Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Back...and breakfast quinoa

Ok, I know I've been gone a while.  Between cleaning out my house and fridge for Passover (and thus having about a week of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), and then cooking for the holiday and entertaining, I didn't really get a chance to fill you in on what Henry's been eating.  Unfortunately, however, the answer is that I have no idea.  Though Henry had a couple of good meals where he ate meatballs and cauliflower, or a bit of matzah pizza, on the whole, he didn't really eat much.  Our schedule was all off since we had family meals for a lot of the holiday, and since Henry tends to get distracted by people, he didn't really eat...oh, and did I mention in the midst of it all, Henry broke his leg?  The only thing he wasn't too distracted from was dessert.  Henry ate kosher for Passover cakes and cookies like a champion - so proud.  

Henry definitely missed bread, leavened products, and legumes.  Every morning he asked for cereal, and for meals he frequently asked for corn and hummus.  It's not like he was deprived - I made matzah pancakes and matzah brei as a treat a few mornings, and there was loads of other food for the other meals.  But one morning, I just felt badly for him, so I decided to try making him an oatmeal-type cereal out of quinoa (thanks mom for the idea!).  I boiled together half a cup of quinoa and 1 cup of milk, and then added a heaping tablespoon of leftover nut-free charoset (basically it was apples, cinnamon, and raisins).  When I served it to Henry, I even added in a bit of pancake syrup.  My husband, Henry, and I all tried it at the same time.  Henry immediately stuck his tongue out of his mouth to get all the quinoa out, and then continued to scrape his tongue with his hand.  My husband and I weren't huge fans either, so we weren't surprised.  We were surprised, however, that after that visceral reaction, Henry proceeded to try the quinoa again, and then eat about 5 or 6 bites (that's huge for him).  So, maybe next year we'll try it again - luckily we have a year of eating leavened products before that though!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baked Chicken & Vermicelli

The goal this weekend was to finish off various open bottles in my fridge, in preparation for Passover cleaning.  The bottles I decided on were BBQ sauce, red wine, tomato sauce, and Italian dressing.  I also had some sliced red onion and sliced tomatoes that needed to go, as well as 4 chicken drumsticks, and half a box of vermicelli.  After some creative thinking, I ended up with Baked Chicken & Vermicelli (using red wine, tomato sauce, red onion, tomato, chicken legs, and vermicelli), BBQ baked beans (BBQ sauce), and salad (Italian dressing).

I first offered Henry the Chicken & Vermicelli, which he loved!  He kept saying, "chicken, noo-noos!" over and over as he figured out how to get forkfuls of both at the same time.  I then offered him the BBQ baked beans, which he flat out refused.  He'll eat beans in stews, but beans on their own just do not appeal to him.  And then I forgot to offer him salad (which he generally won't eat except for a bite or two of lettuce).  I was pretty pleased with his reaction to the Chicken & Vermicelli though, and even more pleased when my husband told me how much he loved it.  I guess I'll have to make it even when I'm not just trying to get rid of things in my fridge!

Chicken & Vermicelli
2 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium tomato, sliced
4 chicken legs
3/4 cup red wine
1 cup tomato sauce
8 ounces vermicelli, broken in half (or smaller)
3 cups chicken broth (or 3 cups water with 3 tsp chicken consomme powder)
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  In a large saute pan, saute red onion and garlic in olive oil, until softened.  Add tomatoes, and saute 1 minute longer.  Add chicken legs and cook about 5 minutes more.
3.  Pour in red wine to deglaze the pan.  Then add the tomato sauce.  Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.
4.  Add the vermicelli, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.  Put in the oven, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Miraculous Fish Sticks

Picture of Parmesan Fish Sticks Recipe
Today Henry and I went over to my friend Anna's house so that Henry and Anna's son Jackson could have a playdate.  Before we knew it, it was dinnertime, and Anna had tried out a new Salmon Fish Stick recipe by Giada de Laurentiis.  Henry does not normally eat fish, but we figured he could try it, and then if he didn't like it we could go home to eat.  So, while Henry was standing and playing, I gave him a piece of the fish stick.  He took the bite, chewed it, and swallowed it.  And then he asked for more!  While he proceeded to eat the rest of the fish stick, he kept saying "mmm" and "yummy".  I then put him in a booster seat, and there he sat next to Jackson in his highchair, and next to Charley (another friend who came to play) in her booster seat.  All the mommies stood around amazed as our kids, aged 15-20 months, happily ate their fish sticks and whole wheat alphabet noodles with tomato sauce.  Dinnertime has never been so relaxing.  Watch out Anna, we're coming over every night now :)

Note: The picture above is from the Food Network website.  We didn't actually have the dip since we figured the kids wouldn't eat it anyway.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Roasted Curried Vegetable Soup

As is standard for gatherings thrown by my mom, there were loads of leftovers after my grandmother's birthday party yesterday.  So after the party, my sister and I filled bags and bags of food to take home.  My favorite goodie bag was my gallon-size bag of raw veggies (ok, maybe not my favorite - the Costco chocolate chip cookies are pretty exciting).

So, when I got home from work today, I immediately threw all the veggies on a baking sheet and put them in the oven to roast for a half hour while I played with Henry.  When it was done, I put them into a pot with some water and seasoning and let it simmer while I started to give Henry dinner.  For dinner tonight, Henry was going to have noodles, chicken, and then I hoped he would try some cherry tomatoes or baby corn from a salad we had.  Henry started to eat some of the chicken and noodles, but for the most part he was just playing and singing songs with me.

While he was still in his highchair, I quickly pureed the soup, and then added some cooked couscous/grain mixture that I had leftover from the weekend (the mix is Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe's and it's delish!).  Since I finished making the soup so quickly, I decided to offer some to Henry.  He said he wanted some, and then took a bite.  He loved it, and then proceeded to ask for "more, more soup", and kept saying "I like soup" (his new thing is to say "I like" in front of different words).  It was a great way to get in lots of veggies - I just hope he'll eat it again tomorrow!

Roasted Curried Vegetable Soup
~2 pounds vegetables, cut up (I used cauliflower, string beans, broccoli, a couple of mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini)
1 onion, cut in wedges
2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
5 cups water
3 tsp chicken consomme powder
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup canned chickpeas
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked Harvest Grain Blend (or other cooked rice/pasta)

1.  Preheat oven to 450.  Mix together vegetables, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes.

2.  Pour roasted veggies in a soup pot, and add all ingredients except the grains (from water to peas).  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and blend with a handblender.

3.  Add cooked Harvest Grain Blend and heat for a few minutes.  Then serve.

Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!

One of those days...

Yesterday was a fun-filled day for our family.  First we had my grandmother's 90th birthday party around lunchtime, and then we headed straight into the city to meet more family around Henry's dinner time.

Henry was so overwhelmed at the party, that I only got him to eat about 2 noodles and a few bites of tuna fish for lunch...and only while my 11 year old nephew showed him Elmo on his cellphone.  After that Henry discovered the fruit platter - yay! And proceeded to eat loads of watermelon.  I thought we were in pretty good shape...the party was waning and Henry had yet to discover the cake and cookie table.  And then, as we were cleaning up, he spotted the cookies.  I figured we were fine - one cookie is definitely okay.  But then he also ate a piece of a chocolate rugelach.  And then around 4PM, as we were heading out the door, I spotted him with my 6 year old nephew eating another giant cinnamon rugelach.  When I asked my nephew what happened he said, "I was getting a cookie, and then Henry said "cookie", and reached it all by himself!" (My nephew was very proud of his baby cousin).  At this point I realized I had no idea what Henry had been eating all day...

I decided to pack yogurt for our little trip to the city, but as was expected Henry was too full from all the baked goods to eat anything else.  I'm just hoping today is a bit more balanced...

Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!