Friday, June 29, 2012

Giada's Cannellini Beans with Herbs and Pancetta

This recipe is from Giada's Family Dinners cookbook. I made this last week, and it was a big hit. It's absolutely delicious! This is like an Italian version of baked beans, but healthier. It's a great side dish to bring to or serve at any summer BBQ. You can serve this to your little one 12+ months.

Here's what you need for 4 to 6 servings:
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 (14 1/2 oz) can organic diced tomatoes in juice
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 package diced pancetta
salt and pepper
3 cups organic arugula or organic mixed baby greens

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in the sage and thyme. Add the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium high heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the beans. Simmer until the juices evaporate by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pancetta. Season the beans to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the arugula on a platter. Spoon the beans over the greens and serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mini Stuffed Shells

I remember my mom making stuffed shells for us all the time growing up. It was one of my favorite meals, so I decided to make it mini for my toddler. I also added chopped spinach to the stuffing, and served it with mini heirloom tomatoes on the side. This is for little one's who are ready for finger food (10+ months).

Here's what you need for 4 to 6 servings:
1 package whole wheat pasta shells
1 cup fat free or part skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped organic baby spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
ground pepper to taste
Organic Marinara Sauce
Organic mini heirloom tomatoes quartered or halved

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside. Heat marinara sauce in another small pot. While pasta is cooking, mix ricotta cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Put cheese mixture into a ziplock baggie and cut the corner with a scissor. Squeeze the cheese mixture into each pasta shell. Pour marinara over pasta shells and serve with tomatoes on the side. Enjoy! Make sure to let pasta and sauce cool before serving to your little one.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vegan Banana Blueberry Kiwi Bread

I've been experimenting a lot with vegan snacks lately, and came up with this one last week.  It is SO yummy, and it's a great healthy snack for the whole family. This delicious snack is jam packed with omega 3s, antioxidants, and whole grains, potassium, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals essential for you and your little ones. This is for little ones who are ready for finger foods and Mommies and Daddies of all ages.

Here's what you need for one loaf:
1 1/3 cup stoneground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup Trader Joe's organic apple & wild berry sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 mashed bananas
1/3 cup organic blueberries
1 to 2 kiwis peeled and then chopped
1 tsp oil (I used canola)
2 tbsp flaxmeal mixed with  6 tbsp water (mix this in separate bowl)

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the flax meal and water mixture and stir until smooth. Spray bread pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes (until you can stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean.) Let cool, slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

I love apple cinnamon anything. Whether it's oatmeal, pancakes, applesauce, yogurt, pie, ice cream, tea.... If it's apple cinnamon, I'll probably eat it. These muffins are a great family snack. They are packed with  healthy goodness (like flax seed with Omega 3s) for the whole family. These are for little ones 10 to 12+ months who are ready for finger foods and Mommies and Daddies of all ages.

Here's what you need for a dozen:
1 3/4 cup stoneground wheat flour
1/2 cup organic oats
1/3 cup flax seed
1 1/2 cup organic applesauce
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
pinch salt
2 eggs beaten (you can substitute 2 tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 tbsp water for the eggs)
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray and spoon the batter into each slot (about 2 tbsp per slot). Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Scramble with Turkey, Kale, Mini Heirloom Tomatoes and Cheddar Cheese

My little one loves eggs, I mean LOVES eggs. He will pretty much eat eggs with anything, which is great for me, because I can scramble then with lots of veggies. We had this for breakfast Friday morning, and my little one couldn't get enough! I enjoyed it too! This is for little ones 9+ months who are ready for finger food.

Here's what you need for 2 to 4 servings:
4 organic free range eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped kale
1/2 cup halved mini heirloom tomatoes
Handful shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 to 3 slices reduced sodium turkey breast shredded
1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Break eggs into a bowl and beat them. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Spray a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Pour egg mixture into skillet and scramble. Let cool and enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kale Mushroom and Tomato Whole Wheat Pizza

I've mentioned in previous posts how much I love to make pizza. It's such a fun family activity, and a yummy family dinner. You can serve this pizza cut into little squares as an appetizer for a dinner or cocktail party, or you can serve it for dinner cut into bigger slices. Either way it is sure to please. This is for little ones 12+ months and Mommies and Daddies of all ages.

Here's what you need:
1 package whole wheat pizza dough (I use Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup finely chopped kale
1/2 cup finely chopped cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup organic cherry tomatoes halved
1/4 organic marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F. Remove dough from package and let rest on a floured surface for 20 minutes. Roll out dough with a rolling pin or with your hands. Brush with olive oil. Pour marinara onto dough and spread it out. Sprinkle kale, mushrooms and tomatoes all over dough. Season with Italian seasoning, nutmeg and garlic. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place in oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool, slice and serve. Remember to cut your little one's portion into bite size pieces. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fagioli Balls with Spaghetti Squash for the Whole Family

Pasta e Fagioli is one of my family's favorite meals. It's a staple in our house, so I've been trying to come up with more creative ways to serve it. This meal has the same flavor as spaghetti and meatballs, but is a healthy vegetarian option. The texture is a little different than regular meatballs, but they're so yummy you definitely wont be missing the meat. This meal is made almost entirely with super foods like legumes, kale, squash, and whole grains. It's a delicious meal that's healthy, but doesn't taste it! This is for little ones 10+ months who are ready for finger foods, and Mommies and Daddies of all ages.

Here's what you need for 4 to 6 servings:
1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained (divided)
1 cup microwaveable brown rice
Handful of pine nuts
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg gently beaten
1 large spaghetti squash halved lengthwise
1 jar organic marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle olive oil in shallow baking dish and place spaghetti squash halves face down on the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop out squash into bowls.

Put 1/2 cannellini can in to food processor (reserve rest) and blend until smooth about 15 seconds. Place reserved beans and blended beans in a large mixing bowl. Cook microwaveable brown rice according to package and then add to mixing bowl. Add pine nuts, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, kale, nutmeg, egg, 3/4 tsp salt, and pepper. Mix together with your hands, and then form into small balls. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Place fagioli balls around the skillet and cook turning every so often until golden brown and crispy on outside (about 5 to 7 minutes). While the fagioli balls are cooking, pour the marinara sauce into a pot and heat. Place fagioli balls in sauce and let simmer for 5 or so minutes. The balls will continue to cook in sauce. Place fagioli sauce over spaghetti squash and serve. Make sure to cut the squash and balls up into bite size pieces for your little one and make sure to let cool before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spinach & Arugula Salad with the Works for Mommy and Daddy

My mother-in-law made this salad the last time she was visiting us, and it was SO yummy. There's a lot of unexpected flavors that work really well together and make every bite a little sweet and a little salty. This is a great side salad, or lunch. You can add chicken or salmon to this salad to make it a full meal. I say this salad is for Mommy and Daddy, but you can serve the toppings (avocado, berries, olives, cheese, apples, chicken or salmon) cut up into bite size pieces for your little one 10+ months.

Here's what you need:
1 package organic baby spinach & arugula salad
2 avocados diced
1 can sliced black olives
1 to 2 organic apples diced
3/4 cup dried berry mix (the one I used had blueberries, cranberries, cherries and plums)
1 to 2 handfuls crumbled feta cheese
1 handful sliced almonds
2 tbsp light balsamic vinaigrette

Mix all ingredients together drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. If you're serving the toppings to your little one take out his/her portion before you add almonds or dressing. Enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Super Food Fruit Salad for the Whole Family

There's nothing better than a yummy fruit salad on a warm summer/spring day. Of course it is currently gloomy and raining outside as I'm writing this, but last week was a different story (hope this wet weather will be over soon!). I made this for lunch last week for myself and my little guy. He LOVED it, as did I. It's refreshing, sweet and savory all at the same time. Best of all, it's an easy and healthy lunch, that is jam packed with antioxidants, that you can throw together in 5 minutes! This is for little ones ready for finger food and Mommies and Daddies of all ages. Enjoy!

Here's what you need for 2 to 3 servings:
1 avocado diced
1 cup organic blueberries
2 small black plums diced, remove peel for younger babies (these are the sweeter ones that are red on the inside)
1 to 1 1/2 cup diced watermelon
1 cup diced organic strawberries
1 handful crumbled feta cheese
Juice of half a meyer lemon (the are a little sweeter than regular lemons) or half an orange

Put diced fruit and feta cheese into a large bowl. Squeeze either the orange or meyer lemon over the fruit and toss. Serve, and enjoy! Your little one's portion should be between a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. You can also puree this (minus the cheese) for your little one 8+ months.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Black Rice Risotto

I've been experimenting with black rice recently, mainly as a side dish. I came across this recipe on, and thought I would try it. I added pancetta and peas to the original recipe to add more flavor, and to take care of the veggie portion of the meal. If you haven't heard of or cooked black rice before, here are a few reasons why you should give it a try: 1 serving of black rice contains 2% of your daily values of iron, and 8% daily values of fiber (double the amount found in brown rice),  it has high levels of antioxidants, which are thought to fight cancer and heart disease, and it has the highest amount of protein when compared to all other types of rice. This risotto (served without pancetta for your little one) is for little ones 10+ months, you can also puree the risotto and peas for little ones 7+ months.

Here's what you need for 4 adult servings (serving size for your little one is between 1/2 and 3/4 cup)

  • cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups HINODE black rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag frozen organic peas
  • 1 to 2 handfuls diced pancetta (for adult portion only)

Bring the broth to a simmer in a pot over medium-high heat. Cover and keep warm.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir in the wine until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
Ladle in 3/4 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed, 6 to 7 minutes. Repeat with the remaining broth, adding 3/4 cup at a time, until the rice is tender but somewhat chewy, about 50 minutes. Add frozen peas before you add the last ladle of broth and stir until liquid is absorbed. 
Stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and 1/2 cup parmesan. Remove your little one's portion and set aside. Add diced pancetta to the main risotto and stir for 2-3 more minutes. Divide among bowls. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and the basil. Serve and enjoy! If you are pureeing your little one's portion, add a little water and then put in food processor. 
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