Monday, January 14, 2013

Good Foods

We took our first trip to Trader Joe's the other day and went a little crazy.  I don't regret it. It turns out they aren't overrated.

Among our purchases were chicken meatballs, pappardelle pasta, croutons, and balsamic vinaigrette.
I sauteed the meatballs (they were already fully cooked, just cold) in a pan coated generously with olive and canola oil.  When the outsides were crispy, I threw in onions and then lots of chopped mushrooms, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Once everything was mostly soft, I deglazed with chicken broth, then added enough broth to make a sauce and then creamed it up with splashes of heavy cream.  While the pasta finished cooking I seasoned the sauce and let it simmer down, then tossed the pappardelle in it.  It turned out to be a super good stroganoff-ish dish.  I served it with spring greens tossed with chopped eggs and the croutons.  Yum.

The second new recipe I tried this week was a simple little Pinterest find.  I chopped up strawberries and bananas, halved some grapes, and threw in some blueberries, and then mixed up a honey-lime dressing that was just 1/4 c honey and the juice of two limes.  It basically turned the fruit into candy.  I bet you could use any fruit, but I definitely recommend using grapes because the slight tartness sends the salad to the next level.

The next one is the applesauce/carrot muffin/cake recipe I posted around Olivia's first birthday but I've since tweaked it so that it is even healthier

I usually freeze them in a large ziploc and then just take one out and microwave on 50% for 16 seconds to use them for quick snacks or breakfast for Liv.  This recipe is the best because it is so versatile and you can basically throw whatever you want in it.

1 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour (I use 1/2 c white and 1 1/2 c wheat.  I bet you could even substitute 1/2 c of oats in there for some of the flour also)
1 c sugar (I substituted for 1/3 c honey and added it to the wet ingredients.  I bet you could do agave instead if your baby is under 12 mo.)
1 Tbsp orange zest (I also squeezed some of the juice from the orange into the wet ing.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 large carrot, grated

1 overripe banana, mashed
1 zucchini, grated
chia seeds
chopped apple
anything your little heart desires

combine dry ingredients and mix, in a separate bowl combine wet ingredients.  Add wet to dry and mix until combined.  Fold in any optional ingredients.  Pour into 8x8, 9x9, or muffin tin.  Bake at 350 until light golden, about 24 minutes for cake or 16 minutes for muffins (make sure it is cooked until firm and golden).

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