Slow cookers are an excellent way to get children all ages involved in cooking. Combining ingredients, measuring out spices and chopping vegetables are some ways to spark your child’s interest in healthy food. One of the best ways to win the veggie war with kids is to empower them to like them in the first place. Allowing children to help plant a spring herb garden or help pick out vegetables at the grocery store are a couple of ways to do so. Though it’s okay to hide vegetables once in a while, consistently doing this can allow children to catch on and develop an unhealthy relationship with that vegetable. Providing two or three vegetable options can let children to feel ownership and in control. Try phrases like, “would you like carrots or peppers in your slow cooker meal?” or “would you like your carrots chopped in strips or diced?”. For children who are sensory sensitive, try different textures of vegetables and chopping in various uniform sizes.
This recipe features onions, cilantro and finely diced red bell peppers. Switch this recipe’s veggies up by adding or substituting zucchini, carrots or mushrooms. This lower-fat butter chicken recipe features low-fat coconut milk and tomato paste to make the gravy and packs in extra protein and creaminess by stirring in Greek yogurt. It’s is delicious served on a bed of basmati rice, but spaghetti may be more acceptable for some kiddos. Enjoy!
- 1 lb chicken breasts (2-3 breasts), cubed to 1-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped to ½-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp garam marsala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk (save 2-3 tbsp for garnish)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional – ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- Garnish – 5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- Garnish – coconut milk swirl
- Heat vegetable oil and butter over low-medium heat. Stir in garlic and onion until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Turn to medium heat and add chicken. Cook to get sides of the chicken seared, but it is not necessary to cook throughout, about 5 minutes.
- In the slow cooker, combine spices, tomato paste, coconut milk and stir until smooth texture. Add chicken, salt and pepper.
- When finished, stir in ¼ cup Greek yogurt, a tablespoon at a time.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Serve on a bed of rice with naan bread or whole wheat pasta.
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. A native of Enköping, Sweden, she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where she later earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with a minor in Business Administration and holds a Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Tennessee. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family.
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