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.
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