Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Food Recipes

As many of you know, I make my own baby food because it's healthier (free of additives, preservatives, sugar, and sodium), cheaper, and....did I mention cheaper?? Here are a few of Sebastian's favs. I make everything with my magic bullet! However, a blender of food processor will work as well.

Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • water, as needed
  • Optional: cinnamon to taste.
  1. Microwave, boil or bake sweet potato until tender (I use one of those potato sleeves for the microwave). Let cool completely, or until cool enough to handle. You should be able to peel away the skin easily.
  2. Cut potato into chunks and place in magic bullet. Add a little bit of water (and cinnamon if you are adding) and blend, adding water as necessary to reach desired consistency for baby.
  3. Store refrigerated for a few days or you can place sweet potato into ice cube trays and freeze. Thaw at room temperature for individual servings!

Cinnamon is a great thing to add to baby food. Not only does it add a little bit of flavor (without making it too sweet), but cinnamon has NUMEROUS health benefits. Just google it and you'll find an exhaustive list of it's benefits.

Apple sauce

  • 3-6 apples (depending on size), cored & chopped, peels on*
  • Optional: cinnamon
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add chopped apples. Boil for 20-25 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. Place apples (and cinnamon) in a magic bullet and puree.
  3. Serve alone or mixed with Gerber Rice Cereal.

*I leave the peels on the apples (and pears) because a lot of the apple's nutrients (like many fruits and veggies) are found in it's peel. When boiled and pureed, baby won't even notice.

Pear sauce (EASY)

The great thing about pear sauce is that you don't have to cook them first (if you're using Barelett pears anyway) because they are softer.

  • 2 Bartlett pears, peels on
  • Optional: cinnamon
  1. Place all ingredients in magic bullet and puree. Again, I leave the skins on the pear for the nutrition benefits.
  2. Serve alone or mixed with Gerber Rice cereal.

Fruit Smoothies

  • Plain yogurt
  • fresh fruit of your choice (berries, banana, grapes, etc)
  1. Place in magic bullet and blend, adjusting amounts until desired consistency is reached. You can mix it with some Gerber Rice Cereal to give more flavor and spoonable consistency.

Apple banana sauce

  • Prepare apple sauce as instructed above and add 1 small banana (or half a large). Puree in magic bullet. Serve alone or mixed with Gerber Rice cereal.

Pureed veggies

  • Squash, carrots, etc
  1. Boil (or microwave) until tender (again I suggest leaving the skins on the squash).
  2. Puree in a magic bullet, adding water if needed.
    Tips: Try buying pre-cut steam-in-bag vegetables in the produce section of the supermarket (like Market Fresh brand) if you are pressed for time.

Mashed banana (easy!)

  1. Mash a banana with a fork. Serve alone of with Gerber Rice Cereal.

Banana "ice cream"

Sebastian loves this (and so do I!!)

  • Slice a banana into medallions and freeze it.
  • Place frozen banana in food processor and puree (scraping down sides as needed) until it reaches an ice cream like texture.

The next few are short cut (though still cheaper) recipes that Sebastian likes.

Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is pretty much pure pumpkin. There is no added sodium and it is fiber packed. Sebastian loves it by itself.

Lima beans: Sebastian loves lima beans. If you are using canned vegetables/beans, ALWAYS rinse them thoroughly. You'll wash away a lot of the sodium and additives packed in the can to preserve them.

  • 1 can lima beans
  • water as needed
  1. Rinse lima beans thoroughly.
  2. Place in a magic bullet with some water and puree, adding water as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Navy beans (canned): Fiber packed. Just make sure they are rinsed thoroughly and prepare as listed above for Lima beans OR, when baby gets older, just let him eat them as finger food. Sebastian likes to do this.

Tips (quicklist)

  • Leave peels on for added vitamins and nutrition.
  • Rinse canned goods thoroughly if using.
  • Adding rice cereal to pureed fruits and veggies adds bulk (if your baby is trying to gain weight), flavor, and nutrition.
  • Most pureed fruits and veggies can be poured into ice trays and frozen, and then thawed one at a time at room temperature for individual servings. Place it in the diaper bag as you leave for your destination and then it'll be thawed by the time you need it hopefully!

Sweet Potato & Pork Chili

I used the crockpot, but you can prepare the pork in a skillet or oven too. This was not originally for the crockpot, but I wanted to free up some time. :)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped or 9 baby carrots, chopped.
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP minced onion
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth (I used water + bouillon powder)
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo or tobasco sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 TBSP cilantro
  1. Season the pork with salt & pepper.
  2. Add the pork, minced onion, carrot, garlic and sweet potato to a crockpot misted with cooking spray; cook on low for 5-6 hours (or high for 4), until tender.
  3. Shred the pork into pieces with two forks.
  4. Mix in the remaining ingredients; keep crockpot on low or warm until heated through. (To speed things up, transfer contents to the stove and heat to boiling. If you skipped the crockpot, you'll have to cover and simmer for 1 hour to make sure potatoes and carrots are tender).

Makes 4 servings

Calories 228
Fat 3g
Cholesterol 60
Sodium 1550
Potassium 515mg
Carbs 26g
Fiber 8g
Sugars 5g
Prrotein 28g

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crescent Italian Bake

So easy, but so impressive looking!!

  • 1 can reduced fat crescent rolls
  • 1lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (italian flavored works well, but not required)
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • seasonings to taste: basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, minced onions.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and heat up a skillet on medium heat misted with cooking spray.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a skillet and drain the fat.
  3. Return the beef to the pan and pour in the tomato sauce and seasonings to make a meat sauce.
  4. Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place dough in a greased 9-inch glass pie plate in spoke pattern, with narrow tips hanging over the rim of plate about 3 inches. Press dough in side and bottom to form a solid bottom crust; sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the cheese.
  5. Spoon meat mixture evenly over cheese. Bring tips of dough over filling to meet in center, overlapping slightly in the middle (It looks like spokes of a wheel! See picture below).
  6. Sprinkle basil and garlic powder (mostly to make it look pretty) and mist with cooking spray.
  7. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Makes 5 servings (I know it's hard to cut a pie into 5 pieces...)

Calories 284
Fat 9.5g
Sat Fat 3.5g
Cholesterol 55mg
Sodium 990mg
Potassium 108mg
Carbs 22g
Fiber .5g
Sugars 6g
Protein 28g

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rice Krispy Fudge bars

Okay, The recipe called for Rice Krispies, and I used puffed rice cereal to lower the calories/make it a little healthier. They were good, but Jeremy and I both agreed they'd taste better with rice krispies. So...I'll include the nutrition for both below. I will try this recipe again soon with rice krispies.

  • 8 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 14 oz can Sweetened Fat-free Condensed Milk
  • 2 servings mini marshmallows (about 90 calories/serving)
  • 4 cups puffed rice (or Rice Krispies) cereal
  1. Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with aluminum foil letting the edges hang over the edges of the pan. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

  2. Stir the Sweetened Condensed Milk and the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it for 30 seconds, stir, then repeat until completely melted/blended.

  3. Fold in the cereal and the marshmallows.

  4. Spread the mixture into the foil lined pan.

  5. Refrigerate until firm, then cut into 12 squares.

Makes 12 servings

Nutrition (for puffed rice)
Calories 223
Fat 5g
Sat Fat 3g
Cholesterol 4g
Sodium 38mg
Carbs 40g
Sugars 33g
Protein 3g

Nutrition (for Rice Krispies)
Calories 232
Fat 5.5g
Sat Fat 3.5g
Cholesterol 4g
Sodium 92mg
Potassium 7mg
Carbs 43g
Sugars 34g
Protein 3g

Friday, January 13, 2012

Country "Fried" Pork Chops and Milk Gravy

  • 4 boneless pork chops (about 4 oz each, however mine were 3.3 oz)
  • Seasoning Salt
  • pepper
  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Cooking spray


  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Milk (Unsweetened Original) or Soy milk
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • Chicken seasoning
  • Seasoning salt
  1. Pound pork chops to 1/4-inch thickness; season with salt, lemon pepper and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Place 1/4 cup flour in a dish, the egg beater in another, and stir together Panko bread crumbs and garlic powder in a third dish. Coat chops with flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg coating on both sides; allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Dredge in the Panko mixture.
  3. Heat cooking spray in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pork cutlets and cook until browned on outside and cooked through. Cover and heat until cooked if necessary.
  4. Stir milk, seasoning salt, chicken seasoning and flour in a saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer and stir until mixture thickens. Spoon over cutlets to serve.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition (Meat only, 3.3 oz)
Calories 151
Fat 4g
Sat Fat 1g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 789mg
Potassium 5.5mg
Carbs 8g
Fiber .5g
Sugars .5g
Protein 21g

Gravy adds about 17 calories if prepared with Almond Breeze or soy milk.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Easy Santa Fe Chicken

  • 1 lb Chicken tenderloins
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 can condensed (fat free) tomato soup
  • shredded fat free cheese for topping
  • *EXTRA* I added .5-.75 cup of fiesta corn since I had some left over.
  1. Stir the flour and chili powder on a plate. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture.
  2. Heat a 10-inch skillet coated in cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until well browned on both sides.
  3. Add the soup (and the corn if using) to the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Top the chicken with the cheese if you like.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition (including corn, without cheese. Subtract about 13 calories if you're not using corn. Add 22 calories for 2 TBSP Fat free shredded cheddar.)

Calories 148
Fat 1g
Sodium 700mg
Cholesterol 65mg
Carbs 18g
Fiber 1g
Protein 26g