Confession time. A few months ago I was meeting a friend for a day at the zoo with the kids. We made our plans over a week in advance, but as life goes, I still found myself on the morning of our zoo date rushing to get out the door on time, only half prepared. (All the kids had their shoes on, so that was a plus.) We made a quick stop at the grocery store on the way and I dashed in for a few pre-made sandwiches from the deli, cookies, fruit, and some carrots. We met up with our friends just in time.
As we were transferring my hastily purchased lunch to our friend's cooler, my mediocre store sandwiches looking very out of place next to her homemade turkey wraps, she made a confession of her own. I wanted to make lunch for everyone, she said, but when she mentioned it to her husband, he scoffed. You are going to cook for Martha Stewart? he teased. He's right, she thought; I can't cook for the food blogger. But when she saw my not-so-delicious last minute lunch purchase, well, she just laughed.
It's such a relief, she said, to know that not all your meals look like the ones on your blog. And I'm here to assure all of you, that they most certainly do not! In addition to store-bought sandwiches on the run, we often pick up pizza on ballet nights, serve scrambled eggs and toast for dinner when I'm too tired to cook, and eat yogurt in the car on the way to school in the morning because everyone woke up a little bit late. That's real life.
Of course, healthy family meals prepared at home are always my ideal and I do strive to make them happen often because they are important to me. But, I'm also a single mom with four kids, one of whom is an infant, so our reality doesn't always measure up to the ideal. Sometimes it's pizza. Last week it was pizza three times, ahem.
That being said, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. This Moroccan Butternut Chicken Curry with Pomegranate is one of them. It's a meal that works on a weeknight, even for a busy, tired, single mom. The finished product is both beautiful and delicious without committing yourself to extensive prepping or long cook times. I even bought the package of pre-cubed butternut squash at Costco to make it even easier and I give you full permission to do the same. Sometimes, you do what you gotta do.
The second part of this confession is that while my friends may feel a little intimidated by the pretty pictures I post here on my blog, I still feel pretty intimidated by all the other incredible food blogs I read. This recipe was inspired by the Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup on Half Baked Harvest.
She kills me. Tieghan is a one-girl-kitchen-wonder and I have to admit to being both baffled and jealous of how she manages to pull out all the stops on her blog every single day. She's really fantastic.
I tried to stop reading her blog so I could feel better about myself, but a week later I was back for more. She's got me hooked. All of the recipes I have tried from her blog have been delicious and her Tieghanized version of Butternut Squash Soup is no exception. However, since I am not eating dairy right now, I decided to forgo the goat cheese and I morphed her delicious soup into a healthy, simple weeknight curry dish that my whole family loved! Simple and easy dinners are a necessity these days.
Bottom line: Whatever your approach to family dinner is, you can probably fit this one in somewhere. It looks special, but I'm telling you, this is do-able, really. Take it from the single mom who is typing this entire post with one hand because baby won't have it any other way right now.
Moroccan Butternut Chicken Curry with Pomegranate
Love your post, you still have me completely fooled- I still believe that anything you pull together looks and comes together flawlessly!
Ha! Not true at all - you are too nice. But, I think you're wonderful.
Coincidentally I made virtually the same dish but used chickpeas in place of the chicken. And as butternut squash is non existent where we live I had to use pumpkin. All but one of the kids declared it delicious, and she was sick, so I'm letting her off the hook :).
As always, love the photos and recipe! And the honesty.
Yum! Chickpeas instead of chicken would be delicious - definitely going to try that next time. Thanks, as always, for your kindness!
Millie | Add A Little says
This looks amazing Allison! I love the addition of bright pomegranate!
Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen says
My friends are the same way! They always tell me that they get really nervous when I come for dinner.
This looks like the perfect mid-week fall/winter dinner! Love the addition of the pomegranates.
Ahh, the plight of a food blogger. All of us in the biz know the truth though, *wink*. Thanks for taking the time to comment Kelli!
Kimberly Espinel (@TLPlantation) says
SO glad to read this. Apart from pizza (without cheese;)), pasta seems to feature quite heavily too I have to admit. But it's how I remain sane as a working, studying, teaching and blogging mom.
Thanks for being so open and honest and thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.
And thank you Kimberly for all your kind support here! We have plenty of pasta nights here too - whatever keeps us sane! Us Mama's gotta stick together.
Aimee @ Simple Bites says
Perfection!! I've had curry on the brain, too. 😉
Thank you Aimee! I just saw your vegetarian version and it looks like a must try too.
Karen @ The Food Charlatan says
This looks great! I'm all about the precut butternut. Sometimes chopping a squash just sounds like so much work! Loving the pomegranate too!
Thanks Karen! I had never bought the pre-cut squash before, but I can tell you this - I will be buying it again!
YUM! Can't wait to try this. So glad you confessed to being like the rest of us! I was worried for a minute.
Thanks Teresa, I hope you like it!
Hannah @ Taste Neapolitan says
I love reading your honesty! I can't wait to make this. It looks so easy and delicious!
Thank you Hannah! I hope you like it.
The Blonde Chef says
I am totally with you, Half Baked Harvest makes innovation in the kitchen look so simple! But I have to say, this looks delicious, too! As someone who is always looking for quick but healthy meals, I will definitely give this a go!