Friday, July 29, 2011


Stuck in traffic? Delayed in the airport? Forgot your diaper bag at home? Lost track of time watching real housewives reruns? Do what I do….have a nervous breakdown and blame your husband.
Just Kidding. Not.
No really, its going to be ok. Just grab an avocado and lunch is served.

Avocado is so loaded with nutrients that if you were to be stranded on an island with only avocados, you would survive. For you calorie counters, yes, avocado does have a lot of fat. 1 cup of puree has about 700 calories! Before you write it off though, its not the bad fat, its really essential fatty acids including omega 3 and omega 6 that are essential for baby’s brain and physical development. Avocados are sodium and cholesterol free, have folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and iron and are known as one of natures perfect foods.

Slice the avocado in half, cut out cubes, mash with fork for younger babies and resume breathing.

Warning: this can get batshit messy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not Exactly A Winner

Not every recipe can be a winner. In a perfect world every new recipe I try will come out delicious and my baby will eat it up with a big smile on his face. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Sometimes recipes don’t work out, sometimes baby hates what you make, sometimes you lose your favorite pair of sunglasses even though you wore them everyday on your head which is attached to your body and you have no idea how they could have disappeared…life isn’t perfect.
Im going to share this recipe just because I think its still something that maybe older kids and husbands can enjoy and maybe one day your baby will get into as well.

1/2 red pepper diced
4 button mushrooms diced
1 zucchini diced
3 tomatoes diced
1/2 cup water
1 10oz can organic tomato sauce
1 10ox bag organic cheese of your choice
pinch of dried mixed herbs
Pasta stars (for babies)

1.     Make a small cut in the top of the tomatoes, boil for 1 min. Peel skin off, scoop out insides and dice.
2.     Dice the zucchini with the peel on, pepper and mushooms.

3.     Saute the onion.
4.     Put all veggies in the pot for a few min.
5.     Put ½ cup water and sauce, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 min or until soft.
6.     Meanwhile cook the pasta and drain.
7.     Mix the vegetables and pasta in a food processor.

I added added the sauce to quinoa pasta and served with an arugula salad.We finished the entire thing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Antioxidant Soup: Zucchini and Fennel

Zuchinni is a summer squash and if you havent noticed by the 100 degree heatwave, were in the middle of summer, so lets use it! Yes, you can go to the market in winter and get peaches and blueberries from Mexico, but don’t you feel better eating things in season? Think about the travel conditions, the chemicals used, the carbon footprint…you get the point.
Until now, I have always added a sweet vegetable with zucchini thinking that my baby wont eat anything that’s doesn’t have a hint of sweet. Wrong.
He loved this soup and it got me thinking about palette training. If you train your baby to only like sweet, he will only eat sweet. It’s that simple. Get them while they’re young. I don’t know how he will eat later on in life, but I hope and secretly pray at night, that he will make good nutritional choices, like eating vegetables, because he’ll have a well developed palette open to all foods. I’m so positive today.

Anyway, zucchinni is jam packed with goodness. The high amounts of fiber and water help prevent carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon. Vitamins A and C and folate are also powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that fight oxidative stress that can lead to many types of diseases later in life. For all the botox lovers out there, put the needle down and eat zucchini. It has manganese, which is essential for the production of proline, an amino acid that allows collagen to form, giving you tighter nicer skin.
Fennel has unique antioxidant powers. The nutrients in fennel have been shown to shut down the activation of potentially strong gene-altering and inflammation triggering molecules in your body. Its like having a body guard inside your body, how amazing is that! Fennel also has vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium. So many good things happening here.

Zucchini and Fennel Soup

4 Zuchinni
1 Fennel
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 Cups Water

1. Cut the Zucchini lengthwise and chop into pieces.  Leave the peel on, it’s a great source of dietary fiber that helps with constipation.
2. Use only the white bulb of the fennel, slice.
3. Chop the onion and sauté in some evoo.
4. Add the zucchini, fennel, stock and water to the pot with the onion.

5. Boil until soft.
6. Let cool and puree.

Makes 6-8 baby servings.
Recipe Credit: Lior Mink

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Broccoli Potato and Cheese Casserole

I’ve only given my baby broccoli in puree form in the past and since were very much into chewing and self feeding these days, I had to make something that would satisfy both habits. I also started giving him dairy recently and I wanted to give him something cheesy and yummy but of course, nutritious.
1 head of broccoli
3 medium white potatoes
12 oz (2 bags) mild cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon earth balance
1/2 yellow onion
4 brown cage free eggs

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

1. Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters and boil until soft.
2. Meanwhile, wash the broccoli, peel a few layers off the stem and chop up into baby bite size pieces.
3. Put the broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and spread out on a paper towel to dry.

4. Chop the onion and sauté in the earth balance. Set aside.
5. When the potatoes are ready cut up into small bite size pieces.

6. Time to combine. Put the broccoli, potato, beaten eggs, ¾ of the cheese, oregano and onion into a bowl and mix well but don’t mash the potatoes.
7. Top with cheese. I went a little overboard with the cheese topping, feel free to use as little or as much as you want.
Cover and cook for 20-25 min. Uncover and let rest for 5 min before serving.

This dish was gone so fast I didn’t have time to freeze anything. As your baby gets older, feel free to add colby or pepper jack cheese to this recipe for a nice spicy kick.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cherry and Banana Puree

You must be thinking “you’ve posted like 27 pattie recipes, we haven’t seen a puree in forever, you should call this blog” To that I have to say, pattie making is a great way to combine a whole lotta good ingredients in a portion controlled freezer friendly way. I still whip up purees when I want my baby to get certain nutrients from foods or for his breakfast oatmeal. Just yesterday, I saw beautiful cherries in the market and instantly thought, puree.
Cherries aren’t only for cocktails and pies, they are a super fruit and we need to take them more seriously dammit! Here’s a mind-blowing fact, cherries contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries or strawberries. They have one of the highest levels of disease fighting antioxidants compared to other fruits, major vitamin C, potassium, iron, magnesium and folate. I’m impressed cherries, very impressed. Another interesting fact that I did not know until 2 seconds ago was that cherries contain melatonin…y’know, the natural sleep aid. Great for demonic babies who won’t nap.
Cherry and Banana puree
24 cherries
1 Banana

1.     Boil the cherries for a few minutes (I lost track of time)
2.     Let cool and squeeze the pits out.
3.     Peel the banana
4.     Combine and puree.
5.     Splash of breastmilk or formula if you find it too thick.

Makes 6-8 servings. Delicious with oatmeal for breakfast.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes

My hungry baby is really enjoying the whole chewing and finger food thing, so I can start making “real” meals that we all, as a family can enjoy. So long frozen burritos, mamas having dinner tonight! 
The original recipe was fancy shmancy, with white wine and an agrodulce relish served over a bed or arugula. Yes, I really made that back in the day when I used to care about impressing my husband with my culinary skills. It was explosively crazy good. I remember being very proud of myself. Today I made the baby version, which was still very much explosive. The combination of the sweet potato, herbs and spices, topped off with the light flavor of coconut oil makes this recipe a may-jah success.
Lets talk about the importance of fish, specifically salmon on your baby's development. A baby's brain triples in size in its first year. They are born with a specific amount of nutrients and get what they need from formula or breast milk, but as they get older and start eating real food, they need to find these nutrients elsewhere. Salmon in particular contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to healthy brain and body development. I could go on and on about the importance and benefits of salmon, but I wont. Read this article here if you want to know all about the importance of omega-3 and DHA on your baby's development.  
Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes
1 large sweet potato
1 18oz piece of salmon fillet (try to get it skinned and de-boned at the store)
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning such as Old Bay seasoning
¾ cup breadcrumbs or more as needed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 whole scallions (whites and greens), finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
2 ½ cup water
1 ½ cup vegetable stock
Virgin Coconut Oil for frying

1.     Peel the sweet potato and cut into small chunks.
2.     Steaming the potato retains the nutrients, but you can also boil until soft. Fork mash into a bowl.
3.     At the same time, poach the salmon.
For those of you like myself who didn’t know what the hell poaching was, it means put the salmon fillet in a large skillet and add just enough water and stock to come up to the top of the fillets, but do not cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and poach about 10-12 minutes. There you go, you poached!
4.     Remove the skin and bones (if you didn't get a clean piece) and transfer the salmon to the bowl with the mashed sweet potato.
5.     Flake the fish with a fork. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, thyme, scallions and dill. Mix to combine well. 

6.     The fish cake mixture needs to be just firm enough to mold into cakes. If it's too wet, add a few more crumbs.

7.     Cook the fish cakes until light golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side. 

Makes 10-12 patties. Crumble and serve as finger food. Try not to eat them all yourself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Is Not A Joke

I have the BEST salmon pattie recipe EVER. 
They told me it wouldnt work, they told me it was too fishy, they told me to start with a white fish for a baby's first fish. I say take your white fish and shove it. He inhaled two patties and was licking his fingers clean. I win!
I was doing some research yesterday and I had a slight panic attack when I read the importance of omega-3s on a babys brain development for the first year. I haven't given my baby fish yet and I was on a mission for him to eat salmon. I ran to Citarella, the overly priced great quality store in nyc and picked up a lb of wild salmon for $40. Either I havent made any salmon since the last rise of inflation or something is up here. $40?! Anything for my baby, but really. Hows a girl supposed to feed not only her baby but her whole family wild salmon?!
First lets talk about the importance of wild anything. Wild means the fish are not harvested, or farmed. They are free to roam the ocean until the end of their 4 year cycle of life (bye nemo!) at which point they are harvested. Being wild most importantly means they are free of contaminants like PCB and other dioxins. Just read that as bad shit you dont want to feed anyone you love. Another huge reason to chose wild over farm is the nutritional bang for your buck your getting. I read that farmed fish might have more omega-3s which is misleading to someone who doesn't read full sentences because right after that it said that was due to the omega 6 rich fish meal and oil they feed them for mass harvesting. Gross. 
Most importantly, the high levels of omega-6 in farm raised fish blunt the benefits of omega-3 and cause silent inflammation which leads to all sorts of bad diseases later in life like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a few other disasters. Wild salmon also has a truck load of vitamin D, something which research suggests we need a lot more of these days to reduce the risk of fractures, osteoperosis and of course the bastard cancer. For you visual people, a cup of milk contains 100IU of vitamin D where a 3.5 serving of wild solkeye salmon contains 600-700IU. I think thats lovely.
So now that we know the truth and benefits of eating wild, you would be crazy to eat farmed anything, but we still have the problem of dollars and cents. That's what it all boils down to in this greedy world. In comes
For the new york city price of 4 servings you get 6 servings of wild Alaskan fish delivered to your door. They catch the wild fish at their prime, flash freeze dry them immediately after harvesting and ship them to you packed in dry ice. You can tell people at parties that you get your fish flown in from Alaska, how badass.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Food For Thought

My older, wiser sister with 3 kids told my pregnant self "wait til you have this kid, you will feel like your heart is walking outside of you." I didn't really get what she meant. Of course i'll love my baby, who doesn't (casey anthony)? It was only until I had my baby that the reality of what she said hit hard. I have to admit, the second he was born I was in too much of a daze to understand what happened but shortly after and every day since then it feels as if the love just grows more and more intense, if thats even possible.
My baby bumped his head really hard for the first time yesterday and I thought my life was over. Is he ok? Can I put him down for a nap? Should we go to the hospital and get a catscan? Why is he touching the back of his head? He looks pale, the bump is getting bigger. Is he in pain? I just held him and we watched Sesame Street for an hour.  I kept looking down at him thinking that this little person has my whole heart, my whole life would be over in a second if anything happened to him. The feelings are overwhelming.
I asked my mother with seven kids how she functions or even sleeps at night. Does it get easier as they get older, do you just have to not think about the fragility of life and trudge along with your daily routine? Does being a parent mean not only being able to reap the positive benefits of having a child but a lifetime of endless worrying and sleepless nights? How do you cope?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Not Yo Mommas Lentil Soup

Ok maybe it is, because its really really simple and hearty.
I found this recipe in a book called Top 100 baby purees. They have some great recipes. I usually modify every recipe but this one was so simple, all I added was some garlic. You can spice it up with cumin, oregano, curry powder...whatever you think your baby and you would like.
I usually use homemade chicken stock but being away from home and having limited time I had to use the next best thing. Organic vegetable stock. The taste was a little intense so I balanced it out with the same amount of water. 
I love this recipe, you get the protein and iron from the lentils, carbs from the sweet potato and beta carotene from the carrots.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

1/2 cup split red lentils rinsed
1 large sweet potato
4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 Cup finely chopped onion
2-3 Garlic cloves
2 1/2 Cup vegetable stock
21/2 Cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil

Spices or no spices. You have options.

1.Chop up the onion carrots and celery into tiny baby bite size pieces. I don't know about you but i love taking pictures of veggies cut up into tiny pieces. Makes me feel accomplished. 

2. Sauté onion, carrots and celery in oil for 5 min.
3. Add lentils, sweet potato and the stock.
4. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 20 min.

You can puree this for younger babies or leave it chunky for the ones with teeth.

Makes 10-12 portions.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Millet Veggie Burgers

I've never used millet before. Apparently neither has anyone in NYC because I had to go to 4 stores to find it. “Excuse me sir, do you have millet? How do you say Millet in French? Meeee-lit” Oh right were not in France, were in NYC, aren’t we supposed to be one of the most advanced cities in the world? Anyway, after finally securing my Millet stash the cooking began.

I’ve been looking for a good veggie burger recipe for a few days and what I found is that most veggie burgers had almost no veggies. I wanted a veggie burger with as many veggies as possible. I just said veggie 6 times, that’s a good sign.
According to my vegan friend millet is the next quinoa. Its rich in B vitamins, potassium, iron and like quinoa, is a good source of protein. Chickpeas are also a good source of protein, fiber and folic-acid.
This was my second time cooking with coconut oil and I have to tell you i’m kind of obsessed. The health benefits are impressive but the smell and taste make my inner hippie do a happy dance. Coconut oil is good for everything, hair care, skin care, your immune system and so much more. This oil has certain acids with antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial properties. You can rub it on your hair, your skin if you have irritations and now cook with it. Virgin coconut oil has more vitamin E, antioxidants and minerals than regular coconut oil, which is robbed of these properties from refining, heating and bleaching. Good to know, right?

Millet Veggie Burgers

1 cup millet
½ cup canned organic no salt chickpeas
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zuchinni
2 stalks of corn
4 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)
1/2 onion diced
3 garlic cloves diced
Olive oil
Virgin Coconut oil for frying
Breadcrumbs as needed

1.     Rinse and cook the millet like rice. 2 cups water to every 1 cup millet. Cook covered on simmer for 40 min or until water is absorbed.
2.     Sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent, set aside.
3.     Soak the chickpeas for 15 min, rinse twice.
4.     Boil the corn, cut kernels off.
5.     Pulse chop the corn and the chickpeas in food processor.
6.     Grate the carrots and zuchinni in one bowl.
7.     Add the corn, chickpeas and millet to the veggie bowl.

8.     Add eggs and breadcrumbs and mix until you get the right texture. Form patties.

9.     Fry 3 minutes on each side.

Makes 10-12 patties. Serve in pieces as finger food.
Before cooking, these patties can be spiced up with anything you want. Cumin, coriander...go crazy.