Tag Archives: Onions

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! 🙂

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! 🙂

Risotto with Butternut Squash

The newest Gourmet Baby Food Creation is…. Risotto with Butternut Squash! 🙂

Butternut squash is rich in vitamin A, then combined with cooked rice, and vegetables and you a nice and soft, yet chunky combination of textures for a delicious baby food for your little one.

I sauteed chopped onion in a bit of butter until soft, then stirred in brown basmati rice until it was well coated. I poured over vegetable broth, covered it, and let cook for 8 minutes over a high heat. I then stirred in peeled and diced butternut squash, reduced the heat, covered, and cooked for about 12 minutes until the vegetable broth was absorbed.

Meanwhile , I melted a bit of butter in a saucepan, added the chopped and skinned tomatoes, and sauteed for 2-3 minutes. I then stirred in grated cheddar cheese until it was melted. I added the cheese and tomato mixture to the cooked rice and combined them. 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!! 🙂

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.

Chicken & Potato Soup

This is another one of my favorite soups that I modified for gourmet baby food. But, when I make it for myself, I add bacon. The other difference is, I leave all the ingredients very chunky, but for little ones, I chop it in the blender. I leave it still a bit chunky, but once I put it through the blender the texture becomes thicker and actually something a toddler can feed themself. It’s less soupy, and is more of a ‘mash’. 🙂

I melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. I add finely chopped garlic and finely sliced onions, and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, until slightly softened. I then add finely sliced leeks and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring.

In a bowl I mix all purpose flour with enough of my homemade chicken stock to make a smooth paste, and stir that into the pan.  I continue to cook, stirring for 2 minutes. I pour in more of my homemade chicken stock, then add chopped potatoes, and chopped chicken breast. I bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes, until the chicken and potatoes are tender and cooked through.

I then put the soup in the blender and chop briefly to create a thick chicken and potato mash texture, yet still chunky.  🙂

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! 🙂

Chicken Apple Balls

Chicken and Apple Balls are super tasty, and a great finger food for a toddler to feed themself at the dinner table  🙂

I heated olive oil in a pan and sauted half a finely chopped onion for about 3 minutes. Using my hands, I squeezed out a little of the excess liquid from my grated Granny Smith apple. I then mixed the apple with the chicken, my cooked and uncooked finely chopped onions, herbs – fresh parsley and fresh thyme, and whole wheat bread crumbs. I put it lightly through a food processor to bring it to a consistency that will help keep the balls together, but I still it it a bit chunky. I seasoned with a little pepper.

I then formed little meatballs with my hands, rolled them in flour, and cooked them in a pot of chicken stock for about 10 minutes until thoroughly cooked through. I spooned them out of the pot using a slotted spoon, place them on a cookie sheet, and I baked then in the oven until they formed a light golden brown crust. I let them cool slightly before serving. 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.  🙂