Tag Archives: Tomatoes

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!

 

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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!!

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.

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. 🙂

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!! 🙂

Artisan Gourmet Pizza…

A delicious close up shot of my mozzarella, bacon, pepperoni, peppers, fresh basil artisan pizza. Yummy!
A delicious close up shot of my mozzarella, bacon, pepperoni, peppers, fresh basil artisan pizza. Yummy!

Recently, I decided to create another installment in our pizza adventures.

Now instead of following along the lines of a specific well known pizza, like a margherita pizza for instance, I thought I would just add flavours that we like and would possibly use if we ordered a pizza: mozzarella, bacon, pepperoni, peppers, fresh basil.

I, of course, started with premade handmade pizza dough that I had stashed in my freezer, let it defrost and rise. Then when ready, I brushed it with my Herbed Grill Oil, placed slices of yummy mozzarella, then placed the rest of the toppings – bacon, pepperoni, and orange peppers all over the pizza. But before putting it in the over, I dropped spoonfuls of my freshly made Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce all over the pizza.

I then cooked the pizza in the oven until it was perfectly cooked. Sprinkled it with fresh basil.. and Yum!!! 🙂

It just doesn't get any better than this!! :)
It just doesn’t get any better than this!! 🙂
Yummy artisan pizza!
Yummy artisan pizza!

Soup and Sandwiches… yum yum yum!

Yesterday I made soup and sandwiches, but not just any soup or sandwich… In fact I made the next soup installment in my soup adventures: Tomato Soup. As well, I tried a new fancy gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich. 🙂

Tomato Soup

Soup Adventure #8: Tomato Soup.

First I made Tomato Soup. I melted butter in a pot, added finely chopped onions and cooked over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5-6 minutes until softened. I then added crushed tomatoes (though coarsely chopped tomatoes work as well), and a bay leaf and cooked, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until pulpy.

Meanwhile, I melted butter in another small pot, added flour and cooked, stirring contsantly, for 1 minute. I removed the pot from the heat and gradually stirred in milk. I returned the pot to the heat, seasoned with salt and pepper, and brought it to a boil, stirring constantly. I continued to cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened.

When the tomatoes were pulpy, I removed the pan from the heat, discarded the bay leaf, and poured the tomato mixture into a blender. I processed it until it was smooth, then pushed it through a fine strainer into a clean pan. I brought the tomato puree to a boil, then gradually stirred it into the milk mixture. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, and laddled the soup into warmed bowls, and garnished with basil. The result was super creamy and delicious! 🙂

Gruyère, Red Onion, Prosciutto and Pepper on Miche.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Adventure #2: Gruyère, Red Onion, Prosciutto and Pepper

I decided to make Gruyère, Red Onion, Prosciutto and Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches as the next installment in the gourmet sandwich adventures. Although I have it listed as the Grilled Cheese Sandwich Adventure #2, I think I will eventually venture out into other sandwich territories and expand my repetoire. Hahaha ;).

Anyway, this recipe was also taken from the Oprah Show. The original recipe was Gruyère, Red Onion, Prosciutto and Pepper on Rye, but I chose to use the Quebec Miche I baked in my Rustic Artisan Breads class instead. It turned out great. Just be careful not to use too much of the prosciutto because it is very salty and you don’t want the saltiness to overpower the other flavours. With its peppery finish, this combo is reminiscent of a Reuben sandwich. Yummy! 😀

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Yes, that title is correct. I made Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Okay, so not your ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, but Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Hahaha 😉

I was watching Oprah the other day, and Martha Stewart was on there. Among other things discussed on the show, in the later part of the show, they ended up making Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I had seen gourmet versions before on cooking and restaurant shows, and had always planned to make a version of them, but never got around to it. Well, not until now.

On Sunday for lunch I decided to make a Cheddar, Dijon Mustard, Bacon, Tomatoes, Avocado and Pepper on Sourdough bread. But I didn’t have any sourdough bread, so instead I made the Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with the Tuscan Bread I baked in my Rustic Artisan Bread class. Boy-o-boy did they turn out amazing! The Dijon mustard and black pepper cut through the saltiness and fattiness of the avocado and bacon. I am definitely going to have to make this sandwich again, plus try making others!! 😀

Cheddar, Dijon Mustard, Bacon, Tomatoes, Avocado and Pepper on Tuscan Bread.

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup.

Today I made Minestrone Soup! 🙂

My husband loves Minestrone soup so I wanted to make it especially for him. I started by heating olive oil in a large pot, then adding garlic, a red onion, and thinly sliced proscuitto, and cooked it all over a medium heat for 3 minutes until slightly softened. I then added chopped red and orange bell peppers, and chopped tomatoes, and cooked for an additional 2 minutes. I then stirred in pre-made vegetable stock (that I made a few days ago), sliced celery, cranberry beans, shredded cabbage, peas, and chopped fresh parsley. I seasoned with salt and pepper, brought it to a boil, then lowered the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes of simmering, I added vermicelli to the pot, and cooked the soup for another 10-12 minutes. I removed the soup from the heat and served it garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Yum!

I also made another soup today.. or maybe I should say, I “revisited” another soup today! 😉 In addition to the Minestrone soup, I also made Chicken and Potato Soup with Bacon. That soup was so amazing last time, that I really wanted it today just for me! Hahaha.. 😀

Vegetable Stock..

When I peeked into my freezer I saw that I still have a little bit of Chicken Stock left to make two more soups, but I decided to venture out of the chicken zone today and make Vegetable Stock.

My husband loves Minestrone, and Vegetable Stock is the base stock for that soup, so I made it today. Can I just say that compared to Chicken Stock, Vegetable Stock is super easy. Wow!

Don’t get me wrong, there is alot of work involved in terms of all the cutting of vegetables, but there isn’t that ultra long wait of hours waiting for the stock to simmer, or the browning of the chicken before you even begin the simmering. With Vegetable Stock, you cut, you cook, you’re done! In fact, you can immediately make a soup from that stock. Unlike Chicken Stock where you have to let it cool for hours, so the fat rises to the top, and then you have to remove it.

So that’s what I did today.. I made Vegetable Stock! 🙂

And here’s what I did: I heated vegetable oil in a large pan, then added a finely chopped onion and finely chopped leek to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes and until softened. I then added finely chopped carrots, celery stalks, fennel and a tomato, covered the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes. I then added water and a bouquet garni (consisting of fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley), brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for 20 minutes. I then strained the stock into a bowl and let it cool. Voila! 😉