Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Cooking

After a long weekend away from home, I come back and even though I'm feeling tired & lazy I definitely need to make MJ some food for the week. No way am I going shopping so using what's in the fridge and cabinets here's what we have.

This week's Menu:

Breakfast: Cinnamon Oatmeal with Pineapple Chunks

Last week pineapples were buy one get one free! So after juicing one last week I had another one left. So that paired with some oatmeal is a very quick and easy breakfast.

Lunch: Mashed Garlic Potatoes & Cauliflower

-8 russet potatoes
-1 head of cauliflower 
-2 garlic cloves
-16 oz vegetable broth

Literally there are literally 3 large ziplock bags of cauliflower in the freezer from the time that MJ loved cauliflower and then 2 weeks later I stocked up and he no longer liked it. Babies I tell ya. Anyway, with half a bag of potatoes I could easily conceal them in some mashed potatoes for a hearty and healthy lunch.

Steamed cauliflower

Potatoes cooked in vegetable broth & then mashed.

Pureeing the cauliflower instead of mashing makes the potatoes creamy.

Combine. Yum :)

 Let's see if I can trick MJ's not-so-vegetable loving dad?

Dinner: Black Bean Collard Wrap

I've been wanting to make collard wraps for myself for a while, but it just hasn't happened. I tried them out this week to turn into "bites" for MJ and maybe make a couple for myself as well.

First, I thoroughly rinsed the leaves. Then I partially de-stemmed them. This was my first time doing that and some turned out better than others.
Attempt at de-stemming

Simmered collard green leaves in vegetable broth until flexible but not easy to tear (about 6 min)

Ready to wrap with spiced Black beans, rice, green peppers and carrots.

First wrap.

All 10.
*The tricky part of this will actually be figuring out how to feed these to MJ!

-10 large partially de-stemmed collard leaves
-2 cans of Black beans
-1 c brown ric
-1 green pepper
-2 carrots

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yearning for Summer Fruit

This Week's Menu:

I got all of MJ's produce this week for $15!
(Disclaimer: I already had the bananas, but that's still pretty good!)

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Banana Pure


Although it isn't even officially spring yet I saw some beautiful fruit at the farmer's market and I just HAD to buy these blackberries. Don't they look delicious?! Well surprise of all surprise they WEREN'T....what was I thinking buying blackberries in March....from a stand that just popped up this week with a wide selection of out-of-season fruit (side eye). They had samples! The sample blackberries were so sweet and delicious I had seconds! They were so tempting and I fell for it. Ugh. Lesson learned.

I initially though of blackberry mini-pies or tarts, but they just aren't sweet enough to stand alone and I didn't want to add unnecessary sugar. So I audibled. Popped them in the freezer to mix with smoothies. I'll just puree some of the frozen bananas I  saved from last week and pair it with oatmeal. Womp, womp.

Lunch: Eggplant Dip on Brown Rice Bread

I personally don't like eggplant, but I think it is important to give MJ the chance to enjoy foods even if I don't. This is my sesame oil-less take on baba ghanoush (which I also don't particularly like). BUT more important than that MJ liked it. I paired it with some Ener-G Brown Rice Bread that I found at the Harris Teeter.

I started with 1 large eggplant, rinsed & poked holes through it so it doesn't explode!

Broiled for 30 minutes

Let cool

Scoop out innards

Add 2 garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp chili pepper
chopped cilantro (I think I used about 8 sprigs, but we love cilantro)

Spread on toasted brown rice bread

Bite sized pieces

Dinner: Steamed Green Beans & Quinoa w/ Roasted Carrot Ginger Sauce

For dinner this week I decided to give Marley some time to practice his pincer grip...(or just an excuse for me to be lazy and let him feed himself) so I chopped up the green beans to finger food sized pieces and steamed them.

But....he probably needs more than just green beans for dinner. So I made some quinoa in vegetable broth and freestyled this carrot ginger sauce.

I couldn't find a recipe that suited us so I took a little of everything and came up with this:

Roasted carrots and grated ginger  in 1 tbsp olive oil for 25 minutes (until fork can easily go through)

Pureed with 1/2 can of leftover coconut milk and 1/4 tsp of rice vinegar
 Note: I think this turned out pretty well, BUT I think I'd add maybe up to 3/4 cup of coconut milk to make it a bit creamier.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cooking Spring Break

It feels like everyone is thinking about Spring Break (even all of us not in school!) Well this week even though MJ and I are stuck at home (although it will be in the 70s all week!!) I unintentionally went international. A Moroccan breakfast, Indian Lunch and Portuguese Dinner. I was feeling so good that I even made dessert!

Foods being introduced this week: Brown Rice Couscous & White Potatoes

Breakfast: Baked Apples & Nutmeg Couscous

I baked diced apples in the oven and used brown rice couscous, since MJ has not been introduced to wheat yet and cooked it in the apple "broth" from the baked apples and a couple pinches of nutmeg.

Baked diced apples drained

Baked apples and couscous sprinkled with cinnamon

Lunch: Curried Chickpeas in Coconut Milk & Brown Rice
Recipe via The Vegan Stoner
Substitutions: Canned coconut milk instead of coconut yogurt

Chopped green peppers and shredded carrots

Added to drained chickpeas and a can of coconut milk.

Add 1/2 tbsp of curry paste (or powder) and cook until chickpeas soft.

Serve on top of brown rice (or in MJ's case mix in baby brown rice). This recipe was literally so easy and so delicious I don't know if it will make it til the end of the week because 3 people in the house LOVED this! If I made any other alterations I think it would taste fantastic with pineapple chunks.

Dinner: "Caldo Verde" (Kale and Potato Soup)

Substitutions: I used vegetable broth instead of water and the taste is so deep and flavorful I think it really made the difference.

Saute garlic, onions, diced potatoes.

Add 8 cups of vegetable broth & chopped parsley. Simmer until potatoes are soft.

Either mash or blend potatoes in (immersion blender would make this super easy)

Pureed kale for baby.

Cook for 10 more minutes


Dessert!: Raspberry Banana Raw "Ice Cream"

This literally only needs one picture because it is such a simple recipe. Throw some frozen raspberries into the food processor with 2 tbsp of coconut milk when it looks like sorbet add a cup of frozen sliced bananas. Voila.
So delicious. Must restrain myself from gobbling it all up.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Restaurant Review: Chix DC

Chix DC

2019 11th Street Northwest [U St Corridor]
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 234-2449 

MJ and I were meeting some friends for lunch and even though Chix is clearly a restaurant known for their chicken I decided to check it out after perusing their menu and seeing their positive yelp reviews. I had initially intended to order the roasted sweet potatoes but they didn't have any :( so I ordered MJ the black bean hummus, which he ate entirely by himself and then dozed off satisfied

I ordered the veggie wrap and although I didn't get to eat it until I got home it was delicious in every way. The veggies were fresh and the avocado vinaigrette was so flavorful. Our friends ordered the 1/4 chicken and the chicken wrap both with a side of black beans and rice. They both really enjoyed the black beans and rice and their consensus was that the 1/4 chicken was much better than the wrap.

Chix also is a green restaurant and uses environmentally friendly products, composts their waste and offers many organic options. The atmosphere inside the converted rowhouse was friendly and casual and the prices were great.

The downside, not really the best place to have brought my stroller, but I knew that in advance from the yelp review, however, it wasn't crowded so we had enough room. It also was very cold in the upstairs, although it has been warm it was pretty chilly today and the space heater definitely didn't provide much comfort to us.

(I rated it 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Meals for the Week

We didn't go grocery shopping this weekend, so I found a breakfast and lunch recipe close to what produce we had leftover and tweaked them it a bit and dinner is an easy stand-by with a grain. New foods of the week are pineapple, which will be incorporated through juicing, and coconut milk.

Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Oatmeal Pancakes

I scoured the internet (well did a quick 5 minute search) and couldn't find a pancake mix that incorporated the ingredients I wanted and didn't include ingredients that MJ isn't eating (milk, eggs, wheat, excessive sugar), so I fudged my own recipe and it didn't turn out too bad. I'll include notes on adjustments I plan to make next time around though.

1 baked sweet potato
1 cup of oat flour (Easily made by throwing some oats into the food processor)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
Coconut milk added as needed

I mixed all the ingredients to a pancake mix consistency.

Added a very small amount of coconut oil to the skillet and cooked pancakes on low

Added raisins to a couple for fun.

Finished product ready to be frozen.

First Samples: Mine with water, MJ's with coconut milk

This recipe yielded about 8 small pancakes, although MJ and I each had one so now there are enough to last til Saturday. He wasn't a big fan of the raisins so I'm glad I only put them in a couple. I will most likely top with pureed blueberry or applesauce.

Note: Next time I plan on adding more liquid to thin the mixture because oat flour is pretty dense and the first couple pancakes I had trouble gauging when the insides were done because the outsides browned pretty quickly even on low, but the insides were not thoroughly cooked. I also had no other  sweetener aside from honey, which isn't safe for babies, but next time I would probably prefer to use maple syrup--yum!

Lunch: Brussels Sprouts and Portobello Mushroom Soup
adapted from this recipe

Replacements: Portobello Mushroom instead of Shiitakes
Cannellini beans instead of Great Northern

Chopped Brussels Sprouts, Portobello Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic

Sauteed in olive oil

Added rice, vegetable broth, water, spices

Simmered for 40 min

Done when rice has cooked

Added beans


After being food processed--ready to eat.

 Pop it in the food processor for easier eating for the toothless. MJ sampled it and liked it, so this seems like a good Brussels Sprouts recipe for him.

Dinner: Kale Chips and Barley

Look at this delicious kale....yum. Now chop off the stems.

Add a little olive oil & spices. Pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Kale chips! So easy!!
 Realistically between MJ & my own snacking on these they won't last. So either I'll make more or go the healthy route and give him steamed kale once the chips are done.