Minestrone

This is one of those dishes where you can make a huge pot, and serve everyone in your family… not just your baby or toddler. The only difference, is you will want to chop the final product in a blender a bit so it’s still chunky, but easier to eat by your little one. 🙂

I heated olive oil in a large pot. I added finely chopped garlic, finely chopped red onions, and sliced prosciutto. I cooked everything over medium heat, stirring, for 3 minutes, until slightly softened. I then added red and orange bell peppers (finely chopped and seeded), chopped canned tomatoes, and cooked for an additional 2 minutes, stirring. I then stirred in vegetable stock, sliced celery, pinto beans, shredded green leafy cabbage, frozen peas (thawed), and fresh parsley chopped. I seasoned with pepper, brought it to a boil, then lowered the heat and let simmer for 30 mins.

I added dried vermicelli to the pot. I cooked for an additional 10-12 minutes or according to the instructions on the package. If serving the minestrone to everyone, remove from the heat and ladle into serving bowls for the adults, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan.

For your little one, scoop out some of the minestrone into a blender and chop. Be sure to keep a nice chunky consistency, but now it will be easier for that little mouth to eat all the different flavours. 🙂

Carrot, Apple, and Spinach

I heated olive oil in a large sauce pan and sauteed finely chopped carrots for 5-6 minutes until they started to soften. I then added finely chopped green apples (cored and peeled), and water which I brought to a boil. I reduced the heated and simmered for 8-10 minutes, until the carrot and apple were soft and the water had evaporated. I added baby spinach leaves and a bit more water. I cooked everything together, stirring, until the spinach has wilted and the water has evaporated again. I let it cool, then I put it in the blender chopping it a bit more finely, but still chunky. But, you can purée it if you prefer. 🙂

Tomatoes and Carrots with Basil

I put sliced carrots in a small saucepan, and covered them with boiling water. I let them simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. I added chopped cauliflower florets and cooked, covered, for 7-8 minutes. You can add extra water if necessary. Meanwhile, I melted butter in a pan and added skinned, seeded, and chopped tomatoes. I sauteed them until mushy. I stirred in fresh chopped basil leaves and grated cheddar cheese until melted. I put the carrots, cauliflower, and tomato sauce all in a blender, along with 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and chopped it until it was a nice chunky texture. You can also purée it smooth if you prefer.

Yummy!! 😀

Lentils Delish!

Lentils are inexpensive, and a good source of protein. They also provide iron which is very important for brain development, especially for babies and toddlers between the ages of six months and two years. Because lentils can be difficult for young babies to digest, they should be combined with lots of vegetables. 🙂

I sauteed onions, carrots, and celery in vegetable oil for about five minutes or until softened. I then added lentils and sweet potato, and poured vegetable broth over all the veggies. I brought it to a boil, turned down the heat, then let simmer for 20 minutes, covered. I then chopped it in a blender. You can purée it , but I chose to keep it chunky.  🙂

 

Sweet Vegetable Medley

I put carrots, rutabaga, potatoes, and parsnips, all peeled and chopped, in a pot with milk. I brought it to a boil, then covered the vegetables, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

I removed all the vegetables with a slotted spoon, and chopped then further in a blender  you can purée if you want it super smooth, but I was going for a chunkier version. I did this together with as much of the cooking liquid (milk) as necessary to get my desired consistency. You can use water if you prefer, but I chose milk bc it gives a creamy texture.

Root veggies like carrot, rutabaga and parsnip are nutritious and delicious. But you can also use squash and pumpkin instead of potatoes. 🙂

Gourmet Baby Food

For many months now, I have found myself experimenting and creating in the kitchen. So what delicious things have I been creating? Well…. gourmet baby food, actually! 😉

I will have to go into more detail soon with the exact recipes I have made, but here is a mini list of some of the yummy dishes:

  • Sweet Vegetable Medley … with carrots, rutabaga, potato, parsnip and milk.
  • Lentils Delish … with lentils, carrots, celery, onion, sweet potato, and vegetable broth.
  • Tomatoes and Carrots with Basil … with carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower florets, fresh basil, and cheddar cheese.
  • Carrot, Apple, and Spinach … With green apples, carrots, and baby spinach leaves.
  • Minestrone …
  • Chicken with Sweet Potato and Apple … with chicken breast, onion, green apples, sweet potato, and chicken broth.
  • Chicken and Apple Balls … with chicken breast, green apples, onion, fresh parsley, herbs, whole grain bread crumbs cooked in chicken broth.
  • Mini Cottage Pies … with lean ground beef, carrots, potatoes, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, fresh parsley, and chicken broth.
  • Carrot, Apple and Celery Soup … with carrots, green apples, celery, and onions.
  • Chicken and Potato … with chicken breast, potatoes, garlic, onions, and leek.

And still so many more ideas and dishes to create!! 🙂