Tag Archives: Vegetables

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!! 🙂

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. 🙂

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.

Vegetable Stock

Some of the veggies found in my Vegetable Stock.
Some of the veggies found in my Vegetable Stock.

Yesterday was Day 2 of soup making: Vegetable Stock.

I love the way my house smells when I make chicken stock… and I also love the way my house smells when I make Vegetable Stock too! Thankfully, it doesn’t take as many hours as making chicken stock from scratch. I’m excited about all the yummy soups I will be making from my fresh homemade vegetable stock. 🙂

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! 😉