It’s another “Baby Food from Dinner Food” post! This awful looking meal is actually very tasty and it’s name is quite fitting. It has endless opportunities for little fingers to dig in and chase grains of rice, meat and veggies all around the bowl or tray. The family dog will be grateful for this meal too as the opportunities for spillage are endless as well.
This is a recipe that is found in my book The Wholesome Baby Food Guide and it is one that I return to many times. If you’re pressed for time and have forgotten about making dinner, you can whip this up in less than 40 minutes.
And the recipe is……………….
sharp knife, medium-sized frying pan, large saucepan
- 1 pound ground turkey, or a mix of ½ pound ground turkey and ½ pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- ½ cup each diced onions, red peppers, and celery (aka the trinity)
- 1½ cups uncooked rice (try basmati, jasmine, parboiled, or white)
- Creole spice blend to taste
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 cups water (I prefer using a mix of 1½ cups chicken stock and 1½ cups water)
- Tomato paste (optional)
Brown the meat in a medium-sized frying pan and drain off excess fat; set aside.
Rinse the pan, then heat the butter the same pan and sauté the onions, peppers, and celery until tender; set aside.
In a large saucepan, place the rice, spices, garlic, and water (or broth mix), stir, and bring to a boil. *Optional
Add browned meat and sauteed vegetables to the saucepan and return to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
Serve warm with a crisp salad and warm cornbread (leave out the pumpkin if desired)
Approximately 4-6 “adult” servings
*Optional: Sometimes I mix in a 1/2 of a small can of tomato paste with 1/2 cup of water
For babies: Serve as is but be sure that the veggies and the meat pieces are small so that they will not pose any choking hazard. Baby should be sitting up fully when eating this.
Did You Know?
The recipe name Dirty Rice came about because authentic Creole recipes use chicken giblets and livers, which makes the rice dish look dirty. Don’t worry, though—even if you’re not using giblets and livers, this recipe will still look dirty and your kids might just eat it because it’s called “dirty” rice!
Quick Tip: While the traditional southern dirty rice is made with a blend of Creole spices, you may not want to overwhelm baby’s palate. Using a blend of milder herbs and spices is just fine; try sage, thyme, garlic, basil, and onion.
Meade, Maggie (2012-02-21). The Wholesome Baby Food Guide: Over 150 Easy, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes from Purees to Solids Hachette Book Group.