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!
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