Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Papparadelle in a Kale and Mushroom Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese sauce is a yummy and healthy alternative to basic marinara sauce. It's like a kicked up marinara filled with meat and veggies. This sauce is full of iron, calcium, folate, fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, D, and potassium, and the pasta is full whole grains. This is a meal your whole family can enjoy from 8+ months. You can puree it or cut it up into bite size pieces for little ones eating finger foods.

Here's what you need:
1 28oz container diced tomatoes
4 sweet Italian sausage
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tblsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pasta water
pinch salt
1 lb bag paparadelle pasta

Open up sausage casings and scoop meat into a large deep skillet over medium high heat. While sausage is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package. Remove 1/3 cup pasta water and set aside, and then drain rest. When sausage is browned add garlic and mushrooms. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes and then add diced tomatoes, chopped kale, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, and parmesan cheese. Cover and let simmer for 5 or so minutes. Add cooked pasta and pasta water to large skillet and toss to coat. Season with a little salt and pepper if needed.  If you are pureeing, wait until cooled and then puree with a little water. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Buckwheat Muffins

I was going to call these everything but the kitchen sink muffins because that's basically what's in them. I made these for my son's playgroup yesterday and they were a big hit with the little ones and the Mommies! These are jam packed with essential nutrients and are super yummy. These are for little ones who are ready for finger foods (approx 10 to 11 months).

Here's what you need: (This makes about 16 muffins)
2 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup organic oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 zucchini
1 to 2 large carrots (or 4 to 5 baby carrots)
1 cup baby spinach
1 to 2 pears
8 oz Trader Joe's organic apple sauce with wild berries (or 4 oz applesauce, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup blackberries)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Chop up zucchini, pears, and carrots and put them in a food processor or blender. Add spinach and berry sauce (or berries and applesauce if you can't find berry sauce) and puree. Mix buckwheat flour, oats, brown sugar, egg and milk in a large mixing bowl. Add fruit and veggie puree and stir until mixed. Spray a cupcake/muffin tray with cooking spray. Add one or 2 spoonful of batter into each slot. You could also use an ice cream scoop. Place muffins in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Muffins are done when you can put a toothpick or knife in the middle and nothing comes out. Let cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Sauteed Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes for the Whole Family

I love taking leftovers and turning them into another meal. I had chicken left over from my kebabs the other night so I made it into this. It has almost the same ingredients as the kebabs, but just has different flavors. This meal is full of Vitamins A and C, folate, protein, potassium, and iron, not to mention lots of flavor. My son loved this. You can eat this as is, or serve it over whole wheat pasta. Serve as finger food for little ones 10+ months, or puree for little ones 8+ months.

Here's what you need for 4 servings:
3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks
2 to 3 zucchinis chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tblsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat a large grill pan over medium high heat. Grill chicken in grill pan for 7 minutes on each side. While chicken is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil to the hot skillet. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add chopped zucchini and Italian seasoning. Cook until tender approx 10 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, cooked chicken and parmesan cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper. Toss together, serve and enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken Kebabs for the Whole Family

I love kebabs. It's such an easy and healthy way to cook protein and veggies at the same time. You can grill these on a charcoal or gas grill, or inside on a grill pan. This recipe is full of protein, vitamins A, C and D, potassium, iron, and folate. You can puree this for little ones 8+ months, or cut into bite size pieces and serve as finger food for little ones 10+ months.

Here's what you need for 4 servings:
3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
1 to 2 zucchini's chopped
1 large heirloom tomato chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
cooking spray
3 to 4 bamboo skewers
4 small whole wheat flat breads or naan

Yogurt sauce: (I got this recipe from Williams-Sonoma and tweaked it a little)
1 cup low fat or fat free plain greek yogurt
2 green onions (scallions or chives)  finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt

Season chicken with a little salt, pepper, and oregano. Put chicken, zucchini, peppers, and tomato on skewers. Spray kebabs with cooking spray and place on hot grill pan or outdoor grill. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes on both sides. While chicken is cooking mix all the ingredients for yogurt sauce together. Spoon one or two spoonfuls of yogurt sauce on to each flat bread. When chicken is cooked, slide the chicken and veggies off of the skewer and on to the flat bread. Serve and enjoy! Make sure to cut your little ones portion up into bite size pieces. If you are pureeing, place chicken, veggies, a little yogurt sauce and a little water into a blender or food processor.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon for Mommy and Daddy

Ok this is the MOST delicious salmon I have ever had in my life. Every bite from start to finish was so flavorful. I had to stop a few times during dinner to have a moment with this delicious dish. I found this recipe in the most recent issue of Simple & Delicious magazine and made this for myself and my husband for our at home date night the other night. This is so easy to make. Takes about 30 minutes including prep time! I would not recommend serving this to your little one because it has cayenne pepper in it. You could make it without the pepper if you want to serve it to the whole family.

Here's what you need for 4 servings:
4 Salmon fillets
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp stoneground mustard or dijon mustard
2 tsp dill
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle salmon with salt and cayenne (use black pepper if serving to your little one) and set aside. Combine sugar, mustard, oil, and dill in a small bowl (this is your glaze). Spray a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray and place salmon skin side. Brush glaze over fish covering the salmon entirely. Place in oven. Bake salmon 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. I baked ours for  20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

I served this with sauteed brussels sprouts with pancetta.

10-12 brussels sprouts halved
1/2 cup diced pancetta
1 tblsp italian seasoning
1 tblsp olive oil
1 garlic clove minced

Spray a large skillet with olive oil cooking spray and place over med high heat.  Add minced garlic, and brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Add pancetta and Italian seasoning. Saute for 15 or so minutes until tender.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Black Bean Burgers for the Whole Family

I found this recipe in one of my favorite cooking magazines Simple and Delicious. Not to sound redundant, but everything in the magazine is really simple and delicious! I made these the other night and they were a big hit with my husband and son. I modified the original recipe a little to make it more appropriate for my little guy ( I took out the really spicy stuff). This burger is full of yummy goodness for the whole family. It has protein, potassium, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A and C. This is for little ones 9+ months and mommies and daddies of all ages.

Here's what you need for 4 servings:
1 can (15 oz) black beans rinsed and drained
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 to 3 tblsp mild salsa
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
1 egg
1 garlic clove minced
Olive oil cooking spray
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

1 avocado diced
Reduced fat sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 tblsp mild salsa

Place beans in a food processor, cover and process until blended. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, 2 to 3 tblsp salsa, chopped pepper, egg, and garlic. Mix until combined. Shape into 4 patties. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place patties in skillet and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve on buns. Top with avocado, a spoonful of salsa, and a spoonful of sour cream or plain greek yogurt. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vegan Apple Spinach Bread

There was a little deli near where I used to work that sold vegan apple bread. I used to get it once or twice a week. I've been missing it, so I decided to try to make my own version. I added spinach to it to add some more fiber and iron. My little guy loved this bread. He had it for breakfast the next morning with some mashed banana on top. My husband and I enjoyed it too! This is for little ones ready for finger food 10+ months.

Here's what you need:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat pancake mix
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsweetened organic apple sauce
1 tblsp ground cinnamon
2 tblsp brown sugar
1 cup spinach
2 tbslp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Puree spinach with a little water and then mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Spray a bread pan (loaf pan) with cooking spray and then pour batter into it. Place in oven and cook for 25 minutes. Let cool and then slice and serve.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa for Mommy and Daddy

This is a super easy, healthy and delicious date night dinner for Mommy and Daddy. It takes about 15 minutes including prep time! Even though mahi mahi has a moderate to low level of mercury, you should not feed it to your little one without checking with your pediatrician first. If you are planning on making this for your whole family you can use salmon, or tilapia. For further information on the mercury content in fish click here.  I served this with whole wheat cous cous and steamed broccoli.

Here's what you need for 4 servings:
4 Mahi Mahi filets
Cooking spray

Mango Salsa:
1 mango peeled and diced
1 organic apple peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 tsp fresh or dried cilantro
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallions
juice of 1 lime
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Spray a large skillet with olive oil cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper and spray both sides with olive oil cooking spray. Place fish in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side turning once (Make sure fish is totally cooked through). Put all ingredients of mango salsa in a mixing bowl and toss to coat. Scoop 1 to 2 spoonfuls of mango salsa over the fish, serve and enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Herb Crusted Chicken Stuffed With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

I came up with this last night after I was planning on making something entirely different, but realized I was missing some key ingredients for that recipe. I looked in the fridge to see what else I had, and what I thought would taste good together, and this was the result.  I'm still trying to come up with a sauce that would compliment it, but it tasted good without one too. This can be served as finger food for little ones 10+ months or can be pureed for little ones 8+ months.

Here's what you need for 4 servings
4  boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 butternut squash
4 oz container of goat cheese
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tblsp Herbs de Provence
1 tblsp dried sage
Olive oil cooking spray

*Roast butternut squash earlier in the day if you can because it takes 40 minutes to roast. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds and membranes. Place in a baking dish. Spray with cooking spray and roast for 40 minutes. Scoop out of shell, mash, and set aside in a bowl.*

Preheat oven to 375F. Butterfly the chicken and then cut it in half so you have thin cutlets. Each chicken breast will become 2 thin cutlets (if that makes sense). Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, Herbs de provence, and sage with a pinch of salt and pepper in small bowl. Coat one side of each cutlet with the herb mixture. Place the cutlets coated side down in baking dish. Spread the butternut squash onto the chicken (about 1-2 spoonfuls). Cover Squash with goat cheese ( about 1 spoonful). Roll up chicken and then spray with a little cooking spray. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. I served this over butternut squash puree mixed with sage because I had some left over. Serve and enjoy!
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