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 foodnetwork.com 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.
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