Friday, March 30, 2012

The Lunchbox: Week of March 26

Above is a picture of one of Bebe B’s lunches from this week, containing:

  • Sprouted Corn Quesadilla with Avocado & Cheddar
  • Snap Peas & Blueberries
  • Diced Apple on Cottage Cheese
  • Leftover Fries (365 Organic no salt added, cooked with brown rice vinegar and sea salt)  from dinner the night before
  • Raw Almonds & Pistachios
Happy Lunchtime Everyone!

Also Bebe B insisted on being in the picture of her lunch but was too excited to hold still so the picture is blurry.  Blurry but cute.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coconut Fish Sticks

Kids LOVE dipping things.  Sometimes by simply changing the shape of a food you can get them to try and even like a food.  Bebe B has always been a bit unsure when it came to fish, and getting her to try things these days can be a real challenge.  After finding some beautiful fresh fish on special I knew I had to create a recipe that would be fun, taste great and healthy.  Bebe B loved these and I know I will make them again soon.  

Coconut Fish Sticks - 12 Months+
1 large Fillet of White Fish (I used wild caught cod but any white fish will work)
2 tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1 tbsp Coconut Flour 
1 tsp Thyme (finely chopped) 
1/2 a Lime
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 tsp Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (f).  Cut the fish into strips, about 3 inches in length.   Sprinkle with salt and a squeeze from the lime.  Next whisk the rest of the juice from the lime half into the egg.  In a separate dish gently combine coconut, flour and thyme.  Line a baking sheet with foil, parchment paper or a silpat mat.  Rub with olive oil (to help prevent sticking).  Dip each fish strip first in the egg mixture then in the coconut mixture and set on the baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Then turn the oven to broil and bake another 3-5 minutes, make sure to watch closely during this part broiling can lead to burning really fast.  The broiling step just helps to crisp them up a little bit.  Allow to cool a few minutes and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.  I like to make a homemade “tartar” sauce by mixing plain Greek yogurt with a little apple cider vinegar and diced cucumber.   


Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:

-White Fish is low in fat, high in protein and rich in vitamin B.  

-Coconut is rich in healthy fat, potassium and protein. 

-Limes are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C.

This recipe is dairy-free and gluten-free.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lunchbox: Week of March 19

Above is a picture of one of Bebe B’s lunches from this week, containing:

Happy Lunchtime Everyone!!

Exciting, new recipes coming soon: Coconut Fish Sticks, Asparagus Jambalaya, Fig Bars and Bebe’s First Sweet Potatoes.  Also stay tuned next week for the first installment of my Bebe Vlog (video log) chronicling Bebe I’s adventure with food!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Plantain Pistachio Bread

This recipe turned out wonderful!  It’s a lightly sweet bread that makes a great treat or even breakfast.  Make sure you have RIPE plantains (they should be dark brown/ black), they will be sweet and flavorful when cooked. We all loved it in our house...Hope you give it a try.  

Plantain Pistachio Bread - 12 Months+
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 RIPE plantains
3 tbsp pure honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped pistachios

Combine flour, flax, soda, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until well mixed then beat in eggs (one at a time), yogurt and vanilla.  In a small bowl mash plantains and honey together.  Beat the plantain mixture into the butter mixture. Fold dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined, batter will be thick.  Fold in the pistachios and pour into a buttered (or lightly oiled) loaf pan.  Bake for about 40-50 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. A tooth pick should come out clean when poked into the center.  


This recipe is vegetarian.

Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:

-Plantains are packed full of vitamin A, C and potassium (much more than even their banana cousin).  They are also rich in fiber (4g) and proteins. 

-Pistachios are amazing, packed full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (the good fat).

-Flaxseed Meal is full of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, fiber and more.

Wondering what a plantain is?

These potato-like fruits are a fixture in South and Central America, as well as other tropical areas. They are longer, thicker, and more bland in flavor compared to the standard sweet banana — and, unlike dessert bananas, plantains must be cooked before they are consumed.
At their green and yellow stages, plantains are often used in savory dishes and frying, baking, and boiling are only a few of the ways in which they may be prepared. The fruits are also utilized at their ripest color, black, when they are used in sweeter dishes.  As they ripen the plantain’s starch turns to sugar (much slower than bananas), so the riper the plantain, the sweeter.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two Bean Soup

This is a soup packed full of protein, fiber and flavor!  We have been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather here in Wisconsin but I know we are not out of soup weather just yet.  Bebe B just loved it, which was great because I created it for her.  Preschoolers need diets rich in fiber to help regulate their growing bodies as well as plenty of protein!  If you want to give this soup to a child under one, I suggest running it all through a food processor or food mill to smooth out the texture just a touch.

Two Bean Soup - 10 Months+
1 can Black Beans (no salt added)
1 can Pinto Beans (no salt added)
1 cup Bebe Stock or Veggie Stock
3/4 lb Organic Chicken Breast, cubed
1/4 cup Chopped Carrots
1/4 cup Chopped Celery
1/4 cup Chopped Green Pepper
1/4 cup Chopped Green Onion
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Juice from one small Lime
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro (chopped)

Drain and rinse the beans, set aside.  Add chopped carrots, celery, green pepper and green onion to a stock pot on medium heat with a splash of olive oil.  Let the veggies sweat for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Puree the beans together in s food processor.  Add the pureed beans and the rest of the ingredients to the stock pot.  Cover and allow to cook on medium low heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm with plain Greek yogurt, cilantro and cheese.  This recipe keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 3 months.  Chicken can be omitted for a vegetarian version.

Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:

-Black Beans are very high in fiber, folate, protein, and antioxidants, along with numerous other vitamins and minerals.

-Pinto beans are also an excellent source of molybdenum, a very good source of folate, and a good source of protein fiber and vitamin B1 as well as the minerals phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

-Cilantro has rich qualities that have a powerfully positive effect on our inner digestive tract. The oils aid digestive system in its production of digestive enzymes, acids and juices.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Lunchbox: Week of March 12

Above is a picture of one of Bebe B’s lunches from this week, containing:

  • Shape Quesadillas (Black Bean & Mango)
  • Wavy Cut Carrots & Green Bell Peppers
  • Fresh Mango Sprinkled with Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Hummus
  • Pretzel Rods
Happy Lunchtime Everyone!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Homemade Cheesy Crackers

I have been wanting to try making homemade crackers for awhile now.  These turned out really well!  Bebe B wanted some of them to be fish shaped like her friends have at preschool.  I remembered seeing somewhere that you could use a soda can to make homemade mini cookie cutter so I cracked open a Zevia for myself!  I cut a thin strip of the can then shaped it as a fish and taped the ends together.  Make sure an adult does this part as cut cans are a bit sharp.

Homemade Cheesy Crackers - 10 Months+
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (8 oz block)
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
4 Tbsp cold Butter, cubed
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Ice Water

Grate block of cheese until completely shredded.  Using a food processor pulse together the flour, salt and spices.  Add the cheese and butter and pulse till well combined.  The dough should be the texture of chunky sand.  Pulse in the water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until a dough forms.  Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).  Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness (the crackers puff up quite a bit).  Cut out little shapes with mini cutters or cut into squares with a pizza wheel.  Place them on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until crispy and golden.  Makes about 5-6 dozen crackers, depending on size.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

This recipe is Vegetarian.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Puree Monday - Creamy Carrots

This is one of my favorite purees to make.  I have been demonstrating this one in my Adventures in Baby Food Making classes for the last two years and it’s always a hit.  It’s great with other fresh herbs like thyme or sage, go ahead and get creative...your bebe’s pallet will thank you.  Bebe B adores this one still.  She eats it by the spoonful.  It’s a great mix in for pasta as well.

If your interested (or know someone interested) in learning more about making your own baby food, I have two classes coming up: Adventures in Baby Food Making; my hour and a half class that will teach you everything you need to know and more.  I’m also teaching a 45 minute free mini class at Nicki’s Diapers this month, perfect if your not 100% sure but want to learn more about it.

Creamy Carrots - 9 Months+
 About 10-12 fresh carrots
 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
 Breast milk or Formula 
1/2 tsp nutmeg
 Rosemary finely chopped 

Clean, peel and chop the carrots (large chunks is fine).  Steam the carrots in either a steaming basket on the stove or in the Beaba babycook.  If using the babycook fill water to the 3 mark for a full basket of chopped carrots (you will mostly likely need to steam two batches for all the carrots) If steaming on the stove use about 2-3 inches of water and steam for about 10-15 minutes, checking with a knife every so often to see if the carrots are tender enough.  They should be very soft but still bright orange.  Discard carrot cooking liquid. Puree the carrots until smooth then allow them to cool in the fridge until at least room temperature.  Next puree/ blend in the ricotta cheese and breast milk or formula till desired consistency is reached.  Add the rosemary and nutmeg then mix a bit more. This recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  it also makes the perfect addition to toddler meals- spread on toast or mixed with noodles. This recipe will fill about 2 ice cube trays (10-20 servings).  

This recipe is Gluten-Free and Vegetarian. 

Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:

-Carrots are easy to digest and are packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Calcium.

-Ricotta cheese is packed full of calcium, protein, omega-3, minerals and vitamins.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Lunchbox: Week of March 5

We have been battling some resilient viruses in this house so B has missed some preschool.  But we are healthy again and ready for spring!  

Above is a picture of one of Bebe B’s lunches from this week, containing:

Happy Lunchtime Everyone!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Green Eggs - Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

I love these eggs!!  The creamy avocado makes them melt in your mouth.  I’ve been giving Bebe B these eggs since she was only a year and they are still her favorite way to eat eggs.  What better day to share these than on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.  I have seen a lot of recipes calling for green food coloring too make green eggs- yuck!  Why not use veggies?  They are healthy, pretty and contain no artificial dyes.

Green Eggs - 12 Months+
2-3 large Eggs
1/4 cup of Green Goodness Puree (or other green veggie puree)
pinch Salt
1 tsp Olive oil

Whisk the green goodness puree into the raw eggs with a pinch of salt.  Cook them scrambled on medium heat in olive oil.  Serve warm!  

Bebe B’s Top Five Dr. Seuss Books:
Daisy Head Maisy
Fox in Socks
Green Eggs and Ham
One Fish, Two Fish
Hop on Pop

ps. For the pancake recipe in the picture click HERE