Tag Archives: Carrots

Tasty Rice with Meat and Vegetables

Tasty Rice with Meat and Vegetables is one of those versatile meals that are great for toddlers, but can feed your entire family at the same time.

It’s an easy little meal that doesn’t take that much time to make, can be served immediately, but also rationed away and frozen as mini meals for your toddlers.

I rinsed basmati rice, and placed in a saucepan with water or chicken broth.  I cooked as specified by the packaging.

Then, I heated olive oil in a pan and sauteed finely chopped red onions, finely chopped carrot, and half a grated green apple for 5 minutes. I then added crushed garlic and sauteed for 1 minute. I added lean ground beef, and cooked, stirring until browned. I then added chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, a little bit of apple juice, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and a mix of dried herbs. I cooked over a low heat uncovered for 20 minutes.

At this point, you may choose to transfer the meat (all or some) to a food processor and chop for 30 seconds to make it easier for a younger toddler to chew.  I scooped a bit into a blender and chopped to create almost a ‘sauce’, which I then added back into the pot with the rest.

I then added some frozen peas, and continued to cook for 3 minutes. Finally I stirred in the rice.

Yummy!

 

Gourmet Baby Food: Vegetables With Pesto

When creating gourmet baby food for a toddler who is a Foodie, you must always keep in mind flavours, and flavour combinations. You must always be willing to step outside the box to create new delicious dishes, even if you aren’t completely sure how it will be received. You must be willing to create a tasty “opportunity” for your your baby or toddler… Because you just might be surprised at the response! 😉

Introducing… Vegetables with Pesto! 🙂

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-love heat. Add finely chopped onion and thinly sliced leeks. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion softens. Add thinly sliced celery, thinly sliced carrots, and finely chopped garlic. Cook covered for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add water, diced potato, finely diced parsnip, diced turnip, and green beans cut into small pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered for 5 minutes.

Add fresh or frozen peas, sliced zucchini, and cannellini beans, and season with pepper. Cover again and simmer for about 25 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, make the pesto by putting finely chopped garlic, fresh basil leaves, and grated Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Add extra virgin olive oil and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary.

Add fresh spinach leaves, cut into thin ribbons, into with vegetables and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the pesto.

This dish is meant to be chunky, but I like to put some in the blender and chop, then add it back to the vegetable mixture.  It creates a nice combination of chunky and creamy textures.

Yummy! 🙂

Chicken & Rice Gourmet Baby Food

I decided to create a new gourmet baby food creation, and this time is was…. Chicken & Rice.

Okay okay… I know what you’re thinking..”How is that new?” Well, it’s new because I have never created this recipe before. 😉

I put chicken stock in a large saucepan and added thinly sliced carrots, diced celery, and thinly sliced leek. I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to low, and let simmer gently , partially covered, for 10 minutes.

I then stirred in defrosted petit pois, rice, and sliced cooked chicken. I continued cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables were tender.

I added chopped fresh tarragon and parsley, then tasted to check the seasoning. I added ground pepper as needed.

Yummy!! 🙂

Bunny Birthday Cake! :)

What is better for a toddler birthday cake than one inspired by Bunnies and Disney?

Nothing!

Well, that was what I was tasked with the other day: To create a magical Disney Bunny cake!

My first idea was to create all the characters for the cake out of marzipan or fondant, until it was said to me that the toddler may want to play with those decorations. So instead I switched my plan to include toys. And I mean, actual toys! No cheap (yet strangely expensive) cake toppers that aren’t safe to play with, but real toys. Toys.. that I found at the Disney store. 🙂

I ended up buying these super cute Bambi set figurines, with not only one bunny (Thumper), but two bunnies.

I then set out planning the rest of the cake. What do bunnies eat? Carrots, of course. So a Carrot Cake with light Cream Cheese Frosting it is!

Next on the list? A fondant tree, with leaves and flowers. I decided I wanted more dimension to the look of the tree. So many times colour worked into fondant looks flat in my opinion, so instead I hand painted the leaves and flowers for, on and around the tree (on the top of the cake). I wanted a watercolour look to them.

I did create additional flowers, leaves, and a mushroom for the figurines by the base of the cake. I felt they were more like secondary characters, and so the leaves and flowers would be more subtle. This is where I mixed the colour directly into the fondant to not distract too much from the top focal point of the cake, but to still balance alongside what was going on top of the cake.

🙂

immy's 2nd bday 193

 

Creamy Carrot & Parsnip Soup

On my quest for new flavours, I wanted something interesting… something unique… something that would awaken the senses. And so, I present Creamy Carrot & Parsnip Soup.

Now for the twist… I made it as a Gourmet Baby Food! 😉

First I melted butter I a large pot over low heat. I added chopped onion and cooked, stirring, for 3 minutes until the onions were slightly softened. Then I added chopped carrots and chopped parsnips. I covered the pot and cooked, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables softened a little.  I stirred in grated ginger, grated orange zest, and vegetable stock.  I brought it to a boil, then reduced the heat, covered the pot, and let simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. I then removed the soup from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

I transferred the soup to a blender (or food processor) and processed until smooth. If you are making soup for yourself and not as gourmet baby food, you will want the soup very smooth. If you are making it as gourmet baby food, you can process it very smooth or leave slightly chunky  I chose to leave mine slightly chunky.

If you are making gourmet baby food, season with a bit of pepper and you are done! 🙂

If you are making soup for yourself, return the soup to the rinsed out pot, stir in light cream, and season with salt and pepper. Warm through gently over low heat.

Remove from the heat and ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with ground pepper and a sprig of cilantro. Serve. Yum! 🙂

 

Gourmet Baby Food …..

The last three days I have been cooking up a storm… a gourmet baby food storm that is! 😉

Big batches of some of the favorites:

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 … with garlic, prosciutto, orange and red bell peppers, tomatoes, celery, beans, cabbage, peas, parsley, vermicelli, and vegetable broth.
Carrot, Apple and Celery Soup … with carrots, green apples, celery, and onions.

And this is just the beginning… I have a few more days ahead of me for delicious items. Stay tuned for what I make! 🙂

Lentil and Vegetable (Purée)

As I have mentioned before in another post, lentils are a good, inexpensive source of protein. They also provide iron, which is very important in brain development, particularly between the ages of six months and two years. So I like the idea of making gourmet baby food with lentils to take advantage of their nutrional goodness. 🙂

I heated vegetable oil and sauteed chopped leek (.you can use onions as well), chopped carrots, and chopped celery for five minutes. I rinsed the lentils, then added them to the pan. I then added peeled and chopped sweet potato and sauteed for one minute. I poured in tomato purée, and one tablespoon of water. I covered the pan and cooked for about 30 minute. I removed the pan from the heat, and stirred in grated cheddar cheese until it melted. I chopped it further in a blender, but still kept it chunky. But you can completely purée it if you prefer. 🙂

Yum!!

More Gourmet Baby Food!

The last couple days I have been back in the kitchen creating gourmet baby food. Some of the past favorites are being made like: Carrot Apple Celery Soup, Chicken and Potato, Tomatoes and Carrots with Basil, Chicken and Apple Balls, and Mini Cottage Pies… But some new ones have joined the list as well! 😉

  • Chicken with Winter Vegetables … with chicken breast, leek, onion, carrots, celery, and chicken broth.
  • Lentil and Vegetable (Purée) … with onion, carrots, celery, lentils, sweet potato, tomato purée, and cheddar cheese.

 

  • Tomatoes and Carrots with Basil … with carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower florets, fresh basil, and cheddar cheese.
  • 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.

Carrot, Apple & Celery Soup :)

Carrot, Apple & Celery Soup is probably one of my absolute favorite soups!! It is bursting with so much flavour, my mouth is watering just thinking about it now. And because there is a sweetness in the flavours, but still super healthy, it is the perfect  dish for a baby or toddler. The only twist is… I purée it smooth for myself, so it is more of a soup, but as gourmet baby food, I leave it somewhat chunky. That’s more fun for little ones to eat. 😉

I placed carrots, onions, and celery in a large pan and added my homemade vegetable stock. I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat, covered it and let simmer for 10 minutes.

In the mean time, I peeled, cored, and diced apples. I prefer Granny Smith because they are both sweet and tart. I added the diced apples, tomato paste, a bay leaf, and sugar to a pan and brought it to a boil over medium heat. I reduced the heat, partially covered it, and let simmer for 20 minutes. I removed and discarded the bay leaf.

I placed the carrot and apple mixture in a blender and chopped it, keeping a chunky texture.

Soooo yummy! 🙂

Mini Cottage Pies

Mini Cottage Pies are a great way to introduce red meat to a baby or toddler. There’s also something very comforting, and unintimidating about them, unlike a steak. I think it may be the combination of the potato & carrot mash, that gives it that ‘comfort food’ feeling

I put chopped carrots into a saucepan, cover them with boiling water, and cook for 5 minutes. I then add chopped potatoes and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

While the carrots and potatoes are cooking, I heat olive oil in a skillet, and sauté chopped onion and bell peppers for 3 to 4 minutes. I add crushed and chopped garlic and sauté for 1 minute. At this point in time, because the red bell peppers have the skins on them, I place the peppers and onions in a food processor and chop them up very fine. I then return them back to the hot pan. At this time, I add lean ground beef, season with ground black pepper, and sauté until browned. I prefer the slightly more chunky ground beef, so I no longer add it to the food processor as I originally did when I first introduced this recipe.

I then add fresh chopped parsley, tomato paste, and homemade chicken broth, and bring it to a boil, then I cover it and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, once the potatoes and carrots are cooked, I strain and mash them with milk and butter.

I spoon the meat into small ramekins, and topp with the mashed potato and carrot. I brush them with a little beaten egg, then heat them through in an oven preheated to 350F, then under a preheated broiler until lightly golden.