To my children's way of thinking, fun food is anything where they get to choose toppings/flavors or where they get to eat with their fingers or (even better) both. Perhaps this is why a new dinner I fixed the other night was such a surprise hit. I wasn't sure about it myself. It was a new recipe and I wasn't sure that anyone would like it or that it would be filling enough to count as dinner. But it turned out to be such a hit that I will share it with you.
This is my take on a recipe from the MOMYS cookbook (that's not a misspelling -- it's the acronym for a Yahoo group: Mothers of Many Young Siblings) and for the most part, it's just cooked black beans. But it was good (and fun), so here's the recipe:
Black Beans with Tortilla Chips
(I doubled this and it fed my family)
1 bag (1 LB) dried black beans
1 onion, chopped
1 can diced green chilies
2 C grated cheddar cheese
Sliced black olives
Start early in the afternoon. Fill a large pot with the dried beans and chopped onions, cover (by a good couple of inches) with water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every so often, and adding water as needed. (Use a good heavy pot so that the beans are less likely to burn on the bottom. I ended up using the lowest setting my stove would go to after a while.) That's it... dinners done, except for fixing your toppings.
To serve, scoop some of the black beans in a bowl, allow people to add toppings, and use the tortilla chips to scoop up the black beans and enjoy. See, it doesn't seem like much, but it was filling and tasted good. We also had a green salad along with it.
(And did I mention cheap? I did the math and even with it doubled, it came out to about 80 cents per person. Not my most frugal meal, but not going to break the bank, either.)