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healthy

Food & Recipes

Feeding a Toddler // Morning Glory Muffins

May 18, 2016

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This is a sponsored post written in partnership with The Women Bloggers and Kendal King Group. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #CookingWithGerber

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If you follow me on Instagram, chances are you’ve seen these muffins pop up multiple times. I share Ainsley’s meals using the #EasyBabyEats hashtag on Instagram, and it’s been fun to look back through all the different meals I’ve prepared for her when she’s off at her babysitter’s house. Her meals have changed a lot over the months, but this recipe has been a staple.

Gerber has a soft spot in my heart as a mom. I’ve always had a positive association with the brand, and when Ainsley was ready to try her first bites of food around 6 months, Gerber Oatmeal Cereal was the very first thing we tried, followed closely by sweet potato puree.

Now that Ainsley is older, we’ve moved on to a wider variety of foods, but Gerber cereals still have a place in our pantry. When Ainsley had her iron levels tested at her 1-year appointment she came back a little on the low end. Since she isn’t a huge meat eater we’ve been looking for other ways to get iron into her diet, including  fortified cereals that contain iron.

These muffins, which are both a breakfast food and snack for Ainsley (and the whole family) contain both Gerber Oatmeal Cereal and grated sweet potatoes, along with a host of other good-for-you ingredients like whole wheat pastry flour, golden raisins and rolled oats. Because these are geared toward Ainsley, I kept the sugar on the very low end, but our whole family likes them! Just keep in mind they aren’t super sweet.

PS: You probably already know this, but we buy our Gerber Oatmeal Cereal at Walmart, where we do a large portion of our grocery shopping these days!

Morning Glory Toddler Muffins
Serves: 12 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup grated raw sweet potato
  • ½ cup raisins or golden raisins
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup Gerber Oatmeal Cereal
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the milk, vanilla, egg and melted butter. Stir until well-combined. Stir in the raisins and grated sweet potato.
  3. In a second bowl, combine the flour, oat cereal, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and stir until well-combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and tops of muffins bounce back when pressed lightly with your finger.
  5. Cool muffins completely on wire cooling rack before serving.

 

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Family, Food & Recipes

Easy Baby Eats // Cashew Cream

February 26, 2016

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Yesterday, my baby turned 1! I’ll be back with a full post about the birthday festivities (we’re having a party this weekend!) but today I wanted to share with you a recipe that I’ve been making for little Ainsley. I’ve been posting some of Ainsley’s favorite recipes on my Instagram account and have had a lot of you asking for recipes. Well, I don’t really have any intention to turn this into a baby/toddler food blog, but I do want to share what we’re loving.

Ainsley has had two teeth, and only two teeth, for almost six months. Just the last couple weeks we’ve seen four teeth coming through all at once, but figuring out what to feed a baby who likes to eat but doesn’t have many teeth has been a bit of a challenge. We stuck with purees and baby food/pouches for quite a while. Pouches are still one of Ainsley’s favorite ways to eat food, but since they can get expensive, we try to limit how many she eats.

I should be better than I am about limiting salt, but if I’m honest Ainsley eats a lot of the same foods that we eat. That said, those foods are almost always homemade, so when possible we add extra salt to our food after cooking and give Ainsley a less salty version. The good news? Perhaps we don’t need to be quite so worried about salt in baby’s diet after all. And now that she is one (!!) we don’t need to be quite as concerned about salt.

Whew! That’s a whole lot of copy about what we feed Ainsley. Today’s recipe, Cashew Cream, has been a fun way to mix up breakfast from the usual yogurt. It’s dairy-free, vegan and super delicious for both babies and moms. Make sure you have a high powered blender to make the cashew cream, which is how you get it to be super creamy rather than chunky or coarse. Ainsley eats this as a breakfast dish or an after-nap snack, usually with berries!

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Cashew Cream for Baby
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, snack
Serves: 3 to 4 servings
 
Cashew pudding (also called cashew cream) is a favorite in our house for kids and adults alike! It’s calorie dense, but it is filled with nutrients and protein and low in sugar. We use it as a breakfast item for Ainsley or an after-nap snack in the afternoon!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Fresh or frozen and thawed berries for topping
Instructions
  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover completely with water. Soak for 2 hours or until cashews are softened. Drain cashews.
  2. Place cashews and the ½ cup water in a high-powered blender or food processor along with the cinnamon. Blend or process for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer cashew pudding to a bowl and top with berries to serve. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

 

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Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts

November 3, 2014

Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts | Espresso and Cream

Can we talk side dishes? I’ll be the first to admit that when planning meals during the week, I think about dishes more commonly thought of as “sides” (mainly veggie and grain sides) as the building blocks for my meals before I think about anything else. It seems to be a way for us to focus on eating whole, healthy foods and makes the meat of our meals a supplement rather than the star of the show.

These Brussels sprouts I made last week are totally worthy of being the star of any meal. They’re simply roasted with oil and salt, then finished off with a quick sweet and salty sauce made with Asian sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and a little toasted sesame oil for rich, nutty flavor.

I think the best part is how easy it is to make these sprouts. Just toss them in oil, roast for 20 minutes and stir together the sauce for drizzling on top of the sprouts just before serving. And if you have someone in your family that doesn’t love Brussels sprouts (my husband comes to mind…) I promise these Brussels sprouts have the power to win them over.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts (1) | Espresso and Cream

Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil or vegetable/canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Toss Brussels sprouts with the ½ tablespoon oil. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt.
  2. Bake 20 minutes, turning once halfway through baking, until Brussels sprouts are deep golden brown.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the toasted sesame oil, chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger until well combined. Drizzle over roasted sprouts until well combined. Serve immediately.

 

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Tortilla-Crusted Baked Chicken Strips with Sriracha Aioli

September 7, 2014

Baked Chicken Tenders 4 | Espresso and CreamRemember when I mentioned that I’m working with Food Should Taste Good to create some great recipes for game day? Well today marks the second installment  of this three part series and boy is the recipe I have to share with you good. Although the recipe for these chicken strips only makes two it can easily be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled depending on how many people you have coming over to watch the game. Since it was just Joe and me watching football this weekend, I kept the serving size to two.

I’m a huge fan of a certain chicken-based southern fast food chain that makes the world’s best chicken sandwiches. When I did a little digging, I found out that the key to their juicy, flavorful chicken is to marinade the chicken in pickle juice before cooking. Or, at least that’s what the internet told me. I’ve since started deploying that same strategy at home and it’s amazing how well it works! It’s a step I included when making these Tortilla-Crusted Baked Chicken Strips and it makes all the difference. The chicken is so juicy and flavorful, not dry in the least bit.

After marinading the chicken in pickle juice for at least 12 hours, I cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips and coated them in a mixture of crushed Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips and panko bread crumbs, along with a little salt, pepper and cayenne for a little kick.

Personally, I love that these chicken strips are baked, not fried, but still have a ton of crunch thanks to the crushed tortilla chips and panko. And to make things a little extra special, I served these with a simple sriracha aioli, which is really just a fancy name for a flavored mayonnaise.

Baked Chicken Tenders 3 | Espresso and Cream

Tortilla-Crusted Baked Chicken Strips with Sriracha Aioli
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice (from a jar of dill pickles)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips, finely crushed
  • 1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • Sriracha Aioli
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts and pickle juice in a plastic air-tight container or zip-top bag and allow chicken to marinade 24 hours or at least 12 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  3. Cut each chicken breast into 4 or 5 strips. Place egg in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, combine crushed tortilla chips, panko, kosher salt, pepper and cayenne.
  4. Dip chicken in egg, followed by the tortilla mixture. Place coated chicken strips on baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is baked through and no pink remains.
  5. To make Sriracha Aioli: Stir together the mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl. Serve with chicken strips.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Food Should Taste Good. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Vegan Thai Chopped Salad

June 23, 2014

Thai Chopped Salad (2) | Espresso and Cream
Last month I developed a Thai Chicken and Kale Chopped Salad recipe for the Tasteseekers Kitchen blog at work that I’ve since made a handful of times. Big, colorful salads are one of my favorite things to make for lunch and dinner, especially when the salad is substantial enough to keep you full and satisfied hours later.

This past weekend Joe helped one of his friends paint his house. It was a two-day ordeal that involved quite a few hours out in the sun so when they got done on Saturday night and headed to our house for a late dinner, I was in charge of preparing a side dish to go with their very large grilled steaks. Steaks and a vegan salad: It goes together, right? I didn’t exactly set out with the intention of making this recipe vegan, but as I chopped and tossed things together, I realized that’s just what I did.

Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients, chopping and making of your own dressing. I promise that it really is quite simple, and the flavors of all the fresh veggies paired with the thai peanut dressing is nothing short of amazing. The recipe itself serves quite a bit, enough for four main-dish portions or six to seven smaller side-dish sized salads. I highly suggest chopping all the ingredients in advance and making the dressing, then tossing everything together just before you plan to eat. And since the ingredients in this salad are heartier than, say, a Romaine lettuce salad, dressing the salad a little early won’t leave your salad soggy.

Thai Chopped Salad (1) | Espresso and Cream

Vegan Thai Chopped Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • SALAD INGREDIENTS
  • 10 cups finely chopped kale, stems removed
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bag (16 oz) coleslaw mix
  • 4 miniature red sweet peppers, thinly sliced (or ½ cup chopped red sweet pepper)
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
  • THAI PEANUT DRESSING
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. In a very large bowl, combine the kale and olive oil. Work together the kale and olive oil with your hands until kale is evenly coated with the oil. Add the remaining salad ingredients to bowl.
  2. To make dressing, whisk together the peanut butter and hot water until smooth. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss until well combined and salad is evenly coated.

 

 

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