Beet and Black Bean Burgers

The doctor said this day would come…Turner would become a picky eater! I usually have go-to recipes on hand, but lately I’ve been SO busy that I haven’t had time to prepare. So it’s been eggs and waffles for breakfast, peanut butter sandwiches and fruit for lunch, yogurt and his favorite almond meal muffins for a snack, and whatever we are eating for dinner (or another peanut butter sandwich, don’t judge)!

Now, don’t get me wrong, this kid is CONSTANTLY hungry and could eat me under the table. But I refuse to give him junk to fill him up. I want his meals to be filled with protein and even those sneaky vegetables too! The only way I can do that is to plan ahead. I always sneak things like spinach and avocados into his smoothies. But when I have an hour to spare, I like to take whatever I have on hand and whip up “burgers” of some sort (and by burger I mean anything I mix up and shape into a patty). This week I scoured the fridge and pantry for anything I could turn into a healthy “burger”. These beet and black bean burgers are a winner!

I started by cooking some quinoa (read about the amazing benefits of quinoa HERE). While that simmered, I sautéed onions, shredded carrots, and diced ginger root. I pulsed the beets and sautéed veggies in the food processor a few times to break them up. Side note about the beets, I used the steamed and peeled baby beets in the fridge section at Trader Joe’s. I’ve seen them in several grocery stores.

Once the quinoa was finished, I added a cup of cooked quinoa and the black beans to my food processor and pulsed a few more times. I let that cool slightly so it wouldn’t cook my egg! Then I added in the bread crumbs and egg and processed for a few seconds to form a “dough”.  I used an ice cream scoop to form patties and seared them on either side until crisp on the outside and warmed through, just like a burger!


I served it up with a little BBQ sauce and a bun. He actually eats the bun separately, but for us grown ups, I took a picture of the burger and bun together! I hope you and your kiddos enjoy!


 

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Traffic Light Ice Pops

Turner is a huge smoothie fan. We share a smoothie every day! When I make them, I ALWAYS throw some spinach and avocado in. He honestly loves it and has no clue. Gotta do it while I can, right?

I wanted to make something a little different since I had some more time over the weekend! I looked to see what sort of frozen or fresh fruit I had on hand and BOOM, traffic light ice pops! I got the idea from one of my favorite kid’s cookbooks, SuperFoods for Babies and Children. I get a TON of ideas from this book, and Turner has loved everything. I can’t say I’ve followed the recipes to a T, but they’ve definitely inspired my menus! The ice pops recipe called for strawberries, honey, peaches, and kiwi. I  didn’t have most of those things, so instead I used a mixture of frozen strawberries and raspberries, fresh pineapple, and fresh kiwi. They came out AWESOME! The perfect treat for a hot summer day.

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Fruity Grilled Chicken Salad

I am a salad lover! I feel like salads get a bad rap because they can be boring! But, salads can be a mixture of anything. It doesn’t have to just be lettuce and vegetables! I love salads because I can just throw everything in a bowl, without measuring, and have a flavorful meal ready to go!

This salad is basically a grilled chicken salad, but with a TON of fun additions. This is the chicken recipe I use. I had some leftover quinoa, so I tossed that in. I also had a million strawberries from strawberry picking and some corn from the Farmer’s Market last weekend. I decided to saute the corn for a nice warm bite. I folded in the cooked quinoa and seasoned with salt and pepper.  

Here is the assembly: I line the bowls with some arugula, then layer on a scoop of the corn mixture, strawberries, diced turkey bacon, grilled chicken, and then top it with some sunflower seeds for texture! Here is a link to the vinaigrette I use. 

WOW, delicious.  I even scooped out some of the corn mixture to serve Turner. He can’t exactly do salads yet, but this is a bit of our dinner deconstructed so I don’t have to make him a whole separate meal! I will definitely be making this again! It was a big hit!

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Nutty Banana Bread Granola

This granola is AMAZING. I am always on the search for great granola recipes that aren’t packed with sugar! I recently found a recipe that sounded yummy. The original can be found here. I made a few changes that added some protein and were “toddler friendly” since Turner loves yogurt parfaits!

I start by combining the oats, pecans, and cinnamon in the standing mixer. I just give that a quick mix to incorporate the dry ingredients. Then, on the stove, I heat the mashed banana, maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, and almond butter, just until they’re well combined.

After that’s combined, I pour it into my mixer and mix until the oats are completely coated with the wet ingredients. I spread it out on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.

And, there you have it! A delicious granola recipe for everyone in the family!

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Mini and Me Smoothie

The warm weather has gotten me in smoothie mode! And, since I don’t puree baby food for Turner anymore, I find that tucking secret ingredients into our smoothies is the perfect way to get his veggies in! I just make a big batch so I can have a full smoothie and he can have a mini one! This is our absolute favorite, as you can tell by Turner’s expression!




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Chicken and Veggie Tots

I am on a mission to create clever ways to stuff my child FULL of vegetables! So far, so good. Here’s an amazing recipe that I can almost bet your finicky child will love!! You can call them whatever you want to appeal to your little one. But, rest assured, they are chock full of VEGGIES!! 
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They are a bit labor intensive, but the recipe makes about a million so they last for quite a while! I make about 40 and freeze the majority. Turner eats 4 or 5 in one sitting, so I just take out what I know I’ll need and pop them in an airtight container in the fridge the night before!

I start by prepping all of the veggies. In a food processor, I shred the carrots. I leave half of the carrots in the food processor, and set remaining carrots aside. Then, I dice the apple, onion, celery, and red pepper. I set the veggies aside.

Then, I cut the chicken breast into chunks and add them to the carrots in the food processor fitted with blade attachment. I pulse 4 times to break the chicken into small pieces.

In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, I sauté half the onion until it softens, about two minutes. I add half the shredded carrot, and all of the red pepper, apple, kale (or spinach), and celery to the sautéed onions. I season with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp dried thyme. I sautée for another 2-3 minutes until veggies soften. I turn the heat off and set that mixture aside to cool.

Meanwhile, I add the remaining raw onion to the food processor. Pulse to combine, about four times.

Then, I add the sautéed veggies to the food processor. I pulse to combine, about 10 times, scraping down the sides with a spatula.

Finally, I add the egg and breadcrumbs. I pulse to combine. Then it’s time to form the meatballs!! I use a mini ice cream scoop to make the balls and drop them onto my oiled skillet.

I cook them for about 3 minutes per side. I turn them and make sure to cook all sides until browned and cooked through. This process takes about 10-15 minutes. I cook them in batches, making sure to coat the pan with oil for each batch! Then it’s time to dig in!



As you can tell, Turner is a HUGE fan of these babies! Little does he know, he’s getting his veggies in with each and every bite!

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Carrot Almond Butter Snack Bites

I found a delicious recipe months ago that I’ve been meaning to try. I finally had some time to test recipes this morning and came up with a little spin on these Carrot Almond Butter Bites. I kept it pretty similar. I just changed up a few ingredients and blended it up in the food processor so it’s extra “toddler friendly”. 


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Frittata Cups

Life has been a bit busy lately. I feel like I haven’t had time to plan a solid meal for any of us! I definitely always have frozen purees on hand for Turner, but he’s getting a bit picky when it comes to food! He LOVES peanut butter sandwiches, anything with sweet potatoes, bananas with avocado, and oatmeal. Those are pretty much the staples around here. But, in an effort to keep him NOT picky, I’m committed to making him different foods that will peak his interest.

I made a batch of Frittata Cups this morning. He loves them and they’re perfect for “make ahead” healthy meals. I keep them in the freezer and just take one out and put it in a container in the fridge the night before! They couldn’t be easier to make. I start by cooking the frozen potatoes until they’re browned, about 5 minutes. Then I add a diced zucchini, and cook one more minute until it’s softened.

I pour that onto a plate to cool while I prep the rest of the ingredients. In a large bowl, I whisk together the eggs, water, yogurt, salt & pepper. Once that’s combined, I stir in the veggies and cheese.


Finally, I use a quarter cup measure to scoop the mixture into a muffin tin lined with silicone baking cups.
  I cook them for 30 minutes at 350F until they’re nice and firm. YUM!

Stew and I actually eat them too. They’re great for him because he leaves early in the morning for work. So he just pops them in the microwave and has breakfast on the go!

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Food Prep

This was a weekend of major food prep! This is a “chemo week“, so I like to get as much done in advance as possible. We have Supper Club (Standing Rib Roast Recipe to come!) tonight, so yesterday was the big “prep day”.

The first few chemo treatments, Stew was sick for a solid 4 days, so I didn’t worry too much about food. It was mainly chicken soup and saltines all week. But since he started his acupuncture and chinese herbs, he is a hungry beast (yay)! Now I actually have to plan meals for the week! On top of that, Turner is eating me out of house and home! This kid could eat NON-STOP!!!

Needless to say, I have to have healthy snacks on hand for him AND Stew (and me, of course)! So This was what I made yesterday:


Banana Raspberry Muffins (My changes: No sugar. Half whole wheat pastry flour and half spelt flour)
Pumpkin Muffins (My changes: No sugar, no frosting, honey could be replaced with maple syrup)
Zuchinni Tots (My changes: quadrupled recipe to freeze them, used LARGE muffin cups, and added a large shredded turnip to the mix)

This morning, I made breakfast burritos to freeze so we have a quick and healthy breakfast when we’re on the go! Here is my recipe.






Freezer Breakfast Burritos:
Makes 5 burritos

5 tortillas
6 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 Applegate frozen turkey breakfast sausage links
1 cup Ore-Ida frozen potatoes, peppers and onions
2 Tbsp salsa, plus extra to top
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra to top
1 Tbsp goat cheese

Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet (I used cast iron) over medium heat. Cook potatoes and sausage according to package instructions (basically until softened and browned). Slice sausage into bite size pieces and return to pan. Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper up in a bowl. Add eggs, salsa, goat cheese, and cheddar to the pan. Let eggs set for about 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to move eggs around the pan, about every minute, until they are cooked through.

Divide egg mixture into 5 even sections. Lay out one square of foil and lay tortilla on top. Spoon one section of filling onto the tortilla. Top with extra salsa and shredded cheese. Tuck the sides in and roll up (seam side down). Roll the foil up around it. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Place tortillas in a large ziplock bag and freeze.

To re-heat in the morning: Remove foil, wrap burrito in paper towel, microwave, using the quick defrost button, for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Time and setting will vary depending on your microwave! If you have more time, you can always keep the burrito in foil and warm in the oven.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Christmas Tree Obsession

This morning was a very productive morning! Every weekend, I spend about an hour prepping baby food for the week. I’ll steam veggies for a puree, or make a batch of oatmeal, or cook up some pancakes to freeze. This morning I made my go-to baby pancakes and even had time to take pictures of them! I typed up the recipe to share with you. Here it is!

I had time to play around with my new Canon Macro Lens too! I’ve been wanting this for a looooong time! The photos I shot will explain my obsession. It’s incredible, and it’s pretty inexpensive as far as lenses go!

I captured some great shots of our little man in all his snuggly glory.

This holiday season is the best I’ve ever had! I’m absolutely in love with this munchkin. Everything is so exciting to Turner. He is absolutely obsessed with our tree! He left it alone for a while, and then rediscovered it last night. All he wants to do is pull the ornaments off and play with them. Morning, noon, or night…it doesn’t matter!



We got so much done this morning, that I think we can take it easy for the rest of the day! It’s the perfect rainy day for snuggling. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!