Finding the perfect recipe

Okay, so the title is extremely misleading. There is no such thing as a perfect recipe. There are tons of different recipes for main dishes, starters, salads, soups and desserts but no ONE perfect recipe for a complete wholesome meal.

Unless of course we are talking about baby food here.

LR is a really finicky food critic who expresses his dissatisfaction with any food presented to him with a simple sound, ***gag*** bleaaggghhh!. Then he would throw it all up. So, to satisfy his extremely choosy palate, I try to prepare meals which would not elicit the gagging and vomiting response.

Cooking for LR is actually much simpler than it sounded. LR has a thing about textures especially that of any kinds of meat (because it is considered too stringy for him no matter how tender it is to us adults) but he loves vegetables.

Before I go on, let me explain that we are not vegetarians but we do eat a lot of fresh vegies and fruits on a daily basis. So, the moment LR turned six months old, the first few things I introduced to him are vegies and fruits. Perhaps it is early exposure to these vitamin rich, high fibre foods but till now, LR will immediately sit and wait at the dining table the moment he sees me cutting up cooked vegies for him.

He also loves soft and easy to swallow food such as porridge, congee and boiled potatoes. And each meal must be accompanied by a clear broth of any choice or he will certainly make his demand very clear.

So, I came up with a combination of all that he loved and used to make it on days when I do not feel like preparing three to four different dishes although all of us eat the same food. Yep, mummy and daddy sometimes eat baby food too just because mummy do not want to cook separate meals for two adults and a toddler.

But I digress. Here is the recipe I came up with for the little gourmet at home.

Chicken and vegetable rice congee

1 cup washed rice
3 cups water
Minced chicken
2 carrots, chopped
Broccoli, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
2 small potatoes, skinned and finely chopped
Some garlic, diced

First, season the minced chicken with some salt and pepper so that it would not be too bland. Then, place all of the ingredients (except the broccoli ) into a slow cooker or rice cooker and press start. Let it cook. Check on it occasionally (if using rice cooker) and if it appeared too dry (the amount of water needed depended on the cooker you use), add hot water but if it appeared okay, then let it be. It should be ready within an hour. Just before you serve, microwave the broccoli till tender and sprinkle it on top. Add a few drops of soya sauce for taste.
You can also use the 'cook congee' function if you prefer to use the microwave to cook this dish.
That’s all. Simple, easy and healthy. For the health conscious, just replace white rice with brown rice and replace chicken with fish. If using brown rice, more water is needed.

I usually add a lot of water because I use brown rice and LR prefers it watery and smooth. The measurements I mentioned are just estimates as I often cook by instinct and rarely measured the stuff I cook. So, feel free to experiment with the portions until you get the perfect combination.

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