For your Monday family meal, I am presenting something truly comforting, low in fat and wonderfully flavorful. Coming, again, from Tyler Florence’s book, Start Fresh, this recipe appears at the back of the book where a few dishes are listed that the whole family can enjoy and be modified for any stage eater. If I were feeding this to 9 month old Olive, I would smash up a meatball into tiny pieces (they are really soft, anyway) and I would take some of the sauce and pulse it a few times with a few noodles. I’d even have taken a bit of everything for 6 month old Olive and blended it all up with some extra sauce! I was never too worried about feeding her a huge variety at an early age. For 15 month old Olive, this meal is a free-for-all. I’m really strict when it comes to what and when she eats, but as for how, I still cringe, but I do let her eat with her hands, smash things in her face and even try and “smell” everything (which results in food up the nose). I know I have a lot of guidelines, so I try my best to not stress too much about the mess. I still won’t dump a scoop of spaghetti onto her try and leave her to it. I have boundaries, you know. 🙂 But I think WHAT she eats and the way we treat mealtimes is more important than having to hose down the high chair. (I’m preaching to myself. This is a life lesson for me and my need to control things too much!)
Turkey Meatball Stroganoff*
Serves 4 to 6
1 slice multigrain bread (I used rye) or about 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1.5lbs ground turkey
2 tbs whole milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, crushed (just dump some in a plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin if you don’t have a mortar and pestle)
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 ounces sliced mushrooms (any kind)
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tbs AP flour
1.5 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 tbs sour cream or unsweetened yogurt (I used the latter cause that’s what I had on hand!)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 ounces cooked egg noodles (I like the extra wide for baby hands to grasp!)
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
Chop or pulse the bread in your food processor (or with a knife) until very small and crumbly. In a large bowl, mix the turkey together with the bread, milk, onion, caraway seeds, and salt until combined (err on the side of too wet and add more milk if it seems dry). Shape the turkey mixture into about fifteen 2-inch meatballs.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook, turning often, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes (I have to use a meat thermometer for turkey and make sure I get the centers up to 160). Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
Add the garlic to the same skillet and cook over medium heat for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms and thyme and continue to cook, turning often, until the mushrooms are golden. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat. Stir in the chicken stock and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Whisk in the sour cream and mustard until smooth, then return the meatballs to the pan. Turn to coat with the sauce.
Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the noodles and serve garnished with parsley. I didn’t think this recipe made enough sauce, just FYI, so I think next time, I’d double the parts for the sauce. Word to the wise! I like leftover sauce and for the noodles to be absolutely coated!
*recipe adapted from Start Fresh