This is the dinner my 6 year old son made for our family last night. I turned on the gas burner and chopped the spinach, he did the rest. I hung around the kitchen cleaning up and doing other little chores while he was at the stove, but he still felt good having the freedom to do this himself.

The dinner was simple, healthy, affordable and took very little time. This particular meal is a weeknight go-to for us and you can make extra to have leftovers for lunch or another dinner.

I tweaked this from a family favorite when I as a kid to get a better nutritional punch. My mother was a girl scout troop leader (brownies) and they made this stew on camping trips (some call it campfire stew). Her version was ground beef, vegetable soup (with alphabet pasta) and elbow macaroni. My version uses 1lb. browned ground turkey, (1) 15oz. can diced tomatoes and (1)15oz. chick peas (preferably low sodium) as the base and then anything you want to add in. Brown the meat and then add in the rest along with salt, pepper and oregano (or your favorite spice) and mix until heated. I tend to add in chopped up baby spinach or kale because you can’t even taste it. My kids like peas, mixed vegetables, quinoa or different beans: just experiment with what you like or what you have in the cabinet.

This is a meal to plan on making for those difficult evenings when you are overwhelmed: we all have that night during the week that is harder than the rest. You’ll have dinner done in 15 minutes and feel good that you didn’t resort to ordering take out.

And don’t forget to make more than you’ll need – it reheats well for lunch or another dinner!



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