Every child is different. There is no instruction book out there that tells you what foods to prepare for your child that he/she will like well enough to eat and is a healthy, well-balanced meal. What can we moms do to ensure that our child won’t become a picky eater, eating only a few different foods and leaving everything else on his/her tray. I have tried many times offering my 18-month old son, Leo, a variety of vegetables. He either pushes them aside or only takes one bite and throws the rest on the floor. I recently discovered that if I mix the vegetables in a rice or pasta dish, he will eat everything, especially if I shred the vegetables so he can’t pick them out.
In this lentil butternut squash soup, I added shredded kale. It adds a significant amount of dietary fiber and vitamins to the soup. The dark green colored kale gives a nice contrast to the bright orange color from the butternut squash. This combination makes this soup an elegant dish both in looks and taste. Lentils, butternut squash, shredded kale, yellow onions, mushrooms, and coconut milk are the main ingredients in this recipe. They supply proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats all in one soup. The spices I added enhanced the flavor of this soup.
Did Leo eat any? Yes, he finished off a hungry kids sized portion along with some rice at lunch today. “Hungry horse. Hay. Hen in a hat. Hooray, Hooray!!”
This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan. I hope you will be inspired by this recipe and create more kid friendly, healthy recipes.
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (approximately 5 oz)
- 5 medium size Bella mushrooms (approximately 3 oz, sliced)
- 12 oz butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and diced)
- 2½ cups cooked brown lentils
- 2 cups coconut milk (Silk Brand preferred)
- 2-3 cups shredded kale (approximately 6.5 oz)
- 1 tbs canola oil
- 2 tsp cumin powder (freshly grounded preferred)
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- (Optional) 1 tbs finely chopped green onion for garnishing
- Use a food processor or knife and cutting board to cut the vegetables to desired size and shape.
- Heat oil in a saute pan over high heat, saute the onion and mushrooms until soft. Transfer them into a 4-qt saucepan. Add butternut squash, lentils, coconut milk, and all spices. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the kale and squash are soft. Garnish with green onion. Serve warm.