This is such a yummy, easy dish to make! It is full of flavor and a hit with my kids! Persistence pays off too - my four year old does not like sweet potatoes but after encouraging him to try them and continuing to put them on his plate, he now eats them! If you like Indian food, you'll love this dish. Be sure to read to the bottom to see our update on how we're doing with some structure surrounding food in our home!
Tandoori Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
6 tablespoons lemon juice
16 organic chicken thighs
4 teaspoons paprika
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
1 inch piece of ginger, grated*
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, pour lemon juice over chicken thighs and let marinate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients in a bag or bowl. When the chicken has marinated in the lemon juice, drain, and place chicken in the bag with the rest of the mixture. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 400. Pour the chicken and marinade into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Cut organic sweet potatoes into chunks, drizzle with olive oil or melted butter, salt very generously, and roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally and remove when tender. Yum!
*To add extra flavor and nutrition, cook your rice in homemade chicken stock. I usually use brown rice but we also enjoy jasmine rice on occasion, as pictured.
*Make using fresh ginger a snap - when you buy it, peel it, cut it into 1-inch chunks, and freeze it in a bag. When you need it, simply pull it out and grate it - no thawing needed!
As an update to this post...
It really works!! We have been strictly following these "rules" for 2 1/2 weeks and it has helped our meal times so much! In fact, tonight, we all sat around the dinner table eating our food in peace, having conversation, and generally feeling happy. What a change! The kids each ate their food because they were hungry instead of running around the table like crazies. There were no fights on what to eat and they even asked for seconds! As a recap, this is what we're doing:
1. We choose what they eat, when they eat, and where they eat.
2. They choose if they eat and how much. This doesn't mean I don't encourage...for example, with the sweet potatoes tonight. I gently encouraged/asked Max to try them, just one bite. He ended up eating a second bite on his own, without me even asking him (duh! They're yummy!). We also make sure that they have eaten a good amount of dinner before having any sort of dessert because obviously if they are choosing if they eat and how much they eat, they'd probably fill up on dessert and would skip dinner. Obviously use what works for your family and your children's ages (mine are 4 and 2, and a 9 month old that doesn't count).
3. Structured snack time. We have a snack in the mid morning and in the mid afternoon. This has helped tremendously! There is no more constant begging for food out of boredom. The kids know that they can plan on a snack at certain times and have become accustomed to that. They are also sufficiently hungry for their meals now, meaning they are eating better at dinner especially. Our eating schedule looks like this:
6:30 or 7:00 am = Breakfast
9:30 am = Snack
11:30 am or 12:00 pm = Lunch
2:30 pm = Snack
5:30 pm = Dinner
I am so glad I pulled out the packet my husband saved so many years ago. It has really helped transform our meal times for the better. Everything in life certainly ebbs and flows but I am hoping that these changes will keep things peaceful for good!