Tag Archives: Olive Oil

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! 🙂

And… Still More Gourmet Baby Food… Chicken with Summer Vegetables.. ;)

I am constantly testing out new ideas, and discovering which recipes are a smashing hit and coming up with new ones that need to be added to the menu.

There are some recipes that never seem to get old, and are always welcomed like the Chicken & Potato, the Tomatoes and Carrots with Basil, the Carrot Apple and Celery, Chicken & Apple Balls, and the Minestrone.

This month, I added a new recipe to some of the already favorites… Chicken with Summer Vegetables.

The sweet potato, splash of apple juice and peas add a natural sweetness that babies will like. While the garlic and basil add flavor which is important because you really don’t want to add salt.

I sauteed chopped onions and finely chopped red bell peppers  in olive oil until softened. I added garlic and sauteed for 1 minute. I stirred in chicken breast chopped into small pieces, and continued to cook for 3-4 minutes.  I then poured a splash of apple juice and chicken broth, and stirred in the chopped zucchini, and peeled and diced sweet potato.  I brought it to a boil, then covered it and let it simmer for about 8 minutes. I then stirred in frozen peas and continued to cook for 3 minutes. You can chop or purée to your desired consistency. I prefer to keep mine chunky so I briefly chop in a blender with fresh basil leaves  .

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.

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. 🙂

Mini Cottage Pies

I decided to try something different.. Mini Cottage Pies. So what makes it different for me? Ground beef. I’m not exactly a ground beef connoisseur. But I gave it a shot 😉

I put chopped carrots into a saucepan, covered them with boiling water, and cooked for 5 minutes. I then added chopped potatoes and cooked for an additional 15 minutes.

While that was cooking, I heated olive oil in a skillet, and sautéed chopped onion and bell peppers for 3 to 4 minutes. I added crushed and chopped garlic and sautéed for 1 minute. I then added lean ground beef and sautéed until browned. I then lightly chopped the meat in a food processor for a few seconds to give it a smoother texture. I returned it to the pan, added fresh chopped parsley, tomato paste, and homemade chicken broth, and brought it to a boil, then covered and let simmer for about 5 minutes. When the potato and carrot were cooked, I strained and mashed them with milk and butter.

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