Archive | July, 2012

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant “Bolognese”

31 Jul

The farmers’ markets are bursting with eggplant these days, so I thought I’d share this simple vegetarian pasta that I developed last summer. Roasting the eggplant really beefs up its flavor–you’ll never miss the meat!

Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant “Bolognese”

Making Baby Food: Chicken

24 Jul

This post comes a bit out of left field, but I promised a friend I’d put it up. My youngest is now 21 months, so it’s been a while since I made any purees, but back when she was starting solids, I took a ton of photos of what I was making with the intention of sharing them here. I promise more comprehensive coverage of feeding your baby, coming soon(ish!) And for those of you who dislike babies and their eating habits, how about a Milk Chocolate Pudding Pie instead?

Lots of people make homemade vegetable and fruit purees for their babies, but almost no one I know ever makes meat. Why not? It’s so easy, freezes well, and they (the babies) really love it. Plus, my pediatrician swears that babies start sleeping better once they start eating real protein. I have no evidence to back this claim up, but I did notice a big difference in my own kids. Protein does digest more slowly, so it makes sense, no?

Ok, so meat…it’s not the prettiest puree. (My photos of making it are not pretty either.) But I promise you’ll feel much less grossed out by the whole situation if you make it yourself. Let me show you how.

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Grilled Cheese “Pull-Aparts”

19 Jul

Alright, this is definitely not the healthiest recipe, nor is it made from whole foods, but I have to admit it’s one of my proudest creations of late. I’m unapologetic about the use of American cheese and squishy packaged bread here. This recent article from the New York Times sums it up–this is my comfort food, and, on occasion, I still love it. Everything in moderation, right?

This invention came about after a recent party where I served pulled pork on these Martin’s mini “party roll” buns. They come in a pack of 24–two sheets of 12 rolls meant to be pulled apart and split in half to make tiny “sliders.” I had a surplus of buns after the party and needed something to do with them.

Use a serrated knife to carefully cut the sheet of rolls in half.

On a particularly crazy evening when I didn’t have much to make for dinner, I had this idea: Cut the entire sheet of buns in half, leaving them connected to each other, flip them inside out, and make a giant grilled cheese that can be pulled apart into little sandwiches! Ta-da!

Brush cut sides with butter; stack a double-layer of American cheese and optional toppings on the “bun” side.

Since, I’ve learned that this is a perfect playdate recipe. (We all know that other people’s kids don’t like our “healthy” cooking, right?) Serve this with some soup or fruit, and you’ll practically have a wholesome meal. And at least they’ll eat!

Bon Appetit!

Just a note: be sure to use a moderately hot griddle when cooking the grilled cheese. The thick, dense bread needs time to heat up enough to melt the cheese. You don’t want the exterior to get too dark before the cheese is melted!

Dairy-Free Creamy Garlic Dressing/Dip

17 Jul

I love making salad dressing–whether vinaigrette or creamy, homemade always trumps bottled–always! I tried a great recipe from the August issue of Martha Stewart Living (the content doesn’t appear to be online yet, or I’d link to it–recipe is on page 64. Update: here it is!) It inspired me to try to make a dairy-free version, which I’m happy to report turned out great! Instead of using classic creamy-dressing components like mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, or cheese, I swapped in raw cashews and ripe avocado. Honestly, you’d never guess it’s vegan! Continue reading

Making Tofu Delicious (by Frying It!)

14 Jul

Tofu is such a simple ingredient, but it’s a hard one for people to make deliciously at home. I know I’ve had my fair share of bland, mushy hunks of tofu in stir fries and sandwiches–especially during my hippie college days. Here’s the easiest way to make it crave-worthy delicious: fry it! I know frying is still pretty much thought of as evil and unhealthy, but I think we all know about good vs. bad fats these days, and also that it’s not necessarily fat that’s making our society fat. If you eat fried foods in moderation and stick to heart-healthy oils (and I seriously doubt you’d fry up tofu in some lard, anyway) I think you’ll find that tofu really is a great non-meat protein. Continue reading