Sunday, December 18, 2011

Split Pea Soup for the Whole Family

This is such an easy recipe the whole family can enjoy. I've always been kind of scared to make homemade soups, but I'm finding that it's so easy! I love split pea soup and figured I'd try coming up with my own recipe. Split peas are extremely nutritious. They are a great source of B-Vitamins, folate, fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and protein. I added carrots to this soup too which is an amazing source of vitamin A and betacarotene.  You can serve this to little ones 7+ months. My whole family had this for lunch 2 days in a row! It's super yummy!

Here's what you need:
1 32oz container vegetable stock or broth
2 cups organic dried split peas
1 cup finely diced organic carrots
1/2 onion finely diced
3/4 cup chopped ham ( I used low sodium deli ham)
1 tblsp olive oil

Pour 2 cups dried split peas in a large pot. Add diced carrots, onions and ham. Pour vegetable stock into pot making sure all the vegetables are covered. Cover and cook on stove over medium heat for 2 hours. Check on it frequently as you will probably need to add water and stir when the vegetable stock starts to evaporate. Keep adding water until you get your desired consistency. Season with a little salt and pepper if desired.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Roast Chicken with Pear and Fig Compote for the Whole Family

I love making roast chicken. My neighbor was making a roast chicken a few weeks ago stuffed with lemons. It smelled so delicious and made the chicken so flavorful that I decided to try using lemons in my roast too. I also made a fig and pear compote to serve over the chicken when it was done. This can be pureed for little ones 7+ months, or served in bite size pieces for older babies eating finger foods.

Here's what you need:
1 4 to 5lb whole chicken
3 lemons
Olive oil Spray
1 tblsp Herbs de Provence
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pear & Fig Compote:
6 to 7 fresh figs chopped
1 to 2 peeled and diced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp maple syrup
1/4 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse chicken inside and out. Pat dry with paper towel, place in roasting dish and spray generously with olive oil spray. Season with a little salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Herbs de Provence and juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve other half of lemon for compote). Cut up remaining 2 lemons and stuff them in the cavity of the chicken.  Place in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 160F in breast or 180F in thigh. When there is about 5 to 10 minutes left on chicken timer start making the compote. Spray a medium to large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Add diced pear and chopped figs. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Add maple syrup, lemon juice and chicken stock. Toss to coat. Cook until pears are tender about 5 minutes. Slice chicken and spoon compote over the chicken and serve.  Serving size for your little one is about 1/2 cup of bite size pieces.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Orzo with Italian Sausage, Bell Peppers, Kale and Cannellini Beans in a Portobello Mushroom Sauce

I started making orzo the other night and realized I did not have any sauce or diced tomatoes to go with it. I looked in my cabinets and found 1 container of Trader Joe's Cream of Portobello Mushroom soup. It's not quite sauce, but I thought it could work, and it did! I love when that happens! This meal is full of whole grains, protein, iron, calcium, fiber and Vitamins A and C. You can puree it for little one's 9+ months, or cut up into bite size pieces for older little one's eating finger foods.

Here's what you need:
1 cup whole grain orzo
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 to 1 1/2 cup chopped kale or 1-2 handfuls (remove leaves from stem and chop)
1 package nitrate free fully cooked italian sausage ( I always use Niman Ranch) chopped
1/2 onion finely diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
1 can cannellini beans drained
1 10 oz container Trader Joe's Cream of Portobello Mushroom soup or 1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tblsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp olive oil

Cook orzo according to package. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 2 or so minutes. Add peppers, sausage, cannellini beans, and chicken stock. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add cooked orzo to skillet. Pour cream of mushroom soup into skillet and stir. Add chopped Kale, Italian seasoning, and season with a little salt and pepper if you like. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy! Make sure to check the temperature on your bottom lip before serving to your little one. Serving size for your little one will be between 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baked Ratatouille

I love ratatouille. It's delicious and so good for your whole family. I usually make it in a large skillet on the stovetop ( I posted that recipe a few months ago), but after watching the movie Ratatouille this weekend, I decided to try to bake it. The prep time for this is probably 20 or so minutes because you have lots of veggies to peel and chop, but it was so nice to just put it in the oven and relax while it baked. You can puree this for little one's 9+ months, or cut it into bite size pieces for little one's eating finger food. I served this with whole wheat cous cous.

Here's what you need:
1 eggplant peeled and chopped into bite size cubes
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms sliced
4 to 5 zucchini squash
1 29 oz container diced tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1/2 onion finely diced
2 tblsp Herbs de provence
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
Olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel and dice 1 zucchini and set aside.  Slice the rest of the zucchinis into small thin rounds and set aside. Put chopped eggplant in a large mixing bowl with chopped mushrooms and 1 peeled and diced zucchini. Add 1 tblsp of Herbs de Provence, and a little salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to coat vegetables. Pour diced tomatoes into a medium to large baking dish. Add finely diced onions to baking dish. Sprinkle onions and tomatoes with garlic powder and 1 tblsp Herbs de Provence. Pour seasoned veggies on top of tomatoes and onions. Add chopped peppers and spray vegetables generously with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Top vegetables with zucchini rounds, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with Herbs de provence and parmesan cheese. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remember to test temperature on your bottom lip before you feed it to your little one. Serve and enjoy! Serving size for your little one is between 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bucatini with Chicken and Kale for the Whole Family

This is a really yummy, healthy and super easy dish the whole family can enjoy. It's jam packed with calcium, vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, protein and whole grains. You can puree this for little one's 9+ months, or serve in bite size pieces for little one's eating finger foods.

Here's what you need: (Serves 4)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into approx 1 inch chunks
2 cups chopped Kale (I just pulled of stem and apart with my hands)
3/4 pound Whole grain bucatini (a little more than half the package)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-2 shallots finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tblsp grated parmesan
1 tblsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
Ground black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil, add bucatini and cook according to package. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining. Drain rest of of water and set pasta aside. While pasta is cooking, coat a large deep skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add it to skillet. Cook for approx 6-8 minutes on each side. When chicken is cooked set aside on a plate. Add 1 cup chicken broth, garlic, and diced shallots to same skillet. Cook for about 2-3 minutes scraping up the brown bits on bottom of pan. Add Kale and lemon juice. Cover and let simmer until Kale wilts. Add salt, pepper,  nutmeg, parmesan, and Italian seasoning, and stir. Add chicken, pasta, and pasta water. Toss to coat. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool for a minute and then serve. Serving size for your little one will be between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup. If you are pureeing, puree with a little filtered water.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tyler Florence's Sole Almondine for Mommy and Daddy

This is from Tyler Florence's Family Meal cookbook. It's such an easy dish, and so delicious. In the cookbook Tyler serves this over mashed potatoes. I decided to serve it with roasted red potatoes and baby carrots. You can cut up into bite size pieces and serve without almonds or sauce to little ones 12+ months.

This serves 4:
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
extra virgin olive oil
ground pepper
1 cup all purpose flour (I used buckwheat flour)
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 sole fillets, about 6 oz each
2 tblsp unsalted butter
2 small shallots finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Toast almonds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown. Season with a little salt and then transfer to a small bowl. Add 1 tblsp olive oil to same pan over medium heat. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season liberally with salt and pepper. Put the eggs in another shallow dish. Dredge the fish in the seasoned flour, and then dip into the eggs, and then back in the flour. Place the filets in the pan. Cook two filets at a time. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and then carefully turn the fillets over and add 1 tblsp of the butter to the pan. Spoon the melted butter over the fillets as they cook on the second side, about 30 seconds. Transfer fillets to a platter and keep warm while you cook the rest of the fish.

When done cooking fish, add the shallots to the same pan and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and stir, then add lemon juice and parsley. Spoon sauce over fillets, sprinkle with almonds and serve. If serving to your little one, serve without sauce and almonds. Enjoy!

To roast potatoes and carrots preheat oven to 375F. Peel baby carrots and quarter red potatoes. Place around a baking dish/lasagna pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with Herbs de Provence. Place in oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Healthy Turkey Melts for the Whole Family

This is a yummy and healthy sandwich the whole family can enjoy. I added chopped baby spinach and grated carrots to add calcium, vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium and folate. My little guy and I had this for lunch yesterday, and he loved it! This is for little one's 10+ months who are eating finger foods.

Here's what you need
2 slices stone ground whole wheat bread
1 slice light cheese (I used provolone but you can use whatever cheese you like)
2 slices low sodium turkey deli meat
1-2 organic mini carrots grated
1/4 cup chopped organic baby spinach
cooking spray

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and place over medium high heat (or use a panini press or foreman grill if you have one). Put all ingredients on bread and place sandwich in the skillet or on panini press. Flip Sandwich and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate. Cut off crusts, and then cut sandwich into small pieces for your little one. Make sure it's not too hot. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Pear Buckwheat Muffins

I am definitely not a baker, but this is what happens when I watch a few episodes of cupcake wars! I had pumpkin puree and some pear left over and was trying to think of something I could make with both of them. I thought they would taste good together in a muffin, so I came up with this recipe. Again, I am not a baker so this recipe could've been a big miss.  Luckily the muffins were really yummy and surprisingly moist and light. My husband and son loved them. I might have to start experimenting a little more with baked goods!

Here's what you need:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup multigrain pancake or baking mix (I used Trader Joe's)
2 eggs beaten
1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
1 pear peeled and finely diced
1 tblsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tblsp pumpkin butter
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix ingredients together until it forms a smooth batter. Spray cupcake tray with cooking spray. Pour batter into tray. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. Let cool, serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Thanksgiving menu: The main event

This year I am making a 15 pound organic turkey, so we'll have plenty of left overs for sandwiches and turkey salad yum! I decided not to stuff the turkey with stuffing this year, opting to stuff it with aromatics instead.

1 Turkey
3-4 tblsp unsalted butter
Herbs de Provence
3/4 cup Turkey or chicken stock for basting

1 apple sliced
1/2 onion chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 sprigs rosemary

Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Place turkey breast side up in a roasting pan. Melt unsalted butter and brush it all over turkey. Season turkey with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. Place aromatics inside cavity of turkey. Pour 3/4 cup turkey stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place turkey in oven and cook for 4 hours (15 minutes per pound) or until a meat thermometer reads at least 160F in the deepest part of the breast without hitting bone. Baste with turkey stock collected in bottom of roasting pan once and hour. Remove from oven when done and let sit 15 minutes before carving. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Menu: Desserts

These are the pies I'll be making this year. I usually love to have pecan pie too, but it didn't make the cut this year when we voted on which pies to make. The 3 ramekins are mini mince meat pies. My mom loves mince meat pie, but no one else is a big fan, so we made mini ones last year.

Apple Crumble
This is my favorite pie that I look forward to eating every Thanksgiving. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

5-6 granny smith apples peeled and diced
3 tblsp whole wheat flour
1/2 - 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tblsp lemon juice or orange juice

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5-6 tblsp butter cut into pieces

You will need 9 inch round pie crust.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place pie crust into 9 inch round pie dish. Mix all ingredients for the filling in a large mixing bowl. Pour into 9 inch round pie dish and set aside.

Mix all ingredients for the topping in a mixing bowl until the butter forms into little lumps. Pour topping over filling. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Grasshopper Pie
This is my husband's favorite pie. His grandmother made it every year for Thanksgiving, so now I make it for him. I make this the day before and let it chill over night.

1 package chocolate wafer cookies
5 Tblsp melted butter
25 large marshmallows
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbls Creme de Menthe
1 tblsp Creme de Cocoa
1 cup heavy cream

Crush cookies and blend with melted butter. Line 9 inch pie dish with crushed cookie mixture and chill. Melt marshmallows with milk in a pot over medium high heat. Let cool and add liquor. Whip heavy cream and then fold into marshmallow mixture. Put in pan and chill 24 hrs. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie
This is the traditional pumpkin pie recipe that's on the back of every can of pumpkin. Serve with cool whip and enjoy!

1  9 inch round deep  dish pie crust
1 15 oz can 100% pure pumpkin
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 14 oz cam sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425F. Mix pumpkin and spices together. Add remaining filling ingredients. Mix slowly just until thoroughly mixed. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350F for an additional 35-40 minutes. Cool pie and serve.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Menu: Appetizers and side dishes

Here's what we'll be eating on Thanksgiving. Some of the recipes are mine, and some are recipes I've collected over the years. I have a few pictures of some of the dishes from last year, but will post the rest after Thanksgiving. Hope you all have a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving!

Butternut Squash Bisque served in Squash Bowls:
I found this recipe on and thought it sounded amazing. This will be our first course. If you are serving this to your little one too, serve it without the toppings.

For the Bowls:
4 small baking pumpkins (such as hooligan or sugar pie), acorn squash or sweet dumpling squash
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt

For the Soup:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
Kosher salt
2 sprigs thyme
1 medium butternut or kuri squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Freshly ground pepper

For the Toppings:
Pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
Sourdough and/or pumpernickel croutons
Paprika, chili powder or Spanish pimenton
Crisp diced pancetta
Fried onions
Fried sage or parsley leaves
Make the bowls: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use a paring knife to cut a large circle around the stem of each pumpkin (make a zigzag cut, if desired). Remove the lid and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Sprinkle the inside of each with 1/2 teaspoon each sugar and salt. Place the pumpkins and lids on a baking sheet; roast until tender, 20 to 35 minutes, depending on their size.
Meanwhile, make the soup: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Strip the thyme leaves into the pot, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and sugar and cook, stirring, until glazed, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender, crack the lid to let steam escape and puree until smooth; return to the saucepan (or puree directly in the pan with an immersion blender). Stir in the heavy cream, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, and top as desired.

Side dishes:

Sweet Potato Casserole:

4 to 5 sweet potatoes
2 tblsp butter
2 to 3 tbslp maple syrup
1 tblsp dried sage
1 tsp salt
1/ 2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut up sweet potatoes and put in a large pot of water over med high heat. Boil sweet potatoes until tender. Drain, remove skins and mash. Stir in butter, maple syrup, salt, pepper, sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour sweet potato mixture into a deep baking/casserole dish and top with chopped pecans. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Shallots

10-12 Brussels Sprouts halved
2 Shallots minced
1 package diced pancetta
1 tblsp Italian seasoning
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray baking dish with olive oil. Place halved brussels sprouts around dish. Add shallots. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Spray generously with olive oil spray. Add pancetta. Place in oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes 

4 to 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes cut up
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp herbs de provence
1/4 cup skim milk

Boil potatoes in a large pot until tender and then drain. Remove peels and mash. Stir in milk and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs de provence. Mix until smooth.

Green Bean Casserole
This is the good old recipe that you can find on the back of any cream of mushroom soup or fried onion pieces container.

2 cans whole green beans
2 12oz containers cream of portobello mushrooms
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fried onion pieces divided

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Add green beans. Cover with mushroom soup. Add milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat. Cover with 3/4 cup fried onion pieces. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Add rest of onion pieces before serving.

Pecan Date Stuffing
I came up with this recipe last weekend, and tested it out for the first time today. Not to toot my own horn, but my husband said it was the best stuffing he'd ever had! Hope you enjoy it!

1 cup chopped pecans
2  cups chopped dates
1 loaf stale whole wheat bread diced
1 onion finely diced
2-3 ribs celery finely diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2-3 tblsp dried Herbs de Provence
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups chicken or turkey stock
olive oil
2 tblsp butter

Add 1 tblsp olive oil and 2 tblsp butter to a  large saute pan, over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute until tender. Add dates, pecans, and Herbs de Provence and toss. Cook for another few minutes. Toss and then remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the diced bread and toss together. Pour in the chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist. Season with salt if needed. Transfer to a large deep ovenproof dish and bake until it is hot all the way through and crusty on top.
Remove from the oven and serve.

Sweet Potato Biscuits:
This is a Paula Dean recipe that I'm trying for the first time this year. I'll let you know how they are.

3/4 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato)
1/3 to 1/2 cup whole milk, as needed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet (with butter, oil or cooking spray).

In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and 1/3 cup milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter with your hands, a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the sweet potato mixture and fold gently to combine. Add the remaining milk a little at a time until all the flour is moistened. The amount of milk you will need will depend on the moisture of the sweet potato.

Sprinkle a small handful of flour on a work surface. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead lightly 2 to 3 times with the palm of your hand until the mixture comes together. Pat the dough out into a 1/2-inch-thick round.

Using a 2 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into biscuits. Gently reroll the scraps and cut out more biscuits. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and bake until light golden brown and firm to the touch, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve these fluffy biscuits warm or at room temperature.

Cranberry Orange Relish
This is my mom's recipe. She makes this cranberry sauce every year. It's tart and refreshing.

1 lb fresh cranberries
1 orange
3/4 cup sugar

Peel and seed orange, save the peel. Put cranberries, orange, orange peel, and sugar in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reader's Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie for the Whole Family

My friend Amy told me about this recipe last week, and I couldn't wait for her to send it to me! Chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food. It's one of those meals that just makes you feel like you've been wrapped in a warm blanket after eating it (at least that's how I feel ha!). You can puree this for little one's 7+ months, or serve as is for older babies eating finger foods. This recipe is doubled for leftovers, so you can enjoy pot pies the next day too!

Here's what you need:
1 small onion chopped
2 medium carrots
1/2 cup of diced and peeled potato
1/2 cup of diced and peeled sweet potato (optional)
1/4 cup of celery
1/4 cup of butter, cubed
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon of rubbed sage
1 cup of milk
1 cup of chicken broth
2 cups of cubed cooked turkey
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1 sheet of refrigerated pie pastry

In large saucepan, saute onion, carrot, potatoes, and celery in butter until tender. Add flour and seasonings until blended; gradually add in milk and broth. bring to a boil. cook and stir for 2 min or until it thickens. Stir in turkey and peas; divide mixture among 4 ungreased 5 inch pie pans OR use large greased ramekins.

Divide pastry into quarters. On lightly floured surface, roll each quarter into 6 inch circle and place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits to vent.

Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 min before serving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna for the Whole Family

This lasagna is made totally from vegetables (and cheese of course). It is a delicious and healthy meal for the whole family. It's filled with vitamins A and C, folate, fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron. You can puree this for babies 8+ months, or cut up and serve as is to little one's ready for finger food. This meal takes about 20 minutes of prep and 40 minutes of cooking time.

Here's what you need:
1 large eggplant peeled and cut length wise in 1/4 inch thick strips
2-3 large zucchini's peeled and cut length wise in 1/4 inch thick strips
1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
1 15 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
1 egg gently beaten
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch pepper
1 tblsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups baby spinach
1 jar marinara sauce
olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and slice eggplant and zucchini length wise in 1/4 inch slices. Spray both sides with olive oil and place on 2 separate baking sheets and place in oven. Roast for 7 minutes and then flip the veggies over and roast on other side for 7 minutes. While veggies are roasting, mix ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, mushrooms, nutmeg, basil, pepper, oregano and garlic in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Heat marinara and baby spinach in a pot until spinach wilts (about 5 minutes). Pour 1/4 cup marinara in bottom of lasagna dish. When eggplant is done roasting, place eggplant in bottom of lasagna dish (use all of the eggplant even if you have to overlap it). Top with half marinara and spinach sauce. Spread ricotta mixture over sauce and then top with zucchini. Cover with rest of marinara and spinach sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Reduce oven temp to 350F. Place lasagna in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Cut into squares, serve and enjoy! If serving to your little one make sure to cut into bite size pieces and make sure to test temperature before serving.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tricolor Pasta with Veggies and Turkey

This is a really easy and healthy meal for your little one. It's full of Vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron, protein, and whole grains. This takes about 15 minutes from beginning to end! You can puree this for little one's 7+ months, or serve as finger food to older babies.

Here's what you need: (This makes a big batch so you can store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days)
2 cups tricolor veggie spiral pasta
3/4 cup frozen organic gardeners blend (peas, carrots, green beans, corn mixed together)
1/2 cup organic cherry tomatoes quartered
2 slices reduced sodium turkey deli meat cut up into bite size pieces
1 tblsp Herbs de Provence
2 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp olive oil

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add pasta and frozen vegetables. Cook until al dente (approx 8-10 minutes). Drain pasta and vegetables and run under cold water. Place in a mixing bowl. Add quartered cherry tomatoes, turkey and olive oil. Toss and then sprinkle with Herbs de Provence and Parmesan Cheese. Toss to coat.  Yields about 1/2 - 3/4 cup per serving. Serve (or puree with a little water) and enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gumbo for Mommy and Daddy

This is a healthy, yummy and easy dinner that will help spice up the night for Mommy and Daddy. It takes approximately 20 or so minutes from beginning to end! 

Here's what you need: (Serves 4)
1 package fully cooked andouille sausage cut up
1 29 oz container diced tomatoes
1 package frozen peppers and onions
2 cups baby spinach
1 tblsp buckwheat flour (or whatever flour you have)
1 bag instant brown rice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tblsp smoked paprika
1 tbslp salt
Olive oil spray

Prepare instant brown rice according to package. Spray a large deep skillet with olive oil and put over medium high heat. Add frozen peppers and onions and cook for a few minutes. Add flour and cook for a minute or two. Add tomatoes, sausage, spinach and spices. Stir together, cover and let simmer for five or so minutes. Add cooked rice to gumbo. Stir together and cook for a minute or two. Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pot Roast for the Whole Family

My mother-in-law showed me how to make this pot roast. This recipe is so easy, and delicious for the whole family. It's a perfect meal when it's cold outside, or if you're in the mood for comfort food. It's full of iron, protein, vitamin A, betacarotene, and potassium. You can puree this for babies 8+ months, or serve as is to older babies.

Here's what you need:
1 3-4 lb rump roast
2 cans golden mushroom soup (I used Trader Joe's portabello mushroom soup, I couldn't find the golden mushroom soup)
1 onion diced
2-3 large carrots diced
2-3 celery stalks chopped
4-5 red potatoes quartered
1 cup beef stock (if not serving to your little one use 1 cup red wine)
olive oil

Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper. Sear in a large pan with a little olive oil to just brown the outside of the roast (approx 1-2 minutes per side). Put roast in a slow cooker. Add diced onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Cover roast and vegetables with mushroom soup. Add beef stock (or red wine). I put this in the slow cooker the night before we ate it and let it cook on low for almost 24 hrs. I like my roasts super tender so I usually cook it for a long time. You can also put this in the slow cooker in the morning and cook on low for 8-10 hours. The roast should almost fall apart with a fork when it's done. Remember to cut everything into bite size pieces for your little one, and to test the temperature on your bottom lip before serving it to your little one too. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reader's Recipe: Chicken Heaven for Mommy and Daddy

This week's Reader's Recipe is one of my friend Wendi's favorites. She originally found it in a post from another mom on Golden Gate Mother's Group. It's a crock pot recipe for Mommy and Daddy. I love crock pot dinners, they're so easy! You put the ingredients in, turn it on and go. I am planning on making this later this week or over the weekend. Can't wait, it's sounds AMAZING! Thanks for sending it my way Wendi :)

 1 onion
2-3 lbs of chicken thigh
1 1/2 c of whole foods organicville orginial BBQ sauce w agave nectar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c cider vinegar
1/2 c chicken broth
1 tbsp honey

Put onions in crock pot and chicken on top.

Mix rest of ingredients and cook on high for 4-5 hrs or low 6-8 hrs.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Glazed Pork Chops with Roasted Brussels Sprouts for Mommy and Daddy

So last week I discovered pumpkin butter when I was at Trader Joe's, and just HAD to try it. It is my new obsession, it is absolutely delicious, and it's not bad for you either. After trying it on toast and waffles last week, I decided to step it up and come up with a recipe using it in a real meal.  If you do not eat pork, you can use chicken instead and follow the same recipe. This whole meal takes approx 5 minutes to prepare, and then your part is done. Put it in the oven and roast for 40 minutes!

Here's what you'll need: (Serves 2)
3 lean boneless pork chops
3 tblsp pumpkin butter
1 tsp dried sage

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix 3 tblsp pumpkin butter with 1 teaspoon sage and 1/4 tsp ground pepper in a small bowl. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 tblsp pumpkin mixture over each pork chop and spread it until the top is covered. Place in a baking dish/lasagna pan, and put in the oven. Roast for 40-45 minutes. I cooked ours for 45 minutes and felt like the pork was a little tough, but it could've just been my oven. Make sure the temp of the pork is 160F. Serve and enjoy

Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
12-15 brussels sprouts halved (or 1 bag if you buy them prepackaged)
1 tblsp italian seasoning
1 tblsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
olive oil spray

Spray a medium sized baking pan with olive oil and place the halved brussels sprouts around it. Season with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic and cheese. Spray with olive oil and place in same oven as pork. Roast for 40 minutes and enjoy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chicken with Gemilli Pasta for the Whole Family

I was looking through my recipe box, and came across this recipe. This is one of the many recipes I received at my bridal shower. This one is from my mother-in-law's cousin Amy. I couldn't find gemilli pasta, so I used tri-color vegetable fusilli. It's delicious, healthy, and good for the whole family! You can puree this for babies 9+ months, or serve cut up into to bite size pieces for little one's eating finger food.

Here's what you need:
1 lb chicken breast, chopped
1 lb gemilli pasta (or any other spiral pasta)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Juice from 2 lemons
Garlic clove minced
Handful fresh basil
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, oregano
Handful grated Parmesan cheese

Cook chicken in a little olive oil. 7 minutes on each side. Add lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, capers and tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes. While chicken is simmering cook pasta. Drain and add pasta to chicken mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grilled Chicken Spinach Mushroom and Olive Flat Crust Pizza for Mommy and Daddy

I absolutely love flat crust pizza. This is a super simple way to make flat crust pizza just a little healthier. I used whole wheat Lavash flat bread instead of pizza dough. Using the lavash bread also cuts the prep time in half which is great for a busy mom!

Here's what you need:
1 whole wheat lavash wrap
1-2 handfuls baby spinach
1 cup precooked chicken strips chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
3-4 slices light provolone cheese
Handful part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place lavash wrap on a cookie sheet. Brush the lavash wrap with olive oil. Place the provolone slices around the lavash wrap. Top lavash wrap with baby spinach, chicken, mushrooms, and olives. Sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, oregano, and chili powder. Add handful mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with tsp olive oil. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes. Cut into slices, and enjoy. Each wrap yields 4 slices.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mini Meatloaf for the Whole Family

 My mom used to make mini meatloaf for us when we were kids. It's a great way to quickly make meatloaf for the whole family.  I changed a few things from the original meatloaf recipe to make it appropriate for my little guy. I also added minced carrots and chopped kale to the meatloaf mix to add vitamins A and C, betacarotene, calcium, and iron. This can be pureed with a little water for little one's 8+ months, or served as a finger food. 

Here's what you need:
1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped kale
1 large organic carrot peeled and minced or grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp onion powder
1 garlic clove minced
pinch ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Spoon meatloaf mix into each cup of a cupcake tray. Put tray in oven and cook for 35-40 minutes. Serving size for your little one is 2 mini meatloaf. Enjoy!  FYI You can freeze these for up to 2 months

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Breakfast Burrito for the Whole Family

Here's a recipe that will spice up your family's breakfast! My husband and I ate these eggs wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla, while our little guy ate it as a finger food scramble. This scramble is filled with protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. This is for little one's 9+ months.

Here's what you need:
4-6 eggs
1/2 cup quartered organic cherry tomatoes
1 avocado diced
1 cup canned black beans (drained)
Handful shredded mexican cheese
1 tblsp salsa per person (use mild if serving to your little one)
1 whole wheat tortilla per person
2 tsp olive oil

Add 2 tsp olive oil to a large pan over medium high heat. Mix eggs, quartered cherry tomatoes, diced avocado and black beans in a mixing bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, add cheese and scramble. Put 1 tblsp salsa on each tortilla, add scrambled eggs, and wrap into a burrito. You can add a dash of tobasco, or a few red pepper flakes to your wrap if desired. Do not give tobasco to your little one. If serving to your little one just add a little mild salsa to the scrambled eggs and serve right on high chair tray. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Orzo with Grilled Chicken, Baby Spinach, Mushrooms, and Asparagus for the Whole Famiy

This is a great meal the whole family can enjoy. It's hearty, healthy, and delicious. It's also really easy to make. It's full of calcium, vitamins A and C, fiber, protein, folate and iron. You can puree this for babies 8+ months, or cut up into tiny pieces for those eating finger foods. When I gave this to my little guy I cut up the asparagus into teeny tiny pieces, almost minced. I was really paranoid about choking, so if you are going to serve as a finger food please make sure to chop the asparagus into really little pieces.

Here's what you need:
1 cup orzo
1 lb asparagus chopped into bite size pieces (almost minced for your little one)
1 package pre-cooked grilled chicken strips (you can find them in any grocery store)
1 container diced tomatoes
1 package organic baby spinach
1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup diced onions
1 tblsp italian seasoning
1 tblsp dried basil leaves
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Olive oil

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add orzo and cook according to package. While the orzo is cooking, add 2 tsp olive oil to a large deep skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, chicken, basil and italian seasoning. Saute for 8-10 minutes. Drain orzo and add it to the skillet with the vegetables and chicken. Stir in ricotta cheese. Remove your little one's portion and then add a little salt and pepper. Serve (or puree with a little water) and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Almond Crusted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries for Mommy and Daddy

I came up with this recipe the other day and could not wait to try it. I honestly woke up dreaming about all these fall flavors! This is a super easy, healthy and delicious meal for Mommy and Daddy. If you have already tried nuts with your little one (12+ months) you can serve this to them too. 

Here's what you need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup unsalted slivered almonds
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
Olive oil
Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 425F. Put 1 cup slivered almonds in a food processor or blender and blend until they look like bread crumbs. Put almond crumbs in a bowl and add salt and pepper and mix. Dredge chicken through seasoned almond mixture and place in a deep baking dish. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into cubes. Put in a large mixing bowl. Add dried cranberries, 1 tblsp olive oil, 1 tblsp maple syrup, sage, Herbs de Provence, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Pour over chicken and then sprinkle with a handful of slivered almonds. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Filet Mignon with Sauteed Mushrooms served over Spinach with Garlic and Olive Oil for Mommy and Daddy

This is a great meal for a special occasion, or for a romantic dinner at home. I made this for dinner this weekend for our at home date night, once we put our little one to bed.

Here's what you need for Filet:
2 pieces Filet Mignon
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup diced onion
1 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
2 tblsp butter
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes, and then set aside on a plate. Add a little more olive oil to the skillet. Season steaks with salt and pepper and place them in the skillet. Sprinkle with Herbs de Provence. After 3-5 minutes turn steaks over and add red wine and butter. Spoon the red wine and butter jus over the filets as they cook. Add mushrooms, garlic, and onion mixture back to pan, and let simmer with jus for a minute or two. Place filets on top of sauteed spinach and spoon mushrooms and red wine jus over them.

Here's what you need for Sauteed Spinach:
1 lb fresh spinach
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp or handful grated gruyere

Heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat in a large skillet for about a minute. Add spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Saute until spinach wilts. Add cheese and saute for another minute or two. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Whole Wheat Rotelle with Grilled Chicken in a Spiced Pumpkin Sauce for Baby

I've been experimenting with different pasta sauces lately, and came up with this one today. It's full of vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, and folate. Add pasta and chicken and you've got your whole grains, protein and iron. You can puree this for little one's 6+ months or serve as is for little one's that are eating finger foods.

Here's what you need for 1 serving:
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tblsp canned organic 100% pumpkin puree
1/4 cup finely diced organic peeled apple
1 tblsp ricotta cheese
1/3 cup rotelle pasta
1/4 cup whole milk (use water or plain yogurt if your little one is less than 11 months)
1 tblsp pasta water
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch dried sage

Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add rotelle and cook according to package. Reserve 1 tblsp pasta water and then drain.   Grill chicken in a grill pan cooking for 7 minutes on both sides and then cut into bite size pieces. While pasta and chicken are cooking, combine the pumpkin, apple, cheese, milk (or yogurt), and spices in a small sauce pan under medium heat. Stir in pasta water and remove from heat. Add pasta and chicken to sauce and toss to coat. Puree with a little water, or serve as is and enjoy! Make sure to test the temperature of pasta before serving it to your little one.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baked Kale Chips

This is a great healthy snack for the whole family. Kale, like other dark greens, is a super food for everyone. It is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, protein, potassium, folate, and the list goes on and on. Kale chips are a great way to get your family to eat greens. They wont be thinking it's a vegetable because it tastes like a chip!

Here's what you need:
A few bunches of organic Kale
Ground nutmeg
Grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place kale leaves on a foil or parchment paper lined tray. Brush both sides of the kale with olive oil. Sprinkle with nutmeg and parmesan cheese. If you are not serving to little ones you can sprinkle with salt and pepper too. Place in oven and back for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gardener's Blend Organic Veggies with Pasta, Garbanzos and Marinara for Baby

This is a super healthy and yummy meal for your little one. It also makes a great lunch for Mommy. It's full of vitamins A and C, protein, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium and whole grains. You can puree this for little one's 7+ months, or serve as is to little one's who are eating finger foods. I spoon fed this to my little guy because it would be really messy as a finger food. Especially since he loves throwing his food ALL over the place.

Here's what you need:
1/4 cup organic Gardener's blend frozen veggie mix (It's peas, green beans, corn, and carrots you can find it in the freezer section at the grocery store)
2 tblsp (1 oz) organic garbanzo beans (I use canned, so much easier)
1/4 cup whole wheat macaroni pasta
1/4 cup organic marinara sauce
Pinch Parmesan cheese

Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add pasta and frozen veggies, and cook for about 5 minutes or until pasta is done. Drain and return to pot. Add garbanzos and sauce. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Let cool for a minute, then puree or serve as is. Make sure to test the temperature on your bottom lip before serving to your little one. Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Pumpkin Ragout for the Whole Family

Fall is here and so are the pumpkins! I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but I LOVE pumpkin. Pumpkin is a delicious and super nutritious food for you and your family. It is full of vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. I dreamt up this recipe the other night, and decided to make it for dinner last night. This ragout is made with pumpkin, carrots, dates and apples so it's jam packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Add the grilled chicken and you have a delicious healthy meal for the whole family. You can puree this for babies 7+ months, or cut up into small pieces for babies that are eating finger foods.

Here's what you need: (serves 4)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small to medium size pumpkin peeled and chopped into cubes (you can use butternut squash if you don't have or can't find pumpkin)
1 organic apple peeled and diced
2-3 medium to large organic carrots peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tblsp chopped fresh or dried sage
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
olive oil

Peel and chop 1 pumpkin (remove seeds) into bite size cubes. Heat 1 tbslp olive oil over medium heat in a large deep pan. Add pumpkin, apple, dates, carrots, nutmeg, cinnamon and sage. Toss to coat. Add chicken broth and cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Toss every so often. Cook ragout until pumpkin is soft adding more chicken broth if needed. While pumpkin ragout is simmering, lightly season chicken with salt and pepper, and place on a grill or in a grill pan. Cook for 7-8 minutes on each side. If chicken looks like it is drying out poor a little chicken broth into grill pan. Slice cooked chicken and spoon ragout on top. Serve (or puree with a little water for babies 7+ months) enjoy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baby Spinach Pesto Pasta with Peas

I'm always trying to come up with tasty ways to incorporate spinach and other dark greens into my little guy's diet. Last night I decided to boil baby spinach with garlic and then puree it with olive oil and Parmesan cheese to make a "pesto" like sauce for my son's pasta. It ended up being a really delicious sauce, and my son loved it! You can also add legumes or chicken to this dish to add protein. My little guy had chicken for lunch so I didn't add it to his dinner. You can puree this dish for babies 8+ months, or serve as finger food for older babies.

Here's what you need:
1 cup whole wheat pasta
1 cup organic baby spinach
1 garlic clove minced
3/4 cup organic peas (fresh or frozen)
olive oil
1 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add pasta and peas and cook for 5-8 minutes. Once the pasta and peas are cooked use a large slotted spoon to scoop out the pasta and peas (you are going to boil spinach in the pasta water so do not drain the pasta, just scoop it out with the spoon. I know it sounds odd, but it will give the spinach a little more flavor.) Set the pasta and peas aside. Add the baby spinach to the boiling pasta water. Add minced garlic and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Drain spinach, and puree it with 2 tblsp olive oil and parmesan cheese. Pour the spinach sauce over pasta and peas. Toss to coat the pasta. Serve your little one about 1 cup of the pasta, and store the rest in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reader's Recipe: Okra (Bhindi)

This week's Reader's Recipe comes form my dear friend Molly. I've never made Okra before so I'm excited to try this! Thanks Molly :)

Okra -- called "Bhindi" in Hindi 

This recipe can be made with either fresh or frozen okra.  Fresh okra is more flavorful, but both work well.  This is fast, easy and healthy. This is for 2 cups okra.

1. Wash and cut okra lengthwise 
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on medium/high
3. When the oil is hot (give it at least 5 minutes), add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
4. If you are using frozen okra, add one small chopped onion and saute for about 5-7 minutes.  If you are using fresh okra, you can skip this step. 
5. Add the sliced okra to the oil and cumin seeds
6. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder (called "haldi" in Hindi), one teaspoon of "garam masala," and half a teaspoon of salt.  (Turmeric power and garam masala are easily found in any Indian grocery story, and in some regular grocery stores; they are also available at Williams Sonoma and other kitchen specialty shops).
7. Saute for about 5 minutes on medium/low 
8. Add another half teaspoon of salt (to your liking) and stir for another 1-2 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice or "roti" (flat round Indian bread).  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giada De Laurentiis' Whole Grain Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms for Mommy and Daddy

OK if you haven't noticed I'm a little obsessed with Giada. Everything I've made of hers is absolutely delicious. I made this for for dinner a few weeks ago, and it was amazing! I added grilled chicken to the one I made, but it's not necessary. Enjoy!

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Add Timer
Kosher salt
1 pound whole-grain or whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, such as cremini, button or shiitake, cleaned and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup creme fraiche, at room temperature (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted*

*Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup cheese.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, onions, mushrooms, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, vegetable broth, lemon juice and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture forms a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the almonds and toss until coated. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whole Wheat Capellini with Grilled Chicken, Baby Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes for the Whole Family

I was getting ready to make grilled chicken with capellini in a garlic and olive oil sauce last night, when I came up with this recipe, and decided to give it a shot. It's super easy to make, healthy and delicious. It's a great meal for the whole family. You can cut it up in to bite size pieces for babies eating finger foods, or puree for babies 8+ months. 

Here's what you need:
1 lb whole wheat capellini (1 package)
1 package organic baby spinach
2 cups organic cherry tomatoes (cut into quarters for your little one)
2 cloves garlic minced
1 shallot minced
1/4 onion minced
Handful grated Romano cheese 
1 tblsp dried basil leaves
salt (remove your little ones portion before adding salt)
Olive oil
1/2 cup pasta water (use a measuring cup to take water from pot before you drain pasta)

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook according to package. Grill chicken in a grill pan or on a grill for 7 minutes on both sides and then cut into strips or cubes. While chicken is cooking, heat 2 tblsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and shallots to the pan and saute until tender. About 5 minutes. Add a little more olive oil and add the baby spinach, and cherry tomatoes. Add Basil, pepper, and handful of cheese. Cook for another minute. Drain all but 1/2 cup pasta water. Add pasta, 1/2 cup pasta water, and chicken to spinach and cherry tomatoes. Cook for another few minutes tossing to coat the pasta. Remove baby's portion to cut into tiny pieces or puree (You are removing baby's portion before adding salt). Add a little salt to main pan and mix. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crostinis for Mommy and Daddy

If you are looking for a dish to bring to a party or serve at your own that is super easy to make, but looks really impressive, this is it. Not to mention, they are totally delicious. These crostinis take about 20 minutes to make, sometimes less.

(This is not the best picture, I put them on a big tray when they were done, but I was in a rush and took a picture of a few of each type of crostini)

Here's what you need:
1 large French baguettes
Olive oil
Sun dried tomatoes
Goat cheese
Gorgonzola Cheese
Fig Jam
Artichoke Bruschetta
Roasted red pepper tapenade
Raspberry preserves or jam

Preheat oven to 350F. Slice baguette into 1 inch slices. Place on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Take them out and let cool. Now let's add the toppings!

Crostini 1:
Spoon pesto on crostini and place one sun dried tomato on top.

Crostini 2:
Put a spoonful of goat cheese on the crostini. Place one pecan on top of the cheese and drizzle with honey.

Crostini 3:
Put a spoonful of fig jam on the crostini. Place a little bit of crumbled gorgonzola cheese on top, and then finish with a little prosciutto.

Crostini 4:
Put a spoonful of hummus on the crostini. Top with a spoonful of artichoke bruschetta (you can find this in a jar at your grocery store).

Crostini 5:
Put a spoonful of hummus on the crostini. Top with a spoonful of tapenade.

Dessert Crostini:
Spread nutella on the crostini. Top with Raspberry preserves or jam.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Roasted Baby Carrots with Red Potatoes for the Whole Family

This is a yummy and healthy dish you can serve along side almost any entree. You can also puree this for little one's that are not eating finger foods yet, or cut up into bite size pieces for little ones that are eating finger foods. Remember to remove the potato skins if you are serving to little ones. This is filled with vitamins A and C, folate, potassium and calcium.

Here's what you need:
3 bunches organic baby carrots
5-6 small red potatoes quartered
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tblsp dried rosemary
1 tblsp Herbs de Provence
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375F. Remove stems from carrots and peel. Place in a medium to large baking/roasting pan. Cut red potatoes into quarters and place around the carrots. Drizzle or brush with olive oil. Add garlic powder, pepper, rosemary and Herbs de Provence. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until tender. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giada De Laurentiis' Grilled Tofu with Asiago and Walnut Pesto for Mommy and Daddy

I have never cooked tofu before, but this looked so yummy I had to give it a shot. This is so easy to make, and the pesto is delicious!

1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon (about 5 leaves), chopped fresh sage
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces firm tofu, drained and patted dry with paper towels
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Asiago and Walnut Pesto:
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Cut the tofu in half diagonally to make 2 large triangles. Cut each large triangle in half to make 4 smaller triangles. Place the triangles, long side down, on a cutting board and carefully cut each into 3 slices. Brush the tofu triangles, on each side, with the extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the tofu for 2 minutes on each side.

Carefully transfer the tofu to a serving platter. Spoon the pesto over the tofu and serve.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reader's Recipe: Black Bean Quesadillas for the Whole Family

This week's Reader's Recipe is another easy and yummy recipe from my friend Sarah. I made these for dinner on Friday, and my little guy loved them (and so did I!)


2 Whole Wheat Tortillas
1/4 - 1/2 avacado (depending on how much you like)
roughly 1/4 c. black beans (or more or less depending on your tastes)
Shredded Mexican blend cheese (you can use reduced fat/light for Mommy, but for Katy I use the real deal)

Set a medium skillet over medium to medium high heat on the stove.

With a fork, mash up desired amount of avacado. Set aside. Again using a fork, mash up desired amount of black beans (if your baby is still little, you might want to use a food processor to get a smoother consistency for the avacado and the black beans)

Take 1 flour tortilla and spread avacado and black beans on. Place the tortilla in the heated skillet. Add desired amount of cheese. Top with remaining tortilla. Press the tortillas together with the spatula. cook for a few minutes, then flip quesadilla to cook for a few more minutes on the other side.

Remove from pan, cut into pieces and enjoy! For Katy, I let it cool down, and then just tear off pieces. I made hers using 1 tortilla and cutting it in half and she ate the whole thing!

When your baby gets older, you can add in a small amount of very mild salsa, or some shredded chicken or turkey. I use it as a way to get Katy some ingredients she won't eat by themselves.



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