The little man turns 1 year old this week (my, how time flies!) and keeping up with him is a challenge. And keeping up with him and cooking dinner every night is just short of impossible.
The good news is that Jack is quite possibly the least picky eater in the house. so far, he's not a huge fan of chicken stroganoff and quiche. Everything else is A-OK by him. (Especially veggies. The kid LOVES his tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.) The bad news is that his crabbiest, neediest time of day is the 90 minutes between when I pick him up from daycare and when the hubby gets home. A snack won't suffice; the little man wants his supper about a half-hour before the hubby gets home, which is some tricky timing. We're still trying to work out the kinks on this one.
In the meantime, we do a lot of cooking ahead, except for those rare days when the little man comes home and is content to play on his own for about 20 minutes while I throw together some supper that will be ready for him in time, and that will hold for the hubby.
This is one such recipe that the little man loved, because in incorporates some of his favorite foods -- chicken, veggies, and pasta. It comes together quickly, and is great for using up extra produce this time of year.
Chicken Marinara Soup
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut in bite-sized pieces
2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced on the bias
1 26-oz. jar marinara sauce
3 c. chicken broth
2 c. dried rotini pasta
1 medium zucchini, chopped
Additional salt and pepper, to taste
Shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
1. Preheat 1 tsp. oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add chicken. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until brown, and remove from pan.
2. Add remaining 1 tsp. oil to pan and add carrots and green peppers. Cook 2 minutes.
3. Add marinara sauce and broth to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, and cook 8 minutes.
4. Return chicken to pan. Add zucchini and rotini, and cook 10 minutes.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup with mozzarella on top.