Pilaf is a staple in our household, and I am always looking for ways to incorporate some extra vegetables into our dishes. This is an easy and fun recipe that can be modified to feed toddlers as well as the rest of the family.
I start by using Kashi Pilaf, which is really convenient and easy to cook, but you can use whatever kind you like. Good pilaf can be hard to find unless you have a really great health food store or order online. Kashi pilaf is 7 whole grains, but you can use other grains – such as rice, rice pilaf, quinoa or even regular or pearled cous cous.
~ First, cook the grain according to the instructions. When my kids were toddlers, I cooked the pilaf in water, but now I use organic vegetable bouillon for a little more flavor. I follow the instructions for pilaf or other grains when I cook for the whole family. However, when I cook for my toddler, I will occasionally ‘overcook’ the pilaf (which may require more water) so that it is a little more tender. Some of the grains can be a little firm, and just to be on the safe side, I cook it so it is on the softer side so it is easier to eat.
~ Once the pilaf or grain is cooked, add in your vegetables. I generally cook the vegetables ahead of time, but it depends on what you are adding. One of my favorite combinations is fresh diced tomatoes, peas, and corn, but you can be creative and add whatever you like. For example, black beans and corn, peas and diced carrots, chopped broccoli florets, and so on.
This dish freezes and reheats well – I freeze portions in glass jars or bowls, and pop in the microwave when I need dinner for my toddler in a hurry.
Adding vegetables can make a rather plain pilaf into something with a more nutrition, but it is also colorful and very tasty! There are so many combinations of grains and vegetables that you can do – so be creative!