Strawberry, Pineapple Applesauce



This came together as a result of leftover fruit from Easter
and because Peanut loves just about any kind of applesauce you can think of.

My mom and I liked this warm and since making it, I've used it for a number of things.

Make sure to taste all your fruit and adjust according to the sweetness.  
My pineapple was super sweet and strawberries a bit tart still.

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Strawberry, Pineapple Applesauce
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup strawberries, stems removed, cut into chunks

Place the apples in a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water and let it simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes.
Add your pineapple and strawberries, replace cover and heat for another couple minutes.
You just want to make sure everything is nice and tender so it purees smoothly.

If you like you can skip the cooking completely and just puree.
The texture will just be a bit different.

Serve and enjoy!


-Add mint or even basil 
-Use less apples and more pineapple
-Substitute other berries like blackberries or blueberries

Refrigerate for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Apples have lots of fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium and magnesium.

Strawberries are known for their anti-carcinogenic properties (good for you, bad for cancer) as well as fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin C.

Pineapple aids in digestion because of the enzymes it contains (which is also said to help with inflammation and bruising).  It's packed with manganese (used for healthy skin, bones and cartilage), vitamin C and potassium.

*In the past, strawberries were on the "don't eat until after a year" list because of the possibility of allergy. Since then the American Academy of Pediatrics has revised their suggestion to wait.  

In this article they basically say that there isn't any proof that waiting will lessen your child's chance of allergic reactions. 

Peanut had strawberry in a puree at 7 months but again, that was a completely personal choice as neither B or I have any food allergies.

I stuck this in the toddler food (12 months+) because of the high acidity in pineapple.

Creamy Swiss Chard & Green Garlic Pasta

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Despite how obviously creamy and delicious this dish is, it's also healthy.
The recipe is slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, she seriously can't go wrong, and the creamed chard is made with mostly whole milk with a little bit of butter and flour as a thickener.

You can certainly have the creamed chard by itself or you can mix in pasta like I did.
I had planned on using orecchiette which I swore I had at home and if you are shopping for this dish I would suggest regular chard as opposed to the colorful variety.

Given the horrible light when the dish was ready I had planned on taking pretty pictures the next morning.
I set some of the creamed chard aside to mix with some orecchiete I would purchase and cook the next day.  Luckily I snapped a few shots of the pasta dish before we ate it because in the morning when I glanced into the fridge I noticed that my chard concoction had turned completely pink.

Like bright, pepto bismol pink with green chunks.  It wasn't pretty but it still tasted darn good.
This is why I suggest buying the regular swiss chard. 

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What started all this was the gorgeous chard and green garlic we received in our CSA box.

Green garlic is actually just young garlic (aka spring garlic) and you can see the garlic forming on the bottom.  Although it definitely has a garlic flavor, it's much milder than the traditional version.

If you don't have green garlic, which you mightn't, feel free to use spring onions, regular onions, green onions, leeks or a little of your regular garlic.  All of these options would be fantastic.

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Creamy Swiss Chard & Green Garlic Pasta

1 lbs Swiss Chard, thick stems removed and leaves sliced, then chopped
3 stalks of green garlic, sliced thinly (from bottom to tender part of the greens)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (wheat or white)
1 3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 lb pasta of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure your chard is chopped up well to avoid any long stringy bits that your little one can choke on.
Rinse the chard and place it, still wet, in a large pot over high heat.
Cover it and cook until just wilted, stirring occasionally.
Pour chard in a colander and allow it to cool.

Start cooking pasta of your choice.
I always reserve a little pasta water just in case I want to thin out the finished dish.

In a small bowl heat the milk over low-medium until warm throughout, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, wipe out your pot, place it back over medium heat and sauté the garlic in the butter until soft.
Add the flour, whisking constantly until thickened.  Make sure there are no lumps.
Add the milk in a steady stream, while whisking constantly until incorporated and the sauce has thickened.  Add the parmesan and mix until melted.
Squeeze any remaining water from the chard and mix it in to the sauce.
Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

Combine the pasta and chard mixture and serve!

~This can certainly be placed in a food processor and blended to make a very tasty puree!


-Use any kind of pasta or mediterranean couscous
-Try this with greens like spinach or collard greens
-Add fresh herbs at the very end
-Use onions, garlic or leeks interchangeably

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Chard is an excellent source of calcium,  vitamin C, E, B6 & K, fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, protein, zinc and folic acid.  So good for you.

Milk contains calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins D, B12 & A as well as riboflavin and niacin.

Turkey & Veggie Meatballs


Ages ago a friend of mine asked me about making meat dishes for her little one.
His name is Costner and he's on the I'm a Dandy Baby page, so go look at how adorable he is.

I had these meatballs in mind and I've finally just documented the making of these.
He's probably moved on to Prime Rib by now but these are for him regardless.


The veggies in these make the meatballs very moist and tender which makes them perfect for beginning finger foods.  It's also a fantastic way to sneak in vegetables for kids reluctant to eat them.

I used the grating blade in my food processor for these but if you really need to hide the vegetables from unsuspecting kids (or husbands and wives) then go one step further and grind them up with a regular blade as well.

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Turkey & Veggie Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey
1 large zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, grated (about 2 cups)
2 large mushrooms, grated (about 2 cups)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used italian seasoned)
1 beaten egg
2 + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
pinch of salt and pepper (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium to high heat.
Sauté the onions for a few minutes and then add your carrots and garlic.
Stirring occasionally, cook until they start to soften.
Add in your zucchini and mushroom, give it a good stir and sauté until all the ingredients have softened.
Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add your turkey, cheeses, bread crumbs, egg, s&p and cooled vegetables.
Mix it all up with your hands.

Clean out your large pan and get it nice and hot again.

I used a cookie scoop for my meatballs but you could use a spoon.
Brown your meatballs in 2 teaspoons of evoo.
You might have to do this in batches depending on your pan/meatball size.

At this point you can cook them all the way through or you could simmer in some sauce (which I did).

After browning your meatballs, add them all back to the pan and pour in 1 jar of pasta sauce
or if you feel it's just too much flavor for your little you could add a can of plain tomato sauce as well.

Simmer for about 20 minutes until your meatballs are cooked through.

Serve by themselves or with pasta.


Peanut immediately goes through and eats all of his meatballs.
He devours these meatballs.
I devour these meatballs.
B devours these meatballs.

Did anyone notice that I'm letting Peanut eat rotini and meatballs with pasta sauce....
in a white t-shirt.
What was I thinking?


-Use any meat or combination of meats such as chicken or beef
-Use this to make turkey burgers, swedish meatballs or meatloaf
-Add fresh herbs

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
I immediately froze half the batch after making.

Turkey is a great source of protein as well as niacin, vitamin, B6 and tryptothan which is an amino acid.

Carrots have lots of carotenioids that work as antioxidants, convert to vitamin A, boost the immune system and protect and enhance your eyes and sight.

Zucchini is high in potassium, vitamin, A, beta-carotene, lutein and magazine.

Mushrooms are a rich source of potassium, riboflavin, niacin and selenium.

Cheese is a great source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, selenium and vitamins A, E, K and D.

Spinach & Red Quinoa Fritatta

This is one of those easy dishes that we all love.

It's delicious, packed with good things for you and it requires minimal dishwashing.
That's an all around win.

Mine came out a tad overcooked because the timer went off while Peanut was in the bath.  The timer was going off while I just sat there watching Peanut splash and thinking of my frittata getting darker and darker.  It's ok though because it wasn't too far gone and we still loved it.  
So don't cook yours until it looks like mine!

I forgot to take a picture the night I made it and got to it just in time.
By the next afternoon, between the three of us there was this one slice left.

Peanut followed me around saying please until I gave it to him and he ate the whole slice immediately.
You can see his little fingers grabbing at it in the last picture.

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Spinach and Red Quinoa Frittata

4 cups spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 cup cooked red quinoa
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
8 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup grated jarlsberg
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Pinch salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Heat your olive oil in a large oven proof skillet.
If you don't have an oven proof skillet don't worry.
Saute the onions until translucent, add your spinach and garlic and stir until wilted.
Add the cooked quinoa and mix.

In a large bowl beat the eggs and milk.
Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper.

Pour the egg mixture over the spinach mixture and stir gently.
Place the pan in the oven.
If your pan is not oven-proof then transfer the mixture to a sprayed casserole dish.

Bake for about 15 minutes until the frittata is puffy and golden.
Keep an eye out, cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pan/dish.
If you are unsure a tester placed in the center should come out clean.


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-You could easily make this in muffin tins for your little
-Change out the quinoa for a different grain
-Try this with cheddar instead of gruyere
-Use different vegetables, just remember to cook them first

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and contain all 9 essential amino acids as well as choline, lutein, riboflavin, vitamin B12, selenium and lots of other vitamins and minerals.

Spinach has lots of calcium, selenium, magnesium, folic acid, iron and vitamins A, C, D and K (which helps your body absorb calcium).

Quinoa is not actually a grain but a seed and is packed with protein and essential amino acids.
It's far more nutritious than rice and has more calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, fiber and zinc than many other grains.

Cheese is a great source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, selenium and vitamins A, E, K and D.

Apple & Parsnip with Cinnamon

Up until the last couple of weeks Peanut has always chosen vegetables over fruit.

He would rather have green beans than bananas or pears.
All of a sudden a few weeks ago he no longer wanted to eat straight veggies.  
Veggies in things is no problem.  Even if its a dish of 99% veggies its fine.

It got me thinking about how every parent seems to go through phases of sneaking veggies into their kids food.  If I think I can get away with it, I add vegetables.

Parsnips look like white carrots, are sweeter in flavor and have a unique spiced flavor.
I always think cinnamon and cardamom when I taste them.
All of this makes them perfect to pair with apples.

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Apple & Parsnip with Cinnamon

6 small apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
4 small parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In your steamer place the parsnips on bottom and apples on top and steam until fork tender,
about 8 minutes depending on their size.
Remove from the steamer reserving cooking liquid.

Mash or puree to the desired consistency adding liquid if needed.
Mix in the cinnamon and Enjoy!

-Bake the apples and parsnips instead, intensifying their sweetness.  
Be sure to cover the dish to retain moisture.
-Add a bit of orange juice to brighten it up
-Mash with potato
-Mix into oatmeal or other grains

-For adults:  serve as is or leave out the cinnamon and turn this into a soup by adding chicken stock, a few tbs of butter and a dash of cream

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Parsnips are rich in vitamins A, C & E, fiber, folate, manganese, copper, potassium and magnesium.

Apples have lots of fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.

Spinach Pesto


We like pesto of all kinds around here.  Basil, cilantro, carrot greens, we eat it all.
I use it in eggs, as a spread, with pasta, grilled cheese, you name it.

We were at a party and Peanut kept eating all my spanakopita, then a few days later I saw a version of spinach pesto on pinterest.  I seemed like a sign to me.

Peanut loves his greens but I'll use any excuse to add spinach to their diets anyway.

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Spinach Pesto
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup cashews
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place everything in your food processor and puree.
Notice that I started in a blender and ended up transferring to my food processor :)

-Serve this on pasta or mix it in your eggs
-Add to a little mayo or hummus for a nice spread
-Try this with different nuts like walnut, pecan, pine nuts, almonds, etc
-Use walnut or other healthy oils
-Use parmesan or asiago cheese

Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Spinach has lots of calcium, selenium, magnesium, folic acid, iron and vitamins, A, C, D and K (which helps your body absorb calcium).  Spinach is fantastically good for you.

Feta is lower in fat than most cheeses and is a great source of calcium.

Cashews are high in monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind) as well as being rich in magnesium, calcium, phosphates, potassium, copper and selenium with a good dose of protein and fiber.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also mainly monounsaturated fats (the healthy kind of fat) as well as being high in vitamins A, D, K and E.

Just Bananas "Ice Cream"


I've been seeing this one ingredient ice cream on the internet for years and recently tried it out for my 52 Food Adventures challenge.  We've been making it ever since.

As the only ingredient is frozen bananas, it really couldn't be simpler.

Your baby will get a unique treat when eating, your older children will consider it dessert,
and it would be perfect to help soothe the gums of a teething baby.

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Just Bananas "Ice Cream"

Banana (the more ripe the banana is the sweeter it will taste)

Take your banana, peel and slice it and place the pieces on a plate or tray.
Freeze the bananas and then puree in a food processor.

At this point you can definitely serve as is.  The texture will be that of soft serve.

If you like it to be more like traditional ice cream then stick it back in the freezer for another couple hours.



-Add peanut butter, cocoa powder or nutella
-Roast your bananas first to intensify the sweetness and add a note of caramel

Simply place in an airtight container in the freezer


Bananas are packed with potassium and fiber but they are also good for the digestive system.
They've been known to be binding and I think this would be the perfect that for a sick baby or child with diarrhea.

Have you had the one ingredient ice cream before?

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