Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekly Meal Planning

Breakfast: Plum-Pear Applesauce

6 apples
2 pears
2 plums
1 c water

I had an abundance of leftover fruit from MJ's birthday party and I decided to make an applesauce type breakfast. I've seen similar recipes that include sugar, but it really isn't necessary and in fact may be overkill. Paired with oatmeal it is a sweet and hearty breakfast.

The most difficult part about applesauce for me is the peeling & coring. If MJ had some teeth I'd leave the peels on for the nutritious value their skin contains. Put in pot with water and simmer for 20-30 minutes until soft. 

Simmering Fruit

Mash to an appropriate consistency or put in food processor for a less chunky texture.

Served on top of oatmeal.

Lunch: Green Pigeon Peas & Coconut Brown Rice

2 cans of Green Pigeon Peas
16 oz Brown Rice
3 Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 1/2 c Water
2 Spring Vidalia Onions
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
sprinkle of sea salt

Saute onions, garlic and rice in coconut oil

Add spices, coconut milk, water & pigeon peas

Simmer for 45 minutes

Ready to dig in!

Dinner: Vegan Mac & Cheese w/ Spinach



1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/2 c mozzarella Daiya
3 tbsp potato starch
sprinkle of sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry
1 c rice milk
1 1/4 c water
1 tbsp olive oil

8 oz spinach
16 oz pkg brown rice pasta

I originally made this on Saturday night for myself and followed the original recipe I adapted MJ's recipe for. It was pretty good, but the flavor of the nutritional yeast was a bit too strong for me. MJ and I both love Daiya so I figured I could combine the two and still have a nice cheesy taste. I think that the Daiya would work better with a baked macaroni and I will probably try this recipe again with those adjustments made.

Saturday's Mac & Cheese
I gave MJ some and I think it might have been too starchy on it's own so I added some spinach as well and to give him a green veggie for the week.

Combine all ingredients for sauce, blend and then simmer
  • The sauce will thicken up as you cook it, don't be worried if it looks thin initially.
  • Be sure to blend sauce ingredients in blender, food processor or using an immersion blender or ingredients will separate while cooking.
  • I suggest starting with a smaller amount of nutritional yeast and adding more as it cooks and you taste to get a happy medium.

Add cooked noodles and steamed chopped spinach

Cheesy & Nutritious

Nutrition Facts:
<approx. nutritional intake per day>
Calcium: 501 mg/400 mg
Vit. D: 100 iu/200 iu
Zinc: 3.8 mg/2 mg
B12: 0.7 mcg/0.4 mcg
Iron: 7 mg/7 mg
Protein: 30 g/11 g
Omega 3+6: 5 g/5 g

In order to provide the necessary highlighted nutrients throughout the day MJ drinks at least 1 c of rice milk (Calcium, Vit. D), takes a daily Iron drop and has 1 tbsp ground flaxseed added to a meal (Omega 3+6)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quick Sunday Cooking

This week will be comprised of me running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to plan and cook for MJ's 1st birthday party. In a way it is a completely meaningless event that he will never remember, but in another way it is a celebration of "making it" through the first year.

Whatever. Anyway, I had zero desire to cook today, it was too hot to be in the kitchen and I'll be cooking/prepping for the rest of the week for the party. Today's menu took me less than 45 minutes to complete in the kitchen and all the produce cost me less than $10---fast and inexpensive.

Breakfast: Broccoli, Peach, Banana Smoothie with Ground Flaxseed

1 banana
1 c frozen broccoli
1 c frozen peaches
1/2 c rice milk
1 tsp. ground flaxseed

Although this smoothie mix works perfectly without the flaxseed, when I totaled up MJ's nutritional needs last week one thing that I needed to improve on was his Omega-3 intake. Flaxseed is a great source of omega-3 and I didn't have to substantially change my meal planning to add it in.
Ready to be mixed

Add in the ground flaxseed and stir.

Lunch: Curried Lentils with Millet

2 1/2 c lentils (rinsed)
3 c vegetable broth
1/2 red onion  (chopped)

Add all ingredients to the pot & simmer for 35 minutes (or until lentils are soft but not falling apart).

Lentils & Red Onions simmering in Vegetable Broth

Curried Lentils

Curried Lentils paired with Millet

Dinner: Lemon Dijon Asparagus, Button Mushrooms & Leek

First, last week I made a Lemon Homey Dijon Vinaigrette for my salad and it was my first successful attempt at a vinaigrette! Not to toot my own horn, but *toot, toot* it was awesome.  When I saw these lovely asparagus at the market I knew I was going to cook them with lemon. Since honey is a DEFINITE no, no for babies I replaced honey with agave nectar for this recipe, but it really was much better with honey.

1/8 c freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey (agave nectar)
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

Stored in an old jam jar.

I sauteed the leeks & mushrooms first and then added the asparagus and kept them in until the asparagus was lightly cooked and still crunchy.

Sauteed vegetables in olive oil

Drizzled with vinaigrette

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Cooking

New Foods: Beets, Beet Greens, Plantains

Breakfast: Banana Apple Muffins & Applesauce

Mashed bananas, apple sauce, oat flour, flaxseed + water, cinnamon


All done.

Lunch: Beet Burgers
I'm not a huge fan of beets and I thought that I wouldn't like these...but they are DELICIOUS! Thank goodness I got an extra bunch of beets because I'm going to need to make more. Wow!! I made a few revisions to the original recipe, but it still turned out great (no almond butter & no breadcrumbs).

Shredded beets, brown basamati rice, lentils

After pulsing in the food processor it totally looks like ground beef!

Top with an avocado. Yum!

Dinner: Kidney Beans with Collards, Beet Greens, Plantains & Brown Basamati Rice

I didn't even intend to use beet greens, but I didn't have enough collards so I improvised. They were delicious though and I sprinkled a little lemon pepper on them.

Sauteed collards & beet greens

Plantains sauteed in coconut oil

Mixed together.

Dinner is served.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mama's Birthday Lunch

MJ's Lunch at Busboys & Poets (The 14th & U location) yesterday.

Quinoa & Mixed Veggies (which look like zucchini, roasted red peppers, eggplant & green peppers?)

He also noshed on my sweet potato fries that came with my portobello panini.

Great lunch, very MJ friendly and of course a great vegetarian, vegan AND gluten-free selection.

Didn't get a picture before MJ dug in but not pictured was the AMAZING mango sorbet, which he was splitting with an adult friend (and I think he ate almost twice as much as her!)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday Cooking

New foods for the week: Brown Basamati Rice & Millet

Menu for the Week:

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ Banana Slices

Lunch: Brown Basamati Rice with Button Mushrooms & Spring Vidalia Onions

Fresh produce-yum!

Brown rice cooking in vegetable broth. Add mushrooms & onion when rice is almost done cooking.

MJ getting ready to dive in.

Dinner: Broccoli Millet Croquettes with White Bean Aioli

I gave my friend a run-down of some of the great vegan cookbooks I have read in the past few months and absolutely one of my favorites is Veganomicon, which pegs itself as "The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook." Well, I might not go that far but some of my favorite staple recipes come from that book.

Anywhoo---after mentioning to her my love for that cookbook I decided to revisit it for a recipe for millet. With broccoli arriving at the farmer's market this week this recipe was perfect although it was kinda time consuming, which is why I chose two other pretty simple recipes.


Millet flour w/ thyme, pepper & garlic

Millet cooking with vegetable broth & chopped broccoli added

After cooling form golf sized balls

Flatten & cook with olive oil on both sides until browned

All done!

Navy Bean Aioli

Lunchtime~(Paired with Navy Bean Aioli)

Failed Snack...but not really: So, I bought some dry chickpeas with the intention of making crisy chickpeas. Well they turned out great...BUT not for a baby with no teeth. Womp, womp--but mama has something to snack on or add to salads.

Chickpeas (I used dry, but canned are faster)
Chili Powder
Olive Oil

Using dry chickpeas they have to be cooked first following directions on package.

Chickpeas roasting in the oven w/ olive oil, chili powder & garlic until dark brown and crispy


Notes: In my exploration of gluten-free grains to introduce to MJ I came across millet. I personally had never eaten (I don't think) or cooked millet so this week was an experience for me. I wasn't able to find millet flour, but bought whole millet and ground it to make flour and it worked fine. I actually think that the consistency of the millet when cooked was similar to cornmeal, but when eating it didn't taste super grainy like cornmeal.

Also, I had originally intended to make wild rice for MJ's lunch, but wasn't able to find any that didn't contain a whole mess of other things [soy, dairy, crazy unpronounceable things] thanks. I'll try Harris Teeter next time. Very important to check the ingredients even of food that shouldn't really have any weird additives