Monday, July 30, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

I've been seeing a lot of black bean brownie recipes popping up, and after trying garbanzo beans in the healthy chocolate pie I decided to come up with my own black bean brownie recipe. These brownies are so yummy and fudgie. They taste just like the real thing, but are so much healthier. These are gluten free, and made with organic apples, carrots, and black beans. I know you're probably thinking, "How is it possible that apples, carrots, and black beans mixed with a few other ingredients could taste like brownies?" Well believe me they do! These brownies are another great alternative to a birthday cake, or a great way to feed your chocolate craving :)

Here's what you need (Makes between 8 to 12 servings)
1 can organic black beans, drained
1 cup organic oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
4 oz organic carrot apple puree (you can use baby food puree)
2 tbsp flaxmeal + 6 tbsp water (mix together in a small bowl)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips melted with 1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place a small pot with 1/4 cup milk over medium high heat. When milk gets hot remove from heat and add 1/2 cup chocolate chips, stir to melt. Put all ingredients except for the last 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add last 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir. Spray an 8x8 brownie pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and place in oven. Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pasta Shells with Lamb Sausage and Kale in a Pistachio Kale Pesto Sauce

My husband and I ordered something similar to this at a restaurant recently and were disappointed with it. Pistachio pesto sounded like it would be so good, but the restaurant's pesto was nothing special. I thought that I could make a better version of the entree, and I did (not to toot my own horn or anything).  I added organic kale to the pesto to make it a little more nutritious (and because I had so much of it I didn't want to waste it!). Pistachio's are known as the skinny nut since it is the healthiest of all tree nuts. It is a great source of fiber and potassium, and is very low in calories. This pesto was so yummy, and was a huge hit with my hubby and my little guy. This turned out to be SO much better than the dish we ordered at the restaurant, and a lot more cost effective! This is for little ones 12+ months and Mommies and Daddies of all ages!

Here's what you need: (serves 4 to 6)
Pesto Sauce:

¼ cup chopped kale
2 to 3 tbsp dried basil leaves
1 tbsp dried parsley
½ cup pistachios (remove shells)
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil
ground black pepper

Put all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth and set aside.

1 box pasta shells
5 links lamb sausage, casings removed (you can use chicken or turkey sausage too)
2 cups chopped organic kale

Cook pasta according to package. While pasta is cooking remove sausage casings and cook meat in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook until browned (about 5 to 8 minutes). Add chopped kale and toss. Cook until kale has wilted. Drain pasta and add it to the kale and sausage. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy! Remember to cut your little one's portion into bite size pieces. Your little one's portion should be between 1/2 and 3/4 cups. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Salmon Cakes for the Whole Family

I've been meaning to try this recipe for a few months now, and finally got around to it the other night. This is from the Organic Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Lizzie Vann. Yes, this is a recipe meant for babies, but it is really delicious and healthy for Mommy and Daddy too. It was a big hit with my family. Especially my husband, he ate 3! You can make these with salmon or cod and serve as is or on a bun. This is for little ones 10+ months and Mommies and Daddies of all ages!

Here's what you need:
2 large organic potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs fresh salmon or cod (bones and skin removed your fish seller will do this for you if you ask)
Milk for poaching
6 scallions, trimmed and chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 heaping cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until soft, about 12-15 minutes. Drain and mash with lemon juice and half of the butter.

Poach fish in a pan of milk. Add enough milk to cover the fish. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer until the fish is no longer translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Drain the fish and chop into small pieces.

In a separate pan, fry the scallions in the remaining butter until soft. Add the scallions, fish, and pepper to the potato mixture and combine. Divide the mixture into 8 (you may have more than 8 patties, I had around 12), and pat into burger shapes with floured hands.

Beat the egg and milk together in a bowl. Coat each burger first in the egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs (I added a little salt and pepper in the breadcrumbs for some more flavor).

Heat half of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low and add four burgers. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel and keep warm. Add the rest of the oil and repeat the process with the remaining burgers. Let cool a minute and then serve and enjoy!  Remember to cut your little one's portion up into bite size pieces.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Chip Pie

OK I know you're all thinking healthy chocolate chip pie how is that possible? All I can say is, it is, and it's delicious. I wish I could take full credit for this recipe, but I found it in one of my favorite blogs Chocolate Covered Katie. I changed the original recipe a little bit by adding kale and avocado, and not using oil. You can find the original recipe here. This recipe is gluten free, vegan and delicious.  This would make a really delicious birthday cake or treat for little ones 12+ months.

Here's what you need:
1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 to 2 handfuls organic kale
1/2 large avocado
1 cup organic quick cooking oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup organic applesauce
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Put all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a large food processor and blend until smooth. Add chocolate chips and stir. Spray a deep pie dish with cooking spray.  Pour batter into pie dish and bake for 45-50 minutes. The outside should be golden and crisp, while the inside should be  like a fudge texture. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Split Pea Soup with Veggies and Wild Rice for the Whole Family

I have loved split pea soup for as long as I can remember, and my little guy has definitely inherited a love for it too. I posted a more traditional recipe for pea soup a few months ago, but this recipe is a little more adventurous (OK not really adventurous, but not really traditional either). Begin this soup in the morning or early afternoon and let it simmer all day. You can serve this to little ones 8+ months. This will stay good in the fridge for 3 to 5 days, and in the freezer for 2 months.

Here's what you need:
1 1/2 cup organic split peas
8 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth
1 cup wild rice
2 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic minced
1 onion finely diced
1 cup chopped organic carrots
1 package organic frozen spinach
1 can cannellini beans drained
1 14 1/2 oz can organic diced tomatoes in juice
ground pepper to taste

Put the first 4 ingredients in a large deep pot. Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 hours stirring occasionally. After 3 hours, saute onion, garlic and carrots in a little oil and add them to the soup pot. Add frozen spinach to pot and continue to simmer on low heat stirring occasionally for another hour or two (I let this soup simmer all day). About 30 minutes before you are going to serve add the cannellini beans and diced tomatoes to the soup pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. You can also puree this for your little one. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Veggie Stuffed Turkey Meatballs for the Whole Family

Here is yet another meatball recipe for your family. I think this is either the fourth or fifth different meatball recipe I've posted, so you can probably tell that I make meatballs a lot in our house. These meatballs are made with lean ground turkey meat, and chopped mushrooms, kale and carrots. This is a great way to get your protein and veggies all in one bite! These are 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 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped organic kale (I put all the veggies in a food processor)
1/2 cup finely chopped organic carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped cremini mushrooms
1 egg beaten
Salt (1 tsp)
1 1/2 jars organic marinara
Olive oil

Mix all ingredients except the marinara and olive oil in a large mixing bowl and form into small meatballs. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs and cook until golden brown on the outside flipping so all sides get cooked (approx 5 to 7 minutes). While meatballs are cooking heat the marinara sauce in a covered pot and let simmer. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce pot and let simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes. Let cool and serve over pasta of your choice. Make sure to cut your little one's portion up into small pieces. Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Multigrain Banana Mango Blueberry Pancakes

I made these for breakfast over the weekend, and they were so yummy. My little guy really loved them, I mean that literally, as he was eating he said "I love you pancakes!" We had a lot left over so my little one was able to have them for snacks the next day too. These are for little one's who are ready for finger food.

Here's what you need:
1 cup multigrain pancake mix
1 organic banana chopped or mashed
1 to 2 handfuls organic blueberries
1/2 fresh mango finely diced
1/2 cup low fat or skim milk
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp flaxmeal mixed with 6 tbsp water (mix and let sit for 2 mintues)

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Add 1 to 2 tsp oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Ladle the batter into the skillet and cook. Flip pancakes when you start to see air bubbles. Add more olive oil to skillet before you ladle next batter of pancakes into it. Let cool, serve and enjoy!

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