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Things you need:

4 sweet potatoes

1 C quinoa

2 C vegetable broth (or chicken)

1T Butter

1 T olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 C Kale (or spinach), washed and broken into 1” pieces

½ C toasted slivered almonds

¼ C (plus) dried cranberries

Salt and pepper

I baked the sweet potatoes for an hour in foil. While they are baking you can make the stuffing. Cook the quinoa in veggie broth till done (15-20 min, like you cook rice). While that is cooking, sauté the onion in butter and oil with some salt until soft, my kids like really soft, so I did it for a while. Add Kale, almonds, and cranberries and sauté until Kale is soft, about 3-5 min. Add the quinoa, once done, to the frying pan and mix together. When the sweet potatoes are done, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the very center (like a big spoon’s depth) and put in a container for the fridge for a later meal. Then put on a plate and add the filling to the skins. THAT’S IT! Delicious and beautiful and done!

This is one of those meals with tons of healthy things that when all mixed together, just makes a picky eater forget about all that. My picky eater actually said (and I quote) “This is pretty good Mom!” High praise indeed for a recipe with so many healthy things in it. As for the rest of the family…hubby ate thirds, and the gremlin ate all hers and greedily ate the remnants off of everyone else’s plate…and the frying pan.

There were no leftovers!
There were no leftovers!
Kim and her Pickey Eater, after "The Sound of Music."
Kim and her Pickey Eater, after “The Sound of Music.”

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October 19, 2014

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