Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Soups On!!

I just felt like making soup this weekend. Minestrone is my favorite, so why not make it for my boy?

1 Leek, washed and chopped
1 Clove of Garlic, optional
2 carrots, peeled, washed, chopped
2 stalks of celery, washed, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled, washed, chopped
1 cup of chicken stock
2 tbsp. orzo pasta
½ cup of frozen peas.
1 tbsp. parmesan cheese.

Add enough oil to bottom of soup pot just to coat the bottom. Add the chopped leeks and 1 garlic cloves, mashed, if you choose to use it. Let that cook until the leeks get soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the carrots and celery. Cook until soft, about another 5 minutes.
 Add the potatoes and the stock, cook until the potatoes get soft, about 10 minutes.

 Add the orzo, cook for another 5 minutes. Lastly, add the peas, and cook for another 5 minutes.
All in all this will take you 30 minutes to make! If your baby is big, or a toddler, just put this in a bowl, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and call it a day. Although, if you are making this for a toddler, make sure that everything is small pieces for them to safely swallow. If your baby is younger, or still has texture issues, put into a food processor (this is a good recipe to help babies get used to chunkier textures, while still being smooth). If you put it in a blender it will puree smooth. So this is great for all ages.
While this was cooking my husband was sleeping, the aroma woke him up and he said “mmm what’s cooking? Can I have some?” If you add some beans for protein this will also be a great soup for company.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Opening weekend at the farmers market

I have made my son applesauce on numerous occasions, roasted, boiled, but I wanted to try something new. This past weekend was opening weekend of the farmer’s market in our town and my husband and I are avid attendees. We go every single week; we really enjoy supporting our local farmer’s, and knowing where our food comes from. We are also members of our local CSA, so I thought that it would be great to make at least one new food for our son using CSA fruits and vegetables. The CSA has not begun yet, the CSA season starts June 24th, so we have about another month, but my husband came home with apples and strawberries this week (amongst some other things), I thought, why not make strawberry applesauce?! So I did. To make this, I boiled the apples and strawberries. I know that I have said in the past that this is the least nutritious way for vitamin retention, however, all the liquid went into the blender with the apples and strawberries, therefore it was ok, no vitamins lost to cooking liquid.

7 Apples, peeled, cored, diced
2 cups strawberries, hulled, chopped
1 cup apple cider
1 cup water
2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Prepare the apples and place them into a medium size sauce pot.

 Let the apples begin cooking while you prepare the strawberries. Add the strawberries,

the cider and water. Give it a good stir, then add the cinnamon.
 Let it cook for about 20 minutes, until it looks like this. The fructose in the fruit will start to come out, this can get a little sticky, but sticky is good.
Put into blender, and puree. After the applesauce is pureed I poured it back onto the stove to let it thicken a bit more, only another 5 minutes give or take. This is my son’s breakfast this morning… and my desert last night!
Another quick put together dish to put together for your baby is quick banana pudding.

1 cup of applesauce (you can use the above applesauce if you want)
2 bananas
¼ cup of plain yogurt
1 tsp of ground cinnamon

Place into bowl or blender and stir to combine!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Warm Weather=Cold Soup

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am going to tell you about something that my mother used to make for us growing up in the spring and summer, cold soups! I remember sitting outside on our patio waiting for our hamburgers and hot dogs to cook, and she would bring out some gazpacho! Now, these are not recipes for traditional gazpacho, but they are cold soup recipes that my son adored! In fact, they were so well loved in my house that the leftover bit went to my neighbor who drank it right up, then went home to buy the ingredients and made it herself!

Pictures will come later, I wanted to get these up to you, but I need to upload the pictures.

Watermelon Gazpacho, this is sweet and refreshing!

4 cups of chopped watermelon

1/3 cup of chopped fresh mint

¼ cup of plain organic yogurt

Put into blender, and hit puree. This will be VERY liquidy. If your child is old enough to drink from a sippy cup, or a regular cup, pour this as is into the cup and let them drink, otherwise it will dribble all over the spoon. If your child is not old enough, add some baby cereal either rice or oatmeal to thicken this up.

Cucumber Mint Soup

3 Cucumbers, deseeded (I scrapped the seeds out with a spoon, peeled, and chopped

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup of chopped fresh mint

4 strawberries, organic, chopped

1 ½ Tbsp. of Agave Nectar (Do not give babies under 1 honey!)

Put all into a blender and hit puree. Again, this is soupy, so for an adult with good hand control this is great as a soup, but for a little guy with a little spoon this could get messy. I thickened it, but it is your choice.

Maybe I am just looking forward so much to the warm weather, but these are great warm weather foods for your family and your babies!

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not My Mama's Spaghetti and Ketchup

Let me take the time to explain this title to you. My mother, in her infinite wisdom, and wonderful cooking skills that she now has acquired, used to feed myself, my cousin, and my siblings spaghetti and ketchup. Italians, don't fear, this is not a spaghetti and ketchup recipe! When my husband found out, he told me that I must promise to never ever feed our son spaghetti and ketchup. My Dr. Abba (father) agreed, and in fact was so proud of his grandson that his first taste of pasta with sauce was pasta with sauce and not spaghetti and ketchup that he gave him a kiss on the forehead via the telephone. So now that you know I grew up with this thing, let me share my son's first experience with pasta with you.

I was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease this past October, so since then my house has become 100% gluten free. However, my husband and I felt that if our son has not exhibited any symptoms, we would feed him wheat until he is older and we had family meals.

First the sauce. This is a really easy sauce to make. This is not the marinara sauce I make for my husband and I, as my son does not like onion, and I put a whole onion in my regular sauce, so this is modified to his taste buds.

2 carrots, peeled, and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 tbsp of butter
4 basil leaves

Put all ingredients into a sauce pan and cook for about 15 minute-20 minutes. I cooked other items while this was cooking (roasted blueberry and bananas, kale green beans and sweet potato). When everything is mushy and soft and the tomatoes have burst, put into blender and puree with the basil leaves.

I cooked 1 cup of orzo, put the sauce on, and added 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp of cheddar cheese. For older babies you can feed as is. I pureed this for my son as he still has problems with textures. The sauce is incredibly sweet and tomatoey, its good.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Roasted Berries, Spiced sweet potatoes, delish!

I got the ok from my pediatrician to give the baby strawberries as long as they are cooked. So the idea of a roasted berry banana smoothie naturally sounded amazing in my head. The berries burst in the oven, all the flavors concentrated, ammmazing!

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
2 bananas

Cut strawberries in half, slice banana, and put blueberries on a rimmed baking sheet like so.

Put into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until the berries burst.

Very simple, right? Put in blender, puree and it will become this amazing purple hue! My son loved this.

If that wasn't tasty enough I also made
my boy a spiced sweet potato and pear puree! In this house fall flavors are the best! We love the aroma of all the spices, the sweetness, the spicy, so why not bring that to spring? Here is what I did:

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and cut 2 large sweet potatoes and place in a bowl. Add half a TSP of cinnamon, 1/4 TSP nutmeg and 1/4 tsp of ginger. Toss and pour onto baking sheet.

 Put potatoes in oven for thirty minutes. Meanwhile, peel and chop pears, and add to same bowl that housed the pears. Toss the pears with the remaining spices. When the timer goes off, pour the spiced pears onto the same baking sheet with the potatoes, and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Puree and enjoy!!