Getting kids to eat their veggies may be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Red Tricycle’s San Diego Editor and blogger over at Leah’s Thoughts, Leah Singer tells us that her trick to getting her daughter to eat her vegetables is simple: add a veggie puree to your dish. This recipe for jambalaya also swaps the traditional rice for pasta, making it extra hearty.

Ingredients
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 kielbasa sausage, sliced
2 cups of shrimp (we use frozen)
1 chopped onion
1 – 2 teaspoons of garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
Pinch of chili flakes
Cajon/Creole seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever you have around)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup carrot, spinach or other veggie puree (optional)

Method
1. Saute the kielbasa with olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Remove sausage from the pan and replace with chicken. Do not empty the oil–it gives the chicken great flavor. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the skillet.

2. Add a bit more olive oil and add onion and garlic. Saute until cooked through. (If you’re a fan of peppers, you could add chunks of peppers at this point.) Add cans of diced tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add back into the pot the chicken and sausage. If you’re adding a hidden veggie, do it now!

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, and add to the meat and tomato mixture. Taste of seasonings. At this point, add the frozen shrimp and let them steam cook for a few minutes. Stir and add the cream.

How do you get your kids to eat their veggies?

Leah Singer is Red Tricycle’s San Diego Editor, a freelance writer and a practicing speechwriter. She shares many family-friendly recipes, as well as stories of motherhood, craft ideas, writing, and other such topics at Leah’s Thoughts. Read more about Leah at: leahsthoughts.com.