June 3, 2012

Moroccan Ribs

I have two very food adventurous children. They will normally at least try anything that I put in front of them. I have had a lot of people over the years tell me that I am lucky to have kids that are so open to new things. This is partially true. I am very happy that my kids will try almost anything, but a lot of groundwork was put into place for this to happen. First and foremost I don't keep snacks in my house. If you look into my cupboards you will find ingredients, not packaged snacks. My fridge is full of fruit, vegetables and low-fat diary. All this is part of my food plan with my kids. They will always at least try their dinner knowing that if they don't eat it mommy will not be catering to making another meal. Kids and adults eat the same meals in our house. I also don't force food in my house, if they don't eat their serving for dinner, it goes into the fridge for when they are hungry later. This doesn't mean that they don't get special treats occasionally. The emphasis is on the word 'treat'. This summer if my oldest finishes one of his workbooks, he gets gelato from the restaurant down the street.  `He knows that if he doesn't do something to earn it no gelato will be coming his way. All of this food foundation became apparent yesterday at the park. My oldest had befriended a little girl around his same age. He started talking about how much he loved all the stir-fry that his mommy made and that I was making Kung Pao Chicken for dinner. The little girl told my son that she had never eaten Chinese food and that they only ate 'American'. My son looked at the girl confused for a couple of minutes not understanding at all what she was talking about. I had to tell my son later that not everyone eats the large variety of food that we do, he told me that was 'weird'. Love the things that come out of kids mouths! Given that I attempt to expose my kids to new flavors and spices a recipe for Moroccan Ribs from the June issue of Family Circle caught my attention, and I decided to try it when I discovered it was prepared in the crockpot.
This recipe has 18 ingredients. It takes 20 minutes of prep and 6 hours on high in the crockpot and makes 4 servings. I did have to make a few modifications to the ingredients. I have never had great success with finding cheesecloth in my area and I have never seen all-spice berries, so I changed the spices. Instead of whole allspice berries and whole cloves I substituted 1/4 tsp each of ground allspice and cloves. I added the spices to the chicken broth mixture before pouring over the chicken. I always make my own chicken broth and this recipe was no exception. Since I don't salt my stock I added an extra 1/2 of salt to the recipe ingredients. For the orange juice I squeezed fresh oranges. The prices during the summer are very low on oranges and fresh squeezed tastes significantly better in recipes. My ribs were falling off the bone when they came out of the slow-cooker, so don't let the magazine photo be deceiving, your ribs will not be nicely held together like that. Mine were more chunks of ribs, which actually worked very well with the vegetable/fruit medley when spooned over the rice. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

My two boys were very impressed with this recipe. They loved the taste of the apricots and prunes and didn't even notice that I served the dish with brown rice since I had run out of couscous. I have been trying to transition my family over to brown rice and significantly reduce the amount of white rice that we consume. So far it has been going well and this dish was perfect over brown rice. My husband liked this recipe much better than the crockpot bbq ribs I tried last week. He thought the flavors on this dish were delicious and that the ribs were fall off the bone tender. I liked that this recipe was different from your run of the mill crockpot rib recipe. It's nice trying a change of pace to my normal recipe routine. Overall, an interesting new spin on a crockpot rib recipe.

For the recipe go to Moroccan Ribs. (registration required)

22 comments:

  1. The rule in our house is also that everyone has at least to try what is on their plate. We also do not make two different types of meals. The only exception is pasta when they prefer pasta with olive oil instead of sauce. I do however keep some prepared dairy free snacks for school lunches on hand :)

    This recipe sounds interesting - I may have to get a crockpot...

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    1. That's our rule also, then if they don't eat I don't force it. In my house growing up we had to eat our plates, so it made me eat very small portions worried that I would get stuck eating too much :) My oldest eats school lunch, but I would have no problem with prepared snacks for lunch at school, you would really have to I would think. My youngest can be iffy with pasta sauce also, I normally toss all the pasta with olive oil and then add a small amount of sauce to part of his plate. Most of the time he ends up loving it, but dishes with anchovies can be hit or miss, so I completely understand :)
      Crockpots are great, I love mine!!

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  2. looks so easy to prepare and delicious...mouthwatering!

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    1. It was easy since all the cooking is done in the crockpot. I loved that it was different than a regular rib recipe!

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  3. This sounds so good. You are indeed lucky that your kids will try anything. :)

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    1. It was good, the blend of spices and fruit was delicious! I am very happy that my kids will try anything at least once :)

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  4. Yay! Someone else with the "mean mommy" food philosophy. My kids sometimes complain about trying new things, but once they put it in their mouths, they rarely complain again. It is so important for children to learn at a young age to try new things.

    Yummy looking ribs-- I love Moroccan food!

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    1. Oh mine can complain sometimes also, but in the end they always try it at least once :) Most of the time they end up loving the food that they thought they would hate the most! I agree that it is very important to expose children to new things from the time they are little, they way they will grow up to be well rounded adults!

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  5. yum! My kids, too, will try everything I make. I think it is because they have grown up with the variety and have learned to embrace it!! the first thing they say is What's for dinner? i chill on the snacks though....dessert every night is part of the fun too!

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    1. I agree that if they grow up with eating things, they tend to do much better with trying new foods. The reason I am a little crazy with the snacks is to avoid health problems on both sides, my mother and grandmother passed away from cancer, and there is diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol on both sides. I have been lucky so far to avoid all these things, but I am trying to make sure that my kids don't have to deal with any of these things either. Don't worry though I do make desserts for birthdays and special occasions, I have a major sweet tooth :)

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  6. I agree with your son that it's "weird" that not everyone eats the large variety of food! I get what you're saying, too. You're not "lucky" that your kids are adventurous eaters, you've worked hard to make certain of it. This recipe sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it out! And I'll take brown rice over couscous any day. Thanks, Frugal!

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    1. My son can be funny and says exactly what he is thinking :) It has taken a lot of work with my kids, but it's worth it especially if they won't have the health problems that run on both sides of the family. I agree about the brown rice, I love it and am trying to get my husband to eat more of it :)

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    2. Wanted to let you know that I made this yesterday and it came out GREAT!! We went over to our friends for a baseball game and enjoyed it with the brown rice and naan bread (yum!). I love it when you find a recipe that's healthy AND great tasting. Thanks as always, Frugal :)

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    3. I'm glad that it came out so great! I love naan, I bet it went perfectly! I agree healthy and great tasting is a great combination :)

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  7. My toddler seems more adventurous than my husband most times. He's still a little too young to really have preferences, but I hope I can instill a love for variety in him despite my husband's distaste for anything green. ;) I love crock pot and one dish meals though, it makes it easy to disguise them. Good for you for exposing them to different things! It's hard work, but it's worth it.

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    1. My husband is the exact same way! He has gotten better, but my two kids are much easier to deal with in relation to food than he is :) I agree about the crockpot, it is perfect for sneaking food into my husbands diet! And it is definitely worth the effort!

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  8. This sounds so delicious and I love the rule you ladies share!

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    1. Thanks :) It was yummy and very easy!

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  9. Another delicious recipe from your website. Looks great! I think its wonderful how you introduce new foods to your family and experience the flavors of other cultures together. :D Thanks for sharing them with us. Although I'm a little late with my reply, thanks for your comment and linking up to the GTKY Blog Hop (Extended).

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    1. Thanks for the sweet comments :) I try to expose my kids to as many flavors as I can so they aren't afraid of trying new foods as adults!

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  10. I am always looking for new crockpot recipes!

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    1. I love crockpot recipes also :) They are great time savers!

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