On The Menu: Super Green Juice & Good For You “Cereal Bars”

Well hello there!

It’s been awhile… a minute… forever and a day… ok, it has been way too long. The wonderfully fantastic thing is, ever since I started this little humble blog of mine, I have received SO many positive responses and many have asked me to update. Life has been so crazy busy because of Abby’s bi coastal birthdays and so far, our summer has been filled to the brim with play dates, friends, projects, work, church and most importantly family time. On a personal note, I had my body fat measured this past Saturday. You know, those trucks that come and you completely submerge yourself under water and feel like you’re going to die because you’re supposed to blow at least 95% of the air out of your body. Yeah, I did it and although the results were better than I thought, they still were not great. Boooo. On the other hand, my hubby received fantastic results and since the doc did say 80% of your fat/health/weight is from your diet, I received a huge thank you from him. Abby also received great remarks on her 1 year visit and the doctor was super impressed with her iron levels saying that her numbers weren’t expected to be seen until at least 6 years old, which she said was awesome! If any of you are curious, Abby clocked in at 50% weight, 50% head circumference and 80% height. Sooooo, I guess I’m taking care of my family well with their meals but ugh… woe is me… not. I feel great when I eat well and the doc this weekend said that doing 80% paleo was going to be good for me. Such positive words of encouragement because I do enjoy paleo but by no means am I a hard core cave woman. On that note, here are two recipes that have been big hits in our home. Yes, the juicing recipe requires two contraptions and why yes (insert best Asian British accent), I know my Vitamix can blend all the stuff without having to juice but seriously, the texture is a difficult one to gulp down so you really think a baby would be keen to that stuff? Uh, no… negative… bye. For babies and kids, texture comes first then taste. There have been many times where something touched the tip of Abby’s tongue and she was done.  I always want Abby to know how great something tastes so I am sensitive to blah textures. So if you are one to say that your child is picky or doesn’t like a certain ingredient, I always say to try and prepare it another way! Also, for the cereal fruit bar inspiration and recipe, I will have to say a huge THANK YOU to Against All Grain!

Super Green Juice

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Banana

Prep apples, carrots and cucumbers for the juicer

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Juice away! This amount made enough for all 3 of us. Once I portioned out Abby’s 4-5oz, I added 2 medium beets to our juicer and that was enough for 2 16oz mommy and daddy juices.

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Grab a handful of spinach. I make sure it’s baby spinach because the texture and taste are very friendly once blended. Yes, this was all for Abby.

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Add half an avocado, half a banana and all the spinach into the blender along with the juice

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Blend away… so beautiful

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Abby, enjoying her cup with saran wrap because we didn’t have any clean straw cups at the moment. No Judging 🙂

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Good For You “Cereal Bars”

Have you ever tried the bars that are meant for babies and kids that are in the stores? Heck, even the nutri grain bars. They are gross and even if it’s organic, there are so many unnecessary ingredients. On top of that, it’s stupidly overpriced for sugar and grain. Ok, end rant. This is my solution to those bars. They taste really great, have half the sugar of a nutri grain bar and 30% less sugar than a Plum bar. Abby enjoyed them today as well as both hubby and I.

  • 3/4 cup of almond flour (The finer the better. Honeyville is a great brand)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 eggs (must be at room temperature or your oil will harden up like mine did.. yayee)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup or agave
  • 1tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of a preserve (I mixed strawberry and guava). You are free to use as much filling as you want, technically.
  • 3 tablespoons of water

Combine all the dry ingredients and incorporate well then set aside

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Combine all of the wet ingredients (minus the preserves) and whisk them until creamy. For mine, I think the coconut oil messed things up so it became frothy. I told you I couldn’t bake!

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Combine all of the ingredients together and either use a stand mixer to blend well or do what I did and use your hands. Again, I can’t bake and I’m really lazy when it comes to it.  Once it forms into a dough, divide it in half and wrap each in saran wrap. Place them both in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Once they are a bit harder, roll one out to a 1/4″ thickness and cut the sides off to form a rectangle or square. A pizza cutter works best for this. Then cut it down the center then cut vertical strips that are about 2-3″ across. Spread a thin layer of preserves

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Use a spatula to lift the other side and press all of the edges together. This dough is very easy to work with so doing this is simple and quick. Repeat for the other piece of dough that is in the fridge. I came out with 11 bars but I think it’s because my measurements were inconsistent. Obviously…

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Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes until they turn golden brown.

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These were yummy… not too sweet and filling. I love giving Abby something like this as a snack because it has a good amount of fiber, protein and healthy fats.

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: 1 Healthy Dessert & 1 Not So Much

  • Fresh Strawberry Pie
  • Chia Seed Pudding

There’s this place called Marie Callender’s. You might know the name because there are frozen dinners with that name everywhere. But no, you don’t know Marie Callender’s until you’ve actually been in the restaurant and have had their fresh strawberry pie. Every summer, my family and I would have it at least once. Fresh whole strawberries piled high with an unusually red glossy glaze, which then are all placed in a buttery pie shell. Red coloring sort of freaks me out but it’s ok in Sprinkle’s Red Velvet Cupcakes (found out they’re opening a location in Lenox with a cupcake vending machine and ice cream!!!!), red gummy bears and Marie Callender’s Strawberry Pie. So, the other day I was craving it and although I’m trying to be really really good with my eating habits, I just had to find a recipe and make it. Almost all of the recipes I came across added way too much sugar and strawberry jello powder or gelatin for the glaze. Ok, let me be honest. I don’t like fake strawberry crap so that was out. I tried the first batch with gelatin and ugh, it was disgusting. There’s a certain smell/taste that comes with gelatin and it did not belong in a strawberry pie. Also, why mask the wonderful taste of ripe organic strawberries with a ton of sugar?? I guess I felt daring that night so I decided to make my own pie shell (haha, I really don’t bake). It actually came out pretty decent so if I can bake it, anyone can bake this easy peasy crust. I lost my pie tin so I had to use my tart tin but it all worked out.

But I will start with the chia seed pudding recipe since it’s so ridiculously easy. This recipe isn’t only for the baby because I eat it and enjoy it. Sam tried it once… that’s it. It may sound gross but it’s pretty good and dare I say kind of “fun” to pop the seeds in your mouth. The texture resembles tapioca. Well, Abby LOVES it but I have to control her portions because the first day she had it, she pooped 4 times. I was happy and surprised because she usually deals with a bit of constipation but this had things moving along! Sorry, I’m very blunt about poop now. I think it’s a mom thing. Anyways, I looked up the nutritional facts on the chia seed and it’s packed with crazy goodness. It’s loaded with protein, fiber and good fats. Plus it’s paleo, gluten free and vegan so major bonus points there. Did I mention how easy it is to make??

Chia Seed Pudding

  • 2 cups of coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • if you want it on the sweeter side, add honey or maple syrup

Pour the seeds, milk and extract into a bowl with a lid. Mix thoroughly, cover and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours with occasional stirring. I made this after dinner and stirred it right before going to bed.

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In the morning, I stirred it once more it was done! Sorry for the picture quality. Yes, those little hands wanted that pudding so badly!

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

PIE SHELL:

  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 8 tablespoons of really cold butter diced into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of ice cold water

Put half of the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients into a food processor and give it a couple of pulses. Add the butter and give it a go until the mixture is crumbly. Add the rest of the flour and pulse a couple more times until everything is still crumbly and the flour is mixed in. Take the mixture out and place it in a bowl. Add the water and start pushing everything together to form the dough. It should come together rather quickly.  Press it into a flat oval shape and keep it in the fridge for at least 1 hour (you can leave it overnight). Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Take the dough out and form it into the pie shell. Place it back in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then take it out and prick the bottom with a fork. Place a piece of foil over the pie crust and use pie weights or beans to weight it down. Bake for 15 minutes then take out the foil and weights and bake for another 5 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Cool while the filling is prepared.

FILLING:

  • 2-3 pints of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (sounds like a lot but you don’t end up using a lot of the glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1 cup of water
  • Juice of 2 strawberries mashed through a sieve

Clean and cut the strawberries

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Put the sugar and water into a pot and cook on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, add the corn starch and whisk until smooth. The mixture will become thick rather quickly. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without running down.

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This is the mixture with the strawberry juice added

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When the mixture is cool, add the strawberries and toss to coat

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Scoop the strawberries into the baked and cooled pie shell. Feel free to pour the remaining syrup on top but that’s where I cut a significant amount of sugar.

The end product! It was so pretty and so good!

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: Confetti Spaghetti & You Got The “Beet” Pouch

  • Spaghetti with all the fixins’
  • Beet and Strawberry pouch

A couple of weeks ago, we went to lunch with friends of ours to The Patio here in Georgia. When I was in the hospital for 14 days due to my water breaking early, they brought me cookies and a sandwich from this place and OMG, it was good! Now that Abby was with us, I had to find something to order besides a sandwich. Their special of the day was “confetti spaghetti.” It’s a casserole that has lots of cheese, bell peppers, onions and meat. Since Abby LOVES spaghetti, I thought this would be perfect for her. She ate so much of it and got her white shorts all dirty (ugh! mommy’s fault). Now that Abby has reached a point in her oh so refined palate where she can discern what is good and tasty to what is bland and boring, I have found myself at a loss sometimes of how to get this girl to eat her veggies. My little broccoli floret eating baby is gone (sad face). We try and do the gluten free thing but I can’t deny this girl her spaghetti and we are pretty flexible because WE LOVE FOOD. I say everything in moderation! Thus, I decided to make confetti spaghetti and put as much goodness in it as possible without comprising taste. I was thinking of how to make the sauce sweeter to cut the acidity. Well duhh, use vidalia onions! They are everywhere here in Georgia and they are super delicious. Pair that with some sweet bell peppers and no sugar is needed… I promise.  This sauce is paleo friendly if you use pure tomato sauce and it would taste amazing over some zucchini noodles.

Sam even took it to work and ate it twice in a row! Abby ate it 5 times for dinner last week and loved it every single time.

  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 package of whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-5 mini sweet peppers
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the beef first. We got our amazing local grass fed beef from White Oak Pastures .

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Chop up all your veggies into similar sizes

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This is the pasta and sauce I used

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Cook your noodles then drain and set aside

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In a pot, add the veggies, olive and oil, pepper and salt.  Cook them for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Then add the beef and sauce. It should look like this chunky mess.

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Cook the mixture on low heat for about 30 minutes. All of the veggies will have softened. Gosh, this looks so good!

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Toss the spaghetti with the sauce  and half of the parmesan cheese. Place it in a casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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Abby enjoying it on day 2! Yes, she likes eating with her leg up.

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You Got The “Beet” Pouch

  • 1 large beet (about 4 inches in diameter)
  • about 10 strawberries

This is another one of Abby’s favorites as a snack now! This pouch got it’s name from the fact that every time I make it or pull one out for Abby, I sing the song “We Got The Beat” and start dancing in front of her. Weird, I know. Anyways, it’s great for any age (seriously, I would eat this like a slushy because I don’t like beets by themselves but the strawberries make this pouch taste really great). Cut the beets into fourths and boil until tender. Combine with washed and hulled strawberries in a blender and puree until the desired consistency is reached. If this is for a younger baby, adding some water will thin out the mixture. For some added health points, sprinkle some ground chia seeds in. Pour it into your favorite Squooshi character or the Infantino pouches. This will make approximately 4 pouches that are 4 ounces in size.

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: Paleo and Gluten Free + Baby Pouch

  • Almost Mexican Style Chicken
  • Chicken Dinner Pouch

When I was trying to look my best for my wedding 5 years ago, I ate this meal a lot. I also grew up eating it so for me, this is comfort food. When my mom comes and visits, we make and eat this at least once. It’s that good and that simple. Perhaps it’s so good because it’s so simple. This is also the chicken you’ll find when you go to your local Americanized Mexican restaurant and ask for a chicken salad, chicken quesadilla or chicken tacos. If your chicken isn’t grilled, this is the same shredded chicken but mine is better. Seriously. The stuff at restaurants almost always lacks flavor because it’s so watered down. This meal is also incredibly figure friendly and there’s absolutely no guilt with this meal. I make a huge batch of this but it only lasts for 2 meals because my hubby and I love it. We also found out that Abby loves it too.

Almost Mexican Style Chicken (salad or tacos)

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic finely minced (this is what makes this dish… do not skimp out on the garlic!)
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • jalapenos (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Corn tortillas if you want tacos

Boil the chicken breasts in water until cooked through. Save about 2 cups of the chicken broth and set aside. While waiting for the chicken to cool, chop the veggies.

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Cut the lettuce pretty thinly so you can use it either for a salad or tacos. You need to use iceberg. The crunchy-ness of the lettuce goes really well with the chicken. I have also been pretty lazy and just used iceberg lettuce cups with the chicken.

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Shred the chicken

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Toss the chicken back into the pan (do not use oil… this recipe does not need ANY oil) along with the broth that was set aside. Toss in the garlic, onion and tomatoes. Salt and pepper the mixture and toss once more.

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Then cover for 15 minutes and cook in medium heat while stirring occasionally. The mixture will cook and all the veggies will have melded together to create a wonderful smell and taste. Check for seasoning once more. If you do add more salt, let the mixture cook for another minute. At this point, I set aside a small bowl for Abby before adding in the jalapenos. If you choose not to add the jalapenos, it’s done! If you do add them, cook for another 2-3 minutes.

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Warm corn tortillas for tacos or make a bed of lettuce and scoop the mixture on top. Garnish with cilantro or add as much cilantro as you like. My mom adds a whole cup of it. She loves cilantro. I actually got seconds because it hit the spot! Abby enjoyed alternating taking bites of the chicken and tortilla. She wasn’t a fan of the lettuce at all.

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I even ate leftovers for breakfast this morning with 2 eggs and avocado after my workout at Crossfit Reliance. I was starving and this only took 2 minutes!

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Baby Chicken, Peas, Corn and Squash Dinner

  • 1/2 cup of chicken mixture
  • 1/2 cup of peas
  • 1/2 cup of corn
  • 3 oz. of squash

Toss the chicken mixture into a blender. Add the peas, corn kernels and squash. Then blend. I had to add about a tablespoon of water to get it to somewhat of a smooth consistency.

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: Hubby’s Cooking!

  • Breakfast Scramble Tacos
  • Soba

I am truly blessed to have the best hubby! Being together for over 14 years definitely has had it’s fair share of ups and downs but I wouldn’t change any of it. He’s so amazing and I’ve fallen in love with him even more after seeing him with Abby. He always told me he never wanted to be the kind of dad who just took a back seat and let the wife do everything. From day one he has been so proactive in Abby’s life and has done anything and everything to help the both of us. Ok, ok, enough of the mushy stuff. He also loves cooking and made brunch and dinner last week. These meals so simple and easy. The dinner is really something you throw together.

Breakfast Scramble Tacos

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 1/2 a bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 a russet potato or 3-4 fingerling potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 sausage patties
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • Cheese is optional
  • Corn tortillas

We cooked the bacon separately because my hubby always loves extra bacon on the side. We get applewood smoked bacon that’s locally made at Whole Foods and the sausage is from Thompson Farms in Dixie, GA.

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After the bacon is done, set that aside. Saute the veggies in some oil (or you can use the bacon grease) until it’s cooked through. Add the sausage to the veggies and cook until done. Then add the bacon and eggs. Gently fold the mixture around so that you have chunks of eggs instead of an egg paste. Sam didn’t add any extra salt since the bacon and sausage were already salty.

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Warm the tortillas and serve! I assembled mine and put lots of hot sauce… yumm! Gluten free deliciousness!

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Abby enjoying hers!

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Soba

  • 1 pack of buckwheat noodles
  • Green onion
  • Seaweed sheet
  • Soba soup base

We always have a couple of quick meal options in the fridge. One of them is soba. It’s quick, easy and good! Just boil the noodles, chop some green onions, cut the seaweed into little strips and follow the directions of the soup base bottle. That’s it! Takes 15 minutes.

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We used two bundles for our dinner.

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Just dip the noodles and slurp away!

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Abby’s portion barely had any broth in it due to the salt content. I would say for that bowl we put a teaspoon of broth in. She liked it! She actually likes anything that has to do with noodles and slurping.

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: Yummy Orange Pouch

  • Mango, Carrot, Banana Pouch

Although I love making my own pouches, there are times where I buy some of the pouches in the baby stores for convenience. Our favorites are Plum and Ella’s Kitchen. My only hesitation in buying and feeding Abby the store bought pouches are that most of them are filled with apple or pear, they don’t have nearly as much nutrients as fresh made ones and it doesn’t taste as good (yes, I have tried all of them before giving it to Abby). This easy and simple recipe turned out to be a hit with Abby. She actually cried after the pouch was all done. She kept sucking and sucking and when nothing came out, she looked it at and cried. It was cute but so sad. This was part of her dinner that included chunks of salmon and one whole broccoli floret. These pouches are packed with Vitamin A and C as well as other great nutrients for baby.

The Yummy Orange Pouch (makes 4 4oz pouches)

  • 2 large carrots or 3 medium steamed
  • 1 large ripe mango
  • 1 banana

Toss them all into a blender, Vitamix, Beaba, Bullet or whatever you have at home and blend well. This is on the thicker side so add water to suit your baby’s needs. Freeze for future meals or snacks

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Hope your baby enjoys it as much as Abby did!

On The Menu: Pancakes!

  • Buckwheat Pancakes
  • Tried & True Buttermilk Pancakes

Breakfast is a favorite in this household of mine. My brother told me that it feels like home when he can smell breakfast cooking in the morning. We all love breakfast. The buttermilk pancake recipe is one of the oldest in my book. It never fails to come out yummy, fluffy and not even close to being dry and boring. If you try it and the pancakes come out bad, then I’m sorry, you did something wrong. My hubby’s made them a couple of times and they come out perfect! I decided to mix things up a bit and try buckwheat flour this time for Abby and myself. The benefits of buckwheat are so numerous compared to plain old white flour. With just this recipe, you get 24 grams of fiber plus many other essential vitamins and minerals. I was totally sold when I read the benefits. In the Korean culture, we eat buckwheat noodles so the taste was familiar.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of buttermilk (I used coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries

Mix the dry ingredients together and once incorporated, add the wet and work out any clumps with a whisk. Heat pan on medium heat with some oil and pour out into 5-6 inch rounds. This recipe makes 7-8 pancakes. I substituted coconut milk and coconut oil in this recipe to make it dairy free. I’ll be honest, the texture was not as light and fluffy as with buttermilk but the taste was good because it added a hint of coconut to the pancake. *Note: Buckwheat flavor is pretty strong so adding half buckwheat flour and half all purpose flour creates a super delicious pancake with the benefits of buckwheat.

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For Abby I added one diced up strawberry and a couple more blueberries with a dollop of coconut yogurt.

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Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda

As with the buckwheat pancakes, incorporate all the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and break up any clumps with a whisk. This recipe will yield the same amount as the recipe above.

Yeah, in about 10 years she probably won’t like that I posted this picture of her.

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: Fruits, Veggies & Protein

  • Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
  • Baby Omelet, Broccoli and Tofu

If you’re a new momma and you’re like me, you probably wonder every day if your child is getting enough nutrition from all the food groups. I read up on the daily recommendations and honestly, it’s overwhelming and I wonder “how in the world am I going to get all this food in her??” Well, I have learned to take everything as a guideline. Being a new momma is tough as it is so who wants the added pressure? I surely don’t want it and can’t handle it with the baby, hubby and business already taking over my life.  Which, by the way, I have a found a fantastic most awesomely awesome way to relieve stress in life… are you ready… CROSSFIT! More on that later. So if you haven’t noticed yet, we are an avocado family. Abby is an avocado baby. That was her first food and she probably has had a serving every single day (minus a day or two). There is so much nutrition and good fat in avocado and because of it’s mild taste and buttery texture, it really does compliment recipes well. The other thing you might notice is that we like smoothies. Well, when your hubby comes from a family who owns a Juice It Up!, it’s pretty hard to resist the yummy smoothies he makes. For Abby, we just modify recipes by adding veggies, using fresh instead of frozen fruit and use coconut water instead of juice.

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie (makes 3-4 4oz pouches)

  • 8 Strawberries
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 tub of yogurt
  • 1 avocado

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Since I use the Beaba, I cut the strawberries in half, the avocado in half and the banana in half. Blend well to incorporate and it’s ready! So nutritious and it tastes really yummy! For a thicker smoothie (adult friendly), use frozen strawberries and frozen bananas. You’ll probably have to add some juice or coconut water to get the blender going but the frozen fruits will create a thick and creamy smoothie.

Egg, Broccoli and Tofu

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup of grated carrot
  • 1 drop of sesame oil
  • Broccoli
  • Firm Tofu

Mix the two eggs in a bowl. Add the grated zucchini and carrot. Use a cheese grater because the veggies need to be small in order to cook quickly.  Add one drop of sesame oil for flavor or you can omit it. Heat up a pan on low/med heat with a bit of oil and use a table spoon to drop the mixture into rounds. They will cook quickly so keep an eye on them. This batch will make quite a bit so set some aside for future meals. Steam one large broccoli head. Since the amount I’m steaming is so small, I use a small microwave safe glass bowl with some water and cover it with another plate for about a minute. You can leave it whole or dice it up into small pieces. Dice the tofu into little blocks. That’s it!

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: Brazilian BBQ

  • Tri Tip
  • Brazilian Salsa
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Pao de queijo

Hubby and I had the awesome privilege of going on a summer mission trip to Brazil in 2006. We stayed in Sao Paolo for a couple weeks and went into the Amazon for a bit. We absolutely fell in LOVE with Brazil. Everything about it was so fascinating to us. The people, culture, food and history. Needless to say, we came back with a little piece of Brazil and cannot wait until Abby is old enough to go with us again. When we are craving some red meat, we either have tri tip or ribeyes. There’s nothing like eating churrasco (grilled meat in Portuguese) or pao de queijo (cheese balls) in Brazil but we have been able to create something pretty close to it at home. Abby enjoyed the sides, especially the cheese balls. This dinner is quick to whip up and is perfect for those summer nights of grilling.

 

Tri Tip:

  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the tri tip, my hubby seasons the outsides with pretty coarse salt and pepper. When eating churrasco, getting little bursts of saltiness is key when eating the meat. That’s all he seasons it with. The simpler, the better. He does let the seasoning sit on the meat for a good hour or more and never grills the meat cold. He uses wood charcoal on a no fuss Weber 22.5″ grill. Again, the simpler the better. My hubby is super particular about his grilling and isn’t keen to gas grilling. He saw the meat in Brazil being grilled over an open fire and loved the flavor from it. I remember when it was time to get a new grill, he wasn’t looking at the fancy ones, he was looking at the Weber’s and I just did not understand why. Perhaps he knows what he’s doing because that man’s meat ALWAYS comes out fantastic!

 

Brazilian Salsa:

  • 5 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 of a large red onion or 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar (or more if you like the taste)
  • salt and pepper

This salsa is complimentary with the meat. Eating it together is like eating a grilled cheese and tomato soup, spaghetti and meatballs… you get the point. It’s a MUST! Scoop out the pulp and juices of the tomatoes and dice all the veggies into similar sizes. Toss it all in a bowl and pour in the vinegar and season to taste. That’s it! I believe the original recipe calls for regular vinegar but I love the depth of flavor that balsamic vinegar has. I’ve received SO many compliments on this salsa but little do people know how simple it is.

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Pao De Queijo (cheese balls):

  • BUY THE PRE MIXED PACKAGE!

I looked up a recipe but you need tapioca flour (thus why they are gluten free… yayee!!) and a bunch of other ingredients. We are so lucky to have a little local Brazilian Market 2 miles away from us. We purchase all of our Guarana and Pao De Queijo mix there. Directions are so simple and all you need is 1/2 cup of water and 2 eggs for delicious cheese ball-y goodness.

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Roasted Potatoes:

  • 15 small potatoes of any variety
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper

Slice cleaned potatoes in half and place in pan. Drizzle some oil and sprinkle some garlic powder, salt and pepper.  I don’t have measurements because I just sprinkled and tasted. If it tastes salty, great! Remember, the potatoes are dense so they need flavor. Place in a 350degree oven for 30 minutes. I baked these and the cheese balls at the same time. I usually would bake the potatoes at a higher temp but since the cheese balls called for a specific temp, I just threw the potatoes in as well and they came out fine.

All in all this dinner took 30 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to cook (waiting on the oven and grill). This is what the spread looked like with the addition of corn, broccoli and GUARANA!

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Enjoy!

On The Menu: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Breakfast (egg, toast and avocado)
  • Lunch (One of Abby’s favorite smoothie mixes)
  • Snack (cheese, fruit, crackers)
  • Dinner (Dakbulgogi (teriyaki) chicken and rice)

(Before I post, bye bye Posterous 😦 They will be shutting down at the end of this month. Hello new blog and new name)

I have tried to be pretty consistent with menu planning once every week since moving to Georgia. Of course there are weeks where we get away with making spaghetti, ramen or bibimbap (mixed rice bowl) for a couple of days. But I want to make use of the resources I have around me. We feel really blessed to have great farmer’s markets close by and a Whole Foods is literally 5 miles (4.9 to be  exact) away from me. I usually plan the meals on Sunday while Abby is napping and I get my inspiration from the Food Network, magazines or whatever we are craving. It’s always a wide variety because we’re Korean so Korean food is always good, we LOVE Italian and Mexican and as far as American cuisine goes, a nice hamburger, stew or roast can hit the spot too. Thus, I made it one of my missions to open Abby’s palate up as much as possible because I was a pretty picky girl in my early years (another reason for Baby Led Weaning since you literally offer everything you eat). You might be thinking that some ingredients or flavors might be too strong for a baby but Abby has been handling everything great! Below is what Abby had to eat for a couple of days. Breakfast was different because it’s easy but she enjoyed the same lunch and dinner. Like I’ve said before, I try and work with the same ingredients so that there’s little waste. With a little prep, you can have a wholesome meal plan set for a couple of days.

Breakfast: Egg, Toast and Avocado

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of green onion chopped
  • 1 piece of bread
  • 1/2 of an avocado

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Yes, I wanted to “try” and be cute with her food. Nothing went to waste as Sam ate whatever was left. I tried giving Abby regular scrambled egg with no salt and she wasn’t a fan. I decided to put chopped green onions into the egg mixture before cooking and it bam! she loved it with no salt needed. I cut a piece of soft bread from a Korean bakery and spread avocado on it. Then sliced up the remaining avocado half into chunks.

Lunch: Zucchini, Squash, Broccoli, Yogurt, Avocado and Banana Smoothie

Recipe makes a little over 14oz. of food. We split it up into 4oz pouches

  • 4 frozen cubes of zucchini/squash and 2 frozen cubes of broccoli. 6 cubes total
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1 4oz tub of vanilla Yobaby yogurt (it can be any flavor)
  • 1 medium banana

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I absolutely love Fresh Baby’s freezer trays. I buy a big head of broccoli, one large zucchini and one large yellow squash and puree them. Once frozen, I have them as standby anytime I want to add veggies into her food because veggies are always less liked than fruit. I defrost them for a couple of seconds before incorporating into the mixture. I’ll probably be giving her smoothies with veggies in it until she’s 18 or out of the house. 🙂

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Using my awesome Beaba Babycook that I got from one of my dearest friends!

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We bought the Infantino Fresh Squeezed Station at Target for around $24.00 and the Squooshi Reusable Food Pouches on Amazon. The Infantino is great for freezing and storing and the reusable pouches are great for the day’s use.

Snack:

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Organic butter crackers (generic version of Ritz) from Whole Foods, cheese chunks, two grapes peeled and one large strawberry. Sam and I love this snack combo (from our days working at Nordstrom). That’s probably why she eats it so often 🙂

Dinner: Chicken, Rice and Broccoli (dinner for the whole family)

  • Korean Teriyaki Chicken (seriously, so good and the ingredients are easy to find)
  • 2 chicken breasts (about a pound)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar (if you like food on the sweeter side, add 3)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine
  • 4 garlic cloves minced finely or grated (use microplane)
  • 1/2 in chunk of ginger minced finely or grated (use microplane)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

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Cut the chicken breasts into 2 inch chunks and strips. Mine were not uniformed at all. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and toss the chicken in. Cover the chicken in the marinade and cover the bowl or transfer into a ziploc bag to sit for at least 6 hours or overnight is best.

Cook in a pan over a medium heat until all the chicken is cooked through.

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Abby’s dinner with a broccoli floret that I saved on the side from the puree.

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Yes, it’s messy but it’s oh so fun!

We all enjoyed this dinner because it was gluten free! For all of you worrying about salt and sugar content, Abby has a very large rice and veggie ratio compared to the meat. I diced up only 2 chunks for this meal. She didn’t get a whole lot of fruit but she had her Super Acai and Berry Tofu smoothie today! Will post that recipe soon.

Enjoy!