Friday, July 12, 2013

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Based on Baby Led Weaning Cookbook recipe. Removed onions and increased tomatoes. Meatballs are superb for baby since they are soft and easily picked up. First time made this with only 14 oz of tomatoes but the meatball to sauce ratio was a bit high for my liking. Using a 28 oz can came out better.

For the meatballs
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or mix of lamb, pork, beef)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3-4 cl garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 t dried mixed herbs OR oregano
  • 2 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs
  • optional: 1 T parmesan
For the sauce
  • 4 cl garlic, chopped
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 28* oz can chopped/crushed tomatoes
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • black pepper
  • optional: bay leaf, basil, parsley
  1. Put all the meatball ingredients into a bowl and combine using your hands.
  2. Shape into golf ball size. Ideally refrigerate about an hour to firm up.
  3. Heat oil (optional) in frying pan and add the meatballs. Fry gently until they are browned all over, turning as needed.
  4. Lift out of pan with slotted spoon (to drain off oil) and set aside.
  5. Return pan to heat and add the garlic, stirring for a couple minutes.
  6. Stir in tomato paste, then add tomatoes, HALF the basil, and black pepper.
  7. Stir well and bring to a boil. Return meatballs to the pan, cover, and simmer for 10-15 min until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through (test by cutting one in half).
  8. Serve warm with pasta, rice or couscous, with remaining basil sprinkled on top
Bake the meatballs for 15-25 min (depending on size) at 350F. 
Freeze half the meatballs to cook later.

Steamed Veggies Plus

Been steaming a lot since buying the metal insert steamer. Has been a lifesaver in Baby Led Weaning and increased my own veggie intake and simplified preparation. Put the longer cooking ones on the bottom and add ones that take less cooking as time goes on.

1-2 min
spinach/bok choy
5 min
frozen peas
5-10 min
frozen okra
10 min
Green beans (frozen or fresh)
15 min
Corn on the cob
20-25 min
20-30 min

B bought salmon fillets and steamed them - oh so good. So much more tender. Important NOT to salt them beforehand (which would dry them out). 3 minutes for thin part, 9-10 min for thick part.

Tuna and Tomato Pasta

Simple ingredients and easy to put together. Used the leftover tomatoes from Tomato Chicken made with 28 oz can (so already had cumin, coriander and garlic in it). 8 month baby could pick up pasta and tomato chunks and peas.
  • 8 oz spiral pasta (or tubular)
  • 1 can low-sodium tuna (5 oz, in oil or water)
  • 1 cl garlic, chopped
  • 1 t mixed herbs/herbes de Provence (savory, fennel, basil, thyme, rosemary, ...)
  • 1 can (14 oz) chopped/crushed tomatoes
  • dash of balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • optional: frozen peas
  1. Cook pasta. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, make sauce. Heat oil in pan. Break up the tuna and add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 min.
  3. Add the herbs and stir to mix.
  4. Add the tomatoes and vinegar. Stir. Add peas if using.
  5. Simmer for about 5 min, or longer to thicken sauce.
  6. Pour sauce over the pasta and serve with additional vegetables/salad.

Tomato Chicken

Simple to put together and very tasty. First time used 14 oz can of tomatoes. Second time put in a full 28 oz can. With more tomatoes could easily fit more drumsticks. This is from the Baby Led Weaning cookbook but subbing garlic for the onions.

  • 5 cl garlic, chopped
  • 1 t cumin
  • 2 t coriander
  • 5  skinless chicken drumsticks (or 2-3 chicken breasts cut into strips)
  • 1 can chopped/diced tomatoes (14 oz OR 28 oz)
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • optional: 1 T fresh cilantro chopped
  1. Heat oil in saucepan.
  2. Add garlic, cumin and coriander. Cook for 2-3 min.
  3. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides (but not cooked through).
  4. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, until chicken is thoroughly cooked (20 min for breast).
  5. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm with rice and vegetables.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tuna Croquettes

Made these in the morning while M looked after D. Rolling them and dipping them in bread crumbs takes quite a bit of time. Would love a faster recipe (like spreading it in a pan and baking, then cutting up). They didn't really go brown on the top, after 27 minutes, but took them out and they were firmed up. Could use some additional seasoning next time (herbs).
  • 2 large potatoes (or for quick prep, leftover mashed potatoes)
  • 1 can low-sodium tuna (5 oz), in oil or water
  • 1/2 lime's juice (or to taste)
  • 2 T butter
  • optional: dried herbs
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs (original called for 1/2-1 c, but they barely stuck)
  1. If using fresh potatoes, peel and cut them and steam or boil them.
  2. Drain tuna and break it up.
  3. Drain and mash potatoes. Add tuna and lime juice.
  4. Stir in the butter.
  5. Shape mixture into small sausages and roll each in breadcrumbs, putting on a greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 400F for 20-30 min, until browned* and cooked through.
  7. Serve warm with vegetables.
  8. Keep leftovers in fridge or freezer and reheat in microwave or oven.

Finger Oatmeal

The plain ones didn't go over too well, but it could have been because her pincer grip wasn't all that good. Lately been doing it with banana and she actually eats some (8 months). Serves one baby with leftovers for cook to finish. Would like to try apple variation one day.
  • 3 T quick oatmeal (not instant)
  • 3 T milk
  • cinnamon
With Banana
  • 3 T quick oatmeal
  • 2-2.5 T milk
  • 1/2 banana
  1. Put oatmeal in flat bowl and pour milk in. Stir and let sit for a few minutes to have oatmeal absorb the liquid.
  2. Mash in the banana if using.
  3. Flatten with spoon/fork.
  4. Microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Cut into fingers (or smaller) and then let cool.